"Oh to Grace how great a debtor
daily I'm constrained to be.
Let thy goodness, like a fetter
bind my wandering heart to Thee!"

Monday, January 7, 2008

Belonging To Jesus

Here is a great prayer/devotion from the book The Valley of Vision. A friend of mine just gave it to me and I am so excited about sharing from it with you guys from time to time. It is a collection of Puritan prayers and devotions. Here is one that I wept over a couple of nights ago. It defines my (and all my Christian brothers and sisters) struggle with the sanctification process and our mourning over sinning as we struggle to rid ourselves of the sin that dwells within us. Through faith, we now have put on the righteousness of Another, our righteous and holy Savior. With that comes the struggle to put away the old man and all the self-confidence and self-righteousness (that is but filthy rags) that we still insist on clinging to. We still tend to think that we can purify ourselves, but it can't be done my friends. And it is through the awareness of my own revile sin that the Lord humbles me and teaches me, for the millionth time, that salvation from this struggle cannot and will not ever come from me, but instead from the grace and power and working of the Spirit. Amen.
Also, this particular one hit home as I know what it is like to see Christ 'in reason' and not be amazed. I spent the majority of my life in that state. It wasn't until Christ revealed Himself to me, IN FAITH, that I was able to be so taken by Him that I am incapable, because of His grace, to ever EVER look back again.

O Heavenly Father,
Teach me to see
that if Christ has pacified thee and satisfied divine justice
he can also deliver me from my sins;
that Christ does not desire me, now justified,
to live in self-confidence in my own strength,
but gives me the law of the Spirit of life
to enable me to obey thee;
that the Spirit and His power are mine
by resting on Christ's death;
that the Spirit of Life within answers to the law without;
that if I sin not I should thank thee for it;
that if I sin I should be humbled daily under it;
that I should mourn for sin more than other men do,
for when I see I shall die because of sin,
that makes me mourn;
when I see how sin strikes at thee,
that makes me mourn;
when I see that sin caused Christ's death,
that makes me mourn;
that sanctification is the evidence of reconciliation,
proving that faith has truly apprehended Christ;
Thou has taught me
that faith is nothing else than receiving thy kindness;
that it is an adherence to Christ, a resting on him,
love clinging to him as a branch to the tree,
to seek life and vigour from him.
I thank thee for showing me the vast difference
between knowing things by reason,
and knowing them by the spirit of faith.
By reason I see a thing is so; by faith I know it as it is.
I have seen thee by reason and have not been amazed,
I have seen thee as thou art in thy Son
and have been ravished to behold thee.
I bless thee that I am thine in my Saviour, Jesus.

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