A STATE OF UNBELIEF
“GLORIOUS GOD, I bless thee that I know thee, I once lived in the world, but was ignorant of its creator, was partaker of thy providences, but knew not the provider, was blind while enjoying the sunlight, was deaf to all things spiritual, with voices all around me, understood many things, but had no knowledge of thy ways, saw the world, but did not see Jesus only” The Valley of Vision (ref#76, p62).
FATHER, increase my concern for Your yet-to-be regenerates for they are “ignorant and careless, and ready to perish for lack of vision” Matthew Henry’s Commentary of the Whole Bible (ref#18, [Matt 9:35-38]). They are “harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matt 9:36 ESV).
“Misery is the object of mercy; and the miseries of sinful, self-destroying souls, are the greatest miseries: Christ pities those most that pity themselves least; so should we” Matthew Henry’s Commentary of the Whole Bible (ref#18, [Matt 9:35-38]).
So many people are following shepherds that fill them with vain notions (1 Tim 1:6) and burden them with the “traditions of the elders.” Like sheep they have gone astray and are lost. They are “helpless, shiftless, and exposed, or more unapt to find the way home again (ref#18, [Matt 9:35-38]).
FATHER, help me help them. I was once lost and unable to find my way home again. I was lost seeking to gain happiness from myself and not seeking the things of CHRIST. I needed the Good Shepherd; they need the Good Shepherd.
FATHER, as I recognize the presence of JESUS and routinely recall His life, it makes me own my rebellious selfishness. Even as a believer, comparing myself to JESUS makes me realize I am no different than the vilest sinner. Give me such a loving heart that I, like CHRIST, take on their distress and poverty—their guilt and perdition. I plead to You for them. My work is to do vicariously what they cannot do for themselves (ref#10, p149-150).
FATHER, may I bear what CHRIST produces as He lives His life again through me (ref#100, p140). “I am His branch, a part of Him whose resources are limitless for the blessing of those who are around me” Roy and Revel Hession (ref#100, p141)!
Oh, that my loved ones “…Be having a change of mind regarding…[their]…life, and be putting [their] faith in the good news” Kenneth S. Wuest (ref#37, p80, [Mark 1:15], brackets mine).