Sunday, January 17, 2010

Something in My Hands I Bring

Thoughts from my reading in Whiter Than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy by Paul David Tripp.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51:17 Or as The Message says: I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered. Heart-shattered lives ready for love don't for a moment escape God's notice.

So what do I bring? How does a broken and contrite heart express itself? What does God want?

This meditation says that I can't come to God full of myself, or listing my accomplishments or performance. My track record or what my family has done doesn't matter either.

One way I can come is with the right words, with a sweet sacrifice of words.

He calls you to bring Hosea's offering. "Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God. Your sins have been your downfall! Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to Him 'Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer our lips as the sacrifice of bulls." Hosea 14:1-2
I need to bring the right kind of words. Not words of excuse or blame but:

Words of humility,
Words of honesty,
Words of moral courage,
Words of moral candor,
Words that could only be spoken,
By one who rests in grace.
Words of confession are what you must bring.

Place words,
Free of negotiation or excuse,
On His altar of grace,
And receive forgiveness and cleansing.
Uncover your heart,
Exposed by words, and say:
"We will never again say, 'Our gods'
To what our own hands have made,
Because of His mercy, I can come with these words. I come open and vulnerable yet without fear. In exchange, I receive mercy and help in my time of need.

Here is a question from the end of the meditation: Is there a place where you are saying "our gods" to what your hands have made? What thing(s) in the creation tend to compete in your heart with the place that the Creator alone should occupy (a possession, position, person, circumstance, relationship, personal dream)?
For me it's hard to trust His provision sometimes. For example, it's hard to rest when I'm waiting to hear how much a car repair is going to cost. I let worry fill the place where God wants to be.

I come to you my God with honest words of confession. I admit that I let small things become big and my big thoughts make you small. Forgive me and fill me with trust. Give me eyes to see your vast provision and help me to rest in you.

Philip
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