You save us from idolatry
The call to bear the killing tree
Is healing ointment.
“Take up your cross and follow me” –
We do not know the depths of sin
Within our being.
We fight against but cannot win;
But you, all seeing,
Stepped into time to work for men
From forces that devise the fall
Of your creation.
Depravity common to all
Met its damnation.
Now hear, all broken hearts, his call:
In you, we hope. For you, we wait.
You are provider.
You know our weakness, our estate;
Your grace is wider.
You bear our sin and fix our fate,
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Last week, I wrote that the word of God discerns in us what we fail to discern ourselves, and I tried to show how this cutting work serves to draw us nearer to God. But what do we do when God reveals idolatry in our hearts? How should we respond when God highlights some object or dream or comfort or person and reveals to us our unhealthy attachment? The answer, I think, lies in how we understand gifts. Continue reading
We are a people prone to adulation
Who often are audacious with our praise.
Provoking conflagration, we
Resist all abrogation. See!
The idols are the masters of our days.
Such worship is a devastating blaze.
Idolatry is no anachronism;
All ages suffer its asperity.
Discern the serpent’s schism. See
The apposite baptism. We
Reject apocryphal authority
And trade acerbic lies for clarity.
I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that a person’s relationship status can easily become an idol. Individuals sacrifice time, money, and emotional well being to serve this ever hungry god, finding again and again that the idol can never truly be appeased. No matter how much you give, you will find this false god always demanding more. Continue reading
Perceptions of obedience to Christ
Are often apprehended by our hopes.
And flesh, the lowly subject, turns to heist,
And seeks to send the true service to the ropes.
For in our work for heaven, we presume
To warrant some promotion, pleasure, prize.
Desire conceived breeds sin within the womb.
The idol soon is fixed before our eyes.
Conviction then gives contest to the beast,
Reminding us that God is not so poor.
And we, in comfort, trust that he will give,
And see our Maker merely as a door.
Through subtlety the serpent can subvert
A heart for holiness to lust for dirt.
Is anger justified in you
Who sees your plans frustrated?
Who feels your life berated?
Whose choices are debated?
Do you do well to take the hue
Of anger in your manner?
Of squalor as your banner?
And rage against the Planner?
Are there no better fights to fight
That you should mourn the passing
Of selfishly amassing
These treasures unsurpassing?
Are you so blinded by the night
That fleeting follies fill you?
That Jesus does not imbue?
That you forget your rescue?
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.”
“Little children, keep yourselves from idols.”
1 John 5:21
Question: Do I love the Lord my God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind?
Answer: No. I do not. Continue reading
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The bride has pledged devotion to
A love more perfect than she knows
A groom more faithful, strong, and true
Who saw her flaws and still her chose
He cleansed and cured her sores and scars
He bade her break her bond with death
He set her free from prison bars
Imbibed was she with saving breath
His love surpassed what she had known
When she was bound to broken ways
His bond to her was set in stone
He vowed to love her all her days
Yet she was found in bed with those
Who left her broken in the dirt
She threw away her true repose
To grasp at harlotry and hurt
Perfection was too low for her
Her heart, too weak to recognize
His name, his life, he did confer
To make her pure before his eyes
She well deserved to lose her place
He had the right to cast her out
But she was met instead with grace
His faithfulness removed all doubt
His love was found not in her flesh
Nor in her goodness, grace, or worth
He, by his nature, did refresh
And in his holiness did girth
And she, though not made perfect yet
Experienced a change of heart
And though her past she won’t forget
She walks in light of this new start
“The grass is always greener…”
So they say
So it seems
“If I could only get there…”
“My troubles would be over…”
“My life would be far better…”
“If God would only bless me…”
“I’d give him all the glory…”
“So clearly can my eyes see…”
“No chance of idolatry…”
Grasp for prize
Grip your death