In this season of folks sharing how they plan to change and adapt in this new year (ie, resolutions). We all sort of thing through what sort of thing would be good to either do or not do; to incorporate or sacrifice as they head into the new year. I count myself among them in many ways!
I would love to challenge myself in a weight loss goal, or a dinner creation challenge… heck, I still dream about finishing my BS degree in pre-counseling. However, my goal for this new year changed a bit when I picked up our iPod touch the first week of 2011. My husband is a chaplain/pastor, so our shelves and computers are loaded with various readings spanning centuries. I knew about John Bunyan by his most famous work Pilgrims Progress. But were you also aware that he wrote sermons and short works besides that? I didn’t! Until I was pawing through my husband’s Logos library and came across The Acceptable Sacrifice. It is opening my eyes and I daily pray that it is opening my heart. I will readily admit that my pride often gets in the way of my relationship with my Savior, this has been helping me to open that creaky door and (with the help of the Holy Spirit) begin cleaning house.
I will share one excerpt with you, and if you desire to study a bit on what an acceptable sacrifice might look like, dive on in with me! Though I should warn you, we are talking about 17th century writing, so you have to adjust your mind to the ‘saith’ and ‘worketh justly’ type language. Quite poetic, really 😉
For to desire to dwell with one suposeth all these things; and verily, of all the men in the world, none have acquaintance with God, none understand what communion with him and what his teachings mean, but such as are of a broken and contrite heart. ‘He is nigh unto them that are of a broken spirit’ (Psa 34:18). These are they intended in the 14th Psalm, where it is said, ‘The Lord looked down from heaven, -to see if any did understand and seek God’; that he might find some body in the world with whom he might converse; for indeed there is none else that either understand, or that can tend to hearken to him. God, as I may say, is forced to break men’s hearts, before he can make them willing to cry to him, or be willing that he should have any concerns with them; the rest shut their eyes, stop their ears, withdraw their hearts, or say unto God, Be Gone (Job 21:14).