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

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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 ~

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

Heavenly Perspective

Colossians 3
1  If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  2  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  3  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.  4  When Christ, Who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.

Hebrews 12
1  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,  2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.  3  For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

2 Corinthians 4
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.  (See also 2 Corinthians 5:7  “For we walk by faith, not by sight…”)

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.

Hebrews 13
14  For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.  15  By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His Name.

John 14
1  “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me.  2  In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.  4  And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.”  5  Thomas saith unto Him, “Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?”  6  Jesus saith unto him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.”

2 Peter 3
11  Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,  12  Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?  13  Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Titus 2
11  For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,  12  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;  13  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  14  Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Romans 8
24  For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?  25  But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
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.

1 Peter 2
19  For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.  20  For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.  21  For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps…

1 Peter 5
7  Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.  8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:  9  Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.  10  But the God of all grace, Who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

Matthew 6
31  “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?  32  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  33  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

1 Timothy 6
6  But godliness with contentment is great gain.  7  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  8  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
17  Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, Who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;  18  That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;  19  Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

Philippians 3
7  But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.  8  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,  9  And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:  10  That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death…

See also http://www.shepherd.to/heaven/contents/How_live.htm

We’ll understand it better by and by

We are tossed and driven on the restless sea of time;   (James 1:6)
somber skies and howling tempests oft succeed a bright sunshine;
in that land of perfect day, when the mists are rolled away,
we will understand it better by and by.   (Ephesians 1:18)

By and by, when the morning comes,
when the saints of God are gathered Home,
we’ll tell the story how we’ve overcome,   (Revelation 12:11)
for we’ll understand it better by and by.   (John 13:7)

We are often destitute of the things that life demands,   (Philippians 4:11-13)
want of food and want of shelter, thirsty hills and barren lands;
we are trusting in the Lord, and according to God’s Word,  (Psalm 119:42)
we will understand it better by and by.

Chorus

Trials dark on every hand, and we cannot understand
all the ways of God would lead us to that blessed Promised Land;   (Proverbs 20:24)
but he guides us with his eye, and we’ll follow till we die,   (Psalm 32:8)
for we’ll understand it better by and by.

Chorus

Temptations, hidden snares often take us unawares,
and our hearts are made to bleed for a thoughtless word or deed;
and we wonder why the test when we try to do our best,  (John 16:33)
but we’ll understand it better by and by.

~ Lyrics and music by:  Charles Albert Tindley (1905) ~

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/