Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter Hymn, 2012

Christ Jesus, Son of Man
© 2012, Phillip Gaeddert

Christ Jesus, Son of Man, He is the Prince of Peace
The Lion and the Lamb, seated as our High Priest
King of kings, Lord of lords, oh praise His glorious name
King of kings, Lord of lords, now and ever the same

Creator of all things, took wrath in our own stead
Lift up your head and sing, He rose just as He said
King of kings, Lord of lords, give praise to Him above
King of kings, Lord of lords, what wondrous act of love

How can we doubt His word, this Prophet, Priest, and King?
Give praise unto the LORD, and to the cross but cling
King of kings, Lord of lords, now let His praises ring
King of kings, Lord of lords, nothing to Him we bring

Only begotten Son, the truth, the life, the way
The ever faithful One, the grave was not His stay
King of kings, Lord of lords, all praise in glorious day
King of kings, Lord of lords, believe on Him today

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Open Letter to an Identity Thief

Dear "Thief":

I want you to know most of all that I am writing to you today out of genuine concern for you. Allow me the opportunity to further explain, but before I do that since I know that one sin only leads to another it seems fit to warn you first that you will be tempted next to suppress those feelings of guilt which you are now experiencing. In a word - don't. They were placed there for your benefit by the One who made both you and everything in existence beyond the farthest reaches of what any mortal will ever see. He is the Creator and Giver of life and the One who loved all of creation enough to die for lawbreakers like you and me. You know, the very same One who wrote the law - thou shalt not steal. (Exodus 20:15)

I happen to know a little something about this law because I've broken it too. By way of example, when I was a little boy of about seven I secretly pocketed a nickel off of another kid's towel over at the city swimming pool. To this day I wish that I could go and give that boy back his little nickel, but it’s too late. I don't know who he is and the deed is long since done. Guilty as charged. (Romans 3:23)

Perhaps though your conscience is no longer tender enough to notice the gravity of what you've done and is already hardened to the natural remorse due from your specific crime which involved me. This would be to your shame and I pray it isn't so.

So rest assured, either way, that I'm contacting all of the appropriate authorities to look into this matter. For me to turn a blind eye to the unlawful deed that you've committed would not only be irresponsible, but would be just as bad of me as it was for you to commit this crime to begin with. (Proverbs 16:30)

You only thought you had acted in secret. (Proverbs 15:3) You also thought that you only stole from a random nobody, however in that point you were at least half right. While it is true that I am a random nobody, the party that your offense is ultimately lodged against is none other than God himself. After all, He is the one who gave us the law to begin with and is also worthy of our obedience to it. (Revelation 4:11)

So you see then, it’s not just that you've taken something that belongs to me and used it for your own nefarious purpose that’s caused me to write to you. I am writing to remind you of whom you're ultimately accountable.

That said, in the long run the best thing for you to do right now is to simply admit guilt, turn yourself in, and face the music. I say this is the place to start because that's the easy part.  Ultimately the only way to truly be free is to throw yourself down at the unfailing mercy of the Righteous Judge of the universe who plainly sees everything that you do, this incident included.  And you need to not only do this, but to also desire to do it wholeheartedly and, yeah, that's a 180 degree change which can only be accomplished with Supernatural ability.  (Ezekiel 36:26-27; John 3:5-8; Ephesians 2:1-10; Titus 3:3-7)

To ignore this warning is to pronounce your own ultimate doom. Face it; you know you were already doomed anyway before any of this ever happened, but to look the other way now only further seals your fate. That small worthless pile of ill gotten gain will forever stand as evidence against you. It is evidence that you yourself have labored to produce by selling your own soul in exchange for it. And that's a hefty price to pay, I might add, compared to a few hundred dollar "profit". (Matthew 16:26; Mark 8:36; Luke 9:25)

What I shared by comparison - to take even a single nickel from someone else while no one is looking - is really no different. As you can see, God didn't provide an exception clause. And it’s not that I shared this because it is either the worst or the only thing I have ever done wrong – far from it. Rather, it’s to help underscore the fact that God doesn't grant impunity by grading on a sliding scale. (Galatians 3:10; James 2:10)

So in closing, I want you to know that I'm praying for you. I’m praying that you'll find and read this while thoughtfully considering its contents. I’m praying that you'll see the light and not give in to further temptation. I’m praying that you'll do the right thing. Praying that God will so invade your space that you'll recognize the utter hopelessness of your eternal condition before its too late and you stand instead accused as a guilty, unrepentant law breaker before Him who created you. (Acts 10:42; Revelation 20:11-15)

By the way, there is one who has offered to pay your debt so you don't have to face that judgment. (Romans 3:21-26; Hebrews 2:14-18; I John 4:10) Perhaps you've heard of Him. His name is Jesus Christ, the friend of sinners. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords. He made both the lame to walk and the blind to see. He alone can forgive sins and not only was He alone able to fully and finally pay for them (Matthew 5:17-20; Hebrews 10:11-14), but He also chose to willingly do so (Philippians 2:5-8). (Because, you see, God cannot turn a blind eye to sin either.) He alone can make all things new (Revelation 21:5) and, in fact, it was He who was first raised from the dead. (Colossians 1:18) Best of all for you right now He is ready and willing to hear your repentant prayer. (Luke 18:9-14)

The interesting thing is that He will require your own life in exchange for this payment. (Matthew 16:24-28; Mark 8:34-38; Luke 9:23-27) For you see, by default, if God takes away your sin and guilt and makes you think and act like a new person then you just won't desire to go on making a habit of doing things like what you're currently doing. (Romans 6:1-4; 1 Peter 1:14-16) That's not to say that all of a sudden everything will be peachy or easy, but since He already owns your soul anyway it behooves you to act now before it’s too late.

So, I may not yet know exactly who you are, but I'm praying specifically for your soul. Today is the day of salvation. Heed His call. Don't delay.

In the name of Christ the Lord,

Your concerned "Victim"