Reviving the Soul

God speaks to us through His handiwork of creation: a sunrise, or sunset; mountains; a storm …

According to Psalm 19, these “declare … proclaim … and reveal”.  They point our thoughts toward God, and who He is.

But the latter verses speak of a different kind of communication: the words of God communicated through Scripture. And this “speech” affects us differently. The effect is not just to point upward, but to change us inwardly. The Word of God “revives the soul … makes us wise … brings joy … enlightens … warns … and even rewards”. 

If we only have the communication of God through nature, we can see who He is, and glorify Him; but without meditating on His written Word, we are largely unchanged. 

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O Sacred Head

O sacred Head, now wounded,

with grief and shame weighed down,

now scornfully surrounded

with thorns, Thine only crown;

how pale Thou art with anguish,

with sore abuse and scorn!

How does that visage languish

which once was bright as morn!

What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered

was all for sinner’s gain;

mine, mine was the transgression,

but Thine the deadly pain.

Lo, here I fall, my Savior!

‘Tis I deserve Thy place;

look on me with Thy favor

and grant to me your grace.

What language shall I borrow

to thank Thee, dearest Friend,

for this, Thy dying sorrow,

Thy pity without end?

O make me Thine forever,

and should I fainting be,

Lord, let me never, never

outlive my love to Thee.

~ Bernard of Clairvaux

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Psalm 13

” … I have trusted in your steadfast love;

my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.

I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.”

(Psalm 13:5-6)

This sounds like a happy man; one who is content … in a “good place”!

However, the verse actually starts with the little word “But”.

But I have trusted …

Verses 1-4 are a very different tone:

“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? …”

The words that follow reveal someone who feels alone & utterly heartbroken.

This Psalm is not written by someone who is happy in their circumstances. Instead, he is grieving and crushed.

Yet, the response of his heart, in these circumstances, is to “trust … rejoice … and sing“! Not about his circumstances – or because of them – but because he recounts to himself the character of his God. He remembers that his Lord is steadfast in His love for him; He is his Saviour: the One who saves. He remembers that God’s dealings with him are generous and good: “bountiful“.

And, so, in spite of the heavy burden of his circumstances – in the face of it all – he can “trust … rejoice … and sing“!

Psalm 13:

1 How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
3 Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
4 lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
5 But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
6 I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me. – Psalms 13

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Comfort

One of my favourite quotes:

Send a heavy heart up to Christ, it shall be welcome“.

(Samuel Rutherford)

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The Answer For Obedience & Disobedience is the Same

“Go to Jesus for your obedience;
Go to Jesus for your disobedience”

(Tim’s message on Law & Grace)

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To Make Known His Mighty Power & His Great Name

Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make known his mighty power.”
(Psalm 106:8)

Salvation is a display of God’s love toward sinners; and it is a display of His mercy toward sinners. But salvation is also a display of the glory and power that belong to God alone.

When praying for someone’s salvation, I need to remember that, ultimately, God saves them for the sake of His great name, and as a display of His mighty power to save.

I am powerless to save others.
They are powerless to save themselves.
But God’s arm is not too short; nor His power limited by anything, or anyone!

Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save …”
(Isaiah 59:1)

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save …”
(Zephaniah 3:17)

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The Holy Spirit’s Work is Like a River, Not a Pond

I was just sharing this thought with a special Birthday Girl today:

The older we get, the more we slow down, and can feel less “vital”. But that is not God’s perspective.
This is His promise, through Christ:

Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'”
(John 7:38)

Our bodies age & slow, but the Spirit’s work in – and through – our lives is always fresh & vital! It isn’t like a stagnant, lukewarm water that’s reached capacity, and now is just sitting there. Instead, it is refreshing, alive, flowing freely & new!

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