30 Comments

  1. Debbie said,

    December 9, 2010 at 2:46 am

    You did it again! Jesus just speaks to you and moves you at will. It’s such a beautiful thing to behold. And the message is one that we need to hear and take to heart for when we have fallen or despair that we are not where we should be. He is on it. He’s working. We will look back and see that we are not where we were, even if we aren’t all we want to be yet. God bless you and your sensitive heart that leans on His.
    love,
    deb

  2. bendedspoon said,

    December 9, 2010 at 3:36 am

    This is sooo good Theresa!
    It perfectly makes sense but I haven’t seen it this way prior to this analogy.
    Thank God for bringing someone like you in my life to enlighten me
    and understand His goodness — that despite the mess He will come in
    after I welcome Him and sweep all the dirts!
    Love you!
    🙂

    • December 9, 2010 at 3:24 pm

      Rea,

      The negative stuff makes our hearts hurt but Jesus is the great physician! We can just tell Him all about it. No other has a bedside manner like Him!

      Love you too!

  3. Petra Hefner said,

    December 9, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    “You know what is even more important than that? Jesus found them!” So very, very, very true… as He has also forgiven/rescued them and will also finish the good work that He has begun in them! And in the end, it’s all about Him! Glory to God in the highest! Great post!

  4. December 9, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Petra,

    Oh yes!…forgiven/ rescued/ransomed…saved!

    Someone once told me that Christians will ask if it is possible lose their salvation, but really, they are asking the wrong question. They need to ask if Jesus can lose what belongs to Him. John 6:37-40 🙂

    Thank you!

  5. December 9, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    Theresa, I love the analogy of the house that needs cleaning! It is true that a house become dusty and messy and has to be cleaned over and over. In the same way, we can become dusty and messy and need Jesus to cleanse us once again. I also love the two songs. Amazing Grace has long been a favorite. I have a version of Nothing But the Blood of Jesus by Jars of Clay and the Blind Boys of Alabama that is wonderful. I could hear it in my head as I read the lyrics. Peace, Linda

    • December 9, 2010 at 11:45 pm

      Linda,

      Yes it’s true, makes me so thankful for the hymns. We often can memorize songs faster than scripture, so if the song is scriptural it can really help, especially helps kids. I will have to listen. Thanks

      Theresa

      • December 10, 2010 at 3:24 am

        Theresa, I have 2 other CDs by the Blind Boys of Alabama, and they provide background vocals for Third Day on Lift up Your Face on their latest CD. They really are a wonderful group. Peace, Linda

  6. tonirand said,

    December 9, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    🙂

    I’ve been cleaning and cooking for a few hours now. I just decided to take a break and play catch-up and this is what I bump into. Oh wow…

    Amazing Grace gives me the heart-cleaning I need. In my house keeping, I can miss a spot or two but His blood covers all my sins! Hallelujah to the Lamb of God!

    Bless you for sharing. I’ll go find those songs and sing my heart out.

    Washed-In-His-Blood,
    ann

  7. December 9, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    Ann,

    I wish I was there with you; I’d harmonize with you! 🙂 Love to sing…

    Theresa

    • tonirand said,

      December 10, 2010 at 5:17 pm

      I found the story of Amazing Grace. Amazing Grace indeed…

      We are always so in need of His grace.

      blessings
      ann

  8. December 10, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    That story really is something. 🙂

    Theresa

  9. December 12, 2010 at 3:36 am

    Love the analogue of the house! What a great thought. And I love the line in “Nothing But The Blood” that says “naught of good that I have done…” It is all Him and only Him, and I am so thankful for that!

  10. Heather said,

    February 21, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Theresa

    I was on my way to visit your series regarding “The Lord Inclines” but stopped here first.

    This:

    If we have been saved we still will sometimes discover that there are negative things in our heart. Does that mean that Jesus won’t settle there?, Does that mean that He hasn’t already settled there? Can a person who has believed the message of the gospel and called on the Lord (a saved person) ever say they have “not” found Him?

    …is exactly where I tend to go when I finally wake up to having entertained some sinful attitude or behavior. It’s particularly bad when I can look back and see that it was a repetitive thing over a period of time. The only conclusion I seem to be able to come to is that I had been fooling myself about ever knowing Christ–how else could I have been so blind or tolerant of something so offensive?

    This tendency is frustrating for my husband as he has to repeatedly point out that agreement with God about the nature of my sin and the desire to get it out of my life IS the work of the Spirit. It is prideful and supremely insulting to argue in my heart that somehow *my* personal offenses are more than Jesus can handle.

  11. February 21, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Heather,

    I identify with your struggle! My mind operates so much like yours. Your husband sounds a lot like mine…our husbands know a lot. 🙂 I have so much that I wish that I could say, but if you read those posts you will find much of it there.

    In math I always liked to reduce fractions…felt so gratified when I could take a great big one and finally reduce it to its lowest terms. So many of our struggles are like that, but reducing “them” to the lowest terms can be very difficult…only the Lord can do this, and when He does this something that at first looks very different will actually be pride when the top layers are stripped away. I believe it is this way with all believers. Pride and fear are closely related. I came to believe in perseverance of the saints (security of the believer) in 1999, but I still find myself looking for ways to disqualify myself. Every day I have to have little chats with myself…

    “Theresa, you just had a very mean thought, or a lustful thought, or a proud thought…How Putrid! You are so depraved! How could a new creature have a thought like that? You must not be saved!”

    Then this part of me feels this hatred for myself and I am confronted with this creepy sick fear that it is hopeless…that I am a goat or a tare. That is one of the things that bothers me about the “L” in tulip.

    Then the Spirit inside me comes to the rescue and says this:

    “But the Bible says ‘All’ who call on the name of the Lord ‘shall’ be saved.”

    We can ponder how the word “all” should be defined. Some might say all people who call. Others might say all of the elect who call. But I think we need to focus on “who call” and on “shall” instead of on “all”. Some might say unsaved people can actually experience…strongly sense “conviction” even though they are dead in their sins and still reject Jesus. This a deep subject. I am just a wife, a mom, and a sinner saved by grace…my kids nicknamed me Peggy Hill…LOL It is true the world will be convicted of sin:

    ” 5 “But now I am going away (E) to Him who sent Me, and not one of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going? (F) ‘ 6 Yet, because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth. (G) It is for your benefit that I go away, because if I don’t go away the Counselor will not come to you. If I go, I will send Him to you. (H) 8 When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: 9 about sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father (I) and you will no longer see Me; 11 and about judgment, (J) because the ruler of this world (K) has been judged. (L)”John 16:5-11 HCSB

    I think the “dead” can feel “something”, but not the measure that you and I do. Before (and sometimes even after I embraced the concept of eternal security) I used to consider this verse and whenever I did that I experienced torment:

    “21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:21-23 KJV

    When I was in my teens I was taught that verse in a place…how shall I put this?…whose services were a lot like Jimmy Swaggert’s. This was the early 80’s before He got caught doing what he shouldn’t have been doing. I digressed.

    Yes, the Matthew passage is true, but it must not be interpreted in such a way that it contradicts “plain scripture” The passage below is plain:

    8But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

    9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

    10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

    11For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

    12For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

    13For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:8-13 KJV

    I want to tell you something that is a little sad. When I came to believe in eternal security I decided I wanted to find a church that boldly taught it, so naturally, I started visiting Both Southern and Missionary Baptist churches. I was so surprised that although their doctrinal statements had it there, it was absent in the sermons and in the Sunday school lessons. I remember hearing a youth pastor speak these words from a Baptist pulpit:

    “If your salvation hasn’t saved your walk it hasn’t saved your soul!”

    I was horrified. What an awful thing to say!

    Then I met a man who gave me a little purple booklet…a wonderful booklet. In it was the explanation that Christians are new creatures, BUT with a two-fold or dual nature. It provided the piece to the puzzle that I had lacked. Baptists in recent years have become so self conscious…have been accused of promoting “easy believeism”, a “cheap grace” that will cause people to think they can just walk an aisle, repeat a prayer, and then live like the devil…”let sin abound” (Romans 6:1-2) and get away with it. It is true that there are people who sit in pews in all kinds of church denominations who abuse the scripture and really don’t know Jesus, but we must not be ashamed of the gospel. It really is good news, and we should not be ashamed of that. To add to it or subtract from it is to pervert it.

    I am not saying you do that. I just know that every camp has its own way of doing harm. One says we can be saved and then over time become not saved leaving people in a horrible fog of uncertainty. Another says that you can call on the Lord, but with your fingers crossed behind your back. Then another can say you can call on the Lord, but it means nothing if He didn’t call you first, so you must ever search for “evidences” in yourself to make sure. But we still sin, and when we look at ourself we will always be aware of that. My poor tired mind has struggled under the weight of these thoughts to the point of it turning into a pancake. Then I hear these precious words:

    “28Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

    29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

    30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 KJV

    I surely don’t know it all, but I do know this:

    All who feel the burden of their sins are “the called”, all who respond and call on Him are “the called” and they “shall” find rest for their souls! The Lord is rich unto all who call on Him! His love, mercy, and grace are “immeasurably” higher than ours (Isaiah 55).

    Heather, there is room at the cross for me and there is room at the cross for you!

    Love,
    Theresa

  12. Debbie said,

    February 21, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Hi dear Theresa!
    This is such a wonderful response. I know it is meant for Heather, but I read it and needed it too. I have a question for you as I continue to try to lead my sweet mom to Jesus. . .Do you think that first of all, we need to feel the burden of our sins before we get to the point we will call on Him? That we must feel or realize that we need help, need saved? And can that burden be felt in different ways . . .like simply unhappiness, or fear and worry, or feeling lost? If we don’t feel conviction, will we call on Him? Just thinking and asking out loud as I pray for understanding and wisdom in loving and caring for my mom! Thank you for your thoughts and prayers! love, deb

  13. Heather said,

    February 22, 2011 at 12:10 am

    Thank you, Theresa, for the encouragement and support. The Lord is so good to bring other believers alongside when life starts to feel overwhelmingly heavy 🙂

  14. February 22, 2011 at 6:01 am

    Deb,

    Boy it’s hard when we love our family and have never heard a profession of faith. I am going to do the best I can to think about this. It might be easier if I break it into parts.

    Well, I don’t think we would call on the Lord if we did not believe the message of the gospel which includes that we can be saved from perishing, and that we are perishing because we are sinners and the wages of sin is death. I know that you know that, too, but just in case someone reads this comment thread who doesn’t yet know, I went ahead and stated that. But feeling the burden… I believe would have to be something that can be experienced in various degrees depending on the individual age and temperament of a person at the time they hear and believe the gospel. It seems to me that whatever degree we sense the burden…as long as it causes us to call on the Lord and “receive” Him…then it must have been enough.

    Conviction is a strange thing. It can be either ignored or responded to right away. In a person who eventually is saved it would create varying kinds of unpleasant feelings and produce a hunger and thirst for righteousness that eventually will become irresistible and compel him or her to call on the Lord. This phase could last hours or years. Then in a person who never gets saved it could also create varying kinds of unpleasant feelings, but will not produce a hunger or thirst for righteousness and then their hearts will become hardened and they perish.

    Then there is the conviction that people who already are saved experience. That can be felt and observed, too.

    I surely will pray about your situation. I would appreciate if you would remember my lost loved ones, too. I hope this helps a little. I struggled trying to answer for some reason. I wrote the words below a few hours ago…I do not know if they will help.

    “So many things come to my mind…some questions come to mind about your situation, too. I am praying that the Lord will help me here. Just remember that I am just an average lady…no formal training. I am thinking about two people who believed that Jesus was the Messiah, and who also cried out. The thief on the cross believed and called out to Jesus. Then there was the Philippian jailer:

    “28But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. 29Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, 30And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:28-31

    Boy, I wish I knew more about that story. Wouldn’t it be great if we could know that all of our family would be saved, and not just ourselves? Well I do know that in this case He was concerned about his condition enough to ask Paul and Silas. it was also Paul who the book of Romans. I believe it was Luke who wrote the book of Acts, but Paul in the Acts 16 account was the same Paul that wrote the book of Romans.

    Love,
    Theresa

    • Debbie said,

      February 22, 2011 at 7:01 am

      God bless you, Theresa! I think you have done a really good job with my questions! They are hard ones and maybe because you aren’t a “professional” , I just felt that you would understand better. Some good things came to me from your precious time spent putting this together. 🙂 As you spoke about the jailer and the thief on the cross, there was this . . .only God knows the condition of her heart. Theresa, I think that what she hears and reads about God just doesn’t make sense to her. She is unable to understand. She went to church and I asked her about the message . . .was it a good one. ( that she actually tried going to church was really something!) She said no . . .there was no message. I was so disappointed. It was a well respected church, many members, growing, etc. No message? Much later she would change that reply to the fact that she just didn’t get it. She thanks God, prays at night (she says), but she just can’t seem to read His word, listen to sermons, or music that shares Him. She has read some Christian fiction . . .she loves to read, loves books. I use to share my poems with her a long time ago . . .but then realized that they didn’t make sense to her either. So I started just praising Him for everything I could think of when I talked to her . . .just trying to show her that He does so much for us, loves us so much. She seems to handle that okay, doesn’t shut me down and often then give thanks herself. Then the other night, God led us into another God topic conversation. She told me how her mom never went to church or talked to them about God. Once married, she tried to become Catholic because my dad was (but not a real practicing Catholic). She said she had questions they couldn’t answer. One question she had for them was why didn’t she feel anything, feel any different. That’s vague, I know, but I’m not sure she has ever accepted Him really. Last year I asked if she wanted to pray with me to accept Him . . .but she somehow declined. She would feel something, wouldn’t she? I was sooo happy, so happy. I HAD to tell people. ha! I HAD to do things for others.
      Well, I’ve babbled a lot, but I wanted to let you know that you have helped and I am blessed that you would take the time to help me with this! And Theresa, I am praying for your loved ones too tonight and for God to speak to them through you in whatever way He wants to. He knows them, knows what they will respond to and what they won’t. God bless you and keep you covered in His love!
      love, deb

  15. February 23, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    Deb,

    In the short time we have been acquainted with each other you have been such a good friend to me. I am so thankful. Sometimes I feel just like a silly little girl pretending to know something…when I’m in reality just a silly (44 year old) little girl. Thank you.

    Love,
    Theresa

    • Debbie said,

      February 24, 2011 at 12:49 am

      🙂 I am so blessed to be your friend and to have you for mine! Doing this blog thing, I sometimes get stopped cold with the same feelings! ha! Only I’m 51 and still feeling silly . . .:) love you and appreciate you so much! deb

  16. January 25, 2017 at 8:37 am

    Reblogged this on Moore to Ponder and commented:

    I wrote this years ago, and forgot all about it. Then I came across it a few minutes ago. I am soglad that I read it again. ❤

  17. January 25, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    Excellent words of wisdom about grace, dear Theresa. I also enjoyed reading the wise comments. The Holy Spirit is here in this blog working and walking with and through you, dear friend.
    Blessings ~ Wendy

    • January 25, 2017 at 7:51 pm

      Thank you, Wendy! ❤

      So much has happened over the past six years.

      At the time I wrote this my life looked so different. I had no idea that I would suffer loss.

      I was for the most part a happy homeschooling mother of a 22 year old son and a 16 year old daughter. My son had just gotten his masters degree and was living out of state. My life consisted mostly of keeping house and hanging out with my daughter and all of her friends. We were joined at the hip. 🙂
      I cherish those memories and am so grateful the Lord allowed me to live that life.

      At that time I did not know that in about two years my husband was going to experience such a loss in vision (incremental vision loss) that he would need to quit a job he had held for 17 years, and that we also would come so close to losing our little house.

      Even then I had struggles, though. I suffered from terrible panic attacks (so severe that I could hardly leave my house for months at a time) that first started in 2008 and experienced them for a large part of 2010 and the spring of 2011. I also had them again from around December of 2015 until around March of 2016. I have spent my share of time in hospital emergency rooms. I am so thankful that I am not currently experiencing them.

      Through it all the Lord has been with me even in the hard times. One of the ways He has cared for me is through the love He has placed in the hearts of believers like you. He has gifted you with a healing touch. Your thoughtfulness has touched me in a huge way…has really ministered to me. ❤

      Love and Blessings,

      Theresa

      • January 26, 2017 at 6:11 pm

        I love you and your honesty, dear Theresa. I can’t help but think there’s both an added blessing and an added burden for us homeschool moms. We’ve given our hearts and our time to our children; when things turn out differently than we’d hoped, it hurts–a lot. ❤ Hugs from one mama to another. I know God's got all of this—all of us—in His Hands. But it still hurts more than we expected. Yes, He cares for moms because He understands what it's like to experience broken.
        You are gifted with wisdom. Don't stop exercising your gift. Everything you write is distilled dew from His Word. You don't add or take anything out of it; you serve pure grace—pure Jesus. Please keep writing.

      • January 26, 2017 at 7:12 pm

        Wendy, your sweet words made me cry. Thank you.<3

  18. Debbie said,

    January 26, 2017 at 5:45 am

    I am so blessed to read this again and blessed that you found it. God leads you to just what we all need to hear, right when we need to hear it. Thank you, thank you!
    Love you!
    Deb


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