For Him to Regain Sanity: Christ’s Compassion

He longed to regain sanity,

But knew not what to do.

Meanwhile, confusion ruled his brain

As he sat on the pew.

 

Confused, bewildered, and condemned

Describes how he did feel:

Tossed too, and buffeted for sure,

Like a fish hooked on a reel

 

He longed to regain sanity,

But didn’t have a clue

As to how to stop the torment

While he sat there on the pew.

 

The man, in fact, felt pulled

By strict demands upon his time,

Similarly to a puppet stringed

With no reason or rhyme.

 

Each string pulls on an unhealed hurt

Lodged deep inside his past.

To shake the shame off, he lets loose

A violent verbal blast.

 

“I wasn’t wrong!” he argues.

“I was right to act that way!”

“Stop telling me what I must do.

You can’t make me obey!”

 

Regrettably, despite his rant,

Fear still tugs at his mind

And consequently keeps him bound

As he seeks to unwind.

 

Then sings a higher voice,

“Oh, you who know not what you do,

Behold my blood-stained brow.

By thorns punctured just for you.

 

“I let myself be blindfolded and

Treated shamefully.

Furthermore, they plucked my beard.

Men hit and spat at me.”

 

“Confusion mocked my pain

As men who changed truth for a lie

Heaped insults on my head

And ordered me to prophecy.

 

“And as I hung upon that cross,

Engulfed in misery,

I felt abandoned and alone.

God had forsaken me.

 

“But though it didn’t make much sense,

That’s how it had to be.

Your heartache I took on myself,

That you might be set free.

 

“It isn’t yours to carry,

For I’ve risen from the dead.

Recall that you’re my body

And that I, Christ, am your head.

 

“So, cast your sorrows onto me,

Along with every strife,

And finally you’ll have the joy

That brings eternal life.”

 

Above all, if you would be sane,

Then place your faith in me,

The one who gave His life for you

So sacrificially.

 

Then ask me to provide your needs

And I’ll supply them all,

Because I can do anything

Whether great or small.

 

In conclusion, yield your life to me

And gain a mind that’s sound.

By so doing, in good mental health

You surely shall abound.

 

 

https://miracle-times.com/miracle-power/gods-miracle-power/

https://miracle-times.com/resurrection/god-save-king/

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Mercy, Not Sacrifice Part II: A Good Report

God could have told the devil, “Job is way too proud for me.

His self-reliance doth defy my law of liberty.

His armpits drip with fear. His brow reeks with uncertainty.

It’s utter foolishness. Why don’t you humble him for me?”

 

But God, who’s rich in mercy, didn’t take that tack at all.

His heart was not to set the innocent up for a fall.

His goal, it seems, was to reveal the gospel to this man,

For the One who suffers with us all had formed a mighty plan.

 

It wasn’t something Job could understand inside his head,

Or wrap his mind around. He must experience it instead:

Not from a savior’s point of view, but from a sinner’s seat.

He must sit in the pit of misery and feel the heat.

 

Until you’ve truly suffered, it is hard to understand

The Father’s fervent love for you, the mercy he has planned.

For pain that has no purpose lacks the mighty healing touch

That flows from stripes laid on the back of Him who cares so much!

 

Was Job a sinner like the rest of us? Well, in the midst of Job’s suffering, after Satan has afflicted him, he asks God, “How many are my iniquities and sins? Make me to know my transgression and my sin. Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and holdest me for thine enemy?… For thou writest bitter things against me, and makest me to possess the iniquities of my youth.” (Job 13:23-26)

The reference to iniquities in his youth show that Job was not perfect in the sense of being sinless. However, exposing those sins is not the purpose of the Job book, for when you read the beginning, you see no mention of God punishing him for those sins. Like every man, Job had his flaws, but when God spoke to Satan about Job, He left the past in the past and focused on Job’s good points.

“Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?” (Job 1:8 KJV)

Job was a man like no other, and God had blessed him in his work. Throughout the land there was no equal when it came to fearing God and eschewing evil (to eschew evil = tell evil to “shoo!”)

God spoke glowingly to Satan of Job’s perfect behavior, just as He spoke well of His creation in the book of Genesis. He called everything He made “very good,” not “very bad.” Even after the first people sinned, he didn’t call them bad names. Instead, He provided the promise of a Savior, the “seed of the woman” who would crush the serpent’s head (Genesis 3:15)

Do you feel guilty over something you’ve done? Do sins of the past continue to haunt you? If so, what do you imagine God would say? Would He yell at you to stop messing up and order you to get your act together?

Note that God did not accuse Job before Satan. Satan was the one who accused Job before God. “If you take away his blessings, he’ll curse you to your face.”

For the purpose of proving Satan wrong, God allowed him to afflict Job – not once, but twice. Job lost his business and his family in one day. It was all wiped out. His business was attacked by Sabeans and Chaldeans. All his animals were killed and so were all his employees.

In fact, before every test Job endures, God is quick to point out what Job has done right.

“Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? And still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without a cause.” (Job 2:3)

Although it may seem as if God was, in fact, punishing Job, the purpose of the test is clearly not to find fault with Job but to prove the glory of God’s good name. For the sufferings of Job are nothing compared to the sufferings of Christ, yet in the book of Job we find some small picture of those sufferings, and (at the end) a spiritual resurrection from the dead.

 

Mercy Over Sacrifice Part II: A Good Report

Mercy over sacrifice, that’s what it’s all about.

Mercy over sacrifice, there truly is no doubt

That God prefers mercy over all sacrifice made by man.

It’s not about man’s sacrifice but God’s own gospel plan.

 

We see God’s mercy demonstrated in the book of Job

(Which doesn’t rhyme with mob but with words like ‘ear lobe’).

The book starts off with Job, who’s working hard to please the Lord,

And yet what God requires is much more than he can afford.

 

Mercy over sacrifice is what God does prefer,

Yet Job, it seems, relies on his own efforts to ensure

That nothing bad will happen to him or his family,

Concerned for his children, he sacrifices constantly.

 

Now, God could have told Satan, “Job is way too proud for me.

His self-reliance does defy my law of liberty.

Job’s armpits drip with fear. His brow reeks with uncertainty.

It’s utter foolishness. Why don’t you humble him for me?”

 

But God, who’s rich in mercy, didn’t take that tack at all.

His heart was not to set the innocent up for a fall.

His goal, it seems, was to reveal the gospel to this man,

For the One who suffers with us all had formed a mighty plan.

 

It wasn’t something Job could understand inside his head,

Or wrap his mind around. He must experience it instead:

Not from a savior’s point of view, but from a sinner’s seat.

He must sit in the pit of misery and feel the heat.

 

Until you’ve truly suffered, it is hard to understand

The Father’s fervent love for you, the mercy he has planned.

For pain that has no purpose lacks the mighty healing touch

That flows from stripes laid on the back of Him who cares so much!

 

It’s mercy over sacrifice, for through God’s stripes we’re healed.

For through Christ’s sacrifice God’s wondrous mercy is revealed.

 

When you read through the book of Job, you see he wasn’t perfect. For though he worked hard and sacrificed greatly for his family, something was missing in his life. There were things about God that He didn’t understand. For example, in the midst of Job’s suffering, after Satan has afflicted him, he asks God, “How many sins have I committed? Show me! What have I done wrong? Why do hide your face from me and treat me like your enemy? … For you write bitter things against me, and make me to possess the iniquities of my youth.” (Job 13:23-26)

The reference to iniquities in his youth show that Job was not perfect in the sense of being sinless. However, exposing those sins is not the purpose of the Job book, for when you read the beginning, you see no mention of God punishing him for those sins. Like every man, Job had his flaws, but when God spoke to Satan about Job, He left the past in the past and focused on Job’s good points.

“Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God, and eschews evil?” (Job 1:8 KJV) Note: to eschew does not mean to chew on. If anything, it means the exact opposite!

The fact remains, Job was a man like no other, and God had blessed him in his work. Throughout the land there was no equal when it came to fearing God and eschewing evil (to eschew evil = tell evil to “shoo!”)

God spoke glowingly to Satan of Job’s perfect behavior, just as He spoke well of His creation in the book of Genesis. He called everything He made “very good,” not “very bad.” Even after the first people sinned, he didn’t call them bad names. Instead, He provided the promise of a Savior, the “seed of the woman” who would crush the serpent’s head (Genesis 3:15). No sacrifice of man could ever atone for his sin, but from the beginning God chose mercy over sacrifice: His mercy, not man’s mercy. There’s a big difference between the two.

After all, to forgive is divine but to feel guilty is human. If you’ve ever felt guilty for something you’ve done, join the club! Do sins of the past continue to haunt you? If so, then what do you imagine God would say? Would He yell at you to stop messing up and order you to get your act together? Would He demand more sacrifice from you? Some people sacrifice continually, trying to please God and/or provide for their families. But it never seems to be enough. Inside they feel condemned, but God’s heart is not to condemn them.

Note that God did not accuse Job before Satan. Satan was the one who accused Job before God. “If you take away his blessings, he’ll curse you to your face.”

For the purpose of proving Satan wrong, God allowed him to afflict Job – not once, but twice. Job lost his business and his family in one day. It was all wiped out. His business was attacked by Sabeans and Chaldeans. All his animals were killed and so were all his employees.

In fact, before every test Job endures, God is quick to point out what Job has done right.

“Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God, and eschews evil? And still he holds fast his integrity, although thou moved me against him, to destroy him without a cause.” (Job 2:3)

Although it may seem as if God was, in fact, punishing Job, the purpose of the test is clearly not to find fault with Job but to prove the glory of God’s good name. For the sufferings of Job are nothing compared to the sufferings of Christ, yet in the book of Job we find some small picture of those sufferings, and (at the end) a spiritual resurrection from the dead.

https://miracle-times.com/accusation/why-god-why/

Faith That Works Through Love

The Bible tells us God is love,

And love believes all things.

It’s Jesus’ faith that saves us

With the righteousness it brings.

He never fails to show us

All the great things He can do.

If we will keep our eyes on Him,

Then He will see us through.

He promises to give us hope,

A glorious future too.

He healed the lame, made blind men see,

And cured the lepers too.

He never once made people sick,

And when they were in doubt,

He used his quiet authority

To cast the demons out.

One day a man who had no hope

Said “Jesus, if you can

Do anything, then help my son,

Because there is no man

Among your followers who knows

The way to calm his rage.

Please free this boy tossed to-and-fro

Inside that unseen cage.”

Amazed to see such unbelief

Displayed before His eyes,

Yet brimming with compassion,

Not a lick of compromise,

He drove out the evil spirit,

Overruling every doubt.

Though, as the boy lay on the ground

(it looked as if he’d died),

As Jesus helped him to his feet,

It could not be denied

That something great had taken place,

A miracle of faith.

God’s own belief brought wholeness

And rebuked the wrathful wraith.

No unbelief can stand against

A love so pure and true,

Through which all things are possible.

I know that love. Do you?

God Faith Creates Miracles

God faith creates miracles,

Because His love believes all things.

It’s Jesus’ faith that saves us

With the righteousness it brings.

 

God faith creates miracles.

What great things He can do!

If we will keep our eyes on Him,

Then He will see us through.

 

God faith creates miracles,

And His promise gives us hope,

Especially for the desperate ones

At the end of their rope.

 

He never once made people sick,

And when they were in doubt,

He used his quiet authority

To cast the demons out.

 

One day a man who had no hope

Said “Jesus, if you can

Do anything, then help my son,

Because there is no man

 

Among your followers who knows

The way to calm his rage.

Please free this boy tossed to-and-fro

Inside that unseen cage.”

 

Amazed to see such unbelief

Displayed before His eyes,

Yet brimming with compassion,

Not a lick of compromise,

 

Jesus used His authority

To drive the evil out.

With faith unwavering,

He overruled every doubt.

 

However, as the boy lay on the ground

They thought he’d died.

But as Jesus helped him up

It could not be denied

 

That something great had taken place,

A miracle of faith.

God’s own belief brought wholeness

And rebuked the wrathful wraith.

 

No unbelief, you see,

Can stand against a love so true,

Through which all things are possible.

I know that love. Do you?

https://miracle-times.com/resurrection/when-life-stinks/

Sly Guy

John woke up at 3 AM with a start. As he tossed the covers from his pounding chest, a wave of dizziness swept over him.

Scritch, scratch, scuffle, scuffle.

What was that?

John stuck a leg over the side of his bed. Instead of stepping into a bedroom slipper as he expected, he fell over a body.

“Ow!” What was that?

“Don’t hurt me!” yelled the man who had made him fall. It was too dark to see who it was. John felt his way to the door and flipped on the light switch. The unwelcome visitor was huddled in a ball by a corner of the bed, his brown eyes lit up with fear. His blond hair was a mess. The ragged shirt and pants he wore looked like they’d come from a dump.

“What are you doing here?” John asked.

“Just having a little snack,” the man replied, eyeing a plate full of crumbs that sat on a nearby nightstand. John could have sworn he’d seen the guy somewhere before. “Who are you?” he asked.

“Just your friendly neighborhood Sadducee,” replied the frightened man. “You can call me Sad Sam, because I’m always sad, you see. Nothing ever goes right for me and…”

“Hey, wait a minute! Haven’t I seen you in church?” John exclaimed.

Sad Sam sat up Indian-style. “Uh, probably not.”

“Yes! That’s exactly where I’ve seen you. You’re the guy who doesn’t believe in miracles. I’ve heard you say things like ‘Money doesn’t just drop out of the sky’ and ‘God doesn’t do signs and wonders anymore. He uses modern medicine and up-to-date technology to get things done.’”

Sam’s eyes darted every which way. “Well, you know, I am a down-to-earth sort of guy. Can I go now?”

“Not until you tell me what you’re doing here,” John said.

Sam shot him a plastic smile. “Having fun?”

John took a menacing step toward him. “Not likely, sad guy. Now tell the truth and maybe I won’t have you arrested for breaking into my house.”

Sam Sadducee cleared his throat. “Well, if you must know, I’ve been living in your closet for quite some time now, ever since my wife kicked me out for causing too many catastrophes. She claims the negative things I said are what caused our roof to spring a leak, the floor to collapse, both our cars to get smashed, and some stray dog to bite her in the leg. She says she’s had it with me. I didn’t know where else to go, so I climbed in the open window of your bedroom one day and decided to camp out here. It’s a lot safer than being at home.”

John shook his head. “So, you’re the one who jinxed me with all those nightmares!” He eyed the nightstand and the plate full of crumbs. “Now I know where all those crackers came from too. And here I thought my Aunt Martha left them there. She’s really sneaky and she wants me to gain weight, so it seemed like something she would do. But now I find out that all this time it was really you! I thought those crackers tasted strange. They made me sick to my stomach but I ate them anyway, just to make her happy. Oh, what a fool I was! Why didn’t I investigate the source of those rotten munchies? Why?”

“Well, maybe you would have found out if you’d bothered to actually hang your clothes up in the closet instead of leaving them lying around everywhere,” Sam Sadducee suggested. “And by the way, they’re not crackers. They’re stale pieces of bread I brought with me when I came here. They just look like crackers because the bread never rises the way I expect it to. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the yeast. Instead of making the dough expand, like most yeasts do, it seems to suck the life out of it.”

“Just clean up your crumbs and get out of here. I’ve had it with your poisoned bread,” John said.

The end – or was it?

Jesus warned his disciples to beware the leaven of both the Pharisees and Sadducees, but He wasn’t talking about real leaven that is kneaded into real bread. He was speaking of their teaching.

For “Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)

God’s words only do us good if we understand them. False teaching distorts God’s words and makes them spiritually inedible. You can get a stomach ache from bad teaching. That’s why it’s important to examine every teaching very carefully to discover whether or not it is from God.

 

 

The Cup of Forgiveness

This cup of forgiveness He handed to me

Is a cup that brings healing, so rich and so free.

It cost me no money, this vessel of joy.

But I must share it carefully. This is no toy.

 

It cost my Lord dearly, this wine of His love.

He said “Give this freely, this gift from above.

It isn’t for those who would cast it aside

Or scoff at its contents, awash in self pride.”

 

“It is for the humble who treasure its worth,

A drink for contrite ones who know little mirth,

The desperate ones who are too thirsty to spurn it,

And wise to know they have done nothing to earn it.”

 

So, when the man came to me, tortured in mind,

And I recalled all the ways he’d been unkind

To me and my loved ones, the things he had done,

Neglecting our needs as he sought his own fun,

 

I struggled inside, and I asked was it wise

To give drink to one so despised in my eyes?

I know it can heal him, but is he for real?

Or is this his trick? Is he cutting a deal?

 

Has he truly repented for stealing from me,

With actions that he performed so callously?

He says he does not care how it breaks my heart.

He’ll do what he wants. His has made this an art.

 

Though seven times seventy I may forgive,

It’s tearing me up inside. How can I live?

Whenever I see him, I’ll try to be kind,

To bless when he curses, with his good in mind.

 

I’ll offer this cup to him. That much I’ll do,

But, also, I pray, his misdeeds he will rue.

For I cannot trust him. I’ve lost all respect.

Lord, please, for his own sake, don’t let him reject

 

The path that will bring him back on the right track.

Until then, I pray, let him suffer attack

Until he gets desperate enough for this cup.

For you’re my avenger and I am fed up

 

With tactics that bully. I need peace inside.

Please make your Word real, because for me you died.

I cannot live feeling unloved every day.

So then, first let me drink of this cup now, I pray.

 

Let me feel forgiven and then I can give

The love that you gave me, that others might live.

 

 

To be Spiritually Minded, Part II

Remember the story of Balaam, whose donkey

Made of that sourpuss a regular monkey?

‘Me first!’ was his motto in everything.

He longed for the riches that money could bring.

 

He saddled the creature one bright sunny day,

And climbed on her back (he fell off right away).

He got on again and was starting to curse

When instead of “fast forward,” she went in reverse!

 

With everyone else moving forward in time,

He found himself literally stuck on “rewind.”

You cannot imagine a funnier sight.

If you could have seen it, you’d roll with delight.

 

But, Lord, that does not sound too spiritual,

Protest I as a serious individual.

To tell jokes goes against everything I’ve been taught,

That by mourning with all those who mourn ‘fish’ are caught.

 

Your intentions are good, He replies, but you see,

You have been confusing your own sympathy

With my fierce compassion that I give for free.

I call you this day to regain clarity.

 

For I laugh at the wicked, it says in the psalms,

Not because I enjoy bringing them down

But because they imagine their plans will succeed

Even when their motivation is greed.

 

But to think that their plans could win out against me

Is perfectly silly, as silly can be.

And so, as you see, it is all right to chuckle,

To giggle, to chortle, let loose your belt buckle

 

And in every way make a humorous rhyme

As long as it honors my name every time.

For when joy like an ocean comes over your soul,

Up springs a faith that will make all things whole.

 

The words that he says go straight into my heart,

Exploding in bubbles that blessings impart.

A fountain of joy welling up from inside

Makes me start to feel giddy. This joy I can’t hide!

 

So, I take His advice and I tell a few jokes.

The man is in stitches. He ‘bad knee’ he pokes.

Then suddenly he rises up from his chair.

It seems to me he is not even aware

 

That no longer does he have any more pain,

Or that, amazingly, he walks again.

He is just as joyful as joyful can be,

His mind on the Spirit. God’s Word set him free.

 

“For to be carnally minded is death: but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Romans 8:6

 

“If the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwells in you.” Romans 8:11

 

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22

 

Repent and be Reconciled

You can’t be reconciled to someone if there’s no repentance.

To repent means to turn, face the one you have offended.

Admit that you’ve done wrong, that your actions were a sin.

Be willing to change course and you will find peace within.

 

There is no other strategy for being reconciled,

Just as you cannot reason with an animal that’s wild.

You must let go your pride and be humble like a child.

Accept the sacrifice of the One who has no guile.

 

“Forgive them for they know not what they do,” our good Lord said,

As on the cross he died. For our sins vilest sins, He bled.

But saying that you have no sin, declaring it’s no vice

Is to partake in vain of Jesus’ holy sacrifice.

 

His blood shed on the cross won’t help if you say you don’t need it,

Just as His Word to you will do no good unless you heed it.

So, turn from arrogance and from your stubborn ways be parted,

For God resists the stiff-necked but he heals broken-hearted.

Outsiders

Stop stepping on my toes. Remove your sandal from my face!

Where in this smelly court can someone catch a glimpse of grace?

The blind guy holds his ears. The deaf man’s hungry as a bear.

Does anybody have a scrap of bread they’d care to share?

 

This ragged guy is begging. He could use some brand-new clothes.

By clothes he doesn’t mean some burglar’s worn-out pantyhose.

But not even a burglar passing by will give him aid.

The crowd’s too packed, the lines too long. The ransom must be paid.

 

The sounds of bleating sheep and lowing cattle can be heard.

A dove is cooing sadly. I feel sorry for the bird.

Amid the shouts and clanging coins, I fear my plight is sealed.

Inside this zoo there’s no room for the lame man to be healed.

 

The less well-off among us have been lost among the noise.

Beset by such frustration, how can we maintain our poise?

But what is this? I see a man wielding a whip of cords.

He’s knocking down the tables of those money-changing lords.

 

“Stop stealing from My people in the name of sacrifice!

This court is meant to be a house of prayer, not merchandise!”

His actions who can fathom as he chases them away?

I must admit that this has been an interesting day.

 

The dust has cleared. Now finally, it seems I’ll get my chance.

The Master’s looking my way. Slowly toward him I advance.

Just two blind men ahead of me, and now I’m getting healed.

With no pain to distract me, I see God’s goodness revealed.

 

It truly is amazing! But then, what can God not do

If we will set aside the problems over which we stew,

and let him cast the “money-changers” out of our own house,

Instead of blaming some old family friend, burglar or spouse?