It’s Advent!


Image: Dorothée Quennesson, Pixabay


🧡

1. It’s Advent, Lord:
I wait anew,
To hear your cry,
And welcome you.

2. It’s Christmas:
And you’re born afresh
In my poor mind, heart,
Soul, and flesh.

3. It’s Easter, Lord:
You rise again,
To free me from
All sin and pain.

4. It’s Pentecost:
Each day you burn
Within me,
Till your great return.

🧡


References

1. Wait expectantly for him (Psalm 37:7; CSB).

The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord” (Isaiah 40:3; NKJV).

2. She gave birth to her first-born son (Luke 2:6; RSV).

I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God (John 3:3; NLT).

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

3. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman Soldiers to be crucified (Mark 15:15; NLT).

You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! (Mark 16:6; NLT).

He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases (Psalm 103:3; NLT).

4. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:3-4; NLT).

Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us? (Luke 24:32; NLT).

His mercies begin afresh each morning (Lamentations 3:22; 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).

In the future you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven (Matthew 26:64; NLT).

No better gift

Image: Engin Akyurt, Pixabay


🔴

1. There is no better gift, Lord,
Than the faith you give each day.

2. There is no sweeter pleasure
Than to trust you, praise, and pray.

3. There is no higher joy, Lord,
Than to serve as you ordain.

4. There is no greater honour
Than to share your grief and pain.

5. There is no higher path, Lord,
Than to live as one, with you.

6. There is no finer witness
Than to serve in all we do.

7. There is no dearer hope, Lord,
Than to long for your embrace.

8. There is no deeper rapture
Than to see you face to face.

🔴


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. He is my God, and I trust him (Psalm 91:2; NLY).

This is my God, and I will praise him (Exodus 15:2; NLT).

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

3. 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).

O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8;’ NLT).

4. If we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering (Romans 8:17; NLT).

5. God has united you with Christ Jesus (1 Corinthians 1:30; NLT).

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

7. 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).

I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the Lord (Psalm 84:2; NLT).

So he returned 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).

8. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known (1 Corinthians 13:12; NIV).

Look at your sorrow (with thanks to R.O.)

Image: 272447, Pixabay


1. Look at your sorrow,
Your pain, and your fear;
Then take God’s right hand,
For the Father is near.

2. Look at your body,
Your mind, and your heart;
Then take a step back,
And let God play his part.

3. Look at your setting,
Wherever you are;
Then move further back,
And observe from afar.

4. Look at your country,
Your continent, too;
Then shift further back,
For a much wider view.

5. Look at our planet,
The moon, stars, and sun;
Then go further back,
Till you see all is one.

6. Look at the universe,
God’s boundless space;
Then draw further back,
To behold his bright face.

7. Witness creation,
Christ’s birth, and God’s plan;
Then praise him forever,
And rest in his hand.

 


References

1. You reach out your hand, and the power of your right hand saves me (Psalm 138:7; NLT).

Though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me (Psalm 23:4; KJV).

2. I hold you by your right hand – I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, “Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you” (Isaiah 41:13; NLT).

3,4. 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).

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

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

They will see God’s face (Job 33:26; NIV).

7. This is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children (Ephesians 3:6; NLT).

I will praise you forever, O God (Psalm 52:9; NLT).

I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28; NLT).

The Lord will hold you in his hand (Isaiah 62:3; NLT).

Always before me

Image: K. Mitch Hodge, Unsplash



You go before me (Psalm 139:5; NLT).

1. Lord,
May your pattern
Be always before me,
Helping me face
All my tears.

2. Lord,
May your courage
Be always before me,
Helping me face
All my fears.

3. Lord,
May your patience
Be always before me,
Helping me face
All my pain.

4. Lord,
May your Spirit
Be always before me,
Lighting my way
With your flame.

 


References

1. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps (1 Peter 2:21; NLT).

While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death (Hebrews 5:7; NLT).

2. Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39; NIV).

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 me and comfort me (Psalm 23:4; NLT).

3. May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ (2 Thessalonians 3:5; NKJV).

Since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too (1 Peter 4:1; NLT).

4. I will pour out my Spirit upon all people (Joel 2:28; NLT).

The Holy One will be a flame (Isaiah 10:17; NLT).

He lit up the way before me and I walked safely through the darkness (Job 29:3; NLT).

Send your snow

Image: Richard Todd, Pixabay


I send good times and bad times (Isaiah 45:7; NLT).

Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble? (Job 2:10; NIV).

1. Send your snow,
Your frost, your hail –
But help me, Lord,
For I am frail.

2. Send your storm,
Your rain, your gale –
But keep me on
Your narrow trail.

3. Send your pain,
Your darkest vale –
But comfort me,
Or I will fail.

4. Send your cross,
Each blow, each nail –
With you beside me,
I’ll prevail.

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble, or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? […] No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today not our worries about tomorrow – not even the powers of hell can separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:35-9; NLT).

Image: Dimitris Vetsikas, Pixabay

References

1. He sends his snow like white wool; he scatters frost upon the ground like ashes. He hurls the hail like stones. Who can stand against his freezing cold? (Psalm 147:16-17; NLT).

Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am frail (Psalm 6:2; NET).

2. He sends the lightening with the rain and releases the wind from his storehouses (Jeremiah 10:13; NLT).

By day the pillar of cloud did not fail to guide them on their path, not the pillar of fire by night to shine on the way they were to take (Nehemiah 9:19; NIV).

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

I cried out, “I am slipping!” but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me (Psalm 94:18; NLT).

3. He wounds, he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal (Job 5:18; NIV).

My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen on me. Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me (Psalm 55:4-5; NIV).

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 me and comfort me (Psalm 23:4; NLT).

My heart pounds, my strength fails me; even the light has gone from my eyes (Psalm 38:10; NIV).

4. Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me (Mark 8:34; NIV).

If we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering (Romans 8:17; NLT).

I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me (Psalm 16:8; NLT).

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

Open our eyes

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

Lord,

1. Open our eyes,
So we see your face
In all we greet.

2. Open our minds,
So we know your pain
In those we meet.

3. Open our hearts,
So we share your love
With all mankind.

4. Open our souls,
So we cease, at last, Lord,
To be blind.

 

Image: Andi Graf, Pixabay


References

1. “Lord,” they said to him, “open our eyes” (Matthew 20:33; CSB).

Let me see your face (Song of Songs 2:14; NLT).

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

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

2. Then he opened their minds (Luke 24:45; NLT).

If we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering (Romans 8:17; NLT).

Mourn with those who mourn (Romans 12:15; NRSV).

3. The Lord opened her heart (Acts 16:14; NLT).

Love your neighbour as yourself (Luke 10:27; NLT).

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

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

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

4. I will open the windows of heaven for you (Malachi 3:10; NLT).

He restored sight to many who were blind (Luke 7:21; NLT).

Jesus doesn’t ask me

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We do not have a high priest who is unable to empathise with our weaknesses,
but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are –
yet he did not sin (Hebrews 4:15; NIV). 

1. Jesus doesn’t ask me
To go anywhere he hasn’t been,
Or to walk his narrow path alone.

2. Jesus doesn’t ask me
To face anything he hasn’t feared,
Or to cope with anguish on my own.

3. Jesus doesn’t ask me
To bear anything he hasn’t borne,
Or to suffer pain without his care.

4. Jesus doesn’t ask me
To love anyone he doesn’t love:
Instead, he waits to take my hand, and share.

 


References

1. Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness (Matthew 4:1; NLT).

I am with you always (Matthew 28:20; NLT).

2. He became anguished and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death” (Matthew 26:37-8; NLT).

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

3. When they came to the place called The Skull, they nailed him to the cross (Luke 23:33; NLT).

He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows (Isaiah 53:4; NIV).

4. Love your enemies (Matthew 5:44; NIV).

Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing (Luke 23:34; NLT).

God gives

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1. God gives us love,
So we can give back worship.

2. He gives us light,
So we can see our guilt.

3. God gives us truth,
So can grow in wisdom.

4. He gives us peace
Through Christ, whose blood was spilt.

5. God gives us faith,
So we can be united.

6. He gives us pain,
So we can learn to trust.

7. God gives us hope,
So we can build endurance.

8. He gives us grace
Through Christ, whose rule is just.

 


References

1. We love because he first loved us (1 John 4:19: NIV).

Worship the Lord in all his holy splendour (1 Chronicles 16:29; NLT).

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

I know my transgressions and my sin is always before me (Psalm 51:3; NIV).

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

All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom (Psalm 111:10; NLT).

4. There is peace with God through Jesus Christ (Acts 10:36; NLT).

5. 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 pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one (John 17:21; NLT).

6. I am the one who wounds and heals (Deuteronomy 32:39; NLT).

Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me (John 14:1; NLT).

7. This letter is from Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, appointed by the command of God our Saviour and Christ Jesus, who gives us hope (1 Timothy 1:1; NLT).

When your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow (James 1:3; NLT).

8. Be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 2:1; NLT).

I judge as God tells me. Therefore my judgement is just (John 5:30; NLT).

Bright star

Image: Andrew Coles, Pixabay


1. Bright star,
Bright Son,
Bright life,
Bright light.

2. Dark dread,
Dark prayer,
Dark deed,
Dark night.

3. Black scorn,
Black pain,
Black death,
Black day.

4. New faith,
New hope,
New love:
New Way!


References

1. The star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was (Matthew 2:9; NLT).

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 (Isaiah 9:6; NLT).

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

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

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).

The traitor, Judas, had given them a pre-arranged signal: “You will know which one to arrest when I greet him with a kiss. Then you can take him away under guard.” As soon as they arrived, Judas walked up to Jesus. “Rabbi!” he exclaimed, and gave him the kiss. Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him (Mark 14:44-46; NLT).

3. “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself! So he is the King of Israel, is he? Let him come down from the cross right now, and we will believe in him!” (Matthew 27:42; NLT).

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).

Jesus called out with a loud voice […] “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” […] Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed his last (Mark 15:34,37; NLT).

By this time was about noon, and darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock (Luke 23:44; NLT).

4. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed. Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me” (John 20:27-9; NLT).

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3; CSB).

I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other (John 13:34; NLT).

Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit (Romans 7:6; NLT).

Be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him (Colossians 3:10; NLT).

Loving you

Image: Sebi6000, Pixabay; wording: RK


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

1. Lord,
I share my joy with you,
Loving you with all my mind,
Worshipping your holy name,
And praising you, for you are kind.

2. Lord,
I share my fear with you,
Loving you with all my might,
Putting all my faith in you,
And clinging to you day and night.

3. Lord,
I share my sin with you,
Loving you with all my heart,
Trusting in your clemency,
And knowing you will take my part.

4. Lord,
I share my pain with you,
Loving you with all my soul,
Resting in your tender arms,
And trusting you to make me whole.

 


References

1. Love the Lord your God […] with all your mind (Luke 10:27; NLT).

Your name is holy! (Psalm 99:3; NLT). 

How kind the Lord is! (Psalm 116:5; NLT). 

2. Love the Lord your God […] with all your might (Deuteronomy 6:5; RSV).

Your mercy is so plentiful (Psalm 69:16; NLT).

I cling to you (Psalm 63:8; NLT).

3. Love the Lord your God with all your heart (Deuteronomy 6:5; RSV).

He forgives all my sins (Psalm 103:2-4; NLT).

4. Love the Lord your God […] with all your soul (Deuteronomy 6:5; RSV).

The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you (Deuteronomy 33:27; NLT).

His hands make whole (Job 5:18; NKJV).