After 6 years of active service I decided it needed a proper maintenance session:
O God whose will conquers all,
There is no comfort in anything
apart from enjoying thee
and being engaged in thy service;
Thou art All in all, and all enjoyments are what to me
thou makes them, and no more.
I am well pleased with thy will, whatever it is,
or should be in all respects,
And if thou bidst me decide for myself in any affair
I would choose to refer all to thee,
for thou art infinitely wise and connote do amiss,
as I am in danger of doing.
I rejoice to think that all things are at thy disposal,
and it delights me to leave them there.
Then prayer turns wholly into praise,
and all I can do is to adore and bless thee.
What shall I give thee for all thy benefits?
I am in a strait betwixt two, knowing not what to do;
I long to make some return, but have nothing to offer,
and can only rejoice that thou doest all,
that none in heaven or on earth shares thy honour;
I can of myself do nothing to glorify thy blessed name,
but I can through grace cheerfully surrender soul and body to thee,
I know that thou art the author and finisher of faith,
that the whole work of redemption is thine alone,
that every good work or thought found in me
is the effect of thy power and grace,
that thy sole motive in working in me to will and to do
is for thy good pleasure.
O God, it is amazing that men can talk so much
about man’s creaturely power and goodness,
when, if thou didst not hold us back every moment,
we should be devils incarnate.
This, by bitter experience, thou hast taught me concerning myself.
THE VALLEY OF VISION
Exodus 3:13-14 Then Moses said to God, "If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' what shall I say to them?" (14) God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'" Joh 8:56-58 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad." (57) So the Jews said to him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?" (58) Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am."
Joh 4:25-26 The woman said to him, "I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things." (26) Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am he." Joh 5:37-40 And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, (38) and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. (39) You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, (40) yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.
Today I was privileged to attend the marriage of two of my friends. One, an old friend, and the other a newer one whom I look forward to getting to know better.
This wedding was singular, not only because it was the merging of two cultures, South African and Indian, or because there were 3 pastors and two pastoral students involved. It was unique because it was obvious that the couple had given much thought and prayer to making this wedding an earthly representation of the love Christ has for his bride, the church.
During the brief message, the pastor said that just as God had been faithful in countless other marriages, He would be faithful to theirs too. It suddenly struck me as odd that God would be faithful to two sinners, or to countless other godly marriages. It didnt add up. Who are we that God would help us? And who are we that God would sanctify us as the church to one day return and take us as his bride? Why would he want to do that at all, when he knows our hearts?
And so I was able to appreciate the atonement once again, in a very tangible way. Christ will be faithful to us, he will love us and return to us because He gave himself for us, and washed us with his blood. He took our sin upon himself, “so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.”
“What a faithful God have we!”