The first thing I must be willing to admit when I begin to examine what controls and dominates me is that I am the one responsible for having yielded myself to whatever it may be. If I am a slave to myself, I am to blame because somewhere in the past I yielded to myself. Likewise, if I obey God I do so because at some point in my life I yielded myself to Him.
If a child gives in to selfishness, he will find it to be the most enslaving tyranny on earth. There is no power within the human soul itself that is capable of breaking the bondage of the nature created by yielding. For example, yield for one second to anything in the nature of lust, and although you may hate yourself for having yielded, you become enslaved to that thing. (Remember what lust is— “I must have it now,” whether it is the lust of the flesh or the lust of the mind.) No release or escape from it will ever come from any human power, but only through the power of redemption. You must yield yourself in utter humiliation to the only One who can break the dominating power in your life, namely, the Lord Jesus Christ. “. . . He has anointed Me . . . to proclaim liberty to the captives . . .” (Luke 4:18 and Isaiah 61:1).
When you yield to something, you will soon realize the tremendous control it has over you. Even though you say, “Oh, I can give up that habit whenever I like,” you will know you can’t. You will find that the habit absolutely dominates you because you willingly yielded to it. It is easy to sing, “He will break every fetter,” while at the same time living a life of obvious slavery to yourself. But yielding to Jesus will break every kind of slavery in any person’s life.
Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. . . . Your judgments have been manifested. —Revelation 15:4
We’ve all heard the expression, “I don’t get mad; I just get even.” Reading about the judgments described in Revelation, one might assume that God will get “even” with sinners for their phenomenal offenses throughout the history of mankind.
The truth is that God’s final judgment is a necessary expression of His holy justice. He can’t turn a blind eye to sin. In fact, if He doesn’t finally carry out justice as described in Revelation, it would be a denial of His holy character. That’s why in the midst of His judgments, the saints will sing His praise: “Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. . . . Your judgments have been manifested” (Rev. 15:4). Those who know God best do not judge Him for His judgments; rather, they worship and affirm His actions.
What should surprise us is not the massive scale of God’s judgments, but that He’s waiting so long! Desiring that none should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9), God is now mercifully restraining His judgment and giving maximum space to His marvelous mercy and grace. Now is the time to repent and take advantage of His patient love. And when we do, we’ll join the saints in praising Him for all eternity!
O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
The saints’ and angels’ song. —Lehman
© Renewal 1945, Nazarene Publishing.
When God’s justice is finally and fully revealed, His praises will resound!
Prayer For Today
O Lord, open our lips
Alland our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Hear our voice, O Lord, according to your faithful love,
Allaccording to your judgement give us life.
One or more of the following is said or sung:
this or another prayer of thanksgiving
Blessed are you, God of compassion and mercy,
to you be praise and glory for ever.
In the darkness of our sin,
your light breaks forth like the dawn
and your healing springs up for deliverance.
As we rejoice in the gift of your saving help,
sustain us with your bountiful Spirit
and open our lips to sing your praise.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
AllBlessed be God for ever.
a suitable hymn, or A Song of Penitence
1Have mercy on me, O God, in your great goodness; •
according to the abundance of your compassion
blot out my offences.
2Wash me thoroughly from my wickedness •
and cleanse me from my sin.
3For I acknowledge my faults •
and my sin is ever before me.
4Against you only have I sinned •
and done what is evil in your sight,
5So that you are justified in your sentence •
and righteous in your judgement.
6Cast me not away from your presence •
and take not your holy spirit from me.
7Give me again the joy of your salvation •
and sustain me with your gracious spirit;
8Then shall I teach your ways to the wicked •
and sinners shall return to you.
9Deliver me from my guilt, O God,
the God of my salvation, •
and my tongue shall sing of your righteousness.
Psalm 51.1-5, 12-15
AllGlory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.
This opening prayer may be said
The night has passed, and the day lies open before us;
let us pray with one heart and mind.
Silence is kept.
As we rejoice in the gift of this new day,
so may the light of your presence, O God,
set our hearts on fire with love for you;
now and for ever.