This is the blog that almost wasn’t. It’s been a stressful past few weeks, and I confess I haven’t handled it well.
Trying to communicate through the Internet with The City of Troutdale Public Works Department, the IRS and the Oregon Pain Clinic frustrated me. Struggling with passwords and endless menu options and being put on hold for a half-hour only to be disconnected pushed me over the edge more than once. I allowed myself to vent my frustration. I am certain my blood pressure peaked to the danger zone more than once. I complained to my wife. And to God.
I received undeserved grace from both—after all grace is undeserved—isn’t it?
Crawling on my hands and knees—since I can’t stand without my cane—to remove tree roots in our backyard pushed my physical body over the limit.
It was Friday and I had no blog post ready to release on Monday, and I frankly didn’t care. I wondered if anybody would even miss it? That is, until an hour ago.
Listening to familiar hymns and gospel songs began to thaw my cold heart. One song, At Calvary, drew my attention back to last week’s blog about the cross. Words like, “O the love that drew salvation’s plan! O the grace that brought it down to man! O the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary” brought tears to my eyes.
Another song, also related to the death of Christ on the cross, reminded me of how much Christ suffered on our behalf to bring us back—to reconcile us—to God. These lyrics from the song were spot on: “I can hear my savior say, ‘Thy strength indeed is small! Child of weakness, watch and pray, Find in me thine all in all.”
My strength—both physical and emotional—was small. The invitation to find in Jesus all that I needed was a reminder me that I had been running on fumes.
But, it is the lyrics of the chorus that reached into my heart and soul. Two transforming truths are imbedded in the lyrics of the chorus. Two truths spurred me to get back on track and into the race. These two truths can transform broken relationships. Two truths provided an answer to the question that has plagued me lately, “What is my purpose? What am I doing that even matters?”
So I share these two truths and ask you to also reflect on them: Jesus paid it all. All to Him I owe.
Jesus paid it all! O, the depth of His love for us! O, the great debt He has paid so that I can be forgiven. Forgiven for my lack of patience and gratitude this past week. Free to become all that I was created to be. If I truly understand and believe that truth, it should transform my life. My self-pity and carnal complaining should evaporate in light of the majestic truth that Jesus has indeed paid it all! I am loved unconditionally.
All to him I owe. That is the natural, logical and practical response to the first truth. The word “all” ends the first sentence, “Jesus paid it all,” and begins the second. Because Jesus paid the debt I could never repay I want to live my life for Him. Having experienced unconditional love and deep mercy, Paul exclaimed that he was a debtor. Paul realized that he deserved to have been executed when Jesus intercepted him right there on the road to Damascus. Instead he experienced mercy and grace–perhaps for the first time in his life. From that day forward, he was passionate about sharing the good news with both Jews and Greeks. He felt as if he owed every person he met an opportunity to know that Jesus had paid the debt for all our sin on the cross.
Jesus paid it ALL!
Nothing more needs or can be done to win God’s favor. Because Jesus paid it all, I am forgiven. I am loved unconditionally so I ought to—I want to—serve Him.
May the rest of my life be a love gift to Him! That is my purpose. So, if I never write another book or post another blog or teach another class, I want to live for Him who died for me.
How about you?