Wednesday, September 10, 2008

9/11 and My Sin

I remember exactly where I was on September 11th 2001. I was working in Rhourd El Baguel, Algeria when a friend came to my office to tell me that an airplane had just flown into one of the twin towers in New York City. The thought of such a thing was beyond belief but it was true. Every year since I think about that day, my thoughts, fears and a hatred I had for people who would do such an evil thing.

A thought comes to mind as we get close to 9/11. When I recall the events of that day and the days afterward, I think that the evil acts of that day are no different than the evil that I commit when I sin against a holy, holy, holy God. What I saw on 9/11 gives me a glimpse of what my own sin is like. It’s evil and it’s against the one who gives me life and who has provided for me, though his Son, forgiveness of my sin. What Jesus bore on the cross was my sin, my very own sin and He died as a once for all time sacrifice so that I can know forgiveness.

Romans 12:9 says “Abhor what is evil”. The word “Abhor” means to despise, to hate bitterly. It expresses a strong feeling of horror and contains the idea of separation.

Sin is not cute or funny or to be lightly regarded or excused. Sin is despicable and deadly, and God’s instructions to His people go past that of not sinning ourselves, but commands us to detest, loathe and hate sin. It is not to be tolerated or danced around or chucked under the chin, as would a mother pet a favored child. For sin is insidious and to be greatly feared. Make no mistake, sin is evil.

Do we see our sin properly?

Do we see our sin the same way God sees our sin?

Take this 9/11 to consider your sin and what it really is and how you should really feel about it.

Father, help me to feel the same way about my sin as I felt about the evil I saw on 9/11/2001. Father, help me to see my sin the same way as you see my sin. Amen.

Yet I Sin

Eternal Father,
Thou are good beyond all thought,
But I am vile, wretched, miserable, blind;
My lips are ready to confess, but my heart is slow to feel, and my ways reluctant to amend.
I bring my soul to thee; break it, wound it, bend it, mould it.
Unmask to me sin's deformity, that I may hate it, abhor it, flee from it.
My faculties have been a weapon of revolt against thee; as a rebel I have misused my strength, and served the foul adversary of they kingdom.
Give me grace to bewail my insensate folly,
Grant me to know that the way of transgressors is hard, that evil paths are wretched paths, that to depart from thee is to lose all good.
I have seen the purity and beauty of they perfect law, the happiness of those in whose heart it reigns, the calm dignity of the walk to which it calls, yet I daily violate and contemn its precepts.
Thy loving Spirit strives within me, brings me Scripture warnings, speaks in startling providences, allures by secret whispers, yet I choose devices and desires to my own hurt, impiously resent, grieve, and provoke him to abandon me.
All these sins I mourn, lament, and for them cry pardon.
Work in me more profound and abiding repentance;
Give me the fullness of a godly grief that trembles and fears, yet ever trusts and loves, which is ever powerful, and ever confident;
Grant that through the tears of repentance I may see more clearly the brightness and glories of the saving cross.

The Valley of Vision

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Prayer by C. H. Spurgeon December 30, 1877:

"Lord, there are so many today who are running away from the truth. Oh, that You would be pleased to speak by Your Spirit that Your word may be known. Lord, hold us fast to the truth of Your word, bind us to it. May we not be ashamed of the truth of Your word but proclaim it boldly without compromise. May we not wish to be thought cultured, nor aim to keep in step with the times. May we be side by side with You, O bleeding Savior; and be content to be rejected, be willing to take up unpopular truth, and to hold fast despised teachings of sacred Scripture to the end.
Oh make us faithful unto death."

Thursday, September 04, 2008

John Bunyan - Scripture Memory - Pilgrim's Progress - John Piper

Three times Bunyan says that the key was in Christians "chest pocket" or simply his "chest." I take this to mean that Christian had hidden it in his heart by memorization and that it was now accessible in prison for precisely this reason. This is how the promises sustained and strengthened Bunyan. He was filled with Scripture. Everything he wrote was saturated with Bible. He poured over his English Bible, which he had most of the time. This is why he can say of his writings, "I have not for these things fished in other men's waters; my Bible and Concordance are my only library in my writings." Charles Spurgeon put it like this: "He had studied our Authorized Version . . . till his whole being was saturated with Scripture; and though his writings . . . continually make us feel and say, 'Why, this man is a living Bible!' Prick him anywhere; and you will find that his blood is Bibline, the very essence of the Bible flows from him. He cannot speak with out quoting a text, for his soul is full of the Word of God."

Bunyan reverenced the Word of God and trembled at the prospect of dishonoring it. "Let me die . . . with the Philistines (Judg. 16:30) rather than deal corruptly with the blessed word of God." This, in the end, is why Bunyan is still with us today rather than disappearing into the mist of history. He is with us and ministering to us because he reverenced the Word of God and was so permeated by it that his blood is "Bibline" and that "the essence of the Bible flows from him."