Eternity


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🧡

All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time,
and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen (Jude 1:25; NLT).

1. Do not fear eternity;
You’re living in it now:

2. One with God
Before your birth,

3. One with him
Whilst here on earth,

4. One with him
At your last breath,

5. One in bliss,
Beyond your death.

6. So never fear eternity:
You’re living in it now!

🧡


References

1. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end (Ecclesiastes 3:11; NLT).

2. I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5; NLT).

Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his (Psalm 100:3; NIV).

3. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them (1 John 4:16; NIV).

4. Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last (Luke 23:46; NLT).

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

God will redeem me from the realm of the dead; he will surely take me to himself (Psalm 49:15; NIV).

6. The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you (Deuteronomy 33:27; NLT).

Contemplation: a different approach

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Introduction

Do you find contemplation difficult, or even impossible? Does your mind constantly slip away from observing the thoughts, emotions and physical sensations bubbling up within you, becoming caught up with them, instead? If so, you might like to try a different approach.

A fresh approach

1. Sit, lie, or stand comfortably, or walk, if you feel restless.

2. Ask God to help you with everything you are going to share with him.

3. Let your breathing be however it is. If you are still, you can close your eyes if you wish.

4. Notice the thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations arising within you, and share them honestly with God. You can do this silently, or aloud, whatever suits you best. Tell him anything you want to, even if you think you shouldn’t feel, or think, that way.

5. Ask God to help you with each issue you tell him about, listening for his still, small voice in response. It doesn’t matter if you move on to a new concern before you have finished talking to him about something else. It doesn’t matter if you fall asleep. You are always in God’s arms, like a little child, and he already knows everything you are experiencing and sharing with him. This kind of contemplation is about being yourself, and being honest with God.

6. Do this for whatever amount of time you wish, long or short; again, it doesn’t matter. Thank God for listening, understanding, caring, and helping you. Then continue with your day.

Conclusion

With practice, you may find that you can continue sharing your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations with God whilst you are doing simple tasks. He lives within you, so you can commune with him in your heart whenever, and wherever, you want.

In time, always aware of his presence, you will unhesitatingly share everything with him, and this is a vital part of what it means to love both God and yourself.

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References

Introduction

As I stood there is silence – not even speaking of good things – the turmoil within me grew worse. The more I thought about it, the hotter I got, igniting a fire of words (Psalm 39:2-3; NLT).

A fresh approach

1. Be still in the presence of the Lord (Psalm 37:7; NLT).

I cannot be still (Jeremiah 4:19; NLT).

2. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer (Psalm 19:14; NLT).

3. The life of every living thing is in his hand, and the breath of every human being (Job 12:10; NLT).

4. Pour out your heart to him (Psalm 62:8; NLT).

Lord, you are searching for honesty (Proverbs 11:5; NLT).

Pray about everything (Philippians 4:6; NLT).

5. He will be gracious if you ask for help (Isaiah 30:19; NLT).

Tell God what you need (Philippians 4:6; NLT).

Listen to his voice (Deuteronomy 13:4; NLT).

The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you (Deuteronomy 33:27; NLT).

He knows the secrets of every heart (psalm 44:21; NLT).

6. Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help (Psalm 86:5; NLT).

Conclusion

I know the Lord is always with me (Psalm 16:8; NLT).

There is […] one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all (Ephesians 4:4,6; NLT).

You are the temple of the living God (2 Corinthians 6:16; NLT).

Commune with your own heart (Psalm 77:6; KJV).

Pray constantly (1 Thessalonians 5:17; CSB).

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength (Mark 12:29; NLT).

Love your neighbour as yourself (Luke 10:27; NLT).

God’s Living Bread

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Then their eyes were opened, and they knew him
(Luke 24:31; NKJV).

1. I hold God’s Living Bread
In my cupped hands,
For in this Host
I bear Christ’s life and death.

2. I keep God’s Living Bread
In my cupped hands,
For in this Host
I know his touch, his breath.

3. I guard God’s Living Bread
In my cupped hands,
For in this Host
I see Christ’s light and love.

4. I take God’s Living Bread
From my cupped hands,
And share the feast
Awaiting me, above.

O most sacred Heart of Jesus, thou art concealed in the Holy Eucharist, and thou beatest for us still
(J.H. Newman).


References

1. I am the living bread (John 6:51; NLT).

He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you” (Luke 22:19; NIV).

2. Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” (Mark 1:41; NLT).

He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22; NLT).

3. I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life (John 8:12; NLT).

Nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:39; NLT).

4. You prepare a feast for me (Psalm 23:5; NLT).

Many Gentiles will come from all over the world – from east and west – and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 8:11; NLT).

The love of Christ


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My old self has been crucified with Christ.
It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me
(Galatians 2:20; NLT).

1. The love of Christ
Shines in my hands.

2. He walks with me
To light the way.

3. The breath of Christ
Sustains my life.

4. He gives me hope
And strength each day.

5. The blood of Christ
Beats in my heart.

6. He touches me
To make me whole.

7. The peace of Christ
Calms all my fears:

8. He makes his home
Within my soul.

 


References

1. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end (John 13:1; NLT).

2. I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life (John 8:12; NLT).

3. He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22; NLT).

4. May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17; NLT).

5. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins (Matthew 26:28; NIV).

6. When Jesus touched her hand, the fever left her (Matthew 8:15; NLT).

7. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you (John 14:27; NKJV).

He will calm all your fears (Zephaniah 3:17; NLT).

8. All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them (John 14:23; NLT).

Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us (Colossians 3:11; NLT).

Waiting

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Father,

1. May I worship you
With every breath I take,

2. Rejoicing in your holy name,
Although my heart may ache;

3. Communing with you constantly,
Although I feel alone,

4. And waiting for the day
When you will lead my spirit home.

 


References

1. Worship the Lord in all his holy splendour (1 Chronicles 16:29; NLT).

The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life (Job 33:4; NLT).

2. Rejoice before him – his name is the Lord (Psalm 68:4; NIV).

Even in laughter the heart may ache (Proverbs 14:13; NIV).

3. Pray constantly (1 Thessalonians 5:17; CSB).

Turn to me and have mercy, for I am alone and in deep distress (Psalm 25:16; NLT).

4. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him? (Psalm 42:2; NLT).

Wait for the Lord (Psalm 37:34; NIV).

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

Tears of joy will stream down their faces, and I will lead them home with great care (Jeremiah 31:9; NLT).

The mind of Christ

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Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus
(Philippians 2:5; NKJV).

1. I share my mortal dread with you:
Father,
Help me to do your will.

2. I share my agony with you:
Strengthen my faith 

To trust you still.

3. I share my dying breath with you:
Father,
Receive my sacrifice.

4. I share my endless joy with you:
For we are one,
In paradise.

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References

1. In all their suffering he also suffered (Isaiah 63:9; NLT).

He became anguished and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me (Matthew 26:37-8; NLT).

The thing that I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me (Job 3:25; RSV).

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).

2. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”) (Matthew 27:46; NIV).

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me (Psalm 23:4; KJV).

3. Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last (Luke 23:46; NLT).

4. Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit (Luke 10:21; NLT).

I and the Father are one (John 10:28-30; NIV).

Today you will be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43; NIV).

Every breath

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Lord,

1. You give me every breath,
From birth, throughout my life,
Till death,

2. So may I never cease to pray,
Rejoice, and thank you
Every day

3. Beneath the shelter of your wings,
Almighty God,
My King of kings.


References

1. The breath of the Almighty gives me life (Job 33:4; NLT).

The Lord gives both life and death (1 Samuel 2:6; NLT).

2.  Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; NIV).

3.  All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings (Psalm 36:7; NLT).

I am Almighty God (Genesis 17:1; NKJV).

He is Lord of lords, and King of kings (Revelation 17:14; NKJV).

One day

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

1. One day, my soul
Will leave this flesh behind:

2. I’ll take my final breath,
Get out of bed,

3. And walk away, Lord,
Into the blue beyond.

4. Then, gathering strength
With every joyful step,

5. I’ll rise into the air
On eagles’ wings

6. To meet you, Lord,
As all creation sings.


References

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

2. Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last (Luke 23:46; NLT).

3. They shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31; NKJV).

There they saw the God of Israel. Under his feet there seemed to be a surface of brilliant blue lapis lazuli, as clear as the sky itself (Exodus 24:10; NLT).

4. Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength (Isaiah 40:31; NKJV).

Ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace (Isaiah 55:12; KJV).

5. They shall mount up with wings like eagles (Isaiah 40:31; NKJV).

6. We […] will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17; NLT).

Return to me, for I have redeemed you. Sing for joy, you heavens, for the Lord has done this; shout aloud, you earth beneath. Burst into song, you mountains, you forests and all your trees (Isaiah 44:23; NIV).

Come close

Image: Ruth Kirk

Come close to God,
and God will come close to you
(James 4:8; NLT).

1. Lord,
May I come close to you
In prayer,
Trusting in your presence
And your care.

2. Lord,
May I live close to you
Each day,
Trusting in your gospel
And your way.

3. Lord,
May I draw close to you
In death,
Trusting in your love
Till my last breath.

4. Lord,
May I rest close to you
In grace,
Then I’ll know your kiss,
And see your face.


References

1. When you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private (Matthew 6:6; NLT).

Trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge (Psalm 62:8; NLT).

2. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them (1 John 4:16; NIV).

Believe in the gospel (Mark 1:15; NKJV).

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children, and walk in the way of love (Ephesians 5:2; NIV).

3. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me (Psalm 23:4; KJV).

Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last (Luke 23:46; NLT).

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

Those who follow godly paths will rest in peace when they die (Isaiah 57:2; NLT).

While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him (Luke 15:20; NIV).

Now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face (1 Corinthians 13:12; NRSV)

In silence

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Keep on seeking, and you will find (Matthew 7:7; NLT).

1. In silence, Lord,
I start afresh,
By seeking you
With every breath.

2. In stillness, Lord,
I try again,
By whispering
Your holy name.

3. In solitude,
I aim, once more,
To find you, Lord,
And to adore.

4. In darkness, Lord,
I hope anew,
And, reaching out,
I wait for you.


References

1. Be silent before the Sovereign Lord (Zephaniah 1:7; NIV).

Search for the Lord (Psalm 105:4; NLT).

2. Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10; NIV).

Yahweh is his name (Exodus 15:3; NLT).

3. When you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private (Matthew 6:6; NLT).

If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me (Jeremiah 29:13; NLT).

We adore you (1 Chronicles 29:11; NLT).

4. Sit now in darkness (Isaiah 47:5; NLT).

I will put my hope in God (Psalm 42:5; NLT).

Reach out for him (Acts 17:27; NIV).

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him (Psalm 37:7; NIV).