My heart grieved with the darts of accusations that followed from an email. A hateful answer to my initiated email filled with compassion and love. I told this relative, I believed in "actions speaking louder than words..." so I was confident, no matter what lies she had thrown at me and which I wouldn't accept, there were actions on our part full of love and concern that they couldn't deny.
Many nights we woke up with heavy hearts. My mental condition a lot weaker than the physical one. But my husband and I and even our child, we all knew... our obedience to Christ would always be the number one option even if it meant being hated by our own families.
This morning, groggily, I woke up with a clear thought though...
Of how Christ died on that wooden cross. His bloodied arms stretched and both hands nailed securely. His head bowed down as He ended His physical journey.
Even on His death, He is inviting all sinners. To come to Him at the foot of that cross. With His open arms. To each sinner to come empty and leave all spiritual baggage behind. Because on His death, that is where each sinner comes to life.
Lately, I had come across Matt Redman's new song "Unbroken Praise..." With my guitar, I loved everything about the simple lyrics and the hymn with it. But this morning, I never liked it. I ended up loving it more...Because that's what God wants...For my life to be the song. A life of unbroken praise that I can offer daily.
Lord, please grant the strength and Your wisdom to me and my family to continue to be Your vessels of love, mercy and compassion. At times where we don't have clear understanding and with hearts heavily wounded and minds mentally drained, help us remember that You were wounded first. Where we are walking now, You were there first. Thank You Lord...You deserve our praise. You alone...
I love You Lord!
God's purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. - Ephesians 1:12 (NLT)
The Attacker (5/15/09)
The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies.
Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.
Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.
All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.
When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.
The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.
When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himseld and ended up injuring his attacker severely.
[Source: Life Application Bible]:
We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.
“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14
Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].
Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.
Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.
Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].