Monday, November 29, 2010

more than a pattern...

today's Utmost For His Highest:

He will glorify Me . . . —John 16:14

The holiness movements of today have none of the rugged reality of the New Testament about them. There is nothing about them that needs the death of Jesus Christ. All that is required is a pious atmosphere, prayer, and devotion. This type of experience is not supernatural nor miraculous. It did not cost the sufferings of God, nor is it stained with “the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 12:11). It is not marked or sealed by the Holy Spirit as being genuine, and it has no visual sign that causes people to exclaim with awe and wonder, “That is the work of God Almighty!” Yet the New Testament is about the work of God and nothing else.

The New Testament example of the Christian experience is that of a personal, passionate devotion to the Person of Jesus Christ. Every other kind of so-called Christian experience is detached from the Person of Jesus. There is no regeneration— no being born again into the kingdom in which Christ lives and reigns supreme. There is only the idea that He is our pattern. In the New Testament Jesus Christ is the Savior long before He is the pattern. Today He is being portrayed as the figurehead of a religion— a mere example. He is that, but He is infinitely more. He is salvation itself; He is the gospel of God!

Jesus said, “. . . when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, . . . He will glorify Me . . .” (John 16:13-14). When I commit myself to the revealed truth of the New Testament, I receive from God the gift of the Holy Spirit, who then begins interpreting to me what Jesus did. The Spirit of God does in me internally all that Jesus Christ did for me externally.

help me, Jesus, more to be like You!
ah, yes, that's what i so want to do!

to follow Your example to a "T"
that You may see my efforts and be pleased

but, Jesus, You are more than a design
that i should follow - staying in the lines

help me, Lord, remember all you gave
for a wretch like me that You would save

You are much more! may i ne're forget!
You came not a pattern just to set!

but You came, Lord, to save my very soul!
through blood and pain, from death's grip, i You stole!

You alone - Salvation are to me!
You. The Gospel. Savior. All i need.


Friday, November 26, 2010

may i have Your eyes...

abundance of blessings for which to give thanks
leave me just wondering why
i sit in comfort and prosper in peace
while so many voices cry

mercy, oh Lord, on a suffering child
healing for one racked with pain
an end to the violence faced everyday
food that would cease hunger's reign

oh Lord, in the place and the time You have me
help me to not close my eyes
nor busyness keep me from seeing the need
from hearing the voices that cry

for i know Your ears catch every small sigh
Your eyes turn to each suffering one
You miss not the sparrow that falls from the sky
nor struggles that seem never done

give me the grace to walk through my days
not denying that there is great need
in a world full of contrasts of hunger and pain
to one filled with excess and greed

may i have the blessing of having Your eyes
may i see the world as You do
and look for the good works set just for me
that others be drawn close to You


Monday, November 22, 2010

the old one - two!

I got it from Tim Keller and Oswald Chambers this morning! I'm reading Counterfeit Gods by Keller. Such conviction about what I have set up as idols in my life...good things...idols!...ouch! and then Oswald Chambers too! The entry for today was "Shallow and Profound", and again, right between the eyes! Oh, to put to death my thinking so well of myself! and oh, to find the balance of my responsibilites and His being in control! Conviction hurts, but I am so grateful He does not just leave me alone!

Shallow and Profound
Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God
1Corinthians 10:31

Beware of allowing yourself to think that the shallow aspects of life are not ordained by God; they are ordained by Him equally as much as the profound. We sometimes refuse to be shallow, not out of our deep devotion to God but because we wish to impress other people with the fact that we are not shallow. This is a sure sign of spiritual pride. We must be careful, for this is how contempt for others is produced in our lives. And it causes us to be a walking rebuke to other people because they are more shallow than we are. Beware of posing as a profound person— God became a baby.
To be shallow is not a sign of being sinful, nor is shallowness an indication that there is no depth to your life at all— the ocean has a shore. Even the shallow things of life, such as eating and drinking, walking and talking, are ordained by God. These are all things our Lord did. He did them as the Son of God, and He said, “A disciple is not above his teacher . . .” (Matthew 10:24).
We are safeguarded by the shallow things of life. We have to live the surface, commonsense life in a commonsense way. Then when God gives us the deeper things, they are obviously separated from the shallow concerns. Never show the depth of your life to anyone but God. We are so nauseatingly serious, so desperately interested in our own character and reputation, we refuse to behave like Christians in the shallow concerns of life.
Make a determination to take no one seriously except God. You may find that the first person you must be the most critical with, as being the greatest fraud you have ever known, is yourself.