Sunday, April 12, 2009

Broken for You...

In preparation for the Easter celebration, I attended the Broken for You service at Houston's First Baptist Church on Thursday night. This Lord's Supper service is a special time of reflection on Christ's sacrifice. Easter Sunday is for celebrating His resurrection....Broken for You is a time to dwell on the magnitude of His sacrificial love.

One of the songs we sang that night was "How Deep the Father's Love for Us." I've heard this song dozens of times before....but something about it struck me differently. Have you ever had one of those times? When something so familiar and comfortable....suddenly speaks to a hidden, untouched place in your heart? Dr. Greg Beale from Wheaton College once said, "Sometimes you need to comfort the afflicted, but other times you need to afflict the comforted." That's exactly what happened to me listening to the words of that song. Words and ideas I have been comfortable with and overlooked for so long completely broke my heart. His love is too extravagant to explain. His sacrifice far too great to comprehend. Nothing in me deserves anything He has to offer...and yet He gives it anyway. As I sat soaking in those words...God was seeking out the places in my heart that have yet to be completely His. Just when I thought I was doing so well....He shows me He can take me so much deeper. Praise His precious name. I'm all at once discovering the unimaginable depths of His redeeming, powerful, redemptive love. How deep the Father's love for us?....I'm finding out it's far deeper than I thought I already knew.

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Monday, April 6, 2009

a love like that...

Every year, the church my parents attend holds a Spring Ladies' Banquet. This banquet has gone on for as long as I can remember. Ladies sign up to decorate tables and then women buy tickets to sit at specific tables. Whoever decorated the table hosts it, and her husband waits on the ladies that sit at that table. It's a very feminine, fun evening! Ever since I was little, I've loved to see what pretty, fun, and creative things end up on the tables!

I've never actually attended the Spring Ladies' Banquet (maybe one day I'll go!), but this year my mom hosted a table and told me the most precious story. There's an elderly woman in their church who is anxiously awaiting a lung transplant. However, her body is so small that finding lungs the right size is taking longer than expected. In the meantime, she has to remain in a low-germ-tolerance environment, and obviously could not come to the banquet. So....

Her precious husband came up to the church before the banquet started and took a picture of every table....of every different place setting....every detail and decoration. She couldn't come to the banquet, so he took the banquet to her. It may seem trivial or unimportant, but in that moment, with that action.....he couldn't have loved her more.

My heart is seriously a puddle. As impatient as I may be, I would happily wait forty years if I knew I'd have someone who would love me with a love like that...