Tag Archives: sin

The Way of Calvary ~ Christian Poetry

Cross draped with bordersDeceitful the way
They captured You:
By a friend betrayed,
Bound and taken away.

Fearful the way
They deserted You:
As accusers tread,
All Your followers fled.

Shameful the way
They taunted You:
All their jeering heard,
Yet You spoke not a word.

Painful the way
They tortured You:
While Your flesh was torn,
Soldiers mocked to scorn.

Awful the way
They crucified You:
Hammered nails were heard,
On a cross undeserved.

Boastful the way
They buried You:
Guarded day and night,
With the tomb sealed tight.

Joyful the way
They discovered You:
“He is risen,” confessed;
By hundreds, witnessed.

Tearful the way
They gazed up at You:
Into clouds, did ascend,
But You’ll come back again.

Wonderful the way
We’re saved by You:
From our sins, set free,
Because of Calvary.

****

Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭53‬:‭4-5‬ NASB)

Sue Nash/2015
Photo is of the cross at our church

For similar posts, see Easter

When No One Else Will ~ Love the Prodigals

 

 

**I have no idea how this happened, but this poem reverted back to a draft instead of published.  Sorry for the re-post!  But maybe there was someone else who needed it, right?

When No One Else Will

Love the prodigals
Out seeking life’s thrills;
Love the lost cases
When no one else will.

Love the undeserving
Whose lives are dark-filled;
Love the wanderers
Where no one else will.

Love the unworthy,
Those trapped in sin still;
Love the unlovely
How no one else will.

****

Who among us was not a prodigal, at some point?  God desires for His lost sheep to come back into the fold.  What part in that process is He calling you to today?

None are deserving, but all are still loved by the Shepherd of our souls.

****

 “What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying? “If it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray.”
Matthew 18:12, 13

Stony Conclusions ~ Merciful Loving

Stony and cold ~ taken last winter

Stony and cold ~ taken last winter

I have stony places in my heart.
Because o
f my love for truth and its implications,
I justify these pride-filled inclinations.

God’s truth deserves allegiance.
It is absolute and unbending.
Truth, written in stone, is never ending.

But truth warmed by love is best.
Hardness impairs truth’s gentle out flowing.
Its embrace, annihilated by stones stacked for throwing.

Christ, the Truth, is our loving example.
Willingly, He brought light unto chaos.
The Rock, struck so that living water could reach us.

****

Out of adoration and allegiance to God’s word, it is all too easy to look down on those who don’t.  To walk in a hardened self-righteousness toward others. 

I accumulate grievances and conclusions
I judge and criticize
I demand perfection in others, when I’m not perfect myself

****

Stony conclusions vs Merciful Loving

God does not tolerate sin, but lest we forget, that includes our sin, too.  I am all too quick to make stony, judgmental conclusions about the shortcomings of others.  By doing so, I refuse to let mercy guide my willingness to love.  My stony heart runs the risk of growing cold.

Out of displeasure over their sins, stony hearts repel and reject others. 

Soft hearts, however, invite and embrace others, despite their flaws, remembering that we are all sinners in need of God’s grace.

Mercy requires that we love and believe the best for others.  We never condone or compromise on truth, but by recognizing our own sin, are able to reach out in love.  Mercy causes us to refrain from focusing on the flaws of others and instead take it all to the throne of God. 

Mercy lovingly draws near, then waits on the Lord for opportunities to share His uncompromising truth.

The law was given on stone.  It demanded perfection.  Through Christ, though, the veil was torn, splitting asunder the barriers of imperfection and making the living of the law possible.  Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf broke through the unattainable requirements of the law, thereby offering grace to the lost and rejected.

Christ died for all of our sins.  He is no respecter of persons, but wants everyone to come to the saving knowledge of His truth.

We all have areas in our hearts that are prone to hardness.  However, stones block our nearness to God.  They prevent His love from flowing forth, because stony places cluster as rocks; rocks that are all too easy to pick up and throw at one another.

“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ”
Ephesians 4: 14, 15

My prayer:
Lord, don’t let me become a vessel so hardened that I am closed off from loving others.  Break apart my stoniness.  Use the broken shards to collect and pour out living water

Keep my heart pliable.  Don’t let me remain in stony condemnation of others.  Remind me that I too am a sinner, ever in need of Your grace.

Welcome Those with the Smell of the World

Snowy showcase

Snowy showcase

Where I live, the Bradford pear trees were spectacular this year.  Their coating of white clusters looked like clumps of snow that would easily turn the warming ground underneath into a frosty wonderland if given a good shake or two.

Bradford beauty

Bradford beauty

Their prolific flowers are beautiful, but they have a pervasive, putrid smell.  The odor is so offensive that it is one of the reasons I let others grow Bradfords.  I prefer enjoying them at a distance.

Beauty Lined

Beauty Lined

These photos are of the ones lining the parking lot of my church.  Although pretty during other seasons, when showcasing their floral display, they are particularly inviting.  Their snowy beauty welcomes, while the smell of the blooms, very easily overlooked.

Crossgates with Bradfords in bloomWhen welcoming others to our places of worship, do we open our doors as equally to those with beautiful lives as we do those with the smell of the world on them?  Are we as loving to those we think have it together spiritually as with those who still have the stench of issues?

Not that we should ever neglect to have truth in love clearly spoken from our pulpits, in order that people leave closer to God than when they arrive.  But if we shun those lost and broken, distancing ourselves from them because they still resemble the world, we fail to love like Christ.

Bradford Pear Cluster with blurred churchHe loves everyone, regardless of the condition of the heart.  It is His job to change sin-stained lives.  Following the Lord’s example, our assignment is to love and welcome whosoever will.

Clustered Branches

Clustered Branches

The reality is that we all reek of sin and are in need of the cleansing blood of Jesus to cover us with His beauty.  A beauty that through forgiveness no longer has the putrid smell of the world; rather the fragrant aroma of Christ.

 “And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.”
Ephesians 5:2

© Sue Nash/ 2014

Heed God’s Warnings to Avoid Sin

 Goldenrod ~ taken with a zoom so I didn't have to get too close!

Goldenrod ~ taken with a zoom so I didn’t have to get too close!

Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. 
Proverbs 4:14, 15

For the past week, my blogging has been sporadic.  It has not been due to a lack of ideas or interest; instead, I have been a little under the weather with a sinus infection.  My seasonal allergies flare up mostly in the spring and fall, but it is usually the fall when I experience the crud.  I am not sure, but I think that Goldenrod is one of my culprits.

In Mississippi, Goldenrod blooms prolifically in fall.  Their stark flowers brighten fields and landscapes with splashes of gold, but I try to avoid close exposure.  If I stay outdoors near their vicinity, I get a golden headache!

The Need to Avoid the Temptation to Sin

From a spiritual standpoint, there are things or situations that we should avoid, too.  Of course, we should keep clear of overt sins, but what about those little ways in which we set ourselves up for straying.  The danger signs are often as visible as Goldenrod, and we know we could get into trouble spiritually, but instead of shunning them, we draw near.

We each have our particular areas of temptation.  One I struggle with is gossip.  A conversation about someone can start benign, but then rapidly deteriorate into bad-mouthing.  What begins as simply discussing how a person is faring turns into an opportunity to criticize shortcomings.

God’s Warnings Help Us Avoid Sin

Before I succumb, the Holy Spirit always gives me a gentle nudge as a sign to refrain.  He draws a subtle line to warn me to stop before crossing over into gossip.  Sadly, I do not always obey.

I am doing better, though, as God teaches me how to avoid this detestable sin.  By heeding His clear warning signs, if conversations turn toward gossip, I either change the subject or walk away.  And I try to not be the instigator!

Since sin is so damaging to us spiritually, God lovingly places roadblocks to keep us out of harm’s way.  He always offers us an avenue of escape.

When I stay clear of allergy triggers, my sinuses are happy.  When we heed God’s warning signs and avoid stumbling into sin, it pleases Him.

Sue Nash/2013

Back From the Woodshed

My dad's infamous garden 'shack' where he spent much of his time.  After he died, I had my neighbor Mary paint it for me.  Hanging now in my home, every time I look at the picture, it lovingly reminds me of him.

My dad’s infamous garden ‘shack’ where he spent much of his time. After he died, I had a friend paint it for me. Hanging now in my home, every time I look at the picture, it lovingly reminds me of him.

I’m back!

I missed all of you.  Reading your posts and interacting with comments.  I did not plan this reprieve from blogging.  Rather unexpectedly, God tapped me on the shoulder, and asked that I temporarily separate from all the online voices (social networking, blogging, etc) to hear His voice more distinctly.   There were things I needed to know.

I was in for some surprises.

Hoping simply for a time of refreshing in His presence, I was unprepared for why the Lord pulled me aside.  He used the time to reveal some areas of sin I was harboring.  Areas in my heart He exposed that needed purging.

We all struggle daily with sin issues, but the things that God fingered were sins that my pride refused to acknowledge.  Two mainly:

Grudges ~ towards certain people.  One by one, He brought their faces to my mind.  I would try to bring up the issues, but His response to each was for me to cut the cords of bitterness and forgive.  To set them free.

Disappointment ~ of allowing sorrow to accumulate in my soul.  Over prayer needs not working out how or when I wanted.  God’s way of exposing this one was by how poorly I handled a situation this weekend.  He then took me to that gentle woodshed of correction and showed me that I must avoid disappointment by clinging to His promises and running to Him at the first hint of it surfacing.

God worked in other ways during my brief time apart, and I am so grateful that He pulled me aside to hear His voice more clearly.  I wish that it didn’t take such extreme measures to grow me.  However, these times of separation and correction always end on an uplifting note.

God never corrects to condemn; rather, He convicts and cleanses to draw us closer.  The doorway in and out of His disciplining woodshed is framed with love.

For whom the LORD loves He corrects,
Just as a father the son in whom he delights.
Proverbs 3:12

I look forward to hearing from you again and reading your wonderful posts!  Thanks for your patience in my absence.
Sue

Learning How to Draw Near to God ~ On Top of the World

GOSPEL BLOG
A blog hosted by the Far East Broadcasting Company

Guest Post for 5/22/13

Follow the link below to read my latest post on their blog.  They would love any comments to go directly on their site ~ thanks

Learning How to Draw Near to God ~ On Top of the World

“The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.”
Psalm 51:17

For other Gospel Blogs posts, follow the link.