Taking Our Medicine

11 02 2009

stimI ran across another fantastic piece on Voddie Baucham’s blog site. It’s not bound to be popular reading, because it deals with the cold, hard truth of the economic times we’re facing as a nation. But our problem runs far deeper than economics – ours is a spiritual crisis. We are a people who have become bent upon pursuing self-interest, comfort, pleasure and ease at the expense of godliness, wisdom, charity and accountability. The hallmark of our age is wreckless irresponsibility coupled with an absolute denial that our actions have consequences.

Yet, consequences, while they may be pushed back for a time, will inevitably come. God is not mocked. There ultimately comes a point where our efforts to deflect or postpone the consequences of our actions only exacerbate them and intensify our problems. Sometimes, the best and only thing that you can do is submit to the consequences of your actions, humble yourself, hold your nose, and take your medicine.

This is the backdrop for Voddie’s piece highlighting the sound wisdom of economic advisor Peter Schiff, who’s predictions about market trends in 2006 and 2007 won him the ridicule of his peers, but who is suddenly sounding very prophetic. Mr. Schiff speaks to the proposed “stimulus package” as a “depressant,” which it surely will be if our nation and its leaders continue to press on in the false hope that ignoring the consequences of our wreckless and selfish behavior, and wishing it away with more wreckless and selfish behavior, is the answer to the crisis we face.

Click here to check out Voddie’s excellent blog…

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The insidious power of self-justification

19 08 2008

[Jesus] spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men — extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. (Luke 18:9-14)

Can’t you just picture the self-righteous pharisee, standing proudly in the temple courts – where everyone passing by would see him and admire his piety? The Bible says that he wasn’t even praying to God… he was praying to himself. Smug, smug, smug! I’ll bet he was wearing his long pharisee robe and carrying a big torah scroll with his initials engraved on the the cover. What a sad and pathetic spectacle! Lord, I sure am thankful that I’m not like that guy! … oh… wait a minute…





Incarnation

13 08 2008

This is a poem that I wrote while meditating upon the amazing condescension of Jesus Christ, “who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:6-7)

 

Incarnation

A baby cries

amid the straw, fresh-born into a world so strange;

Could this be God,

the eternal Son,

glorious throne for flesh exchanged?

 

How can this be?

What mind can grasp the untold splendor of this thing?

Almighty God,

The Lord of Hosts

in infant-form to mother clings!

 

Majestic One,

whose blazing beauty shineth forth to shame the dawn.

Now without form

or comeliness

that any should to him be drawn.

 

Creator God,

Who made and owns the cattle on a thousand hills;

Now humble, poor,

A stable floor

For solace ‘gainst harsh winter chills.

 

Perfect Spirit,

Unhindered by the bonds of Adam’s flesh-bound race,

conceived and born

in mankind’s form,

with limits all of time and space.

 

When once He dwelt

in Heaven high, He was untouched by worldly woe.

Yet willingly

He condescends,

consents the scourge of pain to know.

 

And not mere pain,

but death itself, and not mere death, but cursed cross,

the Suffering Servant

stoops to bear

to purge away man’s sinful dross.

 

Was this for me?

Did Glory stoop so low to grace this wretched orb

To set me free,

and for my sin

did He God’s righteous wrath absorb?

 

‘Tis said

in order to secure the ransom price I could not pay,

He took my form,

and bore the storm

of God’s just punishment that Day.

  

The Lord of Glory

took my place before the unleashed wrath of God!

Like grapes His blood

beneath the feet

of His Almighty Father trod!

 

And had He not

consented thus, the confines of the flesh to know,

then I would face

eternal chains

to pay the penalty I owe.

 

What glorious grace!

The Risen Son, enthroned once more at God’s right hand

has conquered death

through sacrifice

and put to shame hell’s raging band!

 

“Come to Me,

all you who bend beneath the crushing weight of sin,”

says He,

“and I will give you rest.”

Eternal life is found in Him!