This is now

The story of the Disciple, Simon Peter

Standing at the water’s edge
I dropped my dreams when I dropped my nets (Matthew 4:18-20)
No hesitation, no regrets,
I followed You, but that was then
And this is now

You washed my feet and You changed my name (John 13:5-10, John 1:40-42)
I swore I’d never be the same
But just like the tides, I guess people change
Cause that was then
And this is now

I wish I could go back, but I don’t know how
I remember when I stood my ground (Matthew 16:13-16, John 6:67-69)
I swore I’d never let You down (Matthew 26:33)
I want to be that man again
But that was then
And this is now

I watched the blind man lift his head
And look his Savior in the eyes (Mark 10:46-52)
I heard a dead man take a breath
Dropped to my knees as I watched him rise (Luke 7:11-16, Mark 5:35-43)

And I felt the sea beneath my feet
As I stepped out on the angry waves (Matthew 14:28-31)
But You saw the storm raging within
You reached out and calmed me then
But this is now

Chorus

Just when I thought my sin has closed the door
(Matthew 26:69-75, Mark 14:66-72, Luke 22:55-61)
I see my Savior standing on the shore (John 21:1-19)
With arms wide open
Just like the first time You called my name…

You said, “That was then, and this is now:
My child, I bore your cross, I wore your crown (Isaiah 53:3-8)
When you couldn’t come to Me, My love came down (Ephesians 2:13, 1 Timothy 2:5-6)
So take My hand, I’ll lead you out
Cause that was then and this is now

My child, I bore your cross, I wore your crown
You couldn’t come to Me so My love came down
Take my hand, I’ll lead you out
You’ll never be that man again
Cause that was then and this is now…”

~ Performed by:  Casting Crowns (Album:  Thrive)
Written by:  Mark Hall, Matthew West ~

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers… (1 Peter1:1)
Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by Whose stripes ye were healed.  For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.  (1 Peter 2:24-25)
For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:  (1 Peter 3:18)

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How deep the Father’s love for us

How deep the Father’s love for us!  How vast beyond all measure –
that He should give His only Son to make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss – the Father turns His face away,
as wounds which mar the Chosen One bring many sons to glory.

Behold the Man upon a cross:  my sin upon His shoulders…
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that held Him there until it was accomplished;
His dying breath has brought me life – I know that it is finished.

I will not boast in anything – no gifts, no power, no wisdom.
But I will boast in Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection.
Why should I gain from His reward?  I cannot give an answer…
But this I know with all my heart – His wounds have paid my ransom.

~ Music & Lyrics by:  Stuart Townend (1995) ~

Hebrews: Our humble, loving High Priest

Hebrews 2

9  But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour;  that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
10  For it became Him, for Whom are all things, and by Whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

16  For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels;  but He took on Him the seed of Abraham.
17  Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
18  For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

Hebrews 3

1  Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;
2  Who was faithful to Him that appointed Him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.

6  But Christ as a son over his own house;  whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

12  Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
13  But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.  (Psalm 95:8)
14  For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;

17  But with whom was He grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?
18  And to whom sware He that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?
19  So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

Hebrews 4

1  Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
2  For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them:  but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
3  For we which have believed do enter into rest, as He said, “As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest”:  (Psalm 95:11) although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
4  For He spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, “And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.”  (Genesis 2:2)
5  And in this place again, “If they shall enter into my rest.”
6  Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:
7  Again, He limiteth a certain day, saying in David, “To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” (Psalm 95:8)
8  For if Jesus had given them rest, then would He not afterward have spoken of another day.
9  There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
10  For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His.
11  Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
13  Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight:  but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do.
14  Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
15  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
16  Let us therefore come boldly (with open hands) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Heb 4:15  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.  Heb 4:16  Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Picture obtained from:  https://gracestories.wordpress.com/tag/did-jesus-choose-to-die/

May I never lose the wonder

O precious sight, my Saviour stands
dying for me with outstretched hands
O precious sight, I love to gaze
Remembering Salvation’s day
Remembering Salvation’s day

Though my eyes linger on the scene
May passing time and years not steal
the power with which it impacts me
The freshness of its mystery
The freshness of its mystery

May I never lose the wonder,
The wonder of the Cross!
May I see it like the first time,
Standing as a sinner lost.
Undone by mercy and left speechless,
Watching wide eyed at the cost:
May I never lose the wonder,
The wonder of the Cross!

Behold the God (that) man crucified:
The Perfect, sinless Sacrifice.
As Blood ran down those nails and wood
History was split in two
History was split in two

Behold the empty wooden tree –
His body’s gone, alive and free.
We sing with everlasting joy:
Sin and death have been destroyed
Sin and death have been destroyed

~ Music & Lyrics:  Vicky Beeching

Sinner saved by Grace

If you could see what I once was, if you could go with me
Back to where I started from, then I know you would see
A miracle of Love that took me in Its sweet embrace
and made me what I am today:  just an old sinner saved by grace

I’m just a sinner saved by grace –
When I stood condemned to death, He took my place
Now I live and breathe in freedom
with each breath of life I take
Loved and forgiven, back with the living
I’m just a sinner saved by grace

How could I boast of anything I’ve ever seen or done?
how could I dare to claim as mine the victories God has won?
Where would I be had God not brought me gently to this place?
I’m here to say I’m nothing but a sinner saved by grace!

I’m just a sinner saved by grace
When I stood condemned to death, He took my place
Now I grow and breathe in freedom
with each breath of life I take
I’m loved and forgiven, back with the living
I’m just a sinner saved by grace

~ Lyrics & Music:  Mitch Humphries, William Gaither, Gloria Gaither

~ Performed by:  Gaither Vocal Band

Tamara Lowe’s 1½ minute rap at Christian Fellowship

To be a survivor in this Amazing Race
with the need for speed,
you need God’s Grace.
And if you’re desperate like housewives
watching Days of Our Lives,
you can’t cope without hope
(and that’s not on a soap).
If you’re looking to Oprah or Dr. Phil,
you can shop non-stop or pop a pill,
but the void won’t fill
and the pain won’t kill
until you love the One that hung on a hill.

Kicking back in your lazy boy easy chair
watching Who Wants To Be A Millionaire,
Nah, you’re not gonna find it there!
No American Idol or Council Tribal
has the final answer that will satisfy ya.
C. S. I. ain’t got a clue.
S.V.U. don’t know what to do.
Not the E.R. or the O.C.,
nothing on a CD, TV, DVD or MP3 can save you and me.
CNN has got no Good News
here’s the headline:  you must choose.

It’s not a simple life Paris Hilton,
It’s treading on thin ice living in sin.
You can be an apprentice for Donald Trump
or eat Fear Factor fast food from a dump.
You can be a heavy hitter
or “Wheel of Fortune” winner
or a Fox News no spin spinner
or flat sinner,
but you better check this life that your livin’
and make sure your sins are forgiven.

I bet ya 50 cent Elvis done come and went,
and eventually every Black-eyed-pea, Gwen Stefani, P-Diddy and Britney,
Every wanna-be on M.T.V.
with their Icy Bling,
every Dixie Chick that sings –
they’re all gonna see the King of kings.
I don’t care if you’re J-Lo, Leno or Bono.
One thing you gotta know:
some day your gonna die, Bro.
Then, where are you gonna go?

Hey, I’m not talking some punk junk that is irrelevant
like your Grandma’s church from way back when.
It’s not some preacher feature on T.B.N.
that you need to be liking or listening.
The real superstar is Jesus Christ.
He’s the Way, the Truth and the Life.
One day He’s gonna split the sky.
He is the brightest Light and the highest High.

So what I came to say and what I’m telling you
is don’t buy that stupid stuff they be selling ya –
It’s all designed to fill your head
and waste your space until you’re dead.

Here’s the bottom line of my rhyme:
Give your life to God
while there is still time.

~ Tamara Lowe

Romans 6 – Dead unto sin, alive unto God

Romans 6

1  What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2  God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
3  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
6  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7  For he that is dead is freed from sin.
8  Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
9  Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
10  For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
11  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 6:6 & 11