Tag Archives: scripture

Opening Our Eyes

“Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from your law.” – Psalm 119:18 (NASB)

I find that whenever my Bible reading goes into a rut that turning to Psalm 119 is a great tonic. Here we find 176 verses that meditate on the wonder of God’s Word. The psalmist asks God to open his eyes in the verse above, and I find this to be a great prayer as I open my Bible.

In the 8th chapter of Mark’s Gospel, Jesus and His disciples come to Bethsaida, where Jesus heals a blind man. After Jesus spits on his eyes and lays hands on him, the man sees partially and states in verse 24, “I see men, for I see them like trees, walking around.” Then Jesus lays His hands on him again, and the man’s sight is restored in full. I’ve often wondered why this healing takes place in two stages. But I can identify with the man after he is healed partially. There are so many things that I see and focus my time on that are of no lasting value, yet many of God’s truths seem cloudy. God’s truths seem like those hazy trees, and then it’s only after allowing God’s Word to penetrate through the mist that I can see again and remember His great promises. The longer I go without focusing on God’s Word intently – as the psalmist does so extensively in Psalm 119 – the hazier it is when I try to see. Verse 18 from this wonderful Psalm, and the account in Mark 8, reminds me of the importance of this.

Micah 6:8

SongsOfNativity“When we walk in sincerity, we will not mind if God chooses a humble role for us. Even if he were to raise us higher, we would still walk in his fear. Yet how much easier would it be to obey him if he were to deny us men’s esteem and praise! Conversely, if we were to go after things infinitely beyond us, it would be like pulling the clouds out of the sky and putting them under our feet, so as to lift ourselves up into the air! We should learn therefore to let God’s hand lead us, and to be content in whatever station he has placed us. Let us covet nothing to which he has not called us.”

-John Calvin, from Songs of the Nativity: Selected Sermons on Luke 1&2, pg. 45

A View of Grace

Mont_Blanc_oct_2004

“In the forest on the high banks of the river Aar, just outside the town, there is a bench where you can sit and enjoy an unusually good view of the Alps. But the clearing which makes this view possible is continually being overgrown and the trees have to be cut back every few years. In the same way, our view of grace is constantly being obscured by the cares of our time and the riches of the world, so that it is necessary to have our view of grace cleared not only every few years, but Sunday after Sunday, indeed even daily.”

-Walter Lüthi, from The Letter to the Romans, pg. xi

God’s Delight

John Piper

“Very few people think of God as supremely happy in the fellowship of the Trinity and in the work of creation and redemption. The volcanic exuberance of God over the worth of his Son and the work of his hands and welfare of his people is not well-known. God’s delight in being God is not sung the way it should be, with wonder and passion, in the worship places of the world. And we are the poorer and weaker for it.”

– John Piper, from The Pleasures of God, p. 18

True Religion

Amos

Amos the Prophet

“In personal terms, true religion is to respond fully to the grace and law of God, living out the law in a life of obedience, resting on the grace both for ability and forgiveness; towards God, true religion is a reverent hearing and receiving of His Word; and towards other people it appears as honesty, considerateness and unfailing concern for the needy. Take these things away and what remains does nothing more than invite the adverse judgment of God.”

– J. Alec Motyer, from The Message of Amos, p. 18

The Course of God

John Bunyan

“Only this, as I said before, I will say to you again, that in general, He was pleased to take this course with me; first, to suffer me to be afflicted with temptations concerning them, and then reveal them unto me; as sometimes I would lie under great guilt for sin, even crushed to the ground with them; and then the Lord would show me the death of Christ; yea, so sprinkle my conscience with His blood, that I would find, and that before I was aware, that in that conscience, where but just now did reign and rage the law, even there would rest and abide the peace and love of God, through Christ.”

– John Bunyan, from Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners

2 Peter 1:10

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“Be earnest and diligent in making sure to yourself your discharge from the sentence and penalty of the law. Sue out the great fact in the Lord’s own court by fervent prayer and simple faith. Your Surety has cancelled your debt, and purchased your exemption from death. Avail yourself of the comfort and the stimulus of the blessing. You may be certain, yes, quite certain, of its truth. No process is more easy. It is but to look from off yourself to Christ, and to believe with all your heart that he came into the world to save sinners, and assurance is yours. The order is, ‘We believe, and are sure.’ Oh, do not leave this matter to a bare peradventure. Make sure of your union with Christ, and you may be sure of no condemnation from Christ.”

– Octavius Winslow, from No Condemnation in Christ Jesus, p. 16-17