Life, death, and heaven


Image: Lenka Novotná, Pixabay


 

1. Life means stretching thin our eternal oneness with God, in order to be born into a unique and fragile body, here, on earth.

2. Life means longing for our original union with him, and searching everywhere, until we find him at last, waiting within our soul.

3. Life means learning to love everyone, without exception, because God dwells in us all, and loves us all very deeply.

4. Death means leaving our failing, mortal body, to reunite with him for evermore –

5. And this is Heaven.

 


References

1. I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5; NLT).

2. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him? Psalm 42:2; NLT).

All night long I search for you; in the morning I earnestly seek for God (Isaiah 26:9; NLT).

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

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

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

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).

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

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

You have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you (1 John 2:27; NLT).

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. He knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust. Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows, and we are gone – as though we had never been here. But the love of the Lord remains forever with those who fear him (Psalm 103:14-17; NLT).

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

I will live in the house of the Lord forever (Psalm 23:6; NLT).

Today you will be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43; NLT).

Healing

Image: Alok Timsina, Pixabay


Seek peace (Psalm 34:14; NIV).

1. Healing is a painful, lifelong journey:
A pilgrimage
In search of inner peace.

2. I struggle up the path to my next insight;
What joy to reach the top,
And what relief!

3. But every crest reveals a higher mountain,
And more beyond,
As far as I can see,

4. Until, at last, I glimpse my destination:
The hill, Lord, where you died
To set me free.


References

1. He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds (Psalm 147:3; NLT).

Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage […] They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion (Psalm 84:5,7; NIV).

I search for peace (Psalm 120:7; NLT).

2. Send out your light and your truth; let them guide me. Let them lead me to your holy mountain, to the place where you live (Psalm 43:3; NLT).

Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand (Philippians 4:7; NLT).

3. The mountain of the Lord’s house will be the highest of all (Isaiah 2:2; NLT).

4. It is high and magnificent; the whole earth rejoices to see it! Mount Zion, the holy mountain, is the city of the great King! (Psalm 48:2; NLT).

They brought Jesus to a place called Golgotha […] Then the soldiers nailed him to the cross (Mark 15:22,24; NLT).

Christ […] has died as a ransom to set them free (Hebrews 9:15; NIV).

If the Son sets you free, you are truly free (John 8:36; NLT).

I pray for all

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

1. Lord,
I pray for all the sick,
For those who tend and care;
For all the dying, all the dead,
And those left 
In despair.

2. Lord,
I pray for all who search
For your beloved Son;
And those who don’t believe in you,
Though you love everyone.


References

1. Pray for one another (James 5:16; NLT).

My grief is beyond healing; my heart is broken (Jeremiah 8:18; NLT).

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

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

Search me, Lord

Image: Susanne Jutzeler, Pixabay

Search me, O God, and know my heart (Psalm 139:23; NLT).

1. Search me, Lord,
Then live within,
And help me fight
Each urge to sin.

2. Search my mind,
I beg you; stay
To help me keep
Mean thoughts at bay.

3. Search my heart,
Remain; invest
In me, and help me
Face each test.

4. Search my soul,
Make it your home,
Then, Lord, I’ll be
Your flesh and bone.


References

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

Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak (Mark 14:38; NLT).

2. I, the Lord, search the heart and examine the mind (Jeremiah 17:10; NIV).

We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5; NIV).

3. The Lord tests the heart (Proverbs 17:3; NLT).

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

4. The word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12; NIV).

Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them” (John 14:23; NLT).

All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it (1 Corinthians 12:27; NLT).

The Spirit of God lives in you (1 Corinthians 3:16; NLT).

We look for you

God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.
(1 John 4:16; NLT).

1. Lord,
We look for you
Beyond ourselves:

2. Searching,
Longing,

3. Thirsting
Day by day;

4. When all the time
You dwell, Lord God,
Within us:

5. For you are
Our soul,

6. Our life, our truth,
Our way.

References

1. God looks down from heaven on all mankind (Psalm 53:2; NIV).

2. All night long I search for you; in the morning I earnestly seek for God (Isaiah 26:9; NLT).

I long for you, O God (Psalm Psalm 42:1; NLT).

3. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God (Psalm 42:2; NKJV).

Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer (Psalm 22;2; NLT).

4. You are the temple of the living God (Luke 17:21; NKJV).

The kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21; NKJV).

5. There is a spirit within people, the breath of the Almighty within them (Job 32:8; NLT).

You have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you (1 John 2:27; NLT).

Christ lives within you (Romans 8:10; NLT).

6. I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6; NLT).

Our way of life


You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self […];
to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self,
created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
(Ephesians 4:22-4; NIV).

1. Father God,
May constant prayer
Become our way of life.

2. Father,
May the search for peace and truth
Be our delight.

3. Father,
May our simple acts of care
Set hearts aflame.

4. Father,
May we spread your love,
So others bless your name.

References

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

You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence (Psalm 16:11; NLT).

2. Search for peace, and work to maintain it (Psalm 34:14; NLT).

Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone (Romans 12:18; NLT).

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

The meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace (Psalm 37:11; NKJV).

3. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love (Hebrews 10:24; NLT).

4. 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; NIV).

May everyone on earth bless his holy name forever and ever (Psalm 145:21; NLT).

Pilgrimage (#2 of 2 linked prayers)

Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
(Psalm 84:5; NIV).

1. May I live, Lord,
In your strength,
Throughout my pilgrimage
On earth.

2. May I wander
In your mind,
Discovering
Your Son’s great worth.

3. May I search, Lord,
In your heart,
Until I find
Your Spirit’s grace.

4. May I shelter
In your soul,
So I can gaze
On your dear face.

References

1. The Lord is my strength (Exodus 15:2; NLT).

2. This is my dearly loved Son. Listen to him (Mark 9:7; NLT).

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

4. Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91:1; NLT).

I gaze on you in the sanctuary to see your strength and your glory (Psalm 63:2; CSB).

I will see you face to face and be satisfied (Psalm 17:15; NLT).

Prayer

1. I praise you, Lord,
And plead with you;
Worship you,
And wait for you.

2. I serve you, Lord,
And search for you;
Honour you,
And hope in you.

3. I trust you, Lord,
And thirst for you;
Cherish you,
And cry to you.

4. I love you, Lord,
And long for you;
Rejoice in you,
And run to you.

References

1. I praise you, O Lord (Psalm 119:12; NLT).
I plead for the Lord’s mercy (Psalm 142:1; NLT).
I worship the Lord (Jonah 1:9; NLT).
I wait for you (Psalm 59:9; NLT).

2. I serve you (Psalm 86:2; NLT).
I search for you (Isaiah 26:9; NLT).
I honour my Father (John 8:49; NLT).
I put my hope in you (Psalm 25:5; NLT).

3. I trust in you, my God (Psalm 25:2; NLT).
I thirst for God (Psalm 42:2; NLT).
We adore you (1 Chronicles 29:11; NLT).
I cry to you (Psalm 61:2; NLT).

4. I love you, Lord (Psalm 18:1; NLT).
I long for you, O God (Psalm 42:1; NLT).
I rejoice in the Lord (Psalm 104:34; NLT).
I run to you (Psalm 143:9; NLT).

Be mine

Be mine,
By loving me completely;

Be mine,
By following my Son.

Be mine,
By caring for your neighbour;

Be mine,
By loving everyone.

Be mine,
By seeking me each morning;

Be mine,
By searching for my face.

Be mine,
By growing more like Jesus;

Be mine –
And share the riches of my grace.

References

They shall be mine, says the Lord of Hosts (Malachi 3:17; ESV).

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

In him we have redemption through his blood […] according to the riches of his grace which he lavished upon us (Ephesians 1:7-8; RSV).

Your presence in others (1)

The blogs posted today and tomorrow are mirror images. Today’s is about us seeing God in other people. Tomorrow’s will be about other people seeing God in us.

 

When I’m with a neighbour
May I recognise
Your presence in them, Lord,
Then I will see you in their eyes.

When I greet a stranger
May I keep in mind
Your presence in them, Lord,
So I will search for you, and find.

When I meet a foreigner
May I understand
Your presence in them, Lord,
Then I will offer them my hand.

When somebody hurts me
May I recollect
Your presence in them, Lord,
As I forgive, and reconnect.

 

References

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

Their eyes were opened, and they recognised him (Luke 24:31; NLT).

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

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

Love ye therefore the stranger (Deuteronomy 10:19; KJV).

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

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

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it (Hebrews 13:2; NIV).