January 31st, 2016

Savior, Like A Shepherd Lead Us



Savior, like a shepherd lead us, much we need Thy tender care;
In Thy pleasant pastures feed us, for our use Thy folds prepare.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.

We are Thine, Thou dost befriend us, be the guardian of our way;
Keep Thy flock, from sin defend us, seek us when we go astray.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Hear, O hear us when we pray.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Hear, O hear us when we pray.

Thou hast promised to receive us, poor and sinful though we be;
Thou hast mercy to relieve us, grace to cleanse and power to free.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! We will early turn to Thee.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! We will early turn to Thee.

Early let us seek Thy favor, early let us do Thy will;
Blessèd Lord and only Savior, with Thy love our bosoms fill.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Thou hast loved us, love us still.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Thou hast loved us, love us still.

http://cyberhymnal.org/htm/s/l/slaslus.htm

"To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out." John 10:3
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative

the sovereignty of God's grace does not free us from obedience to Him

It is in the death flow 9:14 AM Sunday morning. I am down in the lower level writing on one of our lap top computers. My wife has come home from work and gone to bed. She is now off two weeks from work. Tomorrow she leaves for Arizona to visit our daughter Bethany and her family for twelve days. I will stay home and sit at the feet of Jesus. "And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word" Luke 10:39,42.

I got up this morning around 7:15 AM. I got up made a pot of coffee and messed with our main computer. Next I wrote in my paper diary and then made oatmeal for breakfast. As I was writing in my diary my wife came home from work.

I have been reading this morning from a book titled, "Psalm 1-72" Old Testament VII Reformation Commentary On Scripture Edited By Herman J. Selderhuis. I have been reading this morning this commentary on Psalm 23 THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD.

I will quote from this commentary on Psalm 23-

"The Sovereignty Of God's Grace Does Not Free Us From Obedience To Him. John Hooper: Now as King David in this text has wonderfully set forth the miserable nature of all God's sheep and made himself an example, that the nature and condition of all human beings is corrupt, wicked and damnable, so that it cannot be a partaker of God's blessings and eternal grace unless it is born again, amended, restored and instructed, so also he shows that no one converts a person's soul but the heavenly Father, the great Shepherd who both sees the lost state of his sheep and by his mercy wills to save and call home the sheep again. David goes even further and shows what the heavenly Shepherd will do with his sheep. He says, "He will lead them into paths of justice." In which the prophet declares that it is not only God who converts the person from evil but also he also who keeps him in goodness and virtue. Thus, an incredible misery and wretchedness in the soul and body of human beings is revealed; we can neither begin nor even continue in a life acceptable to God unless God wholly works the same himself in us.

And as it declares the incredible wretchedness of human beings, it also reveals and proclaims an incredible and unspeakable mercy and compassion of God toward human beings: he so marvelously and graciously cannot be content to help and save his enemy and adversary. And this is required of everyone the Lord converts from iniquity and sinful living, that they walk in the same law and life in equity and justice as is fitting for obedient men and women redeemed with the Shepherd's most precious blood.

For the Lord does not teach his sheep the truth so that they can live in falsehood. Nor does he give them the remission of their sins so that they can return to them again. Rather, he does this so that they would studiously apply and diligently exercise themselves in virtuous works to the honor of almighty God. EXPOSITION UPON PSALM 23." pg.190

It is now 9:37 AM Sunday morning. I will close to drift through this day. I might get out to read on this winter Sabbath once again Richard Baxter's treatise A CHRISTIAN DIRECTORY Volume 1 "Baxter's Practical Works". Since while my wife is gone for a couple of weeks I might spend a lot of time reading Baxter's A CHRISTIAN DIRECTORY for morning worship.
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative

a persons enters the dark cloud of unknowing

It is now in the death flow 10:19 AM Sunday morning. Earlier I quote from the Gospel of Luke chapter 10 verse 39 "And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus feet and heard His word" also verse 42 "But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her." I remembered reading in the treatise THE CLOUD OF UNKNOWING an explanation of LK 10:42 that I thought I would share with my readers this morning. As I have mentioned many times in my online diaries the treatise "The Cloud Of Unknowing" is one of my favorite books.

"Chapter 21
A true explanation of the Gospel passage: Mary has chosen the best part.

"Mary has chosen the best part." What does this mean? Whenever we speak of the best, we imply a good and a better. The best is the superlative degree. What then are the options from which Mary chose the best? They are not three ways of life since Holy Church only speaks of two, the active and the contemplative. No, the deeper meaning of the Gospel story from St. Luke which we have just considered is that Martha represents the active life and Mary the contemplative life, the first of which is absolutely necessary for salvation. So when a choice narrows down to two, one of them may not be called best.

Nevertheless, although the active and the contemplative are the two ways of life in Holy Church, yet within them, taken as a whole, there are three parts, three ascending stages. These we have already discussed, but I will briefly summarize them here. The first stage is the good and upright Christian life in which love is predominantly active in the corporal works of mercy. In the second, a person begins to meditate on spiritual truths regarding his own sinfulness, the Passion of Christ, and the joys of eternity. The first way is good but the second is better, for here the active and contemplative life begin to converge. The merge in a sort of spiritual kinship, becoming sisters like Martha and Mary. This is as far as an active person may advance in contemplation except for the occasional intervention of special grace. And to this middle ground a contemplative may return-but no further-to take up some activity. He should not do so, however, except on rare occasions and at the demand of great need.

In the third stage a person enters the dark cloud of unknowing where in secret and alone he enters the dark cloud of unknowing where in secret and alone he centers all his love on God. The first stage is good, the second is better, but the third is best of all. This is the best part belonging to Mary. It is surely obvious now why our Lord did not say to Martha, "Mary has chosen the best life." There are only two ways of life and, as I said, when a choice is only between two one may not be called best. But our Lord says, "Mary has chosen the best part and it shall not be taken from her." . . ." THE CLOUD OF UNKNOWING Chapter 21
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative

he is leading you to the world of light, and life, and love, and joy

It is now in the flow 1:06 PM Sunday afternoon. It is a cold dreary winter day here by Lake Michigan. I came across something in Richard Baxter's book A CHRISTIAN DIRECTORY that is a commentary on Psalm 23 verse 3 "He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake."

"Direction II. Always remember whither you are going; that you are preparing for everlasting rest and joy, and must pass through the righteous judgment of the Lord; and that Christ is your Guide and Governor, but to bring you safely home, as the Captain of your salvation; and that sin is a rejection of his help, and of your happiness.-Think not that God doth rule you as a tyrant, to your hurt or ruin, to make his own advantage of you; or by needless laws, that have no respect to your good and safety; but think of him, as one that is conducting you to eternal life, and would guide you by his counsel, and afterwards take you to his glory. Think that he is leading you to the world of light, and life, and love, and joy, where there are rivers of pleasure, and fulness of delight for evermore, that you may see his face, and feel his love, among the world of blessed spirits; and not be weeping and gnashing the teeth, with impious, impenitent souls. And is not such a government as this desirable? Is is but like the government of a physician, to save his patient's life. Or like your government of your children, which is necessary to their good, that cannot feed or rule themselves. Or like a pilot's governing the ship, which is conveying you to possess a kingdom: if the mariners obey him, they may safely arrive at the desired port; but if they disobey him, they are all cast away and perish. And should such a government as this is seem grievous to you? or should it not be most acceptable, and accurately obeyed?" pg. 77 CHRISTIAN ETHICS Richard Baxter
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative