Saturday, March 26, 2016

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Singing in the Darkness

"My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Matt. 27:46).

Many things have been said about this fourth word from the cross.  But one I have not heard much is that here, on the cross, our Lord chose to sing.  The words are from Psalm 22:1.  And what is a psalm?  It is a song!  St. Augustine said that "the one who sings, prays twice" - once with the words, and again with the tune.

We make a mistake when we try to read and explain psalms as we would other texts of Scripture.  To sing the psalms is to release their real meaning.  If you cannot sing, then at least tap your foot.  Remember in your heart that they are songs.

Jesus finds a psalm that expresses how He feels.  He feels forsaken.  But what does He do?  He sings!  While in prison, Paul and Silas sang hymns to God at midnight (Acts 16:25).

We have a tendency to worry, grow discouraged, or try to solve problems that cannot be.  Instead we should sing and release the power and peace of "psalms and hymns and spiritual songs" (Eph. 5:19).  Do this especially at night, at the end of a long day.  "At night His song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life" (Ps. 42:8).

Keep God's name holy by singing in the hour of darkness.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Falling and Rising

"A righteous man falls seven times, and rises again" (Prov. 24:16).

A tradition holds that the Savior fell seven times on the way to Calvary.  For those familiar with the fourteen Stations of the Cross, seven of them, it can be noted, are falls.  (Stations III, VII, and IX are called "falls," while IV, V, VI, and VIII are described by events thought to have happened in connection with falls.)  Jesus is the righteous man who falls seven times.

Now ask, "How many times have I fallen into temptation and sin?"  Isn't it tragic that you are not even able to number them?

Confess your sins to the best of your memory.  Then remember the righteous man who fell underneath the weight of every last one of them, getting up again and carrying them up Calvary, and there dying for them.  "The righteous man for the unrighteous" (1 Pet. 3:18).

But the proverb is completely fulfilled when the righteous man who falls seven times on Good Friday rises again on Easter morning.  And He lives to defend you against every temptation.