1 John 1:9

(In my own words)

When we confess our sins, God is faithful (He always responds in the same way) to justly forgive (because it has already been paid for by Christ). He is full of mercy (not requiring what is deserved; not behaving toward us in a way in which we deserve). He remains steadfast in love toward us. He responds with grace ~ offering/extending what is not deserved. Confession restores fellowship; it does not hinder our fellowship with God. He does not push us away because of our confession, but draws us nearer and comforts us ~ not because we deserve it, but because of what Christ did for us on the cross.

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Strength & Peace


Psalm 29:11

May the LORD give strength to his people! 

May the LORD bless his people with peace!
Interestingly, the previous Psalm (28:8) says that “The Lord IS the strength of His people”

Strength isn’t just something He gives us; it is His presence with us, that gives us strength. 
When I need strength (and peace), what I really need is God Himself. 

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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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