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Archive for the ‘God’ Category

Poem for For Lent

LEngleMadeleine“For Lent, 1966”           By Madeleine L’Engle

It is my Lent to break my Lent

To eat when I would fast

To know when slender strength is spent

Take shelter from the blast

When I would run with wind and rain

To sleep when I would watch.

It is my Lent to smile at pain

But not ignore its touch.

It is my Lent to listen well

When I would be alone,

To talk when I would rather dwell

In silence turn from none

Who call on me to try to see

That what is truly meant

Is not my choice.

If Christ’s I’d be

It’s thus I’ll keep my Lent.

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In the cross of Christ I glory,
Towering o’er the wrecks of time;
All the light of sacred story
Gathers round its head sublime.
 
When the woes of life o’ertake me,
Hopes deceive and fears annoy,
Never shall the cross forsake me:
Lo! It glows with peace and joy.
 
When the sun of bliss is beaming
Light and love upon my way,
From the cross the radiance streaming
Adds more lustre to the day.
 
Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure,
By the cross are sanctified;
Peace is there that knows no measure,
Joys that through all time abide.

by John Bowering

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Hosanna

palm sundayHosanna, loud hosanna,
The little children sang;
Through pillared court and temple
The lovely anthem rang.
To Jesus, who had blessed them,
Close folded to His breast,
The children sang their praises,
The simplest and the best.
 
From Olivet they followed
Mid an exultant crowd,
The victor palm branch waving
And chanting clear and loud.
The Lord of earth and heaven
Rode on in lowly state
Nor scorned that little children
Should on His bidding wait.
 
“Hosanna in the highest!”
That ancient song we sing,
For Christ is our Redeemer,
The Lord of heav’n our King.
Oh, may we ever praise Him
With heart and life and voice
And in His blissful presence
Eternally rejoice!

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It’s easy to get Jesus wrong.  You could consider Him just a wise teacher, gentle prophet, or worse, a mere man. You could limit Him in your thinking to the 33 years of his life and try to hold His influence to those narrow boundaries.

But Jesus won’t stay in the small enclosure you built for Him. No, He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the great I Am, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, He is the coming King and Messiah (the promised one) whose arrival is foretold by the Old Testament prophets.

Understanding the implications of Easter, requires an understanding of exactly who Jesus of Nazareth was and is. According to the gospel of John, He was in the beginning with God, co-equal to God, part of the trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).

So what was God doing living as a man in a remote village outside of Jerusalem in the first century A.D.?

God became man to solve man’s problem, because man was eternally separated from God by his sin, and the only way to change man’s future, so he could be in communion with God, was for a man to live a perfect life, fulfilling all the requirements of God’s law, and to then give up that perfect life in sacrificial offering for the sins of all the other men who lived and would live. That is what Jesus did for me, for you, for the whole world.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  John 3:16

He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.  1 John 2:2

Silhouettes of Three Crosses

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isaac wattsWhen I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads o’er His body on the tree;
Then I am dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

By Isaac Watts, 1674-1748

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If Jesus truly had the words of eternal life as Peter said  in John 6:68, why wouldn’t everyone who heard His words accept the message of the gospel?

The answer is found in John 3, right after the well-known proclamation of God’s love for man in John 3:16, we read this:

And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. John 3:19-20

Is your love for your sin keeping you from accepting the free gift of salvation?  Are you clinging to the darkness, hiding from the light, so you can continue to engage in your sin?

Don’t be deceived, Light is coming.  He will expose you for who you are and your evil deeds will be known by all.  Repent and turn from your sin and allow the Light of the World to flood the darkness of your soul.  Today is the day of Salvation!

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Poem by Charles Wesley

Arise, my soul, arise;

Shake off thy guilty fears;

The bleeding Sacrifice

In my behalf appears:

Before the throne my Surety stands,

My name is written on His hands.

My God is reconciled;

His pardoning voice I hear:

He owns me for His child;

I can no longer fear:

With confidence I now draw nigh,

And “Father, Abba, Father,” cry.

—Charles Wesley

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