Monday, February 18, 2013

Garden Sanctuary

By Hazel Holland

As I painted this watercolor the other day using wet colored tissue paper and water soluble wax pastels, I was reminded of the time twelve years ago when I felt impressed by the Spirit to make a prayer garden out of my back yard.  As I worked tirelessly in my garden to make it a place of beauty and sanctuary for others, I learned how to enter into His Garden where the “work” has already been done.

As I entered by faith into the “rest” of His grace I found that it's a place where no “work” is allowed.  That's because in His Garden the “work” is already finished!  I learned that the only thing left for me to do is to enjoy sweet fellowship with Him as I hear Him calling me upon the gentle wind of His Spirit to enter more fully into the “rest” that he has already provided... Himself!

Can you hear the Lord calling you to come into His Garden and find true intimacy in Him as you enter into the "rest" of His grace?  "Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me. See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come..." (Song of Solomon 2:10-13).

Monday, February 4, 2013

Hearts After Him

By Hazel Holland
This watercolor painting is an expression of our love for Jesus because of how He demonstrated His amazing love for us.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

His Heart is Wide Open

By Hazel Holland

Today I had problems painting this watercolor.  I kept getting my hand in the wet paint because the size of the painting was larger than what I'm used to.  I had chosen to increase the size of the paper because I wanted to have a larger space to paint hearts reaching up to Him.  But after I finished the painting I reduced the size of it, because not only was it too busy, but it seemed like it might be a distraction for this post.

You will remember that at the moment of Jesus' death the the veil of the temple was split in two.  This was God's dramatic way of telling the world that for all time and for all people the way into His heart is wide open to everyone.  God is not planning revenge towards those who gathered around the cross in hatred towards Him.  Neither is He planning to judge you because of your sins of selfishness, pride, or indifference towards Him.

The rending of the veil means that the penalty for all sin has been paid once and for all.  The way into God's heart is wide open because Jesus paid the penalty for the hateful, the cruel, and the ignorant.  The way into His presence is wide open to all of us, in spite of the wrong attitudes we so frequently have toward Him.  Since God holds no grudges against anyone, He is waiting to restore the hopeless, the helpless and those who are filled with fear.   He is longing to reconcile each one of us to Himself.

God made Jesus who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God in Christ.  To me there is no greater wonder in all of the universe than this.  If this isn't the greatest gift that God gave you then perhaps you haven't yet grasped the astounding impact, and timeless benefit of Christ's death for you.

God's heart is wide open to you continually.  If you've been building up treasure here, know that His heart is a far greater treasure awaiting you.  As you catch a glimpse of His goodness you'll see that you've already been forgiven.  So let Him wash away your guilt with His love so that you are able to receive His spotless heart.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Depths of His Love

By Hazel Holland

As I was painting this watercolor yesterday I kept thinking of the words of Romans 8:35-39.  Can anything separate us from the love Christ has for us?  Can troubles and problems of various kinds?  Can suffering or hunger?  Can danger or even death separate us from His love? 


Because of God's promise to us in the gospel, I am sure that neither death nor life can ever separate us from His love.  Because of the new covenant that the Father and Son agreed upon long ago, nothing now or in the future shall ever be able to separate us from the heart of the One who gave us all things in Jesus Christ.

No angels or demons or powers of darkness shall ever be able to separate us from Christ's love so freely given for us on the cross.  Nothing in all of creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of the Father so clearly revealed in the face of Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.