More like Jesus

Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him (Colossians 3:10; NLT). 

1. The more like Jesus we become,
The less we need to say
In prayer,
For, as our minds grow more like his,
We share our thoughts all day.

2. The more like Jesus we become,
The less we need to fear,
Or grieve,
For, as our hearts grow more like his,
We share each dread and tear.

3. The more like Jesus we become,
The less we need to ask
Of him,
For, as our souls grow more like his,
We share his sacred task.

4. The more like Jesus we become,
The less we need to cling
To life,
For here, on earth, and after death,
We’re wholly one with him.

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).

You …are complete through your union with Christ
(Colossians 2:10; NLT).


References 

1. We are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him (1 John 3:2; NLT). 

When you pray, don’t babble on …for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him (Matthew 6:7-8; NLT).

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

We have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16; NLT).

Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely (Psalm 139:4; NIV).

We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5; NIV).

2. Do not be afraid, for I am with you (Genesis 26:24; NLT).

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). 

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

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

3. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him (Philippians 3:9; NLT).

I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace (Acts 20:24; NIV). 

All of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him (2 Corinthians 5:18; NLT). 

My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life (John 10:10; NLT).

4. Whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord (Romans 14:8; NIV).

If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it (Matthew 10:39; NLT). 

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

I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me (John 17:23; NLT). 

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

Close

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).

1. You are as close to me as breathing.
You are as close to me as dread.
You are as close, Lord, as my heartbeat –
Closer than words unsaid.

2. You are as close to me as weeping.
You are as close to me as pain.
You are as close to me as anguish –
Closer than guilt, or shame.

3. You are as close to me as living.
You are as close to me as prayer.
You are as close to me as panic –
Closer than my despair.

4. You are as close to me as grieving.
You are as close to me as kin.
You are as close to me as dying –
Closer, by far, than sin.

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


References 

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

2. Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me (Psalm 139:1; NLT).

3. 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).

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

4. To all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God (John 1:11; NLT). 

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

I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow – not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below – indeed, 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 8:38-9; NLT). 

Celtic Christianity (#2 of 2)

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world (Psalm 19:1-4; NIV).

The sun rides high
In the silent sky;
The heavens stream
With your light.

The planets shine
Beyond space and time;
Your moon reigns
Over the night.

Lord, they rejoice
To express your voice,
But we only fear
And grieve,

For we hide in shame 
When you call our name,
As you walk in the cool
Of the eve.

They heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself (Genesis 3:8-10; KJV). 

Prayer for the dying

The life of every living creature
and the spirit in every human body
are in his hands (Job 12:10; GWT).

Lord,
May *she die without fear,
Or regret;
Without pain, without anguish,
Or grief.

Lord,
May she always feel safe
In your hands,
And rest, evermore,
In your peace.

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

*Depending on who you are praying for,
you can change the pronoun she, to he, or they,
without affecting the rhythm.

Heal our unbelief

We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28; GNT).

“Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.” “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:22-4; NLT).

Father,
You bring good from bad,
And peace from every fear we have;
Truth from lies,
And gain from loss –
Help us to overcome our unbelief.

Father,
You bring light from dark.
For growth from pain, you hit the mark;
Love from hate,
And faith from doubt –
Bring gain from all our troubles, Great High Priest. 

Father,
You bring life from death,
And comfort from each final breath;
Hope from grief,
And joy from woe –
Your resurrection, Lord our God, is sweet.

Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying” (John 11:25; NLT).

He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies (Psalm 103:2-4; NLT).

Easter Sunday

The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favour with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High” (Luke 1:30-32; NIV).

1. Lord, may you be born again
Within my heart today,
Then I’ll always walk with you –
My life, my truth, my way.

2. May you dwell there, full of grace,
And teach me to do good,
Then I’ll grow much more like you –
In faith, and hope, and love.

3. May I share your grief and pain
Within my heart each day,
Then I’ll suffer at your side –
And watch, and wait, and pray.

4. Buried in my willing heart,
Then resurrected there,
May we always live as one –
In joy, and thanks, and prayer.

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).


References

1. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn (Luke 2:4; KJV). 

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6; NLT).

2. The child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him (Luke 2:40; NIV). 

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

All of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord – who is the Spirit – makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image (2 Corinthians 3:18; NLT). 

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

3. Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons,  James and John, and 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 26:36-8; NLT).

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

4. The place of crucifixion was near a garden, where there was a new tomb, never used before. And so, because it was the day of preparation for the Jewish Passover and since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there (John 19:41-2; NLT).

Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed – for until then they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead (John 20:8; NLT)

Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying” (John 11:25; NLT).

I am with you every day, even unto the end of time (Matthew 28:20; ABPE). 

For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him (Philippians 3:8-9; NLT).

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

You are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28; NLT).

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; NLT).


 

Good Friday

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
(Luke 6:27-8; NIV).

Beyond all torment, come what may,
Is Christ,
Who tells us how to pray.

Beyond all darkness and distress
Is Christ,
Who teaches us to bless.

Beyond all anguish, hate, and blood
Is Christ,
Who shows us how to love.

Beyond all hunger, thirst, and pain
Is Christ,
Who died, and rose again.

Beyond all terror, grief, and war
Is Christ,
Who lives for evermore.

I died, and behold I am alive for evermore.
(Revelation 1:18; RSV).


Maundy Thursday

I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief! (Mark 9:24; NLT). 

1. Lord,
In shadow, and in grief:
Help me with my unbelief.

2. Lord,
In darkness, and in pain:
Send your light and hope again.

3. Lord,
In suffering, and fear:
Comfort me, for you are near.

4. Lord,
In facing up to death:
Hold me tight, till my last breath.

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


References

1. Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons,  James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death” (Matthew 26:36-8; NLT).

2. At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock …

3. … At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (Matthew 27:45-6; 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 the staff they comfort me (Psalm 23:4; KJV).

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

Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last (Luke 24:46;NLT).


Close your eyes

The Lord is full of tenderness and mercy (James 5:11; NLT). 

1. Close your eyes to seek Christ’s face:
Full of mercy, light and grace.

2. Lift your gaze to catch his smile:
He won’t censure or revile.

3. Look at him, and watch his love
Pouring down from heaven above.

4. Talk with Christ; ask him to heal:
He will know just how you feel.

5. Your faith, your doubts, your hopes, your fears,
Your suffering throughout the years –

6. He sees, and knows, and shares them all:
Each loss, each pain, each grief, each fall.

7. He sees, and knows, and shares each one:
Our Lord, who died for us – God’s Son.

8. At last, receive his healing touch:
Rejoice! He loves you very much.

He loves us with unfailing love (Psalm 117:2; NLT).


References

1. I will see you face to face (Psalm 17:15; NLT). 

2. The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbour his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities (Psalm 103:8-10; NIV).

3. No power in the sky above or in the earth below – indeed, 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. I love the Lord because he hears my voice (Psalm 116:1; NLT).

5. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all the same testings we do (Hebrews 4:15; NLT).  

6. O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me (Psalm 139:1; NLT).

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

God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were sinners (Romans 5:8; NLT).

8. I am the Lord, who heals you (Exodus 15:27; NIV).

 


 

Sharing

Together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering (Romans 8:17; NLT).

🖤

Through good and bad, Lord,
May we share your love,
So you are seen in us.

In darkness, Lord,
May we reflect your light.

Through pain and grief, Lord,
May we share your peace,
So you are seen in us.

In facing death,
May we reflect your life.

🖤

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).

All of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18; NLT).