There is nothing-no circumstance, no trouble, no-testing that can ever touch me until, first of all it has gone past God and past Christ right through to me. If it has come that far, it has come with a GREAT PURPOSE, which I may not understand at the moment. As I refuse to become panicky, as I lift my eyes up to Him and accept it as coming from the throne of God for some great purpose of blessing to my own heart, no sorrow will ever disturb me, no trial will ever disarm me, no circumstance will ever cause me to fret-for I shall rest in the joy of what my Lord is- that is the rest of VICTORY!!!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

My shield and protector....

Our church is going through major construction right now. A new sanctuary is being built, a huge vision is being fulfilled and God is moving in amazing ways. Its definitely a time of uncertainty and anxiousness for the unknown but at the same time its exciting. Because the Lord has cast this vision for our church we can rest assured and pray with expectation that He will be faithful and walk us through the trials along the way and we can claim victory in the power of Christ. As part of this process we have had to transition our Sunday services down in our "Outreach Center." The venue may have changed but the presence of the Holy Spirit hasnt. While I was at the church this morning though something really grabbed my attention. We have gone to MFCN for the past 7 years and it was something I never noticed before. There hanging in the "Outreach Center" is 3 crosses.

Its the same 3 crosses that has hung in the sanctuary for years and years but for some reason today the beauty and uniquness stood out. Looking closely the meaning behind the symbol captured my heart and stood as a reminder for me. The 3 crosses are positioned together closely but they are different sizes. The most beautiful thing though is that the laregest and most prominent cross is placed ahead of the other 2 and so it looks as if the two smaller crosses are being tucked and protected behind the larger center cross. We read in the Bible of the crucifixion of Jesus and as He is hanging on the cross 2 thieves are revealed in the story. The thieves are guilty of the crime which they are convicted and because of that they are held accountable and put to death for their sin. Jesus although convicted and put to death He is not guilty of the label that is placed on Him. As the Son of God He knew the turmoil and trouble He would face, He could have spared His own life but instead of saving Himself He was put to death as a sacrifice to save others.
I think we often forget how real the crucifixion story is in our lives even today. We go throughout life, we experience troubles, persecution, sin and heartache and even though we deserve the condemnation, destruction and consequences that come with our actions we realize Jesus is still walking before us. The 3 crosses hanging so high and beautifully in our "Outreach Center" is a clear represenation each day of the unditional love, grace and protection that we are given freely.

Its not uncommon to get caught by a train trying to drive from one side of town to another in Marion. Although it seems like a huge pest for us there is a reason and a purpose for those trains. There is a journey behind each train, we may not understand it or know all the details but there is a reason. The path the train takes can be rough, dangerous and destructive and in order to protect us those flashing red gates drop as a warning for us to stay back and to keep us safe. Each day we are faced with a dangerous journey but like the cross symbol at our church and those flashing red gates near train tracks God is there to protect us. Even in the scariest, most uncertain situations we can rest assured that God will be faithful and because of that we can hide, safely and peacefully behind the cross. Proverbs 2:7-8 "

 The same God that sent His only son Jesus to hang on the cross and face a terrible, tortourous death merely as a representation and sacrifice for the sins of man is the same God that leads you and I each day. We loose sight too often of the fact that when Jesus hung on the cross it wasnt just for His followers then but its also for His followers now. Whatever you are facing today you can find comfort that God is your protection and strength. Psalm 32:7 "You are a hiding place for me; You, Lord, preserve me from trouble, You surround me with songs and shouts of deliverance. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!" He holds success in store for the upright, He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones."

The words to a beautiful song say this. "You go before me, You shield my way. Your hand upholds me, I know you love me, I know you love me. At the cross I bow my knees where Your blood was shed for me, there's no greater love than this. You have overcome the grave, Your glory fills the highest place, what can seperate me now." Everytime I hear the words of this song I am overcome with comfort and courage. My heart is filled with confidence and peace because I know and I believe that the same God who sacrificed His son is the same God walking beside me

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