Saturday, March 31, 2007

From Bethany, the Master

From Bethany, the Master
Words by Marion Ham

From Bethany, the Master
Comes down Mt. Olive’s slope,
And all the world is singing,
A glad new song of hope;
Cry out, O stately cedars,
Along the rugged way!
Ye vineyards, shout hosanna,
To greet this happy day!

The King of Love, in triumph
Rides through the city’s gate;
Rejected, scorned—yet Victor,
The Conqueror of hate;
O wave your green palm branches!
Exalt His matchless worth!
This King of Love shall conquer
The nations of the earth.

Not of this world His kingdom;
His power is from above;
His realm is of the spirit,
His scepter—Truth and Love;
He calls us to His service,
His banner is unfurled;
With Thee we march, O Master,
To overcome the world.

Can you imagine what it would have been like to have been in the crowd on that day that Jesus came to Jerusalem, riding the donkey? To realize that THIS is the King, the Messiah, that you’ve waited for? He’s finally here! He has come to save us! The news is so good that this hymn writer calls for the trees and vineyards to cry out. The Hope that had been promised so long ago was now fulfilled – all the world sang a new song of hope. As the following Psalm says, in mortal man there is no salvation, but our hope is in the Lord, who made heaven and earth and will reign forever!

Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul!
I will praise the LORD while I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.
His spirit departs, he returns to the earth
In that very day his thoughts perish.
How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
Whose hope is in the LORD his God,
Who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them;
Who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed;
Who gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets the prisoners free.
The LORD opens the eyes of the blind;
The LORD raises up those who are bowed down;
The LORD loves the righteous;
The LORD protects the strangers;
He supports the fatherless and the widow, but He thwarts the way of the wicked.
The LORD will reign forever, Your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the LORD!
Psalm 146

Verse two of this hymn provides puts words to the contradiction that seemed to describe Jesus: rejected, scorned – yet Victor! Jesus won the victory through His triumphal resurrection. And because of that, we have victory through Him!

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
I Cor. 15: 56-57

King of Love – that term has never been applied to earthly kings – only Jesus is worthy of that title. He will conquer the nations and remain the victor!

These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.
Rev 17:14

His kingdom is not of this world. It is everlasting and of the Spirit, and its realm is above.

Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures throughout all generations. Ps 145:13

The people in the crowd on that “Palm Sunday” were praising God, with thanksgiving for the coming kingdom.

Those who went in front and those who followed were shouting "Hosanna! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!" Mark 11:9-10

This kingdom had been prophesied in the scriptures, and promised by the angel when he told Mary that she would give birth to the Messiah.

The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end." Luke 1:30-34

If you know Christ as your personal Savior, you are a part of this kingdom! We have redemption through Christ, and have been rescued from this world, and been transferred to His kingdom.

For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Col. 1:13-14

Look at the promise that Peter gives us – that if we remain diligent to walk in the way we are called, as children of Christ, that His kingdom will be abundantly supplied to us!

Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, [faith, moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, love v.5-7] for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you. II Peter 1:10-11

John also reminds us that God, through Jesus, has released us from our sins, BECAUSE HE LOVES US, and has made us to be a kingdom.

Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood--and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father--to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. Rev 1:4-6

Because of this we can do as this hymn says, “March to overcome the world!” Hallelujah!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Ride On, Ride On, In Majesty!

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, humble, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a donkey. Zech. 9:9

Ride On, Ride On, In Majesty!
Words by Henry Milman

Ride on, ride on, in majesty!
Hark! all the tribes Hosanna cry;
O Savior meek, pursue Thy road
With palms and scattered garments strowed.

Ride on, ride on, in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die!
O Christ! Thy triumph now begin
Over captive death and conquered sin.

Ride on, ride on, in majesty!
The winged squadrons of the sky
Look down with sad and wondering eyes
To see the approaching sacrifice.

Ride on, ride on, in majesty!
Thy last and fiercest strife is nigh;
The Father, on His sapphire throne,
Expects His own anointed Son.

Ride on, ride on, in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die;
Bow Thy meek head to mortal pain,
Then take, O God, Thy power, and reign.

As we look forward to Holy Week, I wanted to reflect on Jesus’ last days before His death on the cross. The week before His death, Jesus and His disciples were traveling from Jericho to Jerusalem. As they approached Jerusalem, Jesus sent two disciples to get a donkey and a colt.

"Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to Me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord has need of them,' and immediately he will send them." Matthew 21:2-3

The disciples obeyed Jesus, found the donkey and the colt, and untied them to take them to Jesus. Mark tells us that people questioned them, saying,

"What are you doing, untying the colt?" Mark 11:5

The disciples were ready with their answer because Jesus had instructed them.

They spoke to them just as Jesus had told them, and they gave them permission. Mark 11:6

The disciples brought the donkey and colt to Jesus. They also gave Jesus their coats, and Jesus sat on them. The people heard that Jesus was coming and they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him. They made a “red carpet” for Jesus by using branches from trees and spreading their coats in the road. And they were praising Him.

The crowds going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David; BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Hosanna in the highest!" Matthew 21:9

As you might imagine, all this commotion garnered attention and the people in the city wondered what all the excitement was about.

When He had entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, "Who is this?" And the crowds were saying, "This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee." Matthew 21:10-11

Of course, all this excitement, the “palm branch” parade and the crowds singing Hosanna led to one thing: Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins. This hymnwriter puts it so plainly, “Ride on, ride on in majesty, in lowly pomp ride on TO DIE.”

Jesus knew that His triumphal entrance into Jerusalem was the beginning of the end, so to speak. He knew that by the end of the week, He would be sacrificed for the sins of all mankind, for all time. God’s promise was about to be fulfilled, and man would be reconciled to God through the redemptive work of Jesus!

For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God. I Peter 3:18

For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. Colossians 1:19-20

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Praising forever

When sleep her balm denies, my silent spirit sighs,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
When evil thoughts molest, with this I shield my breast,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

The night becomes as day when from the heart we say:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
The powers of darkness fear when this sweet chant they hear:
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Praising the name of Jesus is a balm to our souls and our shield when “evil thoughts molest.” And because of this, we will praise Him all the more!

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him. Psalm 28:7

Paul reminds us that we do not struggle against flesh and blood, but against the powers of darkness that are mentioned in the verse above. Because of this, we must put on the full armor of God so we can resist the devil.

Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Ephesians 6:11-13

As the hymn says, the powers of darkness fear when they hear us sing praise to our Redeemer. That is tremendous comfort and encouragement, and knowing that should keep us singing, just as Paul and Silas did even while they were in jail.

No lovelier antiphon in all high Heav’n is known
Than, Jesus Christ be praised!
There to the eternal Word the eternal psalm is heard:
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Let all the earth around ring joyous with the sound:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
In Heaven’s eternal bliss the loveliest strain is this:
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Sing, suns and stars of space, sing, ye that see His face,
Sing, Jesus Christ be praised!
God’s whole creation o’er, for aye and evermore
Shall Jesus Christ be praised!

In Heav’n’s eternal bliss the loveliest strain is this,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Let earth, and sea and sky from depth to height reply,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

These verses are wonderfully summed up in Psalm 148.

Praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD from the heavens; Praise Him in the heights!
Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts!
Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all stars of light!
Praise Him, highest heavens, and the waters that are above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the LORD, for He commanded and they were created.
He has also established them forever and ever;
He has made a decree which will not pass away.
Praise the LORD from the earth, sea monsters and all deeps;
Fire and hail, snow and clouds; stormy wind, fulfilling His word;
Mountains and all hills; fruit trees and all cedars;
Beasts and all cattle; creeping things and winged fowl;
Kings of the earth and all peoples; princes and all judges of the earth; Both young men and virgins; old men and children.
Let them praise the name of the LORD, for His name alone is exalted;
His glory is above earth and heaven.
And He has lifted up a horn for His people, praise for all His godly ones; even for the sons of Israel, a people near to Him.
Praise the LORD!

Be this, while life is mine, my canticle divine:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Sing this eternal song through all the ages long:
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Our lives here on earth are relatively short. Is your goal that Jesus Christ be praised through your life? I pray that Jesus would be praised through my thoughts, words, and actions.

So that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
I Peter 4:11

After this life, I look forward to singing the eternal song through all the ages:


But as for me, I will declare it forever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. Psalm 75:9

Friday, March 16, 2007

May Jesus Christ be Praised!

Does sadness fill my mind? A solace here I find,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Or fades my earthly bliss? My comfort still is this,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Even when we are sad, we can find solace in praising Jesus Christ because He deserves our praise! There are more reasons to praise Him than I can count, and one of them is that He can turn our mourning, our sadness, into dancing!

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, that my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever. Psalm 30:11-12

Are you easily discouraged by the way things are going in our culture and in our world at large? Especially lately, I have found my “earthly bliss” fading – and I find great comfort in God’s plan to reunite His children with Himself. Looking forward to that time, Paul tells the Thessalonians that they should comfort each other with these words:

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. I Thess. 4:16-18

I know I find comfort in this – we will always be with the Lord! May Jesus Christ be praised!

To God, the Word, on high, the host of angels cry,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Let mortals, too, upraise their voice in hymns of praise,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Scripture confirms what this verse of the hymn tells us: angels worship God and praise Him.

And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, "AND LET ALL THE ANGELS OF GOD WORSHIP HIM." Heb. 1:6

And mortals too, are called to praise God.


In Revelation, we get a great picture of mortals and angels, together praising Jesus.

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, "Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever Amen." Rev. 7:9-12

Be this at meals your grace, in every time and place;
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Be this, when day is past, of all your thoughts the last
May Jesus Christ be praised!

When mirth for music longs, this is my song of songs:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
When evening shadows fall, this rings my curfew call,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

These two verses make it clear: we should be praising in every time and every place, and praising God should be the last thing we do before our eyes shut in sleep. In every time and every place – it’s pretty easy to say those words or sing them in a hymn, but do we really do it? I am reminded of the story of Paul and Silas in jail:

When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely; and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were unfastened. Acts 16:23-26

I have not had to endure the hardships that Paul faced. Even while in prison, he and Silas sang hymns of praise to God. That leaves me a lot of room for improvement, how about you? I am going to commit these next few verses to memory, so that I will be reminded to praise Jesus in every time and place.

I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul will make its boast in the LORD; the humble will hear it and rejoice. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together. I sought the LORD, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:1-4

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

When Morning Gilds the Skies

O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting. I Chron 16:34

When Morning Gilds the Skies
Words from the Katholisches Gesangbuch translated by Edward Caswall and Robert S. Bridges

When morning gilds the skies my heart awaking cries:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Alike at work and prayer, to Jesus I repair:
May Jesus Christ be praised!

But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength; yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning… Psalm 59:16

May Jesus Christ be praised! Do you start your day singing of His lovingkindness in the morning? Or is it all you can do to stumble out of bed and get through the morning without grumbling? I try (as consciously as possible) to start the day with a prayer of thanks before even getting out of bed, or at least soon after. It sets the tone for the day and keeps me focused on Christ.

It is good to give thanks to the LORD and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; to declare Your lovingkindness in the morning and Your faithfulness by night… Psalm 92:1-2

When you begin the day, O never fail to say,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
And at your work rejoice, to sing with heart and voice,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Do you rejoice at your work? At some times in my recent past, I have really needed an attitude adjustment in this area. It isn’t easy to have an attitude of praise when you are suffering, and sometimes our work is not pleasant. These words from Paul to the Colossians are a good reminder about where our focus should be, especially when we’re dealing with unpleasant tasks or people in our work at home, at church, or in the marketplace.

Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.
Colossians 3:23-24

Do your work as for the Lord rather than men. Even when you don’t like it, aren’t happy, and are being treated unfairly. The good news is, we can go to our Heavenly Father with our frustration and He will hear us when we pray. In the morning, and at other times, He waits for us to come to Him with our groaning and cry for help.

Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my groaning. Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my God, for to You I pray. In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice; in the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch. Psalm 5:1-3

Whene’er the sweet church bell peals over hill and dell,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
O hark to what it sings, as joyously it rings,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

My tongue shall never tire of chanting with the choir,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
This song of sacred joy, it never seems to cloy,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

I just love singing with other believers, hearing our voices raised together in praise. And think about what it will be like in heaven – all the saints, gathered around the throne. John’s revelation gives us a wonderful picture of what it will be like – the sound of many waters and the sound of mighty peals of thunder! I get chills just thinking about it.

And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne saying, "Amen Hallelujah!" And a voice came from the throne, saying, "Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great." Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, "Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.” Rev 19:4-6

This hymn has 15 verses and we’ve looked at just four today. Over the next several days we’ll look at the rest of the 11 verses. Meanwhile, I challenge you to do as this hymn instructs, and when morning gilds the skies, I hope your heart awakening cries, “May Jesus Christ be praised!”

Friday, March 9, 2007

God Will Take Care of You

And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:19

In our lives, it is easy to get caught up in worry – about big things and small, about circumstances in and out of our control. God has promised to take care of us, and to provide for us. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us that we need not spend time and energy worrying!

"And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?' For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:25-34

Remember the deep, broad, high love of Christ? We can abide in that love and know that we are well cared for through every day, over all the way. There is not anywhere we can go that we will be out of His sight or His hearing – so cast your burdens on Him and He will give you rest.

Even in days of toil we can be assured that God will take care of us. Scripture exhorts us to be steadfast and immovable in our faith and encourages us that our toil is not in vain.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord. I Cor 15:58

The hymnwriter reminds us that if we face fierce dangers, God will still take care of us – this reminds me of the apostle Paul. Most of us will be fortunate not to have to endure what he did for the gospel:

I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. II Cor. 11:26-27

Although we may not face those dangers, there will be hard times in our life and we will have to make a choice – trust God, or trust ourselves. Will we be secure in knowing that the Lord will provide, or lean on ourselves and our fleshly desires and impulses to do what we think is best?

Verse three reminds us that all we have to do is ask. So often, I catch myself in this “trap.” Worrying about something and hoping for a particular outcome, and having not prayed about it! When I catch myself and then turn to God in prayer, it is such a relief to cast my burden upon Him and know that my Heavenly Father listens, and cares, about what I’ve brought to Him.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Matt 7:7-8

Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.
I John 3:21-23

This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him. I John 5:14-15

It doesn’t matter what may come up, or what we will face. God will take care of us. There is nothing that we can face that isn’t common to everyone else, and best of all, there is nothing we could face that Jesus doesn’t understand – we can run to Him for comfort, assurance and strength.

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. I Cor. 10:13

Take some time today and think back over the instances in your life when you have seen God’s hand and His care for you personally. Then thank Him and praise Him for His faithfulness and provision.

God Will Take Care of You
Words by Civilla D. Martin

Be not dismayed whate’er betide,
God will take care of you;
Beneath His wings of love abide,
God will take care of you.

God will take care of you,
Through every day, o’er all the way;
He will take care of you,
God will take care of you.

Through days of toil when your heart doth fail,
God will take care of you;
When dangers fierce your path assail,
God will take care of you.

All you may need He will provide,
God will take care of you;
Nothing you ask will be denied,
God will take care of you.

No matter what may be the test,
God will take care of you;
Lean, weary one, upon His breast,
God will take care of you.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High

That you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge… Eph. 3:17-19

This wonderful hymn was originally written in Latin in the 15th century and then translated to English in 1854. It tells the story of Jesus’ incarnation, life on Earth, death, and resurrection.

O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High
O love, how deep, how broad, how high,
It fills the heart with ecstasy,
That God, the Son of God, should take
Our mortal form for mortals’ sake!

He sent no angel to our race
Of higher or of lower place,
But wore the robe of human frame
Himself, and to this lost world came.

For us baptized, for us He bore
His holy fast and hungered sore,
For us temptation sharp He knew;
For us the tempter overthrew.

For us He prayed; for us He taught;
For us His daily works He wrought;
By words and signs and actions thus
Still seeking not Himself, but us.

For us to wicked men betrayed,
Scourged, mocked, in purple robe arrayed,
He bore the shameful cross and death,
For us gave up His dying breath.

For us He rose from death again;
For us He went on high to reign;
For us He sent His Spirit here,
To guide, to strengthen, and to cheer.

To Him Whose boundless love has won
Salvation for us through His Son,
To God the Father, glory be
Both now and through eternity.

That God should take our mortal form for our sake – this writer says it fills the heart with ecstasy. It does mine – God could have chosen so many other ways to save us but He chose to become flesh – and to live here on Earth among us.

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

The second verse amplifies the idea of God being made man – he didn’t send an angel but wore the robe of human frame Himself.

Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same… Hebrews 2:14

FOR US – that’s why God did this. FOR US. He became man so that he could live on Earth and experience the same things we do – He knew temptation so that for us He could overthrow the tempter.

Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. Hebrews 2:14-15

Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted. Hebrews 2:17-18

FOR US. We see it again in the next verse. He prayed, taught, worked FOR US. And instead of seeking Himself, he sought us, all the way to death on a cross.

“I do not seek My glory.” John 8:50

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Philippians 2:5-8

FOR US He rose from death again!!

The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. "He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. "Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you." Matthew 28:5-7

FOR US He went on high to reign!!

So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. Mark 16:19

And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they. Hebrews 1:3-4

FOR US He sent His spirit here!!

"These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” John 14:25-26

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. Acts 2:1-4

His boundless love FOR US has won our salvation!

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:16-18

Glory be to God the Father, for now and all eternity!

I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. Psalm 104:33

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, that my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever. Psalm 30:11-12

He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; many will see and fear and will trust in the Lord. Psalm 40:2-4

Friday, March 2, 2007

We Have An Anchor

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil… Hebrews 6:20

This wonderful gospel song really gives a clear picture of what it means to have hope as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast. The writer uses this metaphor in every verse to describe our firm foundation and security in Jesus Christ.

If you’ve ever been in a boat that has an anchor, or you’ve seen one work even in a movie or on TV, you can relate to the word pictures here. An anchor is attached to the boat with very strong ropes or chains, and then let over the side to hold the boat in a particular place. So even a strong wind won’t carry the boat off because it is anchored – in the refrain the writer says we are fastened to the Rock which cannot move! Isn’t that good news??

Webster’s dictionary gives a second definition besides the obvious use for a boat: a reliable or principal support. That is also a great picture of the hope we have in Christ –it’s our principal support!

In verse two we see how we are attached to our anchor – the cables are passed from His heart to mine, and the anchor is well secured by the Savior’s hand, for He upholds all things by the word of His power. (Heb. 1:3)

I love how the author uses this sailing analogy for all it’s worth! Has your anchor been tested when you are in the Straits of Fear? Has God been faithful to you? He has to me. He has shown Himself and His promises to be true. Specifically that

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel; your Savior. Isaiah 43:2-3

Finally we see that there will come a time when all the storms will be in our past – when we are anchored securely in heaven and in God’s presence, having been protected and brought safely through the storms of our lives into our eternal home, the city of gold, the harbor bright.

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. Phil. 3:20-21

We Have an Anchor
Words by Priscilla J. Owens

Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift and the cables strain,
Will your anchor drift, or firm remain?

We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love.

It is safely moored, ’twill the storm withstand,
For ’tis well secured by the Savior’s hand;
And the cables, passed from His heart to mine,
Can defy that blast, thro’ strength divine.

It will firmly hold in the Straits of Fear—
When the breakers have told that the reef is near;
Though the tempest rave and the wild winds blow,
Not an angry wave shall our bark o’erflow.

When our eyes behold through the gath’ring night
The city of gold, our harbor bright,
We shall anchor fast by the heav’nly shore,
With the storms all past forevermore.