January 21, 2018

Oh, Holy Night

adventwk4seekHimoholynight

In the same region there were shepherds staying out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord flashed and shone around them, and they were terribly frightened. but the angel said to them,

“Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people. for this day in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord (the Messiah).

And this will be a sign for you [by which you will recognize Him]: you will find a Baby wrapped in [swaddling] cloths and lying in a manger.” Then suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host (angelic army) praising God and saying, “glory to God in the highest [heaven], and on earth peace among men with whom He is well-pleased.

Luke 2:8-14

*   ♥   ~   ✝   ~   ★   *

Bless Your Name

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

In prisoners chains, with bleeding stripes
Paul and Silas prayed that night
And in their pain, began to sing
Their chains were loosed and they were free

I bless Your name, I bless Your name
I give You honor, give You praise
You are the Life, the Truth, the Way
I bless Your name, I bless Your name

Some midnight hour, if you should find
You’re in a prison in your mind
Preach out in praise—defy those chains
And they will fall in Jesus’ name

You are the Life, the Truth, the Way
You are the Life, the Truth, the Way
You are the Life, the Truth, the Way
We bless Your name, we bless Your name

Selah
Songwriter – Elizabeth Goodine

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

This song tells of the Apostle Paul and his brother in Christ, Silas, imprisoned in the city of Philippi.  They had been wrongly accused, held without a proper hearing, beaten and flogged, and then tossed into the innermost prison cell where they were held in stocks and chains.

But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God,
and the prisoners were listening to them; and suddenly there came a great earthquake,
so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken;
and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened.
Acts 16:25 and 26

Is that not one of the most incredible accounts of deliverance in the Bible?!!?  That is true (it is incredible!  But wait…the Scriptures are filled with record after record after record telling of God’s provision in miraculous, awesome, ‘but for the grace of God’ ways! Such as,

  • Moses and the children of Israel being delivered out of the hand of their Egyptian oppressors
  • Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego stepping out with not even the scent of smoke on their garments after being in the fiery furnace
  • Daniel climbing out of the lion’s den with not a scratch on him
  • Joshua and the Israelites circling Jericho for six days and then on the seventh day, repeating their journey 7 times in a row…and then shouting…and the walls of Jericho came tumbling down
  • Jonah surviving three days of being in the great fish’s belly
  • Mary finding herself, a yet-to-be-married virgin, pregnant
  • the Resurrection from the dead, after three days, of our Lord Jesus Christ
  • And, of course, there are many, many, many more!

How about you…which are some of the wondrous works of God that cause your heart to sing out in praise as you remember God’s great hand of blessing?  (Please share them with us in the comment section below!)  May I encourage you to read through these records and remind yourself how amazing, awesome, and wonderful our God is—and bless His Name!

He is ELOHIM —the God of power and might

He is JEHOVAH-JIREH — the Lord Who will provide

He is EL-ROI — the Strong One Who sees

He is EL-SHADDAI — God Almighty

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥  ~  *

I will extol You, my God, O King,
And I will bless Your Name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless You,
And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised,
And His greatness is unsearchable.
My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
And all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever.
Psalms 145:1-3, 21

There Is A Beautiful Terrible Cross

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

There is a beautiful terrible Cross
Where though You committed no sin
Savior, You suffered the most wicked fate
On the cruelest creation of men

Yet on that beautiful terrible Cross
You did what only You could
Turning that dark-inspired evil of hell
Into our soul’s greatest good

We see the love that You showed us
We see the life that You lost
We bow in wonder and praise You
For the beautiful, terrible Cross

There on that beautiful, terrible Cross
Though darkness was strong on that hill
You remained sovereign, Lord, still in control
As Your perfect plan was fulfilled

Oh, we gained the riches of Heaven
Jesus, You paid the horrible cost
We stand forgiven and praise You
For the beautiful terrible Cross

In the Cross, in the Cross
Be my glory ever
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river

Selah
Songwriters: Todd Smith, Chad Cates, Tony Wood
Additional lyrics to ‘Near The Cross‘ by Fanny Crosby and William Doane

*  ~  ♥  ~   ✞   ~  ♥  ~  *

Despite the utter depravity, the evil, the darkness and destruction which was intended by the enemy of our soul’s on that dark, dark day…there truly never was nor ever will be any thing MORE perfect, pure, and beautiful than the Cross on which the Christ accomplished God’s perfect plan.  When the time came, Jesus willfully, intentionally, purposefully gave up His life.  All because of love.

And Jesus cried again with a loud voice and gave up His spirit.
And at once the curtain of the sanctuary of the temple was torn
in two from top to bottom; the earth shook and the rocks were split.
The tombs were opened and many bodies of the saints
who had fallen asleep in death were raised [to life];
Matthew 26:50-52

It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three,
because the sun’s light failed. The curtain of the sanctuary was split down the middle.
And Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into Your hands I entrust My spirit.”
Luke 23:44-46

When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.
And at three Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lemá sabachtháni?”
which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “Look, He’s calling for Elijah!”
Someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, fixed it on a reed, offered Him a drink,
and said, “Let’s see if Elijah comes to take Him down!”
But Jesus let out a loud cry and breathed His last.
Then the curtain of the sanctuary was split in two from top to bottom.
Mark 15:33-38

Magnificent, incredible, beautiful acts of nature happened at the exact  moment of Jesus’ death.  As He laid down His life and offered Himself as the perfect, spotless Lamb—

  • the sky became as dark as night for three hours
  • the massive (60 foot high and four inch thick) curtain in front of the Holy of Holies in the temple at Jerusalem tore in half from TOP to bottom
  • the tombs opened and many believers were raised to life
  • there was an earthquake

There was nothing…at all…beautiful about the Cross itself.  But there is no denying the beautiful awesomeness, the absolute perfection in the events surrounding Jesus’ death on the Cross.

*  ~  ♥  ~   ✞   ~  ♥  ~  *

The love that Jesus proved by His sacrifice of Himself…is beautiful.
The redemption of all mankind back to God the Father…is beautiful.
The mercy and grace that was poured out on each of us…is beautiful.

What can be more beautiful than the Hope of spending eternity
in the presence of Almighty God and our Lord, Jesus the Christ?

The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free
Rolling as a mighty ocean,
In its fullness over me
Underneath me, all around me,
Is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward
To Thy glorious rest above

O the deep, deep love of Jesus
Spread His praise from shore to shore
How He loveth, ever loveth
Changeth never, evermore
How He watches o’er His loved ones
Died to call them all His own
How for them He intercedeth
Watcheth o’er them from the Throne

O the deep, deep love of Jesus
’Tis a heav’n of heav’ns to me
And it lifts me up to glory
For it lifts me up to Thee
And it lifts me up to glory

Selah
Lyrics: Samuel Francis / Music: Thomas Williams 

*  ~    ♥ ~ ✞ ~ ♥    ~  *  

Such a stirring, convicting song!  These lyrics remind us of the immensity and the magnitude of Jesus’ love.  As the song goes, “…vast, unmeasured, boundless….”  No love on this earth ever was, nor ever will be, any greater!  His is a deep, deep love!

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down His life for His friends.
John 15:13

Truly, it could only have been His pure love that compelled Him to die for us. Jesus was fully aware of the kind of sacrifice that was required to redeem mankind.  In His last moments of freedom, while praying in the Garden at Gethsemene, He agonized over what He knew was to come.  And yet, He did it. For us…with deep, deep love!

For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps
for a good man someone would dare even to die.
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 5:6-10

And so deep is this love of Jesus for us that it requires being born-again—to have Christ living in us—to even be able to comprehend this deep, deep love!

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

But, by God’s grace and through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit, we are given some insight into this love.  And to begin to know this love.   To fully comprehend this kind of love I truly believe it will take having the new minds and new bodies which are promised to us when He returns.  Perhaps it is just too much for us to completely understand His deep, deep love at this point.

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers,
nor things present, nor things to come,
nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature,
shall be able to separate us from the love of God,
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38 and 39

“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you…” (John 15:12).  These were Jesus’ words to His closest friends during the last meal He would share with them.  He knew the time was imminent and that the time was at hand when He would show His deep, deep love.  He gave clear command to them (and to us—we are to do the same).

And so, what does that mean to you (me, too) today?  How will we show this deep, deep love of Jesus to others today?  This wasn’t Jesus’ suggestion or even His plea…it was His command.  And it is how the world will know that we ARE His!

By this all people will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another.
John 13:35

Unredeemed

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

The cruelest word, the coldest heart
The deepest wound, the endless dark
The lonely ache, the burning tears
The bitter nights, the wasted years
Life breaks and falls apart but we know these are

Places where grace is soon to be so amazing
They may be unfulfilled, they may be unrestored
But when anything that’s shattered is laid before the Lord
Just watch and see, it will not be unredeemed

For every choice that led to shame
And all the love that never came
For every vow that someone broke
And every life that gave up hope
We live in the shadow of the fall but the Cross says these are all

Places where grace is soon to be so amazing
It may be unfulfilled, it may be unrestored
But when anything that’s shattered is laid before the Lord
Just watch and see, it will not be unredeemed

Songwriters: Chad Robert Cates / Tony W. Wood/ Brian David Petak
Performed by Selah

 *   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~   ♥   ~   *

We live in the shadow of the fall BUT the Cross says these are all places where grace is soon to be so amazing!”  This—where grace is soon to be—is where I want to live…to stay…to abide.  You, too?

At the Cross, mankind was clearly shown the depth of God’s heart—His love for us. Almighty God has purposed from the beginning of time to have a relationship with the people He created.  Perhaps it appeared that because of the Fall that was not going to continue. But God’s purposes will not be thwarted.  His plans will come to pass.  It is in and through Christ’s accomplishments on the Cross that we have received much grace!

But God demonstrates His own love toward us,
in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

…Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold
from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,
but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.
1 Peter 1:18-19

That’s us (you and me)—not redeemed with perishable things…but with Jesus’ blood as He gave His life on the Cross!  Jesus’ death on the Cross, and all that God planned to bring to pass at the Cross, is all about His grace and love!  Through Jesus’ broken body and His shed blood, He redeemed us unto Himself – making us forever free, justified, forgiven, alive, purchased, and redeemed!

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us—
for it is written,“Cursed be every one who hangs on a tree”—
that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles,
that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Galatians 3:13 and 14

He destined us in love to be His sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will,
to the praise of His glorious grace which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses,
according to the riches of His grace.
Ephesians 1:5-7

We are now, and will be for all eternity, God’s children—all to His praise and glory! And we have a glorious life to live now…in spite of every situation and circumstance that tries to break us and cause us to focus on the hard, sad, evil things that do occur at times. But God—we have His promises to cling to!

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,
for those who are called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28

…Fear not, for I have redeemed you…I have called you by your name; you are Mine.
Even everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory,
whom I have formed, whom I have made.
Isaiah 43:1, 7

The love of God—shown to us through the sacrifice of Jesus our Lord—is all we need to help us to focus on the Truth and set our minds to believe all that God has promised.  In doing so, we can remain faith-filled knowing He is faithful!

[What, what would have become of me] had I not believed
that I would see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living!
Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage
and let your heart be stout and enduring.
Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.
Psalms 27:13 and 14

And so, in spite of cruel words, cold hearts, deep wounds, endless dark, lonely aches, burning tears, bitter nights, and wasted years, we press on…we seek God…we choose to remain faithful to Him because “it may be unfulfilled, it may be unrestored but you never know the miracle the Father has in store; just watch and see, it will not be unredeemed!”

God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more,
neither shall there be anguish nor grief nor pain any more,
for the old conditions and the former order of things have passed away.
And He Who is seated on the throne said, See! I make all things new.
Revelations 21:4

Rose of Bethlehem

phssChristmasgraphic2014

There’s a Rose in Bethlehem
With a beauty quite divine
Perfect in this world of sin
On this silent holy night

There’s a fragrance much like hope
That it sends upon the wind
Reaching out to every soul
From a lowly manger’s crib

Oh, Rose of Bethlehem
How lovely, pure, and sweet
Born to glorify the Father
Born to wear the thorns for me

There’s a Rose in Bethlehem
Colored red like mercy’s blood
‘Tis the flower of our faith
‘Tis the blossom of God’s love

Though it’s bloom is fresh with youth
Surely what will be He knows
For a tear of morning dew
Is rolling down the Rose

There’s a Rose in Bethlehem
With a beauty quite divine
Perfect in this world of sin
On this silent holy night

 Songwriter: Lowell Alexander ~ Performed by Selah

 *    ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *

One of the favorite flowers of most women, and many men, is the rose—especially the red rose.  There’s a special perfect beauty to it and usually a wonderful sweet fragrance.  At Christmastime over 2000 years ago, a “rose” of great beauty and sweet fragrance was given to us in the form of a baby boy.

And she will have a son, and you are to name Him Jesus,
for He will save His people from their sins.
Matthew 1:21

He was born in Bethlehem just as the prophecies of old had said.

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village
among all the people of Judah.
Yet a ruler of Israel, whose origins are in the distant past,
will come from you on My behalf.
Micah 5:2

I’m sure you have heard people refer to Jesus as the rose of Sharon, however, there is no such reference in the Bible.  But when speaking of the hope of restoration Isaiah says,

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad;
the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the rose and the autumn crocus.
It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice even with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
the excellency of [Mount] Carmel and [the plain] of Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the Lord,
the majesty and splendor and excellency of our God.
Isaiah 35:1-2 AMP

Our hope of restoration (returning to God) is found only in Jesus.  “And His Name will be the hope of all the world” (Matthew 12:21).  Jesus reaches out like a sweet fragrance to every soul.  This hope came at a great price.  Jesus wore the thorns on His head (Matthew 27:29).  In God’s great mercy toward us, Jesus’ blood was poured out for each of us (Matthew 26:28).

Jesus said, “For I have come down from Heaven to do the will of God who sent Me, not to do My own will” (John 6:38).  How lovely, pure, and sweet is that!

Jesus was born, lived, and died so that He might glorify His Father in Heaven.

Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say,
‘Father, save Me from this hour’?
But for this purpose I came to this hour. ‘Father, glorify Your name.’
Then a voice came out of heaven:
‘I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.’
John 12:27-28

In Christ Jesus we now see His majestic splendor just as Peter wrote in one of his letters.

We saw His majestic splendor with our own eyes
when He received honor and glory from God the Father.
The voice from the majestic glory of God said to Him,
“This is My dearly loved Son, who brings Me great joy.”
2 Peter 1:16

In this special season, let’s take in the beauty and sweet fragrance of hope that the “Rose of Bethlehem” so willingly sacrificed Himself to give us.

Born to glorify the Father
Born to wear the thorns for me

 *    ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *

Dear Jesus, You are truly like a rose to us in all Your lovely beauty and sweet fragrance.  Thank You for being willing to come as a babe in a lowly manger, and then to walk the road to Golgotha with thorns piercing Your brow.  You did it all to glorify Your Father, and to give each of us eternal hope.  Thank You, Father God, for loving us so much that You willingly “gave Your one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). “Tis the flower of our faith, ‘Tis the blossom of God’s love.”  In Jesus’ lovely Name, Amen.

Beautiful, Terrible Cross

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

There is a beautiful terrible Cross
Where though You committed no sin
Savior, You suffered the most wicked fate
On the cruelest creation of men

Yet on that beautiful terrible Cross
You did what only You could
Turning that dark-inspired evil of hell
Into our soul’s greatest good

We see the love that You showed us
We see the life that You lost
We bow in wonder and praise You
For the beautiful terrible Cross

There on that beautiful terrible Cross
Though darkness was strong on that hill
You remained sovereign, Lord, still in control
As Your perfect plan was fulfilled

We see the love that You showed us
We see the life that You lost
We bow in wonder and praise You
For the beautiful terrible Cross

Oh, we gained the riches of Heaven
Jesus, You paid the horrible cost
We stand forgiven and praise You
For the beautiful terrible Cross

        ♥  ~   ✞   ~  ♥

In the Cross, in the Cross
Be my glory ever
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river

 ~  Songwriters: Todd Smith, Chad Cates, Tony Wood  ~

Performed by Selah

Additional lyrics to ‘Near The Cross‘ by Fanny Crosby and William Doane

*  ~  ♥  ~   ✞   ~  ♥  ~  *

Despite the utter depravity, the evil, the darkness and destruction which was intended by the enemy of our soul’s on that dark, dark day…there truly never was nor ever will be any thing MORE perfectly and purely beautiful than the Cross on which the Christ accomplished God’s perfect plan. When the time came, Jesus willfully, intentionally, purposefully gave up His life. All because of love.

And Jesus cried again with a loud voice and gave up His spirit.
And at once the curtain of the sanctuary of the temple was torn
in two from top to bottom; the earth shook and the rocks were split.
The tombs were opened and many bodies of the saints
who had fallen asleep in death were raised [to life];
Matthew 26:50-52

It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three,
because the sun’s light failed. The curtain of the sanctuary was split down the middle.
And Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into Your hands I entrust My spirit.”
Luke 23:44-46

When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.
And at three Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lemá sabachtháni?”
which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “Look, He’s calling for Elijah!”
Someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, fixed it on a reed, offered Him a drink,
and said, “Let’s see if Elijah comes to take Him down!”
But Jesus let out a loud cry and breathed His last.
Then the curtain of the sanctuary was split in two from top to bottom.
Mark 15:33-38

Magnificent, incredible, beautiful acts of nature happened at the very moment of Jesus’ laying down His life and offering Himself as the perfect, spotless Lamb—

  • the sky became as dark as night for three hours
  • the massive (60 foot high and four inches thick) curtain in front of the Holy of Holies in the temple at Jerusalem tore in half from TOP to bottom
  • the tombs opened and many of the believers were raised to life
  • there was an earthquake

There was nothing…at all…beautiful about the Cross itself.  But there is no denying the beautiful awesomeness, the absolute perfection in the events surrounding Jesus’ death on the Cross.

To me, the love that Jesus proved by His sacrifice of Himself…is beautiful.  The redemption of all mankind and Jesus’ presenting us all back to God the Father…is beautiful.  And the mercy and grace that was poured out on each of us…is beautiful.  What can be more beautiful than having the Hope of spending eternity in the Presence of Almighty God and our Lord, Jesus the Christ?

In the words of another songwriter, I sing,

“Oh Lord You’re beautiful…
Your face is all I seek
For when Your eyes are on this child
Your grace abounds to me!

Oh, The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast unmeasured, boundless, free
Rolling as a mighty ocean, in its fullness over me
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, evermore
How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ’tis a heav’n of heav’ns to me
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee, yeah
And it lifts me up to glory

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

Lyrics: Samuel Francis / Music: Thomas Williams /
Performed and sung by Selah / and danced by Praise in Motion

*  ~  *  ~    ♥ ~ ✞ ~ ♥    ~  *  ~  * 

Such a stirring, convicting song!  These lyrics remind us of the the immensity and the magnitude of Jesus’ love.  As the song goes, “…vast, unmeasured, boundless….”  No love on this earth ever was, nor ever will be, greater!  His is a deep, deep love!

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down His life for His friends.
John 15:13

Truly, it could only have been His pure love that compelled Him to die for us. Jesus was fully aware of the kind of sacrifice that was required to redeem mankind.  In His last moments of freedom, while praying in the Garden at Gethsemene, He agonized over what He knew was to come.  And yet, He did it. For us…with deep, deep love!

For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps
for a good man someone would dare even to die.
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 5:6-10

And so deep is this love of Jesus for us that it requires being born-again…to have Christ living in us…to even comprehend this deep, deep love!

But, by God’s grace and through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit, we are given some insight into this love.  And to begin to know this love.  Truly, I believe, it will take us having the new minds and new bodies which are promised to those that are His when He returns to fully comprehend.  Perhaps it is just too much for us to completely understand His deep, deep love at this point.

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

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers,
nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature,
shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38 and 39

“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you…” (John 15:12).  These were Jesus’ words to His closest friends during the last meal He would share with them.  He knew the time was imminent and that the time was at hand when He would show His deep, deep love.  He gave clear command to them…and to us—we are to do the same.

And so, what does that mean to you (me, too) today?  How will we show this deep, deep love of Jesus to others today?  This wasn’t Jesus’ suggestion or even His plea…it was His command.  And it is how the world will know that we ARE His!

By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
John 13:35

(It Will Not Be) Unredeemed

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

The cruelest word, the coldest heart
The deepest wound, the endless dark
The lonely ache, the burning tears
The bitter nights, the wasted years

Life breaks and falls apart but we know these are

Places where grace is soon to be so amazing
They may be unfulfilled, they may be unrestored
But when anything that’s shattered is laid before the Lord
Just watch and see, it will not be unredeemed

For every choice that led to shame
And all the love that never came
For every vow that someone broke
And every life that gave up hope

We live in the shadow of the fall but the Cross says these are all

Places where grace is soon to be so amazing
It may be unfulfilled, it may be unrestored
But when anything that’s shattered is laid before the Lord
Just watch and see, it will not be unredeemed
Oh, He will wipe every tear…will not be, be unredeemed

Places where grace is soon to be so amazing
It may be unfulfilled, it may be unrestored
But you never know the miracle the Father has in store
Just watch and see, it will not be
Just watch and see, it will not be unredeemed

Performed by Selah
Written by Chad Robert Cates / Tony W. Wood/ Brian David Petak

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * 

We live in the shadow of the fall BUT the Cross says these are all places where grace is soon to be so amazing!” This “where grace is soon to be” is where I want to live…to stay…to abide.  You, too?

At the Cross, mankind was clearly shown the depth of God’s heart…His love for us. Almighty God has purposed from the beginning of time to bring mankind back into the relationship He designed and wanted.  It is in and through Christ’s accomplishments on the Cross that we have received much grace!

But God demonstrates His own love toward us,
in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

…Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold
from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,
but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.
1 Peter 1:18-19

That’s us (you and me)—not redeemed with perishable things but with Jesus’ blood as He gave His life on the Cross!  Jesus’ death on the Cross and all that God planned to bring to pass at the Cross is all about His grace and love! Through His broken body and His shed blood, He redeemed us unto Himself – making us forever free, justified, forgiven, alive, purchased, and redeemed!

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us—
for it is written,“Cursed be every one who hangs on a tree”—
that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles,
that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Galatians 3:13 and 14

He destined us in love to be His sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will,
to the praise of His glorious grace which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses,
according to the riches of His grace.
Ephesians 1:5-7

We are now, and will be for all eternity, God’s children—all to His praise and glory! And we have a glorious life to live now…in spite of every situation and circumstance that tries to break us and cause us to focus on the hard, sad, evil things that do occur at times. But God—we have His promises to cling to!

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,
for those who are called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28

…Fear not, for I have redeemed you…I have called you by your name; you are Mine.
Even everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory, whom I have formed, whom I have made.
Isaiah 43:1, 7

The love of God—shown to us through the sacrifice of Jesus our Lord—is all we need to help us to focus on the Truth and set our minds to believe all that God has promised. In doing so, we can remain faith-filled knowing He is faithful!

[What, what would have become of me] had I not believed
that I would see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living!
Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage
and let your heart be stout and enduring.
Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.
Psalms 27:13-14

And so, in spite of cruel words, cold hearts, deep wounds, endless dark, lonely aches, burning tears, bitter nights, and wasted years, we press on…we seek God…we choose to remain faithful to Him because “it may be unfulfilled, it may be unrestored but you never know the miracle the Father has in store; just watch and see, it will not be unredeemed!”

God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more,
neither shall there be anguish nor grief nor pain any more,
for the old conditions and the former order of things have passed away.
And He Who is seated on the throne said, See! I make all things new.
Revelations 21:4

Let’s pray:  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 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. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory (Ephesians 1:3-12).   Amen and Amen!

may I encourage each of you to sing as the Psalmist did,

Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary
Psalm 107:2

It Is Well – Matthew 5:4

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We have now entered the season of Lent.  For many Christians, Lent is taken as a time of preparation for the celebration of Easter where God miraculously redeemed mankind by resurrecting His Son from the dead. It is also a time to consider what Jesus said and did; and how we should be living in light of His Words.  ✞ ♥

During this season, here on the Seeking Him devotional blog, we have chosen to focus our devotionals on Jesus’ instructions and admonition communicated in Matthew chapter 5—the Beatitudes.  Jesus said, “Blessed are…” and He went on to give instruction as to how to be “blessed.”  To be ‘blessed’ is to ‘be happy, or to be envied.’   Truly for the Christian, we ARE blessed—oh, how very blessed we are!  Those who observe our lives should clearly be able to tell that we ARE blessed—and that we KNOW it! ✞ ♥

Please consider Jesus’ instructions along with us.  We pray that our words will encourage you and spur you on to be prepare your hearts for the joyous celebration of His Resurrection!  ✞ ♥

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 
Matthew 5:4

~  Music and lyrics – Horatio Spafford / Performed by Selah  ~