Through helping (#3 of 3)

Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else (Mark 9:35; NLT). 

Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me (Matthew 25:40; NIV).

Through helping others, Lord,
We help ourselves.

Forgiving others,
We forgive ourselves.

So, we beg you,
Heal and bless

Our selfish hearts
With kindliness,

Till, loving all,
We learn to love ourselves.

Love your neighbour as yourself (Luke 1027; 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). 

Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you (Ephesians 4:32; NLT). 

Gifts

Always rejoice. Pray constantly. Give thanks in all circumstances.
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; NIV).

I create the light and make the darkness. I send good times and bad times. I, the Lord, am the one who does these things (Isaiah 45:7, NLT).

Thank you, God, for all your gifts –
The ‘good’ ones, and the ‘bad’,

The gifts that make my heart rejoice;
The gifts which make me sad;

The gifts that bring me pleasure,
And the gifts which bring me pain –

For you bring good from everything
For those who love your name.

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

We know that God make everything work together for the good of those who love God (Romans 8:28; TIV).

Birth to bliss

This is how Jesus the Messiah was born (Matthew 1:18; NLT). 

Birth to bliss, and bliss to birth:
Christ, Messiah, here on earth.
Bliss to birth, and birth to bliss:
Now, receiving Mary’s kiss.

Light to dark, and dark to light:
Christ, transfigured, shining bright.
Dark to light, and light to dark:
Now, in anguish, broken heart.

Sweat to blood, and blood to sweat:
Jesus, weeping, facing death.
Blood to sweat, and sweat to blood:
Crucified, his pain is love.

Death to life, and life to death:
Jesus takes his final breath.
Life to death, and death to life:
He comes again, to end all strife.

Christ died once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him (Hebrews 9:28; NLT).

References

Christ died and rose again for this very purpose – to be Lord both of the living and of the dead (Romans 14:9; NLT).

The Lord will mediate between nations and will settle international disputes. They will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war any more (Isaiah 2:4; NLT). 

I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever” (Revelation 21:3-4; NLT). 

Don’t force your prayers

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion
(Ephesians 6:18; NLT). 

1. Don’t force your prayers –
Just be yourself,
And let the Spirit speak.
Remember:
God loves honesty,
And doesn’t want technique.

2. Pour out your heart
To God within –
Use many words, or few.
Remember:
He loves honesty,
So only say what’s true.

3. God knows what’s in
Your mind and heart;
He knows what’s in your soul.
He listens, cares,
And weeps upon your wounds
To make you whole.

He bruises, but he binds up; he wounds, but his hands make whole
(Job 5:18; NKJV).

References 

1. The Spirit, too, comes to help us in our weakness. For we don’t know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit expresses our plea with groanings too deep for words. And God, who knows everything in our hearts, knows perfectly well what the Spirit is saying, because her intercessions for God’s holy people are made according to the mind of God (Romans 8:26-7; TIB).

You desire honesty from the womb (Psalm 51:6; NLT).

2. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge (Psalm 62:8; NLT).

You are the temple of the living God (Luke 17:21; NKJV). 

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

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

When you pray, do not use a lot of meaningless words, as the pagans do, who think that their gods will hear them because their prayers are long. Do not be like them. Your Father already knows what you need before you ask him (Matthew 6:7-8; GNT).

Let your words be few (Ecclesiastes 5:2; NLT).

Be silent before the Lord (Zechariah 2:13; NLT). 

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

People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7; NIV).

If you say, “Look here, we didn’t know about this,” doesn’t God, who examines motives, discern it? Doesn’t the one who guards your soul know about it? (Proverbs 24:12; ISV). 

This is the confidence that we have in him: if we ask for anything according to his will, he listens to us (1 John 5:14; ISV).

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you (1 Peter 5:7; NLT). 

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

After the Eucharist (for J.K.)

Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you cannot have eternal life within you
(John 6:53; NLT).

Remain in me, and I will remain in you.
For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine,
and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me
(John 15:4; NLT). 

1. After the Eucharist,
Stay in my hands,
Then, all I touch will be blessed.
Stay on my tongue, Lord,
Remain in my thoughts,
Then I will pass every test.

2. After the Eucharist,
Stay in my heart,
Then, I’ll serve others with care.
Stay in my blood,
And remain in my bones,
Then, I’ll help others, through prayer.

3. After the Eucharist,
Stay in my life,
Till this long exile is done.
Stay in my spirit;
Remain in my soul –
Then, we will always be one.

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


References 

1. When we bless the cup at the Lord’s Table, aren’t we sharing in the blood of Christ? And when we break the bread, aren’t we sharing in the body of Christ? (1 Corinthians 10:16; NLT).

We …touched him with our own hands (1 John 1:1; NLT). 

We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ (Ephesians 4:15; 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).

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

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

2. I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you (Psalm 119:11; NLT). 

Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all (Mark 9:35; NIV).

Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me (Matthew 25:40; NIV).

Don’t you know that your bodies are a part of Christ’s body? (1 Corinthians 6:15; CSB).

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

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

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

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).

Spiritual nourishment

People do not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God
(Matthew 4:4; NLT). 

Just open your eyes (Psalm 91:8; NLT).

 1. When I open my eyes, Lord,
You show me your light;
When I open my mind,
You teach me your truth.

2. When I open my heart, Lord,
You give me your love;
When I open my soul,
You grant me your peace.

3. May my eyes, and my mind, Lord, 
My heart, and my soul
Stay open to you,
Who, alone, makes me whole.

Jesus Christ makes you whole
(Acts 9:34; KJ2000 Bible).


References 

1. God is light (1 John 1:5; NLT).

The Spirit is truth (1 John 5:6; NKJV).

2. God is love (1 John 4:8; NLT).

The Lord is peace (Judges 6:24; NLT). 

3. Open your eyes (John 4:35; NIV). 

He wounds, but his hands make whole (Job 5:18; NKJV).

Worship (#2 of 2)


Moses pleaded with the Lord,
“O Lord, I’m not very good with words”
(Exodus 4:10; NLT). 

1. How I wish I had the words
To praise the Father I adore,
But I can only whisper:
Lord,
You love me evermore. 

2. How I wish I had the words
To thank the Saviour I revere,
But I can only murmur:
Lord,
You listen; you are here. 

3. How I wish I had the words
To worship God, my heart’s desire,
But I can only stammer:
Lord,
You set my heart on fire.

Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us?
(Luke 24:32; NLT).


References 

1. Lift up holy hands in prayer, and praise the Lord (Psalm 134:2; NLT).

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

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

The Lord listens (Psalm 69:33; CSB). 

God is with us (2 Chronicles 13:12; NIV). 

You make me glad by being near to me (Psalm 16:11; CEV). 

3. Bow down and worship the Lord (Ezekiel 46:3; NLT).

The Lord your God is a raging fire (Deuteronomy 4:24; GWT).  

Worship (#1 of 2)

Moses pleaded with the Lord,
“O Lord, I’m not very good with words”
(Exodus 4:10; NLT). 

1. How I wish I had the words
To praise the Father I adore,
But I can only whisper:
Lord,
I love you evermore.

2. How I wish I had the words
To thank the Saviour I revere,
But I can only murmur:
Lord,
I’m glad that you are here.

3. How I wish I had the words
To worship God, my heart’s desire,
But I can only stammer:
Lord,
I fear your raging fire. 

The Lord your God is a raging fire
(Deuteronomy 4:24; GWT).


References 

1. Lift up holy hands in prayer, and praise the Lord (Psalm 134:2; NLT).

 I love you, Lord (Psalm 18:1; NLT). 

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

 I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me (Psalm 16:6; NLT).

You make me glad by being near to me (Psalm 16:11; CEV). 

3. Bow down and worship the Lord (Ezekiel 46:3; NLT).

I tremble in fear of you (Psalm 119:120; NLT).  

I pray for peace

Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it
(Psalm 34:14; NIV).

I pray for peace in every mind,
In every heart, Lord,
Every soul.
May every life be filled with peace –
Forgive us;
Make us whole.

I pray that peace will reign on earth.
Lord, hear me:
Bring an end to war!
May every nation live in peace –
Today,
And evermore.

He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war any more (Isaiah 2:4; NIV).


References 

God is not a God of disorder but of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33; NLT).

I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; and I will bless them and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore (Ezekiel 37:26; RSV). 

A child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end (Isaiah 9:6-7; NIV).

God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross (Colossians 1:19-20; NIV).

This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel, that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all (Acts 10:36; NLT).

I will make peace your leader and righteousness your ruler. Violence will disappear from your land; the desolation and destruction of war will end. Salvation will surround you like city walls, and praise will be on the lips of all who enter there. No longer will you need the sun to shine by day, nor the moon to give its light by night, for the Lord your God will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun will never set; your moon will not go down. For the Lord will be your everlasting light. Your days of mourning will come to an end. All your people will be righteous. They will possess their land forever (Isaiah 60:18-21; NLT).