Dwelling in darkness

Clouds and thick darkness surround him
(Psalm 97:2; NIV).

Dwelling in darkness,
Concealed from our sight,
Yet shining forever:
Our God, who is light.

Vast, unapproachable,
Our heart’s desire,
Yet blazing within us:
Our God, who is fire.

Knowing our secrets,
Beyond human proof,
Yet speaking so clearly:
Our God, who is truth.

Mighty, alert,
Seeing all without cease,
Yet curbing his anger:
Our God, who is peace.

Yielding his Spirit,
His body and blood,
Yet reigning with mercy:
Our God, who is love.

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

Who am I?

Who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you first gave us
(1 Chronicles 29:14; NLT).

Who am I, to search for you, Lord?
Who am I, to ask for grace?

Who am I, to beg your mercy?
Who am I, to seek your face?

Who am I, to hear your whisper?
Who am I, to praise your name?

Who am I, to live within you?
Who am I, to share your pain?

Who am I, that you forgive me?
Who am I, that you should hear?

Who am I, that you protect me?
Who am I, that you are near?

Who am I, that you should love me?
Who am I, that you should save?

Lord, I’m your unworthy servant;
Nothing, but your lowest slave.

I am your lowest slave
(Psalm 116:16; NET).

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).

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).

In you we live and move

Image: Arek Socha, Pixabay


🧡

1. In you we live and move,
And have our being:

Lord,
May I know your presence
Day and night.

2. You’re over, in, and through
All you establish:

Lord,
May I dwell forever
In your sight.

3. You send your only Son
To teach and heal us:

Lord,
May I know your mercy,
And your grace.

4. You wait until we ask you
To receive us:

Lord,
May I be your shrine,
And dwelling-place.

🧡


References

1. In him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28, NIV).

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

3. 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).

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

My dwelling-place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people (Ezekiel 37:27; NIV).

I pray for all who suffer

Image: Juliane Koch, Pixabay


🧡

1. I pray for all who suffer,
For the dying,
And the dead;

2. For those who have to live
With what they did,
And what they said;

3. For all they loved,
And all they hurt,
And all those who hurt them:

4. Forgive us, Lord,
And heal us all; have mercy –
Don’t condemn.

🧡


References

1. Moses prayed for the people (Numbers 21:7; NLT).

2. Bless those who curse you, pray for those who hurt you (Luke 6:28; NLT).

3. Love your enemies (Luke 6:27; NLT).

4. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us (Matthew 6:12; NLT).

Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but now he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds (Hosea 6:1; NIV).

Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy (Psalm 123:3; NLT).

Who then will condemn us? No one – for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honour at God’s right hand, pleading for us (Romans 8:34; NLT).

Perfection (dedicated to A.K.)

Image: Felix Mittermeier, Pixabay


✝️

Your heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48; NIV).

1. God’s timing is perfect.
His mercy is great.
It’s never too early.
It’s never too late.

2. God’s pathway is perfect.
He knows we are weak.
It’s never too dreary.
It’s never too steep.

3. God’s kindness is perfect.
So gentle, his touch.
It’s never too little.
It’s never too much.

4. God’s burden is perfect.
He shares in our plight.
It’s never too weighty.
It’s never too light.

5. God’s wisdom is perfect,
Mysterious; vast;
For he is eternal –
The First, and the Last.

✝️


References

1. This is what the Lord says, “At just the right time, I will respond to you” (Isaiah 49:8; NLT).

At the right time, I, the Lord, will make it happen (Isaiah 60:22; NLT).

His mercy is great (2 Samuel 24:14; NLT).

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

He knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust (Psalm 103:14; NLT).

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).

3. The Lord’s loyal kindness never ceases, his compassions never end (Lamentations 3:22; NET).

I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls (Matthew 11:29; NIV).

No matter what their diseases were, the touch of his hand healed every one (Luke 4:40; NLT).

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

My burden on thee is not heavy (Job 33:7; YLT).

My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light (Matthew 11:30; NLT).

5. Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways! (Romans 11:33; NLT).

Truly, O God of Israel, our Saviour, you work in mysterious ways (Isaiah 45:15; NLT).

Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens (Psalm 36:5; NLT).

“I am the Alpha and the Omega – the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come – the Almighty One” (Revelation 1:8; NLT).

I am the First and the Last; there is no other God (Isaiah 44:6; NLT).

He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God (1 Timothy 17; NLT).

I pray to you

Image: Dorotheé Quennesson, Pixabay


🖤

1. I pray to you,
The Christ, who came
To save us all
From sin and shame.

2. I call on you,
The Christ, who dwelled
On earth, God’s Son,
Unparalleled.

3. I plead with you,
The Christ, who died
For all: my Saviour,
And my Guide.

4. I worship you,
The Christ, who rose
From death; through whom
God’s mercy flows.

💛


References

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

Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15; NLT).

2. Call on him now while he is near (Isaiah 55:6; NLT).

God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him (1 John 4:9; NLT).

You have no equal (Psalm 40:5; NLT).

3. Plead with the Almighty (Job 8:5; NIV).

Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God (1 Peter 3:18; NLT).

He has sent us a mighty Saviour (Luke 1:69; NLT).

He guides me along right paths (Psalm 23:3; NLT).

4. Worship Christ as Lord of your life (1 Peter 3:15; NLT).

He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit (1 Peter 3:18; NLT).

God […] called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ (Galatians 1:6; NLT).

Reflections

Image: Albrecht Fietz, Pixabay


Lord,

1. In my mind, there is a forest pool
Where I can glimpse your peace.
It stirs, deep, and mysterious,
While mirroring the trees.

2. In my heart, there is a shady pool
Where I can glimpse your love:
Unfailing, pure, immeasurable;
As rich, and dark, as blood.

3. In my soul, there is a hidden pool
Where I can glimpse your face.
It shines with mercy, care, compassion,
Glory, truth, and grace.

4. May my eyes become like quiet pools
Where all can glimpse your light,
And see themselves reflected there
As precious in your sight.

🧡


References

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

The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters (Genesis 1:2; KJV).

An angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water (John 5:4; NKJV).

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

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

God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us […] raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us (Ephesians 2:4,6-7; ESV).  

3. They will see his face (Revelation 22:4; NLT).

You, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy (Psalm 86:15; NLT).

The Lord our God has shown us his glory (Deuteronomy 5:24; NLT).

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

The grace of God has been revealed (Titus 2:11; NLT).

4. Your eyes are like the sparkling pools in Heshbon (Song of Songs 7:4; NLT).

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

You are precious and honoured in my sight (Isaiah 43:4; NIV).