About Son of Man

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

How I start 'An Intimate Hour With God'

Since I read THIS in a pamphlet I found at Church, that morning hour has somehow become too little time. Cool. Structure is always better. I love starting an hour with him by prayerfully meditating on the contrasts in his character.

For instance, God is perfectly
Transcendent and Intimate
Wrathful and Merciful
Judge and Saviour
Just and The Justifier
Creator and Redeemer
Righteous and Forgiving

Meditating on these things helps me have an appropriate attitude when meeting with God. This is also full of contrast (which I love). We should be completely humbled in his presence but with the confidence and assurance that comes from what Christ accomplished on the cross. We also present our requests while acknowledging his sovereignty.

If you can think of some more, I'd like to add them to the list.

Anyone glad that He isn't merely Just?

Soli Deo Gloria

Sunday, February 26, 2006

John Donne (Poem and Analysis)

I love John Donne. This is a sovereign grace poem.

John Donne
Oh My Black Soul

Oh my black soul! now art thou summoned
By sickness, death's herald, and champion;
Thou art like a pilgrim, which abroad hath done
Treason, and durst not turn to whence he is fled;
Or like a thief, which till death's doom be read,
Wisheth himself delivered from prison,
But damned and haled to execution,
Wisheth that still he might be imprisoned.
Yet grace, if thou repent, thou canst not lack;
But who shall give thee that grace to begin?
Oh make thy self with holy mourning black,
And red with blushing, as thou art with sin;
Or wash thee in Christ's blood, which hath this might
That being red, it dyes red souls to white.

The first thing we need to realize is that he personifies his Soul and then proceeds to address it in the poem. The sickness he speaks of is not physical but rather is defined by the sin he descibes with simile in the next few lines. He compares his Soul to a traitor who fears to return to the town against which he commited treason. This town is God. I think the treason part is easy. This is an appropriate thing to fear, isn't it? God's wrath is very terrible. He also claims that his Soul is a thief who, when given the death sentence, longs to remain in prision. He is no fool who prefers the judgement of man to the judgement of God. It reminds me of those who "called to the mountains and the rocks, 'Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!'" (Revelation 6:16)

The couplet before the final four lines speaks to that glorious truth of God's irresistible call and our willful repentence. He says, "God's grace is endless to those who love him, but how can I love him without him pouring his grace on me?" For, "where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 5:20-21)

The last bit is great. It speaks of sorrow over sin, shame of sin, the cleansing blood of Jesus, and the end product of our souls being made righteous before God.

I was encouraged to post some more poetry after Mike Haykin posted this.
I agree with him.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

No More WWJD

This is a completely unoriginal thought. Now that I am reading and listening to more Way of the Master material, I am fully convinced that the question that we need to ask is NOT What Would Jesus Do? but rather What DID Jesus Do? I just did a (very) brief survey of the beginnings of each Gospel to figure out what Jesus did. Here it is (in the order they come in Mark's narrative.)

1.) He was baptized (in a substantially sized river).

2.) He sought men to disciple.

3.) He prayed (alone, for a long time, in the morning).

4.) He preached.

It cannot be a coincidence that Jesus was baptized before he began his ministry. His baptism was a picture of his own death and resurrection and an identification with the sinners that he would save. If baptism was necessary to "fulfill all righteousness" for Jesus, how much more must we be baptized (publicly identifying with Jesus' death and resurrection) before we begin our ministry.

What then did Jesus immediately commit himself to? Discipleship. Training other men to be
mature in Christ (Col 1:28) and how to be a witness to the gospel (2 Tim 2:2) is never an option. If it is abandoned the gospel will never go out. God forbid we die without making several clones out of ourselves.

Personal prayer. 'nuff said.

Talking the walk. Are we doing this. My buddy Nick, when phoned by someone from his credit card company, wasted no time in saying: "Hey, can I ask you a question? Do you consider yourself to be a good person?" That was the beginning of a successful witnessing opportunity in which a simple, clear, and Biblical presentation of the Gospel was presented.

The mystery has been revealed.
Praise the Lord!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Can Oscar Teach Us Anything?

Words on Love (part 3): Redeeming Oscar Wilde

"To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance."
Is this not the easiest thing to do? This love never seems to lose its fire. Paul writes to Timothy, "In the last days...people will be lovers of self...avoid these people" (2 Timothy 3:2-5).

"When a man has once loved a woman he will do anything for her except continue to love her." This terrifies me! I am assuming if ol' Solomon had to write, "rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely dear, a graceful doe" (Proverbs 7:18), then...well...I think you know what I mean. I wouldn't really know but I'll take his word on it. I guess, as they say, the sushi is always fresher on the other side of queen st.

"Women are made to be loved, not understood." My dad said something like this once. But unlike Oscar, my dad was trying to get across something more along the lines of, love your wife "as your own [body]. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it..."(Ephesians 5:28-29).

I think the Bible also says somewhere that we aren't supposed to only love the people we like...

Monday, February 06, 2006

Words on Love (part 2)

Emily Dickinson

LOVE- is anterior to life-
Posterior-to death-
Initial of creation,and
The exponent of breath-

John 1:1

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things were made through him,
and without him was not anything
made that was made.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Valentine's Day is Coming: Words on Love (part 1)

From the Jars of Clay song Only Alive, on the album Who We Are Instead.

Though my heart has been torn by loves I have worn
And I'm tempted by them ever still
I tremble inside when you walk in the room
You hold my affections and will

This reminds me that we can trust God with our hearts. Who else loves unconditionally (Rom 5:8), eternally (Ps 100:5), joyfully (Zeph 3:17), willfully (John 3:16), and punctually (Rom 5:6, 1 Pet 5:6-7)? People will fail us, hurt us, abandon us, tear us, and leave scars. God never fails to do good to those who love him (Rom 8:28) and we love because he first loved us (1 John 4:19). Who is like our God?