March 7, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress;
’Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,
With joy shall I lift up my head.
Bold shall I stand in Thy great day;
For who aught to my charge shall lay?
Fully absolved through these I am
From sin and fear, from guilt and shame.
The holy, meek, unspotted Lamb,
Who from the Father’s bosom came,
Who died for me, e’en me to atone,
Now for my Lord and God I own.
Lord, I believe Thy precious blood,
Which, at the mercy seat of God,
Forever doth for sinners plead,
For me, e’en for my soul, was shed.
Lord, I believe were sinners more
Than sands upon the ocean shore,
Thou hast for all a ransom paid,
For (us) a full atonement made.
When from the dust of death I rise
To claim my mansion in the skies,
Ev’n then this shall be all my plea,
Jesus hath lived, hath died, for me.
This spotless robe the same appears,
When ruined nature sinks in years;
No age can change its glorious hue,
The robe of Christ is ever new.
Jesus, the endless praise to Thee,
Whose boundless mercy hath for me—
For me a full atonement made,
An everlasting ransom paid.
O let the dead now hear Thy voice;
Now bid Thy banished ones rejoice;
Their beauty this, their glorious dress,
Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness.
-Nikolaus L. von Zinzendorf, 1739. Translated by John Wesley, 1740
February 4, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Jesus was worshipped.
I had a great childhood.
Dad was crazy about mom.
My dad was the same at home as he was at church.
I can’t believe how patient my parents were.
The Gospel was preached.
My parents did not assume I understood the Gospel. Ever.
We prayed often… even when meals weren’t involved.
We laughed… a lot.
My parents loved Jesus.
My parents treated me with respect.
My parents’ love was unconditional.
My parents were servants.
There was wisdom.
My dad asked for my forgiveness… more than once.
I know I was… but I can’t remember being spanked.
My parents loved the church.
My dad preferred me over his ministry.
My parents weren’t perfect, but they were broken.
I was prepared for life.
The standard was sincerity and not behavior.
I was encouraged to be myself.
I learned what it meant to love my spouse by watching mom and dad.
Grace, not law was the means of correction.
My parents listened.
I was free to make mistakes.
There was unending forgiveness.
My parents were my friends.
My parents insisted I know they love me.
-Byron Yawn, 01-31-12
January 28, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Here’s an awesome post from David Murray which I found very encouraging. Too often, I think my struggles are unique to me. What joy comes knowing that my spiritual state is in God’s hands and that doubts are common to all believers.
““…and forgive my sins. In Jesus name, Amen.”
Within seconds the wicked whispers start.
“Missed out her, and him, and them…”
“Yawn. Nothing new to say?”
“You call that a prayer?”
“Not enough faith…not enough passion…not enough anything.”
“You don’t actually believe that made a difference, do you?”
“You’ll probably not even think about prayer for the rest of the day”
And on, and on, and on it goes.
Relentless, cruel, malicious Satanic whispers that begin the second I end my morning prayer with, “Amen.”
Anyone else get that? It’s so discouraging, isn’t it. I mean, why pray if all you get at the end of it is an even heavier feeling of guilt and failure? Prayer should be a delight not a dread.
I’d really welcome your own input on this, but here’s how I try to fight back, silence the whispers, and turn prayer into a soul-refreshing delight again.
- God has forgiven me all my sins – even my sinful prayers.
- Jesus is perfecting my prayers and presenting them absolutely flawless to my Heavenly Father.
- My salvation does not depend on my prayers but on Jesus’ prayers.
- My Heavenly Father listens even to the raven’s ugly grating squawks (Ps. 147:9) and gives it food; how much more will he hear and answer the ugly grating squawks of one of His children?
- God delights in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy (Ps 147:9).
- God knows I’m a limited creature who cannot possibly pray for everyone everyday.
- Surely the Devil would simply leave me alone if my prayers were really so pathetic and useless.
- Just because my children don’t (can’t) tell me everything about their lives doesn’t make me love them less, nor does it reflect a lack of love on their part.
- But maybe best of all, “You, Satan, are going to be crushed under my feet shortly” (Rom. 16:2o).
Anyone got any more armor or weapons to fight this battle with? Any effective rebuttals or even prebuttals?”
December 8, 2011 § 1 Comment
Our God, heaven cannot hold him, nor earth sustain; heaven and earth shall flee away when he comes to reign. In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed the Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.
Angels and archangels may have gathered there, cherubim and seraphim thronged the air; but his mother only, in her maiden bliss, worshiped the beloved with a kiss.
What can I give him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb; if I were a Wise Man, I would do my part; yet what I can I give him: give my heart.
-Christina G. Rossetti, 1830-1894
November 18, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Earth has many a noble city;
Bethlehem, thou dost all excel;
Out of thee the Lord from Heaven
Came to rule His Israel.
Fairer than the sun at morning
Was the star that told His birth,
To the world its God announcing
Seen in fleshly form on earth.
Eastern sages at His cradle
Make oblations rich and rare;
See them give, in deep devotion,
Gold and frankincense and myrrh.
Sacred gifts of mystic meaning:
Incense doth their God disclose,
Gold the King of kings proclaimeth,
Myrrh His sepulcher foreshows.
Jesu, whom the Gentiles worshipped
At Thy glad Epiphany,
Unto Thee, with God the Father
And the Spirit, glory be.
November 4, 2011 § Leave a Comment
“What is … amazing is that our Lord and Saviour will himself be thrilled as he looks at us in heaven. Gazing upon his people, he will be filled with affection and delight. ‘He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied’ (Isa. 53:11).
That will be true of his redemptive work in general. Christ will see all his sheep safely gathered in, everyone of the elect in glory. There will be no empty spaces, no one missing or lost. He will feel no sense of incompleteness or regret. He will be satisfied with the results of the labor of his soul.
But the Lord Jesus will also be satisfied with each of us individually. We may find that hard to believe, because we are far from satisfied with ourselves. All too aware of our weaknesses and limitations, we are often discouraged with ourselves, ashamed of what we are. We do not see ourselves as loveable, so how could Christ love us? A nagging fear enters our minds that, although he will be gracious and kind as he welcomes us into heaven, he will at the same time feel a distinct sense of disappointment. We may not be what he hoped for.
We need not be afraid, for we will by then be changed, conformed to his likeness. God’s work of grace in each and all of us will have been brought to such a pitch of perfection that the Lord will be ravished with love for his bride, ‘a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing’ (Eph. 5:27). We will be all he wants, everything he desires. We will be the people he chooses to be with him for ever. ‘Behold, you are fair, my love!’ he will exclaim (Song of Sol. 1:15). We will then be able to say with joyful assurance, ‘Jesus loves me, this I know.’ That will be heaven.
It is himself that Christ will see in us, himself that he will love in us. That is why we are promised that ‘we shall be like Him’ (1 John 3:2). For it is nothing other than his own holy beauty that he will admire.”- Edward Donnelly, Biblical Teaching on the Doctrines of Heaven and Hell, Banner of Truth, 2002 Complements of: http://www.challies.com/quotes/we-need-not-be-afraid
November 1, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Translation by Thomas Carlyle, 1831
A safe stronghold our God is still, A trusty shield and weapon;
He’ll help us clear from all the ill that hath us now o’ertaken.
The ancient prince of hell hath risen with purpose fell;
Strong mail of craft and power he weareth in this hour;
On earth is not his fellow.
With force of arms we nothing can, full soon were we down-ridden;
But for us fights the proper Man, whom God Himself hath bidden.
Ask ye, who is this same? Christ Jesus is His Name,
The Lord Sabaoth’s Son; He, and no other one,
Shall conquer in the battle.
And were this world all devils o’er, and watching to devour us,
We lay it not to heart so sore; not they can overpower us.
And let the prince of ill look grim as e’er he will,
He harms us not a whit; For why? — his doom is writ;
A word shall quickly slay him.
God’s Word, for all their craft and force, one moment will not linger,
But, spite of hell, shall have its course; ’tis written by His finger.
And though they take our life, goods, honor, children, wife,
Yet is their profit small; these things shall vanish all:
The City of God remaineth!
Translation by Frederic H. Hedge, 1853
A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.
And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.
That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.
-Martin Luther, Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, paraphrase of Psalm 46, 1527-1529
For the choir director. A Psalm of the sons of Korah, set to Alamoth. A Song.
God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; Though its waters roar and foam, Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, The holy dwelling places of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered; He raised His voice, the earth melted. The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold.
Come, behold the works of the LORD, Who has wrought desolations in the earth. He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariots with fire. Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold.