And Can It Be That I Should Gain
Long my imprisoned spirit lay, fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray, I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free; I rose, went forth and followed Thee.
God is there and He is too good
As this year ends, the question I am asking is: Where was God when so many good things happened this past year?
How can God be a God of justice,
yet allow so much good to happen to people who dishonor him
by disbelieving in him,
or giving lip service to his existence, or paying no more attention to him than the carpet in their den,
or rejecting the kingship of his Son, or scorning his word,
or preferring a hundred pleasures before him?
How can God be righteous
and do so much good to us
who are so unrighteous?
—John Piper, Where was God in all the Goodness of 2012?
Here is something Marvelous:
For even if the Word in his immeasurable essence united with the nature of man into one person, we do not imagine that he was confined therein.
Here is something marvelous:
the Son of God descended from heaven in such a way that, without leaving heaven, he willed to be borne in the virgin’s womb, to go about the earth, and to hang upon the cross; yet he continuously filled the world even as he had done from the beginning!
No light so bright
or pine so high
has brought this joy untamed.
This seasons jolly
turns to folly
without two words—
God became Man—just crazy!!!
Infinite and yet an infant.
Eternal and yet born of a woman.
Almighty, and yet nursing at a woman’s breast.
Supporting a universe, and yet needing to be carried in a mother’s arms.
Heir of all things, and yet the carpenter’s despised son.
—Charles Haddon Spurgeon
That man should be made in God’s image is a wonder,
but that God should be made in man’s image is a greater wonder.
That the Ancient of Days would be born.
That He who thunders in the heavens should cry in the cradle?
Man’s Maker was made man
that the Bread might be hungry,
the Fountain thirst,
the Light sleep,
the Way be tired from the journey;
that Strength might be made weak,
that Life might die.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
and we have seen his glory,
glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
None upon Earth I desire beside Thee
Dear Lord, if indeed I am Thine,
If Thou art my sun and my song;
Say, why do I languish and pine,
And why are my winters so long?
O drive these dark clouds from my sky,
Thy soul-cheering presence restore;
Or take me unto Thee on high,
Where winter and clouds are no more.
Though these frames sweet
Thine sole repose
This wretchedness of mine
is covered by the Christ
whose blood has cleansed my sin
and made me new within.9.11.12
A broken world we dwell in
much pain and sorrow flow
yet God will surely make things new
yes this much I know.7.21.12
I was no longer the Captain of my own soul
Taken from Kevin DeYoung’s blog:
Before you set out on a semester of sensuality, before you go lower to feel higher, before you trade in godly character for a hip caricature, consider these wise words from an unlikely source:
“The gods had given me almost everything. But I let myself be lured into long spells of senseless and sensual ease… .Tired of being on the heights, I deliberately went to the depths in search for new sensation. The paradox was to me in the sphere of thought, perversity became to me in the sphere of passion.
I grew careless of the lives of others.
I took pleasure where it pleased me, and passed on.
I forgot that every little action of the common day makes or unmakes character, and that therefore what one has done in the secret chamber, one has some day to cry aloud from the house-top.
I ceased to be lord over myself.
I was no longer the captain of my soul, and did not know it.
I allowed pleasure to dominate me.
I ended in horrible disgrace.”
(Oscar Wilde, quoted by Gordon MacDonald in Ordering Your Private World)