Now as before…!

Now as before, but even more! – Such is my need for God’s saving grace.
That thought pressed upon my heart as I awoke this morning. No doubt it arises out of the consciousness of my own sinfulness; but, gratefully, it is also fueled by Jeremiah’s cherished reminder in Lamentations 3:22-23:
“The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness!”
In Old Paths New Power, Daniel Henderson writes,“When we are captivated by the biblical truth of the worthiness of God, we will be humbled with the undeniable reality of the neediness of our own hearts”(p. 171).

A page later, he cites John Calvin:

“But should we once begin to raise our thoughts to God, and reflect what kind of Being he is, and how absolute the perfection of that righteousness and wisdom and virtue to which, as a standard, we are bound to be conformed, what formerly delighted us by its false show of righteousness will become polluted with the greatest iniquity; what strangely imposed upon us under the name of wisdom will disgust by its extreme folly; and what presented the appearance of virtuous energy will be condemned as the most miserable impotence.” (p.172).

O that we might be captivated by God’s worthiness and have an abiding awareness of His Person and presence – making much of Him . . . and less and less of ourselves “and the sin which so easily entangles us” (Hebrews 12:1). 

Sovereign Lord,

When clouds of darkness, atheism, and unbelief come to me, I see your purpose of love in withdrawing the Spirit that I might prize Him more, in chastening me for my confidence in past successes, that my wound of secret godlessness might be cured. Help me to humble myself before You by seeing that Your will must alone be done, as much in denying as in giving spiritual enjoyments; by seeing that my heart is nothing but evil, mind, mouth, life void of You; by seeing that sin and Satan are allowed power in me that I might know my sin, be humbled and gain strength thereby; by seeing that unbelief shuts You from me, so that I sense not Your majesty, power, mercy, or love.
Then possess me, for you only are good and worthy. You do not play in convincing me of sin, Satan did not play in tempting me to it, I do not play when I sink in deep mire, for sin is no game, no toy, no bauble;Let me never forget that the heinousness of sin lies not so much in the nature of the sin committed, as in the greatness of the Person sinned against.When I am afraid of evils to come, comfort me, by showing me that in myself I am a dying, condemned wretch, but that in Christ I am reconciled, made alive, and satisfied; that I am feeble and unable to do any good, but that in Him I can do all things; that what I now have in Christ is mine in part, but shortly I shall have it perfectly in heaven.
(Adapted from The Valley of Vision, pp 142-43).

“May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.
. . . And may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ!”
(1 Peter 1:2b; 2 Thessalonians 3:5)

“For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. . .  Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

(Romans 7:18a, 24-25a)

Pastor Ryne

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