Thursday, November 7, 2013

grieving our sin

Samuel Zwemer, poet, scholar, missionary to Islam carried The Private Devotions of Lancelot Andrewes from country to country as he traveled.   It was his favorite devotional.   Lancelot Andrewes had both a deep sense of his sin and a deep love for Christ and his sacrifice.   These two go together and are the perfect antidote to the Muslims' excusing of sin and dismissing the need for a blood sacrifice. I want a deeper repentance too.  Here is a quote from one of the prayers of Lancelot Andrewes:
To Thee, O Lord, I confess, because, if I would, I cannot conceal: to Thee my very many, my very great, my very heinous sins. I profess also to grieve, as Thou knowest. But I need more grief: I plainly need it. I am far from that which I ought to have. I can sin much; I cannot repent much. Woe is me for my dryness, my dryness; I cannot much: I would much. I know that even much is not enough. Would that I had such grief, or even more; but of myself I cannot obtain it: I am dried up, I am dried up like a potsherd: woe is me. Thou, O Lord, increase the fountain of tears that I have; supply that I have not; give me a molten heart, unutterable groans. Meanwhile, since my mind is willing, accept me according to that I have, not according to that I have not.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Warts and Sin

I am inching my way through Overcoming Sin and Temptation by John Owen (eds. Kapic and Taylor), enjoying each bite the way I would a Godiva chocolate.   One thing that the book is doing for me is making me more suspicious of the deceitfulness of my own heart.  Jesus calls us to "Watch and pray lest you enter into temptation."  This watchfulness must be continual,  for our deceitful heart remains with us meddling in every resolve and desire to be obedient.
Indwelling sin is like a wart between the toes.  The roots are deep, and wider inside than on the surface.  It grows.  You can trim it back so that it doesn't press so painfully, but it lives on and will grow again.
Warts sometimes die but our deceitful heart will be with us until we die.  Only then will we be free of the battle.  Until then, press in for the fight.  John Owen's book is a manual for the hand-to-hand combat.