Puritan Prayers - The Valley of Vision

The Love of Jesus – The Valley of Vision

I have recently begun to read Puritan prayers from the collection, The Valley of Vision, and I have been greatly encouraged by them.  The Puritans who truly believed in Christ, those who had truly repented, lived mildly ascetic lifestyles, dedicated to glorifying God in thoughts and actions. This prayer in particular shook me to the very core, as it illustrated the beautiful love relationship I have with my Savior.  I desire to love Him so much more, and this prayer words that desire in a completely elegant way.

The Love of Jesus

 

O Father of Jesus,

Help me to approach thee with deepest reverence,

not with presumption,

not with servile fear, but with holy boldness.

Thou art  beyond the grasp of my understanding,

but not beyond that of my love.

Thou knowest that I love thee supremely,

for thou art supremely adorable, good, perfect.

 

My heart melts at the love of Jesus,

my brother, bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh,

married to me, dead for me, risen for me;

He is mine and I am His,

given to me as well as for me;

I am never so much mine as when I am His,

or so much lost to myself until lost in Him;

then I find my true manhood.

 

But my love is frost and cold, ice and snow;

Let His love warm me,

lighten my burden,

be my heaven;

May it be more revealed to me in all its influences

that my love to Him may be more fervent

and glowing;

Let the mighty tide of His everlasting love

cover the rocks of my sin and care;

Then let my spirit float above those things

which had else wrecked my life.

 

Make me fruitful by living to that love,

my character becoming more beautiful every day.

If traces of Christ’s love-artistry be upon me,

me He work on with His divine brush

until the complete image be obtained

and I be made a perfect copy of Him,

my Master.

 

O Lord Jesus, come to me,

O Divine Spirit, rest upon me,

O Holy Father, look on me in mercy,

for the sake of the well-beloved.

Yes, Father, perfect me into a perfect copy of Him, my Master.

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Holiday

Merry CHRISTmas!!!

Isaiah 9:6-7 “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over His kingdom, to establish it and uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.”

Christmas. The very utterance of this word carries hundreds of images to the mind at once. Lights, trees, decorations, candy, fudge(white chocolate in my case), love, friends, family, comfort, Santa, and Jesus are examples of the kinds of images that would scurry through one’s brain at this word. There are so many topics I could write about under the Christmas category that I will not be able to expound upon them all. I’ll fit as many as I can in this post though.

First off, the TRUE meaning of Christmas. Watch any secular children’s Christmas movie and you’ll get a different spin on it. “It’s about getting gifts from Santa for being good,” and “The true meaning of Christmas is giving stuff to people you love,” are the most common meanings that the culture projects. Looking in from the outside, one can see that for the typical family, Christmas is a holiday filled with discontentment and spawned from greed. People will become angered if they don’t like what they got or didn’t get as much as they wanted. One might feel jealousy over a friend who received something better than they. One could become greedy, hoarding as much as he can get, giving nothing in return. For an unbeliever, Christmas is a holiday rampant with sin. This should be in direct contrast with the conduct of a believer on this holiday, or really any time. For a follower of Christ, CHRISTmas is just that: a designated time that we offer up praise to God for the gift of His Son being sent into this world, as a perfect and holy sacrifice for our constant sin. Really this is nothing we shouldn’t already be doing everyday of the year, everyday of our lives. Jesus Christ has given us the greatest gift that only God could give; why should we only praise Him for it once a year? No, as already stated, we should do much the opposite!

So then, why should we participate in the traditions of our culture? Why should we give gifts? Is God not enough? If we have accepted the free gift of God of eternal life, we know He is enough. As I have said before, “no money, cars, relationships can compare to joy in Christ,” to borrow from the Christian rapper Lecrae. Nothing we can possibly desire on this earth can match up to who Christ is.

Psalm 73:25-26, 28 “Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of Your works.”

See, to become discontent would defeat the purpose of Christmas: praising God because HE is enough! Each of us has been blessed beyond measure, so to sin in greed and discontentment would be like sneering at the Mighty God saying, “You are not enough. I want more! Your sacrifice was nothing.” How could we? Our Eternal Father deserves our lives and more for the boundless love which He has for us! We give gifts as a reflection of the gift we have been given, and should be proclaiming Christ the whole time we do.

In light of the fact that we must have this praise for Christ all the time, I believe many Christians should change their perspective of the Christmas season. To paraphrase John MacArthur, “When the world throws you a pass, catch it.” For the unbeliever, Christmas is a time of sin. For the child of God, Christmas is a tool. A tool for the furtherance of the gospel, of the good news of Jesus Christ, so that more may come to know Him. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this is the only reason we celebrate Christmas. Far from it. We are finite humans, bound in weak flesh, and Christmas season serves to remind us of the gift of our Savior’s birth. We commemorate and celebrate the day of His birth at one time, together as a body.

I hope and pray that you will keep your focus on Christ throughout the Christmas season, throughout the year, and throughout your life.

Here is a little something I was shown on youtube. It’s a hilarious narrative of the birth of Christ by a British pastor. Enjoy!

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