Monthly Archives: December 2006

“A Pilgrim’s Search”

“A Pilgrim’s Search”
by Anthony
11DEC06

I walk this lonely road;
Alone and beat, I go alone.
My burden weighs me down…
To guide me? My heart of stone.

“He did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the LORD.” (II Chronicals 12:14)

A pilgrim in life,
That is what I am.
A wandering searcher,
Belonging to no clan.

“My tears have been my food
day and night,
while men say to me all day long,
‘Where is your God?’ ” (Psalms 42:3)

But within myself:
Even to my inermost…
The strength to make it?
To my failure do I toast.

” ‘apart from Me you can do nothing.’ ” (John 15:5b)

I keep walking this lonely road,
Ever searching for some truth.
Behind me lies broken dreams.
For which I fought nail and tooth.

“I despise my life; I would not live forever.
Let me alone; my days have no meaning.” (Job 7:16)

It gets to me, life beats me down
This is my sorrow: my pain

” ‘Yet if I speak, my pain is not relieved;
and if I refrain, it does not go away.’ ” (Job 16:6)

For some reason I feel
Ever drawn to that hill.
“He saves,” they say…
“The void will He fill.”

” ‘I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’ ” (Mark 2:17b)

Who is this Man, Who bore a cross,
Who died a criminal’s death?
It’s said He loves me and wants me whole:
Was the reason for His ev’ry breath.

” ‘Father, forgive them, for hey do not know what they are doing…’ ‘I tell you the truth, today you will be with Me in paradise.’ ” (Luke 23:34b, 43b)

So I approach the hill,
Stand at the foot of the Cross.
I’ll give Him my burden, my all:
To count it but a loss.

“But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ…” (Phillipians 3:7-8)

Life still hurts, and beats me down:
My burden for His cross I traded.
And beside me He walks, His own cross bearing.
So with Him I’ll stay, til all has faded.

” ‘If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow Me.’ ” (Luke 9:23b) “Carrying his own cross…” (John 18:17a)

Peace I have, belonging I found
This is my joy: my life

“You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.” (I Thesselonian 1:6)

all scripture taken from the NIV

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“But Lord…”

I hate the word “but.” Why? Cause it cancels out everything that you said before it. “I like you, but…” Ah, guess you don’t like him, eh? “I really want to help you, but…” Yep, you really do want to help her, eh? “I’d love to stay and chat, but…” No, you just want to get out of there as fast as you can, don’t you?

I won’t disclose why the word is on my mind, as that is a private matter and struggle. However, I’ll useit to talk about another matter that is close to me, and which the word “but” comes up a lot with me…

“If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23 NIV)

Christ’s call to us as those He loves. And what is our response?

“If anyone would come after Me…”
“But Lord, it is so hard, and I’d like to go do this and this and this…”

“…he must deny himself…”
“But Lord, I really do like this chocolate cake…But Lord, just one more? It will be my last, I promise…But Lord, why would you want me to give up something that feels so good?”

“…take up his cross…”
“But Lord, can’t you take this responsibility away? I’m not good at it…I’d rather go do this…This person is quite annoying, why have you stuck me with him/her?”

“…daily…”
“But Lord, taking this day off won’t hurt too much…I follow you every day of the week, go to church, and do all the right things. I know you’ll forgive this slip I’m going to make.”

“…and follow Me.”
“But Lord, can’t I follow You and [insert personal struggle/idol here]? What’s the harm? I’m still forgiven and saved. I’ll go to heaven. Isn’t that what matters?”

This attitude will result in you eventually saying, ” ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform miracles?’ ”

Want to know what is in store for you? Probably not, but I’m going to be intolerant and tell yoiu anyways: ” ‘I never knew you. Away from Me, you evildoers!’ “…”Then they will go away to eternal punishment…” (Matt. 7:22-23, 25:46 NIV)

Might want to rid yourself of them excuses, eh? I know I do. Very much so. I’d rather here Him say “Well done good and faithful servant.” Ya. Much better…

Lord, help me rid myself of these excuses that riddle my life. I say them sometimes without even realizing what I am saying. I want to follow you wholeheartedly, but part of me is holding me back. And I want to remove it. But I haven’t the strength…

God Bless,
Peregrinus.


A Serious Following of Christ

“As [Jesus] passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him.” (Mark 2:14 NKJV)

I hear Jesus making that call to me: to get up from what I am doing, be willing to forsake all for Him, and to follow my Lord and Savior. And I find myself longing to heed His call, yet unwilling to do what it takes.

It’s not that He wants me to give up everything for Him. Rather, He wants me to be willing to. So if ever the need arises for me to give up family or friends or life or business or home or comfort or freedom or love…I will already be in the place where I will do so.

He says, “Follow Me,” and I reply with a stammering, “But what about…” Kinda pathetic for a self-proclaimed child of God to not be willing to sacrifice my measly collection of things for He who gave His very seat at the right hand of God Himself to die a humiliating death on the cross…

Of Martin Luther, Dietrich Bonhoeffer (in his book I am currently reading, “The Cost of Discipleship”) says this:

“The recognition of grace was his final, radical breach with his besetting sin, but it was never the justification of that sin. By laying hold of God’s forgiveness, he made the final, radical renunciation of a self-willed life, and this breach was such that it led inevitably to a serious following of Christ.” (italics added)

Ouch. Renounce your self-willed life, inevitably leading to a true following of the Savior. “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself [renouncing the self-willed life], take up his cross daily, and follow me [a serious following of Christ].” (Luke 9:23 NIV)

So, in closing, let me write out the lyrics to a song that quite adequetely describes the daily struggle of carrying that cross…

—–

“One Day At A Time”

by Jeremy Camp

One day at a time, I will walk this road I’ve traveled so far
One day at a time, I know I’ll carry on
One day at a time, I can see You took my life this far
One day at a time, I will take this faith along

All this hope I breathe is given by the Hand that carries me / Until I’m complete
And I’ll take all I will to understand this plan You have for me

And I’ve been shut up shut down held out held down
In ways I never knew I would, but I can feel your fullness in my life
I’ve been burnt out broken, torn out torn down
In ways I never knew I would, but I can feel Your fullness in my life
One day at a time

One day at a time, I will take these words You’ve given me
One day at a time, I will rest in knowing You
One day at a time, I will share this gift You’ve given me
One day at a time, I will walk these valleys through

All I know is that I see, how much my heart is longing to be / Cradled by Your side
And I’ll give all I can, to one day soon be held by Your hand

And I’ve been shut up shut down held out held down
In ways I never knew I would, But I can feel your fullness in my life
I’ve been burnt out broken, torn out torn down
In ways I never knew I would, but I can feel Your fullness in my life

In all these things I will press on / I’ll be with You I know it won’t be long

And I’ve been shut up shut down held out held down
In ways I never knew I would, But I can feel your fullness in my life
I’ve been burnt out broken, torn out torn down
In ways I never knew I would, but I can feel Your fullness in my life

—–

Lord, please give me the strength to be able to get up, forsake all I know and hold dear to me, and follow You. You who gave up more than I’ll ever be able to fathom, to live here on earth. Among all the dirt and muck and sin. You are to be the center of my life, my belt of Truth. For no other cause should I be willing to life…or die. Please replace this self-willed life with a serious following of You. For nothing else will ever satisfy. Nothing. Amen.

God Bless,
Peregrinus