April 9, 2008

Save me and I shall be saved

How can a writer pen words more than a hundred years ago and still be up-to-date? How can his words speak to my heart when these years have brought so much change in the way people think and live?

People say that the Word of God is outdated and not relevant today. They fail to recognize that some things are timeless. People of all cultures and all generations know joy and delight. They also suffer loneliness, guilt, sorrow, and longing for a better life.

The Bible touches those experiences. If I let it, it exposes my heart. God made humanity. He knows what we are like and He knows what we need. As I read His Word this morning, and the reading from today’s devotional, I felt His sword slicing through to the very core of my disappointments with myself, and bringing with it great encouragement and blessing.

J.C. Philpot’s book, Ears from Harvested Sheaves, is older than copyright laws and has nothing in the front of it about reproducing what it says. Therefore, I am going to put the entire reading here, with the Scripture that prompted it, just this one time. One verse and three sentences—yet they say so much about my heart and very likely the heart of many others.

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for You are my praise” (Jeremiah 17:14).
If we feel that we have ruined our own souls, that no human arm can save us, that we cannot bring salvation into our own consciences, nor of ourselves see any beauty, glory, sweetness, or suitability in the Lord Jesus Christ, and yet are striving with prayer and supplication to touch the hem of His garment, to taste the sweetness of His dying love, to feel the efficacy of His atoning blood, to be wrapped up in His glorious robe of righteousness, and to know Him in the sweet manifestations of His grace, we too can say, “Save me, and I shall be saved.” Here is this sin! save me from it: here is this snare! break it to pieces; here is this lust! Lord, subdue it; here is this temptation! deliver me out of it; here is my proud heart! Lord, humble it; my unbelieving heart! take it away, and give me faith; give me submission to Thy mind and will; take me as I am with all my sin and shame and work in me everything well-pleasing in thy sight, for “Thou art my praise.” If ever I have blessed Thee, it has been for Thy goodness to my soul; if ever my heart has been tuned to Thy praise, if ever my lips have thanked Thee, it has been for the riches of Thy grace, and the manifestations of Thy mercy. I am nothing, and never shall be anything but a poor guilty sinner in Thy eyes; but I have to praise Thee for all that is past, and to hope in Thee for all that is to come; “for thou,” and Thou alone, O Lord, “art my praise.”

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