For my daily devotion, I use “In Touch” magazine by Charles F. Stanley, the founder of “In Touch Ministries.” My mother introduced the magazine to me a few years back, but I didn’t start using them regularly until last year, when I started to become hungry for discipline and growth. Now she and I both receive the magazine (which is free!) in the mail once a month and do our devotions (aka devo’s) together These short readings and corresponding bible readings are my nightly reading and last meditation on my mind and spirit before I nod off into my technicolor dream world. Every nwo and then my mom and I share what we’re learning or something that caught our attention in the readings – being spiritual with our immediate family is so special! I think many divorces could be avoided if couples just read the bible and talked about what they felt and thought together…
Anyhow, this month’s magazine is titled, “Where love and wrath collide,” and features stories and devotions that culminate in reflections about the death and resurrection of Jesus – Lent & Easter, as Christian tradition goes. At first, love and wrath seem antithetical to one another, but if I look deeper, look back into past experiences, and even allow myself to think outside of the box a bit about love, I see that wrath and love, like hate and love but not, are inextricable. One does not feel wrath apart from love of something related to or affected by the object of wrath…my theological understanding is that God hates sin and feels wrath towards it because sin destroys the ones that He loves, namely US. Thus, God does not hate the sinner, only the sin, as we hate the cancer, not the cancer patient. (Unfortunately, sometimes we fail to show this same grace to HIV/AIDS sufferers…but that’s a whole ‘nother blog entry there.)
So, I just wanted to share this “Hymn of Repentance” by J. Edwin Orr included in this week’s set:
based on Psalm 139:23-24
Search me, O God and know my heart today.
Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts, I pray.
See if there be some wicked way in me.
Cleanse me from every sin, and set me free.
I praise Thee, Lord, for cleansing me from sin;
Fulfill Thy Word, and make me pure within.
Fill me with fire, where once I burned with shame;
Grant my desire to magnify Thy name.
Lord, take my life, and make it wholly Thine;
Fill my poor heart with Thy great love divine.
Take all my will, my passion, self and pride;
I now surrender, Lord — in me abide.
O Holy Ghost, revival comes from THee;
Send a revival, start the work in me.
Thy Word declares Thou wilt supply our need;
For blessings now, O Lord, I humbly plead.”
…and as tears stream down my face, cleansing my heart, my mind, and a 1″ radius spot on my MacBook’s trackpad, I bow down and thankfully confess, “Amen.”