This morning I was feeling a bit anxious about some things, so I turned on my praise & worship playlist on iTunes and just spent some quiet time in God's presence. One of my favorite songs, The Stand by Hillsong United, came on. I've listened to this song at least a thousand times, but today as I listened to the words, tears just began to stream down my face...in absolute wonder & awe of what God has done for me.
Over the years, friends & family have watched me & asked why I am so devoted to ministry and to Christ. This song pretty much sums up the response for me. Christ gave it all. He gave his life. He took my shame, my sins, my imperfections, my brokenness, my bondage and gave me freedom...He gave me life. He took everything that was ugly and made it beautiful. He gave me a fresh start. When other people cast judgment on me and pointed fingers at me, He looked at me with love and called me beautiful, beloved, He called me daughter.
Romans 5:6-8 (The Message version) says:
Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn't, and doesn't, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn't been so weak, we wouldn't have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.
Even though, I did not deserve forgiveness and a new life, when I asked...He gave me one! Without expecting anything in return from me, He "put his love on the line" for me. So, it is for that reason that I'm devoted to Him. I do not do the things I do out of obligation, but out of response of what He has done for me. He gave me something that no one else could give. How can I not devote everything I have to Him? He gave me hope when I had no hope, He gave me life when I didn't deserve it, He redeemed everything I had ever done, He showed me love. I want others to know the same life and freedom that I now walk in. So, I will spend my life devoted to Him...sharing my testimony & what He has done for me, so that others may also experience His undeserved grace and love. I will offer hope.
I'll end it with this today...
So what can I say? What can I do? But offer this heart O God Completely to You. So I'll stand with arms high and heart abandoned, in awe of the One who gave it all. So I'll stand, my soul Lord to You surrendered. All I am is Yours.