Ignited

Posted: August 30, 2007 in Music, Perspective

Sometimes it’s just a song, like Chris Tomlin’s arrangement of “I Stand Amazed” (Passion – “Everything Glorious” CD).

I’ve heard this hymn my whole life.  I probably sung it countless (and meaningless) times in church growing up.  I even skipped over it when listening to the “Everything Glorious” CD because I labeled it an “old hymn.”

But not Monday.  Monday I listened to it, and it hit me like a hammer…and I found myself actually in tears listening to this song.

I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene,
and wonder how he could love me, a sinner, condemned, unclean. 

How marvelous! How wonderful! And my song shall ever be
How marvelous! How wonderful is my Savior’s love for me! 

He took my sins and my sorrows, he made them his very own
he bore the burden to Calvary, and suffered and died alone. 

How marvelous! How wonderful! And my song shall ever be
How marvelous! How wonderful is my Savior’s love for me!  

When with the ransomed in glory, his face I at last shall see,
’twill be my joy through the ages to sing of his love for me.

How marvelous! How wonderful! And my song shall ever be
How marvelous! How wonderful is my Savior’s love for me!

I am a sinner.  I am unclean.  I deserve condemnation.  My sins are unthinkable.  I can harbor over them…even protect them, not willing to change.  Not knowing how.  Not wanting to.  There are dark spots in my life – my walk – that have weighed on me like an anchor around my neck in a raging sea.  And I don’t want to look at them.  If I acknowledge them, they become real and I have to deal with them – and that’s something no one wants to do.  They choke me in my ministry, my family, my friendships, my relationship with God.  My love for sin keeps God at a distance.  And then I have the audacity to wonder why God seems so far away.

But he took my sin…all these stains in the dark recesses of my life…and made them his own.  He died in my place – for sins I have committed, do commit, and will commit.  He died in my place.

Stop and think about that.  In my place, he died.  In spite of my rebellion, my hard heart, my love for myself…he died for me.

And one day, I’ll see him face-to-face.  What will I do then?  What can I even say?  Why would someone do this for me?  How do you respond to such undeserved love?  Are there any words I could say that would be meaningful?  Any songs I could sing that could tell him how I feel?  Could I even look him in the eyes?  How do you say “thank you” to someone who died – willingly – for you when you absolutely do not deserve it?

All I can do is lay my life down at his feet and plead for forgiveness…at the same time knowing that forgiveness has already come.  All I can do is lay down at his feet and offer him my life, since he gave his for me.

The only response to love received is love given.  It needs to be shared.  Why?  Everyone has dark places in their lives.  Everyone has secrets…pain…sin that binds them in their own darkness.  And like me, they justify it, ignore it, revel in it, or even lead others into it.

Jesus died for them, too.  He’s waiting to meet them face-to-face, too.  He’s extended that love to everyone.

Shouldn’t they know about it?  Or here’s a better question:  “What am I going to do about it?”

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