Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Strait Gate of Penitence

Repeat and or meditate on this verse until your thoughts are centered on God.
And so among the nations, Lord,
my thankfulness I will proclaim;
before the peoples of the world,
I will sing praises to your Name!
 —Psalm 18:49
Suggested tune: Winchester New (LM)

May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
—Colossians 1:11-14
We can climb a ladder that reaches to heaven, but its foot must be in the horrible pit and miry clay* of our sins. Little as we like to hear it, the first need for us all is forgiveness. Everything begins with that. 'The inheritance of the saints,' with all its wealth of glory, its immortal life and unfading joys, its changeless security, and its unending progress deeper and deeper into the light and likeness of God, is the goal, but the only entrance is through the strait gate of penitence. Christ will forgive when we cry for pardon, and that is the first link of a golden chain unwinding from his hand by which we may ascend to the perfect possession of our inheritance in God. 'Whom he justified—them,' and them only, he will glorify.
*Psalm 40:3
 —Alexander Maclaren
O Lord, forgive what I have been, sanctify what I am, and order what I shall be...
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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