The Heart That Won’t Pretend May Mend

The heart that won’t pretend may mend, but when will mourning end?

Everybody in the world needs a good friend.

If we want to heal, we must be real and learn to feel.

But when others cry or laugh, what message does it send?

The heart that won’t pretend may mend. Have you a hand to lend?

For reality bites, though it does produce insights,

And through pain we may be set free,

Even though we fear it may last an eternity.

A flood of emotions pours into the sea

Of this broken earth in all gravity.

Some chase after strife to give them life,

But such running ends in bitterness, distress.

“By Jesus’ stripes we are healed”

Is not a platitude or simple attitude.

Our griefs He bore, so let us not ignore.

Life in His blood has power to heal,

The question is: Can you feel?

Seeds of faith that fall on rocks

Bear no fruit in the end.

For the heart that does not pretend

Eventually may mend.

But woe to the one who rejects a true friend.

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By His Stripes I’m Healed: What This Means to Me

“By His stripes I’m healed” means so much to me, For I am the one who caused His injury, bruising Him for how I’ve hurt myself and others; Failing to do good; revenge I took on brothers; Idle words I’ve spoken, idols I have built, So easily offended, Crunched by sin and guilt. With my own needs consumed, rarely giving glory To the author of this awesome Christmas story.

By His stripes I am healed.


Sin parted me from God, for I was so hateful, At war with my own self, rarely acting grateful. But the Father sent His only Son for me. Men jabbed His head with thorns, whipped His back savagely. Nails pierced His hands and feet. That’s how He broke the wall Of hostility dividing me from God. Blood poured from His wounds to give me liberty. As I drink it in, He enables me to see

In those blessed stripes, God reveals His will for me.


My life is in His blood, which shields me from God’s wrath, For, like a sheep I’ve strayed but He makes straight my path. Abel’s blood cried “Vengeance. Justice must be done.” But Jesus’ blood declares “The battle has been won.” He bore my punishment to bring me victory. So now, when anger comes, it needn’t rest on me. No longer must I eat the fruit of misery, For His blood gives me hope and immortality.


By His stripes, my fate is sealed. 



His righteousness is mine. For shame I have relief, Because He bore my sorrows to blot out my grief. His love drives out the fear that used to cleave to me. The Father has accepted me. I have security, With hugs that say I’m His, and in His house I’ll dine, For He Himself provides both the bread and wine. Fruits of the Holy Spirit make His presence real, Because it is His nature to save, restore and heal.





Feasting on His goodness, resting in His joy. The heavy yoke has lifted, no longer to annoy. All bitterness gives way to blessings that sustain,  Love beyond all reason, peace I can’t explain. To make me rich in faith, my Jesus became poor, And those who trust in Him He saves forevermore. His grace has set me free to dance, rejoice, and sing, And with cheerfulness to give an offering.

  

His stripes reverse the curse as if it never came to be.  Joy to all the world, for He brings us liberty.



Because I have the mindset of my sovereign Lord, And as I lean on Him, my vision is restored. Nobody can condemn me; no weapon can succeed Against me because I am following His lead. In Jesus I have access to every miracle Because in Him all of God’s promises are possible.  In boldness I can speak and know they will come true, Because the things He’s spoken He will surely do.


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Cast Out Thieves to Heal the Blind and Lame, Part II

   I. When Prayer Gets Lost in the Shuffle

 

In Jesus’ day, thieves ruled in God’s house.

Prayer got lost in the shuffle like a mouse.

 

“It is written, ‘My house shall be called the house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves,” Jesus said as he overthrew the merchandisers’ tables (Matthew 21:12-13).

 

Did they see it coming, I wonder? Or were they too busy selling stuff to notice their blunder? Had “business as usual” blinded their eyes to the needs of the physically blind?  Perhaps the reason they lacked sympathy for the lame in body was due to the holes in their lame souls. They had no true walk with God, and it showed in the way they treated others.

 

The crowd, confused and scattered, couldn’t find their way.

They sacrificed large sums of money to hear men say,

“It’s not enough. You must do more to please the Lord,”

But it was more than any of them could afford.

 

The blind and lame, they longed for peace,

Joy in their hearts, a sweet release

But found no place inside their “church,”

Which had left them in the lurch.

 

The crowd was wandering like sheep with no shepherd, and the blind and lame had to fend for themselves. Why is that?

 

     II. Religious or Righteous?

 

Well, do you remember the story in I Samuel chapter 13 where King Saul prepared to wage war against the Philistines? God’s prophet Samuel had arranged to meet with Saul prior to the battle so he could offer the sacrifice, causing God’s favor to shine down on them. He ordered Saul to wait until he arrived before proceeding, but Samuel was running late and Saul grew impatient.

 

There seemed to be some fear involved, for when Saul saw his army scattering, he took matters into his own hands and offered the burnt offering himself. Like Cain, he went against the grain of what God told him to do and attempted through the fruit of his own efforts to bring a pleasing sacrifice to God.

 

It’s like the leader whose words imply, “Please us,”

Instead of, “Trust fully in Jesus.”

 

Saul’s actions were religious but not righteous, for he didn’t seem to understand the meaning behind the sacrifice.

Prayer got lost in the shuffle.

 

Religious men who lack a true relationship with God see no problem substituting their own procedures for God’s perfect will. As a result, their “flocks” scatter. The “sheep,” abused, become confused and nobody gets healed.

 

   III. Taking Time to Appreciate God’s Perfect Sacrifice

But those who rest in God’s perfect sacrifice for them will throw away their crutches and “rise with wings like eagles.” They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. (see Isaiah 40:31) And those who allow the risen Christ to anoint their eyes with His salve will receive new vision to move forward.

 

Unfortunately, our busy lives allow little time for this. To tune out distractions can be hard. If you don’t set them aside in order to pray, however, you’re sure to lose the battle.

 

Before Jesus ascended (to heaven),

Because His word was ended,

He told his followers to wait –

But not on fate,

 

They weren’t to fear being late, but in obedience wait to be filled with the promised Holy Spirit.

 

It’s all about determining to believe God’s Word and meditating on God’s goodness shown through His only begotten Son, our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Sometimes you must escape the noise before you can appreciate His sacrifice on your behalf and understand the power of Isaiah 53:5, which states:

 

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

 

“My house shall be called a house of prayer,” Jesus said. We are that house when we surrender our lives to Him.