Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Based on 1 Timothy 1:1-20, Proverbs 27:19, Psalm 119:41-48, Jeremiah 29:1-30:24.
Because of Your grace and mercy, GOD, I walk at liberty, seeking Your precepts and speaking of Your works as You open the way, even before "kings." I will not be ashamed of the Gospel and will delight in what You say, which I love.
I also love YOU, for Who You Are! How can I ever express my gratitude to have been chosen as faithful, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and insolent! Nevertheless (or perhaps because of this), I obtained Your mercy. Perhaps it was because I was operating from ignorance and unbelief. Your intervention was exceedingly gracious toward me, asYou sent Christ into my world of wonderful yet worthless things. You entered my rowdy realm, in which I was galavanting among sinner (of whom I was chief). For some reason which I only discern as complete and utter Mercy, You opened my eyes, and I saw and received You in my life. Over these many years, You have transformed me into a vessel of mercy liek You, a carrier of You, a pattern to those who are going to believe on You for everlasting life.
In this way, we who belong to the Lamb have new creations in Christ, indwelt by Your Holy Spirit. We abide in Him and He in us -- hallelujah! And we are bold to wage the good warfare, having faith and a good conscience even as we suffer "shipwreck" after shipwreck. Some still reject the good news You offer, and some must be left behind as we shake the dust off our feet and move on. Even many who are "believers" have strayed, turning aside to fables and deceptive doctrines, understanding neither what they are saying nor the things which they are affirming direct opposition to the consolations of Christ.
When we were born (of water), we inherited a wound that is severe, an affliction that sounds like this: "I'll do it my way." Yet it is Your desire to enter into this natural realm and come to us and heal. It is already accomplished through the blood of Christ, our Passover Lamb, who suffered for the sake of all humanity, though many remain unable to consider His claims. We who have been born-again have received the spiritual senses to behold You and to be held forever by You -- safe, joyous and free in Christ.
Therefore we do not fear, nor does Your servant Jacob, though it is the time of Jacob's trouble. You shall save him out of it -- and us. We hear You saying that You will make a prey of all who prey upon Your people, O GOD. We who seek You shall find You when we search for You with our whole heart. Thank You for Your promise that we shall be Your people, and You will be our GOD.
This photograph is by Liz Burnell.