Pondering Truth In Christ

Sep. 18, 2018

Point for meditation: 1 John 3:2,3 (from NASB, emphases mine). “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”

There are only two churches that exist on earth - the church of self effort and the church of the finished work of Jesus Christ. That’s it. Let me explain why I believe this is so.

In reviewing this passage, I was once again reminded that, first of all, since now we are God’s children, our imperfections do not diminish His love for us any more than the imperfections of our own children disturb or anger us. It is the fact that our hope fixed on the vision of Christ’s perfection and ourself in Him (“faith”) becomes the means of our growing up into Christ likeness. The “vision” to be grasped is that of beholding ourself in Him - as co-crucified, dead, buried, and raised up from spiritual death, and seated with Him in the Heavenly Places. 

This work - bringing us to maturity, to Christ likeness - is His, and our life is hidden with Christ in God. It is not by means of self effort (works of the flesh) that we are sanctified (set apart and made manifestly holy). but by surrender to the work that God has already made of us in Christ that we are saved (salvaged for a new life). 

When we “see” / perceive this with the eyes of faith, then we no longer practice sin (which means to live a lie, suppressing the truth in unrighteousness). If we are practitioners of sin or a deceitful lifestyle, our gaze is on ourself rather than the Son of Man lifted up on the cross. This was “enacted” by Moses lifting up the serpent in the wilderness - all who gazed upon it for healing from the venom of the serpent bite - would be healed. Nothing more was required of them. This is what we need to see - the power of the works of the devil / serpent crucified in Christ, which we behold by faith.

This was shown to me a number of years ago and is the “vision”, the revelation, that permitted me to cease striving with something Christ already dealt with - my sin condition - through His incarnation and His passion. Oddly, the key is less struggling and striving, and simply surrendering to what is in Christ now.

What we “see” is now, and what we see is what shall be!

If all I see is a mountain of sin with which I must struggle, then my eyes are on myself and my own efforts against “mission impossible,” or on hiding this from myself by cover ups and hypocrisy. In either case, my gaze is always fixated on me and my effort, not on the Lamb of God Who has already taken away the sin of the world and Who has finished the job! It is by this that He was glorified, according to the opening lines of His great prayer in John 17. 

It is through this completed work of the Cross - that metaphysical moment on Golgotha where He was slain from the foundation of the world, yet spanning all time and eternity - that I am saved and transformed into His likeness more and more. Sin has been "done in" through the cross!

This cannot be explained very well to anyone who has not perceived it for himself - this vision (eyes of faith) of God’s absolute amazing grace in Christ Jesus. Yet if there is anything that I might offer to the table of the Ekklesia, it would be for all who name His Name to receive this vision, this view and perspective, in his innermost being. 

I’m convinced that this is the “spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him” (see context of Ephesians 1: 15-23) for which Paul always interceded for the Body of Christ, and for which we must heartily make supplication now! For, “where there is no vision (revelation), the people are unrestrained…”, according to Proverbs 29:18. (Or “the people perish,” KJV.)

To this John the Baptist points as he says, “Behold the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world.” This is the view which puts an end to both sin and the futility of self effort against it! Herein is the end of all struggle and striving - in simple surrender of self and all its efforts to combat what amounts to a ghost that never seems to go away, against which flesh and self effort can never win. But the victory is now in Christ.

When we Christians perceive and receive what is in Christ, right here and right now, we are able to let go and cease striving, and let God be God Who is mighty to save, Who has already raised us up in Christ Jesus and made us living new creations in Him. Then this reality becomes effectual in our life.

May it be so now and forever. Soli Deo Gloria! Amen!

 

 

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Sep. 7, 2018

There is a vision to be embraced, not a woo woo moment, but a clear understanding of what has needed to be perceived from the beginning. Psalm 115:16 reveals to us that “The heavens are the heavens of the Lord, but the earth He has given to the sons of men.” 

How’s that been going for us? 

Clearly this has not been taken seriously, as this little blue green gem in the sky has not been well managed, nor have her peoples been loved and cared for on a consistent basis. The first directive given to humankind was - to “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Gen 1:28. To subdue means to bring it under subjection to the Lord. And when the Lord mentions “ruling over” we know from Jesus’ own words it is not in the way of the kings of the earth, but His way - that to “rule” is to be the servant of all! For it is the “meek” who are promised the earth.

Man instead handed the domain given him by God to the evil one, thus relinquishing the claim to all God gave him to be responsible for. This was the plan behind the temptation of Eve, by way of deception. From there came the greatest source of THE conspiracy to end all conspiracies! And it was also the reason we needed to be redeemed, and restored - what we call Christification, one soul at a time. To be made ready to be heirs and joint heirs in Christ. This is why we needed and need and will need a Savior - to deliver us from the power and authority of the evil one to whom we were captive, to be set free from the works of the devil.

How well is this “vision” disseminated in the churches?

We have “religion” and religious forms, but how does that fit into the Master’s plan? I would offer that, rather than embracing just the "sacramental stream" of religious life, it is also necessary to revive and embrace the living, moving Spirit of God in the "charismatic stream" - that real flow of Living Water - of the Christian faith, as evidence - per Jesus and Scripture, "signs of those who believe" - of its evangelistic work, if there is any. The gifts of healing and restoration, per Jesus, come about as evidencing the claims and reality of “believers.” So, we need the Sacramental, Charismatic, and Evangelical (conversion) streams - the last two being the Spirit working through the priesthood of all believers, not only the clergy.

What's symptomatic also of the lack of understanding of the mission is that we Christians have become very comfortable in the world and taking God's blessings for granted. We, as the presumed "bride" “take His name in vain” by faithless adultery with the world. Our hearts are divided and unclean! We idolatrously rely on everything worldly, but not His promises and His power in life, which are an outgrowth of branches abiding in the Vine - the Direct Current of the Holy Spirit. 

We are dependent on secular systems of this world, in which we find far too much convenience and security, often modeling churches on a corporate business template, and then simply adding the sacramental components, but ignore the rest of the power of the Lord, promised right before His Ascension, according to Mark 16. (When did Cessationists decide that this ended with the book of Acts?)

We defy Christ Who said that we cannot serve God and mammon. Christ Who is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. But oh how we love having one foot in the church and the other in the world, idolatrously touting its claims and offers of security and wholeness, instead of being sold out to the Lord Jesus, and continually asking and seeking and knocking for the Holy Spirit. Could this be one big reason why we have “churchianity” and not christianity? 

This will not change until judgment begins in the house of God, and - just like ancient Israel - all the "props" of our little drama are knocked right off the stage of our presuming upon Him. The pattern is clear as seen in Scripture and history. Nothing will change, and we will not see anything truly supernatural - revealing the connection to the Vine - until this pruning takes place.

Where is the weeping of repentance? Where is the “baptism of anguish” over our idolatrous hearts and ways? Or will our lament take place by the rivers of Babylon as we undergo full captivity.

It may be too late, and what is about to unfold is not going to be very pretty. Look around. It has already begun, with the implementation of unrighteous laws legitimizing murder of innocents and every perversion, as well as the Trojan Horse of so called immigration.

We should wake up and weep for the Holy Spirit. And if God permits, let us not be cursed forever like the fig tree!

Apr. 20, 2018

1 Corinthians 13:5 NASB. (Love)… “does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered.”

Dare we say at the outset that love is not reactive but instead proactive, regenerative, and creative? And divinely so! Yet how do we arrive at love, so as to love as Jesus loved?

Love is not just a feeling of affection on a human level - where I love my spouse or I love my dog. It is also not the sense of “falling in love” with someone, or even falling in love with an ideology or religion. So let’s stop right here for a moment to realize how easily we can be fooled by a feeling of euphoria, even about abstract thought. For some this is quite attractive.

Yet how many people are convinced that this “high” is “proof” that the Holy Spirit is active, who are drawn into a religion (be it “Christian” or otherwise), simply because they are drawn to what they hold as an ideal, fueled by seeing their current religious situation as not what they’d want it to be? Beware of such moments, for the devil lurks at every window of opportunity to lead us astray into falsehoods which demolish the clear and simple gospel of devotion to Christ, and especially Christ’s devotion to us! (This does not include of course the possibility of leaving an apostate congregation or denomination.)

The practice of Jesus’ kind of love is what Scripture calls us to as the ultimate. This requires a prayer life including opening oneself up to the searchlight of the Holy Spirit - the very presence of the Great Physician Himself - Who speaks the Word of forgiveness. With this He delivers us little by little from what lurks within - uncharted darkness that largely characterizes our interior being. As this goes on, Love that is in Christ alone shines forth in ever increasing magnitude as this darkness is dispelled. Out with the bad; in with the Good, so to speak. 

We may not even realize that such darkness is lurking within us, holding us in some aspect spiritually captive! When we see it for what it is, and how it so mercilessly keeps us in the dark, there is nothing for it but - by the power of the Holy Spirit - to surrender ourself to the Lord’s provision for our salvation and the restoration of His likeness in us. In so doing let us hear Him impart to us, and receive, the priceless proclamation and command, “Thy sins are forgiven thee. Arise; go and sin no more!” 

This “treatment” of receiving forgiveness may have to be sought multiple times throughout life in various applications to the “sin within” (original sin), which to say the least is an understatement. So it behooves us to pray according to Psalm 19:12 (NLT), “How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults.” 

All of these lurking interior conditions prohibit the manifestation of Christ Love in and through us. God alone by His own infinite love must remove them. Our part (relating as sin sick patient to the Great Physician) is to admit to this and to receive His “treatment” - by grace through faith - which has already been created for us in Christ Jesus: forgiveness, renewal, and restoration. This is the goal of Confession and Absolution. 

We return then to the eye opening request in Psalm 19, this time including verse 13 (Amplified Version): “Who can discern his lapses and errors? Clear me from hidden [and unconscious] faults. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not rule over me; then I shall be blameless, And I shall be acquitted of transgression.” (Highlighted emphasis mine.)

On a personal note - in offering up the essence of this prayer to God - I have begun to perceive where I am impatient (far too much of the time), unkind (a lot more than I want to be), and jealous (due to thinking that much of life has passed me by but has been granted to someone else), or feeling wronged in a myriad of ways which may not even be true or real. Bragging and arrogance may also cloak themselves beneath a facade of colorful pretenses and images of ourself we’d like the world to see. We all wear to some degree or another this thin veneer that is so very easily scratched! Yet if this facade is to be put off and the humility of Christ put on, then being a “put on” must be put off. How so?

This reality can happen, as our sanctification must be a continuation flowing out of our justification: “by grace through faith lest anyone should boast”. Per Ephesians 2:8.

Religious rites and rituals - whether on the one hand extreme with complex liturgies, or the other hand extreme in the direction of the most simplistic praise choruses followed by sermons - are never to become substitutes for our “metaphysical” reality in Christ Jesus. They ought to point to that which already is in Him! Let’s repeat that: Religious rites and rituals are never to become substitutes for our “metaphysical” reality in Christ Jesus. They must point to that which already is in Him! If this is not understood, then we wind up as the ancient Jews, mistaking rituals and procedures as substitutes for relationship with the living God. 

This is not how He intended it, even though the Lord Himself carefully prescribed every detail of ritual for those days, from the layout of temple and tabernacle, to procedures of sacrifice and worship. Why then did He go to all that trouble? It was not so that people would fall in love with religion and rituals, mistaking the forms for reality, but so that when they saw and heard the message of the Messiah and the Gospel enacted in the rituals, they would perceive it and fall in love with Him!

For it was His proclamation of old - through sacrifice, ritual, word, and song - that God was revealing His saving, transforming love through Jesus Christ. God, Who is Spirit and Creator, revealed His Way of Love for us, physical and human, received  by grace through faith. He was revealing through these forms the Way to transcend our fallenness and defilement through the remission of sins by the application of forgiveness so that we can love as Jesus loves. 

This is, always has been, and ever shall be so, only through the blood of the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world. Redemption and salvation are by Jesus Christ alone, Who has ransomed us from sin, death, and the authority of the evil one! He has made us once more His own, “that we might be His own and live under Him in His kingdom, and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness. This is most certainly true.” (From The 2nd Article, Luther’s Small Catechism.)

Let us never fall prey to getting lost in ritual! It is story. It is communication of the drama of salvation - enacted, spoken, and sung. But it is not an end in itself, no matter how simple, or contrastingly ornate or beautiful (with potential toward burdensome works). Let us relate to it as it is - visible, auditory,  and participatory “word” - a tool revealing Christ, pointing to Christ, in all His splendor and authority, in Whose already finished redemption is the extension of the forgiveness that brings about the remission of our sins.

I’ve often prayed about what forgiveness really means, wanting to know and to understand this working of the Lord. It has taken many years of asking, seeking, and knocking. It seems a simple thing to many people, but not for me. What has been revealed is but a fraction of what is to come!

How so? The proclamation of the forgiveness of sins is the medicine that brings about the remission of sins - the inherent, congenital, terminal condition which is upon fallen humankind. This means everyone! This proclamation is God’s grace directed to all who are fallen under this condition, abiding in death and darkness. Forgiveness is announced, for example, in liturgy, upon confession of our sinfulness. How receptive are we to what we are hearing? Do we receive it and participate in it in life?

The Spirit, through the truth proclaimed, must “overshadow” every human soul contained in man who is physical being. (Just as Christ was physically produced in Mary through the Spirit, so He is to be spiritually reproduced in us!) Forgiveness is the “axe” of the power of the Word of God being laid to the “root” of the sinful condition within man, for it cannot exist in the same space as the Light of God. Simultaneously, with each blow of the axe, a soul is set free from sin, self (ego/pride), and Satan’s power. The Holy Spirit, every time forgiveness is pronounced and received, makes His inroads - destroying the old regime and supplanting and replacing it with the Kingdom of Heaven. 

We are God’s “inheritance” in and under the Lordship of Christ Jesus, precious to Him beyond imagining! This is what forgiveness restores to us - the right to become the sons of God! What a marvel! With this “declaration” comes transformation - to be made Christlike through the Blood of the Lamb! We could even say “sublimation” - not in the Freudian sense - but by the spiritual sense of Holy Spirit’s work of elevating us through purification, converting something inferior (due to the Fall) into something of highest worth to our Heavenly Father.

This is not theology only, but the reality into which we are called to participate in Christ Jesus. Are we, or are we not, new creations in Him? That is the question. We become new creations as we are born again of water and the Spirit. But as all newborns, we must grow in grace and knowledge of God through Christ.

It is the action of the Unseen Almighty’s love that never gives up on mankind or individual human beings. Purification means that through much tribulation we enter the kingdom of heaven (and the kingdom of heaven enters us!) Darkness must be supplanted by the Light of Christ within us. Yet it is never by the hand of man - who is the recipient of this work. Seeing our shortcomings and where they will take us, there’s nothing for it but to surrender fully to the all consuming Love of Christ under the direction of the Holy Spirit and receive forgiveness.

What anciently rooted itself in the race of humanity through deception is such an insidious thing that it cannot be approached in the power of humanistic self effort. We are no match for the adversary. This sin condition is of such an altogether “alien” Luciferian construct and magnitude of being, that it is only by way of forgiveness through the Blood of Jesus Christ that there is sufficient power against it! Let us never underestimate the value of forgiveness!

We see this exemplified in the Old Testament accounts of Israel coming against the giants who ruled the Promised Land. There was no natural strength against them to be found in the efforts or weaponry of Israel on it own. Overtaking and conquering them could only be accomplished at the Word of the Lord. When Israel was faithful to the Word of the Lord, the occupational forces were routed. It was the only way.

What a blow to self effort is this realization! This has to be the revelation of Paul to the Church: it is not, it never was, nor shall it ever be by our own might or power; but this “regime change” within us must be strictly by the power of the Holy Spirit through the proclamation of the Word of forgiveness in Christ Jesus. This is how we not only receive forgiveness, but are transformed and the likeness of God in us is restored (That likeness is love!). Where Peter was given the revelation of the identity and therefore the authority of Jesus Christ, Paul was given the Word of revelation on how His kingdom is to be built upon the foundation, the Rock! And unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain that build it. (Per Psalm 127:1)

It is so easy for human ego to become enamored of offering God religious works, and this easily morphs into religious pride which always stands like a mountain in the way of the all-sufficiency provided by God in Christ. When that mountain exalts itself, it stands in the way of Christ's love and likeness being formed in us. When man thinks he has a better “religious” way, ironically all that he does is to shake his fist in God's face as he sings, “I do it my way.”

May we ever be wary, diligent, and vigilant about the deception of religious forms replacing the reality of the substance that belongs to Christ alone and our relationship to Him built on that. Certainly religious forms can be beautiful and intriguing drama presenting the salvation story, but if they supplant it as reality - and this happens often and easily since idolatry lurks in the hearts of men - let us ever speak to that mountain and say, “Be thou cast down and leveled never to rise again. Stand down and take your place!" 

So be it according to Your word, O Lord God, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ all powerful, all sufficient name. Amen.

PS: One would think that the prophetic unfoldments circa 70 A.D. should have been sufficient evidence of the message to the churches about God’s dealing with such devices. Yet man continues to substitute ritual for the reality of relationship with Him, in the face of the cry from the cross, “It is finished!” Let us surrender ourselves to God for forgiveness and repentance of having substituted any other way that supplants His Way through Christ Jesus! Amen.

Respectfully submitted, Soli Deo Gloria!

Apr. 4, 2018

I was just thinking about the story of "the two" on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24:13-35. It's amazing to me how every time I read Scripture, I notice something a little different, or something I did not comprehend before in some passage I've read dozens of times before. Or it raises another question. Such is the case here.

This account seems to point to the idea that it takes the Lord to open one's eyes to some things, and that will happen when we are ready to see it. It happened to "the two". It happens to me often when reading a passage I've read dozens of times before. There is always more to see, sometimes more than meets the eye! Does that happen to you as well?

Two men were walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus. It was about seven miles. Only one of these men is named - Cleopas. Who the other was the story does not say directly. That's the first thing I noticed with this reflection on the Word - that only one of them was named. 

They are joined by a third man. It is the risen Jesus Christ, but they do not recognize Him. They lament to Him of the events of the past week, how all their hopes were dashed because their Lord had been crucified. What puzzled them further was that some of the women who were followers of His had come to them and had spoken of having a vision of angels who said He was alive! Then some of them also went to the tomb to discover that He was not there, but they did not specifically see Him alive.

 So Jesus begins to open the Scriptures to them from Moses to the Prophets, as to how it all revealed Him, But still they did not recognize Him Who was walking with them. Since it was growing late, they extended hospitality and asked Him to stay with them.

During supper "... He took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight." (Now you see Me; now you don't!)

How much this sounded to me like that last time He and the twelve had dined together, when He blessed the bread and the wine, and said, "This is My body; this is My blood."

They were so thrilled at having had this encounter with their risen Lord, that they returned immediately to Jerusalem to find the eleven and those who were with them, to testify that the Lord was indeed alive.

For some reason I had always been under the impression that "the two" were of the number of the original twelve disciples. Since they were finding the eleven (minus Judas) (soon to be Apostles), it stands to reason that "the two" were followers of Jesus but not among the original twelve, which is also something different that I noticed with this reading.

The last verse, after they walked all the way back to Jerusalem, after Jesus vanished physically, reads, "Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when He broke the bread."

Somehow this reminds me of a line from an old hymn, "O blest communion, fellowship divine..."

Holy Spirit, Please open the eyes of our hearts and our understanding, that we - also, always, and only - may be believers, perceivers, and receivers of such comprehension as enjoyed by "the two", and may know true fellowship with our Lord Jesus Christ, in Whose precious name we ask this. Amen.

Mar. 31, 2018

Matthew 7:1-5 NASB. “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

Here Jesus goes for the bullseye, right between the eyes, we might say. He has previously used the idea of the clear or single eye to reveal the necessity of having only the kingdom of heaven as our sole (soul?) preoccupation, unfettered from the concerns of the world. Once more He directs our view inward toward our own faults. The Amplified Version puts it this way (verse 3): “Why do you stare without at the very small particle that is in your brother’s eye, but do not become aware of and consider the beam of timber that is in your own eye?” He is directing us to look within with penitential intention.

The issue is, am I seeing my neighbor’s particle or my own beam (or sliver and log, per some translations)? Why is it that our Lord and Master always seems to point out His perfect view of inconvenient truths about our actual interior condition, when we’d rather point out someone else’s according to our imperfect view? What is going on here is perhaps that, while we’re noticing and even judging someone else’s imperfections, we’re failing to notice the truth about what needs to change within ourself. Yet we do not want to repent of it. Instead we may project that sin or flaw or fault onto someone else. We see our flaws in theirs, but do not wish to own up to it. According to verse 2, there a comeuppance involved in this - by our standard of measure it is measured to us.

But if we are seeing prayerfully and clearly what needs to change within us, by the searchlight of the Holy Spirit, so that the Kingdom of heaven may further advance in our own interior, we may have to admit to and confess a serious log jam! When we come from a view of self examination and true repentance, we will not be staring from without so as to fault find or judge our brothers and sisters.

This is not to say we will never notice anything about anyone else, yet it’s important not to use it to gossip or harshly criticize them. Often this is done to bolster our own ego so we can feel superior, but at the end of the day, that little emperor does not wish to acknowledge his own nakedness.

Instead we might try a different approach if we have a dim perception about someone else: We could use it as a mirror of reflection - turning our gaze interiorly as a point of self examination. We might instead come before the Lord in quiet prayer, asking, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.” (Psalm 139:23,24)

Jesus lovingly desires this for our eternal good, which always brings Him glory. When we see our own log or beam for what it is, we can then bring it to the cross, where we see this crucified and dead in Him. That is the awful cost of our sin and the transgressions that come from this fallen condition. Here at the foot of the cross, we cry out the penitent’s prayer, “God be merciful to me a sinner!” 

He will never fail to bestow the forgiveness granted there through Jesus Christ. And we also hear Him say, “Go, and sin no more.”

In considering and confessing our own sinful log jam, we can admit that our eye has not been clear and single, but it has wandered where it should not, just as adulterously as David’s eye wandered toward Bathsheba. Holy Spirit guided conscience keeps the watchful eye to bring us back to where our eye must be, as a kind of inner prophet Nathan, convicting us and at the same time showing the way back to grace and the remission of sin, as we pray with David (Psalm 51);

Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity And cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me. 4 Against You, You only, I have sinned And done what is evil in Your sight, So that You are justified when You speak And blameless when You judge. 5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. 6 Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom. 7 Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Make me to hear joy and gladness, Let the bones which You have broken rejoice. 9 Hide Your face from my sins And blot out all my iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit. 13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners will be converted to You. 14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation; Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness. 15 O Lord, open my lips, That my mouth may declare Your praise. 16 For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. 18 By Your favor do good to Zion; Build the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then You will delight in righteous sacrifices, In burnt offering and whole burnt offering; Then young bulls will be offered on Your altar."

There is work to do, and the truth is not “out there”; it’s “in here”. Jesus “The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8) Let us align ourselves, by the power of the Holy Spirit, with the continuation of that good work which He has begun in us, to the glory of His name. Amen.