At the end of every worship service, right before the benediction, our pastor gives a charge–a “now go do this”–to the congregation. Usually it’s an application from the sermon, as was the case this past Sunday. This was the gist of it:
“At the end of the day, damnation is the unwillingness of man for God to make him happy.”
Doug Wilson (From the assurance of pardon, Sunday, January 19, 2014)
Following this morning’s sermon on 2 Samuel 4:1-12, Pastor Wilson gave a charge that went something like this: “If you think we shouldn’t pray the imprecatory Psalms because we shouldn’t be vengeful, you’ve got it backward: We should implore God to bring about His vengeance so that we won’t be so tempted to take the prerogative of vengeance upon ourselves.” (Actually, I don’t think it went anything like that, but I think that captures the gist of the thought.)
We must also bind up our imprecations with blessing (Matt. 5:44, etc.) by praying first that He would destroy His enemies by destroying their enmity and making them His friends. And if our enemies are already His friends, but aren’t behaving like it, we must pray first that He will grant them the blessing of repentance. Those parameters will help us keep our own bitterness and vindictiveness out of the picture so that we can earnestly and blamelessly pray that He will requite every wicked deed.
We can and must even pray these sorts of things upon our own heads, asking Him to remove sin from us by whatever means necessary and gratefully submitting to the discipline He metes out on us, trusting that it will yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness.
“To mark new beginnings is natural, and whether we are doing it with the church calendar or with the civic calendar, we want all our strivings and resolvings to be gospel-driven, not guilt-driven. We need new life far more than a new leaf, and so we cry out to God. Let every transformation in our personal lives over this next year be the result of sheer grace, utter gift, inexorable life, and God’s overflowing kindness. Our prayer to God is that He would tell us to rise up and walk—and that we would throw away the crutches of duty, and run after Him on the legs of joy.”
Doug Wilson, “Bruise in Us the Serpent’s Head”, December 24, 2012 (Emphases added.)
I’m creating this post on December 30 and thinking that maybe a good 2013 resolution would be to blog something
every day a few times a week (let’s not get too carried away) on the subject of joy. Hmmm…we’ll see if I can keep that up. Heaven knows it’d be good for my Eeyore soul!
Repentance and faith complement one another. Beware counterfeits. Morbid repentance devours faith. Presumptuous faith devours repentance.
Doug Wilson, Tweeted August 8, AD 2011
The cross is where sinners feel the gravitational pull of Holiness. And only there.
Lust is a demand for a finite thing to provide what only the infinite can actually provide. God has placed eternity in our hearts (Ecc. 3:11, ESV), and that God-shaped vacuum — to use Pascal’s phrase for it — can only be filled by the infinite torrential waterfall that is the triune God. He is a waterfall with no top, no bottom, no sides, no back, and no front, but only and always eternally cascading love.
Doug Wilson, “Even If You Use a Spatula,” May 24, 2011