Still You Died

Today’s been one of those days.  Earlier this afternoon, I failed in just about every way imaginable.  It was one of those, “Dang…I really am a total wretch apart from Jesus” sort of days.  But, as God heals me, it’s also been one of those, “God’s grace is a real thing” sort of day, too.  The following is an attempt to sum up what’s been running through my mind the last couple of hours, in some sort of poetic/short story form (Honestly there isn’t really a structure–that’s the fun part).  I pray this enriches whoever reads it with a deeper understanding of the cross, an understanding that leads to confident repentance, a confident faith, and a deeper walk with the Lord.

In holy, selfless love you created me, just to know how great your love is, how great are your joys, how perfect are your holy ways.

In sinful, selfish idolatry I rejected your love, rejected your ways, choosing to be my own “god.”

And still you died for me.

In compassion and grace you called me to turn from my sin and my rejection of you and start trusting you.

In arrogant rebellion, I said, “No,” over and over and over and over, content to ask you to “forgive” me while I was still loving my sin.

And still you died for me.

Slowly but surely you showed me how sin not only destroyed my life here, but kept me from life with you, forever.

In joyous acceptance, I said, “Yes,” by your grace, and trusted you to forgive me, and help me follow you.

I’m so glad you died for me.

A few weeks later, I sinned again and wondered if it had all been fake.

I heard you say, “I still died for you.”

In your wisdom, you show me the ways I should go, how I should be, and call me to rest in your love.

In times of temptation, I often believe sin rather than believe you.  Even as a Christian, I continue to make a mess of my life sometimes.

And still you died for me.

You lovingly call me out in my sin, disciplining me in love, calling me back to your love and your ways, which are far greater than the ways of sin.

I come back, eager to follow you, trusting you once again to forgive me.  Then a week later I fall again.

And still you died for me.

You promise that walking with you and like you, Lord, is an abundant life.

But in the span of two hours I manage to wreak havoc, sinning in many different ways, walking back to an old path.

And still you died for me.

2,000 years ago, all my sin, every single time I rejected you, every time I chased after some false lover that only leads to hell, every single word spoken against you, every sinful thought, word and deed–paid for, in full, by the spotless Son of God.

And 2,000 years after that, I dare to call you a liar, I dare to give unbelief a foothold, to think that I’m a better Savior than you, Lord.

And still you died for me.

You died for my unbelief.  You died for my lust, my anger, my laziness, my gluttony, my pride, my idols, my harsh language, my selfishness, even my weak repentance of these sins.  With every drop of your precious blood, you paid for every sin that I would ever commit, leaving no room for the condemning voice of guilt to accuse me before the Father.

Jesus, you are truly worthy of every act of obedience, every song offered in worship, every act of love done in your name.  You are worthy of so much more than we can give.  We can never repay you.  We can never earn grace.  Our best will never be enough, but because your best will always be enough for us, let us give you our best out of love, not out of duty.

And when we stumble again later today, later this week, later this month, let us hear you say

“Still I died for you.”

Lord, may your grace amaze us once again.  May it pardon our sins, make us holy, and equip us for every good work. May your love for us produce love for you in us.

God bless,Neal E.

P.S.–I’m still technically on my social media break, so if you comment via Facebook or Twitter, I will not be responding.  And unless you accuse me of heresy, I probably won’t respond on here, either 😉


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