Tag Archives: Jesus

Sing a Joyful Song

At this time of celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, I remember the Easter hymns we sang in church as I grew up. I loved “Christ Arose” partly because of the building excitement in the chorus:

“Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes;
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!” *
(Words and music by Rev. Robert Lowry, 1826-1899.)

Now that I’m older, I value more and more the truth of the song. Jesus Christ conquered death, and He offers true eternal life to those who choose to receive and follow Him.

Christ is risen! Hallelujah! He is risen indeed!

“But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” (1 Corinthians 15:20 NIV)


“Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3 NIV)

*Several performances of this song are available on YouTube. I liked this one by the Klondike Baptist Church Praise Team: https://youtu.be/UYcEH6vzVas

2 Comments

Filed under Christian, Good News, Jesus, Poems and Songs

Dump the Regrets

“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one (Ephesians 6:16 NIV).”

One type of arrow, regret, targeted a weak spot in my shield for years. Now I’m learning to protect myself from it.

With the reminders of sin for which I’ve already repented, I can just mark them forgiven and let them go.

But many of those arrows catch fire from coals of ‘I wish’ or ‘if only.’ For example, “I wish I had made wiser relationship choices in college,” or “If only I hadn’t made so many stupid mistakes about a career, then life would be more worthwhile now.”

Wonder what Jesus would say about those regrets? He might say to me, “My child, do you think I have no power to work even your failures and mistakes into My plans and purposes? Can I not do what I said in Romans 8:28 and take these, along with all the rest of ‘the good, the bad, and the ugly’ and make something better than what anyone could have imagined?”

I’m so silly!

“Oh, right, Jesus. I must have thought You and the Father and the Holy Spirit were wringing Your hands and moaning, ‘If only she hadn’t done that! Now what will We do?’”

Then we would laugh.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)


“But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Then the word of the Lord came to me: ‘O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?’ declares the Lord. ‘Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.’” (Jeremiah 18:4-6)

(Both verses New International Version)

2 Comments

Filed under Christian Living, God's Work in our Lives

Life Overflowing

Niagara Falls – September 2018

God offers me abundant life through Jesus Christ. But if I stubbornly cling to my own way, and don’t listen to Jesus and don’t obey Him, my life limps along in mediocrity. In fact, the more I try to take control of my life, the more “the mediocre” turns to “the pits.” (Matthew 7:24-26)

However, if I listen to Jesus and seek Him in His Word and try to obey what He says, I grow in His love and find more of His goodness—more abundance in life.

Therefore, let me choose to listen and obey.

John 10:10 “…I [Jesus] have come that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” (Amplified Bible)

Deuteronomy 30:19-20 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land….” (New Living Translation)

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian, Christian Living

Thought Replacement Therapy

God has told us to bring every thought captive to obey Jesus Christ. But how can I do that? My thinking patterns have become knotted and twisted around experiences, people, and natural tendencies. I can drag the whole bundle to Jesus. When I do that, He shows me loose ends protruding from the tangles.

Then the Holy Spirit and I pull one free from the bunch, straighten it out and make it obey Christ. For example, I don’t need to hold onto a bad attitude about some disappointed expectation. When I start to stew, I can say to myself, “No. That’s the old way. I’m new in Christ. I’ll let go of the disappointment and rejoice in Him.” And the next time I think about what happened or didn’t happen, I’ll stop and remind myself that I’m rejoicing in the Lord.

When that thought thread is brought into submission, we can start pulling on another one.

“…[We] take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” –2 Corinthians 10:5
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” –2 Corinthians 5:17
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4
(Scripture verses are from the New International Version)

2 Comments

Filed under Christian, Christian Living

Written on His Hands

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands…” (Isaiah 49:15-16 NIV)

Thank You Jesus, for going to the cross where my name was engraved on Your hands, maybe not on the palms–-with crucifixion, the Romans pounded spikes through the base of the hand where it is joined to the wrist. But You suffered and died for my sin there.

That reminds me of the hymn, “Nailed to the Cross,” which I learned as a young person:

(Chorus)
They are nailed to the cross; they are nailed to the cross.
Oh how much He was willing to bear!
With what anguish and loss, Jesus went to the cross,
And He carried my sin with Him there.*

Thank You, God, for forgiving all our sins and for never forgetting us.


“…He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.” (Colossians 2:13-14) “……God has said,’Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” (Hebrews 13:5) (Both NIV)

*Hymn author: Carrie Ellis Breck (1899) Music and lyrics at:

https://hymnary.org/text/there_was_one_who_was_willing_to_die_in

2 Comments

Filed under Christian, Christian Living, Jesus, Scripture Thoughts, Uncategorized

Rescue

When our boat overturned, the river started to pull me downstream. Then one of the men reached to pull me out of the rushing water. I felt his strong arms lifting me up.

Jesus, when the world pulls at me and I feel as though I’ve lost my footing, please rescue me! Lift me up with Your strong promises which reach out with arms of faithfulness.

My church children’s group used to sing, “Safe am I in the hollow of His hand. Sheltered o’er in His love forever more. No ill can harm me. No foe alarm me, for He keeps both day and night.”*
Lord, I will trust You no matter what happens. I can find rest in You. (See Psalm 62:1)

Psalm 145:13-14 “…The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made. The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.” (NIV)

*“Safe Am I”; Mildred Leightner Dillon, author; © 1938 by Wm. Dillon (See YouTube https://youtu.be/XPM3ERHPV9M to listen to the whole chorus.

Photo courtesy photos-public-domain.com

2 Comments

Filed under Christian, Jesus, Wonderful God

Invisible Made Visible

Lord God Almighty, the invisible God, You have made Yourself visible in Jesus Christ Your Son. Hallelujah!

Jesus, Son of God, You existed before anything was created since You are the Word who was with God and was God. Nothing was created except through You. I lift praises to You!

Jesus, You hold everything together and sustain everything by Your powerful Word. You are before all things—Number 1 first, before time, before creation. I praise You, Lord!

All the fullness of God dwells in You, Jesus. When I see You, I see the Father. Holy Spirit, please help me see Jesus better.

All thanks and praise to You God! I used to be alienated from You, but now You have reconciled me to Yourself through Christ’s death on the cross. So I am holy in Your sight without blemish and free from accusation because I am in Christ Jesus.

Praise You, God–Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit!

(See Colossians 1:15-23, John 1:1-3, Hebrews 1:3 and Romans 8:1.)

(Image from Pinterest)

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian, Jesus, Wonderful God

Refuge and Help

“The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.” (Psalm 9:9-10) “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1) (Both Scriptures NKJV)

Lord, I read about people who are persecuted for their faith and praise You for being a refuge for them—the oppressed. Then I hear a testimony of how You strengthened a mom with a part-time job and 8 children at home. Yes, You are the Lord our Strength! Yet sometimes I wonder about my own unimpressive life with its few troubles—I need You too. I can’t manage life on my own.

I believe You talk to pastors and other Christian leaders, giving them wisdom and guidance. Still I feel unsure that I can hear Your voice when I just feel stupid and embarrassed and wonder what to do next.

The Lord Is Our Refuge.

So I will remember that You came, Jesus, giving up Your throne in glory and the honor You had in heaven from before the foundation of the world. You suffered and died, and (Hallelujah!), You rose again. You did all this so I could become a child of God and have a wonderful life with You, now and forever. Such amazing love! You care for me with overwhelming, everlasting, personal love. And Your Word says in Romans 8:32 (NLT), “Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?” “Everything” must include large and small, important or not.

Therefore, I can believe You are also MY refuge and strength.

Lord, our God, I seek You today as my refuge and choose to put my trust in You, even in what seems unimportant. I love you, Lord. Thank You, Jesus, for caring for me.

2 Comments

Filed under Bible, Christian, Christian Living, Uncategorized

Wait in Hope

“I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me….””

“For the revelation awaits an appointed time…. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.”
(Habakkuk. 2:1,3 NIV)

Old City Wall Rampart

As I wait on You, Lord, my strength is renewed. [Isaiah 40:31 “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” (NASB)]

My hope is in You, Lord. I will wait for You. At the appointed time, You accomplish Your purposes—as You did with the coming of Jesus and His life, death, and resurrection.

I choose Jesus. And trust Him,
And remember His love and patience and kindness.
I remember the cross.
I reach for and grab onto hope. I hope in Jesus.
Yes, my hope is in Him.

When I’m tempted to focus on frustrations, disappointments, and loss, let me choose to get my eyes back on You, Jesus. May I gaze upon Your goodness and take in Your glory. I need to keep looking to You, the Author and Finisher of my faith (Hebrews 12:2). Amen.


2 Comments

Filed under Christian, Christian Living

The God Who Loves

I received an invitation that reminded me of a painful incident from my youth. I prayed:


“Jesus, You were there when it happened. You longed to quiet my pain, but I thought I had to handle it myself. Why couldn’t I receive Your love and comfort? Perhaps back then I knew You only as a far-away God or as a Spirit who didn’t enter the reality of my daily teenage world.


“But now I know You better. You are Almighty God, Maker of heaven and earth. You are also the God who loves each person You created. You see us, not just as a group, but also as individuals.
“And You are the God of all comfort, the God who knows when a sparrow falls and who counts the stars and yet also knows the ever-changing number of hairs on my head.” (See 2 Corinthians 1:3, Matthew 10:29-30, Psalm 147:4.)

Dear Lord Jesus, Savior, Friend,
I want to sing Your praise again.
You are my life, my God, my King,
Ruler over everything.

Jesus, You are all I need.
I want to learn Your voice to heed
So I can walk in Your good plan,
Son of God and Son of Man.

Anger tries to push You off Your throne.
Bitterness turns my heart to stone
I reject these things that cling to me
And accept Your offer to set me free.

O Jesus, Lover of my soul,
Cleanse and heal and make me whole,
As I repent and seek Your face
And the kingdom of Your grace. Amen.
(See Ephesians 4:31.)

2 Comments

Filed under Bible, Christian, Christian Living, Poems and Songs