Category: Prayer

A Christian Voice In A Changing Culture

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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September 30, 2012 (Psalm 4:1)

September 30, 2012

‘Give me relief from my distress’ (Ps. 4:1); ‘In my troubles, You make a way.’ (NAB)

David is in distress. He does not ask for God to remove His distress but rather to make a way for him to bear it. Today we would be wise to experience the distress of our corporate sexual immorality. The New York Times recently mocked Rick Santorum in an editorial by flouting the ‘new normal’: well over half of today’s Americans declare as morally acceptable: having a baby outside of marriage, government-funded contraception, as well as gay and premarital sex. Those advocating ‘gay marriage’ straddle 50%. (Charles Blow, March 3rd, 2012)

That distresses me. If the statistics are accurate, most Americans are at odds with their Maker due to sexual immorality. Is it any wonder we have little authority to uphold marriage? I urge you to not turn away from that truth. Rather, ask God to help you bear the truth with His help. Only through Him can we bear the unbearable.

‘I never sat in the company of revelers…I sat alone, because Your hand was on me, and You had filled me with indignation.’ (Jer. 15: 17)

‘Father, our corporate shame is ever before us. We have turned away from You and done what seemed right to us. Forgive us for shirking the weight of that shame. 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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September 29, 2012 (Psalm 4:1)

September 29, 2012

Answer me when I call to You, my saving, righteous God…’ (Ps. 4:1)

David trusts God. His hope rests entirely on the God who delivered him in the past, and who he trusted would deliver him again. For the king, God is not an abstract ethic or idea—He is the one who has power to save him from death, both now and for eternity. David’s child-like trust pervades the adult intrigue in which he is entangled. May his example strengthen our faith in the God who employs His righteousness to save us.

‘Indeed in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely upon ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril and He will deliver us. On Him we have set our hope, that He will continue to deliver us…’ (2Cor 1:9, 10)

‘Father, grant us the faith of Your servant David. We call to mind the way You have delivered us in the past. Would You deliver us again? In your righteousness, extend the mantle of Your unfailing love over our sorry state. 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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