Saving Grace

From Romans 5:1-2:  “Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God.”

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From ancient garden, crying out

Man’s sinful seeds scatter and sprout

 

Father’s wrath consumes with His fire

Suffering journey to hellfire

 

Spiritually dead from God

Lives walk in darkness, always flawed

 

Holy tablets proclaim God’s law

Sin’s frozen nature never thaws

 

Judgement follows life’s trespasses

Sticking like thickest molasses

 

Lord’s saving grace seeks better way

Messiah opens new causeway

 

Jesus steps into this abyss

Unselfish love shall never miss

 

Hopeless man’s eyes can’t turn away

Drawn to grim, cruel cross, Christ pays

 

Jesus offers Himself instead

Faith follows this new Living Bread

 

Father’s amazing grace enters

Salvation breathes life’s new center

 

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From Romans 5:18-19:  “Therefore just as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all.  For just as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so through the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.”

Oswald Chambers Quote

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Paul spent himself for one purpose only–that he might win men to Jesus Christ.  Paul became a sacramental personality; wherever he went, Jesus Christ helped Himself to his life.

From 2 Corinthians 12:15:  “I will most gladly spend and be spent for You.  If I love You more, am I to be loved less?”

Oswald Chambers (1874-1917) was a Scottish evangelist and Christian teacher.  Following his death from an illness while in Egypt during World War I, his wife took on the task of transcribing the detailed notes she had written from his lectures and sermons.  Gertrude Hobbs Chambers’ efforts resulted in the publication in 1924 of MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST.  I frequently read from this devotional, and it has greatly deepened my faith and understanding of God’s Word.

Monday Memories: Man from Galilee

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Who is this man from Galilee?

 

Born on a cloudless, starry night

No rooms available at the inn

A feed box becomes His bed

 

Holy Spirit brings forth this child

Virgin Mary becomes His loving mother

Humble beginning for Christ the King

 

Nation of Israel burdened by hopelessness

Oppressed under cruel, harsh Roman rule

Waiting for their God fulfilling Messiah

 

Little do the people really know

God has arrived in their midst

Bringing a way to eternal Salvation

 

Who is this man from Galilee?

 

Mary and Joseph care for Immanuel

Angels of God watch over all

Providing wise counsel through Joseph’s dream

 

Sending the family to Egypt’s safety

Avoiding Herod’s bloody and inhumane wrath

Fulfilling Scripture, God calls His Son

 

Returning home from the Egyptian lands

A dutiful boy becomes a Nazarene

Learning the worthy trade of carpentry

 

At twelve, He visits Jerusalem’s temple

Amazing all with His Godly perspectives

Spending time in His Father’s House

 

Who is this man from Galilee?

 

Baptized by John at the Jordan

Spending forty days and nights alone

Tempted by the evil one’s craftiness

 

Facing temptations like any of us

Overcoming and banishing each of them

Materialism, hedonism, and egoism mean nothing

 

This Nazarene man moves to Galilee

Beginning His ministry with a purpose

Calling out to twelve imperfect men

 

Take up your cross, follow Me!

God’s Word becomes bread of life

Disciples now fish for lost people

 

Who is this man from Galilee?

 

Reaching out to forsaken, sinful people

Performing miracles, left and then right

Preaching the Sermon on the Mount

 

Turning simple water into wedding wine

Healing the sick and the lame

All signs of His glory with God

 

Feeding the 5,000 seems truly impossible

Walking on water before Peter’s eyes

Few can imagine His ultimate fate

 

Eyes and ears closed and unaware

This man called Jesus brings light

On Resurrection Day, fulfilling God’s promise

 

The world now knows Jesus Christ!

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Love’s Arrival (Fourth Sunday in Advent)

From Isaiah 9:6-7:  “For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon His shoulders; and He is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and His kingdom.  He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore.  The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.”

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Faithful God’s Holy love

Shining from Bethlehem

Blessed virgin gives birth

In world filled with mayhem

 

Hope springs forth from God’s love

Filling manger with grace

Messiah born this night

Stable now Holy place

 

Divine love preaches faith

Sharing Lord’s precious gift

Behold man’s salvation

Satan’s plans now adrift

 

Peace covers earth’s landscape

Sowing eternal love

Savior’s mission begins

Father views from above

 

Lasting joy now goes forth

Hearing angels singing

Christ’s love, Calvary’s cross

Forgiveness now bringing

 

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You are invited to join in prayer:  Lord God, your love and mercy promise hope, joy, and peace.  During this season of Advent, open our hearts in preparation to receive our Savior.  Amen.

Written in 1865 by English hymn writer, William Chatterton Dix, the hymn of “What Child Is This?” is sung by Charlotte Church.  The lyrics are based upon the verses from Isaiah 9:6-7, and the tune is “Greensleeves.”

Filled with Joy (Third Sunday of Advent)

From Zephaniah 3:14-15:  “Sing aloud, O daughter Zion; shout, O Israel!  Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem!  The Lord has taken away the judgments against you, He has turned away your enemies.  The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall fear disaster no more.”

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Looking inward, changing selves

Repenting, reversing course

Searching for life’s cherished peace

Joy spreads from Bethlehem’s source

 

Reading, praying, reflecting

Preparing our minds and hearts

Beaming starlight in dark times

Joy brightens, world seeks restart

 

Rejoicing always, Lord is near

Restoring fortunes, Prince of Peace

Renewing tomorrow’s hope

Joy transcends Father’s new lease

 

Trusting in God’s promises

Waiting with welcoming grace

Singing praises, justice calls

Joy blossoms in this birthplace

 

Proclaiming mercy-filled peace

Glowing, rising midnight sun

Igniting life’s dormant faith

Joy worships birth of God’s Son

 

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You are invited to join in prayer:  Lord God, your love and mercy promise hope, joy, and peace.  During this season of Advent, open our hearts in preparation to receive our Savior.  Amen.

“Joy to the World” is frequently sung during the Advent and Christmas season.  Written in 1719 by English minister and hymnwriter, Isaac Watts, this hymn has been a favorite for well over 100 years in North America.

Jesus Comes Near

adventure arid arizona barren

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Life’s wilderness breathes a dark, lonely place

Falling away with sin, feeling disgraced

Searching for the light, weary of darkness

Shame and guilt unmask tracks, never erased

 

Coming to a place, filled with prickly thorns

Plowing straight through, left bloody and battered

Searching for new hope, never forgotten

This harsh life’s future, forever shattered

 

Ominous clouds loom on the horizon

Lightning strikes, temple curtain torn in two

Searching for a fresh start, to be reborn

Plodding into darkness, without a clue

 

Deserving life’s worst, approaching the Pit

End of time arrives, stop and surrender

Searching for God’s Grace, feeling forsaken

Heavens brighten up, with newfound splendor

 

Stumbling steps make haste, Eternity waits

Through a bloody Cross, hope springs from a tomb

Searching and accepting, come near the Cross

Salvation through Christ, our Father’s heirloom

 

Jesus beckons, come forward, take a knee

Bring sin’s burdens to the Cross, forever free

 

From Titus 2:11-13:  “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives hat are self-controlled, upright,and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” 

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Hallelujah!

From Luke 2:1-7:  “In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered.  This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.  All went to their own towns to be registered.  Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David.  He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child.  While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child.  And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” 

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Hallelujah!

Angels sing, from heavens above

Glory forever, to a newborn King

Praising Emmanuel, as they sing

 

Hallelujah!

Virgin Mary, mother to this Son

Jesus will be His blessed name

This world, never to be the same

 

Hallelujah!

Born in a bustling hamlet, Bethlehem

Chiseled in history, forever renowned

Baby in a manger, shepherds found

 

Hallelujah!

God with us, in flawless human form

Walking in our steps, we will trust

Witnessing a Cross, our Savior must

 

Hallelujah!

God lifts the veil of His great plan

His Son will bear our bloody sins

Forever, God’s flock will say “Amen”

 

Hallelujah!

All bow, take a bended knee

Praise our Savior in prayer

Darkness leaves, Jesus cares

 

Hallelujah!

God’s divine, sacrificial plan

Jesus comes in person, to save

He overpowers sin and the grave

 

Hallelujah!

Birth of this blessed, Holy child

Peace and joy, we will follow Him

His righteousness, a lasting hymn

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Living to Give

Apostle Paul writes in Galatians 6:14:  “But as for me, I will never boast about anything except the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

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Christ comes to the world

Bringing God’s love to us

 

Jesus sets the bar high

Higher than we can reach

 

Christ delivers two true teachings

To a sinful, unsaved world

 

Love your God, the Father

Love others more than yourself

 

Jesus does more than preach

He teaches us God’s truth

 

His hands heal the sick

Later pierced with sharpened nails

 

He raises up the dead

Just as He will rise

 

Christ, the Messiah, brings hope

He is Savior to mankind

 

Wearing a crown of thorns

Humbles himself on the Cross

 

Rising from a dark tomb

Christ forever defeats our sins

 

Christ serves His Holy Father

His sacrifice continues to give

 

He lives

The Resurrection lives

Eternal life lives

 

Respond to Christ in prayer

Humble, grateful—on our knees

Honor and praise Jesus Christ

Our eternal Savior and protector

His love lights the way

Accepting Jesus as our Savior

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Man from Galilee

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Who is this man from Galilee?

 

Born on a cloudless, starry night

No rooms available at the inn

A feed box becomes His bed

 

Holy Spirit brings forth this child

Virgin Mary becomes His loving mother

Humble beginning for Christ the King

 

Who is this man from Galilee?

 

Nation of Israel burdened by hopelessness

Oppressed under cruel, harsh Roman rule

Waiting for their God fulfilling Messiah

 

Little do the people really know

God has arrived in their midst

Bringing a way to eternal Salvation

 

Who is this man from Galilee?

 

Mary and Joseph care for Immanuel

Angels of God watch over all

Providing wise counsel through Joseph’s dream

 

Sending the family to Egypt’s safety

Avoiding Herod’s bloody and inhumane wrath

Fulfilling Scripture, God calls His Son

 

Who is this man from Galilee?

 

Returning home from the Egyptian lands

A dutiful boy becomes a Nazarene

Learning the worthy trade of carpentry

 

At twelve, He visits Jerusalem’s temple

Amazing all with His Godly perspectives

Spending time in His Father’s House

 

Who is this man from Galilee?

 

Baptized by John at the Jordan

Spending forty days and nights alone

Tempted by the evil one’s craftiness

 

Facing temptations like any of us

Overcoming and banishing each of them

Materialism, hedonism, and egoism mean nothing

 

Who is this man from Galilee?

 

This Nazarene man moves to Galilee

Beginning His ministry with a purpose

Calling out to twelve imperfect men

 

Take up your cross, follow Me!

God’s Word becomes bread of life

Disciples now fish for lost people

 

Who is this man from Galilee?

 

Reaching out to forsaken, sinful people

Performing miracles, left and then right

Preaching the Sermon on the Mount

 

Turning simple water into wedding wine

Healing the sick and the lame

All signs of His glory with God

 

Who is this man from Galilee?

 

Feeding the 5,000 seems truly impossible

Walking on water before Peter’s eyes

Few can imagine His ultimate fate

 

Eyes and ears closed and unaware

This man called Jesus brings light

On Resurrection Day, fulfilling God’s promise

 

The world now knows Jesus Christ!

backlit cemetery christianity clouds

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christ Prevails

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From 1 Peter 2:24:  “He himself bore our sins in His body on the Cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed.”

Chosen and precious in God’s sight

To believers, Christ’s Spirit brings Salvation

Jesus Christ turns darkness into light

 

Our faith’s chosen and precious cornerstone

Christ comes forward to redeem us

We can live by His bread alone

 

Jesus becomes our Holy, High Priest

Believe and never put to shame

God’s own Son takes His seat

 

Nonbelievers reject God’s Holy, chosen one

Christ prevails to become our Rock

Salvation goes through God’s Holy Son

 

Christ suffers mightily for His flock

Yet, He never commits any sin

Following God’s steps around the clock

 

Christ never waivers, He follows through

Entrusting Himself to His Heavenly Father

Bearing our sins, Resurrection’s glorious view

 

Our lives feel threatened with gloom

Jesus never ceases caring for us

Standing by, Christ prevents our doom

 

Jesus at our side, always a friend

Loving us with passion and intensity

Our opportunity for Salvation, God sends

 

Christ, the Good Shepherd, beckons us

No longer gone astray and lost

Christ’s body and blood heal us

 

The old, rugged cross stands tall

Freeing us from our endless sins

Washing us white, Salvation calls all

 

Living in bondage, forever in sin

Emancipation by Christ, paying the ransom

Accepting Christ, brings all believers in

From Luke 24:6:  “Remember how He told you, while He was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.”

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