Have mercy on me…

You and I have three problems that only the Redeemer has the power and willingness to solve.

Paul Tripp Journey to the Cross, Day 19

I should be writing about Day 20, today, but I don’t like that day. It’s message is “Gratitude silences complaint.” Ugh–I do not want to hear that. So instead I’m going back to Day 19 to look at the three problems we have with sin. My memory verse for this month is:

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquity; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

Isaiah 53:5

I’m doing the Dwell Differently Memory Verses with a student. You get a verse every month that is cleverly designed with a graphic that includes the first letter of every word of the verse. Looking at it helps you memorize the verse and it is crazy how easy it makes scripture memory! In talking about this verse I had to look up the word ‘iniquity’ to explain it to my student. Then BAM! there is that same word in Journey to the Cross. We talk so much about sin that we become callous toward it. We know we all sin. We know we can’t avoid its pitfalls. And confession becomes our mumbling, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” all the while knowing I’ve totally failed at forgiving!!

But Pastor Tripp helped me more sincerely confess my sin by looking at the multi-dimensionality of my sin, which is “something deep inside us that makes us susceptible to temptation’s draw and that weakens us in our battle with sin” (p 113) Lord help–my spirit of rebellion is strong!! But there is something even deeper that causes my rebellion, despite my best intentions–I’m inwardly impure. Then, on top of all that I have those specific moments of weakness and failure. It all leaves me feeling pretty depressed and defeated, but that’s the point. I can’t dig out of this hole on my own. I am utterly dependent on the grace of God. Day 17 asked us to set a timer and confess for 15 minutes–that’s a long time when I’m just glossing over the word and think I need to list all my sins–nobody wants to make that list! But today, as I contemplate this multidimensional aspect of my sin, suddenly 15 minutes flies by, I’m overwhelmed by how sinful I am and instantaneously comforted by the grace that saves me!

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