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).

I love you

Image: Arek Socha, Pixabay


Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them
(1 John 4:16; NIV).

1. I love you,
And you love me:
You sent your Son
To set me free.

2. You love me,
And I love you:
I’ll share our love
In all I do.

3. I love you,
And you love me:
You hear my prayers,
Each sigh, each plea.

4. You love me,
And I love you:
I’ll spread our love
Like falling dew.

 


References

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

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

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, and that the oppressed will be set free (Luke 4:18; NLT).

2. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind. [And] Love your neighbour as yourself (Luke 10:27; NLT).

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. He hears my voice and my prayer for mercy (Psalm 116:1; NLT).

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).

4. Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone (Mark 16:15; NLT).

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us (2 Corinthians 1:4, NLT).

They will be like dew sent by the Lord, or like rain falling on the grass, which no one can hold back and no one can restrain (Micah 5:7; NLT).

Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants (Deuteronomy 32:2; NIV).

Prayer

Image: Pexels, Pixabay


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

1. Prayer is less about speaking,
And more about listening.

2. Less about asking,
And more about trusting.

3. Less about wanting,
And more about caring.

4. Less about needing,
And more about sharing.


References

1. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord (Psalm 139:4; NLT).

Listen to his voice (Deuteronomy 13:4; NLT).

2. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him (Matthew 6:8; NIV).

Trust in him at all times (Psalm 62:8; NLT).

3. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (Psalm 23:1; KJV).

You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind. And, Love your neighbour as yourself (Luke 10:27; NLT).

4. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need (Matthew 6:33; NLT).

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

I glimpse your glory

Image: Fathromi Ramdlon, Pixabay

They could see the awesome glory of the Lord
in the cloud (Exodus 16:10; NLT).


1. Lord,
I glimpse your glory in the skies:
Your planets, clouds and stars,
Your sun and moon.

2. Lord,
I sense your beauty in the earth:
Your forests, hills and valleys,
Flower-strewn.

3. Lord,
I feel your power in the sea:
Your currents, waves and storms,
Your ebb and flood.

4. Lord,
I know your presence in my prayers:
Your still, small voice, your light,
Warmth, peace and love.


Sovereign Lord, you made the heavens and earth
and the sea, and everything in them
(Acts 4:24; NIV).


References

1. The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands (Psalm 19:1; NIV).

2. From Mount Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth (Psalm 50:2; NIV).

3. By his power he churned up the sea (Job 26:12; NIV).

4. You are the temple of the living God (2 Corinthians 6:16; NLT).

After the fire [came] a still small voice (1 Kings 19:12; KJV).

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

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

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

To pray

Image: jplenio, Pixabay

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

1. To pray
Is to stand in God’s presence.

2. To pray
Is to walk in his light.

3. To pray
Is to glimpse his transcendence.

4. To pray
Is to share his delight.

5. To pray
Is to know his forgiveness.

6. To pray
Is to learn what is good.

7. To pray
Is to savour his kindness.

8. To pray
Is to live in his love.


References

1. Stand in silence in the presence of the Sovereign Lord (Zephaniah 1:7; NLT).

2. I can walk in your presence, O God, in your life-giving light (Psalm 56:13; NLT).

3. Transcendent power belongs to God (2 Corinthians 4:7; RSV).

4. He will take great delight in you (Zephaniah 3:17; NIV).

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

6. You are good and do only good; teach me your decrees (Psalm 119:68; NLT).

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

8. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them (1 John 4:16; 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)

From beginning to end

Image: Rita Bernhardt, Pixabay

Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets,
he [Jesus] explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures
concerning himself (Luke 24:27; NIV).

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end
(Revelation 21:6; NET).

1. I wish I could walk with you, Lord,
In the cool evening breeze,

2. Then talk with you over a meal,
As we sit at our ease.

3. I wish I could follow your passion,
And stay, Lord, to weep,

4. Then cling to your cold, lifeless hands, Lord,
And kiss your poor feet.

5. I wish I could meet you, then watch
As you break bread, and share,

6. Then gaze on your face, Lord, astonished,
And join you in prayer.

7. I wish I could see your ascension,
And hail your return,

8. Then witness your Kingdom on earth –
But, instead, I must yearn.


References

1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1; NIV).

When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden (Genesis 3:8; NLT).

2. One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so Jesus went to his home and sat down to eat (Luke 7:36; NLT).

3. As they led Jesus away, a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, happened to be coming in from the countryside. The soldiers seized him and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. A large crowd trailed behind, including many grief-stricken women (Luke 23:26; NLT).

Jesus’ friends, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching (Luke 23:49; NLT).

4. He took the body down from the cross and wrapped it in a long sheet of linen cloth and laid it in a new tomb that had been carved out of rock […] As his body was taken away, the women of Galilee followed and saw the tomb where his body was placed (Luke 23:53,55; NLT).

5. By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, but they begged him, “Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So he went home with them. As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them…

6. …Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognised him (Luke 24:28-31; NLT).

7. When the Lord Jesus had finished talking with them, he was taken up into heaven and sat down in the place of honour at God’s right hand (Mark 16:19; NLT).

You, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return (Matthew 25:13; NLT).

8. Just as my Father has granted me a Kingdom, I now grant you the right to eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom (Luke 22:29-30; NLT).

Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens, “It has come at last – salvation and power and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ” (Revelation 12:10; NLT).

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

Prayer

Image: Pixabay

Pour out your heart to him (Psalm 62:8; NLT).

1. Prayer is worship,
Thanks, rejoicing;
Prayer is sorrow,
Fear, and pain.

2. Prayer is spending time
With Jesus,
As he loosens
Every chain.

3. Prayer is mercy,
Love, and healing;
Prayer is sharing
Every sin.

4. Prayer is being one
With Jesus,
So that we can grow
Like him.


References

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

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

Rejoice always (1 Thessalonians 5:16; RSV).

I weep with sorrow (Psalm 119:28; NLT).

He will calm all your fears (Zephaniah 3:17; NLT).

Feel my pain (Psalm 25:18; NLT).

2. Pray constantly (1 Thessalonians 5:17; RSV).

He wanted to spend more time with his disciples and teach them (Mark 9:31; NLT).

You have loosed my bonds (Psalm 116:16; NKJV).

He snapped their chains (Psalm 107:14; NLT).

3. His mercy endures forever (Psalm 136:25; NKJV).

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

I am the Lord, who heals you (Exodus 15:27; NIV).

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

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

Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him (Colossians 3:10; NLT).

Questions

Image: Free-Photos, Pixabay

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

1. Lord, is the darkness around you
Produced by my sins?

2. Do they separate me from your presence
By hiding your face?

3. What do you think of my life,
And my lip-service prayers?

4. Lord, if I give up my sins
And return to your way,

5. Will you visit me here, on the earth,
In the cool of the eve,

6. Just as you did in the garden
Where I was conceived?


References

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

2. Your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear (Isaiah 59:2; NIV).

3. The Lord says, “These people say they are mine. They honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing more than man-made rules learned by rote” (Isaiah 29:13; NLT).

4. Repent of your sins and turn to God (Matthew 4:17; NLT).

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

5. When he visits, what shall I answer him? (Job 31:14; HNV). 

The man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day (Genesis 3:8; NIV).

6. God created human beings in his own image (Genesis 1:27; NLT).

I live in you

Image: geralt, Pixabay

All who confess that Jesus is the Son of God
have God living in them, and they live in God
(1 John 4:15; NLT).

1. Lord, my God,
I live in you,
Believe in you,
And trust in you.

2. Lord, my God,
You live in me,
Deliver me,
And comfort me.

3. Lord, my God,
I’m one with you,
Rejoice in you,
And worship you.

4. Lord, my God,
You’re one with me,
Delight in me,
And care for me.


References

1. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them (1 John 4:16; NIV).

Believe in the Lord your God (2 Chronicles 17:14; NLT).

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

2. You are my father, my God, and the protector who delivers me (Psalm 89:26; NET).

You, O Lord, help and comfort me (Psalm 86:17; NLT).

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

Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord (Philippians 3:1; NLT).

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

4. He delights in me (2 Samuel 22:20; NLT).

I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you (Hosea 14:8; NLT).