We are the reason

As little children we would dream of Christmas morn’:
of all the gifts and toys we knew we’d find…
But we never realized:  a Baby born one blessed night
gave us the greatest gift of our lives!

We were the reason that He gave His life;
we were the reason that He suffered and died!
To a world that was lost He gave all He could give
to show us the reason to live…

As the years went by we learned more about gifts,
the giving of ourselves and what that means…
On a dark and cloudy day a Man hung crying in the rain
all because of love, all because of love –

Chorus

I’ve finally found the reason for living:
it’s in giving every part of my heart to Him.
In all that I do, every word that I say,
I’ll be giving my all just for Him, for Him!

Chorus

He is the reason to live!
(Don’t you know, do you know the reason
That He came, oh he came to save us
When He gave his life for us) He suffered and died!
To a world that was lost He gave everything (everything that He had He gave)
To show us the reason to live!

Chorus
Don’t know how I could thank Jesus all that he had all…

~ Written by:  David Meece
Performed by:  Avalon ~

Remember Who you belong to!

When you feel like you can’t handle the task and you ask yourself:  “Who’s your Daddy?” You can feel secure – not because of you, but because of Who you belong to.  Remember Who He is, and that you belong to Him:

He is the First and Last, the Beginning and the End.  (Revelation 22:13)  He’s the keeper of creation and the Creator of all.  (Genesis 1:1, John 1:3, 2 Peter 3:7)  He’s the architect of the universe and the Manager of all times.  (Psalms 8:3, 147:4)  He always was, always is, always will be (Hebrews 13:8) – unmoved, unchanged, undefeated and never undone.  He was bruised, but brought healing.  He was pierced, but eases pain.  He was persecuted, but brought freedom.  He was dead and brings life.  He has risen to bring power and He reigns to bring peace.  (Isaiah 53:3-5, 61:1-3)

The world can’t understand Him.  Armies can’t defeat Him.  Schools can’t explain Him.  And leaders… they can’t ignore Him.  Herod couldn’t kill Him;  Nero couldn’t crush Him;  the New Age cannot replace Him, and Oprah cannot explain Him away.

Remind yourself that He is Light; (John 8:12) He is Love; (1 John 4:8) He is longevity and He is the LORD!  (Philippians 2:11)  He is goodness and kindness and faithfulness, and He is God!  (Exodus 34:6) He is holy and righteous, powerful and pure.  (Psalm 145:17, 29:4)  His ways are right, His Word eternal, His Will unchanging, and His Mind is on us!  (Deuteronomy 32:4, John 6:68, Malachi 3:6, Psalm 115:12)  He’s our Saviour, our Guide, our Peace, our Joy, our Comfort, our LORD, and He rules our lives.  (Matthew 18:11, Luke 2:11, Psalm 48:14, Isaiah 9:6, John 15:11, John 14:16, Psalm 103:19)

I serve Him because His bond is love, His yoke is easy, His burden is light, and His goal for us is abundant life.  (Colossians 3:14, Matthew 11:30, John 10:10)  I follow Him because He’s the Wisdom of the wise, the Power of the powerful, the Ancient of Days, the Ruler of rulers, the Leader of all leaders!  (Proverbs 8:12-35, Revelation 7:12, Daniel 7:9, 7:22, John 19:11, Romans 13:1)

His goal is a relationship with me…  (John 3:16, Revelation 3:20, John 15:14)

He’ll never leave you, never forsake you, never mislead you, never forget you, never overlook you, and never cancel your appointment in His appointment Book.  Never!  (Hebrews 13:5, Isaiah 49:16, Jeremiah 29:11, Ephesians 1:6)

When you fall, He’ll lift you up.  When you fail, He’ll forgive you.  When you’re weak, He’s strong.  When you’re lost, He’s your way.  When you’re afraid, He’s your courage.  When you stumble, He will steady you.  When you’re hurt, He’s gonna heal you.  When you’re broken, He will mend you.  When you’re blind, He will lead you.  When you’re hungry, He will feed you.  When you face trials, He is with you!  (Psalm 147:6, Psalm 103:3, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, John 14:6, Joshua 1:9, Proverbs 3:23, Malachi 4:2, Psalm 34:18, Psalm 23:3, Isaiah 42:16, John 6:51, John 4:10, Matthew 28:20)

When I face persecution, He shields me.  When I face problems, He will comfort me.  When I face loss, He will provide for me.  And when we face death, He will carry us all Home to meet Him!  (Psalm 33:20, Psalm 23:4, Philippians 4:19, Isaiah 40:11, 46:4)

He is everything, for everybody, everywhere, every time, and in every way!  (Ephesians 1:21-23)

He is your God, and THAT is Who you belong to!

~Taken from sermon by Priscilla Shirer ~

It is well

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

It is well with my soul,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
My sin, not in part, but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

~ Written by:  Horatio G. Spafford ~

2 Kings 4:8-37
And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread.  And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread.  9 And she said unto her husband, “Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually.  10 Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither.”  11 And it fell on a day, that he came thither, and he turned into the chamber, and lay there. 12 And he said to Gehazi his servant, “Call this Shunammite.”  And when he had called her, she stood before him.  13 And he said unto him, “Say now unto her, Behold, thou hast been careful for us with all this care; what is to be done for thee? wouldest thou be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the host?” And she answered, “I dwell among mine own people.”  14 And he said, “What then is to be done for her?”  And Gehazi answered, “Verily she hath no child, and her husband is old.”  15 And he said, “Call her.”  And when he had called her, she stood in the door. 16 And he said, “About this season, according to the time of life, thou shalt embrace a son.”  And she said, “Nay, my lord, thou man of God, do not lie unto thine handmaid.”  17 And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time of life.  18 And when the child was grown, it fell on a day, that he went out to his father to the reapers.  19 And he said unto his father, “My head, my head.”  And he said to a lad, “Carry him to his mother.”  20 And when he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died.  21 And she went up, and laid him on the bed of the man of God, and shut the door upon him, and went out.  22 And she called unto her husband, and said, “Send me, I pray thee, one of the young men, and one of the asses, that I may run to the man of God, and come again.”  23 And he said, “Wherefore wilt thou go to him to day? it is neither new moon, nor sabbath.”  And she said, “It shall be well.”  24 Then she saddled an ass, and said to her servant, “Drive, and go forward; slack not thy riding for me, except I bid thee.”  25 So she went and came unto the man of God to mount Carmel. And it came to pass, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to Gehazi his servant, “Behold, yonder is that Shunammite:  26 Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child?”  And she answered, “It is well.”  27 And when she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught him by the feet: but Gehazi came near to thrust her away. And the man of God said, “Let her alone; for her soul is vexed within her: and the Lord hath hid it from me, and hath not told me.”  28 Then she said, “Did I desire a son of my lord? did I not say, Do not deceive me?”  29 Then he said to Gehazi, “Gird up thy loins, and take my staff in thine hand, and go thy way: if thou meet any man, salute him not; and if any salute thee, answer him not again: and lay my staff upon the face of the child.”  30 And the mother of the child said, “As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee.”  And he arose, and followed her.  31 And Gehazi passed on before them, and laid the staff upon the face of the child; but there was neither voice, nor hearing. Wherefore he went again to meet him, and told him, saying, “The child is not awaked.”  32 And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed.  33 He went in therefore, and shut the door upon them twain, and prayed unto the Lord .  34 And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm.  35 Then he returned, and walked in the house to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.  36 And he called Gehazi, and said, “Call this Shunammite.”  So he called her.  And when she was come in unto him, he said, “Take up thy son.”  37 Then she went in, and fell at his feet, and bowed herself to the ground, and took up her son, and went out.

One day Jesus will call my name

Some days drag and some days fly.
And some days I think of the day I’ll die…
Some days fill me and some days drain.
And one day Jesus will call my name!

One day Jesus will call my name –
as days go by, I hope I don’t stay the same!
I wanna get so close to Him that it’s no big change,
on that day that Jesus calls my name!

Most days I pray, but some days I curse;
A sad number of days I put myself first.
But it’s not what I do – the cross made that plain!
And one day Jesus will call my name!

~ Written by:  Phil McHugh
Performed by:  Lynda Randall ~

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qz58xcJHAJ4

It’s Friday, but Sunday is coming!

Sunday
~Written and performed by: Tree63 ~

(Although we are now suffering in this temporal world, eternity and its glory is coming!)

Behind the Song:
“This song was originally titled “Friday (but Sunday is coming),” from the title of the well-known sermon and book by Tony Campolo. Its verses deal with the dark realities of our world, where the Friday of Jesus’ crucifixion acts as a metaphor for our experiences of those realities. As the Gospel stories clearly show, Friday happens, but Sunday is inevitable. Sunday is the resurrection, the day when all our meager hopes and wildest dreams come true, the day we as believers look forward to despite our present condition. This is a “hang in there” song; Sunday is not so far away!” – John Ellis (Tree 63)

Lyrics:
Nothing’s sacred, the days are cheap;
Truth is thin on the ground…
Still our prophets are crucified,
nobody believes: we’re stumbling…
It’s Friday, but Sunday is coming!

Someone’s saying a prayer tonight
for hungry mouths to be filled.
Someone kneels in the dark somewhere,
and darkness is already crumbling…
It’s Friday, but Sunday comes!

Sunday – Hallelujah! – it’ s not so far, it’s not so far away…
Sunday – Hallelujah! – it’s not so far, it’s not so far away!

Broken promises, weary hearts,
but one promise remains:
Crucified, He will come again!
It’s Friday, but Sunday is coming;
It’s Friday, but Sunday is coming!

Chorus

2 Corinthians 4:8-18
8  We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;  9  Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;  10  Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.  11  For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.  12  So then death worketh in us, but life in you.  13  We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;  14  Knowing that He which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.  15  For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.  16  For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.  17  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;  18  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Glorious day

One day when Heaven was filled with His praises, (Luke 2:13)
one day when sin was as black as could be,
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin: (Luke 1:26-38)
dwelt among men, my example is He. (John 1:14)
The Word became flesh and the light shined among us:
His glory revealed!

Living, He loved me (John 15:12)
Dying, He saved me; (Romans 5:9-10)
Buried, He carried my sins far away! (Micah 7:19, Isaiah 38:17)
Rising, He justified freely forever… (Romans 5:1)
One day He’s coming – (Acts 1:11, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day!

One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain, (Luke 23:33)
one day, they nailed Him to die on a tree… (1 Peter 2:24)
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected, (Isaiah 53:3)
bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He! (1 Peter 1:18-19, Job 19:25)
The Hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree…
(Matthew 8:2-3, Matthew 9:28-30, Matthew 20:32-34)
He took the nails for me! (Romans 5:8)

Chorus

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer,
one day the stone rolled away from the door… (John 20:1)
Then He arose over death He had conquered: (1 Corinthians 15:54 & 57)
now He’s ascended, my Lord evermore! (Hebrews 10:12, 1 Peter 3:22)
Death could not hold Him, the grave could not keep Him
from rising again!

Chorus

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming; (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
One day the skies with His glories will shine! (Acts 1:11)
Wonderful day, my Beloved One, bringing
My Savior, Jesus, is mine…

~ Written by:  Mark Hall & Michael Bleecker
Performed by:  Casting Crowns
Album:  Until the whole world hears ~

Romans 8

31  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?  32  He that spared not His Own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?  33  Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.  34  Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, Who is even at the right hand of God, Who also maketh intercession for us.  35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  36  As it is written, “For Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”  37  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.  38  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,  39  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.

Unworthy of the Blood

I know not why the Sovereign King would leave His throne on High
to dwell here in this barren land with mortals, such as I…
He left His home in Paradise, oh why, I’ll never know…
but His precious Blood has made me purer than the virgin snow!

Here am I, so unworthy of the Blood
Unworthy of the Blood that sets me free!
Here am I, so unworthy of the Blood,
and yet, it flowed for me…

For every time I falter and I bring the Father shame,
a droplet of His precious Blood then falls upon my name…
I’ll never know the reason why this thing has come to be,
all I know is that He did it, just for you and me!

~ Written by:  Jeff Ross
Performed by:  Jimmy Swaggart ~

Ephesians 1:7
“In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace…”

Ephesians 2:13
“But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”

Colossians 1:14, 20
“In Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins…  And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”

1 Peter 1:18-19
“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;  But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot…”

1 John 1:7
“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

Revelation 12:11
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

The end of the beginning

I was taking a trip on a plane the other day, just wishing that I could get out,
when the man next to me saw the book in my hand and asked me what it was about.
So I settled back in my seat. “A best-seller,” I said, “a history and mystery in one.”
Then I opened up the Book and began to read from Matthew, Mark, Luke and John…

“He was born of a virgin one holy night in the little town of Bethlehem.
Angels gathered ’round Him underneath the stars singing praises to the great I AM.
He walked on the water, healed the lame, and made the blind to see again;
and for the first time here on earth we learned that God could be a Friend…
And though He never, ever did a single thing wrong, the angry crowd chose Him.
And then He walked down the road and died on the cross and that was the end… of the beginning.”

“That’s not a new book, that’s a Bible,” he said, “and I’ve heard it all before.
I’ve tried religion, its shame and guilt, and I don’t need it anymore.
It’s superstition, made-up tales, just to help the weak to survive.”
“Let me read it again,” I said, “But listen closely – this is gonna change your life!”

“He was born of a virgin one holy night in the little town of Bethlehem.
Angels gathered ’round Him underneath the stars singing praises to the great I AM.
He walked on the water, healed the lame, and made the blind to see again;
and for the first time here on earth we learned that God could be a Friend…
And though He never, ever did a single thing wrong, the angry crowd chose Him.
And then He walked down the road and died on the cross and that was the end… of the beginning.”

“The end of the beginning?” he said with a smile. “What more could there be?  He’s dead.
You said they hung Him, put nails in His hands and a crown of thorns on His head.”
I said, “I’ll read it again, but this time there’s more, and I believe that this is true:
His death wasn’t the end but the beginning of life that’s completed in you.
Don’t you see?  He did all this for you…”

“He was born of a virgin one holy night in the little town of Bethlehem;
all the angels singing praises to the great I AM.
He walked on the water, healed the lame, and made the blind to see…
And for the first time here on earth, did you know that God could be a Friend?
And though He never did a single thing wrong, He was the one the crowd chose.
And then He walked and He died, but three days later, three days later, three days later… He rose!
Three days later He rose!

You see, He came, and He lived, and He died, but that was the end of the beginning.”

~ Lyrics and Music by:  David Phelps ~

Immeasurably more

More than all we ask, than all we seek
All our hopes and dreams – You are immeasurably more
Than we can know, than we can pray;
All our words can say – You are immeasurably more!

There’s nothing greater than Your loveYou’re more than we can imagine!
There’s nothing sweeter on this earthYou’re more than we can imagine!
Our hearts respond to who You are, it’s You, oh Lord, that we adore!
You are more, You are more, You’re more than we can imagine!
You are more, You are more, You’re more than we can imagine!

More than all our sin, than all our shame…
Stronger than the grave – You are immeasurably more!
I can’t help but sing, can’t help but praise!
My heart can not contain:  You are immeasurably more!

Chorus

No eye has seen, no ear has heard
What is coming, what is coming…
Never-ending joy, never-failing love…
You are coming, You are coming!
[x2]

Chorus

~ Written by: Rend Collective
Album: The Art of Celebration ~

Isaiah 64:4
“For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside Thee, what He hath prepared for him that waiteth for Him.”

1 Corinthians 2:9
But as it is written, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.”

Ephesians 3:20-21
“Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”

In the shadow of the Cross

In the shadow of the Cross

Wounded, our stripes were laid upon Him
He was bruised; a crown of thorns for our iniquity
A Man of sorrows – despised and rejected:
He was nailed to the Cross to bear the sins for you and me

In the shadow of the Cross, I stand forgiven
And by the power of His precious Blood, I’ve been set free
In the Cross I’ve found the love that only He could give –
In the shadow of the Cross on a hill called Calvary

Suffering, in shame He hung upon that tree
An offering for sins – His life’s Blood He freely gave
They laid Him in the tomb, so soon to be forgotten…
But He arose – He is the Victor over the grave!

~ Unknown author ~

Isaiah 53

1  Who hath believed our report?  and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?  2  For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground:  He hath no form nor comeliness;  and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.  3  He is despised and rejected of mena Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief:  and we hid as it were our faces from Him;  He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.  4  Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:  yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  5  But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities:  the chastisement of our peace was upon Him;  and with His stripes we are healed.  6  All we like sheep have gone astray;  we have turned every one to his own way;  and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.  7  He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not his mouth:  He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not his mouth.  8  He was taken from prison and from judgment:  and who shall declare His generation?  for He was cut off out of the land of the living:  for the transgression of my people was He stricken.  9  And He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death;  because He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth.  10  Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him;  He hath put Him to grief:  when thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.  11  He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied:  by His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify many;  for He shall bear their iniquities.  12  Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong;  because He hath poured out His soul unto death:  and He was numbered with the transgressors;  and He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Further reading:  Matthew 26-27, Mark 14-15, Luke 22-23, John 18-19