Browsing Tag

Salvation

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley Caleb Colley

To Make a Wretch His Treasure

 

I was pretty tired after a few days (and parts of the nights, too) of trying to help my daughter-in-law, Bekah, with a toddler and a newborn during a week of a gospel meeting while we were also awaiting the  replacement of a dishwasher. (That’s a long wait when you have a bunch of people, even if it’s really a short wait.) We were thoroughly enjoying staying in the home of our son and his wonderful family, but even the best kind of fun can be exhausting.

As we stood there singing the last two songs of that spiritually uplifting event on the final night, tears just streamed down my face. I held my sweet Maggie, who’s two, close to me and heard her softly singing some of the words to “How Deep the Father’s Love” and the balm of those words sank deep into my weary spirit. 

How deep the Father’s love for us?

How vast beyond all measure?

That He should give His only Son

To make a wretch His treasure.

How great the pain of searing loss?

The Father turns His face away

As wounds which mar the Chosen One

Bring many sons to glory.

Behold the man upon a cross

My sin upon His shoulders

Ashamed I hear my mocking voice

Call out among the scoffers.

It was my sin that held Him there

Until it was accomplished

His dying breath has brought me life

I know that it is finished.

I will not boast in anything

No gifts, no power, no wisdom

But I will boast in Jesus Christ

His death and resurrection.

Why should I gain from His reward?

I cannot give an answer

But this I know with all my heart

His wounds have paid my ransom.

Why should I gain from His reward?

I cannot give an answer

But this I know with all my heart

His wounds have paid my ransom.

My husband had just preached a powerful lesson about fatherhood: What a Dad Owes His Children. He had talked about the things a father owes his son and I reflected on the blessing it is that our son has a brand new baby—a son. Caleb and Bekah are determined that baby Ellis will have the gifts of example and training that will anchor his development into integrity and faithfulness. Then the lesson pivoted to a discussion of things a father owes his daughter. As the lesson closed and parents were being called to recommit to placing the principles of Scripture in a place of relevance, even top-priority, in their homes, I held the sweet 2-year-old daughter of my son and heard her sing about the sacrifice of the only Son of God to “make a wretch his treasure”.  The Father paid the ultimate price of His own Son–what He did not owe–so that my Son (and the rest of us, too) could be sitting there on that pew sanctified, justified and washed–absolved of what we did owe. 

When I sing the words “Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice call out among the scoffers” I know that it “was my sin that held him there” and the gratitude overwhelms me, every time. This blessed grandmother just stood there, holding that sweet innocent child, and cried. How I wish I’d never had to face the realization that I’m responsible, because of my sin, for the cross. How I wish I had no unfathomably large ransom to be paid, no sins for his shoulders, and that he had no wounds for my transgressions. But how deeply thankful I am that he paid, he bore and he was inflicted with my wounds. My maker, the Creator of the universe is the One who is self-described as “meek and lowly”(meaning, in the Greek, insignificant one). He is the One who calls me, the creature, to rest. His redemptive work is my path to peace and rest (Matthew 11:29).

Maggie had no idea what she was singing. But, just like her grandmother, if she lives to adulthood, she will one day know. And she’ll wrestle with a guilt that can only be satisfied by the man on the cross—the GOD on the cross. It’s the everyday work of her diligent mother and dad to put in her a commanding trust in the Savior, so that, when that day comes, she will resolutely know, with all her heart, that He accomplished what she could not. It’s their everyday prayer that Maggie and Ellis will never boast in anything but the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. There are so many tangible ways that parents can put this seed of dependence on the Savior in their children. We saw lots of them this week. We saw the concepts of trust, repentance, hope and even a glimpse of heaven put in Maggie during Bible time (that happens twice a day in their house). I asked Maggie if she had new “Bible Words” to tell me. She said “Yes. John 10:11.” And she proceeded with “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” We saw vigilant correction from her parents at each hint of any disrespect. We saw time—tons of time—spent by Bekah, showing Maggie that her heart—not her sweet face or braided hair or princess costumes—is what makes her beautiful. We saw her help her Dad invite neighbors to the gospel meeting. After those sweet invitations were offered, Maggie asked her dad “ Do you think she will come?” or “Did she say she would already be in the bed when we go to worship?” or “Did she say she would read a book we can give her about Jesus?” 

She had no idea exactly what the lyrics to “How Deep the Father’s Love” mean, but she will have a tender heart to them when they do have meaning for her one day. She is already becoming keenly aware of the dire need that her neighbors have to know Jesus. 

Moms, it’s the most important thing you do every day; putting the love of the Father at the very core of every activity of every day and putting the urgency of the message of Christ for our neighbors in little hearts. I know my children are doing a better job of this saturation-till-maturation process than I ever did. Their kids are facing a herculean effort of a society largely driven by an agenda of secularism and the suppression of the Word of God. I’m praying for the continued stamina of godly parents as they battle this effort. I’m particularly praying for the parents of Ellis and Maggie and those of  Ezra, Colleyanna and Eliza Jane. 

The very last song of that evening was a prophetic victory psalm for the people of God. I’m so looking forward to a new song.

It thrills my soul to hear the songs of praise, we mortals sing below,

And though it takes the parting of the ways, yet I must onward go;

I hope to hear throughout unnumbered days, the song earth cannot know,

They sing in heaven a new song, of Moses and the Lamb.

O to hear the angels singing,

To bid me welcome to mansions bright and fair;

O to hear the glad harps ringing,

With voices blending rich and rare;

O to see the Master bringing,

A precious life crown that I may own and wear;

I want to hear that mighty chorus sweetly sing,

I want to hear that mighty chorus sweetly sing,

I want to hear that mighty chorus sweetly sing,

To hear it swell and ring!

If I can sing this new song around the throne with the saved of all eras of time, I’ll be in bliss. If I can hear that mighty chorus swell and ring, nothing can mar my happiness. Every tear will be wiped away. I know that has to be true because my God has promised this. But I’m still going to keep  fervently praying that I can be, not just present in the throne room, but flanked around that throne by Glenn and the nine people who call me Mom and Mammy. Hearing our little chorus of eleven blending with all of the saved in raising the song of Moses and the Lamb surely seems just now to be the sweetest of all my anticipation. Lord, come quickly.

And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,
“Great and amazing are your deeds,
O Lord God the Almighty! (Revelation 15:3)

How Deep the Father’s Love, by Stuart Townend–The New Song, words by J.R. Baxter, Jr. and music by C.C. Stafford. 
Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Are You New to the Dig? This Is for You.

It’s an amazing blessing that we now have over 7500 women in the Digging Deep Bible study group. We work hard to insure that the group is a safe place for us to concentrate on the Word and grow spiritually. That’s why it’s sometimes necessary to exclude someone from the group. We don’t do this lightly because our purpose is always souls in heaven, in the end, and so we want those who have a curiosity about the Word  to be able to begin their investigation here–with women who are so dedicated to and in love with the holy words of Scripture. Occasionally, though, someone, who is an open “attacker” of faith and the Word of God will ask to become a member. Because we must protect the sincere seekers  and the integrity and purpose of our group, we have to decline those who are obviously attempting spiritual harm or to lead away those who are hungering and thirsting for righteousness.

Because of the new system Facebook has adopted of helping to match people with groups in which their profiles show that they may have an interest, we have many new and diverse members. Perhaps there are some reading who are seeking God’s plan for life. Maybe you are not involved in any body of believers and you would very much like personal contact and study. You want to be saved, in the end, but, in a world of religious chaos, it’s difficult to know what, exactly, is God’s plan for your  salvation. I’d love to personally help you. And yet the help I can give is only though the Word of God. I will offer no other source of information about salvation than the New Testament of Jesus. But there are no parts of that covenant that are off-limits for discussion. Those who investigate find that the gospel’s plan of salvation is given with unbelievable clarity and simplicity in the New Testament. Jesus did not want it to be complicated and confusing. If we get rid of preconceived ideas that the devil would have us believe (After all, he is the father of lies…Jn. 8:44), then we can have our sins washed away and walk in His light with simple, decisive obedience.

If you are without Christ’s salvation today, you are in need. I’m no more worthy of that salvation than anyone else, but I praise Him that, because of His grace, my life has purpose and meaning and goals that make every struggle and place of despair still resonate with hope. I’ve often said that we can do anything for a lifetime. It’s true. There will be times in your life that will be incredibly hard. There may be things you have to sacrifice in order to follow the Lord. But those sacrifices and challenges are very short-lived when compared to eternity with God.

If I can help you, email me at byhcontest@gmail.com. I do not have any private access to His great gift of salvation. The gospel is for all. But it’s unbelievably simple to understand and its precious invitation is open to us all.

With many prayers for Digging Deep and especially for searching souls!

Cindy

p.s. I forgot to mention that there’s certainly nothing to purchase or any obligation if you do email me. No email address will ever be shared. I just am all about study of the Word– anywhere–even though email or Facebook.

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

“When all the People Are in Church…”

Tonight’s the Digging Deep podcast (http://new.livestream.com/whcoc/for-women). Be sure to join in and comment. The results are better when you participate, of course. I’m looking forward to this, the first podcast of a brand new decade—a discussion of glory from 1 Samuel. There’s been a lively discussion about Hannah’s vow on the group page, so we’ll comment a bit about that. 

While shopping on Saturday in a very crowded home goods/clothing store, I was navigating my cart around another customer. We had this short conversation. She began with a frustrated tone: 

Her: “I thought surely today would not have been so crowded.” 

Me: “Whoosh!…Seems like everyone’s in here today.”

Her: “Sunday’s the day I should’ve come. When all the people are in church and it’s nice and quiet.” 

Me: “Well, that’s where I’ll be tomorrow.”

Her: “Yep….That’s when I should come back.” 

How sad that there are those living in a country so permeated with the gospel; a country where there’s a Bible in almost every hotel room and multiple Christ-confessing churches meeting in almost every little town—how sad that there are those in our community who view the Lord’s Day as merely a great time to go to the store while “everyone’s at church.” It says something good about our community…that at least there are lots of folks who are attempting to honor God in some way, in truth or in misguided good will, on Sunday mornings. It says something very sad about my fellow-shopper. The benefit she is deriving (or at least the one she is recognizing) from the cross is a stress-free shopping morning every seven days. It’s kind of  like my tossing a heavy platter of pure gold in the dumpster and feeling relieved that I’ve decluttered—only the “clutter” that my friend saw in Christianity is infinitely more valuable. 

I hope your resolve this year includes using the most valuable possession you have. I hope you will be digging in the Word. Your search for treasures that will outlive you doesn’t have to be in our Digging Deep group. But its accountability and fellowship is very helpful. Visit here to get started on the January study today: https://thecolleyhouse.org/digging-deep-2019-2020. Or open up the Book on your own and bask in the blessings for yourself and your family. 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: Take it to the Porch!

I had a bunch of people over for supper Friday night….I mean a bunch. Sometimes people refer to this night as “Christmas at the Colleys”, but it’s more like “Christmas FOR the Colleys” because it’s a whole lot of fun and merriment and we are the ones who get a huge blessing from being around our family in Him. Some of today’s most faithful servants for Him were in our house last Friday night. Children brought me little bags of homemade goodness, candles, or ornaments, there was lots of food and laughter and there was even football in the yard. 

But sometimes on this week, we’re a little preoccupied with prep (or even clean-up) and I’m distracted. It was the week I wore my sweater to worship inside out (big tag hanging from my hip and no-one told me till the very end. (…Though I was sitting on the second row. Of course, I was. You have to parade when your tag is dangling.) It was the week Glenn got home from the drive-through with my sandwich…only there was no sandwich for me in that bag. This party prep included old-fashioned glass bottles of Coca-Cola rolling out the back of my SUV onto my driveway and breaking explosively…on three different days. It included the squirrel that went berserk inside our house (https://thecolleyhouse.org/and-prior-to-the-lesson-this-morning). And yesterday, we went to take communion to the nursing home sisters…only we forgot to bring along the communion. 

On the very last day—the day of the party— I was unquestionably out of room. I was out of room in the freezer, the refrigerator, and the countertops. Even more urgently, though, the food that was on the countertop had to find a home in refrigerator temperatures or it would perish. That’s why we call certain foods perishable. Thankfully God had provided a place of refrigerator temperatures; a place where the food could be saved. That place was, of course, the great outdoors. My screened in porch became the food-saving place that day. 

I know it’s a simple analogy, but work with me here. I started carrying food from the counter toward the porch. Just before I got to the porch, I passed a big, long, empty farm table. There was plenty of room there for all the pies and casseroles. My countertop would be free if I set them all on the table. I would not have to go out in the cold. I would save a few steps. My dining room would not get cold. I would not have to lug it all back in later. So many reasons to just move the food from counter to tabletop. But there was one BIG reason why I could not stop short of the porch. The porch was the place where the conditions were perfect for the preservation of the food. It was the place where food would not perish. Further, once I got the food just outside the place of perishing and just inside the place of salvation, I had to close the door. I had to keep the warmth that was in my house from heating up the porch. I had to keep that food in a place that was separate from the place from which it had come. Mixing the two temperatures would have cause the food to perish; to be unclean. I’m sure, to this point, I’ve not shared any light-bulb concept with you. 

But there’s a spiritual lesson here. Has not God provided a place where souls can be saved? Has He given us a place where we can be separated from the uncleanness that makes us perish? Is it okay to stop short of the entrance to that place, although there may be an alternative that seems good for many reasons. If I have moved toward that “porch door,” but not yet walked through it, am I in the place where the conditions are right for salvation or am I still in the place of perishing?  Am I in the place of the saving element? Succinctly, if I’ve not passed through the door, am I saved? 

I want to add, without commentary, the words of the Holy Spirit about that place…a place where the conditions are right for soul preservation. We understand that the porch door is very important when I’m in my dining room with perishables. How much more important is the door when the perishable is my soul? 

He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who believes not will perish…Mark 16: 16.

Baptism does also now save us…1 Peter 3:21.

Arise and be baptized, washing away your sins…Acts 22:16

Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized, were baptized into his death…Romans 6:3

As many of you as have been baptized, have put on Christ…Galatians 3:27

Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins…Acts 2:38.

Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses…Colossians 2:12, 13

Some have said to me “But, Cindy Colley, you overemphasize baptism.”  

When you read the words in italics above, can you honestly think that anyone could over-emphasize the importance of baptism? Is it possible to attach too much significance to the place of preservation…of souls? 

“But what about all the other things we have have to do? They’re important, too.”

Yes they are. It was important to clear my counter. It was important to lug each pie and casserole through the dining room. It was important to grab the knob and swing the door open. I could not get to the place of preservation without doing all those things. But unless I got the food into the place of preservation, the contaminants would have compromised the food and (I can tell you for sure) we would not have eaten that food on Friday night. I did some pretty daft things through the week, but that was one thing I was going to make sure I did right. (And, by the way, if it had been hot outside on Friday, I’d have found a neighbor with freezer space. You just don’t take chances with food preservation!)

In life, we will get distracted. We will do some pretty daft things when under the gun. But we’d better get this one thing right. Being on the spiritual porch is being “in Christ.” That’s where spiritual preservation is (Ephesians 1: 3, 7), and the door to the spiritual porch—to being in Christ—is baptism (Romans 6:3,4). 

I’d sure love to help you get to the porch. God’s given every one of us the porch door. And there’s a family of wonderful people waiting for you on the porch!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

For the Diggers: Have You Had this Surgery?

We should really be careful not to talk about any particular avenue of salvation as ” _________only” salvation; like “I’m saved by faith only” or “I’m saved by baptism alone”.  Biblically there are a number of saving elements–things without which salvation just cannot occur. There are senses in which we are saved by the blood, grace, faith, baptism, the Savior, the cross,  the truth, the Word, repentance, belief, God, Christ, His eternal purpose, His church, mercy, and our own free will or choices. And that list is not exhaustive.

Some have requested the lists of verses given on the last podcast about how we are saved by the truth or the Word of God. (That was question #7.) Here they are:

John 17:17

Romans 10:13-17

2 Timothy 3:15-17

Ephesians 1:3

2 Thessalonians 2: 14-17

Romans 1:16

I Thessalonians 2:13

Corinthians 1:17-18

James 1:21-22

1 Peter 2:2-3

John 8:31-32

Ephesians 1:12-13

Colossians 1:5

Also requested were the passages from number ten. Although we should be careful not to say we are saved by any of the above elements alone or only, we can surely appropriately say that we cannot be saved without faith, or without grace or without baptism, etc…

But there is just one thing, on this list of things that saves us, that is the exact point of the washing from sins…the point at which I bury the man of sin and rise to walk with Christ. Here’s the list of  verses we gave about the point at which the washing of sins occurs:

1 Peter 3:21

Acts 22:16

Romans 6:3,4

Galatians 3:27

Acts 2:38

Mark 16:16

Ephesians 6:26

Hebrews 10:22

John 3:5

Acts 2:41

Matthew 28:28

1 Corinthians 6:11

Ephesians 1:7; 2:13

1 John 1:7

Colossians 1:14; 2:12

Romans 3:24,25

Titus 3:15; 2:14

Colossians 2:12 pictures God as the surgeon and  baptism as the operation. If I can look at myself as the patient in the operating room, I can more readily understand that there is a point (baptism) at which God performs the surgery. At this point, all trespasses are removed (verse 14). When I submit to His surgery, I am not “saving myself” or “working” to earn salvation.  The surgery is His free gift and His work. I am simply laying down on his table in gratitude to Him for performing the operation without which I cannot be saved.

I hope this is helpful and, more, I hope if there is one reading with whom I could study and/or for whom I could pray about salvation, that you would be sure to contact me. That is the thing for which there must/will always be time in my life. I know there’s a legion of women who are digging deep who live for chances to share the Word!

 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

This Blog: Fully Subscribe-able Again!

Thanks to those of you who noticed and reported that you were having trouble subscribing to the Bless Your Heart blog. In all of the tying of loose ends in launching our brand new study, we almost didn’t catch the fact that the blog, often related to the study, did not have a “subscribe here” tab. That’s fixed now. If you go this page: https://thecolleyhouse.org/category/bless-your-heart, you should be able to find the spot on the right side of the page to enter your email address and receive the blog directly in your inbox. I hope this will be helpful. It will not always be authority-related, but I hope it will always be uplifting in some way to someone.

Most of you who are Digging Deep this year have received your books and shirts, if you chose to order, and some have begun the study. I was reading over the first lesson myself tonight and thinking about how God owns us. He owns us, first, because He made us from nothing. That’s ownership in its purest form. No man owns anything in that inherent way.

He owns us again because he bought us back when we became lost and undone without Him because of our sin. It’s profound to think about the huge price of the Son’s blood that has purchased so many more men than God will ever be able to redeem. The price has been paid for far more souls than God will ever gather in heaven, simply because many people, even  some of those who have been called out by the gospel, will trample underfoot the Son of Man, counting the blood of his covenant an unholy thing (Heb.10:29).

The study this year is not easy. It is the nature of submission to authority to be called upon to do things that are not easy to do–things that do not always make sense or make us comfortable. It would not be submission if it was what I wanted to do every time. I am praying fervently that, by the time we get to the parts of the study that call us to do things that challenge our religious practices, call us to make moral changes, or chasten us for our adherence to culture over our submission to Him, that our hearts will be ready–ready to do whatever it takes, no matter the price, to submit ourselves to the Owner. I hope we will see that He is the Father, the one Who loves us enough to give His Son, but that He has always required covenant living–living with rules and boundaries (that are ultimately in our own best interests)– for those who seek a relationship with Him and eternity around His throne. That’s why, in the above passage, the blood of Jesus is called the “blood of His covenant.” Advantages of the blood require covenant-keeping.  I hope we can focus on the brevity of life here and on how foolish it would be to balk at His authority in this brief time of testing when He is offering us eternal life, peace and bliss, IF we can just persevere in faith for this brief span we call a lifetime. His Spirit is one of grace. We honor His Spirit of grace when we keep His covenant. That covenant-keeping is submission to His authority.

Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? (Hebrews 10:29)