“Propitiation in the Bible”, from Knowing God by J. I. Packer…offered by L.Willows

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Over the past three decades J.I. Packer’s book, Knowing God has become a classic of the Christian faith. This excerpt is from the chapter on The Heart of The Gospel and is the first of two parts that will be offered.(pp 180-181). J. I. Packer / wikipedia

Propitiation in the Bible from Knowing God

by J. I. Packer

In the Old Testament, it underlies the prescribed rituals of the sin offering, the guilt offering (“trespass-offering” in the KJV), and the day of atonement (Lev 4:1-6:7; 171-34); also, it finds clear expression in such narratives as that of Numbers 16: 41-60, where God threatens to destroy the people for maligning his judgement on Korah, Dathan and Abiram: “Then Moses said to Aaron, ‘Take your censer and put incense in it, along with fire from the altar, and hurry to the assembly to make atonement for them. Wrath has come out from the LORD; the plague has started.’…So Aaron…made atonement for them…And the plague stopped.” (vv.46-48)

In the New Testament, the propitiation
word group appears in four passages of such transcendent importance that we may well pause to set them out in full.

The first is Paul’s classic statement of the rationale of God’s justification of sinners.

“But now apart from the law a righteousness of God hath been manifested…even the righteous of God through faith in Jesus Christ unto all them that believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God set forth to be a propitiation , through faith, by his blood, to show his righteousness, because of the passing over of the sins done aforetime, in the forbearance of God; for the shewing, I say, of his righteousness at the present season: that he might himself be just and the justifier of him that hath faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:21-26 RV)

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“Sweet Love’s Roar”…from Linda Willows

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Lift off this frame that designs me so
My heart cannot still, it must learn to let go

Allowance may pour through the fount of Love’s door
Yet the fray of dark days sets new fires at the fore.
Pull out through the flames lest none but Thy Light
May bring You close; find my heart in the night.

Lift my heart’s name that resigns me so
I cannot let will be alone in such tow.

Come mark my tent with your sacred Love’s pour
Call me out. O, let Life in. I hear the waves of its’ sweet love’s roar.
Bless every year, every tear that let go.
God take the frame, for this Heart is aglow.

©2016 republish Linda Willows © 2012 Linda Willows

Psalm 145:14
The LORD sustains all who fall And raises up all who are bowed down.

“Love casts us to Prayer, to worship Our King”….a worship poem by Linda Willows

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Worship is dancing to the Face I adore,
A rapture of seeking, a heart’s joyful implore.
Spilling the melodies of the prayers of Love’s kind,
Oh Lord, I motion with my Heart’s full unwind.

This, but to You Lord, for no other would know,
How fully and deeply my heart’s crevice goes.
Unlike an earthly carved place of Love’s meet,
It winds all the way into this ancient heart’s beat.

Worship is apart like one precious pearls’ shine
It glints like a thousand stars blinking in time.
Gesturing, healing, heralding heavens to sing…
Love casts us to prayer, to worship Our King.

© 2017 Linda Willows

“Lament from the Night breaking…in the curve of a tear”, from L.Willows

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In a an ongoing group class discussion about deep heart healing, we were each challenged to write a Lament. (Leaders; Dorothy Taft and Pastor Chris Sicks of Alexandria Presbyterian Church). When I received the assignment I felt that it was “too large”!. 

A few days later, I woke in the night, was awake for many hours and this was the outcome…

The structure of a lament is to “address”, offer the “complaint”, make the “request”, then express “trust”. It is a deeply beautiful and complex part of the bible worthy of examination and rich study. There are many worthy online resources for learning about Lamentations but I found this site for you in case you would like to study further…Structure of a Lament; Understanding the Lament Psalms

Lament from Night Breaking…In the curve of a tear
by Linda Willows

O Father, hear me in the early break of day
For the night was so weary,
And I called out to You
Every hour I woke in the dark of long hours.
I twisted and turned and groaned in weak cries.
I called for your help to lift out the pain. Again, I called Lord.
Again and again. Sore and hopeless I hoped you would help me.

But worsening pain struck as if I was thrust by many fierce swords
Aimed to target my most vulnerable bends.
Lord, you know that I have known thousands of nights that erupted this way…
And prayed to You with all that I am, was, and surrendered.
Why have I been left like this alone and fractured. What is your purpose in this?
How can suffering alone in the night and day casting years into my frame and heart have meaning that would glorify you?

You are the only witness. You put me in this field night and day, year and decade. What does the time mean to you as I serve it. Help me to understand Father.
When You answer me, give me wisdom with patience.

This, my God, is like a field that I tend,
Without knowing why or who planted such a seed.
Night and day, I have called to You.
Years upon years, I have prayed without end. Hope is no longer in this world, Father. I open the door and see a world that others live in; that I only can partially enter. I remember it’s joys and marvels, the beauty and the wonders of what Life can bring to your doorstep.

I have seen Your Face of Love
I have witnessed Your saints in the cloud here above.
All gather near with grace and abound.
With such Holiness near, how can such suffering remain Father?
What purpose is pain in the body of me?
Would it serve to crush me like a thousand small rocks?
Or roll me out to become like low grasses?
How does it help to let me lie like a sheet day and night?
A life, leveled to the earth’s ashes, before the heart and mind would rise?

You, Lord have made me from beginning to evermore.
Father, you designed my soul and planted your own Spirit within me.
Your Love lights the Lantern that burns brightly before me even in the darkest night.
You are there when I call out. You hear my faintest whisper.
Lord, the breadth and depth of mortal suffering is so much greater than my own
And Your heart reaches to all for You know our pain.
You have promised a Day when we will live and rise with only Love and Freedom.

But, my spirit cries out with more the pain of more than my body, Father,
It aches of this life.
It aches of my persistence, of the exceeding loss that accelerates,
and of a weariness that distances me from the living.
My spirit longs for the mercy of being tendered with kindness.
Did you forget me when you scripted this one’s mortal destiny? What end, Father…

Hear me because I know that You love me.
Oh Lord, hear me because I know that You have formed me.
Hear me because Your Will is sovereign and good and near to all that suffer.
Comfort me Father because I have seen your Face and have felt the touch of Your Might.
Intercede in my distress because you know all of my heart even before I whisper to you.
Increase my faith and send messages of hope to me on the Wings of Your Spirit.
Let me feel You carrying me and lifting me above the weight of mortal pain.
May the Might of Your Arm hold me with Peace and Comfort, for I know that you are Near.

Father, I love you in the darkest hours and seek you. You always Find me.
If tears are the way that you have designed me to see clearly, then wash me in them.
For I would want to see you and be with you more than with any other.

Thank you Father, for the sight of You through the curve of a tear.
Rain them upon me until I see. Wash me until I am free.

But Lord, for an hour, or a day if it is your Will
May I know a life’s favor from You?
Just for some moments, to live as others do.

Oh but wait Father, I ask Your reverse,
This is no matter-there is no plead.

You are the All of this moment’s Holy poise
The rapture that lives far beyond mortal noise…
Wrap all of my prayers in your shelter of Love
And I would be joyed here, content as above.
No wanting remains or asking of needs…
Oh Father, let the wash of Your Grace find me Freed.

© 2017 sept. Linda Willows

“Motioned”…a poem by Linda Willows

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Motioned inside the ache of what breaks…
my limbs, they are stretched; called out to seek space.
finding the pathways so hidden with twists
all those that tangle and cause broken resists.

How deeply this pull does want in my arms,
they reach with far longing like the sky’s destitute,
tipping and touching with hands that sweep out
like wings former broken, now finding life’s route.

Pulse stirs within each breath that absolves,
unraveling, unwinding, uncurling pain’s cry
escorted within the quaking of mirth
comes glorious joy freed upon life’s rebirth.

© 2017 Linda Willows