Gifts

Always rejoice. Pray constantly. Give thanks in all circumstances.
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; NIV).

I create the light and make the darkness. I send good times and bad times. I, the Lord, am the one who does these things (Isaiah 45:7, NLT).

Thank you, God, for all your gifts –
The ‘good’ ones, and the ‘bad’,

The gifts that make my heart rejoice;
The gifts which make me sad;

The gifts that bring me pleasure,
And the gifts which bring me pain –

For you bring good from everything
For those who love your name.

Should we accept only good things from the hand of God, and never anything bad? (Job 2:10; NLT).

We know that God make everything work together for the good of those who love God (Romans 8:28; TIV).

God’s presence

I walk in the Lord’s presence as I live here on earth.
(Psalm 116:9; NLT). 

Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances.
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; NIV).

🌺 To live in God’s presence is rejoice all the time, and to rejoice all the time is to live in his presence. Nothing in life or death can ever separate us from his love, which is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

🌺 To live in God’s presence is to pray constantly, and to pray constantly is to live in his presence. There is nothing we can ever feel, think, say, or do that we don’t share with him, and that he doesn’t share with us.

🌺 To live in God’s presence is to give thanks in all circumstances, and to give thanks in all circumstances is to live in him. There is nothing we can ever experience that he doesn’t send, and from which he will not bring good.

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


References

Let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts, fully trusting him (Hebrews 10:20-22; NLT).

Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence (Ephesians 3:12; NLT).

Nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow – not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 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 8:38-9; NLT).

I create the light and make the darkness. I send good times and bad times. I, the Lord, am the one who does these things (Isaiah 45:7, NLT).

Gain and loss

Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will leave this life.
The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord (Job 1:21; CSB).

Rejoice always, pray continually,
give thanks in all circumstances
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; NIV). 

Lord,
You give me all I have,
And also take away:
May I welcome every loss
With praise and thanks, each day.

Lord,
You give me all I have,
And also take away:
May I learn from all you send,
Grow, serve you, and obey.

Lord,
You give me all I have,
And also take away:
May I trust you, cling, rejoice,
And never cease to pray.

Lord,
You give me all I have,
And also take away:
So, I beg you to bring good
From all things, come what may.

We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him,
those whom he has called according to his purpose
(Romans 8:28; GNT).

Celtic Christianity (#1 of 2)

Pray about everything (Philippians 4:6; NLT).

Pray throughout each task you do:
Ask the Lord to strengthen you.
Extol his name both night and day,
And glorify him, come what may.

Care for everyone you meet.
Welcome sickness and defeat.
Adore creation, sing, rejoice,
And listen for his still, small voice.

Grasp how life and death combine:
Play your part in God’s design.
Accept that everything must cease,
And revel in his perfect peace.

Worship; value all he sends.
Thank him when your time here ends,
Then leave your body far behind –
Return to God: bliss unconfined!

Into your hands I commit my spirit (Psalm 31:5; NIV).

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

A step ahead

The Lord went ahead of them (Exodus 13:21; NLT). 

1. Lord,
You’re just a step ahead:
My hope, my strength, my wine, my bread;
I want to learn from all you said
And serve you.

2. Lord,
You’re always very near:
My help, when I am faced with fear;
I want to follow, thank, revere
And serve you.

3. Lord,
You’re just a breath away:
My light, my truth, my life, my way;
May I grow more like you each day
And serve you.

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


References

1. My hope is in you (Psalm 39:7; CSB). 

The sovereign Lord is my source of strength Habakkuk 3 10; NET).

He took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people – an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this to remember me as often as you drink it” (1 Corinthians 11:25; NLT). 

I am the living bread that came down from from heaven (John 6:51; NLT).

Learn from me (Matthew 11:29; NIV). 

Serve only the Lord your God (Deuteronomy 13:4. NLT). 

2. We give thanks because you are near, Lord (Psalm 75:1; NLT). 

God is my help (Psalm 54:4; NIV). 

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you (Psalm 56:3; NIV). 

Follow me and be my disciple (Matthew 9:9; NLT).

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

Let all the people of the world revere him (Psalm 33:8; NIV).

Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all (Mark 9:35; NIV).

3. The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life (Job 33:4; NLT).

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

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

The Lord – who is the Spirit – makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image (2 Corinthians 3:18; NLT). 

Serve the Lord with all your heart (1 Samuel 12:20; NIV). 

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

Worship (#2 of 2)


Moses pleaded with the Lord,
“O Lord, I’m not very good with words”
(Exodus 4:10; NLT). 

1. How I wish I had the words
To praise the Father I adore,
But I can only whisper:
Lord,
You love me evermore. 

2. How I wish I had the words
To thank the Saviour I revere,
But I can only murmur:
Lord,
You listen; you are here. 

3. How I wish I had the words
To worship God, my heart’s desire,
But I can only stammer:
Lord,
You set my heart on fire.

Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us?
(Luke 24:32; NLT).


References 

1. Lift up holy hands in prayer, and praise the Lord (Psalm 134:2; NLT).

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

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

The Lord listens (Psalm 69:33; CSB). 

God is with us (2 Chronicles 13:12; NIV). 

You make me glad by being near to me (Psalm 16:11; CEV). 

3. Bow down and worship the Lord (Ezekiel 46:3; NLT).

The Lord your God is a raging fire (Deuteronomy 4:24; GWT).  

Please help me

Serve the Lord your God (Deuteronomy 13:4; NLT).

1. Please help me, Lord,
To serve, not sin,
To follow Christ,
Your Shepherd King,
Love everyone
Like kith and kin,
And bear my cross
Each day

2. Please help me
To grow more like him,
Obey his quiet voice
Within,
Rejoice, give thanks
For everything,
And never cease
To pray.

Never stop praying (1 Thessalonians 5:17; NLT).


References 

1. Do not sin (Psalm 4:4; NIV). 

Follow me and be my disciple (Matthew 9:9; NLT). 

I am the good shepherd (John 10:14; NLT).

He is Lord of lords and King of kings (Revelation 17:14; NIV). 

Love your neighbour as yourself (James 2:8; NLT).

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

You, too, must show love to foreigners (Deuteronomy 10:19; NLT).

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

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).

2. We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ (Ephesians 4:15; NLT).

Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him (Deuteronomy 13:4; NLT). 

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

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

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

More questions

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

1. What makes life on earth worth living?

Loving people, and forgiving;
Prayer, rejoicing, and thanksgiving –
Letting Jesus in.

2. What makes faith in Christ worth choosing? 

Peace, despite the world’s abusing;
Gain, in spite of all we’re losing –
Following our King.

3. What makes trouble worth enduring?

Learning, growing, and maturing;
Meeting others, helping – turning
Minds and souls to Him.

4. What makes Jesus’ way worth taking?  

Service, though our hearts are breaking –
So, choose Christ, all else forsaking,
And unite with Him.

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 3:9; NLT).


References 

1. My life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus – the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God (Acts 20:24; NLT). 

Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; RSV).

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

Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends (Revelation 3:20; NLT).

2. Choose today whom you will serve (Joshua 24:15; NLT).

I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid (John 14:27; NLT).

Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will leave this life. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord (Job 1:21; CSB). 

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).

On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords (Revelation 19:16; NLT).

3. When troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow (James 1:2-3; NLT).

God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him (James 1:12; NLT).

Grow to maturity (2 Corinthians 13:11; NLT).

Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else (Mark 9:35; NLT).

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

Each of you must repent and turn to God, and be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; NLT).

4. Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine (Luke 22:42; NLT). 

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

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

You also are complete through your union with Christ (Colossians 2:10; NLT). 

Suffering

God teaches people through suffering
and uses distress to open their eyes.
(Job 36:15; GNT). 

1. You teach, and train, and test us all
By sending good and ill –

2. We only hurt ourselves, Lord,
When we fight against your will.

3. May we accept our suffering
With joy, and thanks, and prayer,

4. Trusting you to help us grow in love,
Through all we bear.


References

1. The Lord your God is testing you to see if you truly love him with all your heart and soul (Deuteronomy 13:3; NLT).

Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both good and ill go forth? (Lamentations 3:38; NASB95).

When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other (Ecclesiastes 7:14; NIV). 

2. It is useless for you to fight against my will (Acts 26:14; NLT). 

You are hurting yourself by kicking against the goads (Acts 26:14; NET). 

It’s foolish to fight against me! (Acts 26:14; CEV). 

Submit to God and be at peace with him (Job 22:21; NIV).

3. This is my intense suffering, but I must bear it (Jeremiah 10:19; CSB). 

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; NLT).

4. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God (2 Corinthians 1:3-4; NIV).


 

Sharing

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

1. Take up your cross without complaint.
Shoulder it with perfect love.
Bear it well, and serve, like Christ –
Then you will share his sacrifice.

2. Take up your cross; submit to God.
Shoulder it with constant prayer.
Bear it well, and do not sin –
Then you will share one mind with him.

3. Take up your cross, for God is near.
Shoulder it with thanks and joy.
Bear it well till life must cease –
Then you will share his perfect peace.

4. Take up your cross, as Jesus did.
Shoulder it with hope and praise.
Bear it well: it sets you free –
Then you will share his victory. 

Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne.
(Revelation 3:21; NLT).


References 

1. 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).

The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45; NLT).

Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies (2 Corinthians 4:10; NLT). 

Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me (Matthew 10:38; NIV). 

2. Submit to God and be at peace with him (Job 22:21; NIV). 

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

We have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16; NLT).

3. He is not far from any one of us (Acts 17:27; NIV).

Always be joyful … Be thankful in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:16,18; NLT).

I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid (John 14:27; NLT).

4. As we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too (2 Corinthians 1:5; RSV). 

Rejoice in so far as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed (1 Peter 4:13; RSV). 

Overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us (Romans 8:37; NLT).