Dear Pastor, Missionary, Chaplain and Friends,
Steve Jones here…there is a verse that is never far from my mind and spirit. It is Psalm 51:17 (NLT): “The sacrifice you want is a broken spirit. A broken and repentant heart, O God, you will not despise.” This verse has been a best friend to me through the years.
In the late 1930s, Carl Sandburg finished his masterpiece, a four volume treatise of the life of a U.S. President. It was entitled, “Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and the War Years.” After writing of Lincoln’s assassination, Sandburg turned his attention in chapter 75 to the aftermath that followed Lincoln’s tragic death. Sandburg titled chapter 75 after an old woodman’s proverb: A Tree is Best Measured When it is down.”
In Sandburg’s opinion, not until a life is “down” can we adequately measure its length of significance or its breath of impact or its depth of influence.
After you’re dead and gone, how will your family, friends, workmates, community and church measure your life? Most importantly what will the Lord’s response be after your life has been measured?
Are we concerned about our image before people or the state of our naked soul before God?
Do we fear God or people?
If we live life more concerned by what people think than what God thinks, we will slowly justify over time all kinds of stuff in our life.
Years back I heard a message from John Ortberg about this very thing. He warned us we all had a “shadow mission” we often followed. We call ourselves a devoted follower of Christ, but the fruit of our life consistently indicates we’re devoted to other stuff.
There is an Old Testament book that presents this cycle of sin in the lives of God’s people. At the back door of the Book of Judges we read the theme verse for the entire book, “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25)
We all have great potential for godliness and success in our lives. However, we also have the unfailing capacity for catastrophe. Most often we “inch” our way slowly toward moral or spiritual failure and no one stops us to avert the car wreck that is coming. God is looking for brokenness. Contrite people to stand in the gap.
Please…please…give your Saviour the “sacrifice of a broken spirit” today. It’s the offering He awaits from each of us. Know that you are loved.
Have a blessed week,
P.S. A place to find a challenge to pursue communion with the Lord will be at Fellowship 48 (our National Convention) in Niagara Falls, ON from November 5-7, 2012. Our speakers, a husband and wife team, Peter and Geri Scazzero, will be addressing us in a seminar/workshop format.
Talking to us about “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality.” Peter writes in his book, of the same title, “emotional health is not only about ourselves and our relationships; it impacts our image of God, our hearing of God’s voice, and our discernment of his will.” (pg 47)
I hope you and your spouse are planning to attend this year’s Fellowship 48.