It’s personal now


 

“What a friend we have Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear;
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.”

That hymn … those words … Brought to my inner ear as the words below crossed the page.

Jesus also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.” Luke 18:9-14

“O, what peace we often forfeit; O, what needless pain we bear;
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.”

That hymn … those words … no prompting … just the lord picking the “backing track”

I  am lying in bed. iPad in hand. Wi-fi in the air. Snuggly duvet all around.  The Lord and me having a fine old time. Being a follower of the way in these gadget days can make following a lot of fun. I know God isn’t an email chap, I know he isn’t a bloggy chap, I know I am of I Am. I know just being me is all it takes. Just lying here talking (praying?) and singing hymns in my head. No speakers/sound system needed.

“Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.”

I take all of this relationship, this friendship, this forgiven for free, , , , I take it all for granted.

“Can we find a friend so faithful, who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.”

Yet “back in the day” it was a trip to the temple. These words of prayer and forgiveness took a hike to the temple, a few coins for some poor sacrificial animal, quite a chunk of ritual … All to be forgiven for your sins. No snuggly relationship. No best bud relationship. This was: you go, you prayer, you pay, you sacrifice, now .. now UK.

>>> Sorry …couldn’t resist that one “you okay” – “UK” … we are giggling even if you are confused! 🙂

“Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care!
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.”

And mulling things over … This “sacrifice – ritual – you are done” kind of relationship. That’s not how it is today.  It’s personal now.  This blood stuff and sin and dead animals? Quite an industry when Jesus walked with us.  And now – 

Now as he and I lay here reading verses from Luke, I am already forgiven. Free.  Forgiven.  Freely.  And I never moved a muscle!! No temple, no blood, no hiking.

“Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer;
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee, Though wilt find a solace there.”

I am that place.  You are that place.  All of us are “that place”.  God moved in.  Each one.  Jesus died.  For me.  For you.  And in that dying He moved in.  If we wish.  He moved in and rose in us.  Each one.  We became a living walking temple.  No more hiking and praying.  No more hiking and paying.  God did that.  Then he moved in.  And rose again in each of us.  Isn’t that just too mind blowing?  This cross stuff and being forgiven?

It’s personal now.  What a friend we have indeed.

(I love this hymn. And the Lord popped the full version into my inner ears as I read the verses for today’s conversation. Six short verses from Luke.

What a friend we have Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear;
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.
O, what peace we often forfeit; O, what needless pain we bear;
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.
Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful, who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care!
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer;
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee, Though wilt find a solace there.

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8 thoughts on “It’s personal now

  1. “No blood”? Surely you jest. Only the best vintage that ever flowed! It was so good and special that it ended the need for more, always and forever. Beautiful post, Paul. Like to made me get all fogged up. And it’s hard to read that way.

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