Never Let Go – God’s Story of Healing Hurting Lives


neverletgocolorado

 

I might hold the record for starting to read books and never finishing them. Not this one! I began reading this book and couldn’t put it down, even though I knew much of the story.

God is always at work, even when He is the last thing on our minds, He is at work completing His sovereign plan to use unlikely people for His glory. The book “Never Let Go” by Mac and Mary Owen (with Travis Thrasher) is one of those stories.

It’s a story of the love of a boy and a girl, young and unwise, and the consequences of their mistakes. It is the sad tale of awful addiction and the almost certain ruin of a young family in its wake. It’s the story of a loving human father and a loving heavenly Father, both with constant, undying love for two mixed up kids who had strayed from their raising.

Mary Owen would never let go of the faith in God she had learned from her father. And, it seemed she could never let go of the loss and pain in her young life. Young Mary never considered letting go of her husband and the love of her life even though he was swirling out of control toward an untimely death because of drug addiction. Mary kept loving, kept doing the next right thing, and she kept praying.

The story unfolds the details of how God redeemed a young junkie to make him a great leader who would help hundreds of men and women beat the rap and know Jesus. It also, in an almost unbelievable narrative, tells the story of a past healed and reconciled. It’s about the God who loves His children also giving them the desires of their hearts for good measure.

For more than a decade Mac was an elder at our church here in West Monroe. He was a “recovery guy”. Everyone knew something of his past and everyone knew that he and Mary were going to the down and out and loving them to Jesus. My wife and I are honored to call these two friends. They are a precious part of our forever family and we love them dearly.

I encourage every person who reads this post to order the book at once and to read it and then share it. Tens of thousands of people need to know this story. There are those with no hope of a better tomorrow who might see a spark of sunlight as they read the story. Perhaps there are those who will be encouraged to start reaching out to others who have a hurt, a habit, or a hang up as they read this book.

Thank you Mac and Mary for telling your story and giving hope to others. I hope many lives find new direction as others learn to never let go as they follow your example.

Never Let Go can be purchased in these ways:

MacandMaryOwen.com

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

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Faith Under the Microscope


“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

As you can see from this Bible verse “faith” is very important. If you want to please God you must have it. The word impossible in the above verse shuts out every other avenue of pleasing God. You must have faith! But what is faith?

Often in the New Testament the words “faith” and “believe” or “belief” are interchangeable. There is a sense in which faith and believing are one in the same. Perhaps the best illustration of both uses is this passage from Romans 10.

5 For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. 6 But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim);9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:5-17)

Here Paul makes a distinction between law and grace and between works and faith. In verse 6 he speaks of “righteousness based on faith and in verse 10 says “one believes and is justified”. Then at the end of the passage in verse 17 he says “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ”. So believing and faith have the same meaning, and by the way, the same source. Did you notice? Faith comes. It is a simple concept to understand. A person can’t call on someone in whom they have not believed and they can’t believe it they haven’t heard of him and they can’t hear unless someone tells them.. And this is really important, the preacher of the good news that brings faith must be sent.

No one naturally has faith. Faith comes by the hearing of the gospel, or the word of faith. We know this is truth based on these two passages.

For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. (Romans 8:7)

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14)

Unless God changes the heart and mind of a person who is not a Christian he does not have the resources necessary to submit to God or to accept the things of God. He does not submit, and cannot. And, he does not accept, and is not able. It is not a matter of a person making a decision to not accept God’s law, or the things of the Spirit, he cannot, he is unable to do so.

So even our faith comes from God. Paul in other of his letters describes non-Christians as living in darkness and spiritual death. God must penetrate the darkness and give life to the dead. When the good news about Jesus is preached God awakens the dark minds of sinners to hear the record of His Word and faith “comes” to the heart of the hearer.

I know some will disagree with what I just wrote but if you do, what will you do with the plain, easy to read verses I posted just above?

Now, we know the source of our faith but what is it? How does it function? I suggest you consider that Biblical faith has three components.

First, Faith is Intellectual.

Before faith comes one must have access to a set of facts. The brain must hold those truths just as it does your phone number or your wife’s name. It is simply facts assembled. Many people never get past this elementary part of what faith or believe, or believing is. The Scriptures say the devils “believe and tremble“. Just to believe the facts about Jesus, even that he died and rose again, will not save you any more than knowing which direction Texas is from where you live. Head knowledge alone is not faith.

Secondly, Faith is Emotional.

Yes, you must hear the facts about Jesus and your brain stores them away and reasons upon them. But for belief to become biblical faith you must embrace those facts with your heart. At the center of your being, you must emotionally grasp and cling to those facts that you intellectually have learned. Back to that Romans 10 passages you see these phrases, “believe with your heart” (vs 9) and “with the heart one believes” (vs 10). I believe I live in Louisiana, that is a fact. But I don’t hold to that truth with my inner being, with my heart.

Thirdly, Faith is Volitional.

In the Bible the word “faith” (and believe, or believing, or believed, or trust, or trusted) is almost always a verb. For faith to be biblical faith it must involve the will. You hear the good news about Jesus, you store the facts. You then embrace those facts, they become dear to you. Now, by an act of the will you act on what you “faith” or believe.

How does one act? One way is by “saying”. Paul said it this way, “with the mouth one confesses”. The term “a confession of faith” is a familiar way to state this. All this means is that the one who has truly put his or her trust (faith) in Jesus will “say” it. You will tell someone, or many people. You might tell your best friend, or your spouse, or your pastor, or you might say it to a church full of people. But, if it is real Bible faith, you will “say” it.

In my view faith and repentance are sort of like the heads and tails of a coin. One cannot, and will not repent (change the mind and the course of lifestyle) if he does not believe on Christ. And, he will not believe on Christ and continue a sinful lifestyle. So if faith is the Bible kind of faith, that is saving faith, the person who believes will repent. Not only does a person validate faith by saying but also by showing.

And, those who put their whole trust in Jesus Christ should as quickly as possible be baptized in water. In the doing of baptism we are participating in one of the two great gospel symbols for Christians, the other being the Lord’s Supper, or communion. In water baptism, the new believer for a moment in time is completely submitted to another and as he is laid under the surface of the water he is acting out the burial of Jesus, and as he is brought up out of the water he is acting out Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. The one baptized is saying by being immersed “I believe in Jesus who died for my sins, was buried, and was raised from the dead”. And he is also saying, “I am dying to my old way of living for myself and my desires and I purpose to life a new life for Jesus”. So a person is baptized into Christ, for the remission of sins, is clothed with Christ, has put on Christ, and has been baptized into Jesus’ death. All of these terms have deep meaning but each of them also have some symbolism.

Biblical faith will lead the new believer to want to participate in the Lord’s supper, the other gospel symbol. As believers eat the bread they remember the body of the Lord and as they drink from the cup they remember the blood he shed for them and together they look for his coming and are united in his love and grace.

Good works will be a by-product of everyone who has faith in Jesus. Ephesians 2:10 says:

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

“We” includes all Christians. We were made for good works. People who say they are Christians but do no good works are impostors and not Christians.

I could go on mentioning things that arise from a heart set on Jesus by faith. Loving like Jesus loves, forgiving like you have been forgiven by Christ, accepting others who are not like you because he accepted you and so on.

Without faith it is impossible to please God. Do you have faith in Jesus Christ?

Royce Ogle
Monroe, LA

Trust and Obey


I started studying the Bible when I was in my early twenties. I had been in Sunday school classes, Vacation Bible school, and  church services but had never had an appetite for learning about God and the Bible. My interest peaked when I started growing up and realizing the responsibilities of being an adult. I was married, struggling financially much of the time, the few prayers I prayed were seemingly not being answered, and I was searching for truth.

As I began to read long passages of Scripture, (even whole books of the Bible), and tried to understand what they really meant to me, I was shocked that at least some of what I had been taught was in my view not biblical. Later, after I entered Bible school for ministry training, I was also shocked that there were so many different views of what I considered to be important doctrines among the staff. It was there that I first was convinced that people of good will can have differing views of many things in the Bible and still work together for the greater good of Christ and the gospel. I learned that the gospel of Christ is truly of first importance, it is the watershed of Bible doctrine and everything else is somewhat less important.

So it was that my training was a mixture of ideas, opinions, and traditions all of which were supported by the Bible according to those who taught them. We were Southern Baptists, we were “free will” people, with many of us coming from the Free Will Baptist perspective. My parents fit that description. Both of my parents were shaped by Free Will Baptist preachers from the hills of Western North Carolina. In their understanding of God and salvation there we many, many more ways to lose your salvation than to find it.

By the time I was in my late 30’s my mother (who was blind) had been exposed to many, many hours of Bible teaching by a variety of teachers by way of radio. She was greatly influenced by J. Vernon McGee, and by her fairly new pastor, Rev. Kenneth Ridings, a great Bible man. My dad had been saved and was on fire for Jesus, and he too, had left some of the old teachings that he had learned in his earlier years. He had been baptized in his 20’s but it was pretty obvious to my mom and everyone who knew him that he really was born again much later in life. His passion was Jesus and telling others about him until he went to meet him in the late spring of 1993.

I was in my late 50’s when I first started to grapple with what some refer to as “the doctrines of grace”, known more widely as Calvinsim, and more narrowly as “monergism”. It was not that I was reading writers who embraced the TULIP of Calvin, it was quite the opposite. I was reading my Bible and started to see dozens of texts that I usually either ignored or believed as I had been covertly taught, “they don’t mean what they say”. The more I studied and read the Bible the more I saw! I came to the place where I had to deal with those obvious truths, many of which were the opposite of what I had believed for decades and taught myself.

It became clear to me that I was in a theological pickle, so to speak. I could not embrace the 5 points of Calvinism, at least the way I understood them. Neither could I any longer believe as some of my friends that election and predestination are “not true”. I was and am a member of great Church of Christ and trust me, “Reformed” or “Calvin” are ugly words in the minds of most Restoration people.

Somewhere around my yearly 60’s, (I’ll be 68 this month) it all started to come together. My mountain of a problem had been that I was trying to find out which doctrine was right. I thought I must believe either the doctrines of grace, or be a full blown Armenian. I knew for sure I was not a true blue “free will” guy and I couldn’t buy all that the Reformed guys were saying, so I was “between a rock and a hard place’, as the saying goes”.

I have said this many times before but I don’t believe people get it. My options as a Christian, as to the written revelation of God is not “either, or“! Christians are not given the liberty to pick and choose what parts of the Bible they will believe and live by. Our’s is to try, the very best we can, with God’s help, to believe and live by ALL of the scriptures. Of course we must use the wisdom God gives to understand it in context, we can’t ignore the widely accepted methods of biblical interpretation.

When dealing with complex and difficult differences in the Bible there is a better option than “either, or”. The far better option is “both, and“. If it is in the Bible it is true! I now have peace about what I was finding in Scripture because I just believe it! Does God bring men to himself and open their understanding and cause them to repent and trust Jesus? Yes! Is man required to repent, and does he have the freedom to say yes or to reject? Yes! The Bible emphatically teaches both, and both are true. So let’s just believe what God says and let him be God!

Today I stumbled across something that perhaps makes much more sense of this idea than I can convey myself. I quote from Justin Taylor’s blog…

What is compatibilistm?

D. A. Carson provides a good introduction when he argues that the following two propositions are both taught and exemplified in the Bible:

  1. God is absolutely sovereign, but his sovereignty never functions in Scripture to reduce human responsibility.
  2. Human beings are responsible creatures—that is, they choose, they believe, they disobey, they respond, and there is moral significance in their choices; but human responsibility never functions in Scripture to diminish God’s sovereignty or to make God absolutely contingent.

Carson right argues that “We tend to use one to diminish the other; we tend to emphasize one at the expense of the other. But responsible reading of the Scripture prohibits such reductionism.”

“Hundreds of passages,” he suggests, “could be explored to demonstrate that the Bible assumes both that God is sovereign and that people are responsible for their actions. As hard as it is for many people in the Western world to come to terms with both truths at the same time, it takes a great deal of interpretative ingenuity to argue that the Bible does not support them.”

I agree! I was mowing my lawn today as I thought about these things and it dawned on me that most of us believe as Carson does to some degree. We hold that a sinner is required to repent and that he has the God given free will to choose to follow Jesus, to come to faith and be baptized. All very true. But, why do we pray for him to come to God? If we don’t on some level believe that God can move a man toward repentance and faith, why pray? If we ask God to change the person’s will are we not admitting that God can change it?

I believe that almost all of us who are Christians would agree that we would not be believers today except for the work of God in our lives. When Jesus said to those rough cut fishermen and others who would be his inner circle, “Follow me”, could they have refused? Yes. But it’s a big deal to me that they didn’t.

Royce Ogle

 

Repent and be Baptized


 

Apologist/preacher/evangelist Ravi Zacharias has the following tag line on the first page of his ministry website, “Helping the thinker believe, and helping the believer think“. And the name of his nationally syndicated radio show is “Let my people think“. My goal in writing this piece is not to change anyone’s mind but rather to stir up whoever reads these words to do some thinking. I’m convinced thinking is becoming a lost discipline. It is very easy to get into the habit of going to Google rather than your own cognitive skills, and the Teacher who is the Holy Spirit.

Remember the “greatest command”?

Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment.” Matthew 22. 36

 Not much is said about the part of this command from Jesus that I have in bold fonts, but there it is. How do you love God with your mind? Some of the ways are that you think much about him, that you store away in your memory his promises, that you discipline yourself to think about the right things, and that you actually do some critical thinking about what you believe and why you believe it. So, my challenge is “Think about these things“. That’s all I request.

How John the Baptist got his last name. In the Old Testament we read often of ceremonial washings, and other religious cleansing related to water but not until we meet this strange man, John The Baptist, do we begin to become acquainted with water baptism.

In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” 3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said,

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:

‘Prepare the way of the Lord;

make his paths straight.’”

4 Now John wore a garment of camel’s-hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, 6 and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them,“You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not presume to say to yourselves,‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 10 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees.Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

11“I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn,but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” Matthew 3:1-12

In verse 11 of the passage above John said “I baptize you with water for repentance”.

John’s baptism was not repentance. John’s baptism was “for” repentance. He cried out as he preached “Repent!” (vs. 2) He called on people to change course, repent means do a mental U-turn and begin doing things differently. He emphasized the urgency of his appeal, “the kingdom of heaven  is at hand” (vs.2) Notice that those who were coming to him to be baptized were “confessing their sins”(vs.6), a sure sign they had repented. Baptism was not repentance, the people repented and then were baptized. John’s response to the religious bunch who came to be baptized is proof. “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. ” (vs.7a-8) He knew they had not repented. They had no works to show they had. Rather, they were depending on a heritage of faith, And John wasn’t buying it for a second.

Is there any thinking person who believes that unrepentant sinners were coming to John to get repentance? Or that the people had not repented until the split second they were raised from the water? Such thinking defies human logic. No, the record is clear, John baptized those who had repented, the sects of the Pharisees and Sadducees didn’t qualify precisely because John knew they had not repented. John’s baptism was “for repentance” but it was not repentance. Again today I carefully read every text mentioning John the Baptist’s baptism and the only logical conclusion is that John baptized people who had repented. They were identifying with those who had repented of their sins and had decided to follow God. If this is true, and it is, why then would we conclude that baptism in Acts 2:38 would follow a rule we just decided would be illogical?

Believer’s baptism is not faith. When Peter began his great address following the events of Pentecost he first explained that what the people were witnessing was a fulfillment of the prophet Joel who said the result of this outpouring of the Spirit would be…”And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Acts 2:21) Peter recited a promise from God to the people that was true then, and is true now, but a promise that many people absolutely deny.

Peter also used the same word John the Baptist had used before, and one Jesus himself used often, Repent! To participate in John’s baptism one needed to repent first, and then be baptized. Acts 2:38 records Peter’s answer to men whose hearts had been convicted of their sins and convinced about Jesus, Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Repent always precedes baptism. And, “repent” or repentance, implies faith. It is impossible to repent without faith and it is just as impossible to have faith without repenting. I cannot go out my front door to the mail box without leaving my house behind. And, I can’t come closer to my house without getting farther away from my mail box. Repentance and faith are two sides of the same coin. That is the exact point James was making when he said “show me some works” and I’ll believe you have faith.

Christian baptism is believers baptism. Our church of Christ tradition is that we baptize lost people. The candidates we baptize can have faith but it means nothing until after they are immersed. The Bible never teaches or implies any such thing. Rather, over and over and over again the Bible teaches that believers are saved. The biblical order is this one illustrated by Philip’s ministry. In Acts 8 Philip preaches and the response was (vs.12-13a) “But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip”. The people heard the gospel (Romans 10:17), they believed, and they were baptized.

According to the Bible unbelievers are lost and believers are saved. I can’t find on place in my Bible where  unbelievers were baptized. We don’t baptize lost people, we baptize those who are trusting Jesus Christ and the Bible record is clear, they are saved.

(I should say here that in the Bible the words “faith” and “believe” and forms of “belief” do not mean only giving mental assent to a set of facts as one would “believe” Ronald Reagan was once President of the United States. Always, “faith” and “believe” or “belief” means a reliant trust, a dependence upon Christ. And true biblical faith is present only in those who are repentant and whose future works/obedience prove up their faith.)

To “Obey the gospel” is to believe it. It grieves me that in far to many instances baptism gets more attention than Jesus and his work for sinners. Tens of thousands are betting their souls on the fact that they have been “scripturally” baptized. Unless those dear people either went down into the water with their faith set on Jesus or have since put their trust in him, they are lost. Only those who are actively trusting the Lord Jesus Christ are Christians, period.

I have carefully read and re-read every passage in the New Testament that discusses obedience or disobedience and not once does the Bible even hint that to “obey the gospel” is to be baptized in water. Not once! I have asked someone, anyone to prove me wrong and to date no one has. In every case the Bible record is clear. Those who are obedient to the message of the gospel believe it and those who do not believe it are disobedient. There is not one exception to this rule. I think it is a good practice to use Bible names for Bible things and here many have jumped off course. (See my post, “Obey the gospel” on this blog, Grace Digest.)

I conclude with a quote from the post referenced above dated April 2, 2007

“After Christ’s death and resurrection, I can find no instance in the Bible of a Christian who was not baptized.  Nor can I find any case where it was not believers who were baptized.  The Bible pattern is always the same. They hear the gospel, they believe, and they are baptized.  The great commission says we are to “go and make disciples, baptizing them….” How do we make disciples, or learners? By preaching the gospel. That is the way Paul and Peter did it.

Every person I have talked to who believes that water baptism is essential to salvation will agree that it is possible, and even likely, that a person can be baptized and yet be lost. And they will also agree that the reason that could happen is that they did not believe. So what saves?  No person can believe on Christ and be lost. Baptism does not save then, faith in Christ does. We are baptized showing a good conscience toward God, identifying with Christ and His church. We are saying when we are immersed, the “old man” has died, my “old self” is being buried, and I will be raised to live a New Life in Christ. We are baptized into His death that we might be raised with Him in life everlasting. In baptism we “put on” Christ by faith and we live “in Him”.   Saving faith, or belief, or trust, is much more than giving mental assent to the facts of the gospel story. You may believe in the historical record of Jesus and even believe that His resurrection from the dead actually happened. But if those facts you believe in your head are not “mixed with faith” (Hebrews 4:2) you will die in your sins.

If I am diagnosed with a serious heart problem that requires surgery to correct, it will not be sufficient to know the doctor and have confidence in him. For the result I want and need I must trust him to do the surgery. I must place myself at his disposal, leaving the results to his care. Anything short of that will not solve my heart condition. You and I have been diagnosed with a fatal condition, SIN, and the result is physical and spiritual death. Jesus is the doctor. Only He can cure the SIN problem. Only he can give life to the dead. Trust yourself to Him to do what He has promised. Place yourself at his disposal by simple trust and He will give you eternal life and forgiveness of sins.”

In his letter to the church at Ephesus Paul wrote these words.

1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:1-10)

Do you agree that a dead man is very limited as to what he can do? Yet, that is the picture Paul used to describe the people of God before God did his work of grace. We were dead (vs. 1, 5) but God made us alive together with Christ (vs 5). God did that, you did not do that! “And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God”. (vs 8) God did it this way “so that no one may boast” (vs 9) Not one of us can truthfully say, “Look what I have accomplished, I am now a Christian.” The one who does is very deceived and wrong. Salvation is God’s doing. “We are HIS workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works…” (vs 10)

So, let the one who glories, glory in the Lord! There is an old song that most people who read this will know well. Part of is goes like this.

Not the labors of my hands
can fulfill thy law’s commands;
could my zeal no respite know,
could my tears forever flow,
all for sin could not atone;
thou must save, and thou alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring,
simply to the cross I cling;
naked, come to thee for dress;
helpless, look to thee for grace;
foul, I to the fountain fly;
wash me, Savior, or I die.

“Rock of Ages Cleft for Me”

May we see the beauty of Christ and have a glimpse of his matchless grace that makes dead men live forever, and creates new hearts that want to please God, and love everyone. Jesus saves, Jesus saves!