‘Twas the night before Jesus came

Based on the poem by Clement Clark Moore, “‘Twas the night before Christmas“.

‘Twas the night before Jesus came and all through the house
not a creature was praying, not one in the house.
Their Scriptures were lain on the shelf without care –
not a thought that Jesus would ever come there!

The children were dressing to crawl into bed,
not once ever kneeling or bowing their head.
And Mom in her rocker with baby on her lap
was watching the Late Show while I took a nap

when out of the East there arose such a clatter;
I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
tore open the shutters and threw up the sash!

When what to my wondering eyes should appear
but angels proclaiming that Jesus was here!
With a light like the sun sending forth a bright ray,
I knew in a moment that this was “THE DAY”!

The light of His face made me cover my head.
It was Jesus! returning, just like He said.  (Acts 1:11)
And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth,
I cried when I saw Him, in spite of myself.

In the Book of Life which He held in His hand
was written the name of every saved man.
He spoke not a word as He searched for my name.
When He said, “It’s not here,” my head hung in shame…

The people whose names had been written with love
He gathered to take to His Father above.
With those who were ready, He arose without sound
while all the rest were left standing around.

I fell to my knees, but it was then way too late –
I had waited too long and thus sealed my own fate.
I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight…
oh, if only I had been ready tonight!

In the whole of this poem the meaning is clear:
the coming of Jesus is drawing ever so near.
We must begin RIGHT NOW to study and pray
so that we will be ready on that glorious day!

~ Author unknown ~

Time Travelers image - Joyful 'Toons

We are all traveling through time. And we can be sure that somewhere on the road ahead is the return of Jesus.  December 30, 2007

Romans 13
11  “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep:  for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.  12  The night is far spent, the day is at hand:  let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”

Luke 21
36  “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” ~ Jesus

Blessings

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace, (Psalm 67:1, Psalm 122:6)
comfort for family, protection while we sleep; (Matthew 5:4, Psalm 4:8)
We pray for healing, for prosperity, (Mark 5:23, Psalm 118:25)
we pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering… (Psalm 9:13, 2 Chronicles 6:32-33)

And all the while, You hear each spoken need…  (2 Chronicles 20:9, Exodus 3:7)
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things.  (Ephesians 3:19-20)

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through rain drops?
What if Your healing comes through tears?  (Psalm 56:8)
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near?  (Hebrews 13:5)
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise? 

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear;  (James 1:5, Hebrews 3:15)
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near…  (Psalm 27:7)
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love  (Matthew 14:31, Matthew 28:17)
as if every promise from Your Word is not enough!  (Joshua 23:14, Hebrews 10:23)

And all the while, You hear each desperate plea  (Exodus 22:23, Psalm 40:1)
and long that we’d have faith to believe…  (Mark 5:36, 9:23, 11:24, John 11:26)

Chorus

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win, we know  (Luke 22:48, John 3:19)
that pain reminds this heart that this is not, this is not our home!  (Hebrews 11:13-16)
It’s not our home!

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through rain drops?
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life  (Proverbs 13:12)
is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy?  (John 4:13-14)
What if trials of this life, the rain, the storms, the hardest nights,
are your mercies in disguise?

~ Written and performed by:  Laura Story ~

Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,” saith the LORD, “thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

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

Further reading:  Heavenly perspective

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.

Knowing You’ll be there

(Part 2 of the song)

You left a group of fishermen;  somehow You left me, too…
Though I have felt You many times and know You saw me through,
I’ve always longed to feel Your arms and look into Your eyes…
And talk forever, me and You somewhere in paradise…

Knowing we can spend a lifetime reminiscing on the past;
Knowing I will see Your face again where tender moments last!
It makes me wanna go there, knowing I won’t be alone
Knowing You’ll be there makes it easy to go Home.

~ Performed by:  Gaither Vocal Band
Written by:  Suzanne Gaither Jennings & Michael Sykes ~

1 Thessalonians 4
17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:  and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  18  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

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

Healing in His wings

Sun rising over the earth from space

The Sun of Righteousness, arising with healing in His wings

Malachi 4:2 

“But unto you that fear My Name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.”

Revelation 21:23

And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the Light thereof.  (See also John 8:12 & John 9:5)

Tree with Sun shining through

The Tree of Life for the healing of the nations

Revelation 22

1  And he [one of the seven angels] shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.  2  In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the Tree of Life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

The greatest story

Some days your own resolve is strong, and other days you bend…
It’s two steps forward, one step back and a stumble now and then.
You wonder if you’ll ever really make the difference you’ve prayed that you will
Well, I know that prayer will be fulfilled
’cause…

Your life, woven day by day,
is a new design of the glory God displays
on the canvas of creation,
through the poem of history;
in the pattern of redemption
running through the tapestry…
Your life in Christ can be
the greatest story ever told!

You cannot see the hands of God or feel the grace that flows
from Him through you to those you touch in ways you’ll never know…
You cannot measure worth by human standards – that’s always a lie:
oh, you have to see through heaven’s Eyes
how…

Your life, woven day by day,
is a new design of the glory God displays
on the canvas of creation,
through the poem of history;
in the pattern of redemption
running through the tapestry…
Your life in Christ can be
the greatest story ever told!

In the light of eternity,
standing face to Face, you will finally see…
for the very first time you’ll understand
your perfect place in the Master’s plan
and how…

Your life, woven day by day,
is a new design of the glory God displays
on the canvas of creation,
through the poem of history;
in the pattern of redemption
running through the tapestry…
Your life in Christ can be
the greatest story ever told!

~ Written by:  Charlie Peacock & Douglas McKelvey
Performed by:  Avalon ~

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.

Looking for a city

Here among the shadows
(Living) in a lonely land (with strangers)
We’re a band of pilgrims on the move
(Through dangers) burdened down with sorrows
(And we’re) shunned on every hand
(But we are) looking for a city built above

(Oh yes, we’re looking here and there) Looking for a city (looking for a city)
(Yonder where we’ll never die) Where we’ll never die (never die, no never)
(And up there there with all the saints) There the sainted millions (yes with all the millions)
(We will never say goodbye) Never say goodbye (say goodbye, no never)
(Yes and when we gather there) Where we’ll meet our Saviour (we’ll meet Christ our Saviour)
(Glory and we know we’ll meet) And our loved ones, too (friends and all our loved ones)
(Now we pray thee quickly come) Come oh Holy Spirit (Sprit, come, oh Spirit)
(Come oh, come on thee we call) All our hopes renew (all our hopes renew)

In this land of dangers
(We are) going here and there
(We’re simply) trusting in the blessed Savior’s love (with mercy)
Though we may be stangers
(Living) in this world of care
(We’re always) looking for a city built above

~ Written by:  Unknown
Performed by:  Gaither Homecoming Friends ~

Hebrews 11
8  By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.  9  By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:  10  For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God.
13  These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.  14  For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.  15  And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.  16  But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them a city.

See previous post:  Heavenly Perspective

The God Who holds the stars…

My life is in His Hands
Isaiah 40

12  Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?  … 15  Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, He taketh up the isles as a very little thing.  (http://craigtowens.com/2009/04/22/gods-big-hands/)

Psalm 148

1  Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise Him in the heights.  2  Praise ye Him, all his angels: praise ye Him, all His hosts.  3  Praise ye Him, sun and moon: praise Him, all ye stars of light.  4  Praise Him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens.  5  Let them praise the Name of the LORD: for He commanded, and they were created.  6  He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: He hath made a decree which shall not pass.  7  Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps:  8  Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling His Word:  9  Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars:  10  Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl:  11  Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth:  12  Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children:  13  Let them praise the Name of the LORD: for His Name alone is excellent; His glory is above the earth and heaven.  14  He also exalteth the horn of His people, the praise of all His saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto Him. Praise ye the LORD.