Thursday, November 13, 2008

Through Another Year

All-sufficient King,
When I come into thy presence I see
   the glory of thy perfections,
   the throne of eternal and universal empire
   the ten thousand times ten thousand
      who minister to thee.
Impress my mind with the consciousness 
   of thy greatness,
   not to drive me from thee
   but to inspire me to approach thee;
   not to diminish my confidence in thee,
   but to lead me to admire thy great
Thou hast been mindful of me and visited me,
   taken charge of me from birth,
   cared in all conditions for me,
   fed me at thy table,
   drawn the curtains of love around me,
   given me new mercies every morning.
Suffer me not to forget that I look for yet
   greater blessings -
   a hope beyond the grave,
   the earnest and foretastes of immortality,
   holiness, wisdom, strength, peace, joy;
   all these thou hast provided for me in Christ.
I grieve to think how insensible I have been
   of the claims of thy authority,
   and the endearments of thy love;
   how little I have credited thy truth,
      trusted thy promises,
      feared thy threats,
      obeyed thy commands,
      improved my advantages,
      welcomed thy warnings,
      responded to thy grace;
   but notwithstanding my desert I yet live.
May thy goodness always lead me to repentance,
   and thy longsuffering prove my salvation.

~ Valley of Vision, Caring Love

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Ancient Doors

In earlier days, the triumphal procession of a king returning from war would be cause for great joy and celebration at the city gates.  The great gates would be flung open to admit their lord amidst unfettered rejoicing of the people, thankful for the return of their victorious king.

In Psalm 24:7-10, David writes of the ancient doors being lifted up to receive the King of Glory.  What are those gates, those ancient doors of which the Psalmist writes?  That question has been my meditation this day, and the understanding of this passage is a thing to search out.  There were the doors of the stable that welcomed the tiny King and the doors of the temple that welcomed Him for the first time when he was 8 days old.  The great gates of the temple welcomed Him many more times during His lifetime; at the age of 12 when He first went up for Passover, the many times He taught in the Temple, and His triumphal entry upon the back of a donkey's colt as he heard "Hosannas" ringing out.  Ancient doors.  Large, heavy, ancient doors.  Like the doors of my heart.  
Like the old doors of my heart, there were great gates and ancient doors that the Redeeming King and Mighty God broke through in order to redeem His people from the curse of sin and death.  And He did!  He broke through the gates of hell and defeated sin and death.  He defeated that old enemy, the devil, who had held mankind captive.  And then He led those captives free!  

There is coming yet another day when the final set of ancient doors will be flung open.  The sky will roll back like a scroll and the King of Kings and Lord of Lords will return in triumph to the great joy and praise of all His Kingdom.  Till that day, may the doors of my heart, O Lord, never be closed to you.  May the King of Glory come!
"Lift up your heads, O gates!
And be lifted up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord, strong and mighty,
the Lord, mighty in battle!
Lift up your heads, O gates!
And lift them up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
He is the King of glory!"

Monday, November 10, 2008

Virtue and Liberty

"A general dissolution of the principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy...  While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader...  If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved.  This will be their great security."   ~ Samuel Adams (1722-1803)

"Nations crumble from within when the citizenry asks of government those things which the citizenry might better provide for itself...  I hope we have once again reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited.  There's a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics:  As government expands, liberty contracts."  ~ Ronald Wilson Reagan   (1911-2004)

"Suspicious of welfare addiction, feeble justice and high taxes, totally committed to preserving it's own national sovereignty, unabashedly Christian in a world part secular and part muslim, suspicious of the Great Global Warming panic, it was unique.  These strengths have been fading for some time ... weakened by the failure of American's conservative party - the Republicans - to fight on the cultural and moral fronts.  They preferred to posture on the world stage.  And now the US, like Britain before it, has begun the long slow descent into the Third World .... Where now is our last best hope on earth?  ~ Peter Hitchens, Mail Online, UK