The Road

Everything

As long as people of our Christian faith are merely coming to a service, listening to a message and leaving, they will never come face to face with their personal questions, failures, shame, and curiosity. They will continue to deny the need for a savior and life transformation. They will continue to believe that they can pick up the mantle of Christianity by saying some cheap prayer and going about their business. Authenticity is not just a best practice, it is a requirement. Jesus spoke directly to the obstacles in the hearts of men and women, and if we cannot emulate that, taking an honest look within, we can never even begin to see His footsteps, let alone follow them.

The biggest liars derailing an authentic community are ourselves, believing our lives to be complete, without sin, and the process to be over. We are always to be on a path towards Christ, which includes conviction and confession and then celebration. If we continue to skip the conviction and confession we are celebrating our own spiritual deaths.

We must know that the road to Jesus is paved with humility and love. Putting others first; sacrificing and the giving up of one’s life for others. The first will be last and the last will be first. Obedience is better than sacrifice; if you have an offering to the Lord but strife with another, first seek humility and harmony, then you can please the Lord with your offering.

But mustn’t we also know, then, that the road to destruction is paved with fear and pride. That they are one in the same, just as love and humility are. That it is not the poor who fear being poor, but the wealthy who fear being poor which drives their ego towards pride, and then greed, and then judging others. In this same way it is not the unsaved who fear hell, but the saved who live under this fear that drives the ego towards pride, and then self-righteousness and then the condemnation of others. This is what the world sees that the tower of pride we build has blinded us to. We talk so much about how a Holy life should be lived, but instead, lay our foundation on our own ability to accept, create, and control God, and in practice we don’t even believe He is real.

This is in direct opposition to the road to Jesus.

The Calling

Liturgy and Devotion, Poetry

Let not your heart fear to do what is right,
Be it the hardest request ever asked.

This world will try to conceal and complicate,
And detour you with sins of your past.

Still all is forgiven and all is lost
when you’re asked to follow the call.

The voice of forgiveness, mercy and grace,
is not taken if wanted, nor heard by all.

So drop your intentions and plans of defense,
and strategy that won’t win the war.

Brave is a new creature, without pride,
that is willing to trust evermore.

The enemy, real, the cost without end,
as many by the thorns are drowned.

Be wise to let go of all that you love,
and let the dead see themselves to the ground.

Darkness surrounds us and swallows us whole,
if vigilance is out of our sight.

Still the light never shined so bright and so pure,
as in the darkest of night.

Psalms 119:88–96

Liturgy and Devotion, Project Psalm 119

What you say goes, God, and stays, as permanent as the heavens. Your truth never goes out of fashion; it’s as up-to-date as the earth when the sun comes up. Your Word and truth are dependable as ever; that’s what you ordered—you set the earth going. If your revelation hadn’t delighted me so, I would have given up when the hard times came. But I’ll never forget the advice you gave me; you saved my life with those wise words. Save me! I’m all yours. I look high and low for your words of wisdom. The wicked lie in ambush to destroy me, but I’m only concerned with your plans for me. I see the limits to everything human, but the horizons can’t contain your commands!

(Psalms 119:88–96 MESSAGE)

Psalms 119:81-88

Liturgy and Devotion, Project Psalm 119

I’m homesick—longing for your salvation; I’m waiting for your word of hope. My eyes grow heavy watching for some sign of your promise; how long must I wait for your comfort? There’s smoke in my eyes—they burn and water, but I keep a steady gaze on the instructions you post. How long do I have to put up with all this? How long till you haul my tormentors into court? The arrogant godless try to throw me off track, ignorant as they are of God and his ways. Everything you command is a sure thing, but they harass me with lies. Help! They’ve pushed and pushed—they never let up— but I haven’t relaxed my grip on your counsel. In your great love revive me so I can alertly obey your every word.

(Psalms 119:81–88 MESSAGE)

Psalms 119:73-80

Liturgy and Devotion, Project Psalm 119

With your very own hands you formed me; now breathe your wisdom over me so I can understand you. When they see me waiting, expecting your Word, those who fear you will take heart and be glad. I can see now, God, that your decisions are right; your testing has taught me what’s true and right. Oh, love me—and right now!—hold me tight! just the way you promised. Now comfort me so I can live, really live; your revelation is the tune I dance to. Let the fast-talking tricksters be exposed as frauds; they tried to sell me a bill of goods, but I kept my mind fixed on your counsel. Let those who fear you turn to me for evidence of your wise guidance. And let me live whole and holy, soul and body, so I can always walk with my head held high.

(Psalms 119:73–80 MESSAGE)

Psalms 119:65-72

Liturgy and Devotion, Project Psalm 119

Do good to your servant
    according to your word, Lord.
Teach me knowledge and good judgment,
    for I trust your commands.
Before I was afflicted I went astray,
    but now I obey your word.
You are good, and what you do is good;
    teach me your decrees.
Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies,
    I keep your precepts with all my heart.
Their hearts are callous and unfeeling,
    but I delight in your law.
It was good for me to be afflicted
    so that I might learn your decrees.
The law from your mouth is more precious to me
    than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.

Psalm 119:65-72 NIV

Psalms 119:57-64

Liturgy and Devotion, Project Psalm 119

Because you have satisfied me, God, I promise to do everything you say. I beg you from the bottom of my heart: smile, be gracious to me just as you promised. When I took a long, careful look at your ways, I got my feet back on the trail you blazed. I was up at once, didn’t drag my feet, was quick to follow your orders. The wicked hemmed me in—there was no way out— but not for a minute did I forget your plan for me. I get up in the middle of the night to thank you; your decisions are so right, so true—I can’t wait till morning! I’m a friend and companion of all who fear you, of those committed to living by your rules. Your love, God, fills the earth! Train me to live by your counsel.

(Psalms 119:57–64 MESSAGE)

Psalms 119:49-56

Liturgy and Devotion, Project Psalm 119

Remember what you said to me, your servant— I hang on to these words for dear life! These words hold me up in bad times; yes, your promises rejuvenate me. The insolent ridicule me without mercy, but I don’t budge from your revelation. I watch for your ancient landmark words, and know I’m on the right track. But when I see the wicked ignore your directions, I’m beside myself with anger. I set your instructions to music and sing them as I walk this pilgrim way. I meditate on your name all night, God, treasuring your revelation, O God. Still, I walk through a rain of derision because I live by your Word and counsel.

(Psalms 119:49–56 MESSAGE)

Psalms 119:41-48

Liturgy and Devotion, Project Psalm 119

Let your love, God, shape my life with salvation, exactly as you promised; Then I’ll be able to stand up to mockery because I trusted your Word. Don’t ever deprive me of truth, not ever— your commandments are what I depend on. Oh, I’ll guard with my life what you’ve revealed to me, guard it now, guard it ever; And I’ll stride freely through wide open spaces as I look for your truth and your wisdom; Then I’ll tell the world what I find, speak out boldly in public, unembarrassed. I cherish your commandments—oh, how I love them!— relishing every fragment of your counsel.

(Psalms 119:41–48 MESSAGE)

Psalms 119:33-40

Liturgy and Devotion, Project Psalm 119

God, teach me lessons for living so I can stay the course. Give me insight so I can do what you tell me— my whole life one long, obedient response. Guide me down the road of your commandments; I love traveling this freeway! Give me a bent for your words of wisdom, and not for piling up loot. Divert my eyes from toys and trinkets, invigorate me on the pilgrim way. Affirm your promises to me— promises made to all who fear you. Deflect the harsh words of my critics— but what you say is always so good. See how hungry I am for your counsel; preserve my life through your righteous ways!

(Psalms 119:32–40 MESSAGE)