Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

We sang this in church yesterday and the words just made my heart leap with joy that we have such a wonderful, trustworthy friend in Jesus.  The words are more than beautiful.  If you want to hear the music just click on MIDI.  –  Bonnie 

WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS

  “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13


Charles C. Converse (1834-1918)

Words: Jo­seph M. Scriv­en, 1855. Scriv­en wrote this hymn to com­fort his mo­ther, who was across the sea from him in Ire­land. It was orig­in­al­ly pub­lished anon­y­mous­ly, and Scriv­en did not re­ceive full cred­it for al­most 30 years.

Music: Erie, Charles C. Con­verse, 1868 (MI­DI, score). In World War I, the tune was paired with the words to “When This Bloody War is Over.” Al­ter­nate tunes:

If you have ac­cess to a better pho­to of Jo­seph Scriv­en or Charles Con­verse that we could put on­line, please click here.

Joseph M. Scriven (1819-1886)


What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear
May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright unclouded there will be no need for prayer
Rapture, praise and endless worship will be our sweet portion there.


Shqip | Creole | Español | Français | Русский | 汉语 | Yorùbá

   Provided my NetHymnal at: http://www.nethymnal.org.

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nativity62 

It’s Christmas time again and we focus on the babe in the manger.  Yes, that baby, Jesus, came to die on the old rugged cross. He sacrificed His life so that spiritually dead sinners could have new life.  Jesus was truly God’s gift to us. 

edxmas32

Sometimes that is about as deep as our thoughts go.  I would like to unwrap some other gifts that are under God’s Christmas tree.

I’ve thought the last few days about the greatness of God.  He is absolutely gigantic, humongous, and so huge that I cannot fully comprehend it.  God is enormous.  Just take a minute right now to stop and think about how big God is.  Doesn’t it boggle your mind?  He is out there and has been out there forever.  He created everything and everyone and is in complete control of it all.  He is Sovereign!

1Ti 6:15a NASB …He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords.

And He can do whatever He wants in any situation.  It certainly does boggle my mind.

Then, think about how huge He is in comparison to us.  That is truly amazing! Dump out a few grains of salt from a salt shaker into your hand.  Then pick out one of those tiny grains and really look at it.  From God’s perspective we must look something like a grain of salt.  We are so teeny tiny compared to Him.  We can simply blow on that little grain of salt in our hand and it will fly away never to be found again.  God could just blow us away in an instant too.  That is sobering!  We are at His complete mercy.  And, he is a merciful God! 

With that in mind, the Bible teaches us how much God loves us. Actually, He is Love.

1Jn 4:16b NASB …God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

We are His own creation and are fearfully and wonderfully made! 

Psa 139:14 NASB I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.

How intricate our bodies are.  It’s amazing how all the different parts of our bodies work together to make us stay alive.  That is all God’s doing to this tiny grain of salt.  Amazing!

Now, do you think this huge God can keep us?  Do you think He can take care of us?  There is no question about that.  His Word is full of promises about how he will provide all our needs. 

Php 4:19 NASB And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

He tells us not to worry or be anxious about anything. 

Php 4:6 NASB Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Do you think that is harsh of Him to tell us to not be anxious about anything?  I say no, because when we are believers He has promised to carry the load for us.  We do not have to worry or fret about anything.  He is truly in control, even when we feel out of control.  You see He is never out of control.  Our problem is that we go according to our feelings, and forget He is there.  That is our downfall!  We have to rise about our feelings and look at the facts.

When we were saved along with the promise of forgiveness of sins and a future home in Heaven came many other gifts that we can unwrap.  In fact, I’ve written about a few of them in the past few months.  Just as a reminder I’ll list some of them here.

cgift7

1.  We are forgiven all of our sins.

2.  We are a new creation.  (inside)

3.  We are adopted into God’s family

4.  We are citizens of Heaven

5.  Our Father will take care of all of our needs.

6.  We are more than conquerors because we now have God’s power of the Holy Spirit living within us.

7.  We will have peace of God, and peace with God.

Those are just a few of the gifts that God has so graciously provided for believers.  They are not for the people of this world, only His special children.  Those who have the family resemblance. 

I believe that we need to take a step back from ourselves.  We need to see ourselves the way God sees us.  When we do we realize all of our problems are really very small even though they don’t seem like it.  If we get our eyes off our circumstances and focus our minds on God, we allow Him to flow through us, and we have the power to make it through our problems.  We will still have trials, but they will not overwhelm us.

We can still be defeated Christians even with all those gifts if we fail to unwrap them use them. We can’t continue to live our lives the way the people of the world do.  Those ways don’t apply to us anymore.  Unbelievers only have themselves to work for them.  I remember before I was a Christian how “I” had to figure everything out, every detail, and I wasn’t always right in my decisions either. I messed things up a lot of the time.  Now, we don’t have to control every situation.  We don’t have to control others. We don’t have to be perfect.  We don’t have to please everyone, only God.  We can relax and know that God is taking care of things for us.  He IS big enough you know! 

I praise God for the wonderful gift of that little baby in the manger.  And I thank Him for all the other gifts under God’s Christmas tree that He has lavished upon us.  Unwrap them for yourself this year.

Eph 1:7-8 NASB In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace (8-a) which He lavished on us.

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God's Handiwork 08

God’s Beautiful Handiwork!

God has given us all things to enjoy and my heart is thankful.  When I look around me I am very thankful for the wondrous beauty God has created.   The beauty of Fall in my part of the country can almost take your breath away.  And, yet, when we think about it, the Bible teaches us that we live in a cursed world, where even nature is cursed.  If this is what cursed looks like I often ponder, “How magnificent Heaven must be!”

Every year at Thanksgiving people stop to thank God for the things that matter most to them.  Usually we thank God for the things here on earth like our families, homes, cars, money, and all the material things we have.  We also stop and thank him for providing for us.  We thank him for the Thanksgiving turkey and all the trimmings we indulge in on that special day. 

This year my heart is thankful for those things, but even more, I’m thankful for my salvation.  I realize that if God had not in his mercy and grace chosen to adopt me into his family, I’d be on my way to spend eternity in Hell.  That is a scary thought! 

“Oh, God, how gracious you were to call me.  I am not worthy.  I am only a fallen, wicked, imperfect, sinner, whom you loved enough to include in your plan of salvation.  You even sent your only Son to take on my sins and die on the cross and endure the wrath of sin I deserved while He paid the penalty for me.”  That is truly amazing!

I ask.  “Why me Lord?”  “Why me?  I’m not worthy to be part of your family.”  I’ve come to realize that it wasn’t up to me.  I didn’t choose God, He chose me. 

Ephesians 1-4 says, “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world…”

That boggles my mind! To realize that our most Precious God chose me way back in the past before He even created the world. He knew me and chose me to be one of His own.  Isn’t that a tremendous thought?

Again I say, “Why me God?”  God is Sovereign and Righteous.  He can do whatever He wants to.  He could have just as easily passed me by.  And, if He did that would not diminish Him one iota.  He would still be God in all of His fullness.  He didn’t have to chose me, but He wanted to.

My heart is thankful for God’s wonderful creation all around us; it is thankful for my undeserved salvation; and it is thankful for the future God has in store for me.

This is just the beginning, and it is going to get better and better as we spend eternity with our Lord and Savior. 

We will have troubles here on earth as we attempt to live out our daily lives.  But we must realize that those problems are for a purpose.  God is Sovereign and He is in control.  Nothing comes our way without Him allowing it.  Look at Romans 8:28.

Rom 8:28-29 NASB  And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 

I realize that there is a purpose for everything.  Even when I’ve suffered many health problems throughout my life, there was a purpose in it.  Praise God for that! 

He goes on to say in Romans 8:29  For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

I realize God’s purpose in my sufferings in this life is to make me more like Christ.  That is the purpose for you too if you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior.  He wants to shape us and mold us so that we become more and more like Christ.  We will not get there completely until we reach Heaven.

1Jn 3:2 NASB  Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.

We will be like Him.  What a thought!  We will be made complete in Jesus in the future.  Isn’t that another amazing thought, and something to look forward too.  My eyes are turned to the future; not on the past.  Listen to this:

2Co 5:21 NASB  He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

We are not just declared righteous when we become saved, but we have the hope that when we enter into Heaven we will become the righteousness of God in Christ.  We will become as holy, just, and righteous as God Himself.  That blows my mind away.  How can it be?  Only through God’s wondrous grace and mercy!

Below is a picture of the Second coming of Jesus Christ.  He comes out of Heaven as King of Kings and Lord of Lords to set up his Kingdom.  He is coming in judgement on mankind.  We will be following Him.  We will be riding white horses as He is, and we will be clothed in fine linen.  We are part of the armies of Heaven which is shown to us here. 

Rev 19:11-14 NASB  And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.  12  His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself.  13  He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.  14  And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses.

Now my heart is just about busting open with thankfulness!  We have a wonderful, exciting, beyond our imagination or comprehension,  future with our Lord Jesus.  We can’t even fathom  the things to come.  Believe me the future won’t be boring. 

Oh, Lord, thank you for saving my soul!

Thank You Lord for saving my soul,
Thank You Lord for making me whole.
Thank You Lord for giving to me,
Thy greatest salvation, so rich and so free.

thankful

 

 

 

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April-May2008 003

This is the final post in this series of Fear of Fear.  This article is very important because you find exactly what you need to do to become an overcomer of fear.

Remember, now, we have been discussing two people who had problems with fear and anxiety to the point that it was controlling their lives. 

First, Paul, was afraid to cross bridges.  Then, Kim, who was afraid of cars.  We looked at some things they both needed to understand in order to conquer their fears.  You can go back and read the articles leading up to this one which explains each of the topics below. 

1.  His fear was real.
2.  His fear was wrong and sinful.
3.  His fear was not of bridges; it was a fear that had become associated with bridges.
4.  Paul’s real fear was of the experiences.  (The cause of fear)
5.  Here is the key to becoming an overcomer.
6.  There is not some mysterious thing going on.
7.  The devil made me do it!
8.  Normal anxiety is good.
9.  Courage
10.Understanding

The final point is: 

11. Take Action

Even if a person reads and understands all of the above points, it does not mean they will necessarily be an overcomer of the fear they face.  You see understanding isn’t enough.  You must take action!

In Paul’s case he had suffered a lot of sleep loss and he discovered its effects were behind his fears.  He saw how he falsely associated crossing bridges with how he felt.  He then prayerfully crossed a bridge.  He was anxious but did not panic.  He did this over and over until his problem was solved.  He was able to get on with his life again.

Kim also faced her fear head on with the knowledge that the Lord would help her, and it wasn’t the car she was fearful of but her own feelings or symptoms.  She too has been victorious.

The point is that even though knowledge about how our bodies work, what is really going on in our minds,  and our relationship to God, is not enough to make us well.  We still have to get out there and DO something.  Take action is our motto!

I know many of you are still plagued with panic attacks.  You have tried everything.  You’ve read every book available on the subject.  You have listened to tapes and bought self-help programs, but you are still not well. 

You need to be informed, and you also must trust in God.  You need to make sure you are in a right standing with God so that He will answer your prayers.  If you have any known sin in your life you need to confess it, repent of it, (and that means a real change) and then believe the promises God has given you in the Word.  Stay in the Word, study it, pray and keep close to God.  You faith is your greatest weapon against fear.

I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”  (KJV)

Psalm 34:4 “I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” (KJV)

Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (KJV)

Take these actions and then face your fear.  Armed with the full armor of God your fear will be defeated.  But, you need to get out there and do something!  Sitting there will not do it.

For some of you this means to get out of your bedroom for a day.  Or, take a shower.  It may mean actually going out of the house to take a short walk.  It may mean going to the store by yourself; drive the car again; take the kids to school; walk the dog; feed the birds.  It could be that you need to find a job again.  Whatever it is, do it.  Don’t make your goal too hard at first, but push yourself ahead a little bit at a time.  God will not let you down.  Lean on Him!

I understand we are all at different places in our lives after being plagued by fear.  If you have read all of this series of articles, then it is time for you  to judge what your own personal goal should be.  Please, I beg of you, make a goal and go for it.  You will never get better and get your life back unless you take action!

II Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (NIV)

Feel free to comment below and let me know what your new goal is.  Also, come back and share your victories.  It will be a tremendous help to others.

Blessings,
Bonnie

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J. Wilbur Chapman (1859-1918)

Words: J. Wil­bur Chap­man, 1910.

Music: Hy­fry­dol, Row­land H. Prich­ard, 1830 (MI­DI, score).

Rowland H. Prichard (1811-1887)


This past Sunday we sang this song in church.  This song was written almost 100 years ago and yet these words are so pertinent for today. God never changes!  Each line is loaded with great theology.  I’m thankful for those dedicated Christians of long ago who left us with such wonderful insights into the Word and put them in song.  I hope this encourages you as much as it has me.  – Bonnie

Jesus! what a Friend for sinners!
Jesus! Lover of my soul;
Friends may fail me, foes assail me,
He, my Savior, makes me whole.

Refrain

Hallelujah! what a Savior!
Hallelujah! what a Friend!
Saving, helping, keeping, loving,
He is with me to the end.

Jesus! what a Strength in weakness!
Let me hide myself in Him.
Tempted, tried, and sometimes failing,
He, my Strength, my victory wins.

Refrain

Jesus! what a Help in sorrow!
While the billows over me roll,
Even when my heart is breaking,
He, my Comfort, helps my soul.

Refrain

Jesus! what a Guide and Keeper!
While the tempest still is high,
Storms about me, night overtakes me,
He, my Pilot, hears my cry.

Refrain

Jesus! I do now receive Him,
[or Jesus! I do now adore Him,]
More than all in Him I find.
He hath granted me forgiveness,
I am His, and He is mine.

Refrain


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madonna

Recently we welcomed into our family a new grandson.  It is always an extremely exciting time when a new baby is born.  We think about what that little one might be when he grows up and pray he has a long and happy life.

But, when God sent baby Jesus into this world He had other thoughts on His mind.  Jesus was actually born to die.  Yes, that’s right.  He was born to die!  That was God’s plan from the start.  That doesn’t sound too loving does it?  But wait let’s think about his for a minute.

If God had not sent Jesus into this world to die for our sins then we would not have a wonderful future laid out before us.  We would be eternally damned to hell.  He came to die so that we might have life.  Everlasting life that is.  That is the most unselfish, loving, kind and gracious thing God could do for us.

Because we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God we cannot come into God’s presence.

(Romans 3:23)  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

God cannot look on sin because He is holy.  There is a great gap between us and God because of sin.  Therefore, God sent His beloved Son Jesus to come to us in the form of a little baby to bridge that gap.  Jesus grew up and when the time came He obediently suffered on the cross the total payment each of us owed God for our sins.  For God had said, the wages of sin is death. 

(Romans 6:23)  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

When we hear the Christmas story each year we marvel at the little babe in the manger.  We celebrate his birth but don’t usually think about his death.
Jesus didn’t live a long life by today’s standards.  He lived for about 30 years.  God sent him to pay the price.  He bought us with His own precious blood.  That is God’s most extraordinary Christmas gift to us and its also free.

He was born to die!

“The Christmas message is that there is hope for a ruined humanity–hope of pardon, hope of peace with God, hope of glory–because at the Father’s will Jesus Christ became poor, and was born in a stable so that 30 years later He might hang on a cross.”  J. I Packer

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                     Golden Autumn

Golden Autumn

Are you stressed out?  Are you anxious and fearful?  Do you want to be at peace?  Do you realize that your finding peace has everything to do with faith? Without faith you will not become free from anxiety. I can say that with certainty. 

God has given us many promises in the Bible and we need them to live the type of victorious Christian life He wants for us.  But, in order to make those promises active in our own lives we must have faith.  It must be the right kind of faith.

First we need to believe in God.  Second believe in the finished work of Jesus Christ, His son, and third believe that the Word of God is true.  Then, we must take God at His Word.  When He says something, believe it, stand on it, and know that God will not let you down.

We need to apply our faith (in Christ) to the problem of fear and anxiety. We can do this.

We can see God’s handiwork in creation all around us.  That is a good example of something that can help us.  When we get those thoughts of fear and anxiety, we can refocus our minds by taking a good look around us.  We can see God’s handiwork and give thanks and praise to God for his creation, and in doing that we can turn off our stressful thoughts and replace them with God honoring ones.  Do you see how this can help you?

I’m not just coming up with some theory, but I’ve actually done this in my own life so I know.

Also, faith in and of itself has no value. There has to be an object to your faith.  And, that is Jesus.  It is because of Him that we can have faith.  Faith is a gift of God given to us to enable us to know Him and live our Christian lives. 

Colossians 1:4 “For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus (the leaning of our entire human personality on Him in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom and goodness) …  Amplified Bible. 

I love this Amplified version of the Bible as it brings out what is clearly said in the scripture. 

I want to challenge you today.  Do you have that kind of faith?  Is it in Christ Jesus only?  Do you have absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom and goodness? 

I also want to warn you that there are a lot of teachings out there today that are not truly Biblical.  One such false teaching is the prosperity gospel.  They declare that if you have enough faith you can be rich, and healthy, and have whatever you want.  Do you want a new car?  They say “just believe for it.”  This is a “faith in faith,” kind of thing.  It is almost like having faith in yourself, that you have enough faith to make things happen, or enough faith to make God do something.  That is not scriptural.  We cannot make God do anything, and we shouldn’t try. 

So, let’s be sure that we truly understand what God is talking about when he tells us to have faith, live by faith, and walk by faith. 

For more study on faith read Hebrews Chapter 11.

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