Monday, February 27, 2012

Paul was Wrong. I'm the Chief of Sinners.

Chief of sinners though I be, Jesus shed His blood for me
Died that I might live on high, Lives that I might never die.
As the branch is to the vine, I am His and He is mine. (LSB 611:1)

The Law and the Gospel practically leap off the page of my LSB as I sing these words, penned by William McComb, inspired by the Apostles Paul and John. In this Lenten season, and in all seasons for that matter, it is right for me to be continuously reminded that I am the foremost of sinners. I know Paul claimed it was he, but I beg to differ. My wayward heart strays more than I would like to mention. But Jesus... He shed His blood.... for me! I was reminded of my rank among sinners last Wednesday when my forehead was marked with ashes... Ashes that eventually faded. But the Gospel never shall. He found me when I sought Him not. All my sins He chose to blot. His Body's the bread. His Blood is the wine. I am His and He is mine.

-- Jonathan

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Interpretations and Grains of Salt Go Well Together

‎"But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God."
-- 2 Peter 1:20-21 (NASB)

To the great dismay of the faithful Church on earth, many Christians put their faith in absurd interpretations of the Bible that practically bend the Word of God to say what they want it to say. One Christian pastor even said that, according to his interpretation of the Bible, "sex is the superglue that holds marriages together..." Not Jesus or anything. In a world of ridiculous interpretations of Holy Scripture, it's an unspeakable comfort to me to be able to know that the holy words of Scripture are not based on man's fallible interpretations. They are from the Lips of God. Each and every word was inspired by the Holy Spirit. I give a sigh of relief and joy every time I remember that there is something in this world I can trust: God's Word, unadulterated by poor interpretations. And I interpret that to be awesome.

-- Jonathan

Monday, February 13, 2012

Search Me

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way."
 --Psalm 139:23-24 (NASB)

Often, I have anxiety about whether or not I've sinned against the LORD in a way I haven't realized. This passage makes me feel like the Psalmist had the same anxious thoughts. "What if something I've prayed isn't right? What if something I've prayed is sinful?" So he says, "Search me, O God, and know my heart... And see if there be any hurtful way in me." This is the kind of humble heart I wish to have. When I confess my sins, I follow the Psalmist's example, and pray for the LORD to forgive not only the sins I've confessed, but also the ones I've failed to confess, and the ones I don't even know I've committed. And even though I remember not some of the sins I've so heinously committed, I know that I'm forgiven. And I think the Psalmist experienced the same relief. God has searched me, He knows my heart, He has seen the hurtful ways in me..... And I am forgiven. Not by anything I've done... But by the Blood of the Lamb. Praise be to God.