Sunday, March 5, 2017

A Prayer

We thank You Father that You have revealed Yourself to us. You have explained something of who You are so that we can get to know You. There is much that is still mysterious about You, and much of that will always be mysterious. But there is also much that we can know. We thank You for that because at the heart of real life is knowing You.

We understand that You are the holy God. The Scriptures are so very clear about that. You love what is good and right and pure, and You hate whatever is evil. And it's not as if You just give us some academic definition about Your holiness. You picture it to us in many examples from the Great Flood, to Israel's wanderings in the desert, to the Cross and more. You hate what is evil.

So, it would make sense for You to hate us. As we look at what we do, how we do it, and why we do it, is there anything that we do that is not polluted by evil? Job was right: '​What is man, that he can be pure? Or he who is born of a woman, that he can be righteous?' The evil of our sin poisons everything we do.

And yet, You don't hate us. You don't deal with us as our evil deserves. There is only one reason for this. You have given us Jesus. We have been united to Him. And as a result, what we deserve was laid upon Him. What we receive, instead, is what He earned. Because Jesus is ours and we are His, You treat us as perfectly pure and holy people. It's the Gospel.

There is so much about this that makes no sense, not the least of which is  why You would be so good to us. But this much is clear. Having decided to treat us as perfectly pure and holy people You now call us to actually become perfectly pure and holy people, to be holy as You are holy.

That seems to be  an impossible calling. And yet, it is exactly what You call us to become. But You don't just call us to this and then leave us to our own resources. You have given us Your Spirit, another gift because of Jesus. In this, You have given us all the resources we need to work at this calling.

But, Father, the sad fact is that becoming pure and holy people just isn't the priority for us that it should be. We admit that to our shame. Forgive us this sin, this evil. And help us to see more clearly what we are to do. We are to work at becoming pure and holy people. Show us what this means in the particulars of our lives so that we will know where we need to work.

We are grateful, Father, that You are so very patient with us in this. We pray that seeing this expression of Your patient love we would give ourselves to the work of becoming pure and holy people and in this way make You look as good as You are.  

Through Christ our Lord, Amen

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