Robbed Of the Grave

I’m the thief on the cross
Nailed down by my misdeeds;
Headed for destruction,
Until my case Christ pleads.

I’m the thief on the cross
The one who campaigns,
In my pride and arrogance
Denying Jesus’ name.

I’m the thief on the cross
The one quite deserving of death;
Though while I’m the sinner,
Christ’s innocent blood was shed.

I’m the thief on the cross
The one whose heart is wicked at best;
Without Jesus I’m unworthy
To know peace, to have rest.

I’m the thief on the cross
The one Jesus turns to see;
Expending Himself He utters,
“Today you’re kingdom-received!”

I’m the thief on the cross
The one whom Christ saves,
Not once but every minute
Have I left the grave!

Mercy There Was Great

Take me closer to the cross
Nearer, my God, to Thee
That I’d have a more intimate view
Of what You did for me.

Take me closer to the cross
Have Thine own way
That I would have a fresh anointing
Of Your power to save.

Take me closer to the cross
There’s power in the blood
That I might be a stunning example
Of Your unfailing love.

Take me closer to the cross
It is well with me –
That I’d not spurn Your guiding hand,
Your gentle chastening.

Take me closer to the cross
Then sings my soul
That in the light of Your greatness
I would be made whole.

Take me closer to the cross
Just as I am
That mercy would capture me
As the thicket, the ram.

Take me closer to the cross
Where I first saw the light
That I’d speak the wonders
Of Your precious sacrifice.

Take me closer to the cross
That old rugged thing –
Where Christ’s redemptive work
Turned the wrath of God,
Eternal life to bring.

Take me closer to the cross
As in the old, old story
That my only victory
Would be in honoring You,
In bringing You glory.

Take me closer to the cross
That saved a wretch like me
That I’d be Your constant praise,
Extol You endlessly.

Take me closer to the cross
Only trust Him now –
That He will save me once again:
Not on man will I count.

Onward In The Fray

June 5, 2009

Look at it this way, the guilt you feel will never be enough to cover your sins. Your Savior was willing to be turned over to human hands, to be flogged, to be humiliated before even making His way up the hill finally to be crucified. I mean, if He was willing to do this for you, certainly your minor failings are not bigger than this act of love. Certainly your failures cannot compete with His love; He wins, hands down.

So let’s grow up together, admit our failures. Admit our mistakes in confession to Christ and move on. After all, it’s all a game aimed at getting you off task, at getting you so self-absorbed that you’re no longer a viable player. Don’t you get it by now that your shortcomings are irrelevant? Once Christ died on the cross, was buried and resurrected – we were all made equal.

There is not one, not one who is worthy for the fight on his own accord. Not one Christian soldier has ever received his post on merit alone. The Christian soldier gets his calling based on God’s design for him, regardless of his background, his education, his upbringing, etc. The Christian soldier has only to be trained and prepared, ready to move in God’s timing, on God’s watch.

Are you still in boot camp, learning the ropes, fighting against the one in charge? Are you still there, saying, “I’ll make it this time. I can do it. The sarge will be impressed on this next turn and I’ll be out of here, off to the real show!” Or are you hanging on the rope, asking Jesus to help you get over the climbing wall, having faith that the One who called you will see you through? So often human effort ends up a stumbling block to getting to the big game.

Maybe you’re already out there in the field, but recently got shot down and are hiding in the bunker. Well, you’re not alone! God sees you there in your predicament. He sees what happens next, when the fire dies and you’re able to get up again. He never forsakes the righteous, so don’t give way to doubts. You may feel as if you’re alone, but dig deep into your faith bucket, remembering all that He’s done before to get you here. He didn’t bring you this far to leave you!

God has a plan for you! But you can’t get to training if you’re caught up in a web of lies about who you are. And you can’t get through boot camp if you’re still fighting against who you are… just remember, once you’re out there, a solid stoic soldier preparing the way for Jesus – you’re still His, you’re still fallible. The only way to stay clear of the bunker is to stay close to Him.

Onward!

Debra Radaker

What Counts

June 1, 2009
(inspired by Sunday message at Fortified Hills)

What counts is what you do for Jesus
O the time spent in a day
Working to pay rent
On this temporal, earthly stay!

What counts is what you do for Jesus
All else is vanity,
A chasing of the wind
The price eternal: it’s never free.

What counts is what you do for Jesus
And not the holding of degrees
While knowledge helps sustain,
Wisdom is its own end: it’s yet to save.

What counts is what you do for Jesus
Why not even bold humanity
Can lead a soul to salvation –
Must be the Spirit’s lead.

What counts is what you do for Jesus
As in the stroke of the pen,
Is He allowed to challenge
Every motivating end?

What counts is what you do for Jesus
Letting pestilence burn away
For in the light of His forgiveness,
We hear “Mercy, stay.”

What counts is what you do for Jesus
There’s no gain in worldliness;
It’s in keeping at the Cross
We’re granted peace, rest.

What counts is what you do for Jesus
And heaven only knows,
Will at last tell the story –
All vanity exposed.