God mourns

The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart.
(Genesis 6:5-6; NLT)

God mourns
To see our bitter hatred,

Sad he made us all
From dust.

He grieves
To see our wilful blindness,

Waiting, weeping
Over us.

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

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).

You can do anything

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🖤

God is all-powerful (Job 36:22; NLT).

1. Lord,
You can do anything you want –
Yet you must wait
Until we turn to you
And start to plead.

2. Lord,
You can take anything you want –
Yet you look down
And watch us sin
In thought, and word, and deed.

3. Lord,
You can stop anything you want –
Yet you hold back
While we destroy
The perfect world you made.

4. Lord,
You can say anything you want –
Yet you must grieve
As we ignore
The precious Son you gave.

5. Lord,
You can have anything you want –
And yet you long
For us to recognise
The One you sent.

6. Lord,
You can do anything you want –
And yet you wait
For us to see what’s coming,
And repent.

Image: ArtTower, Pixabay


References

1. You can do anything, and no plan of yours can be thwarted (Job 42:1-2; CSB).

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

I cry out to the Lord; I plead for the Lord’s mercy (Psalm 142:1; NLT).

2. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away (Job 1:21; CSB). 

God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded back from you” (Luke 12:20; NET).

The Lord looks down from heaven on the entire human race (Psalm 14:2; NLT).

The Lord knows people’s thoughts (Psalm 94:11; NLT).

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

You know everything I do (Psalm 139:3; NLT).

3. All the peoples of the earth are nothing compared to him. He does as he pleases among the angels of heaven and among the people of the earth. No one can stop him or say to him, “What do you mean by doing these things?” (Daniel 4:35; NLT).

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1; NLT).

God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good (Genesis 1:31; NLT).

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it (Genesis 2:15; NIV).

4. The one who rules in heaven laughs. The Lord scoffs at them. Then in anger he rebukes them, terrifying them with his fierce fury (Psalm 2:4-5; NLT).

They rebelled against him and grieved his Holy Spirit (Isaiah 63:10; 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).

5. If I were hungry, I would not call you, for all the world is mine and everything in it (Psalm 50:12; NLT).

The Lord longs to be gracious to you (Isaiah 30:18; NIV).

He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognise him (John 1:10; NLT).

6. “I will cause the sun’s shadow to move ten steps backward on the sundial of Ahaz!” So the shadow on the sundial moved backward ten steps (Isaiah 38:8; NLT).

I am about to cover the earth with a flood that will destroy every living thing that breathes. Everything on earth will die (Genesis 6:17; NLT).

After seven days, the waters of the flood came and covered the earth (Genesis 7:10; NLT).

The end of the world is coming soon (1 Peter 4:7; NLT).

Repent of your sins and turn to God for the Kingdom of Heaven is near (Matthew 3:2; NLT).

Once, you were here

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💙

1. Once, you were here,
In the manger:
New-born, Lord,
And brimming with light.

2. Once, you were here,
In the garden:
Anguished and grieving,
At night.

3. Once you were here,
On the cross, Lord:
In sorrow and pain,
All alone.

4. But now you are here
In my spirit:
My Shepherd, my Saviour,
My Own.

💙


References

1. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them (Luke 2:6-7; NIV).

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).

2. They went to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, “Sit here while I go and pray.” He took Peter, James and John with him, and he became deeply troubled and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death” (Mark 14:32-4; NLT).

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

3. They brought Jesus to a place called Golgotha […] Then the soldiers nailed him to the cross (Mark 15:22,24; NLT).

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

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

I am the good shepherd (John 10:14; NLT).

The Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world (1 John 4:14; NLT).

My beloved is mine and I am his (Song of Songs 2:16; NIV).

One day at a time

Image: Gabriela Fink, Pixabay


Don’t worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will bring its own worries.
Today’s trouble is enough for today
(Matthew 6:34; NLT).

Lord,

1. May I live one day at a time,
And forgive one hurt at a time.

2. May I learn one rule at a time,
And discern one truth at a time.

3. May I meet one test at a time,
And defeat one sin at a time.

4. May I face one fear at a time,
And embrace one hope at a time.

5. May I grieve one loss at a time,
And receive one grace at a time.

6. May I sow one seed at a time,
And go on, one step at a time.


References

1. Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today (Matthew 6:34; NLT).

If another believer sins, rebuke that person; then if there is repentance, forgive. Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive (Luke 17:4; NLT).

2. Learn that the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world (Daniel 4:25; NLT).

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6; NLT).

3. The Lord your God is testing you to see if you truly love him with all your heart and soul (Deuteronomy 13:3; NLT).

Get your sins out of my sight. Give up your evil ways (Isaiah 1:16; NLT).

4. 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; NIV).

You have been called to one glorious hope for the future (Ephesians 4:4; NLT).

5. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss (Lamentations 3:20; NLT).

We will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most (Hebrews 4:16; NLT).

6. The farmer plants seed by taking God’s word to others (Mark 4:14; NLT).

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).

Anyone who puts a hand to the plough and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God (Luke 9:62; NLT).

Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble (Proverbs 3:23; NIV).

When someone hurts me

When they came to the place called The Skull, they nailed him to the cross [and] Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing” (Luke 23:33-4; NLT).


1. Lord,
When someone hurts me,
Please help me to forgive,
To love, and bless, and pray for them,
However long they live.

2. Lord,
When someone harms me,
Please help me to be glad,
Thanking you for what they did,
For you bring good from bad.

3. Lord,
When someone wounds me,
Please help me to hold on,
For you bring hope from everything,
Although my hope is gone.

4. Lord,
When someone grieves me,
Please help me to rejoice;
Then peace will be my watchword,
And your way of love, my choice.

To him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! (Ephesians 3:20-21; NIV).


References

1. If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you (Matthew 6:14; NLT).

Love your enemies! (Matthew 5:44; NLT).

Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you (Luke 6:27; NLT).

2. I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, prosecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:10; NLT).

Should we accept only good from the hand of God, and never anything bad? (Job 2:10; NLT).

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God (Philippians 4:6; NIV).

Be thankful in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18; NLT).

In all things God works for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28; NIV).

3. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise (Hebrews 10:23; NLT).

“I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11; NLT).

The terrible storm raged for many days, blotting out the sun and the stars, until at last all hope was gone (Acts 27:20; NLT).

4. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us to develop endurance (Romans 5:3; NLT).

Let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts (Colossians 3:15; NLT).

Follow the way of love (1 Corinthians 14:1; NIV).

Help us all (for M.R.)

Image: Tereza Flachová, Pixabay

Lord,

1. Please help us all
Throughout today:
Those who are lonely,
Those who’ve lost their way;

2. Those who are hungry, homeless,
Those who’ve strayed;
Those who are grieving,
Comfortless, afraid;

3. Those who are sick, or dying,
Old, distressed;
Those who are longing
For your peace and rest;

4. Those who have ceased to hope,
And cannot pray:
Father, please help us all
Throughout today.

Suffering and loss

Pray for all people. Ask God to help them;
intercede on their behalf
(1 Timothy 2:1; NLT).

1. Lord,
I pray for all of us
Who suffer:

2. Those yearning for a home,
A job,
A child;

3. Those thirsting for freedom
From fear, abuse,
Or exploitation;

4. Those longing for better health
For others,
Or themselves;

5. And those who ache
For the presence
Of the dead.

6. Please strengthen us
To face each loss;
Console us when we mourn.

7. Help us to find
New hope in you,
And to rebuild our lives

8. By following your much-loved Son,
Who gave up all he had
For us.

Through his dear name,
Amen.

References

1. Pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf (1 Timothy 2:1; NLT).

2. Forget not your servant but give her a son (1 Samuel 1:11; NIV).

3. The oppressed will be set free (Luke 4:18; NLT).

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

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

6. Even when I walk in 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).

7. “I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11; NLT).

Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me!” (Matthew 4:19; NLT).

8. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being (Philippians 2:6-7; NLT).

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