Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Main Stress

Repeat and or meditate on this verse until your thoughts are centered on God.
All strength to God must be ascribed,
for his great majesty
is over Israel; in the skies
his power will always be.
 —Psalm 68:34 (tune: Marlow CM)
As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.
—Ezekiel 34:12
We may well be excused if our preaching seeks the lost, for these are the persons whom our Lord has come to seek and to save. The main stress and intent of the Incarnation of God in the Person of Christ lies with the guilty, the fallen, the unworthy, the lost. His errand of mercy has nothing to do with those who are good and righteous in themselves, if such there is, but it has to do with sinners—real sinners, guilty not of nominal but of actual sins—and who have gone so far therein as to be lost! Why do you quibble at this? Why should he come to seek and to save that which is not lost? Should the Shepherd seek the sheep which has not gone astray? Answer me. Why should he come to be the Physician of those who are not lost? Should he light a candle and sweep the house to look for pieces of silver which are not lost, but lie bright and untarnished in his hand? To what purpose would this be? Would you have him paint the lily and gild it with refined gold? Would you make him a mere busybody offering superfluous aid?
 —Charles Spurgeon
O God, whose Son Jesus is the good shepherd of your people; grant that when we hear his voice we may know him who calls us each by name, and follow where he leads...
 —Book of Common Prayer
Allow the above to help guide your own confession, praise, thanksgiving, and/or petition.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
 —Matthew 6:9-13

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