Monday, March 12, 2012

366 Days of Gratefulness ~ Day 69

I am sitting in here with tears streaming down my face as I type.  As I think about today, my heart can't help from being so grateful that it feels like it could just burst.

Every Sunday I go to church with the anticipation expectation that the Lord is going to teach my heart something new, and He's going to feed my soul.  Some weeks it's through Sunday school.  Some weeks it's through the sermon or a song we sing.  Some weeks it comes from encouragement of a friend.  Sometimes it comes from a totally unexpected place.  Most of the time it comes from more than just one of these areas.  This week it came from all of them.

Just getting there today felt like a victory.  I wasn't sure my body was going to cooperate, but thankfully the Lord gave me the strength to get there.  By the time I got out of the shower this morning I was almost in a panic I wasn't going to make it there.  I just prayed and told the Lord if He intended for me to be there, He was going to have to give the strength.

And He most certainly did.

Before I ever made it down the hallway, my friend Kathy met me with a big smile and a hug.  I barely got a word out of my mouth before she looked me in the eyes and she gave me such encouraging words.  Words that came straight from the Lord; He knew I needed to hear them.

I wrote earlier in the week about my excitement over the new Sunday school class that started up last week over Heaven.  Co-teaching with our associate pastor is a man who is such a man of God.  He is full of so much wisdom and knows the bible so well.  He's in his eighties, I believe, and has been a Christian most of his life.  He is such a precious, precious man ... and so is his sweet wife I might add.

Well, guess who had a question?  Yes, that would be me.

Bless that man.  I stumped him.  My question actually doesn't have an answer that can be answered this side of Eternity, and it really doesn't even matter at this point.  I am just curious, and I wish it could be answered.

However, the beautiful thing that came from that was I realized I'm really not alone.  Even this eighty-something year old man, who has a wealth of wisdom, said to me, "I think we've all questioned our salvation at one time or another."  And then there was an echo of agreement from others in the room.

I have no words for what that did for my heart.

The picture even becomes more beautiful.

Today's sermon was tailored around not just today's class, but around by last week's class ... by none other than Jesus.
"Our new identity is found in Christ.  This is the truth we must never forget."

"God is Holy and pure.  He also has become my Father that loves me with an everlasting love."

"Our stability, strength and grace are found in Christ." 

"Who cares what other people think of me?  I know what God thinks.  He delights in me."

Those are just a few of the notes I have highlighted in pink from the notes I took this morning from Caleb's sermon.

And there's more.

Last week in Sunday school Andy asked us, what do we look forward to when we get to Heaven?  My answer was, and still is, I can't wait to climb up in Jesus' lap and hear Him tell me everything is okay.

This morning Jeff, our RUF (Reformed University Fellowship) minister lead the pastoral prayer.  In his prayer he talked about what a privilege it is that we get to climb up into His lap and talk to Him when we are praying.  I couldn't hold back the tears.

I don't have to wait.  I actually get to climb up in His lap now ... and He tells me it's okay, to trust Him.

In his sermon, Caleb reiterated just what Jeff said in his prayer.

When church was over one of the men who is in the same Sunday school class I am attending, came up to me and said, "Wow, wasn't that sermon just for you.  If you didn't know any better you would think that when Caleb left the room he went to rewrite his sermon when he heard your question in class."

If I didn't know how the Holy Spirit operates, I would wonder if he did just that.

And this is one of the songs we sang today ...

The Love of Christ Is Rich and Free
 1. The love of Christ is rich and free;
Fixed on His own eternally;
Nor earth, nor hell, can it remove;
Long as He lives, His own He’ll love.
2. His loving heart engaged to be
Their everlasting Surety
’Twas love that took their cause in hand,
And love maintains it to the end.
Chorus: Love cannot from its post withdraw;
Nor death, nor hell, nor sin, nor law,
Can turn the Surety’s heart away;
He’ll love His own to endless day.
3. Love has redeemed His sheep with blood;
And love will bring them safe to God;
Love calls them all from death to life;
And love will finish all their strife.
4. He loves through every changing scene,
Nor aught from Him can Zion wean;
Not all the wanderings of her heart
Can make His love for her depart.
(Repeat chorus)
5. At death, beyond the grave, He’ll love;

The blazing glory of that love
Which never could from them remove.

Tonight my cup is running over with gratitude.

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