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Sunday, July 31, 2016

If Only





Image result for images of Luke 8:43

She searched her handbag yet another time
Not a dollar, not a quarter, not even a dime,
Just another day and just another hour
There was no one from whom she could borrow.

“What else can I do?” she often thought
And her memory made her even more distraught,
No cure was in sight; she was unclean
Every single day brought back the same old scene.

To whom could she turn; there was not a soul,
Everyone kept away; unclean she was told,
Couldn’t even go to church; that was a no-no
The Bible suggests to me that this was so.

“What have I done to deserve this disease?
Why for twelve years have I had no ease?
Why have the doctors taken every red cent?
Why this heavy load under which I am bent?”

Twelve long years, can’t any understand?
She once had much money and a life plan
But disease struck and all went down hill
Money is gone and disease troubling her still.

If it were I I know what I would do-
Everybody has an opinion; everyone a view,
Until it comes to our door we can parade
But after the fact we never make the grade.

Her hemorrhaging was like a sin sick curse,
Whatever she tried it grew worse and worse
Till she was barred from her community,
It was unlawful for her to mix with society.

I could imagine the doctor’s fancy talk
As she visited repeatedly hardly able to walk,
Money hemorrhaging as going down a drain
And her flow of blood doing just the same.

About the solution all her doctors were vague
But they took her money to add to her plague,
Her fountain just flowed and flowed the more
But none would say, “Mam, there’s no cure.”

As you could imagine the money dried up,
No free medical attention, she was out of luck,
No one came near to even give her a buck
Terribly sad but true, hers was a bitter cup.

And just when it seemed there was no hope in sight
Somewhere in her tunnel there shone a light,
She heard the news of a great physician
And right there and then made life’s best decision.

“I must see him, I must see him; I really must
Though I am well aware how society will fuss,
The law won’t stand in my way or the people,
Nothing will stop me from receiving this miracle.

With a determination buoyed by her faith
To the Great Physician she made great haste,
As best as she could in her debilitating circumstance
She made sure she would not miss her chance.

The crowd was huge; they always were,
Wherever Jesus travelled there was a quite stir,
This was a challenge but she was not deterred,
As great as the crowd was, her focus was not blurred.

If only she could work her way beyond this obstacle,
Beyond the swelling crowd beyond the people,
If only she could get past their accusing glare
Something in her soul told her this physician cared.

He seemed different from the ones she had attended,
On them both money and effort had been expended,
But the reviews were good and so she believed
“If only I could touch him a miracle I would receive.”

“If only I could touch the hem of his coat,” she thought,
Pause for a moment; imagine the thrill that brought,
And so bending low through the crowd she fought
Until she encountered the object her eyes had sought

Image result for images of the woman with the issue of blood

“There it is, if only I could just stretch a little more
I just believe that for me a miracle is in store.”
So she extended her hand till groping fingers reached
Touching the physician’s coat and triggering his speech.

“Who touched my clothes?” she had heard him say
Much to the disciples’ amazement on that given day,
What a strange question to ask given the press
But the woman knew it was her whom Jesus addressed.

She came forward trembling but told him the truth,
Something great had happened; she had the proof,
The fountain of blood had dried up; she was now healed,
She had encountered Jesus; to her he had been revealed.

Her miracle had been wrought; she was satisfied,
She now stood upright; she no longer had to hide,
Virtue had left Jesus and her bleeding had gone,
The Great Physician had ushered in her new dawn.

If only someone would call on Jesus today
He would fix your sin issue and show you the way,
Bent you would come with your heavy issue of sin
But upright you would be if you give your heart to him.

Such faith would make you whole; you’d be at peace,
Your sin fountain would dry up; it would instantly cease,
Jesus would be on board; your life’s ship he’d steer,
Why not make that decision now? Devil’s Reef is near!

Satan is bleeding you like those physicians of old,
Already you know that he has done damage untold,
If only you’d come to Jesus; don’t be fearful, be bold
You’d get healing for the body and find rest for your soul.

Stewart Russell © 2016

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Being Born Again Is A Must



Image result for images of John 3:3

Being born again is a must
If we would ever see Jesus,
The requirement of faith and trust
As expressed to Nicodemus.

He came to Jesus by night
To be rid of a serious plight,
He thought it somewhat insane
When Jesus said, “Be born again.”

He was a man of the Pharisees
They were bent on strict decrees,
He was a ruler of the Jews
A sect who had some strange views.

“How could this happen?” he asked.
That is a rather incredible task
For a man to go back into his mother
What a strange and awful bother!

Image result for images of Nicodemus

Nicodemus was way out of his depth
And had not known the truth yet
That being born again was a must
Instead of a whole lot of religious fuss.

One must be born of water and the Spirit
Nothing of the flesh is of any credit,
In flesh alone we are always in debit
Jesus made this plain and explicit.

That which is of the flesh is flesh
It caters to the fleshly at best,
That which is of the Spirit is spirit
With whom there is no deficit.

Being born again is not akin to form
By far it supersedes that norm,
Not ritualistic like the traditions of men
For of such is the heart of man’s problem.

Many attempt to explain its mechanism
Giving rise to more isms and schisms
Others reject it on lack of understanding
And conform to faiths far more demanding.

Being born again is centred on Christ
Not chance like the throwing of the dice,
It is God-appointed and confirmed
In the believer and in his spirit affirmed.

It is not a strange feeling and sensation
But one’s faith in God’s gift of salvation,
A coming to Christ by way of the cross
Acknowledging the fact that we are lost.

Image result for images of the weight of sin

Crushed by sin under its heavy weight
A depraved soul at best in our sinful state,
A need to have expunged our life’s slate
So full of evil and malice and hate.

More critical is the sinner’s condition
Than his quest to comprehend salvation,
The daily breeze is still a puzzle to man
Far less the details of God’s salvation plan.

It cannot be dissected or analyzed
Not open to conjecture or surmise,
It is simply a matter of faith and trust
In the finished work of our Saviour Jesus.

Some argue it is this or maybe that
For some their opinion becomes fact
Upon which denominations are built
For others it is like the proverbial quilt.

Some add requirements; others subtract
Some make it a steep, treacherous track,
Some: a what-to-do list and rules to keep
Others: a guilt trip with troubled sleep.

Image result for images of Hebrews 2:3

Salvation is personal not denominational
It is one’s faith in Christ not creedal,
It is not one of the ways but the only way
To escape God’s wrath on judgment day.

In verse sixteen of John chapter three
Salvation is define in its simplicity,
For God so loved that He gave his Son
So have faith in Christ and the work is done.

Worry not about how God accomplishes it
Simply walk in faith as your daily habit,
Let God’s transforming power work in you
To make you like Jesus who is worthy and true.

Image result for images of John 3:3

Why not heed his words to Nicodemus?
Why not in Jesus place your trust?
Why not discard all the religious fuss
And accept being born again as a must?

Stewart Russell © 2016

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Prodigal that Roamed & the Prodigal at Home Part 2



Image result for Images Of the prodigal and his brother

Everyone was happy except the other son,
He sought to find out the reason for this fun,
When he heard that his brother had returned
His heart with envy and jealousy burned.

So there was great rejoicing all except one,
Nothing but anger from the prodigal at home
Who selfishly thought it was particularly unfair
That his brother should then suddenly reappear.

“He took all that was for him and left this place
Lived his life wretchedly and our name disgraced,
Now he has returned you have ordered a feast
Left to me all this rejoicing would suddenly cease.

All these years I have faithfully served you,
I have never disobeyed and you know that is true,
I have always been here at your beck and call
And all I ask Father is that you be fair; that’s all.

My brother left here and went his own way
Now he has returned there is celebration today,
Clearly there is more going for the son that strays
Than the one that serves faithfully and at home stays.” 

Image result for images of the prodigal son and his brother

His father tried to placate him but to no avail,
He tried and tried but his efforts just failed,
While the return of the son the others regaled
This for the son at home was a sorrowful tale.

And so it is with some church people
Especially at the coming home of a prodigal,
They fret and grumble and show great distaste
As though that prodigal has taken their place.
  
Why all this fuss?  He is not going to last,
Very soon this church will be a thing of the past,
Well that’s not you and certainly it’s not me,
No such persons in this place; that we all can see.

I entreat us all to be careful with our attitude
And let us be balanced concerning our latitude,
Condemnation is not the spirit with which we must judge
And compromise not, hold to God’s word, don’t budge.

Image result for images of the prodigal son and his brother

Whether prodigals at home or prodigals who roam
Both need God’s salvation; that should be known,
Whether lost in the church or lost out in the world
Both are lost and this truth needs to be heard.

The Pharisees run the synagogue yet they did not heed
When Jesus apprised them of their spiritual need,
They were faithful to Abraham or so they thought
Yet rejected the Saviour who their salvation brought.

Jesus was sharp in his assessment of their plight
They were sticklers for the law but refused the light,
Void of compassion, self-inclined and aloof
They neither came to nor led others to the truth.

They refused to meet the requirements to be forgiven,
More than that they shut up the kingdom of heaven
And barred men and women from going in there at;
Jesus called them hypocrites and that’s a biblical fact.

They compassed land and sea to make one proselyte
And made him a child of hell in this spiritual fight,
They paid tithe of mint and anise and cumin
But the weightier matters of the law meant nothing.

So take note regarding the prodigals that roam
You are really no better if you are a prodigal at home,
Time to stop the condemnation and the useless pretense
Like them you too need the born again experience.

Salvation cannot be achieved by a person’s merit
Neither is it accomplished keeping the law as a habit,
The price of our salvation is to the Saviour’s credit
And to the grace of God regarding which there is no limit.

Stewart Russell © 2016