Sunday, 7 February 2010

My God

By Lucy Wall

I’ve been learning over time that there are many misconceptions about Jesus Christ. This became apparent to me through having different conversations with people, reading literature, listening to the media or even from watching television programmes with titles such as ”The History of Christianity .” It seems there are countless misrepresentations of who Jesus is and what it involves to be a follower of Him.

I found myself feeling very saddened and frustrated by this so wanted to write a poem that really drew attention to the differences between “religion” or being “religious” and having a real, loving relationship with the one, true living God. I soon felt inspired to write “My God” as a result.

My God is not "religion" or rules ordained by man,
Dictation and oppression were not my Saviour's plan.
He did not come to beat us down or scourge us with His wrath.
My God cannot be found within a cold, self-righteous laugh.

My God is not a painting or the image of a Cross,
He doesn't dwell in pictures for my eyes to pour across.
My God is not a building made of mortar, bricks or stone.
He doesn't sit in lavish cloth upon a worldly throne.

He isn't made of gold or brass or any chiseled wood,
He isn't somewhere that I go each week to make me "good."
He's not a guilt-trip or a place I kneel with weary joints
Or turn up just to "show some face" and score some "brownie points."

He's not a stained-glass window deemed as grand in worldly eyes
Or marble statues at whose feet I weep at my demise.
My God is not a ritual or a mantra I recite,
He's not a superstition that I cling to every night.

My God is not embroidered silk to wear with pompous pride,
He's not a box encased in jewels with "Holy Grails" inside.
I don't receive enlightenment igniting wax and wick,
I do not feel more spiritual when doused in incense thick.

My God is not the sections of "religion" I don't mind,
The bits that don't address my sin and leave the truth behind.
I cannot pick and choose the parts to which I'll bow the knee
For He is absolute. My God does not bow down to me.

My God is not a crutch I only seek in times of strife,
He's not an empty hope when bad things happen in my life.
My God is not a cult or sect that I was born into,
I've not been brainwashed to believe in things I've not thought through.

My God is not a weakness in my character you see.
My God is Jesus Christ our Lord who died for you and me.
He made Himself of no repute and through the virgin birth,
God manifest Himself in flesh and lived upon the earth.

Although my God owed nothing, He paid the price for sin.
A perfect, sinless life He led and death could not hold Him!
To reconcile and bridge the gap between our God and man,
Eternal life and fellowship, now that was Jesus' plan!

My Lord and God is merciful and faithful to provide.
His love is everlasting and in Him we can abide.
My God is slow to anger and His patience does astound!
The soul who finds their Saviour, what a treasure they have found.

Yet next to Jesus Christ the brightest jewel could not compete!
For diamonds, gems and rubies cannot make your soul complete.
Though worldly gifts and riches in this lifetime may look fair,
When Jesus Christ dwells in your heart this world cannot compare.

My God is full of justice, filled with righteousness and light.
The sacrifice of Jesus shows we're precious in His sight.
His ways are beyond measure, He puts gladness in my heart.
I gaze upon the Heavens, my God's precious work of art.

My God, the one I turned to when burdened with my sin,
The only one to purify and cleanse me from within.
My God who knew my name before the stars were in the sky!
Whose love for me is endless and leaves me asking, “Why?"

My Lord, my God how excellent His name is on the Earth!
I sing to Him, the Lord most High who gave me second birth!
My Light and my Salvation, my God is one who saves.
My Refuge and my Glory, He's not one who enslaves.

My God I could not live without for He's my daily bread,
I seek Him in the morning and before I rest my head.
I cherish our communion and His friendship I adore.
I thrive in our relationship, He's all I need and more.

He shares my every thought as I recall my highs and lows,
Before a word is on my tongue my God already knows!
My soul waits silently for Him and seeks Him day by day.
My servitude comes from a heart that wishes to obey.

But when I fail and let Him down, when tears will streak my face,
I praise His name remembering that I am saved by grace.
I do not serve my God through guilt, eternal condemnation
For all who come to Christ receive the shield of His salvation!

I love my God with passion and I grow in Him each day.
He teaches, guides and comforts me and takes my pain away.
I trust Him for my God relieves my soul in my distress.
His training helps me yield the fruit of peace and righteousness.

Forgiveness, grace and peace, my marvellous God I wish to share!
To think of souls who know Him not, it fills me with despair!
But sadly it's too easy to believe in Satan's lies,
We don't address our flaws and let our sin obstruct our eyes.

We don't like to acknowledge we're accountable to God.
We'd rather turn our backs, through utter darkness we will plod.
We turn to our own ways, beyond our sin we cannot see.
My loving God knows how destructive sinful ways can be.

And this is why He sent His Son, the perfect sacrifice.
The punishment that we deserved our Saviour paid the price!
It puts my soul in turmoil when I hear of Jesus' death,
It wrenches at my heart to hear my Saviour's dying breath.

To think of all the anguish and the torture He endured,
Becoming sin so our eternal life might be secured!
What drove my God to darkest depths? What fuelled this motivation?
The noblest reason above all, God's love for His creation.

For every sin committed, they're now paid for, every one.
God took His mighty wrath and poured it out upon His Son.
We don't deserve forgiveness! We don't deserve His grace!
And yet through Jesus Christ He put Himself there in our place.

My God who took the Cross died with forgiveness in His prayer
And that is why no gold or cloth or statue can compare!
I owe my Saviour everything, my soul before was black.
He bought me at a price and so I gladly give it back.

And this is not from protocol or rules of pomp and air.
I choose my God through love, I pray you see the difference there.
I know that some find faith and joy in-keeping with tradition
But don't mistake my living God for cold, man-made "religion."

Instead of pointing us to Christ, our never changing Rock
It leads us to a legalistic, pious stumbling block.
This does not represent my God! It's wickedness, deceit!
Perhaps selfish ambition or perhaps it's vain conceit.

For many times in history and even to this day
Are cruel and wicked acts by "men of God" or so they say
But this is not my Saviour! This is not done in His name!
These men will stand before their God and recognise their shame.

The Kingdom of my God cannot be won with blade or rifle
For not in His name do they fight, or kill, oppress or stifle.
Their greed and their ambition mean their hearts t'wards Him are locked
But He sees all, the war is His and God will not be mocked.

Our outer image cannot trick my God who knows our minds.
Imagine Jesus' grief if false belief is all He finds.
He bought us at a price for Jesus came to liberate,
He came to give us life and joy and not to suffocate.

With Jesus we are challenged and our lives may bear much fruit!
"Religion" means we settle for a morbid substitute.
No longer is He broken and still hanging on the tree,
He rose again now we rejoice for all eternity!

He does not ask that we remain within perpetual sorrow,
He wants us to rejoice with Him and see a bright tomorrow!
My God is what is missing! My God who died for me!
He paid the price for sin that all mankind could be set free!

For each and every person is a part of His creation,
We're living proof of God's delight and vast imagination.
Yes on our knees, confess, repent then rise up and rejoice!
For Hallelujah! We can hear our risen Saviour's voice!

And so I give my heart to Him for now my soul can thrive
For Jesus Christ, my Lord and God is very much alive!
Salvation is His gift , for those who seek Him He preserves.
Let every tongue confess His name! Our worship He deserves.

My God is not "religion,” He's my everlasting King.
He's my morning and my evening and He's my everything.
My God who chose the Cross, the path to Calvary He trod
So all the world may know the love of Jesus Christ, my God.

Acts 17: 22-31

"...I perceive that in all things you are very religious; for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription:

Therefore the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you;

God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.

And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, "For we are also His offspring."

Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man's devising.
Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead."

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