Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Scriptures as a Means of Grace

How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
-Psalm 119:103-105

“…David could not have been guided by God’s word , unless he had first renounced the wisdom of the flesh, for it is only when we are brought to do this, that we begin to be of a teachable disposition.”
- John Calvin, Commentary on Psalm 119:105

“Nevertheless the heart may find its happiness, its true and undying happiness in words. At this moment there is nothing in the whole world so much to be desired as certain words. Words of love. Words expressive of infinite love. Treasures, pleasures, honors of earth, what are they? My unsatisfied soul cries out, Give me words. Words whereby I may know the love that God has towards me. Words declaring the unchangeable attachment of the Savior. Words purifying my heart. Emboldening me in prayer. Exhibiting to me the blissful future. Words that shall give life to my dead powers, and change me from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
-George Bowen (no relation to Devin and Joylyn!), Daily Meditations(1873)

Why is it that when we find ourselves struggling with tribulation, sorrow, temptation or stumbling, that our greatest consolation comes from the Scriptures? When the storms of life come there is nothing to be compared with Jesus speaking a word and calming the tempest. We can take great comfort in the fact that God has spoken and continues to speak. In Francis Schaeffer’s words, “He is there, and He is not silent.” God is the one who condescends to speak to His creatures. He is not like the false Greek gods who spend eternity in the constant search of ever-increasing pleasure and never making conversation with men. These disinterested deities would not interpose themselves with the likes of humankind. The true God, however, knows our weakness and has made Himself known by speaking to us through the Scriptures. What blessed communication! Hearing the Word through the ear-gate and reading the Word through the eye-gate are sustenance for the Christian. Man does not live by bread alone, but rather by the Vox Dei through the Scriptures. Peter knew the value of the God who speaks when he opined in John 6:68 "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” Life, joy, peace, mercy, grace, and salvation are all words that have no meaning without God speaking them. But when they are spoken by the Living Word they become like the most delectable fare, they become sweeter than honey. May we love the Word written in the Scriptures and love the One of Whom they speak- the Incarnate Logos.

Last Sunday was a most amazing day! It was our first Sunday at Alki Middle School and God graciously met with us. There were 70(!) people in attendance and we had a wonderful time in worship together. Special thanks to Nathan from Roseburg, Devin, Holly and Sevrin for leading us so well. And special thanks to Greg, Gordy, Nathan, David, Kevin, Ray, John, and Kevin for helping set-up and take-down, and for Janene bringing flowers, and for Laurel and Gordy making signs, and for Judy and Allison watching children, and for Jay humbling himself and encouraging us, and for all of those I’m forgetting that made this an incredible Sunday. I think God was glorified!

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