May I share

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1. Father,
In my anguish,
May I share the mind of Christ.

2. Father,
In my torment,
May I share his flesh and blood.

3. Father,
In my dying,
May I share his sacrifice.

4. Father,
In my rising,
May I share his perfect love.

 


References

1. Lord, see my anguish! My heart is broken and my soul despairs (Lamentations 1:20; NLT).

Being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground (Luke 22:44; NIV).

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).

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

2. My heart is troubled and restless. Days of suffering torment me (Job 30:27; NLT).

He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5; RSV).

Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies (2 Corinthians 4:10; NLT).

3. Into your hands I commit my spirit (Psalm 31:5; NIV).

I will praise the Lord as long as I live. I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath (Psalm 146:2; NLT).

If we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering (Romans 8:17; NLT).

4. Though I fall, I will rise again (Micah 7:8; NLT).

The time is coming when all the dead in their graves will hear the voice of God’s Son, and they will rise again (John 5:28-9; NLT).

Perfect love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear (1 John 4:18; NLT).

New day

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Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me (Luke 9:23; NLT).

1. Thank you, Lord,
For this new day.

2. May I start afresh
To pray,

3. And praise your name,
Rejoice, and sing,

4. And thank you, Lord,
For everything.

5. Bless you, Lord,
For this new day.

6. May I never flag,
Or stray,

7. But follow Christ,
Your only Son,

8. And live in peace
With everyone!


References

1. His mercies begin afresh each morning (Lamentations 3:22; NLT).

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

3. Praise the name of the Lord! (Job 1:21; NLT).

Always rejoice (1 Thessalonians 5:16; NIV).

4. Give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18; NIV).

5. Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past (Isaiah 43:18; NIV).

6. Those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31; NLT).

I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands (Psalm 119:10; NIV).

7. Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me (Luke 9:23; NLT).

God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16; NLT).

8. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone (Romans 12:18; NLT).

As Christ did

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1. In joy, Lord,
May I worship you,
As Christ did
When he walked this earth.

2. In trials, Lord,
May I cling to you,
As Christ did,
With faith unsurpassed.

3. In grief, Lord,
May I cry to you,
As Christ did
When he lost all hope.

4. In death, Lord,
May I call your name,
As Christ did
When he breathed his last.

 


References

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

Jesus, full of the joy of the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth” (Luke 10:21; NIV).

2. Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him (Deuteronomy 13:4; NLT).

Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil […] “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say: You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him” (Matthew 4:1,10; NLT).

3. Rise during the night and cry out. Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord. Lift up your hands to him in prayer (Lamentations 2:19; NLT).

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).

4. I will purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the Lord (Zephaniah 3:9; NIV).

When Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, he said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” Having said this, he breathed his last (Luke 23:46; NKJV).

Hidden with Christ

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1. Father,
May I sing forever,
Hidden with Christ,
In darkness.

2. Father,
May I rest forever,
Hidden with Christ,
Anew.

3. Father,
May I pray forever,
Hidden with Christ,
In silence.

4. Father,
May I live forever,
Hidden with Christ,
In you.


References

1. Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings (Psalm 63:7; NLT).

Clouds and thick darkness surround him (Psalm 97:2; NIV).

2. Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28; NLT).

He has created us anew in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:10; NLT).

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

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

4. Let me live forever in your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of your wings (Psalm 61:4; NLT).

You died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3; NLT).

My dilemma

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Introduction

Two people have hurt me badly in the last few weeks. In both cases, after some thought, I was honest with those involved, expressing my response as lovingly as I could. However, they both reacted with anger and blame. Sadly, offering to meet for reconciliation has brought no response.

Since then, I repeatedly go over all that happened, which generates a constant, painful, and exhausting sense of dread.

The crux of my anxiety is that when someone hurts me, I don’t know whether I should speak out, or say nothing. Each approach has different consequences.


What did Jesus say and do?

As always, I look for guidance in Jesus’ teaching and example. However, he taught, and displayed, both outspoken and silent ways of responding to hurt and injustice, which I find confusing.

Until his arrest, Jesus always spoke the truth in love when people criticised or insulted him. He was, in fact, very direct. His honesty made him a lot of enemies, and contributed to his death.

After his arrest, Jesus said very little, no matter what he was accused of, and how he was treated. This puzzled his captors, perhaps antagonising them even more.

Over the years, I’ve tried both approaches. What happens when I follow Christ’s example in these two, very different, ways?


A. Speaking out

When I “speak the truth in love”, it almost always backfires. The person I’ve been honest with turns on me, angrily blaming me for what I said, even though it was their own hurtful behaviour towards me that I spoke about. I then react to their hostility with my characteristic chronic dread.


B. Saying nothing

When I say nothing, I simply allow the other person to hurt me, absorbing the pain and damage, just as I did with my emotionally abusive mother. Without feedback, of course, there is a risk that they may continue to damage me. This makes me feel helpless and powerless, worsening my chronic depression.

Either way, I can easily end up feeling as if life is not worth living.


Forgiveness

Fortunately, Jesus is absolutely clear that whether we speak out or say nothing, we should always forgive those who hurt us. This applies even if they never recognise what they have done, and never say they are sorry.


Conclusion

When people hurt me, I ruminate endlessly about how I responded, and what went wrong. Whether I speak out or say nothing, the outcome is equally damaging for my mental health.

Worse still, I also feel guilty for having “caused” the other person to strike back angrily at me, and to hate me from then onwards.

So, when someone hurts me, should I speak out, or say nothing? I still don’t know the answer to this question, which has plagued me all my life. All I can do is to pray for those who hurt me, asking God to guide and heal us all.

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References

Introduction

Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely, the one who shared my food, has turned against me (Psalm 41:9; NLT).


What did Jesus say and do?

Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps (1 Peter 2:21; NIV).

You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? (Matthew 23:33; NIV).

The leading priests kept accusing him of many crimes, and Pilate asked him, “Aren’t you going to answer them? What about all these charges they are bringing against you?” But Jesus said nothing, much to Pilate’s surprise (Mark 15:3-5; NLT).

If you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God (Matthew 5:23-4; NLT).


A. Speaking out

Speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church (Ephesians 4:15; NLT).

If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them (Luke 17:3-4; NIV.

The churning inside me never stops; days of suffering confront me (Job 30:27; NIV).


B. Saying nothing

He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth (Isaiah 53:7; NLT).

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

Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me (Psalm 42:7;NIV).

Why wasn’t I buried like a stillborn child, like a baby who never lives to see the light? (Job 3:16; NLT).


Forgiveness

When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there [and] Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:33-4; NIV).

When you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins (Mark 11:25; NLT).


Conclusion

Love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you (Luke 6:27-8; NLT)

The Lord of Hosts […] is wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance (Isaiah 28:29; NKJV).

He will heal us (Hosea 6:1; NLT).

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Like Christ

Those who say they live in God
should live their lives as Jesus did
(1 John 2:6; NLT).


1. Father,
May I follow Christ,
And, like him, take your narrow way.

2. Father,
May I worship Christ,
And, like him, talk with you each day.

3. Father,
May I live in Christ,
And, like him, serve through all I do.

4. Father,
May I die with Christ,
And, like him, reunite with you.

When Christ appears, we shall be like him
(1 John 3:2; NIV).


References

1. [Christ] is your example, and you must follow in his steps (1 Peter 2:21; NLT).

Walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us (Ephesians 5:2; NIV).

2. Worship Christ as Lord of your life (1 Peter 3:15; NLT)

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed (Mark 1:35; NIV).

3. Just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him (Colossians 2:6; CSB).

Since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you (John 13:14-15; NLT).

4. If we die with him, we will also live with him (2 Timothy 2:11; NLT).

The Father and I are one (John 10:30; NLT).

The dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7; NLT).

Darkness

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1. Living God,
I’m your unworthy temple,
Where you shroud yourself
In darkness from my sight.

2. My mind, and heart, and soul
Dwell in your darkness,
But your closeness comforts me
Both day and night.

3. Lord, may I accept
This inner darkness,
Trusting in your presence
And your love,

4. Then I’ll gladly walk with you
In darkness,
Where we are one,
United through Christ’s blood.


References

1. I am not even worthy to come and meet you (Luke 7:7; NLT).

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

He shrouded himself in darkness (2 Samuel 22:12; NLT).

No one has ever seen God (John 1:18; NLT).

2. He has made me dwell in darkness (Psalm 143:3; NKJV).

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me (Psalm 23:4; NLT).

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

We have put our trust in his love (1 John 4:16; NLT).

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

The person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him (1 Corinthians 6:17; NLT).

You have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13; NLT).

Trek

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Three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love –
and the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13; NLT).

1. Life is a trek
Back to heaven.

2. Faith is a journey
To God.

3. Hope is a walk
With his Spirit.

4. Love is the path
That Christ trod.


References

1. The dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7; NLT).

2. We walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7; NKJV).

The Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith (Romans 1:17; NLT).

3. You will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13; NLT).

4. Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children, and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (Ephesians 5:2; NIV).

God is love (1 John 4:16; NLT).

We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us (1 John 3:16; NLT).

Foundation

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No one can lay any foundation
other than the one we already have – Jesus Christ
(1 Corinthians 3:11; NLT).

1. We have to lose our faith
For it to grow.

2. Time after time,
All that we think we know

3. Will fail,
And we will have to build again,

4. Learning from Christ’s example,
Death, and reign,

5. Until our grasp
Of all he taught matures –

6. Then, grounded in love for all,
Our faith endures.


References

1. Anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins (Luke 6:49; NLT).

When your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow (James 1:3; NLT).

2. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what they think they understand will be taken away from them (Luke 8:18; NLT).

3. I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to me, strengthen your brethren (Luke 22:32; NKJV).

From the ruins I will rebuild it (Amos 9:11; NLT).

4. Learn from me (Matthew 11:29; NIV).

Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us (Ephesians 5:2; NLT).

The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David, and he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end (Luke 1:32-3; NLT).

5. [I pray] that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith [and] that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may […] know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge (Ephesians 3:17-19; RSV).

This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ (Ephesians 4:13; NLT).

6. Supplement your faith […] with love for everyone (2 Peter 1:5,7; NLT).

Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught (Colossians 2:7; NLT).

Seek him in darkness

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1. Seek him in darkness,
And find him in stillness.
Listen in silence,
And pray, on your own.

2. See him in paradox,
Active, unchanging:
Christ is in paradise,
Waiting, alone.

3. Meet him in darkness,
And bow down in stillness.
Christ speaks in silence:
His words fall like dew.

4. See him in paradox,
Active, unchanging:
Christ is in paradise,
Waiting for you.


References

1. Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually seek him (Psalm 105:4; NLT).

Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light (Micah 7:8; NLT).

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

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

This is my Son, my Chosen One. Listen to him (Luke 9:35; NLT).

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

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

2. You cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things (Ecclesiastes 11:5 NLT).

I the Lord do not change (Malachi 3:6; NIV).

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

The Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion (Isaiah 30:18; NLT).

3. Moses approached the total darkness where God was (Exodus 20:21; CSB).

Bow down to him (2 Kings 17:36; NLT).

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

God speaks again and again, though people do not recognise it (Job 33:14; NLT).

Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew (Deuteronomy 32:2; NIV)

4. The Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion (Isaiah 30:18; NLT).