February 22, 2018

When Suddenly A Baby Cries

phssChristmasgraphic2014
How suddenly a baby cries and all forever change
As shepherds leave the angel song to find this holy place
Where in her young and trembling arms a virgin holds her Son
And in this Child of breath divine our Light has finally come

She ponders how the Magi kneel before Emmanuel
With gold and frankincense and myrrh Christ’s sacrifice they tell
A dream would help them flee a king whose pride would cruelly destroy
As mothers weep God’s mercy meets the hunger for His joy

What wonder still that Anna filled with praise should bless the Lord
Her aging eyes now looking on the Savior of the world
For night and day her prayers had filled the temple of our God
Her heart could tell His saving hand within this gift of love

Hear Simeon who had waited long draw near to hold the child
To speak of Him who would reveal the many thoughts we hide
That hearts would rise to know His grace but many fall away
A sword would pierce His mother’s soul upon redemption day

How suddenly a baby cried and all forever changed
Through history soul by soul have come to find His healing grace
He filled my troubled heart with peace, with hope of endless worth
My voice will join the song of praise that tells Messiah’s birth

 Kristyn Getty
Written and sung along with Keith Getty and Fionán de Barra

*    ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *

A baby’s first cry gets the attention of everyone around, yes?  At the very moment of birth, all in attendance pause to hear a baby’s first cry—expectant parents, other relatives and loved ones, the nurses, doctors, and other caregivers—and then sigh with joy, with relief, and with thankfulness at that wonderful sound!  When the baby Jesus was born, His cry, too, brought great joy to his parents, Joseph and Mary. Think of the setting:

And while they were there, the time came for her delivery,
And she gave birth to her Son, her Firstborn;
and she wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger,
because there was no room or place for them in the inn.
Luke 2:6 and 7

Joseph and Mary had traveled many, many miles to come to Bethlehem to register in the census.  Upon their arrival, there was nowhere for them to stay but in a stable…and this is where Mary birthed her firstborn, Jesus, God’s Son.  Not the best surroundings!  So I would think baby Jesus’ first cry meant oh-so-very much to them!

But…both Joseph and Mary were fully aware of just Who this tiny baby was!  Both had been told of the significance of this baby’s life by angels. (Read the records here: Luke 1:26-38;   and  Matthew 1:18-25 .)  Don’t you think they each had contemplated for the entire duration of Mary’s pregnancy the magnitude and awesome, eternal implications of just Who their Son would be!  Think for a moment…place yourself in their sandals: when the baby was birthed and took His first breath and released a cry, can you only imagine the praises that must have welled up out of their hearts?  Can you imagine the look they must have exchanged as they realized that the promises that the angel had made to each of them came forth into fruition?  That initial cry of baby Jesus truly changed the world!  Perhaps Mary remembered the words she spoke when she was visiting her cousin Elizabeth:

“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
…because the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and His name is holy.
His mercy is from generation to generation on those who fear Him.”
Luke 1: 46-47 and 49-50

And so we, too, do also exclaim and praise!  Even now, don’t we love to sing these beautiful carols and anthems and songs that tell of Jesus’ coming and His birth.  We are reminded of all that first little cry meant as it sounded out that the Savior was born!  He had come…just as promised throughout the ages!  As the words of this beautiful song say,

How suddenly a baby cried and all forever changed
Through history soul by soul have come to find His healing grace
He filled my troubled heart with peace, with hope of endless worth
My voice will join the song of praise that tells Messiah’s birth”

*    ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *

May our voices rise up in praise and thankfulness to our heavenly Father!  Because of His great love for us (you and me!), He sent His Son to redeem and save us; to rescue us and make available to us a relationship with Him for all eternity.

Never—don’t EVER—doubt His love!

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers,
nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,
nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38 and 39

God Of Compassion

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

There is an everlasting kindness  
You lavished on us 
When the Radiance of heaven Came to rescue the lost
You called the sheep without a shepherd 
To leave their distress
 For your streams of forgiveness 
And the shade of Your rest
And with compassion for the hurting 
You reached out Your hand 
As the lame ran to meet You 
And the dead breathed again
You saw behind the eyes of sorrow 
And shared in our tears
Heard the sigh of the weary
Let the children draw near    
What boundless love
What fathomless grace 
You have shown us, O God of compassion 
Each day we live 
An offering of praise 
As we show to the world Your compassion   
We stood beneath the cross of Calvary 
And gazed on Your face 
At the thorns of oppression 
And the wounds of disgrace
 For surely You have borne our suffering 
And carried our grief 
As You pardoned the scoffer 
And showed grace to the thief    
How beautiful the feet that carry 
This gospel of peace 
To the fields of injustice 
And the valleys of need
To be a voice of hope and healing 
To answer the cries 
Of the hungry and helpless 
With the mercy of Christ

Keith and Kristyn Getty/Getty Music
*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.
Psalm 103:8

There is one word in this passage that really sticks out to me—compassion (or merciful, as rendered in other translations).  Twice in Psalm 103, we read that the Lord ‘is compassionate / merciful’ (verse 8) and in verse 13, it says that He “has compassion” (or mercy or pity).  I often find it so very helpful, when studying the Scriptures, to read a particular verse or passage in a number of different Bible versions.  It always brings about a more complete understanding… at least to me.  (Do you find that true, too?)  I would like to let you experience this in reference to this verse.  My go-to version for studying is always the Amplified Bible version; so I’ll start there…

  • AMP
    The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, plenteous in mercy and loving-kindness.
  • NIV
    The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
  • NLT
    The LORD is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry, filled with unfailing love.
  • ESV
    The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
  • NASB
    The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness.
  • KJV
    The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
  • HCSB
    The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and rich in faithful love.
  • ISV
    The LORD is compassionate and gracious, patient, abundantly rich in gracious love.
  • ASV
    Jehovah is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness.
  • DBT
    Jehovah is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in loving-kindness.
  • Webster’s
    The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in mercy.
  • YLT
    Merciful and gracious is Jehovah, slow to anger, and abundant in mercy.

Each of these versions (and, of course, there are more!) communicate basically the same thing…but some add just a further bit of information or inflection.  After reading through these, I was left praising God Who is ‘compassionate and merciful and gracious’ and abundantly rich in steadfast, unfailing, in loving-kindness’!  How great is our God!!!

The Strong’s concordance uses the following words to biblically define ‘compassion/merciful’ as used in verse 8: “to love, love deeply, have mercy, be compassionate, have tender affection, have compassion”.  And listen to this tidbit of insight:  this particular word ‘compassionate’ (rachuwm, pronounced ‘rakh-oom’) is used only 13 times throughout the OT.  It is also one of the names by which Almighty God describes Himself; such as here in Deuteronomy 4:31:

For the Lord your God is a {rachuwmmerciful and compassionate God;
He will not fail you, nor destroy you,
nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them.

And here is the very first occurrence of this word {rachuwm) in the Bible.

And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming,
“The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and merciful God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness…”
Exodus 34:6

Almighty God declared Himself ‘…the compassionate and merciful God…’ during His encounter with Moses on Mount Sinai.  No doubt God had already proven Himself VERY compassionate, merciful, and gracious towards the children of Israel!  Remember this is the account where He allows Moses to redo the two tablets on which had been the commandments which God had written and given to Moses.  (Here’s a link to go read this passage.)  While Moses and Joshua were up on the mountain receiving God’s commands, the people had chosen to turn back to their idolatrous ways and had made a golden calf and were worshipping this idol.   Upon his return, Moses became so disgusted and angry with them that he threw the tablets on the ground and broke them to smithereens!  (NOT good!)  Moses pleaded with the Lord and interceded on behalf of the Israelites.  And ‘the compassionate and merciful God’ relented and gave them yet another chance to repent and obey.  This shows the magnitude of the Lord’s mercy, compassion, and grace!

So what does this mean to us…some 3,000+ years later?  It means everything…because God  does not, cannot, will not  change.  He is the same “…compassionate and merciful God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness” as He was then.

For I, the LORD, do not change;
therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed…
Malachi 3:6

I pray that each of us would hold fast and cling to this truth, and give much praise to our great God Who is the God of compassion!

  *   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~   ♥   ~   *

Here is a link  if you would like to study this verse and the usage of ‘compassionate/merciful’ in describing the Lord God Who IS oh-so-very merciful and compassionate.

Jesus, Draw Me Ever Nearer

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

The Watches of the Night

I look towards the wintering trees to hush my fretful soul
As they rise to face the icy sky and hold fast beneath the snow
Their rings grow wide, their roots go deep that they might hold their height
And stand like valiant soldiers through the watches of the night

No human shoulder ever bears the weight of all the world
But hearts can sink beneath the ache of trouble’s sudden surge
Yet far beyond full knowing there’s a strong unsleeping Light
That reaches round to hold me through the watches of the night

I have cried upon the steps that seem too steep for me to climb
And I’ve prayed against a burden I did not want to be mine
But, here I am and this is where You’re calling me to fight
And You I will remember through the watches of the night
…You I will remember through the watches of the night

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~  *

Jesus, Draw Me Ever Nearer

Jesus, draw me ever nearer
As I labour through the storm
You have called me to this passage
and I’ll follow, though I’m worn

May this journey bring a blessing
May I rise on wings of faith
And at the end of my heart’s testing
With Your likeness let me wake

Jesus, guide me through the tempest
Keep my spirit staid and sure
When the midnight meets the morning
Let me love You even more

Let the treasures of the trial                                 
Form within me as I go
And at the end of this long passage
Let me leave them at Your throne

Getty Music
The Watches of the Night

Mrs. Kristyn Getty
♥   
Jesus, Draw Me Ever Nearer
Music by Keith Getty; Words by Margaret Becker

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~  *

I venture to say that you, too, have had times of sleeplessness, leading you to prayer and remembering ‘through the watches of the night.’  In each of our lives there are situations and circumstances that seem to be are a burden we do not want to bear.

Here’s the Truth, my friend: we are not to bear our burdens, our cares, our anxieties, our worries alone.  Our heavenly Father loves you so much and wants to be the Bearer of your burden.

Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you;
He will never permit the righteous to be moved.
Psalm 55:22

Blessed be the Lord, Who bears our burdens and carries us day by day,
even the God Who is our salvation! Selah.
Psalm 68:19

He is

  • Jehovah-Jireh (He Who provides)
  • Jehovah-Shalom (He Who is our peace)
  • Jehovah-Rohi (the Shepherd of our souls)

Even to your old age I will be the same,
And even to your graying years I will bear you!
I have done it, and I will carry you;
And I will bear you and I will deliver you.
Isaiah 46:4

I love this promise from my God…it settles my heart each and every time I read it.  He has already done the bearing of any burden I could ever perceive!  As Mrs. Getty writes in her poem,

“There’s a strong unsleeping Light that reaches round to hold me
through the watches of the night.”

Almighty God will carry us throughout any wearisome, worrisome, troublesome  situation we are in.  His promises are true and Amen!

So I encourage you (me, too!) to always remember God’s heart towards us when we are feeling overwhelmed and burdened.  He is faithful to His promises, and He cares for you!

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God,
that He may exalt you at the proper time,
casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7

Holy Spirit, Living Breath Of God

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Holy Spirit, living Breath of God,
Breathe new life into my willing soul
Bring the presence of the risen Lord
To renew my heart and make me whole
Cause Your Word to come alive in me
Give me faith for what I cannot see
Give me passion for Your purity
Holy Spirit, breathe new life in me

Holy Spirit, come abide within
May Your joy be seen in all I do
Love enough to cover ev’ry sin
In each thought and deed and attitude
Kindness to the greatest and the least
Gentleness that sows the path of peace
Turn my striving into works of grace
Breath of God, show Christ in all I do

Holy Spirit, from creation’s birth
Giving life to all that God has made
Show Your power once again on earth
Cause Your church to hunger for Your ways
Let the fragrance of our prayers arise
Lead us on the road of sacrifice
That in unity the face of Christ
Will be clear for all the world to see

Keith and Kristyn Getty
written along with Stuart Townend

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

On Sunday, the Church celebrated the remembrance of the Day of Pentecost—the day almost 2,000 years ago when the Holy Spirit was sent by God Almighty to take Jesus’ place in the lives of His disciples.  You can read about this dramatic, unique event in the Book of Acts, chapter two.

After Jesus had ascended to Heaven, the apostles and many disciples had been waiting as their Lord had told them to do.    They were gathered together…the apostles, Mary, the other women who followed our Lord, along with some of His disciples.  The Scriptures tell us that they spent their time praying.  After Jesus’ arrest, His trial, and His crucifixion, Jerusalem was not a safe place for them to be (as many of them were known to have associated with Jesus).  But they were obedient to their Lord, even in His absence, and yearned to receive His promise.

While He was together with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem,
but to wait for the Father’s promise.
“This,” He said, “is what you heard from Me; for John baptized with water,
but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you,
and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea
and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.”
Acts 1:4, 5 and 8

Jesus had promised them, “If I go, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7).  That promise was fulfilled on Pentecost.  Just as Jesus was always there to help them, and to guide them, and to teach them, the Holy Spirit would be also.   The Holy Spirit was, essentially, to be Jesus’ replacement.  Now they would have the Holy Spirit—One who would, just like Jesus, minister to them in all the ways that He had.

And I will ask the Father,
and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.
He is the Spirit of truth…
John 14:16 and 17

(click here to read the context in verses 15-26)

What an incredible promise!  Can you imagine?!!  During the Last Supper, Jesus taught His disciples much about much!  He was preparing them.  And He was helping them to know that, when the time came, they would not be alone.  He loved them SO much!  And so His communication with them during this time included instruction and encouragement regarding His promise to send the Holy Spirit.

Now before the Passover Feast began, Jesus knew that the time had come
for Him to leave this world and return to the Father.
And as He had loved those who were His own in the world,
He loved them to the last and to the highest degree.
John 13:1

Just as real as Jesus was to the disciples when He walked this earth, He is just that real to us (His current-day disciples) through the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit continues to be Jesus’ presence with His disciples today—you and me.

Don’t you yourselves know that you are God’s sanctuary
and that the Spirit of God lives in you?
1 Corinthians 3:16

To the same degree that those who were alive in Jesus’ time needed a Helper and a Comforter, so do we; wouldn’t you agree?  Our Lord loves us (you and me) also “…to the last and to the highest degree.”  His promise extends to each and every one who are His; who obey His commands.  His promise of One Who would take His place—the One Who would be Helper, Comforter, Teacher and Guide—is to you and me!  We are not alone!

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

This song conveys my heart toward you, and my prayer over each of you (and for me, too)!  May this incredible, miraculous gift of love—the indwelling of Jesus in your very heart through the Holy Spirit—give you agape love for others, joy, peace, patience, comfort, bravery, and strength.  May your heart be revived…renewed to love and serve the One Who loves you so!  ♥

How Suddenly A Baby Cries

phssChristmasgraphic2014
How suddenly a baby cries and all forever change
As shepherds leave the angel song to find this holy place
Where in her young and trembling arms a virgin holds her Son
And in this Child of breath divine our Light has finally come

She ponders how the Magi kneel before Emmanuel
With gold and frankincense and myrrh Christ’s sacrifice they tell
A dream would help them flee a king whose pride would cruelly destroy
As mothers weep God’s mercy meets the hunger for His joy

What wonder still that Anna filled with praise should bless the Lord
Her aging eyes now looking on the Savior of the world
For night and day her prayers had filled the temple of our God
Her heart could tell His saving hand within this gift of love

Hear Simeon who had waited long draw near to hold the child
To speak of Him who would reveal the many thoughts we hide
That hearts would rise to know His grace but many fall away
A sword would pierce His mother’s soul upon redemption day

How suddenly a baby cried and all forever changed
Through history soul by soul have come to find His healing grace
He filled my troubled heart with peace, with hope of endless worth
My voice will join the song of praise that tells Messiah’s birth

Written and sung by Kristyn Getty along with Keith Getty and Fionán de Barra

*    ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *

A baby’s first cry gets the attention of everyone around, yes?  At the very moment of birth, all in attendance pause to hear a baby’s first cry—expectant parents, other relatives and loved ones, the nurses, doctors, and other caregivers—and then sigh with joy, with relief, and with thankfulness at that wonderful sound!  When the baby Jesus was born, His cry, too, brought great joy to his parents, Joseph and Mary. Think of the setting:

And while they were there, the time came for her delivery,
And she gave birth to her Son, her Firstborn;
and she wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger,
because there was no room or place for them in the inn.
Luke 2:6 and 7

Joseph and Mary had traveled many, many miles to come to Bethlehem to register in the census.  Upon their arrival, there was nowhere for them to stay but in a stable…and this is where Mary birthed her firstborn, Jesus, God’s Son.  Not the best surroundings!  So I would think baby Jesus’ first cry meant oh-so-very much to them!

But…both Joseph and Mary were fully aware of just Who this tiny baby was!  Both had been told of the significance of this baby’s life by angels. (Read the records here: Luke 1:26-38;   and  Matthew 1:18-25).  Don’t you think they each had contemplated for the entire duration of Mary’s pregnancy the magnitude and awesome, eternal implications of just Who their Son would be!  Think for a moment…place yourself in their sandals: when the baby was birthed and took His first breath and released a cry, can you only imagine the praises that must have welled up out of their hearts?  Can you imagine the look they must have exchanged as they realized that the promises that the angel had made to each of them came forth into fruition?  That initial cry of baby Jesus truly changed the world!  Perhaps Mary remembered the words she spoke when she was visiting her cousin Elizabeth:

“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
…because the Mighty One has done great things for me, and His name is holy.
His mercy is from generation to generation on those who fear Him.”
Luke 1: 46-47 and 49-50

And so we, too, do also exclaim and praise!  Even now, don’t we love to sing these beautiful carols and anthems and songs that tell of Jesus’ coming and His birth.  We are reminded of all that first little cry meant as it sounded out that the Savior was born!  He had come…just as promised throughout the ages!  As the words of this beautiful song say,

“How suddenly a baby cried and all forever changed.
Through history soul by soul have come to find His healing grace.
He filled my troubled heart with peace, with hope of endless worth.
My voice will join the song of praise that tells Messiah’s birth.”

*    ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *

May our voices rise up in praise and thankfulness to our heavenly Father!  Because of His great love for us (you and me!), He sent His Son to redeem and save us; to rescue us and make available to us a relationship with Him for all eternity.

Never—don’t EVER—doubt His love!

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers,
nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,
nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38 and 39

What Grace Is Mine

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

What grace is mine that He who dwells in endless light
Called through the night to find my distant soul
And from His scars poured mercy that would plead for me
That I might live and in His name be known

So I will go wherever He is calling me
I lose my life to find my life in Him
I give my all to gain the hope that never dies
I bow my heart, take up my cross, and follow Him

What grace is mine to know His breath alive in me
Beneath His wings my wak’ned soul may soar
All fear can flee for death’s dark night is overcome
My Savior lives and reigns forevermore

So I will go…

~  Sing this song with me as our prayer and worship today.  ~

Traditional melody ‘Londonderry Air;  Arranged by Rob Mathes

Lyrics written and Performed by Mrs. Kristyn Getty

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

If you there was one all-important point that was the focus of Jesus’ teaching it would be salvation, don’t you agree?

Websters’ 1828 Dictionary defines salvation as this:
SALVA’TION, n. [L. salvo, to save.]

1. The act of saving; preservation from destruction, danger or great calamity.
2. Appropriately in theology, the redemption of man from the bondage of sin and liability to eternal death, and the conferring on him everlasting happiness. This is the great 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.
John 3:16

Jesus spoke over and over and over again (Matthew 10, Mark 8, Luke 9, Luke 17, John 12) to His disciples on this life-changing, life-giving, life-saving issue—of ‘losing one’s life’ for the benefit of actually saving it.  Perhaps He felt that ‘rubbing it in’ and repetition were needful for them.  Perhaps He just loved them so much that He wanted them to know of the vital importance of salvation.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to be My disciple,
let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests]
and take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me,
conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying, also].
For whoever is bent on saving his [temporal] life [his comfort and security here]
shall lose it [eternal life]; and whoever loses his life [his comfort and security here]
for My sake shall find it [life everlasting].
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life
[his blessed life in the kingdom of God]?
Or what would a man give as an exchange for his [blessed] life [in the kingdom of God]?
For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory (majesty, splendor) of His Father
with His angels, and then He will render account and reward every man
in accordance with what he has done.
Matthew 19:24-27 AMP

These words obviously sunk deep into the hearts of His chosen—the apostles who lived and served alongside Jesus.  Immediately prior to His leaving them to return to His Father, He told them,

…But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you;
and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem,
and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.
Acts 1:8

And so they waited for the promise of the Father—the coming of the Holy Spirit.  Upon receiving ‘power’ they did witness…through the manifestation of speaking in tongues to believers gathered in Jerusalem from “every nation under heaven” (Acts 2:5).  In particular, Peter spoke boldly and confidently with much conviction and admonition to the crowds gathered there in Jerusalem.  Just as Jesus had done, Peter made it clear that salvation is required for eternal life…and that it is only available through Jesus Christ.

…Let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by Him this man is standing before you well.  This Jesus is the Stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.  And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
Acts 4:10-12

And the Apostle Paul spoke the Gospel message of salvation often, and stridently, to seemingly everyone he encountered.  He admittedly recognized in his own life, the need to lose his life, take up his cross, and follow the Lord Jesus.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel,
because it is the power of God
that brings salvation to everyone who believes:
first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
Romans 1:16

We, too, have been given this life-changing, life-giving, life-saving opportunity to do the same.  By God’s grace we have received the Gospel message of salvation; and, by His grace, we have believed it.  May we, too, sing our confession, ‘I bow my heart, take up my cross, and follow Him!’

So I will go wherever He is calling me

  • Jesus has called us (His disciples) into a life of obedience and submission to Him

I lose my life to find my life in Him

  • Our earthly life, in the end, has no value or worth; but eternal life—oh what worth!

I give my all to gain the hope that never dies

  • …We might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul… (Hebrews 6:18-20)

I bow my heart, take up my cross, and follow Him  ♥ 

The Watches Of The Night

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv
~  Listen while you read, please!  ~

I look towards the wintering trees to hush my fretful soul
As they rise to face the icy sky and hold fast beneath the snow
Their rings grow wide, their roots go deep that they might hold their height
And stand like valiant soldiers through the watches of the night

No human shoulder ever bears the weight of all the world
But hearts can sink beneath the ache of trouble’s sudden surge
Yet far beyond full knowing there’s a strong unsleeping Light
That reaches round to hold me through the watches of the night

I have cried upon the steps that seem too steep for me to climb
And I’ve prayed against a burden I did not want to be mine
But, here I am and this is where You’re calling me to fight
And You I will remember through the watches of the night
…You I will remember through the watches of the night

~  The Watches of the Night, Mrs. Krysten Getty / Getty Music  ~

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I venture to say that you, too, have had times of sleeplessness, leading you to prayerfulness and remembering ‘through the watches of the night.’  In each of our lives there are situations and circumstances that seem to be are a burden we do not want to bear.

Here’s the Truth, my friend: we are not to bear our burdens, our cares, our anxieties, our worries alone.  Our heavenly Father loves you so much and wants to be the Bearer of your burden.

Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you;
He will never permit the righteous to be moved.
Psalm 55:22

Blessed be the Lord, Who bears our burdens and carries us day by day,
even the God Who is our salvation! Selah.
Psalm 68:19

He is

  • Jehovah-Jireh (He Who provides)
  • Jehovah-Shalom (He Who is our peace)
  • Jehovah-Rohi (the Shepherd of our souls)

Even to your old age I will be the same,
And even to your graying years I will bear you!
I have done it, and I will carry you;
And I will bear you and I will deliver you.
Isaiah 46:4

I love this promise from my God…it settles my heart each time.  He has already done the bearing of any burden I could ever perceive!  As Mrs. Getty writes in her poem, “There’s a strong unsleeping Light that reaches round to hold me through the watches of the night.”  Almighty God will carry us throughout any wearisome, worrisome situation we are in.  His promises are true and Amen!

So I encourage you (me, too!) to always remember God’s heart towards us when we are feeling overwhelmed and burdened.  He is faithful to His promises, and He cares for you!

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God,
that He may exalt you at the proper time,
casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7

Pentecost—The Holy Spirit Has Come

Tomorrow is the celebration of the Day of Pentecost—the day almost 2,000 years ago when the Holy Spirit was sent by God Almighty to take Jesus’ place in the lives of His disciples.  You can read about this dramatic, unique event in the Book of Acts.  Acts 2:.

After Jesus had ascended to Heaven, the apostles and many disciples had been waiting as their Lord had told them to do.    They were gathered together…the apostles, Mary, the other women who followed our Lord, along with some of His disciples.  The Scriptures tell us that they spent their time praying.  After Jesus’ arrest, His trial, and His crucifixion, Jerusalem was not a safe place for them to be (as many of them were known to have associated with Jesus).  But they were obedient to their Lord, even in His absence, and yearned to receive His promise.

While He was together with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the Father’s promise.  “This,” He said, “is what you heard from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.
Acts 1:4, 5 and 8

Jesus had promised them, “If I go, I will send him to you” (John 16:7). That promise was fulfilled on Pentecost. Just as Jesus was always there to help them, and to guide them, and to teach them, the Holy Spirit would be also.  The Holy Spirit was, essentially, to be Jesus’ replacement.  Now they would have the Holy Spirit—One who would, just like Jesus, minister to them in all the ways that He had.

And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.
He is the Spirit of truth…
John 14:16 and 17

   (read the context in verses 15-26)

What an incredible promise!  Can you imagine?  During the Last Supper, Jesus taught His disciples much about much!  He was preparing them.  And He was helping them to know that, when the time came, they would not be alone. He loved them SO much!  And so His communication with them during this time included instruction and encouragement regarding His promised sending of the Holy Spirit.

Now before the Passover Feast began, Jesus knew that the time had come for Him to leave this world and return to the Father.  And as He had loved those who were His own in the world, He loved them to the last and to the highest degree.
John 13:1

Just as real as Jesus was to the disciples when He walked this earth, He is just that real to us, His current-day disciples, through the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit continues to be Jesus’ presence with His disciples today—you and me.

Don’t you yourselves know that you are God’s sanctuary and that the Spirit of God lives in you?
1 Corinthians 3:16

To the same degree that those who were alive in Jesus’ time needed a Helper and a Comforter, so do we; wouldn’t you agree?  Our Lord loves us (you and me) also “…to the last and to the highest degree.”  His promise extends to every one of those who are His; who obey His commands.  His promise of One Who would take His place, to be Helper, Comforter, to teach and guide, to walk alongside is to you and me!  We are not alone!

This song conveys my heart toward you, and my prayer over each of you!  May this incredible, miraculous gift of love—the indwelling of Jesus in your very heart through the Holy Spirit—give you agape love for others, joy, peace, patience, comfort, bravery, and strength.  May your heart be revived…renewed to love and serve the One Who loves you so! 

Praying for each of you!

♥  coleen

Holy Spirit, Living Breath of God lyrics

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If you would like to send a personal message to Coleen concerning this blog post, you may email her at: Coleen@girlfriendscoffeehour.com