Archive | February 2016

The Lamb of God

There He stands before me; patiently, lovingly waiting. I have followed Him for many years. But the Father wants me to go deeper. So now Jesus awaits my approach.

According to the Law, I am to lay my hand upon the head of the sacrifice offered to atone for my sin (Leviticus 1:4). This is the Son of God I approach. I have come to know Him and love Him (as much as a finite human mind and heart can come to know and love an infinite, unfathomable Being). I approach tentatively, partly because of who Jesus is, mostly because I know what I am and what I’m supposed to do.

I have no problem in admitting I’m a sinner in need of a sacrifice, but the closer I come, the more of my sin I see. I have tried to not sin, but I fail miserably at times with my harsh tongue and even harsher thoughts. When I see someone else’s sin, deep down a part of me knows I could do the same and worse without much prompting.

Another struggle erupts within me. I have always fought to save innocent life, from the teenage couple considering an abortion, to the butterfly trapped in a puddle. Jesus is so innocent, so perfect. I don’t know if I can do it. I’ve also known the pain of being unjustly accused and suffering for someone else’s mistakes. I don’t see how I can reach out and put my hand on the head of one I have come to love, knowing the agony He will suffer because of me and my sin. On the other hand, my selfish, sinful self doesn’t want to die the horrible death that awaits Jesus. Part of me knows that I would reach out my hand in a heartbeat to avoid that death and let Someone else do it for me. What a wretched soul I am!

The closer I come, the harder I cry. I’m drawn to His kind, gentle loving face, but I’m repulsed by the ugly sin and conflict within me and I keep looking away. Then I hear His quiet voice, “You are the butterfly trapped in a puddle.” I gasp sharply and look up. Our eyes meet. I hear familiar words, like the ones spoken to John the Baptist at His baptism. “Let it be so now. Let us fulfill the Law, for this is why I came.”

The love in His eyes and the tenderness in His voice draw my trembling hand up to the top of His head. I rest it there a moment, and then gently draw it down to the side of His face. I whisper, “I’m so very sorry.”

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Psalm 55

David begs God to hear, listen and answer.
His thoughts trouble him, he is distraught.
His enemies are giving him trouble – they speak, stare, bring him suffering, show their anger.
David’s heart is in anguish.  He is scared stiff.
David want to escape like a dove – the bird of peace.  Escape, and rest in the desert – no people or things around.  There he has a place of shelter – God often meets and provides for his followers in the desert.

David asks God to confuse the enemy.
David can handle any enemy except a close friend turned traitor.

David calls to God and God saves.
David cries out morning, noon and night, and God hears.
God and David outnumber all the enemy.
The enemy can always be found out – they are the ones who never change their ways and have no fear of God.

David’s friend attacks his own friends and violates his covenant to serve God.  He talks a good line but actually wants war, to stir up trouble.

Cast your cares on God.  He will sustain the righteous.
The wicked will be destroyed.

Trust in God.

Psalm 54

Save me.  By Your name.  Your name alone has the power to save.  Your might proves to others that I am right in following You. 

Yes, strangers are attacking me.  People who are strangers to You.

Sustain me as they attack.  Muzzle me and make me allow You to take vengeance. 

Help me to sacrifice freely to You.  Above and beyond the “requirements”.

Let my triumph be in glorying in You and not in gloating over my enemy.

Psalm 53

Only the fool says, “There is no God”.  Anyone who has any wisdom at all knows that there is a God.  The more wisdom you have, the more you recognize God in your life.  The more you recognize God in your life, the wiser you become. 

Wisdom is recognizing God.

                     acknowledging God

                     admitting God

                     understanding God

                     seeking God

                     doing good

                     calling on God