Tag Archive | Divine grace

“The Crownless Again Shall Be King”

There is a  poem that I love that J.R.R. Tolkien wrote in the “Lord of the Rings”.  My favorite line is the last line, “The crownless again shall be king.”  

Of course, the king Tolkien was talking about in his book was the Ranger Strider who later becomes King Aragorn.  There is much symbolism made in Tolkien’s books that refer to Christianity.  I love it!  Today, I’m going to share my twist of this last line of the poem.

We know that Christ touched many lives (figuratively and literally). I think most people thought that there was nothing special about Him. I have often thought about how Christ did not much look like a King during His reign on Earth; in fact, he probably had similarities to that of a ranger.

Through God‘s words, the Gospel in the Holy Bible, we know that Christ is the truth we should all seek.  We also know that while He lived on Earth… few really “knew” Him.  Of the few that knew Him…some  betrayed Him.  In fact He suffered greatly at their hands.  In the end, He wore a crown of thorns.

Why was Christ crucified?

The Apostle Paul explains very well for us. Paul says that, “God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us . . . We are now justified by his blood.”; thus the crucifixion began.  Christ endured many painful experiences for us so we could live our lives…the lives we often choose for our self.

As humans, we often choose the life we want to live for ourselves.  Although, there are times that we experience pain as a result of those that choose to live their life for them self; such as, physically, spiritually, verbally, emotionally abusing others. This is not always the case; but, it does happen more than we care to know…often times go unnoticed by our self, or others.

…Anyway, in dealing with our painful experiences we must understand that a deep healing can take place, if we allow it. We must desire for this deep healing to take place.  We can not begin to understand how this deep healing works, unless we understand His grace and mercy…of dying for us.

We must learn, and try to understand, that there is hope in healing, and His hope leads to freedom.  Freedom will come when we have faith to trust in Him.  Truth is our hope is found in Christ; but, lack of faith can stand in the way of our passion to heal. Like our doubt, faith must be learned.

How do we learn to have faith? 

Having faith is learning His truth.  Ultimately the truth is that it is not within our power to heal ourselves. We will fail alone–every one of us. That is why we need the “Author and Finisher” of our faith.  The One who is able to keep us from falling. Christ can lift us up.  As Casting Crowns song “Who Am I” says, “He lifts me up not because of who I am or what I’ve done; but, because of who He is…the One who cares to know my pain.”

Christ endured great pain on the cross.  He died for our sins so that we could live.  Christ fulfilled what we could not do.

If the Gospel brings about true freedom, then His message brings us hope.  Not just for today, but for the future of His Kingdom.  One of my Pastors told me that, “God’s grace gives us freedom from despair and pride.”  Truth is, that we can have hope to “carry on”, if we let His grace free us of our idols of our sinful nature…or from our past of painful experiences.

I want to share  parts of J.R.R. Tolkien‘s poem.  It is as follows:

“…Not all those who wander are lost;

…A light from the shadows shall spring;

…The crownless again shall be king.”

Again, the only crown Jesus wore was a crown of thorns.  But through the Gospel we find hope.  We learn that the truth of God’s mercy, grace, and justice sets us free.  Knowing all of these things, we should be able to have faith that His Kingdom is very real.  He has Risen!  Yes, the Lord has risen indeed!  He is risen in a kingdom where the crownless again shall be King…of all Kings.

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  ~ Galatians 2:20

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Get Back Up Again!

Forgiving doesn’t mean to forget about the pain.  It means to no longer let the experience hold you back for another season.  Only His abounding grace and mercy allows you to break free and to get back up again.  I will not give up!

Even though I may be one, and am surrounded by oppressors, I will never be totally crushed by them.  I will never give up, and I will continue to get back up again.

I may suffer embarrassments and become perplexed.  Often there seems no way out of my situation; but, I manage to survive.  I shall not despair…even if I am persecuted, driven hard, or ignored.  God will never desert me, nor make me stand alone.  Even though I may have been knocked down to the ground, I will never totally strike out.  No matter the difficulties that come my way, I will never give up. I’m stronger than the energizer bunny.  Yes, I have breaking points; but, when I recoup…I can get back up again.

I have become stronger and more courageous.  I have become persistent, more steadfast, and resilient with my faith.  I will try to remain fearless and determined no matter what obstacles lie ahead.  I will remain strong in the Lord despite my weaknesses.  I have the power of His words and the strength of his sword.  Victory will be mine!  I will be relentless on those that try to knock me down.  I will remember that I’m standing on Solid Rock.

Yes, we all fall short and sin.  We can be forgiven by Jesus, yet there are those who can’t seem to forgive.  Sometimes we can’t see past our own mistakes. I will be the first to admit that I make lots of mistakes.  I was in need of a change.  I finally realized that I was desperate for His grace.   It’s by God‘s mercy and grace that I, and others, can love and forgive and be able to make a change.

Our world is a broken place filled with broken people. Many often get a front row seat to this brokenness because God sends trials our way. These seasons bring us closer to Him.  So why do we feel that we have to grovel for forgiveness from others when Christ has already forgiven us?  Isn’t it what God does in the heart of a person rather than waiting for something to happen?   Shouldn’t we use some of our experiences to go out and further His kingdom?

There are  those who are called to walk with others through this deep personal pain. Gratefully, some have helped me to find my way through some of my seasons to stronger days.  It’s through a few confidants that only God  gives them grace to persevere and have good wisdom to give counsel. Sometimes counseling can be in the form of encouragement; sometimes admonishment. Sometimes people have to hear things they don’t want to hear…or say things they don’t want to say.

My pastor said that a good entry point into grace is in and through Christ…the One who liberates us.  Now we can become empowered by our obedience to live a life that He intended for us.

When we find freedom from our sin through Christ, not everyone allows us to be free from our sin.  I don’t feel very liberated when some may hold a grudge from something I have done.  I feel there are times that many (including myself) have a disconnectedness from “grace” within our own lives.

In the church we are called to help others understand His grace.  Not everyone seems receptive to “reaching out.”  If there is a disconnectedness…why not get reconnected? There are a few that seem to ask, “What’s in it for me?  How will reaching out to others empower me?”

I like what Robert Munger said, “The Church is the only fellowship in the world where the one requirement for membership is the unworthiness of the candidate.”

If we are a part of the body of Christ, we are called to encourage one another.  Don’t say that the community is like a family reunion and then never include some family to the reunion.  That’s wrong!  People get there hopes up thinking they will be included…just to be let down that they were just words.

Jesus is for everyone…especially His grace and forgiveness!

My new acquaintance, Mark Wilson, wrote, “A long time ago, Christian forgiveness used to be called, ‘the truth will set you free’.”   The problem is that not everyone feels that way.

Mark  noted that, “It is not possible to become entirely whole unless we are in relationships with the people around us. But as we give love and receive love – or learn to – then we can grow, heal, evolve and heal and become whole. We also can’t come to wholeness if we refuse to be an adult and grow up, take ownership of what happened to us and mature. What happened was not good, but ignoring it won’t heal it and won’t make it go away.

Mark also said it’s hard to under-estimate how important forgiveness is. If you refuse to forgive…the Lord’s prayer says that you will also not be forgiven. It’s really just that simple. If you refuse to forgive… you are harming yourself, and your own fellowship with Christ.

Try to think about if there is someone you know that produced sour fruit…in the beginning of the relationship.  Unbeknownst to you their fruit began to ripen.  Maybe you are blind to the changes.  Maybe you haven’t noticed the changes, or time has slipped by without concern.  For whatever reason, the fruit has become sweeter; but, because of our disconnectedness the new found fruit is not shared with others.  Instead, we may only remember being “snake bit”.

If we are truly liberated by Christ and we are members of his body…then maybe try to reconnect with the other member.  Try to remember that His grace is abounding with joy.  Why not share the joy of the fruit that has been made new and sweet with the one who was once sour. Reconnect.  Make a Difference.  Show grace.

Being faithful is the work of the Spirit.  We can’t do it alone!  Great is Thy faithfulness!

Faith is not what we look at; but what we look through.  It’s not what we have  focused our lives on but that which we should focus our lives on…on Him.  If we are God centered, then change becomes evident and we can make a difference in our own life and in others…to try and further His kingdom.  It won’t hurt members of the body to reconnect their disconnectedness.  What would Jesus do?  He would welcome any member to His body.  Again, His grace is for everyone!

Stay strong!  No matter what is thrown at you…don’t let it knock you down.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” ~ Psalm 46:1

God, my heart is truly, truly comforted by Your promises, by Your love and mercy; refuge and strength.  I want to establish myself, permanently placing myself in Your word and in Your works!!!  Thank You God for giving me strength and helping me to get back up again!

Be Passionate! Have Hope!

God can heal a broken heart, but He has to have all the pieces.”

Only when we become passionate about dealing with our painful experiences can a deep healing take place that we desperately desire.  There is hope in healing, and hope leads to freedom.  Freedom will come when we have faith to trust in Him.  Truth is our hope is found in Christ; but, lack of faith can stand in the way of our passion to heal.

Ultimately the truth is that it is not within our power to always run the race, and to go the distance by ourselves. We will fail, every one of us, alone. That is why we need the Author and Finisher of our faith, the One who is able to keep us from falling. With His help we can go the distance gaining the prize of His life—that He died for our sins so that we could live.  Christ fulfilled what we could not see.

If the Gospel brings about true freedom, or I like to think “free to be me”, then in essence His message brings us hope.  Not just for today, but for the future of His Kingdom.  One of my Pastors told me that, “God’s grace gives us freedom from despair and pride.”  Truth is, that we can have hope to “carry on”, if we let His grace free us of our idols of our sinful nature.

Finally, I was thinking about a J.R.R. Tolkien poem:

All that is gold does not glitter,

Not all those who wander are lost;

The old that is strong does not wither,

Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,

A light from the shadows shall spring;

Renewed shall be blade that was broken,

The crownless again shall be king.”

I was thinking about how Christ did not much look like a King during His reign on Earth; in fact, he probably had similarities to that of a ranger.  The only crown Jesus wore was a crown of thorns.  But through the Gospel we find hope.  We learn the truth of God’s mercy, grace, and justice.  Knowing all of these things, we should be able to seek His Kingdom—where the crownless again shall be King…of all Kings.

Be passionate!  Have hope!  Truth and freedom came and He will come again.  Hallelujah!

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