Thursday, March 31, 2011

40 Days of Prayer: Day 20

But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine." Isaiah 43:1

Dear Lord,

This morning, as I sang about the great truth that You know my name, I was brought to tears. It is overwhelming to me that the God of the Universe knows me. How I praise You for this truth! I thank You that You know my joys, my pain, my challenges, my triumphs. I thank You that You know my sin, and that Your precious Son paid the price for it. I thank You that You have called me by name and I am Yours!

With gratefulness,

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

40 Days of Prayer: Day 19

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;And the government will rest on His shoulders;And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

Dear Jesus,
How I thank You and praise You that You are my Wonderful Counselor. I am grateful for Your counsel through Your Word and through Your Holy Spirit. I thank You that at any time, in any place, for any reason, I can bring my cares, concerns, and even worries to Your throne and that You hear me. I thank You that You live to intercede for me and that I have the privelege of speaking directly to You through prayer. I thank You for sending Your Holy Spirit to guide me and to counsel me and for providing Your word which tells me how to live. May I bring glory to You as my Wonderful Counselor.

In Your Name,

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

40 Days of Prayer: Day 18

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. I Corinthians 15:57

Dear God,

Today I give You the thanks and praise for You have given us victory through Your Son Jesus Christ. I thank You that sin no longer has power over me because Christ, in His death defying power has abolished the fear and sting of death. Lord, I know that we might not always have victory over our earthly struggles against illness, hurt, difficult relationships, disappointment, and many others, but I praise You that we will have the victory in heaven. I thank You for what I have to look forward to. I pray that others will see that I live in victory because of Your gift.

In Your Name,

Monday, March 28, 2011

40 Days of Prayer: Day 17

But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Romans 8:11

Dear Father,

As I pondered this verse today, it was almost too much for me to comprehend. Because I am Yours, the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in me. Your Spirit, the same One who brought Jesus back to life, lives in me! And Your Spirit gives me life. Lord, I ask that Your Spirit, Your powerful, life-giving Spirit, would flow through me with power and grace and lead me in the thoughts and actions that will bring honor and glory to You. May it be evident to others that I have Your life-giving Spirit in me and may I be changed through Your indwelling.

In Your Name,

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My Crucified Savior

"It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save." Isaiah 63:1

This beautiful hymn about Jesus' death and resurrection is new to me, and perfect for meditating on during this Lenten season. I so appreciate the story line it draws from Christ's suffering and death and what it accomplished for us to how we can be spared from the same experience through our acceptance of His free gift of salvation. Truly, He is both willing and mighty to save.

Christ suffered willingly to pay for my sin.

But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled.
Acts 3:18

And He suffered alone. The sins of the world were on His back and for the briefest of moments, His Father turned His face away.

About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, " ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?" that is, "MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?" Matthew 27:46

Jesus had to die to pay the price for sin once for all. For thousands of years God's people were sacrificing animals to pay for their sin, but they had to do it year after year, and it still wasn't good enough.

For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Hebrews 10:1-4

It wasn't good enough because it's impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. So, God sent His sinless son to die in my place in order that I may be redeemed to God.

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us--for it is written, "CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE." Galatians 3:13

After dying a painful death on a cross, He was buried. But that was not the end. Jesus had appeased the Creator and restored mankind, and God in His strength and power raised Him from the dead!

And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation (appeasement!)for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. I John 2:1-2

When they had carried out all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the cross and laid Him in a tomb. But God raised Him from the dead; and for many days He appeared to those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, the very ones who are now His witnesses to the people. Acts 13:29-31

Finally, God's plan to save His people was accomplished. God had been promising a Savior ever since Eve and Adam sinned in the garden of Eden. And this was a great promise kept - with Christ as Savior, our sin no longer separates us from God. Not only that, but we will escape the bondage of death and live eternally in a place that Jesus went ahead of us to prepare.

In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:2-3

We must rejoice in His love! Rejoice in His love that took Him to the cross, suffered for our sin, and rose again! Rejoice in His love that He will come again to take us home with Him.

Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. John 16:22

My Crucified Savior
Words by Fredrika Falck,
translated from Swedish to English by Claude Foss

My crucified Savior, despised and contemned,
Thou innocent victim for sinners condemned,
Thy garments are blood-stained, Thy spirit doth groan,
In agony prostrate, Thou suff’rest alone.

Thou weepest and moanest in conflict and prayer,
And writhest in agony, pain and despair;
In thirty years’ anguish our path Thou hast trod,
And diest at last to redeem us to God.

Our Savior thus finished God’s plan with our race,
And laid the foundation for pardon and grace.
And then rose triumphant, the conquering Lord,
Appeased the Creator and mankind restored.

Restored to the bliss that was lost in the fall,
Yea, greater, for Jesus prepared for us all
Eternal salvation and mansions above;
Come, poor, burdened sinners, rejoice in His love.

Yea, come, trembling sinner, come just as thou art,
Thy cares and thy sorrows to Jesus impart;
In Him seek salvation from death and the grave,
For Jesus is willing and mighty to save.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

40 Days of Prayer: Day 16

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16

Dear God of Creation,

Today I praise You for the bright sunshine that lifts my spirit. It's like I feel You shining down on me, lighting up our world with Your brightness and glory. As I think about the sun shining, I am reminded of Jesus' exhortation to let my light shine. I ask that You would guide me today in being cognizant of what I am projecting to others and I pray that it would be bright light! Lord, it is my desire that I would shine because of You in me and that the fruit of my growth in You would be evident to others; that they would see my good works, made possible only because of You. And most importantly, Lord, I pray that as a result, many others would give You glory, because You are the One worthy of all glory, honor and praise.

In Your Name,

Friday, March 25, 2011

40 Days of Prayer: Day 15

Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them. Colossians 3:18-19

Dear Lord and Heavenly Father,

Today I come before you asking for Your wisdom for husbands and wives. I pray for wives, that they would be obedient to Your word and respect their husbands, honoring them and glorifying You. I pray for husbands, that they would love their wives and live with them in an understanding manner, as You have directed them. Lord, I pray that Your Holy Spirit would be at work in marriages, that both parties will be sensitive to Your leading and directing. I pray that marriages would, as You have authored in Your word, be a picture of Christ and His church. May unbelievers come to a saving faith in You as a result of strong Christian marriages that show the world what it is like to be the bride of Christ.

For Your glory I ask it,

Thursday, March 24, 2011

40 Days of Prayer: Day 14

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8

Dear Heavenly Father,

I pray today that You will guard and direct my heart and mind. I want to obey Your word and dwell on the things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, excellence and worthy of praise. I don't want to be distracted by things my eyes and ears and mind should not concentrate on, but focused on the things that are worthy of praise and that bring You glory. Lord, keep my mind from wandering. Keep me out of the mire of negative thinking, of worrying about the future, of being critical and judgmental, and engaging in discussions or thinking that is not glorifying to You. Lord, I want to please You. Send Your Holy Spirit today to be my guide.

In Your Name,

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

40 Days of Prayer: Day 13

Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all. I Chronicles 29:11

Dear Lord,

Indeed You are great and powerful and worthy of all glory, victory and majesty. Everything in the earth and in the heavens is yours. You are King, and head over all creation. I thank You that You reign from Your throne and that You reign with power. I praise You that You have won the victory for me through Jesus Christ. I praise You as head of creation for our beautiful world, for the sunrise with each new day, for life and breath. May You be exalted, Lord, in everything I do and say and think today. May all the glory go to You alone.

For Your Name,

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

40 Days of Prayer: Day 12

For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Romans 6:10

Dear Jesus,

Today I come before You in thanksgiving for the death that You died, once for all. Lord Jesus, when I think about the weight of sin that was on Your shoulders as You hung on that cross, I am overwhelmed by grief, and overcome with gratitude. That You would bear all of my sins, past, present and future before I was even born, along with those of the whole world, is almost too much to comprehend. Thank You. Indeed, my heart is dissolved in thankfulness and my eyes are melted in tears.

In Your Name,

Monday, March 21, 2011

40 Days of Prayer: Day 11

But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. II Peter 3:8-9

Dear Sovereign God,

Even as I pray for Jesus' quick return and long for my real home, I am reminded that You are God and I am not. Your word tells us that You You are not slow about Your promise, but that You are patient. I thank You for your everlasting kindness! You are patient because You do not wish any to perish. I thank You that it is Your desire that all would come to repentance before Jesus comes again. I know we feel like we've been waiting a long time, Lord, but to You a thousand years is like a day. I praise You and give You glory for Your sovereign plan and Your unending patience toward us, Your creation.

Lord, I pray for those who don't know You. I pray that each one would heed Your call, be open to the Spirit's prompting and come to repentance. I pray that we would be prepared for Jesus to come again. Lord, make me a light in this dark world to point people toward You, that they may see Your patience and Your lovingkindness.

In Your Great Name I ask it,

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Blessed Cross of Jesus

For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
I Corinthians 1:18

Jesus went to the cross on our behalf to pay a debt He didn't owe. He paid for our sin with His life. The wages of sin is death, and Jesus died the death instead of us. Because of this, we have salvation free - the free gift of God - eternal life in Christ Jesus.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

There is room at the cross for you. Bring your burdens and your cares, bring your soul in need of healing.

Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. I Peter 5:7

At the cross you'll see a Father's love through a Savior shining.

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.
John 3:16

"The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me."
John 17:22-23

There is comfort at the cross.

For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. II Corinthians 1:5

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word. II Thessalonians 2:16-17

There's room at the cross for you. I am so thankful for the cross and for Jesus' humble obedience to the point of death. I am so thankful that my sin is paid for because of His sacrifice. May I, like Paul, boast only in the cross.

But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Galatians 6:14

Blessed Cross of Jesus
Words by Fanny Crosby

Wand’rer, come, there’s room for thee,
At the cross of Jesus;
Come and taste salvation free
At the cross of Jesus.

Blessed cross! Precious cross!
There my hopes are twining;
There I see a Father’s love
Through a Savior shining.

Come and bring thy burden now
To the cross of Jesus;
Lay thy burning, throbbing brow
At the cross of Jesus.

O what comfort thou wilt find
At the cross of Jesus;
Love thy broken heart will bind
At the cross of Jesus.

See the crimson waters flow
At the cross of Jesus;
Come and tell thy every woe
At the cross of Jesus.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

40 Days of Prayer: Day 10

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope
that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.
Romans 8:18-23

Dear Lord,

As events unfolded around the world this past week, especially in the Middle East and Far East, it's as if I can hear creation groaning. How we long for Your return and for a new heaven and a new earth. Thank You, Lord, for Your promise that Jesus will come again. Thank You, Jesus, that You went to prepare a place for us. Thank You that this earth is not our home, and that this life is not all there is. How I exult in the hope I have in you, Jesus!


Friday, March 18, 2011

40 Days of Prayer: Day 9

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

Dear Lord,

Today I pray this verse for those who may need encouragement today to trust in You and believe, whether they need to believe in You for the first time, or believe what they read in Your word, or believe that You will do what You say. I pray that You would fill them, and me, with joy and peace as we believe in You and trust in Your word, that we will all abound in hope by the power of Your Holy Spirit. We have so much to be joyful for, Lord. Send Your Holy Spirit to fill us with peace that we will be secure in our belief and abounding in hope. Thank You for the hope that we have in You, for it is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness.

With thankfulness I ask it,

Thursday, March 17, 2011

40 Days of Prayer: Day 8

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

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for humbling Yourself. Thank You for Your obedience that led You to death, a painful death on the cross. Thank You for emptying Yourself for me. Holy Spirit, be at work in my heart and my mind. I want to have the same attitude as You, I want to humbly serve and be obedient in everything to my Heavenly Father. Change me, O God, and make me more like the image of Your precious Son.

In Your Name,

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

40 Days of Prayer: Day 7

Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. Colossians 3:17

Dear Lord,

I want to give thanks to You in everything, for in You I live and breathe and have my being. Lord, change me. I want everything I do to be done in Your name, with humility and selflessness. Whether I am working at home or at my office, may I do my work in Your name as Your representative and with thankfulness for You have given me the skills and talents with which to do my work. I don't want to do my work grudgingly, but willingly and well, that You may be glorified in everything that I do.

In Your Name,

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

40 Days of Prayer: Day 6

Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, in His arm He will gather the lambs and carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes. Isaiah 40:11

Dear Lord and Heavenly Father,

Today I praise You for the way You lead me. I thank You that You tend to me as a shepherd tends to His flock, that You gather me close and carry me next to You. Thank You for Your protection and for the security I have knowing You as my shepherd. Sometimes I feel as lost as a little sheep, but You bring me back to the fold. Thank You for being a gentle leader. Thank You that I never have to walk alone; You are with me, guiding, directing, leading and carrying.


Monday, March 14, 2011

40 Days of Prayer: Day 5

Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:5-8

Dear Lord,

How I want to know You! This passage just speaks to my heart today as I want to have these qualities and I want them to increase. I don't want to be useless or unfruitful in the true knowledge of You, and so I ask Your Holy Spirit to give me discipline and diligence, that I may increase in moral excellence, knowledge, self control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love. Lord, may the fruit of my faith be evident to all those around me and may it bring You glory, for You are worthy to receive all glory, honor and praise.

In Your Name,

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed? (At the Cross)

He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. I Peter 2:24

Recently, I was at the busiest U.S. airport making an international connection. It was soon after the holidays, and on the international concourse were hundreds and hundreds of service men and women. They were "returning to work" at their stations overseas.

I was really overcome by this sight of so many men and women leaving the comforts of home to go to a foreign and dangerous place and risk their lives for my well-being. I made it a point to look at each one I passed and told them "Thank you!" but it didn't seem like enough.

They were willingly serving and going in my place. Because they were going, I didn't have to.

They were my substitute.

Then I thought about Jesus.

Jesus was my substitute.

Because He went to the cross to pay for my sin, I won't have to.

He willingly served and went in my place. As this hymn so beautifully says, Was it for crimes that I had done, He groaned upon that tree? YES!

Christ, the mighty maker died for man, the creature's, sin. Think about that. Our creator, the One who made us, died for us, because of our (His creation's) sin.

Paul, in his letter to the church at Colossae, reminds us that Jesus, the image of the invisible God, was our Creator.

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. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. Colossians 1:13-17

Our Creator paid the price, and was our substitute.

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.
I John 2:1-2

We had a debt we couldn't pay. Nothing, besides a sinless Savior, could cancel out the decrees against us.

When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
Colossians 2:13-14

Jesus paid a debt He didn't owe. In dying for such a worm as I, He saved me from the wrath of God and reconciled me to the Father.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. Romans 5:8-10

When I think about Jesus' substitutionary work on my behalf, my response is much like Mr. Watts'. My heart is dissolved in thankfulness and my eyes are melted to tears. However, my grief over my sin will not repay the debt of love I owe. So I sing with Mr. Watts and all the saints, "Here Lord, I give myself away, 'tis all that I can do."

Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed
Words by Isaace Watts

Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

Thy body slain, sweet Jesus, Thine—
And bathed in its own blood—
While the firm mark of wrath divine,
His Soul in anguish stood.

Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide
And shut his glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker died,
For man the creature’s sin.

Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt my eyes to tears.

But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give my self away
’Tis all that I can do.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

40 Days of Prayer: Day 4

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 2 Peter 1:2-3

Dear Lord,

Thank You that You have granted me, through Your divine power, everything pertaining to life and godliness. I pray that during this Lenten season, I would deepen in my true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. Lord, I want to know You more. Reveal Yourself to me through Your word, in Your creation, through my interactions with others, through Your Holy Spirit. Draw me close to You and surround me with Your grace and peace today.

In Your Name,

Friday, March 11, 2011

40 Days of Prayer: Day 3

"Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail?" Job 38:22

Dear Almighty God,

Today's new and abundant snowfall is a wonderful reminder of Your sovereignty over creation. Thank You that You are the God who provides the rain, the sun, the clouds, the snow, the hail and the thunder. Thank you for the change of seasons to delight us. Lord, I pray that I would not question You or want to instruct You as Job was doing in this passage. I thank You for Your almighty power and ask that I would be mindful of Your power in creation.

Lord, today I also pray for those who are suffering across the world as a result of the earthquake and the tsunami. Even those things are not out of Your control, Lord, and I pray for safety for those involved and that You may be glorified even amidst the devastation.

In Your Name,

Thursday, March 10, 2011

40 Days of Prayer: Day 2

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. II Corinthians 2:14

Dear God,

Today I come before you in thanksgiving. I thank you for leading me in triumph through Christ who paid for my sin on the cross and who through Your power rose from the grave, conquering death forevermore. I thank you that because of His work, I will never taste death. I thank you that because of your incomparable love, death had no hold on Jesus and has no hold on me! I ask you today to manifest in me the knowledge of Christ in every place. Help me to see You and Him more clearly in everything and to recognize You in thanksgiving. Make me a portal, Lord, that others will see You in me and give You all the glory.

For Your Name I ask it,

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Draw Me Closer, Lord, to Thee

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8

As the Lenten season begins today, I desire to draw close to God. I desire this more often than just in the Lenten season, at some times more strongly than others, but especially at this time, I find myself wanting to be quiet before the Lord and drawn close.

I want to be folded in His love.

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. I John 3:1

I want Him to reveal to me all the riches of His grace.

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. Ephesians 1:7

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7

I want him to mold my heart into His image.

For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. Romans 8:29-30

Through my closeness with my Father, I want Him to show me how He is refining me.

Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. Isaiah 48:10

I want to be made complete in Him.

For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete. Colossians 2:9-10

My longing soul aspires to discover in Him all I yearn for and desire!

Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25-26

During this season, I will devote myself to more fervent study of God's word, in addition to spending more time in prayer; both speaking but especially listening. My earnest prayer is that as I draw nearer to Him I might know Him more and that He would change me.

Join me here every day as I share my prayers of praise and supplication in my effort to draw near to Him. And I also pray for you, that as you contemplate Christ's atoning work on the cross and His triumphant resurrection, that you would draw near and feel His presence.

Draw Me Closer, Lord, to Thee
Words by Elisha Hoffman

Draw me closer, Lord, to Thee,
Fold me in Thy love’s embrace,
And unto my soul reveal
All the riches of Thy grace.

Draw me closer, closer, closer,
Closer, Lord, to Thee;
Ever purer, purer, purer
Then my soul shall be.

Draw me closer, Lord, to Thee;
In Thy arms Thy child enfold,
And this earthly heart of mine
Into Thine own image mold.

Draw me closer, Lord, to Thee,
In communion rich and sweet,
Till my soul shall be refined,
And in Thee be made complete.

Draw me closer, Lord, to Thee,
For my longing soul aspires
To discover in Thyself
All it yearns for and desires.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Christ for the World We Sing

And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation."Mark 16:15

I had the privelege of worshipping with other believers who have come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ as the result of missionairies living among them, witnessing to them, starting a church and discipling them. It was awe inspiring. These people, who didn't grow up in Christian homes and who live in a very secular culture (in a foreign country), really love and trust Jesus, and it is obvious through their worship and their interaction with each other.

I was humbled and thankful as I thought about how God had given my husband and me the opportunity to support this church with the gifts He's given us. It was so meaningful to us to meet the people who we'd prayed for, and it was so encouraging to worship with them, but best of all, to know that we'd be worshipping together in heaven someday as a result of someone's willingness to GO and TELL them the GOOD NEWS!

But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. II Thessalonians 2:13-14

I saw first hand the loving zeal that was brought to these people, and how they were now able to reach their community with that loving zeal. Through testimony given that one Sunday, we saw clearly that salvation had come to these people, and they were not ashamed!

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16

God has not called me to be a missionary to a foreign country. He probably hasn't called you to that service either. But that doesn't mean we're off the hook! Many of us have the opportunity to support the spreading of the gospel through financial means, either through giving to our local church or by supporting missionaries directly. And one thing we can ALL do, and should do more of, I would venture to say, is PRAY. We should pray for the missionaries who are serving, for boldness in their speech and love in their approach.

With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. Ephesians 6:18-20

We should pray that God would give them opportunity, and that they would take it.

We should pray for their safety and protection.

We should pray that they would have all they need.

We should pray that the Spirit would turn hearts to God that they would hear the gospel and believe in faith.

We should pray for God to raise up leaders among new believers so that these churches can become self-supporting and missionaries can go tell the good news to other people!

For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for "WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED." How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, "HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!" Romans 10:12-15

These newborn souls, reclaimed from error's ways are now inspired with hope and praise because they belong to Christ. It is a wonderful thing to see this in person.

Thank you, Lord, for the opportunity to see Your hand at work among Your people. May I be more diligent in my prayers for this church, and for all of Your work around the world, that Your name would be made great and that many people would come to salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Christ for the World We Sing
Words by Samuel Wolcott

Christ for the world we sing,
The world to Christ we bring, with loving zeal,
The poor and them that mourn, the faint and overborne,
Sin sick and sorrow worn, whom Christ doth heal.

Christ for the world we sing,
The world to Christ we bring, with fervent prayer;
The wayward and the lost, by restless passions tossed,
Redeemed at countless cost, from dark despair.

Christ for the world we sing,
The world to Christ we bring, with one accord;
With us the work to share, with us reproach to dare,
With us the cross to bear, for Christ our Lord.

Christ for the world we sing,
The world to Christ we bring, with joyful song;
The newborn souls, whose days, reclaimed from error’s ways,
Inspired with hope and praise, to Christ belong.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Glory be to God on High

Be exalted above the heavens, O God; Let Your glory be above all the earth. Psalm 57:5

I had the opportunity last month to visit a place that is quite unmarked by human hands. It is a remote national park in South America that hasn't been "civilized" and is just raw nature in its purest form.

The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; the world and all it contains, You have founded them. Psalm 89:11

It was an amazing experience to see water, trees, mountains and sky in their naturalness, without any human intervention, for hundreds and hundreds of miles.

Let heaven and earth praise Him, the seas and everything that moves in them. Psalm 69:34

We passed by mountain after mountain after mountain as we sailed upriver, and each seemed to sing a song of praise to God that was louder than the last.

Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praises to our God on the lyre, Who covers the heavens with clouds, Who provides rain for the earth, Who makes grass to grow on the mountains. He gives to the beast its food, and to the young ravens which cry. Psalm 147:7-9

As we passed by these mountains, waterfalls would appear, just coming off the sides as if poured from above!

He waters the mountains from His upper chambers; The earth is satisfied with the fruit of His works. Psalm 104:13

I was reminded of what Jesus said during His triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

As soon as He was approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, shouting:
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, "Teacher, rebuke Your disciples." But Jesus answered, "I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!"
Luke 19:37-40

Even the stones will cry out. If we don't praise our Lord, the rocks will! For they are always praising their Creator. Earth and sea is crying "God is good!"

For I know that the LORD is great and that our Lord is above all gods. Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps. He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; Who makes lightnings for the rain, Who brings forth the wind from His treasuries. Psalm 135:5-7

Let the whole creation cry! Don't be silent today. Let your praises to our God be heard!

Glory be to God on High
Words by Theodore William

Glory be to God on high, Alleluia!
Let the whole creation cry, Alleluia!
Peace and blessing He has given, Alleluia!
Earth repeat the songs of heaven, Alleluia!

Creatures of the field and flood, Alleluia!
Earth and sea cry “God is good,” Alleluia!
Toiling pilgrims raise the song, Alleluia!
Saints in light the strain prolong, Alleluia!

Stars that have no voice to sing Alleluia!
Give their glory to our King, Alleluia!
Silent powers and angels’ song, Alleluia!
All unto our God belong, Alleluia!