Wednesday, July 19, 2006

My Sin and Reproach Gladly Bear

Does that title look familiar - I've been singing it since lunch - but only about 8p did I finally figure out which hymn it came from - "The Old Rugged Cross" (lalalalalalalala - it is playing on my computer)
So, I've been singing and thinking about this song today. This cross is so dear - this is what Christ did for me - the chosen of God (Rom 8, Eph 1) - did for me. He died on an emblem of suffering and shame - not a glitze-fied cross like so many we see today.
I was talking about forgiveness today with a friend - asking for it, granting it, receiving it, and knowing how hard it is. So, as I left for lunch I was praying that God would give me something in the Word that would shed some light on the whole forgiveness thing. I read the main passages (that are found in any good concordance), but not a whole lot. So, I started reading my passage for today - Ps 15.
Then - thank you Spirit!
Who can dwell in God's presence - it gives us characteristics (all done by the Spirit's work in us):
1. walks blamelessly (walks is continual action)
2. Does what is right - even when it is tough
3. Speaks truth in his heart - not only from his lips but also in the depths of his heart
4. Does not slander with his tongue - O Lord, guard me from gossip against others
5. Does no evil to his neighbor - what does that look like for me?
6. Nor takes up REPROACH against his friend. So, I looked up the word in and it hit me so hard that this is what I had been doing to this friend for a couple of months... "an expression of rebuke or disapproval". By my turning away from her - I was taking up reproach against her.
7. Despising vile people (but loving them like Christ loved his enemies and witnessing to them about the love of Jesus). We can hate what they do - but still love them like Christ loved.
8. Honor those who fear the Lord. Currently, one of the books I am reading is Contending for Our All by John Piper. It is a biography on the lives of Athanasius, John Owen, and Machen. I finished Athanasius tonight and then just plunged into John Owen's life (since I'm reading some of his work right now).
9. Does not put his money out at interest - O Lord, grant me forgiveness in that area and help me please b/c I can't do it on my own.
10. Doesn't take a bribe against the innocent - I still don't quite understand this one - anyone care to shed some light feel free to let me know.
He who does these things shall never be moved.

I want to dwell in the presence of the Lord - to sojourn there (inhabit, remain, stand surely, abide) - these things must be evident.
Thanks to the Cross of Christ (and only that) can I do these things - the old rugged cross.

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