Psalm 45:10-11, 13-15

Listen to me, O royal daughter; take heart to what I say. Forget your people and your homeland far away. For your royal husband delights in your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord. [...] The bride, a princess, waits within her chambers, dressed in a gown woven with gold. In her beautiful robes, she is led to the king, accompanied by her bridesmaids. What a joyful, enthusiastic procession as they enter the king's palace!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Psalm 36:5-11

5 Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.
6 Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
your justice like the great deep.
O LORD, you preserve both man and beast.
7 How priceless is your unfailing love!
Both high and low among men
find refuge in the shadow of your wings.
8 They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.
9 For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.
10 Continue your love to those who know you,
your righteousness to the upright in heart.
11 May the foot of the proud not come against me,
nor the hand of the wicked drive me away.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

A Godly Man

Psalm 112

1Praise the LORD.
Blessed is the man who fears the LORD,
who finds great delight in his commands.
2 His children will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
3 Wealth and riches are in his house,
and his righteousness endures forever.
4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man.
5 Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely,
who conducts his affairs with justice.
6 Surely he will never be shaken;
a righteous man will be remembered forever.
7 He will have no fear of bad news;
his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.
8 His heart is secure, he will have no fear;
in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.
9 He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor,
his righteousness endures forever;
his horn will be lifted high in honor.
10 The wicked man will see and be vexed,
he will gnash his teeth and waste away;
the longings of the wicked will come to nothing.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Words from "The Ragamuffin Gospel"

I started reading The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning today, and here's an excerpt and thought I wanted to share:

"Because salvation is by grace through faith, I believe that among the countless number of people standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands (Revelation 7:9), I shall see the prostitute from the Kit-Kat Ranch in Carson City, Nevada, who tearfully told me she could find no other employment to support her two-year-old son. I shall see the woman who had an abortion and is haunted by guilt and remorse but did the best she could faced with grueling alternatives; the businessman besieged with debt who sold his integrity in a series of desperate transactions; the insecure clergyman addicted to being liked, who never challenged people from the pulpit and longed for unconditional love; the sexually-abused teen, molested by his father and now selling his body on the street, who, as he falls asleep each night after his last 'trick,' whispers the name of an unknown God he learned about in Sunday school; the deathbed convert who for decades had his cake and ate it, broke every law of God and man, wallowed in lust and raped the earth.
"But how?" we ask. Then the voice says, "They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."
There they are. There we are---the multitude who so wanted to be faithful, who at times got defeated, soiled by life, and bested by trials, wearing the bloodied garments of life's tribulations, but through it all clung to the faith.
My friends, if this is not good news to you, you have never understood the gospel of grace."
- The Ragamuffin Gospel, Brennan Manning (Ch. 1 - Something is Radically Wrong, p. 32-33)

When reading this I got the sense that people are afraid to see this gospel. They would shutter at the lives of those desparately seeking grace, all the while not realizing their own desparate need for grace. This is the realness of the gospel. Grace is for the dirty.

The Language of God's Word

Lamentations 3:57-58
You drew near when I called on You;
You said, "Do not fear! O Lord,
You have pleaded my soul's cause;
You have redeemed my life.

I was reading this morning in Lamentations 3 and I love the syntax God uses in this passage. The writer is speaking the truth of what he knows about God's goodness and character in neediness knowing that God will provide. I love in verse 58 how he knows God has pleaded his soul's cause. That God has argued and made an emotional appeal for his soul. God is emotional about our souls. Isn't that an awing and humbling fact? And, the Lord has redeemed his life from the lowest pit. The Lord has saved him from sin and error, amended his wrongs; in essence He has bought his freedom. It's beautiful language only made more beautiful knowing that it is truth.