Posts tagged ‘Galatians’

March 20, 2014

843 Acres Lent #TBT: A Prayer for Endurance

by Bethany

M’Cheyne: Prov 7 (txt | aud, 2:29 min)
Gal 6 (txt | aud, 2:18 min)

Paul: Galatians 6:9 

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

John Bailer: A Diary of Private Prayer, Twenty-Seventh Day: Morning

Grant, O most gracious God, that I may carry with me through this day’s life the remembrance of the sufferings and death of Jesus Christ my Lord.

For Thy fatherly love shown forth in Jesus Christ Thy well-beloved Son. For His readiness to suffer for our sakes. For the redemptive passion that filled His heart. I praise and bless Thy holy name.

For the power of His Cross in the history of the world since He came. For all who have taken up their own crosses and have followed Him. For the noble army of martyrs and for all who are willing to die that others may live. For all suffering freely chosen for noble ends, for pain bravely endured, for temporal sorrows that have been used for the building up of eternal joys. I praise and bless Thy holy name.

O Lord my God, who dwellest in pure and blessed serenity beyond the reach of mortal pain, yet lookest down in unspeakable love and tenderness upon the sorrows of earth, give me grace, I beseech Thee, to understand the meaning of such afflictions and disappointments as I myself am called upon to endure. Deliver me from all fretfulness. Let me be wise to draw from every dispensation of Thy providence the lesson Thou art minded to teach me. Give me a stout heart to bear my own burdens. Give me a willing heart to bear the burdens of others. Give me a believing heart to cast all burdens upon Thee.

Glory be to Thee, O Father, and to Thee, O Christ, and to Thee, O Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.

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 Lent - logo

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March 19, 2014

843 Acres Lent: Against the Debtor’s Ethic

by Bethany

M’Cheyne: Prov 6 (txt | aud, 3:18 min)
Gal 5 (txt | aud, 3:19 min)
Highlighted: Gal 5:1

Gratitude: Gratitude—the pleasant sense of the worth of something that we have received from another—is a good thing; but it’s a vulnerable thing, too. The sense of delight in gratitude can easily turn into a sense of debt or payment. The debtor’s ethic says, “Because you have done something good for me, I feel indebted to do something good for you.” Is this how we should approach God—owing Him something, trying to pay Him back?

Grace: John Piper writes, “[The debtor’s ethic] is not what gratitude was designed to produce. God meant gratitude to be a spontaneous expression of pleasure in the gift and the good will of another. He did not mean it to be an impulse to return favors. If gratitude is twisted into a sense of debt, it gives birth to the debtor’s ethic—and the effect is to nullify grace. Don’t misunderstand me. Gratitude itself does not nullify grace. It exults in grace … [But] when our virtue—toward other people or toward God—is born out of this sense of ‘paying back,’ we are in the grip of the debtor’s ethic.” [1]

Freedom: Here in Galatians 5, we read, “It is for freedom that Christ has set you free; stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” [2] We are, therefore, not debtors in the sense that we owe Him or in the sense that we can turn our good acts into currency to pay Him back. What, then, is our motivation for obedience? Faith in future grace, Piper says. “Gratitude exults in the past benefits of God and says to faith, ‘Embrace more of these benefits for the future, so that my happy work of looking back on God’s deliverance may continue.’” When we approach gratitude in this way, “Faith in future grace is the secret that keeps impulses of gratitude from turning into the debtor’s ethic.”

Prayer: Lord, Thank you for not making us debtors to you for we could never pay you back. Ever. And, in fact, you don’t want us to. You want us to be full of gratitude for the past and, as we face the future, to have eyes of faith that we will continue looking back on the past with gratitude. Truly, this is freedom. This yoke is not burdensome. Keep us, therefore, from the debtor’s ethic—as we approach you and others. Amen.

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 Lent - logo

We invite you to join us and the Women’s Bible Society to a Lenten Bible Listening Event on Thursday morning, April 10th. Click here for more details.
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Footnotes

[1] John Piper. Future Grace. | [2] Galatians 5:1 ESV

March 18, 2014

843 Acres Lent Tweetables: The Deception of Beauty

by Bethany

M’Cheyne: Prov 5 (txt | aud, 2:34 min)
Gal 4 (txt | aud, 3:39 min)
Highlighted: Prov 5

Discerning Brokenness

We undervalue sex. We treat it as appetite, consumption, routine, commodity. We extract sex from the whole person.

We overvalue sex. We prize physical and sexual attraction above all else. We evaluate and objectify others based on how they look.

“Being a Sex Object Is Empowering. Oh, Wait. No, It’s Not. Here’s Why.” by @carolineheldman via @TEDTalks http://ow.ly/uxQil

Imagining Redemption

MT @timkellernyc Sex is a way of saying, I see all your imperfections & I’m still completely, exclusively, and permanently committed to you.

To understand sexuality, we must understand redemption (Ephesians 5) and see ourselves as Christ does – beautiful and lovable.

Although he was the most beautiful, Jesus emptied himself of his beauty to make us beautiful. He loved the unlovely to make us lovely. 

Praying ACTS

Lord, We #adore you for creating the intimate act of sex as a covenant seal and for speaking of it in wonderful terms in Proverbs 5.

Yet we #confess that we often lack discretion, flirting w/the idea of rejecting your good news for sexuality and forsaking the path of life.

Yet we give you #thanks for guiding us according to your Word and in your Spirit. For redeeming us that we may understand all of life.

May we be attentive to your wisdom. Incline our ears to your understanding, that we may keep discretion & guard understanding. #supplication

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 Lent - logo

We invite you to join us and the Women’s Bible Society to a Lenten Bible Listening Event on Thursday morning, April 10th. Click here for more details.
____________________________________ 

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March 17, 2014

843 Acres Lent: Changing our Daily Choices

by Bethany

M’Cheyne: Prov 4 (txt | aud, 2:45 min)
Gal 3 (txt | aud, 3:50 min)
Highlighted: Prov 4:23

Daily: Our character is determined by our daily choices. As C.S. Lewis writes, “Good and evil increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance. The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which, a few months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of. An apparently trivial indulgence in lust or anger today is the loss of a ridge or railway line …” How easy is it, though, to change our daily choices?

Change: It’s not. Proverbs says, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” And Augustine writes, “The key to life change is not the acts of the will but the loves of the heart.” In other words, our daily acts spring from our deep loves, and our deep loves are almost impossible to change. Our loves are disordered. We take good things and make them ultimate—money, success, power, etc. And we have no power to change this. As Emily Dickinson says, “The Heart wants what it wants—or else it does not care.”

Gospel: But Jesus came, saying, “I am the way,” not, “I will show you the way.” He took the loss of the ultimate ridge or railway line so that we may know victories we never dreamed of. Therefore, we do not give God a righteousness to placate Him; He gives us a righteousness to redeem us. When we take the gospel into our hearts, we find a deep love that orders all other loves. This changes our daily choices—even though it may not happen all at once: “But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.”

Prayer: Lord, Your love is astounding and, when this reality becomes true to our hearts, the springs of life flow as mighty waters. Yet we confess that our loves are disordered and, therefore, our daily choices are misguided and unwise. Forgive us. For we are unable to change our lives. You must change our hearts. Therefore, lift our eyes to Christ and open the gates of paradise that we may walk in. Amen.

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 Lent - logo

We invite you to join us and the Women’s Bible Society to a Lenten Bible Listening Event on Thursday morning, April 10th. Click here for more details.
____________________________________ 

FAQs

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September 30, 2013

843 Acres: The Pope: “I am a sinner.”

by Bethany

M’Cheyne: 1 Kings 2 (text | audio, 8:57 min)
Gal 6 (text | audio, 2:18 min)
Highlighted: Gal 6:14

Sinner: When the interviewer asked him, “Who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio?”, Pope Francis replied, “I am a sinner. I do not know what might be the most fitting description … I am a sinner. This is the most accurate definition. It is not a figure of speech, a literary genre. I am a sinner … Yes, perhaps I can say that I am a bit astute, that I can adapt to circumstances, but it is also true that I am a bit naïve. Yes, but the best summary, the one that comes more from the inside and I feel most true is this: I am a sinner whom the Lord has looked upon.” [1]

Boasting: Paul referred to himself as “the foremost” among sinners: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.” [2] Paul did not boast in his sin; he talked about his sin so that he might boast in Christ. He ended his letter to the Galatians, “ … far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” [3].

Gospel: Pope Francis did not boast in his sin, but in the gospel. He said, “I am a sinner, but I trust in the infinite mercy and patience of our Lord Jesus Christ, and I accept in a spirit of penance … God is greater than sin.” He also did not boast in his good works: “[T]he proclamation of the saving love of God comes before moral and religious imperatives … The message of the Gospel, therefore, is not to be reduced to some aspects that, although relevant, on their own do not show the heart of the message of Jesus Christ.”

Prayer: Lord, We may not agree with all of Pope Francis’s theology, but we praise your name that the good news of Christ Jesus and his saving love is being made known. May we not boast in our sin or our good works, but may our sin and good works be used to highlight your great mercy. For it is only in the cross, where we find complete atonement and acceptance, that we can die to the world. Amen.

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FAQs

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Footnotes

[1] Antonio Spadaro, S.J. “A Big Heart Open to God.” America Magazine. September 30, 2013. | [2] 1 Timothy 1:15 ESV | [3] Galatians 6:14 ESV

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