9.10.22: Let it be

Context: As my energy dwindles, I’m becoming less able to receive and write new material every day. This means I sometimes have to use a piece I wrote a while ago.

I always try to choose the most appropriate, and to bring it up to date as best I can. However, it’s hard not to feel a sense of letting you all down when I do so.

Early yesterday morning, while I was praying, I realised that it’s not a personal failure when I don’t receive and write something new. In fact such days can be extremely helpful, because they give me time to process and absorb what God has already shown me. It can also be a relief to rest more that day, without the pressure of having to express something new in words.

Later on, whilst saying grace over my breakfast, I found myself ending my prayer with these words: “Let it be unto me according to thy will.”

When I looked this phrase up, I discovered that it is not a direct quote from any of the Bibles I use, though this had been my working assumption. Instead, it draws on four separate verses:

  • Mary’s response to the angel at the Annunciation: “Be it unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38; KJV).
  • The sentence given to us by Christ when he taught us how to pray: “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10; RSV).
  • Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, as he fully faced the inevitability of the cross: “I want your will to be done, not mine” (Matthew 26:39; NLT).
  • Simeon’s prayer when he took Jesus in his arms at the presentation in the temple: “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word” (Luke 2:29; KJV).

I plan to incorporate the first three of these verses into my prayers every day, and to use Simeon’s dedication as I’m dying. But may my last words be Christ’s final cry on the cross: “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46; KJV).


Reading: Luke 2:21-32; NLT

Eight days later, when the baby was circumcised, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel even before he was conceived.

Then it was time for their purification offering, as required by the law of Moses after the birth of a child; so his parents took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.

The law of the Lord says, “If a woman’s first child is a boy, he must be dedicated to the Lord.” So they offered the sacrifice required in the law of the Lord – “either a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.

That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!”

7.10.22: Here I am

Context: Yesterday I woke up very late. Whilst I lay still, praying without words and longing to see into my soul again, this prayer arrived:

Here I am. Did you call me? (1 Samuel 3:5; NLT). 

Here I am, Lord. Did you call me?
Speak: I long to hear your voice.

You are all in all to me, Lord,
Speak, for I have made my choice –

You’re my faith, my hope, my Saviour,
You’re my God, my great High Priest;

You’re my bread, my living water,
You’re my wine, my inner peace;

You’re my fire, my strength, my spirit,
You’re the light within my soul;

You’re my way, my truth, my life,
And you’re the One who makes me whole.

Jesus, though I’m weak and sinful,
You will come to set me free –

Speak; your servant, Lord, is listening,
And you’re everything to me.

Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening (1 Samuel 3:9; NIV).

Yes, 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).


 Reading: 1 Samuel 3:1-10; NIV.

The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions.

One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the LORD, where the ark of God was.

Then the LORD called Samuel. Samuel answered, “Here I am.” And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down.

Again the LORD called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” “My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.”

Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.

A third time the LORD called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy.

So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

Jesus (#2 of 3)


Have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.

(Philippians 2:5; NIV).

Jesus, my Shepherd,
I want to be kind,
Helping others, like you:
Lord, please give me your mind.

Jesus, my Saviour,
I’m trying to start,
Yet again, to love all:
Lord, please give me your heart.

Jesus, my Teacher,
I long to be whole,
Serving others, like you:
Lord, please give me your soul.

Jesus, my Master,
Your might is immense,
And I am so small:
Lord, please give me your strength.

🖤

Give your strength to your servant.
(Psalm 86:16; NLT).


I’d like to be your helper

Stop and help
(Exodus 23: NLT).

I’d like to be your helper, Lord,
Befriending one and all.

I’d like to be your servant, Lord,
Assisting those who fall.

I’d like to be your slave, Lord,
Loving stranger, friend, and foe,

But I’m happy to be nothing, Lord –
The lowest of the low.

I am nothing
(Job 40:4; NLT).

You will be brought low; from the earth you will speak, and from the dust where you are prostrate your words will come. Your voice will also be like that of a spirit from the ground, and your speech will whisper from the dust
(Isaiah 294; NASB 1995).

I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people
(Ephesians 3:8; NIV).

_____________________________

I’m not fit

I am not fit to stoop down
and untie the thong of his sandals
(Mark 1:7; NASB 1995).

I’m not fit to walk beside you,
Yet I follow, close behind.

I’m not fit to worship you, Lord,
Yet I dare, for you are kind.

I’m not fit to gaze upon you,
Yet I long to see your face.

I’m not fit, Lord, to address  you,
Yet I trust your love and grace.

I’m not fit to touch your sandal,
Yet I dare to kiss your feet.

I’m not fit to be your servant,
Yet I sit with you, and eat.

I’m not fit to ask your help, Lord,
Yet you share my pain and fear.

I’m not fit to have you living in my heart,
Yet you are here.

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

Like a holy angel

Image: Henry Tanner, Yandex


1. Like a holy angel,
Like a child of God,
Jesus, may I follow you
Along the path you trod.

2. Like a faithful servant,
Like a humble slave,
Jesus, may I follow you,
And share the price you paid.

3. Like a good disciple,
Like a loyal friend,
Jesus, may I follow you
Until life’s bitter end.

 


References

1. Angels came and took care of Jesus (Matthew 4:11; NLT).

To all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12; NLT).

“Come, follow me” Jesus said (Matthew 4:19; NIV).

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

2. Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities (Matthew 25:21; NLT).

Whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else (Mark 10:44; NLT).

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

3. Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34; NIV).

A friend is always loyal (Proverbs 17:17; NLT).

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).

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

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46; NIV).

When Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit (Matthew 27:50; NIV).

The Lover and the Loved

“My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed (John 20:28; NLT).

1. Lord,
You are the Lover,
And the Loved.

2. Lord,
You are the Servant,
And the Served.

3. Lord,
You are the Giver,
And the Gift.

4. Lord,
You are the Spokesman,
And the Word.

References

1. My beloved is mine and I am his (Song of Songs 2:16; NIV).

2. The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others (Mark 10:45; NLT).

Serve the Lord (Psalm 2:11; 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).

This is my body, which is given for you (Luke 22:19; NLT).

4. I will speak to you in parables. I will explain things hidden since the creation of the world (Matthew 13:35; NLT).

His name is The Word of God (Revelation 19:13; NIV).