Posts tagged ‘sin’

July 10, 2011

The Prayer Life-Foreward

The Prayer Life by Andrew Murray
Foreward

A few words with regard to the origin of this book and the object with which it was written will help to put the reader into the right position for understanding its teaching.

It was the outcome of a conference of ministers at Stellenbosch, South Africa, April 11-14,1912. The occasion of the conference was as follows: Professor de Vos, of our Theological Seminary, had written a letter to the ministers of our church (Dutch Reformed Church) concerning the low state of spiritual life which marked the Church (universal) generally, which, (he said), ought to lead to the inquiry as to how far that statement included our church too. What had been said in the book, The State of the Church, called for deep searching of heart. He thought there could be no doubt about the truth of the statement in regard to the lack of spiritual power. He asked whether it was not time for us to come together and in God’s presence to find out what might be the cause of the evil. He wrote: ‘If only we study the conditions in all sincerity, we shall have to acknowledge that our unbelief and sin are the cause of the lack of spiritual power; that this condition is one of sin and guilt before God, and nothing less than a direct grieving of God’s Holy Spirit.’

His invitation met with a hearty response. Our four theological professors, with more than two hundred ministers, missionaries, and theological students, came together with the above words as the keynote of our meeting. From the very first, in the addresses there was the tone of confession as the only way to repentance and restoration. At a subsequent meeting the opportunity was given for testimony as to what might be the sins which made the life of the Church so feeble. Some began to mention failings that they had seen in other ministers, either in conduct, or in doctrine, or in service. It was soon felt that this was not the right way; each must acknowledge that in which he himself was guilty.

The Lord graciously so ordered it that we were gradually led to the sin of prayerlessness as one of the deepest roots of the evil. No one could plead himself free from this. Nothing so reveals the defective spiritual life in minister and congregation as the lack of believing and unceasing prayer. Prayer is in very deed the pulse of the spiritual life. It is the great means of bringing to minister and people the blessing and power of heaven. Persevering and believing prayer means a strong and an abundant life.

When once the spirit of confession began to prevail, the question arose as to whether it would be indeed possible to expect to gain the victory over all that had in the past hindered our prayer life. In smaller conferences held previously, it had been found that many were most anxious to make a new beginning and yet had not the courage to expect that they would be able to maintain that prayer life which they saw to be in accordance with the Word of God. They had often made the attempt but had failed. They did not dare to make any promise to the Lord to live and pray as he would have them; they felt it impossible. Such confessions gradually led to the great truth, that the only power for a new prayer life is to be found in an entirely new relation to our blessed Saviour. It is as we see in him the Lord who saves us from sin – the sin of prayerlessness too – and our faith yields itself to a life of closer intercourse with him, that a life in his love and fellowship will make prayer to him the natural expression of our soul’s life. Before we parted, many were able to testify that they were returning with new light and new hope to find in Jesus Christ strength for a new prayer life.

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June 13, 2011

Father Hear Your Children

In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him.: God is a refuge for us. Selah. … God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God. Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work. Psalm 62:7, 8, 11, 12

Every time I listen to this song it becomes my prayer and I “pray” (replay) it over and over because I love its simplicity, directness, and child-like trust and acceptance of the Solution.

The beautiful thing is that as you hear it you, too, can pray this prayer and allow your Father, God, to take you just as you are and make you pure. His mercy is sure.

Father, hear Your children call
Humbly at Your feet we fall
Prodigals, confessing all
To the cross we bring our blame
All our life-long sin and shame
Penitent, we breathe Your name
Penitent, we breathe Your name

By Your love, by Your grace
By the blood of Jesus wash our sins away
Make us new today
Hear us as we pray

We’re blind, but pray for eyes to see
Where we’re bound, Lord make us free
Stained, we plead for purity
Where we’re sick, apply Your cure
Take our guilt and make us pure
For Your mercy Lord, is sure
For Your mercy Lord, is sure

Lord, we have no other place to go
Only You can heal the wounding of our soul
Let forgiveness flow
Let forgiveness flow

Traditional Hymn, Public Domain
Additional Lyrics by Steve Green

June 5, 2011

Calvary’s Love

Having taken a survey of all that would be required of Him, Christ summed up the guilt to be cancelled. God’s wrath against sin and the punishment for sin must be exhausted. Christ gathered the entire responsibility to His heart, and bent His whole being to the task. He clothed His divinity with humanity and prepared Himself for the sword that was to smite Him as our substitute and surety. “Therefore doth My Father love Me,” He said, “because I lay down My life that I might take it again.” He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.—Manuscript 44, 1898, p. 3. (“The Pearl of Great Price,” undated.)

Calvary’s love will sail forever
Bright and shining, strong and free
Like an ark of peace and safety
On the sea of human need

Through the hours of all the ages
Those tired of sailing on their own
Finally rest inside the shadow
Cast by Calvary’s love across their souls

Chorus:
Calvary’s love, Calvary’s love
Priceless gift Christ makes us worthy of
The deepest sin can’t rise above
Calvary’s love

Calvary’s love can heal the Spirit
Life has crushed and cast aside
And redeem til Heaven’s promise
Fills with joy once empty eyes
So desire to tell His story
Of a love that loved enough to die
Burns away all other passions
And fed by Calvary’s love becomes a fire

Chorus

Calvary’s love has never faltered
All its wonders still remain
Souls still take eternal passage
Sins atoned and heaven gained
Sins forgiven and heaven gained

April 27, 2011

Power in the Blood

It’s a fact that there is so much hurt, bad, and sadness right around us. Everywhere we turn, known and unknown evils reign. There’s human trafficking: Woman and children and men are treated by another human being like an animal. No, worse than animals. I don’t know them, but I frequently pray that that those innocent slaves are rescued from their pain. Broken families abound: Oh, the manipulation, the threats, the schemes, the heartache, the tears, the lies, the slander, the broken friendships, the poor children. Crimes of society: Regularly aired by ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, etc. Our vindictive hearts: Full of hatred, self-absorbed love, and alienation from our Creator. It’s a sad situation. We so need help! The cycle must end.

“To every Christian comes the word that was addressed to Peter, ‘Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not’ (Luke 22:31, 32). Thank God we are not left alone. This is our safety. Satan can never touch with eternal disaster one whom Christ has prepared for temptation by His previous intercession, for grace is provided in Christ for every soul, and a way of escape has been made, so that no one need fall under the power of the enemy.” That I May Know Him, 286

Power in the Blood

1. Would you be free from the burden of sin?
There’s pow’r in the blood, pow’r in the blood;
Would you o’er evil a victory win?
There’s wonderful pow’r in the blood.

* Refrain:
There is pow’r, pow’r, wonder-working pow’r
In the blood of the Lamb;
There is pow’r, pow’r, wonder-working pow’r
In the precious blood of the Lamb.

2. Would you be free from your passion and pride?
There’s pow’r in the blood, pow’r in the blood;
Come for a cleansing to Calvary’s tide;
There’s wonderful pow’r in the blood.

3. Would you be whiter, much whiter than snow?
There’s pow’r in the blood, pow’r in the blood;
Sin-stains are lost in its life-giving flow;
There’s wonderful pow’r in the blood.

4. Would you do service for Jesus your King?
There’s pow’r in the blood, pow’r in the blood;
Would you live daily His praises to sing?
There’s wonderful pow’r in the blood.

By Lewis E. Jones, 1899

April 3, 2011

Our First Duty: Look

While my hands were busy with manual labor the other day, I overhead an inspirational thought that I’ll share with you now.

“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,” even so was the Son of man “lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:14, 15. All who have ever lived upon the earth have felt the deadly sting of “that old serpent, called the devil, and Satan.” Revelation 12:9. The fatal effects of sin can be removed only by the provision that God has made. The Israelites saved their lives by looking upon the uplifted serpent. That look implied faith. They lived because they believed God’s word, and trusted in the means provided for their recovery. So the sinner may look to Christ, and live. He receives pardon through faith in the atoning sacrifice. Unlike the inert and lifeless symbol, Christ has power and virtue in Himself to heal the repenting sinner.

While the sinner cannot save himself, he still has something to do to secure salvation. “Him that cometh to Me,” says Christ, “I will in no wise cast out.” John 6:37. But we must come to Him; and when we repent of our sins, we must believe that He accepts and pardons us. Faith is the gift of God, but the power to exercise it is ours. Faith is the hand by which the soul takes hold upon the divine offers of grace and mercy.

Nothing but the righteousness of Christ can entitle us to one of the blessings of the covenant of grace. There are many who have long desired and tried to obtain these blessings, but have not received them, because they have cherished the idea that they could do something to make themselves worthy of them. They have not looked away from self, believing that Jesus is an all-sufficient Saviour. We must not think that our own merits will save us; Christ is our only hope of salvation. “For there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12.

When we trust God fully, when we rely upon the merits of Jesus as a sin-pardoning Saviour, we shall receive all the help that we can desire. Let none look to self, as though they had power to save themselves. Jesus died for us because we were helpless to do this. In Him is our hope, our justification, our righteousness. When we see our sinfulness we should not despond and fear that we have no Saviour, or that He has no thoughts of mercy toward us. At this very time He is inviting us to come to Him in our helplessness and be saved.

Many of the Israelites saw no help in the remedy which Heaven had appointed. The dead and dying were all around them, and they knew that, without divine aid, their own fate was certain; but they continued to lament their wounds, their pains, their sure death, until their strength was gone, and their eyes were glazed, when they might have had instant healing. If we are conscious of our needs, we should not devote all our powers to mourning over them. While we realize our helpless condition without Christ, we are not to yield to discouragement, but rely upon the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. Look and live. Jesus has pledged His word; He will save all who come unto Him. Though millions who need to be healed will reject His offered mercy, not one who trusts in His merits will be left to perish.

Many are unwilling to accept of Christ until the whole mystery of the plan of salvation shall be made plain to them. They refuse the look of faith, although they see that thousands have looked, and have felt the efficacy of looking, to the cross of Christ. Many wander in the mazes of philosophy, in search of reasons and evidence which they will never find, while they reject the evidence which God has been pleased to give. They refuse to walk in the light of the Sun of Righteousness, until the reason of its shining shall be explained. All who persist in this course will fail to come to a knowledge of the truth. God will never remove every occasion for doubt. He gives sufficient evidence on which to base faith, and if this is not accepted, the mind is left in darkness. If those who were bitten by the serpents had stopped to doubt and question before they would consent to look, they would have perished. It is our duty, first, to look; and the look of faith will give us life.

Patriarchs and Prophets, The Journey Around Edom