First and Last

I alone am God, the First and the Last
(Isaiah 48:12; NLT).

1. What God wants
Comes first.

2. What God wants
Is good.

3. What God wants
Is mercy.

4. What God wants
Is love.

5. What we want
Is fleeting.

6. What we want
Is past.

7. What we want
Is fruitless.

8. What we want
Comes last.

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


References

1. Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent” (John 6:29; NLT).

2. Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect (Romans 12:2; NLT).

3. If you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless (Matthew 12:7; NKJV).

4. Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40; NLT).

5. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting (Proverbs 31:30; NIV).

The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away (Job 1:21; NLT).

He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin (Hebrews 11:25; NLT).

6. Stop sinning and do what is right. Break from your wicked past and be merciful to the poor (Daniel 4:27; NLT).

It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20; NLT).

7. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives (Galatians 5:24-5; NLT).

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-3; NRSV).

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

Transformation (with thanks to A.K.)


“Only God can turn the dark night into glorious heavenly light”
(Alan Kearns).

Lord,

1. Turn our anguish
Into peace;
Our darkness
Into dazzling light.

2. Turn our sorrow
Into joy;
Our blindness
Into perfect sight.

3. Turn our judgements
Into love;
Our sickness
Into welcome rest,

4. And turn our dying
Into life eternal,
When we’ve faced
Each test.


References

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

The Lord turns my darkness into light (2 Samuel 22:29; NIV).

2. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me – now let me rejoice (Psalm 51:8; NLT).

The Lord gives sight to the blind (Psalm 146:8; NIV).

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

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

The Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said: “You will be delivered by returning and resting; your strength will lie in quiet confidence” (Isaiah 30:15; CSB).

4. Our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies (1 Corinthians 15:53; 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).

The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul (Deuteronomy 13:3; NIV).

Sacred source

1. Lord, you are my sacred source,
My Maker, and my God.
You give me life, and breath, and food;
A mind, a heart, a voice.

2. You give me faith; a conscience, Lord;
Remorse, forgiveness, hope.
You give me independence, and invention,
Insight, choice.

3. You give me trials and sorrows, Lord;
You give me joy and peace.
You give me worship, prayer, and praise;
Delight, and comfort, too.

4. You give me help; salvation, Lord,
And your unfailing love.
Then you embrace my soul in death,
For I am one with you.


References

1. Everything we have has come from you (1 Chronicles 29:14; NLT).

He himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else (Acts 17:25; NIV).

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

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10; NLT).

3. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows (John 16:33; NLT).

God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3; NLT).

4. He helps me (Psalm 28:7; NLT).

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

Revive my fading faith

Image: geralt, Pixabay


🧡

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).

1. Lord,
Revive my fading faith,
Then I’ll believe in you.

But if you don’t revive my faith,
I’ll still hold fast to you.

2. Lord,
Renew my ebbing hope,
Then I will trust in you.

But if you don’t renew my hope,
I’ll still cling tight to you.

3. Lord,
Repair my dying love,
Then I will worship you.

But if you don’t repair my love,
I’ll still belong to you.

4. Lord,
Restore my failing health,
Then I will follow you.

But if you don’t restore my health,
I’ll still be one with you.

🧡


References

1. I lie in the dust; revive me by your word (Psalm 119:25; NLT).

Believe in the Lord your God (2 Chronicles 20:20; NLT).

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

2. Renew my life with your goodness (Psalm 119:40; NLT).

Trust in God (John 14:1; NLT).

Cling tightly to the Lord your God (Joshua 23:8; NLT).

3. I will raise up the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, and repair its damages (Amos 9:11; NKJV).

Worship the Lord your God (Luke 4:8; NIV).

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

4. Restore me to health and make me live (Isaiah 38:16; ESV).

Follow me and be my disciple (Matthew 9:9; NLT).

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

Reach out to Christ

Image: Sasin Tipchai, Pixabay


💛

He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands.
Reach out your hand and put it in my side.
Stop doubting and believe” (John 20:27; NIV).

1. Reach out to Christ.
Take his way as your own.
Have faith in his teaching,
And make his praise known.

2. Reach out to Christ.
Take his truth as your guide.
Then trust in his mercy,
And walk by his side.

3. Reach out to Christ.
Take his life as your light.
Love all those you contact,
And dwell in his sight.

4. Give him your body,
Your heart, soul, and mind –
Then follow him gladly,
And serve humankind.

💛


References

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

A person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ (Galatians 2:16; NLT).

Make known his praise around the world (Isaiah 12:5; NLT).

2. Jesus told him, “I am […] the truth” (John 14:6; NLT).

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth (John 16:13; NLT).

I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever (Psalm 52:8; NKJV).

3. Jesus told him, “I am […] the life” (John 14:6; NLT).

His life brought light to everyone (John 1:4; NLT).

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

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress, and refusing to let the world corrupt you (James 1:27; NLT).

The eye of the Lord is on those who fear him (Psalm 33:18; NKJV).

4. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind (Luke 10:27; NLT).

If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me (Matthew 16:24; NLT).

You welcome those who gladly do good, who follow godly ways (Isaiah 64:5; NLT).

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

There’s always time

Image: geralt, Pixabay


❤️

1. There’s always time
To offer love,
And treat each person
With respect.

2. There’s always time
To listen,
To respond with kindness,
And connect.

3. There’s always time
To understand,
And put the other person
First.

4. There’s always time
To see in them
Our Saviour, Christ,
Who cried, “I thirst!”

❤️


References

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

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

You will be treated as you treat others (Matthew 7:2; NLT).

2. The wise listen to others (Romans 12:15; NLT).

Be kind to everyone (2 Timothy 2:24; NLT).

Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me (Matthew 18:5; NLT).

Love your neighbour as yourself (Mark 12:31; NLT).

Love the stranger (Deuteronomy 10:19; NKJV).

Show love to foreigners (Deuteronomy 10:19; NLT).

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

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others (2 Corinthians 1:4; NLT).

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

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

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

Within us all

Image: geralt, Pixabay


💙

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

1. Christ, the light within us all,
You make our nights
As bright as day.

2. Christ, the peace within us all,
You hear our sighs,
And help us pray.

3. Christ, the truth within us all,
You cleanse our sins,
And heal our shame.

4. Christ, the love within us all,
We lift our hearts
To praise your name.

💙


References

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

I am the light of the world (John 8:12; NLT).

You, Lord, are my lamp; the Lord turns my darkness into light (2 Samuel 22:29; NLT).

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

Peace I leave you; my peace I give you (John 14:27; NIV).

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).

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

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

Through this man Jesus there is forgiveness for your sins (Acts 13:38; NLT).

On that day you shall not be put to shame because of the deeds by which you have rebelled against me (Zephaniah 3:11; ESV).

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

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).

I will praise the Lord, and may everyone on earth bless his holy name forever and ever (Psalm 145:21; NLT).

Let us lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven (Lamentations 3:41; 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).

Just a tiny step

Image: Pexels, Pixabay


🤎

1. Christ is just
A tiny step away.

2. He lives within us all,
And waits, each day,

3. For us to talk with him
In constant prayer,

4. Seek him in all,
And find him everywhere.

5. Christ is just
A tiny step away.

6. He lives within us all,
And waits, each day,

7. For us to hear his voice,
To learn, and grow,

8. Then love him in others,
Everywhere we go.

🤎


References

1,5. 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).

2,6. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us (Colossians 3:11; NLT).

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

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

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

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

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

4. Keep on seeking, and you will find (Matthew 7:7; NLT).

There is one Lord […] who is over all and in all and living through all (Ephesians 4:5-6; NLT).

7. This is my dearly-loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him! (Matthew 17:5; NLT).

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls (Matthew 11:29; NIV).

You must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18; NLT).

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

Then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone” (Mark 16:15; NLT).

Unite with Christ (for A.K.)

Image: truthseeker08, Pixabay


🤎

Everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. 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).

1. Unite with Christ,
The Lord of lords,
And with all those
Who offer prayer.

2. Unite with Christ,
The Son of Man,
And with all those
Who love, and care.

3. Unite with Christ,
The King of kings,
And with all those
In want, and fear.

4. Unite with Christ,
The Son of God,
And with all those
Who suffer here.

May the Lord make your love for one another
and for all people grow and overflow
(1 Thessalonians 3:12; NLT).

🤎


References

1. They all met together and were constantly united in prayer (Acts 1:14; NLT).

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

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

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

I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one – as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. 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 17:21-3; NLT).