Forced Poetry

Here’s a poem I wrote a long time ago, with some minor edits…

Forced Poetry

  

Ok, so here it goes,

An attempt to force a poem.

We all know the deal,

You pick and peal

At a heart that’s meant to blossom.

 

Words don’t seem to just flow like they should.

What should I say?  Next I could…

Oh that won’t feel real, it’ll sound fake,

I could make… uh… this’ll take,

Well…  a while

 

There’s been so much poetry

That we’ve experienced in our lives.

How can it sound original

If I take the task light?

And at the same time make it sound just right?

 

So here I go, turning in circles,

Jumping through hoops and leaping o’er hurdles.

But for what?  This poem won’t cut to the heart.

I just sound like a fool trying to be smart.

That’s what I am anyway…

 

You have any comments, any complaints?

Any ideas on how to better relate?

Your opinion does matter after all you know,

This is just to please you anyway, it’s all just a show.

A grouping of words forced together, just for you!

Who cares about letting my true colors shine thru?

 

Well I hope I haven’t wasted too much of your time,

I know these have been lame attempts to rhyme.

But hey, that’s what happens when we don’t let hearts be free.

Guess if you want beautiful poetry, you’ll just have to see

God working in hearts as they live true life…

 

Those who choose Christ are His poems,

But we can’t force the beauty, let Him make you beautiful.

Not a Silent Night- Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all, by the grace that has come to us in Christ.  Here’s a “less spoken of” perspective on the greatest birth we can celebrate…

Andrew Peterson: “Labor of Love”

Album: Behold the Lamb of God- The True Tall Tale of the Coming of Christ

Sung by: Jill Phillips

Only If You Flatter Me! (John 8)

The second half of John 8 is spoken to the Jews who believed in Jesus.  But when you read it, you get the impression that their belief was weak.  It would seem that they didn’t like to believe when Jesus spoke to their sin.

It’s hard, as a Christian who tries to give his all to Christ, to hear of others who claim to have a faith but deny Him if He hurts their pride.  To watch people have such a wishy-washy faith in the One who died for them, who suffered for them, who became a man for them.  It’s unreal how unthankful people can be.

But then I’ m reminded of my own struggles.  Sometimes I’m faced with a situation that  requires I be humbled if I’m to follow Christ.  And sometimes I don’t give up my pride like I should. 

It’s never an intentional thing when I forsake Him.  But that’s just it… I should always intentionally follow Him.  I should have nothing less than a fully intentional, moment-by-moment, living for Him faith.

The Holy Spirit convicts His people when they walk in sin.  When I’ve been convicted and rebuked for my forsaking Him I have two choices… I can swallow my pride and address the situation, or I can go on living in my pride.

My belief will not be limited to one who will flatter me, it is only placed in He who has the words of life!

How do we miss Him? (John 7)

Often times those of us who are Christians neglect or forget the Holy Spirit that dwells within us.  We wonder just how exactly He’s working in our lives.  It can be hard to recognize what’s us and what’s Him.  But that is only made worse by our neglecting Him.

What’s easy to recognize is that Jesus spoke of the Spirit as having a powerful and active presence in His people.  Notice here in John 7, Jesus doesn’t tell us that we will have a dripping faucet of the Holy Spirit.  He speaks of the Spirit as One that we “drink” and receive as “RIVERS of living water.”

“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.  “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, `From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ “  But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

We certainly don’t want to assign our fallen actions to the living God.  But what a tragedy for Christians to not even pay attention to God within.  What a sad thing that we as people can think so highly of ourselves that we cannot even differentiate between ourselves and God.

He works mightily within His people.  Let’s make sure to give proper credit where credit is due.  If we come to Jesus, and if we abide in Him and love Him, we will learn to appreciate the Rivers of Living Water that flow within the Christian soul.

It should be easy to remember when rivers flow within oneself.

Taking Jesus at His Word (John 4)

When Jesus returns to Cana He is met by a royal official who’s son is dying.  Jesus tells the man that his son will live, and the man takes Jesus at His word.  As the man is on his way home, his servants meet him and confirm that the son is well.

And the whole household comes to believe in Christ.

Today we don’t have the miraculous ability to heal.  But that doesn’t mean that Jesus is not working a miracle in our lives.  Now I’m cautious with the word “miracle”.  It is used in vain way to much.  But to describe how Jesus can take a fallen soul and make it clean again, make it fit for His Kingdom again… that is beyond the things of this creation.  Only God can do that.

So why is it that we are not making such an impact on people when we have all the mighty works God is doing in His people?  Sure it’s up to people to make their own choice about whether to come to Christ or not.

But I’m not wondering why we are not converting people.  I’m wondering why we are not even impacting them.  Why we, the Body of Christ, those filled with the Holy Spirit, play possum in the world and then wonder why they don’t seek God.

If we are to tell the world about Jesus, and how He said that He is the life, then we as His Body need to show that life to the world.  We need to be doing His will.  If we do, they will find confidence enough to take Him at His word.

The truths of God are self evident.  No man is without excuse, because God can be seen in all that He has made.  It is plain to all. 

But we are to be His body, we are to be the salt of the earth.  We need to be a light in a dark place.  We need to be life in a dead place.

Jesus is still miraculously saving men from death.

He still grants life to those who seek Him with their all.  His people need to show the world the truth of that, that they are not dead anymore… that they have risen.

Old vs. New (John 3)

It interesting to note a few things here in the second half of John 3.  We see John baptising, and Jesus doing the same just across the river.  Now consider the following texts…

Acts 18:29- Apollos knew only the baptism of John

Beginning of Acts 19- Disciples in Ephesus only received the baptism of John

The baptism John did was not enough, there was another baptism necessary.  Baptism in the name of Jesus was the entrance into the New Covenant.  But we bring that back to our text here in John’s gospel, and we have a curious situation.  Why, if John’s baptism was to become void and Jesus’ baptism was necessary, was John still baptising?

Also consider what John says to a fellow Jew in this passage.  The man was speaking to the fact that many were going to Jesus instead of John.  John replies by telling him it’s the way it ought to be.  He’s not upset at all, in fact John says his own joy is now complete.

So why continue baptising at all then?  Why not send them to Jesus?

We must also consider a couple other things at this point.  One, the New Covenant was still years away.  The people were not meeting the blood of Christ at this point.  They were proclaiming a belief that Jesus was the Christ.  But even with that, the understanding of His blood being the only way for them to be forgiven their sins was an understanding that they didn’t yet have.  It was a belief they did not yet have, and therefore could not profess (let alone live out).  No baptism before the death, burial & resurrection of Christ gave access to His blood.

The second thing to examine at this point is John’s purpose.  We can see clearly John’s heart in this passage.  If Jesus was indeed baptising people into salvation, John would have surely sent everyone to Jesus.  John would have stopped baptising… he would, as he himself said, “decrease that He (Jesus) might increase.”  So we can therefore conclude that John was not keeping anyone from Christ.  His purpose was to direct all men to Jesus.

The evidence points to a conclusion that the baptism Jesus was giving at this point was not the baptism He would later give after his death.  And therefore, John’s baptism at that time was on par with the baptism Jesus was doing just across the river.  When John said Jesus would baptise with the Holy Spirit and with fire, he was referring obviously to a later time. 

And we see the that fulfilled on two separate occasions.  Once for the Jews on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2), and once for the Gentiles at Cornelius’ house (Acts 10).  These two examples also would have obviously imparted the salvation that all New Testament baptism grants, that being the access to the blood of Christ. 

For there is one baptism.  Thank God that He has told us how we can be covered by the blood of Christ!!!