Born again (#2 of 2)

Unless you are born again,
you cannot see the Kingdom of God.
(John 3:3; NLT).

Not for deeds that we had done, but by his steadfast love alone, he saved us through a second birth, renewed us by the Spirit’s work,
and poured him out upon us, too.
(Titus 3:5-6; ISV).

Father,
Being born again
Means starting life afresh,
No longer thinking we’re alone,
But trusting, Lord, in you.

Jesus,
Being born again
Means starting life once more,
No longer lost in self alone,
But serving, Lord, like you.

Spirit,
Being born again
Means starting life anew,
No longer facing death alone,
But walking, Lord, with you.

💚

Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God – truly righteous and holy.
(Ephesians 4:21-4; NLT).

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
(Psalm 23:4; KJV).

 


In darkness

If you are walking in darkness, without a ray of light, trust in the Lord, and rely on your God (Isaiah 50:10; NLT). 

I grope towards you, Lord,
In darkness,

Blunder,
On your narrow way;

Burdened
By my trials and sorrows,

Trusting you, Lord,
Every day.

I grope towards you, Lord,
In silence;

Lost in stillness;
All alone;

Yearning, Lord,
To see your face,

When you draw near
To take me home.

They shall see his face
(Revelation 22:4; KJV). 


The Helper

I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
(John 14:16-17; ESV). 

Lord,
When I’m sick,
Or in pain,
Or I fall:
You are the Helper
Who shares in it all.

Lord,
When I’m sad,
Or alone,
Or afraid:
You are the Helper
Who comes to my aid.

Lord,
When I’m angry,
Or hurt,

Or I sin:
You are the Helper
Who pleads deep within.

The Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words
(Romans 8:26; NRSV).


Christ’s passion

Image: Harry Fabel, Pixabay


💛

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends
(John 15:13; NLT).

1. Welcomed by the crowds,
Who later jeered.

2. Kissed; betrayed;
Arrested, Lord, at night.

3. Deserted by your friends;
Alone; bereft.

4. Spat on, mocked, and whipped;
Accusers lied.

5. Judged unjustly;
Sentenced, and condemned.

6. Burdened by your cross,
As women grieved.

7. Crucified by guards,
Whom you forgave:

8. In agony, and anguish, Lord,
You died.

💛


References

1. The next day, the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel!” (John 12:12-13; NIV).

The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. “Look at you now!” they yelled at him. “You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. Well then, if you are the Son of God, save yourself and come down from the cross!” (Matthew 27:40; NLT).

2. The traitor, Judas, had given them a prearranged signal: “You will know which one to arrest when I greet him with a kiss” (Matthew 26:48; NLT).

Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him (Matthew 26:50; NLT).

3. Then all his disciples deserted him and ran away (Mark 14:50; NLT).

4. They spat on him and took the staff and struck him repeatedly on the head (Matthew 27:30; NET).

Then they knelt before him in mockery and taunted, “Hail! King of the Jews!” (Matthew 27:29; NLT).

He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip (Mark 15:15; NLT).

Many false witnesses spoke against him, but they contradicted each other (Mark 14:56; NLT).

5. The leading priests stirred up the crowd to demand the release of Barabbas instead of Jesus. Pilate asked them, “Then what should I do with this man you call the king of the Jews?” They shouted back, “Crucify him!” (Mark 15:12-13; NLT).

He […] turned him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified (Mark 15:15; NLT).

6. Carrying the cross by himself, he went to the place called Place of the Skull (John 19:17; NLT).

A large crowd trailed behind, including many grief-stricken women (Luke 23:27; NLT).

7. Then the soldiers nailed him to the cross (Mark 15:24; NLT).

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34; NLT).

8. My life is poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax, melting within me. My strength has dried up like sunbaked clay. My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth (Psalm 22:14-15; NLT).

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? (Mark 15:34; NLT).

Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed his last (Mark 15:37; NLT).

Come to me

Image: jianke 1964, Pixabay


🤎

When will you come to me? (Psalm 101:2; NIV).

1. Come to me
In fear and pain,
When all my hopes, Lord God,
Seem vain.

2. Come when all is dark
And still,
To help me face
Your perfect will.

3. Come:
Death is already here;
My final breath
Is drawing near.

4. Come, for I am lost,
Alone:
Please come, at last,
To take me home.

🤎


References

1. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Psalm 22:1; NIV).

We have become old, dry bones – all hope is gone (Ezekiel 37:11; NLT).

2. You have taken away my companions and my loved ones. Darkness is my closest friend (Psalm 88:18; NLT).

You will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect (Romans 12:2; NLT).

If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine (Matthew 26:39; NLT).

3. My spirit is crushed, and my life is nearly snuffed out. The grave is ready to receive me (Job 17:1; NLT).

The time of my death is near (2 Timothy 4:6; NLT).

4. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? (Psalm 22:1; NIV).

You will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave (Psalm 16:10; NLT).

You come to me

Image: John Greece, Pixabay


✝️

1. You come to me
In fear and pain,
When every hope, Lord God,
Seems vain.

2. You come when life is dark
And chill,
To help me face
Your perfect will.

3. You come, Lord,
When my race is run,
And all my days on earth
Are done.

4. You come when I am lost,
Alone –
You come, at last,
To take me home.

✝️


References

1. Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you (Isaiah 35:4; NLT).  

We have become old, dry bones – all hope is gone (Ezekiel 37:11; NLT).

2. My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine (Matthew 26:39; NLT).

You will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect (Romans 12:2; NLT).

3. My spirit is crushed, and my life is nearly snuffed out. The grave is ready to receive me (Job 17:1; NLT). 

4. You have taken away my companions and my loved ones. Darkness is my closest friend (Psalm 88:18; NLT).

Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfil the scripture),“I thirst” (John 19:28; RSV).

You will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave (Psalm 16:10; NLT).

He restores my soul (Psalm 23:3; NKJV).

Once

Image: Tumisu, Pixabay


🤎

1. Once, you lived,
Then you were killed,
But rose again –
God’s law fulfilled.

2. Once, you died,
But now you live
Forever, Lord,
To love, and give.

3. Once, I was afraid,
Alone –
My mind in turmoil,
Heart, a stone.

4. Once, I was alone,
Afraid –
I turned to you;
I wept, and prayed.

5. Once, Lord,
I accepted you,
Confessed my sins –
You made me new.

6. Once, so worthless –
Now I’m one
With you, for always,
God’s dear Son.

🤎


References

1. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15; NLT).

Christ died and rose again (Romans 14:9; NLT).

Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God (Romans 10:4; NLT).

2. Because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever (Hebrews 7:24; NLT).

3. Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me (Psalm 55:5; NLT).

You have taken away my companions and my loved ones. Darkness is my closest friend (Psalm 88:18; NLT).

4. Repent of your sins and turn to God (Matthew 4:17; NLT).

Pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17; NIV).

5. To all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12; NLT).

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

He who sat upon the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5; RSV).

So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God (Romans 5:11; NLT).

6. Common people are as worthless as a puff of wind (Psalm 62:9; NLT).

There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28; NLT).

I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one (John 17:22; NLT).

Whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17; NIV).

This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him! (Matthew 17:5; NIV).

A vision in a dream 19.2.21.

Image: Albrecht Fietz, Pixabay


***

1. Out in the estuary,
Dragged from the shore.

2. The current, relentless;
My strength is no more.

3. There’s no turning back now:
I’ve drifted too far –

4. Down to the river-mouth;
Over the bar.

5. The ocean, before me;
The future, unknown.

6. The start of my journey –
Afraid, and alone.

7. Drawn by the ebb-tide
I’m swept out to sea.

8. My days are completed:
My spirit flies free.

*****

The dust returns to the ground it came from,
and the spirit returns to God who gave it
(Ecclesiastes 12:7; NIV).