Category: Prayer

A Christian Voice In A Changing Culture

October 5, 2012 (Psalm 4:2)

October 5, 2012

‘How long will you love delusions (‘what is worthless’ NAB) and seek false gods (‘chase after lies’ NAB)’? (Ps. 4:2)

The seventies digressed into the material indulgence of the eighties, in which we grasped after home electronics which evolved into home computers. First up were VCRs, the entry to our first shame-free home porn theater. Who needed to go shame themselves in the public square? You could defile your body’s temple and the temple of your home without anyone knowing.

By the end of the eighties, VCRs were eclipsed by affordable home computers that, thanks to the Internet, opened up a sensual super-highway—gay, straight, bestial. Boundaries were broken, the most vile imaginings accessible, at a rate never before experienced by humankind. More violent than occult lit, porn incinerated the walls protecting our heart and memory bank. Once exposed, humanity could never view its fellows with the same innocence.

‘I will walk in my house blameless heart. I will set before my eyes no vile thing.’ (Ps. 101:2, 3)

‘Our gates have been burned with fire, and we are in disgrace.’ (Neh. 1:17)

‘Father, forgive us for the idols in our eyes and heart. We have violated the essence of Your creation through porn. Our temples are defiled, and our shame is ever before us. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we confess our sins of cowardice and compromise. We have violated Your holy commands in regards to what we have done to our bodies and other bodies. And in our compromise we have become cowards, unwilling to stand for what we know to be true for the dignity of all. We ask that You might have mercy on Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington; uphold marriage in these states, and in our nation, as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on ‘gay marriage.

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October 4, 2012 (Psalm 4:2)

October 4, 2012

‘How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame (‘mock my honor’ NAB)?’ Ps. 4:2)

We mock God when we take our needs into our own hands and expressly do what He forbids. Such mockery prevailed in the sixties when a generation stripped themselves of some Pharisaic traditions (good) and all of their clothing (evil).

A new generation declared that they no longer needed marriage to justify their sexual behavior. Sensual good times justified themselves. Or so we thought. What actually occurred was the searing of our dignity and our consciences. Fire outside the fireplace singed a generation that staggered into the indulgent seventies.

There we determined that we did not marriage at all, not if it got in the way of our quality of life. CA initiated ‘no-fault’ divorce, which basically made divorce easy, a shame-free release from the drudgery of commitment. We took our bodies and our covenants—both founded in the Creator—and broke them in our devotion to the created.

‘They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised.’ (Rom. 1: 25)

‘Father, we have sought liberty apart from you and have wound up enslaved to ourselves. We are sorry for false lovers; we are sorry for breaking the vows we made in Your name. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we confess our sins of cowardice and compromise. We have violated Your holy commands in regards to what we have done to our bodies and other bodies. And in our compromise we have become cowards, unwilling to stand for what we know to be true for the dignity of all. We ask that You might have mercy on Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington; uphold marriage in these states, and in our nation, as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on ‘gay marriage.

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Tell the Truth – October 3, 2012 (Psalm 4:2)

‘Instead of trying to avoid hardships, ask God for the grace to bear them well.’ St. Andre Bessette

The Church stands at a crossroads. Will she represent God in her body or the delusions of men?

Faithful Christians stand at a crossroads. Having been leveled by sexual sin, will we now stand for purity? Or will we hedge about, dodging the hard questions about God’s will for humanity, sexually-speaking?

Tell the truth: we serve a holy God who insists we represent Him well in these bodies. That means loving Him and your fellow humanity enough to reserve your nakedness only for the one member of the opposite gender you choose to bond with for a lifetime. Period.

Sexuality becomes holy when it is oriented towards two things: first, another’s good. You honor him/her with purity; you defile him/her when you partake of his/her choicest parts outside marriage. Secondly, you honor the Creator when in marriage you avail sexual love towards new life. Sexual love glorifies God when it unites two lives for the purpose of creating life. To separate the marital bond from the prospect of children defies the purpose of our sexuality—creating life, under the aegis of our Creator.

Tell the truth: God can never bless homosexual unions. The attempt of millions today to become one with same-gender friends is a dead end. In spite of glowing reports to the contrary, homosexuality defiles and further disorients both members. We delude ourselves when we seek to make the same gender our ‘other’. No new life results, only death.

Our next five devotions center on those who mock God’s honor by pursuing delusions. (PS 4:2)

Will we join David in lamenting such delusions? Will we tell the truth, in spite of a culture steeped in the delusion of sexual immorality?

‘The body is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.’ (1 Cor 6:13)

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Tell the Truth – October 3, 2012 (Psalm 4:2)

October 3, 2012

‘How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?’ (Ps. 4:2)

David refers to Absalom and company who for a variety of misbegotten reasons are seeking to snuff him out. I will elevate David’s exhortation to a divine one, as if God Himself were speaking to us about our sexual immorality.

What better describes the impact of sexual immorality than turning God’s ‘glory to shame’? We represent Him in our bodily humanity, in the way that we love and honor each other with these bodies. When we reserve sexual intimacy for marriage alone, we create space and place for children to become mature lovers themselves; we also grant friends the dignity of our self-giving, without sensual distortions that mess with another’s head and heart.

We glorify Him with chastity; we shame all concerned when we break boundaries that protect the sanctity of human temples—our own, those of others too. Aquinas writes: ‘God is only offended in so far that we hurt ourselves.’ Yet in spite of our hurt, we hold fast to our delusions, the lie that I can be the sole master of my fate, sexually-speaking, and rise above the bodies left behind.

We don’t need stone figures to bow before—sexy flesh-and-blood ones are far more compelling. What we are really worshipping are our own desires that must be met at an alarming, compulsive rate. Love digresses into what we get rather than what we give.

‘The body is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord.’ (1 Cor. 6: 13)

‘Father, we confess that we have turned Your glory, and the glory You intended for us, into shame, our shameful nakedness. Cover and cleanse us; remove our shame, that we might reflect Your glory once more. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we confess our sins of cowardice and compromise. We have violated Your holy commands in regards to what we have done to our bodies and other bodies. And in our compromise we have become cowards, unwilling to stand for what we know to be true for the dignity of all. We ask that You might have mercy on Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington; uphold marriage in these states, and in our nation, as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on ‘gay marriage.

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October 2, 2012 (Psalm 4:1)

‘Be merciful to me and hear my prayer’. (Ps. 4:1)

Our prayer must begin by remembering the mercy which is our freedom. We then extend that merciful cry toward the mess we are in.

We live in a day so eager to forgive sins that we forego the reality of sin altogether. As Pascal proclaimed: ‘Behold the fathers who take away the sin of the world’! I recently visited a priest to confess sin who claimed my sin wasn’t sin all! No burden of sin, no mercy. No need for Jesus. We cry peace when there is not peace, sheep and shepherds alike. All are greedy for gain, the false peace of a shame-free life. I praise God for good shame! It alerts me to the truth that I am not free to hold my head high until my sin is exchanged for the mercy that makes all things new.

‘For the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; priests and prophets alike, all practice deceit. They dress the wound of my people as if it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace’, they say, when there is no peace. Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall upon among fallen; they will be brought down when I punish them’, declares the Lord. (Jer. 6: 13-15)

‘We beg mercy for the greed—the false peace that broods over Your church, O God. Grant us the grace to see things as they are: in desperate need of absolute agreement with the truth of sin, for the sake of absolute mercy. We pray for conviction upon both sheep and shepherds alike; we pray for the revival that must be founded on the confessional. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we confess our sins of cowardice and compromise. We have violated Your holy commands in regards to what we have done to our bodies and to other bodies. And in our compromise we have become cowards, unwilling to stand for what we know to be true for the dignity of all. We ask that You might have mercy on Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington; uphold marriage in these states, and in our nation, as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on ‘gay marriage.

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October 1, 2012 (Psalm 4:1)

October 1, 2012

‘Be merciful to me and hear my prayer.’ (Ps. 4:1)

God’s deliverance is an act of mercy. David knows that. He also knows that any righteousness of his own comes from such mercy; the king wholly depends upon his King for holiness.

Hope springs from mercy. If a sinner like David can know deliverance from sin through mercy alone, then one has little trouble to cry out for mercy again, whether for oneself and for others. That is helpful to us as we cry out to God on behalf of our corporate sexual immorality. Like David, we remember our own sin, and how mercy alone set us free.

‘When I kept silent, my bones wasted away, and Your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you; I confessed it to You, and You forgave the guilt of my sin.’ (Ps. 32:3-5)

‘Our hope lies in Your mercy, not in our native righteousness. We can bear the unbearable through mercy alone. We cast ourselves upon Your mercy, the blood and water that flowed from Your sacred heart for us.  In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we confess our sins of cowardice and compromise. We have violated Your holy commands in regards to what we have done to our bodies and to other bodies. And in our compromise we have become cowards, unwilling to stand for what we know to be true for the dignity of all. We ask that You might have mercy on Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington; uphold marriage in these states, and in our nation, as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on ‘gay marriage.

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