I was compelled to do a piece about “unity in Christ” and what Christ means, not what “we” assume He means. [The picture] is Christ the Lamb of God who manifested all that “unity” of the redeemed in God the Father and God the Son!
In this Gustave Dore print (I am really taken with his work!), I looked closely at Christ’s face and saw easily within His expression Christ’s “knowing all things” of the heart of Judas (and the like-minded).
Kay Cude is a Texas poet. Published with permission
I was compelled to say something that spoke encouragement for “the saved to continue on,” even while recognizing and knowing the true character of sin, the taste and its aroma. Our efforts to reach the lost become harder each day; the news-media ridicules Christ’s redeemed, and with deceptive words, demands we not speak Gospel Truth. But we must “continue on.” I must keep fresh in my mind that previous centuries of the lost hated Christ, and that this present century of the lost will hate us (even as we the “saved” seek their rescue).
For me, the lone tree speaks of God’s wonderful handiwork, not only representing His gift of nature, but brings to mind that His redeemed are not alone, but safely tucked within His Might eternally. And as the brilliance of the sun pierces boldly through the dark-ending of the storm, one thought leads me to another — remembrance of Christ’s death and resurrection. Then speaks to His beloved redeemed: the “things” of this world are now more clearly seen through the light of His Salvation! We must daily pause to remember…
Kay Cude is a poet whose sensitivity to the glorious salvation of Jesus Christ is uniquely expressed through poetry and picture. Here is her latest offering, in which she explains her thought process. Enjoy.
If you look closely at the tower, you’ll see a tiny figure of someone, which refers to the statement, “As gazed I o’er the valley fair, to there below from tower high.”
That little figure caught my eye, as well as the city lighted up and the storm approaching from the left (approaching spiritual death). So I began to write. The city represents the safety of true salvation in Christ and understanding His Gospel.
The people represent those captured by a “different gospel” suggested as the “real” place of safety. Even though they “know” God’s truth — they are persuaded to run to false teaching and reject Christ.
Christ’s refuge is known to them and still stands in its truth, but when extreme peril approaches, they are convinced by someone’s whim (spiritual deception), to flee to eternal death and separation. Even the donkey digs in his heels against the “unknown” way,” and the dog barks at their sudden rejection.
Their end is eternal separation and eternal living death because they quickly deserted Christ’s truth for a distorted gospel.
Today’s piece from Kay Cude is inspired by the hymn And Can it Be? by Charles Wesley, (his lyrics appear on the art and also below), and the sermon The Divine Summons by John MacArthur. Kay Cude is a Texas poet. Used with permission. Here is Kay Cude’s Artist’s Statement:
“Sometimes in the midst of our sanctification as we face some very inflexible, but necessary trials, we may find that we need the comfort of the deep sustenance that comes through feeding upon sound, Biblical truths that are richly expressed in many of the “old” hymns. I know that I do.”
“I am still moved by “And Can It Be?” by Charles Wesley and find that Pastor MacArthur’s “The Divine Summons” goes hand-in-hand with it as instruction and edification for we whose circumstances compel us to return to the study of God’s sovereign act of salvation and the reassurance that it is God’s work in us and none of our own.”
And Can it Be? Charles Wesley, 1738
And can it be that I should gain An int’rest in the Savior’s blood? Died He for me, who caused His pain? For me, who Him to death pursued? Amazing love! how can it be That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me? Amazing love! how can it be That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
’Tis mystery all! The Immortal dies! Who can explore His strange design? In vain the firstborn seraph tries To sound the depths of love Divine! ’Tis mercy all! let earth adore, Let angel minds inquire no more. ’Tis mercy all! let earth adore, Let angel minds inquire no more.
He left His Father’s throne above, So free, so infinite His grace; Emptied Himself of all but love, And bled for Adam’s helpless race: ’Tis mercy all, immense and free; For, O my God, it found out me. ’Tis mercy all, immense and free; For, O my God, it found out me.
Long my imprisoned spirit lay Fast bound in sin and nature’s night; Thine eye diffused a quickening ray, I woke, the dungeon flamed with light; My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee. My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
No condemnation now I dread; Jesus, and all in Him, is mine! Alive in Him, my living Head, And clothed in righteousness Divine, Bold I approach the eternal throne, And claim the crown, through Christ my own. Bold I approach the eternal throne, And claim the crown, through Christ my own.