[Papercut Press] 2003-10-07 - Self-Renunciation

Matthew 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

I don't know if you have ever thought about how profound this phrase is in the Lord's prayer. In many ways Christ is offering submission to the Father. He says clearly that His desire is for the will of the Father to be done. The clear reading of this phrase is that Christ desired the will of the Father even if it was at the expense of His own will. It is common for us to pray this prayer now. Many churches have a part of the worship service where the Lord's prayer is prayed.

The phrase in the prayer is clear. Christ sets the example that we are to follow. Namely, that we do everything that the Father wills and nothing except what He wills. We are to do what He wills simply for the very reason that He wills it. Christ is our example and He demonstrates to us that we are not to live for ourselves. In Christ's forgiveness we are new creatures, "Therefore if any man is in Christ he is a new creature: the old things passed away; behold, new things have come," 2 Corinthians 5:17. We are to live as new creatures but we still carry with us our sin nature. It is a constant battle between the two. If you don't know it is a battle, then you have given up. While we live in our bodies, we are constantly seeking to build them up in Christ and pull down our sin nature that so easily ensnares us.

Every Christian is a pilgrim. We are travelers. Our lives encompass our walks with the Lord. Christ is our guide. Heaven is our home. Our walk can be painful, but the way of Christ is perfect and heaven being our home is something that we can all look forward too. It is hard not to wander as we follow Christ, but steadfastness is to be the hallmark of the Christian. As hard as self-renunciation might be, it will make our journey home all the more pleasant. In many ways our lifeblood is contained in the house of God. It is a foretaste of heaven for us. That is why I would like to end today with a poem on the House of God by Edmeston. It is almost 200 years old, but maybe that just makes it more profound.

The House of God.

There's a refuge of peace from the tempests that beat,
From the dark clouds that threaten, from the wild wind that blows;
A holy, a sweet, and lovely retreat,
A spring of refreshment, a place of repose.

'Tis the house of my God -- 'tis the dwelling of prayer
'Tis the temple all hallowed by blessing and praise;
If sorrow and faithlessness conquer me there,
My heart to the throne of his grace I can raise.

For a refuge like this, ah! what praises are due?
For a rest so serene, for a covert so fair;
Ah, why are the seasons of worship so few?
Ah, why are so seldom the meetings of prayer?

Soli Deo Gloria,

[email tim] godrulestb@aol.com