I am counting on the LORD

Lord, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive?
But you offer forgiveness, that we might learn to fear you.
I am counting on the LORD; yes, I am counting on Him.  I have put my hope in His word…—Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me!

Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man [Jesus] forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. Beware, therefore, lest what is said in the Prophets should come about: “‘Look, you scoffers, be astounded and perish; for I am doing a work in your days, a work that you will not believe, even if one tells it to you.'”

And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.—But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ. 

Hope in the LORD; for with the LORD there is unfailing love and an overflowing supply of salvation.  He Himself will free Israel [and me] from every kind of sin.  

Ps.130:3-5 NLT;  Ps. 19:12-13 ESV; Acts 13:38-41 ESV;  Acts 16:31 KJV; Gal. 3:22 NLT; Ps.130:7-8 NLT


It’s too good to be true, and yet, it is so because God has said so.  We are forgiven through faith in Jesus.  We are saved from ourselves by reliance on the Son.  And this salvation goes on and on uncovering the depths of our depravity—our helplesslesss to live this life only Jesus has lived perfectly, our proneness to wander into paths that end in death, our bereft condition without Jesus… But as each failing is uncovered, there is an abundant salvation that covers this too. And we are called to keep believing that this salvation that is ours through faith in Jesus, covers all our sin, past, present and future.

I’ve been freshly struck this week by the hazard of being born and reared to be ‘good’.  With this privilege comes the risk of depending on a moral upbringing and a relative ‘righteousness’ rather than on the righteousness of Christ.  There are after all greater sins than murder, theft and adultery… This has been brought home to me in the character of the ‘pious woman’ in Graham Greene’s novel: The Power and the Glory.  The main character is a bedraggled priest whose moral failure has humbled him not only to acknowledge how depraved he is apart from the mercy of God, but to begin to truly love other sinners with God’s love and care.  In contrast is the pious woman imprisoned with him.  Thinking herself good she exudes merciless scorn for the sinners around her all the while oblivious to her own condition. It is a soul-searching story well penned, that points me back to the Word–“Lord, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive?” and to the only One I can count on to save my soul!

“I am counting on the LORD; yes, I am counting on Him.”

May we be found in Him, blameless when He comes again!

–Linda

If you haven’t read Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory, I’ve offered some thoughts and quotes at my Quotes and Notes blog here, in hopes you’ll give it a read!

Everything God does is just and fair

He is the Rock; his deeds are perfect. Everything he does is just and fair. He is a faithful God who does no wrong; how just and upright he is! 

…let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.  Then you will know… how good and pleasing and perfect His will really is. 

But those who brazenly violate the LORD’s will…blaspheme the LORD, and they must be cut off from the community. Since they have treated the LORD’s word with contempt and deliberately disobeyed his commands, they must…suffer the consequences of their guilt.  

The tassels will remind you of the commands of the LORD, and that you are to obey His commands instead of following your own desires and going your own ways , as you are prone to do.  

Oh, what a wonderful God we have! How great are his riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his methods! —Your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O LORD.  

Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you. 

Deut. 32:4 NLT; Rom.12:2 NLT; Numbers 15:30-31 NLT; Numbers 15:39 NLT; Rom.11:33 NLT; Ps.36:6 ESV; Ps. 25:5 NLT


What a counter-cultural mindset–God is always right, His ways always best.  It cuts against the grain of my own selfish heart, when things aren’t quite going as I’d like…And yet, the truth is here (whether I choose to believe it or not) and herein lies my salvation.  God is always right.  I can trust Him with my life. Amen?

–LS

As you come and go remember the One you serve…

The Tabernacle with all its gold and skilfully woven and embroidered beauty has been set up according to God’s specific requirements. The leaders of the tribes of Israel have brought their gifts for the dedication of the altar over the span of twelve days–silver platters and basins full of grain, gold urns of incense, bulls and rams and yearling lambs, oxen and goats for burnt offerings and sin offerings and peace offerings.  And now it is time for the dedication of the Levites. They are a special offering to the Lord from the people in lieu of sacrificing their firstborn sons.  They will belong to the Lord, living offerings, set apart from the rest of the nation to serve him in the Tabernacle.

As I read these detailed procedures, at first I thought how foreign to us as ‘New Testament believers’ all this is, and then how familiar–the Sacrifice has been made, purifying us for service.  The work we are assigned may be mundane, a daily rhythm of ordinary comings and goings, but we are the Lord’s own possession, His servants!  As you do your work today, whatever it entails, keep in view the One you serve ( :


“After this, they may go in and out of the Tabernacle to do their work, because you have purified them and presented them as a special offering….They will serve in the Tabernacle on behalf of the Israelites and make atonement for them so no plague will strike them when they approach the sanctuary.

…our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works–

He died once to defeat sin, and now he lives for the glory of God.  So you should consider yourselves dead to sin and able to live for the glory of God through Christ Jesus.

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God.  Let them be a living and a holy sacrifice–the kind he will accept.  When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask?  Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.  Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect His will really is–You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people.

Num.8:15,19 NLT; Titus 2:13-14 KJV; Rom.6:10,11 NLT; Rom. 12: 1,2NLT; I Cor. 6:19-20 NLT; Col.3:23 CSB

 

 

 

Will I Complain or Commit?

Tormented by thirst, they continued to complain… 

After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said…”I thirst.” 

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin—So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good. 

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it—Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 

Ex.17:3 NLT; Jn. 19:28 ESV; Heb 4:15 NIV; I Pet.4:19 NIV; I Cor.10:13 NIV; James 1:2-4 NIV; Lk. 11:4 NKJV


Faced with circumstances I would not have chosen, helpless to relieve my discomfort  or to meet my own needs, this is the perfect proving ground for faith.  Will I give vent to frustration and thrash about for an escape complaining all the while?  Or will I commit my way to God, ask Him for the way out and trust that His grace really is enough for me however it comes.  This is the place where His glory shines in light of my weakness and where faith is made strong by resisting temptation’s weight and casting my cares continuously on the Lord.

“And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.” 

Give us Faith to Be Strong, Andrew Peterson

–LS

Forgiven for God’s honor…

You will know that I am the LORD, O people of Israel, when I have honoured my name by treating you mercifully in spite of your wickedness, says the Sovereign Lord—he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities—But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 

There is only one God, and there is only one way of being accepted by Him.  He makes people right with himself only by faith—God will also declare us to be righteous if we believe in God, who brought Jesus our Lord back from the dead—If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Yes, what joy for those whose sin is no longer counted against them by the Lord!

Ezek.20:44 NLT; Ps. 103:10 NIV; Rom. 5:8 NASB; Rom.3:30; 4:24; I Jn. 1:9 NASB; Rom.4:8 NLT

God does not treat us as our sins deserve, nor is He a doting parent who overlooks our wrongdoing.  His honor is too important for that and so His mercy is severe, requiring the death of His own Son that we might be forgiven.  What a humbling mercy this.  Our comprehension of this mercy will be seen in our glad forgiveness of those who sin against us.  This is the continuing good news the Gospel brings–forgiveness recieved and extended, for the honor of God’s name.

‘And forgive us our sins, For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.’ Lk.11:4 NASB