Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Beautiful Exchange

By Lucy Wall

During a trip to the U.S.A to visit some relatives, my husband's Aunt Carol said she was preparing a women's Bible study and would be teaching on Isaiah 61:1-3. The verses read,

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,

To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

Carol said she loved how the verses talk about the beautiful exchanges the Lord gives us such as "beauty for ashes," "the oil of joy for mourning" and "the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness." She said she would love to have a poem with this theme to accompany her sermon and wondered if I could write one for her. What a challenge!

I spent some time reading these particular verses and praying over them and as I did, I started to consider some of the different exchanges the Lord has brought into my life since I gave my heart to Jesus in 2006. The first and most important exchange being eternal damnation for eternal salvation! That in itself is amazing and blows my mind!

The more I thought about His power and presence in my life the more I realised how many levels God can reach me on. It's not just me of course, everyone who opens up their heart and life to Jesus can find the power of the Holy Spirit doing wonderful things within them! I wanted to share this amazing truth with people and by the grace of God I found myself writing "Beautiful Exchange."

Oh wretched creature that I was, so far from God's intention.
To think that I ignored Him when my life was His invention!
Denying the importance of the hands that formed my being
Would reap such deadly consequence and rob my life of meaning.

My spirit yearned for truth to which this world could never cater
And empty is the heart that won't acknowledge it's Creator.
My eyes and ears were opened to the sin of my rejection.
I realised my image is in fact my God's reflection!

Such knowledge too profound, to be created in His likeness!
And through the Cross of Christ I can be viewed by God as righteous.
I praise my mighty King for I no longer face damnation,
Through Jesus' sacrifice I now rejoice in sweet salvation!

Redemption that's secure and now my soul's no more adrift.
I traded death for life by just accepting Jesus' gift!
Eternity re-written and my future re-arranged.
I praise His awesome power! What a beautiful exchange!

Wisdom and discernment He can now impute to me.
I gave my heart then Jesus gave me brand new eyes to see!
When blinded by my sin the Bible seemed to be absurd
But now that I belong to Him I'm awestruck by His Word!

My life is now for Jesus, I embrace a brand new start
And feel His Holy Spirit start to work within my heart.
I'm now a new creation as the past has been erased
And as I walk with Him I learn how much can be replaced!

For even if I think of wasted days within my story,
He turns those times around and now can use them for His glory.
For though I uttered not His name, His light refused to see,
Today I testify of how He kept a hold of me.

When living in rebellion, a lonely path I trod
But now I'm warmly welcomed in the family of God!
Without our Saviour, we would have in common not a thing
But now I'm blessed by countless friends, connected by our King!

Empowered by the Spirit, He has turned my life around.
Transforming mind and motive, hardened views thrown upside down!
Refreshing my perspectives, gaining help with sin's removal,
No longer seeking man's acclaim but rather God's approval.

Instead of fear and emptiness where worries never cease,
I seek His Godly counsel, gaining joy and inner peace
And in the midst of trials when I feel I'll fail the test,
My weakness only proves His strength and swaps my strife for rest.

He overcomes my helplessness when fear would have me frozen
And gently He reminds me I'm secure for I've been chosen!
In life are many twists and turns but with my God's direction,
Despair gives way to hope for I am under His protection.

Daily He renews me as I humbly seek His face
And though I'm "work in progress" I am covered by His grace.
His love completely changed me and His truth transformed my days.
On bended knees I bow my head and offer up my praise.

A lost and hardened heart that only Jesus Christ could change,
I'm grateful He provided such a beautiful exchange!
We all can have redemption if we listen for His voice,
He's calling out to everyone and gives us all a choice.

Conviction of the heart is like His spiritual nudge.
We can greet Him as our Saviour or we'll face Him as our Judge.
We must consider soberly this spiritual matter,
He longs we choose the former and avoid facing the latter!

God's will is none should perish and that's why He sent His Son;
The blood of Jesus Christ was shed to cover everyone!
There's room enough for all within this strong and mighty Tower
And no-one is beyond Him, there's no limit to His power.

He turns the stricken into rescued, the accused He justifies.
The lost become the found and truth prevails instead of lies.
There's comfort and encouragement for all who've been rejected.
With purpose, place and meaning, all condemned can be accepted.

Endowed with Jesus' pardon, He can heal our brokenness.
He fills a hardened heart with praise, uprooting bitterness.
Refusing all involvement with a cold dictatorship;
Rejecting our “religion," we embrace relationship!

Selfishness to selflessness, He counters lust's desire.
Removes the need for sweet revenge and quenches fury's fire.
His faithfulness is crystal clear when life provides a shock,
His promises hold fast and turn the quicksand into rock.

The God who cares for every need, provides our daily bread,
Who's counted each and every hair that grows upon your head!
A Saviour deeply personal, whose love cannot be measured.
We go from insecurity to cherished, loved and treasured.

If you don't know your Saviour may I take this time to say,
He's waited for you patiently so give your life today!
He will not disappoint you for you're His unique creation.
He's given you freewill to choose and now is the day of salvation!

It doesn't matter what you've done, with Christ you'll be a winner
For He's a bigger Saviour than you'll ever be a sinner.
There's not a heart or soul on Earth that Jesus cannot change
So trust your life to Him and start your beautiful exchange!

2 Corinthians 5:17

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."

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