Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Covenants Old and New

In the Old Covenant God dealt with His sinful and rebellious people through the zealous young priest Phinehas. During a time of apostasy and immorality Phinehas' judgment on rebels "turned back [God's] wrath from the people of Israel." Numbers 25:11
Phinehas punished sinners by driving a spear through them both. It's graphic. It's violent. It's propitiation. It's horrifying.
In the New Covenant God deals with His sinful and rebellious people by entering into their history as the great High Priest Jesus. During a time of apostasy and immorality Jesus came to bear the punishment for their rebellion. He allowed Himself to be led like a lamb to the slaughter and rather than driving a spear through the offending sinners, He let nails be driven into His hands and feet. Jesus had a spear thrust into His side, not because of any wrong that He had done, but because of the wrong that we have done. And because of all of this, God's wrath is turned back from His people.

It's graphic. It's violent. It's propitiation. It's horrifying.
And this is how God demonstrates His rescuing love for us.

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:10

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Morning Prayer

O God the author of all good, I come to Thee for the grace another day will require for its duties and events. I step out into a wicked world; I carry about with me an evil heart. I know that without Thee I can do nothing, that everything with which I shall be concerned, however harmless in itself, may prove an occasion of sin or folly, unless I am kept by Thy power. Hold Thou me up and I shall be safe.

Preserve my understanding from subtlety of error, my affections from love of idols, my character from stain of vice, my profession from every form of evil. May I engage in nothing in which I cannot implore Thy blessing, and in which I cannot invite Thy inspection. Prosper me in all lawful undertakings, or prepare me for disappointments. Give me neither poverty nor riches. Feed me with food convenient for me, lest I be full and deny Thee and say, Who is the Lord? or be poor, and steal, and take Thy name in vain.

May every creature be made good to me by prayer and Thy will. Teach me how to use the world and not abuse it, to improve my talents, to redeem my time, to walk in wisdom toward those without, and in kindness to those within, to do good to all men, and especially to my fellow Christians. And to Thee be the glory.

Valley of Vision, 1884