Length of days does not profit me except the days are passed in thy presence, in thy service, to thy glory.
Give me grace that precedes,
aids every hour,
that I may not be one moment apart from thee, but may rely on thy Spirit
to supply every thought,
speak in every word,
direct every step,
prosper every work,
build up every mote of faith, and give me a desire
to show forth thy praise;
testify thy love,
advance thy kingdom.
I launch my bark on the unknown waters of this year,
with thee, O Father, as my harbour,
thee, O Son, at my helm,
thee, O Holy Spirit, filling my sails.
Guide me to heaven with my loins girt,
my lamp burning,
my ear open to thy calls,
my heart full of love,
my soul free.
Give me thy grace to sanctify me,
thy comforts to cheer,
thy wisdom to teach,
thy right hand to guide,
thy counsel to instruct,
thy law to judge,
thy presence to stabilize.
May thy fear be my awe, thy triumphs my joy.
– The Valley of Vision: Puritan Prayers and Devotions
Sunday afternoon I went for one of my bike rides around the out skirts of town and as usual I had my iPod with me loaded with veritable goldmines of Christ-centered, bible-saturated sermons to choose from for the edification of my heart and mind and as Providence would have it this time I listened to a sermon by a man who is quickly becoming one of my favorite living preachers Voddie Baucham. His text was Colossians 1:15-22 and his topic was, “The Supremacy of Christ and Truth in a Postmodern World.”
In this sermon he is answering four questions that he believes every human being is asking, has asked, or will ask:
1. Who am I?
2. Why am I here?
3. What is wrong with the world?
4. Can what is wrong be made right?
He first answers these questions from a naturalistic viewpoint and then answers them from a Christian worldview using Colossians one. It is powerful sermon that I would strongly encourage you hear and heed unto (click here to listen). Below I have transcribed a portion that deeply struck me as I was biking. In this transcribed section he is answering the question “What is wrong with the world:”
I have students come up to me all the time after taking a semester in philosophy. There ought to be a rule: You should not be able to talk about philosophy unless you had more than a semester of philosophy. (crowd laughs) If you haven’t had any that is fine but if you have had a semester you are messed up. You are better off just not taking it at all. And they will come up and they will say things to me and they have thought these things out. And I am on the campus to talk about these issues and dealing with apologetics and they want to catch me alone and ask me these questions and they look at me and say, “I just want to ask you if you believe a God that is omnipotent and omnibenevolent than how do you reconcile the issue of theodicy?” To which I respond, “You took a semester of philosophy right?” (crowd laughs) “Well yes how did you know?” “Because if you hadn’t you would have just said, ‘Listen, God is so powerful and so good how come bad stuff happens?’” (crowd laughs) But I am not going to answer the question until you ask it correctly. (Baucham laughs) “I worked on that all week, what do you mean ask me correctly?” “You are not asking the question properly.” “What do you mean ask the question properly? It’s my question you can’t tell me how to ask my question.” “I will answer your question when you ask it properly.” “How do I ask it properly?” “Here is how you ask that question properly. Look me in my eyes and you ask me this, ‘How on earth can a holy and righteous God know what I did and thought and said on yesterday and not kill me in my sleep last night?’ You ask it that way and we can talk but until you ask the question that way you don’t understand the issue.” Until you ask the question that way you believe the problem is out there. Until you ask the question that way you believe that there are somehow some individuals who in and of themselves deserve something other than the wrath of Almighty God. Until you ask me the question that way, until you flip the script and ask the question this way and say, “Why is it that we are here today? Why has he not consumed and devoured each and every one of us? Why? Why O God does your judgment and your wrath tarry?” When you ask it that way you understand the issue. When you ask it the other way you believe in the supremacy of man. How dare God not employ his power on behalf of almighty man. You flip the question around you believe in the supremacy of Christ. How dare I steal his air. Because the last breath I took I borrowed it from him. I am never going to give it back. When you borrow something and never give it back you are stealing. (crowd laughs) Some of you need to take a moment and get right, right now (crowd laughs and so does Baucham) The problem is me. The problem is the fact that I do not acknowledge the supremacy of Christ and truth. The problem is I start with me as the measure of all things. The problem is I judge God based upon how well he carries out my agenda for the whole world. And I believe the supremacy of me and truth. And as a result I want a God who is omnipotent but not sovereign. If I have a God who is omnipotent but not sovereign I can wield his power. But if my God is both omnipotent and sovereign. I am at his mercy.
Remember, I am riding my bike when while I am listening to this and quite winded already because I don’t bike for leisure but to get a good cardiovascular exercise and so when I heard the part of “stealing His air because the last breath I took I borrowed from him…” Well let’s just say it took what air was left in me right out of me and caused my heart to praise God for even the air I breathe is his and to be used to exalt his awesome name! What a powerful reminder of the supremacy of Christ and that life is not about me but about God and living for his glory! 1 Corinthians 10:31 says to do all things to the glory of God and that even includes biking! God is both sovereign and omnipotent. I am at his mercy.
The size and scale of Earth.
Click and be amazed!