I long for you

I long for the Lord
more than sentries long for the dawn
(Psalm 130:6; NLT).

I long for you, Lord,
And for death,
When I will take
My final breath,

Then share, at last,
Your joy and grace,
While gazing on
Your shining face.

I thirst for you, Lord,
And for bliss,
As I await
Your loving kiss,

Then share, at last,
Your peace and light,
While praising you
With all my might.


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


An inward light

God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6; NLT).

An inward light;
A silent voice;

An offered love;
A sense of choice;

A perfect bliss;
A gentle grace:

God’s tender kiss,
And warm embrace.

So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him (Luke 15:20; 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).

This little cross (for M.)

Image: Ruth Kirk


🧡

1. This little cross
Is soaked in prayer.
I wear it day
And night.

2. Washed with tears,
And kissed with love:
In darkness,
It brings light.

3. Held fast in joy,
In fear, and pain;
With me
In all I say, and do.

4. Just as this cross
Is dear to me,
I, Lord, am dear
To you.

🧡


References

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

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).

2. She knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet (Luke 7:38; NLT).

The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness (Psalm 18:28; NLT).

3. Hold fast him (Deuteronomy 11:22; NIV).

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

4. The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God (1 Corinthians 1:18; NLT).

“Don’t be afraid,” he said, “for you are very precious to God” (Daniel 10:19; NLT).

Daily miracles

Image: Ruth Kirk


🌺

1. You give us daily miracles
It’s easy to ignore:
Light and darkness, dawn and dusk, Lord,
Seasons, tides, and more.

2. You give us daily miracles
It’s easy to forget:
Rain and sunshine, seeds and crops –
We’re always in your debt.

3. You give us daily miracles
It’s easy to dismiss:
The helpfulness of strangers, Lord;
Each smile, each hug, each kiss.

4. You give us birth, and life, and death;
This world, which you sustain;
You give so much, Lord, every day –
Until you come again.

🌺


References

1. As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night (Genesis 8:22; NLT).

2. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need (Acts 17:25; NLT).

3. Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, “Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here” (Luke 10:33-5; NLT).

4. I bring death and I give life; I wound and I heal (Deuteronomy 32:39; CSB).

He sustains everything by the mighty power of his command (Hebrews 1:3; NLT).

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).

My cross

Image: Miriam Zilles, Pixabay


Then he [Jesus] 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. Daily, I take up my cross,
While praying:
“Jesus,
Thank you for your gift of faith.”

2. Next, I kiss it tenderly,
While saying:
“Jesus,
May I spread your love and grace.”

3. Then I put it on with joy,
While asking:
“Jesus,
Keep me on your narrow way”,

4. For my cross tells others
I’m a Christian,
Trying hard
To follow him each day.

 


References

1. By grace you have been saved through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8; NIV).

2. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love (Galatians 5:6; NIV).

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them (Romans 12:9; NLT).

3. Always be full of joy in the Lord (Philippians 4:4; NLT).

Small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it (Matthew 7:14; NIV).

4. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said (Matthew 4:19; 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)

I wish…

Image: Florian Kurz, Pixabay

1. Jesus, I love you.
My dear One, I love you so much.

2. I wish I could shout, Lord,
And sing at the top of my voice.

3. I wish I could beat out wild music
On drums, till they burst.

4. I wish I could run, Lord, and dance,
And turn cartwheels of joy.

5. I wish I could see you, embrace you,
And kiss your poor feet.

6. I wish I could cling to your hands,
As we weep for the world.

7. But I can do nothing alone,
So I long for your grace,

8. As I stumble in darkness, and silence, Lord,
Seeking your face.


References

1. I love you, Lord (Psalm 18:1; NLT).

2. Sing to him a new song; play skilfully and shout for joy (Psalm 33:3; NIV).

3. Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a hand-drum in her hand, and all the women went out after her with hand-drums and with dances (Exodus 15:20; NET).

4. David was dancing before the Lord with all his might (2 Samuel 6:14; NIV).

5. She knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet (Luke 7:38; NLT).

6. I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely (Psalm 63:8; NLT).

7. Without me you can do nothing (John 15:5; NKJV).

As a deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God (Psalm 42:1; NET).

He […] gives grace to the humble (Proverbs 3:34; NKJV).

8. Even at brightest noontime, we stumble as though it were dark (Isaiah 59:10; NLT).

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

My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek (Psalm 27:8; NIV).

Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face (1 Corinthians 13:12; KJV).

Waiting (with thanks to A.)

Image: jeung kim, Pixabay

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

1. Lord,
I’m always yearning
To see you face to face.

2. Lord,
I’m always pining
To rest in your embrace.

3. Lord,
I’m always longing
To kiss your only Son.

4. Lord,
I’m always waiting –
Yet we’re already one.


References

1. I yearn for the Lord, more than watchmen do for the morning (Psalm 130:6; NET).

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

2. Be gracious to me, Lord, for I am pining away (Psalm 6:2; NASB).

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

He returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him (Luke 15:20; NLT).

3. I long and yearn for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh cry out for the living God (Psalm 84:2; CSB).

As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him? (Psalm 42:1-2; NLT).

She knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet (Luke 7:38; NLT).

4. I will wait for the Lord (Isaiah 8:17; NLT).

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

Choice

Image: Antranias, Pixabay

Don’t you realise that you become the slave
of whatever you choose to obey?
(Romans 6:16; NLT).

1. May I let go of vanity,
And choose to seek your face.
May I let go of judging, Lord,
And choose, instead, your grace.

2. May I let go of bitterness,
And chose to know your balm.
May I let go of anger, Lord,
And choose, instead, your calm.

3. May I let go of jealousy,
And choose to share your bliss.
May I let go of hatred, Lord,
And choose, instead, your kiss.

4. May I let go of selfishness,
And choose to love, each day.
May I let go of evil, Lord,
And choose, instead, your way.


References

1. My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek (Psalm 27:8; NIV).

Do not judge others, and you will not be judged (Luke 6:37; NLT).

2. Don’t sin by letting anger control you (Ephesians 4:26; NLT).

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

4. Turn from your selfish ways (Luke 9:23; NLT).

Choose today whom you will serve (Joshua 24:15; NLT).

The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-3; NLT).

God’s way is perfect (Psalm 18:30; NLT).

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