I am gathering thoughts for at least two entries I plan to write soon: one on the difference between secular counseling and psychology and Biblical (nouthetic) counseling; and a review of "Imprisoned for Christ", my former pastor's autobiographical account of persecution of the Christian Church in 1985 Bulgaria. However, pressed for time, this morning I would like to share several excerpts I have read on other blogs over the past week that have particularly stirred me. These wonderful and edifying thoughts are linked to the original entries, so that you may read them in context. Enjoy!
"From first thesis to last words, Luther lived at the foot of the cross, where our rebellious condition meets with the beauty of God’s lavish grace in the gospel of his Son—a gospel deep enough to cover all the little and massive flaws of a beggar like Luther and beggars like us." – From John Piper, “Desiring God” blog
Remember the glow of joy that seemed so real when first you and He met? Think of the times when He seemed as close as your own heartbeat. Know that He loves you now as much as He loved you then. And He always will. May my love and yours for Him continue steadfast, growing daily as discover and do His will.
The fire that, years ago, You ignited
Since then has warmed and lighted
Each dark, distant corner of my life.
Over rough, and sometimes winding days
In often unexpected ways
We’ve come together to this place.
And, my Lord, as I stand here backward gazing,
I find this thought still amazing:
THE FIRE YOU SET IS STILL BLAZING!
- From Don Kimrey, “Scripture Student” blog
Shame. It's what keeps us from Jesus, because Jesus doesn't keep us from Himself. We don't want to face Him with our guilt and shame.
Yes, we are unworthy of such love and forgiveness. But Jesus loves sinners. Why else would He have died for us?
…we are so guilt-stricken sometimes that we refuse to take the forgiveness handed to us. We think we are horrible. Some of our sins are so bad we don't want a soul to know about them. We have murdered, cheated, lied, we have stolen hearts and lives and selfishsly lived out our own wills.
We are the sinners. The guilty.
But there is forgiveness in Christ. He offers us forgiveness. He loves us - the sinners.
Do we want to live our lives in guilt? Do we want to hold on to our stains when Jesus Christ is offering to cleanse us and make us white as snow?
When guilt sweeps over us, let us run to Jesus and bow our heads before Him. Let Him pour the cleansing forgivness over our heads and wash away the bloody stains.
We should turn to Christ. Quit putting it off. I don't care if you just sinned and you are ashamed. RUN to Christ. He is always always way more willing to forgive us than we are capable of sinning. Run to Christ, even when your deceived heart is not inclined to do so. If you are not spending time in prayer and in the word then you cannot expect to be able to fight temptation when it presents itself. The Bible says that the Lord never leaves you to a temptation without providing a way to escape it. Don't be too lazy to find the escape.