Blessed are the Pure
Generous Lord, the source of my life, the yearning of my heart, bring Christ’s life in me to fruition.
Read PSALM 119:113-128
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psa. 139:23,24 NRSV).
What an extraordinary song to sing to God! Even in these verses the song writer encompasses several profoundly important themes. It’s more than a little sobering to compare them with the great majority of songs sung in our churches today. Are our songs as urgent and grounded? Do they express a similar passion for authenticity, justice and faithfulness? If it is true that our worship songs are potent carriers and communicators of theology, what does this tell us about the dominant theologies of our times?
We don’t know the identity of this psalmist or the cause of the pain expressed in v. 113. Yet, sadly, it is very possible that, like the psalmist, we, too, have experienced duplicity and deception at the hands of our religious leaders—maybe even people we have looked up to and respected. Few things can be as acutely discouraging. This song tells us that even intense discouragement of this kind does not need to lead to debilitating skepticism and cynicism, or terminal disenchantment. Rather, God’s word and presence (114), and God’s faithfulness (116,117) will bring renewal of mind and spirit. The psalmist knows that this may not come easily (123), but he knows it will come. Why? Because he is committed to God’s way (128), and he is certain of the steadfastness of God’s love (124).
Tragically, there will always be some leaders in our churches and Christian organizations who look great on the outside (Matt. 23:27,28), but use their power and influence to pursue a personal agenda rather than that of God’s kingdom. Most of these people probably began their ministry with the best of intentions but were derailed by the seductions of leadership. How critical it is to ensure that we remain fully accountable to God and to one another.
Evaluate your life with these words: “The strongest argument for Christianity is Christians, when they are drawing life from God. The strongest argument against Christianity? Also Christians, when they become exclusive, self-righteous, and complacent” (Sheldon Vanauken).
Lord, my desire is to draw others to Christ, and not to repel them. Give me an inviting disposition and a clear and winsome witness for You.
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