Refreshed

How refreshing

is Your forgiveness

 

How sweet

Your grace

 

How fierce

Your resolve

 

to save

and redeem

 

And how blessed am I

to receive this gift

 

of Light inside

my very being

 

where darkness

once ruled

 

And how blessed am I

to know

 

I am truly forgiven

by Perfection

 

and that I’m known

for the dust that I am

 

Yet loved beyond reason

 

Forgiveness takes the weight

from the accused

 

and Your forgiveness, Jesus,

took that burden hard

and painfully

 

on Your flesh back

 

so that I

could be refreshed

 

with redemption

 

~ Susie Stewart

 

 

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that He may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus.

– Acts 3:19,20 (NIV)

 

 

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
    slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
    nor will He harbor His anger forever;
He does not treat us as our sins deserve
    or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is His love for those who fear Him;
as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

As a father has compassion on His children,
    so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him;
for He knows how we are formed,
    He remembers that we are dust.
The life of mortals is like grass,
    they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
    and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
    the Lord’s love is with those who fear Him,
    and His righteousness with their children’s children—
with those who keep His covenant
    and remember to obey His precepts.

– Psalm 103:7-18 (NIV)

 

Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus the Anointed One, who grants us every spiritual blessing in these heavenly realms where we live in the Anointed—not because of anything we have done, but because of what He has done for us. God chose us to be in a relationship with Him even before He laid out plans for this world; He wanted us to live holy lives characterized by love, free from sin, and blameless before Him.  He destined us to be adopted as His children through the covenant Jesus the Anointed inaugurated in His sacrificial life. This was His pleasure and His will for us.  Ultimately God is the one worthy of praise for showing us His grace; He is merciful and marvelous, freely giving us these gifts in His Beloved.  Visualize this: His blood freely flowing down the cross, setting us free! We are forgiven for our sinful ways by the richness of His grace, which He has poured all over us.

– Ephesians 1:3-8 (VOICE)

 

 

Photo by Nicole Stewart

 

 

Gifts Multiplied

For those who have accepted

the beautiful gift of grace

 

our words should be gracious

 

For those who have accepted

the unmerited gift of mercy

 

our actions should be merciful

 

For those who have accepted

perfect love unconditional

 

our love should should come without strings

 

For those who have accepted

redemption from darkness impenetrable

 

our attitudes should reflect intense light

 

What precious gifts, these!

 

Who we are in Christ should be a gift

to those we come into contact with

 

– Susie Stewart

 

Whoever loves a pure heart and whoever speaks graciously has a king as his friend.

– Proverbs 22:11 (GW)

 

Pleasant words are like honey from a honeycomb— sweet to the spirit and healthy for the body.

-Proverbs 16:24 (GW)

 

Great gifts mean great responsibilities; greater gifts, greater responsibilities!

– Luke 12:48 (MSG)

 

Each of you is now a new person. You are becoming more and more like your Creator, and you will understand Him better.

– Colossians 3:10 (CEV)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

 

 

Light in Light

In Light

we see Light

 

In darkness

all is dark

 

So, Jesus, open the eyes of the blind!

Awaken them to Light!

 

For the dark

is a scary place to be

 

It’s hopeless…

 

But those who dwell in Light

recognize Your Light

 

and want it

for those in absence of it

 

Those who dwell in blackness

can’t see it

 

Loose them, Lord!

Unbind them!

 

Let us be Your Light

to our fellow-created

 

May Your Light

Pierce the darkness

 

that threatens to overtake

those You love

 

– Susie Stewart

 

For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light.

– Psalm 36:9 (NIV)

 

How exquisite your love, O God! How eager we are to run under your wings, To eat our fill at the banquet You spread as You fill our tankards with Eden spring water. You’re a fountain of cascading light, and you open our eyes to light.

– Psalm 36:7-9 (MSG)

 

In Your house, they eat and are full at Your table.
They drink from the river of Your overflowing kindness.
You have the fountain of life that quenches our thirst.
Your light has opened our eyes and awakened our souls.

– Psalm 36:8,9 (VOICE)

 

But we had to celebrate and be happy, because your brother was dead, but now he is alive; he was lost, but now he has been found.

– Luke 15:32 (GNT)

 

Light shows up everything, just as the Scriptures say,

“Wake up from your sleep
and rise from death.
Then Christ will shine on you.”

– Ephesians 5:14 CEV)

 

You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for He forgave all our sins.

– Colossians 2:13 (NLT)

 

It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, He embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on His own, with no help from us! Then He picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.

– Ephesians 2:1-6 (MSG)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

 

What you deserve

Next time you are tempted to allow yourself

to be weighed down by forgiven sins,

remember that Jesus already got what you deserved.

 

He reminded me of that recently.

I was walking my dog Larry and started to slip on some sidewalk ice.  I didn’t fall down and the thought popped into my mind, “I probably would have deserved that”.

I had been hashing over some past regrets.  Not a healthy way for me to be spending my time on this beautiful dark evening under the stars with Larry and God.

As quickly as that downgrading thought entered my mind, I then also heard in my mind, “I GOT what you deserve.”

Such a swift response.  It took my breath away.

Yes, my Jesus!  You paid the ultimate price for all the sins I’ve committed and instead of me getting what was coming to me, You, my beautiful Savior, took the punishment I deserved.

You paid the ultimate price for me.  And You have forgiven me.  You continue to forgive me.

You didn’t deserve that.  I did.

 

And I want to consciously and graciously accept the forgiveness You give,

and move on.

 

Because that’s what You desire.

Moving on.

Turning the opposite direction.

Doing better.

Being free.

 

“I GOT what you deserve.”

 

Regret and sin

need to be left in the past

 

– Susie Stewart

 

“Forget about what’s happened;
don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.
It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
There it is! I’m making a road through the desert,
rivers in the badlands.

– Isaiah 43:18,19 (MSG)

 

 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

– 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

 

No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,  I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

– Philippians 4:23,14 (NLT)

 

…this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many.

– Matthew 26:28 (VOICE)

 

Photo taken by Susie Stewart

The Point

So that was the point.

 

The point of the difficulty.

The point of the suffering.

The point of the disappointment.

The point of the pain.

 

To know You.

 

I miss that sometimes.  I think it’s all about me and what I’m supposed to learn about myself.

But really, it’s not much about me.

It’s about You, God.

It’s all about You.

And the great lengths You go to to draw us near to Your side.

 

My life is to love you with abandon, and to bring You glory.

That includes the pain, the brokenness.

 

Life,

minus the pain,

equals….

 

…not learning of Your closeness to the brokenhearted.

…not hearing your comforting tone.

…not realizing that You are the only true faithful One.

…not knowing that you are the Friend that sticks closer than a brother.

…not experiencing Your timely providence.

…not depending solely on You.

….not following Your gentle lead as Shepherd.

…not knowing the depths of Your love.

…not witnessing Your awesome power.

…not feeling Your arms around me.

…not knowing what it is to be more than a conqueror through You.

…not learning that You are completely trustworthy.

…not having awareness of the joy of obedience.

…not learning of Your unconditional love.

…not experiencing Your healing touch.

…not grabbing Your firm grip.

…not being changed by Your forgiveness.

…not seeing Your Kingdom here on earth.

…not worshiping You with tears.

…not being able to relate to the pain You endured for me.

 

You, my God, took my knowledge of You

and turned it into my experience of You.

 

You took what I knew in my mind,

and filled my heart with it.

 

Job, man of many a trial, battered and bruised from the fight, said after his dark, dark night,

“I had only heard about You before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes.”  Job 42:5 (NLT)

 

You will fill every wounded soldier that looks to You.

That wants to know You.

To experience

You.

– Susie Stewart

 

“When God places you in a challenging situation, take it as a signal that He will be glorified – and that you will come to know Him in a deeper way.  Because He’s going into the challenge with you.  And you’ll know Him even better on the other side….To know Him is the grand goal and adventure of life.  Inviting you into more intimate fellowship with Him will always be one of His primary reasons for steering you in one direction or the other.  Don’t just be listening to hear Him.  Be listening to know Him.”  ~Priscilla Shirer

“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”  John 17:3 (NIV)

Able

Your Glory  —–  Untamable

Your Sacrifice  —–  Unthinkable

Your Pain  —–  Unfathomable

Your Determination  —–  Unstoppable

Your Love  —–  Unquenchable

Your Redemption  —–  Unalterable

Your Timing  —–  Undeniable

Your Peace  —–  Unbelievable

Your Purposes  —–  Unbreakable

Your Authority  —–  Unanswerable

My Sin  —–  Untraceable 

My Joy  —–  Unspeakable

My Life  —–  Uncontainable

– Susie Stewart

But Christ came only once and for all time at just the right time to take away all sin by sacrificing Himself.

– Hebrews 9:26 (NCV)