Whom Will Ye Serve?

 

 

CASESAR’S friends? or friends of Jesus?
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Friends of Caesar! Friends of Jesus!
Take your sides without delay.
If ye pause for man’s forbidding,
Caesar’s friendship ye secure;
If ye do the Father’s bidding,
Scorn, reproach, ye shall endure.

Friends of Caesar! Friends of Jesus!
Stand revealed! your choice declare!
Who in truth two masters pleases?
Who may rival banners bear?
Jesus’ friends account Him precious,
Lose for Him all other gain:
Dearer far the smile of Jesus
Than the praise of worldly men.

Free from Caesar, friends of Jesus!
Stand in phalanx! never fear!
Love, severely tried, increases;
Courage yet! The Lord is near!
Onward still, His name confessing,
Weaving crowns to grace His brow;
Lo! His hands are full of blessing,
Lifted for your succor now.

Caesar’s friends were we, but Jesus
Owns us for His friends to-day!
What! Shall rival friendship please us,
While the Bridegroom is away?
No! through grace would we surrender
Caesar’s things to Caesar’s care,
whilst to God, our God, we render
Filial homage, praise, and prayer.

 

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him — 1 John 2:15

Describing Love

A heart of love is pure and kind.
It knows no evil ways.
It’s jealous not, nor proud in mind.
Its patience never fails.kristamcgeebooks

A heart of love will suffer long
And bear all piercing pain.
It forgives and gives all life long,
Waits not for any gain.

Its manners good, a hopeful love,
So faithful and so true.
Its very root is from above,
The Lord who sees us through.

May each of us desire this heart,
A heart of love divine.
From Christ-like love, let’s not depart.
It’s true love best defined.

Jocelyn Ongdico

Lamb of God

Behold the Lamb of God–John 1: 36.

All of the Lord’s servants should call attention to the Lord and not to themselves. Let us each bend our energies to pointing men to the Lamb of God, and not to self-seeking. Modesty is a gem, wherever found, one of the graces of the Spirit, which all of the Lord’s consecrated ones should seek to have largely developed and well polished. And let us remember that following Jesus, in the best sense, means that we walk in His paths, strive to do as nearly as we are able what He would do today, taking our lessons from what He did and said personally, and from the instructions which He has left for us, through the Apostles, respecting the path of fellowship in His sufferings, the path to glory and reward in His Kingdom.  untitled

Christ is the Lamb of God, because as an unblemished One He was chosen on the tenth of Nisan, and put to death on the fourteenth as the Passover for God’s people. Lamblike He submitted to death; and His blood sprinkling the lintels and doorposts of God’s House, stays the hand of the Second Death from injuring us. Of His roasted flesh it is our privilege to partake with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth and with the bitter herbs of persecution, etc., while we stand girded, shod, with staff in hand for our journey to antitypical Canaan.

Parallel passages: Isa. 45: 22; 65: 1, 2; Heb. 12: 2; Gen. 22: 7, 8; Ex. 12: 3; Isa. 53: 7; John 1: 29; Acts 8: 32; 1 Pet. 1: 19; Rev. 5: 6-14; 14: 1, 4; 19: 7-9; 21: 14, 22, 23; 22: 1, 3.

Questions: Have I this week beheld the Lamb of God? How? With what results?

Daily Heavenly Manna

A PRESENT HELP

THERE is never a day so dreary,
But God can make it bright;
And unto the soul that trusts Him,
He giveth songs in the night.

There is never a path so hidden,
But God will show us the way,
If we seek for the Spirit’s guidance,
And patiently wait and pray.

There is never a cross so heavy,
But the loving hands are there,
Outstretched in tender compassion,
The burden to help us bear.

There is never a heart that is broken,
But the loving Christ can heal;
For the heart that was pierced on Calvary,
Doth still for His people feel.

There is never a life so darkened,
So hopeless and so unblest,
But may be filled with the light of God,
And enter His promised rest.

There is never a sin nor a sorrow,
There is never a care nor a loss,
But that we may carry to Jesus,
And leave at the foot of the cross.

What more can we ask than He’s promised?
(And we know that His Word cannot fail,)
Our refuge when storms are impending,
Our help when temptations assail.

Our Savior, our Friend and Redeemer,
Our portion on earth and in Heaven;
For He who withheld not His own Son,
Hath with Him all things freely given.

Mystery of Life

We walk in a world that is strange and unknown

And in the midst of the crowd we still feel alone82cacd675fc344cc4a9223bc5d501acc

We question our purpose, our part and our place

In this vast land of mystery suspended in space

We probe and explore and try hard to explain

The tumult of thoughts that our minds entertain…

But all of our probings and complex explanations

Of man’s inner feelings and fears and frustrations

Still leave us engulfed in the “mystery of life”

With all of its struggles and suffering and strife,

Unable to fathom what tomorrow will bring –

But there is one truth to which we can cling,

For while life’s a mystery we can’t understand

The “great giver of life” is holding our hand

And safe in His care there is no need for seeing

For “in Him we live and move and have our being.”

Helen Steiner Rice

 

“The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”  Deuteronomy 31:8

 

Photo: Courtesy of Google

Difficult and Unexpected Places

“And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” Acts 9:6

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What do you do, when you find yourself in a difficult and unexpected place? When you’re stuck and stewing in the when, where and what’s next?

Well, in the above referenced passage of scripture, Saul found himself in a very difficult place too. He needed to make a decision after meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus.

Suddenly, the location and direction of his life was revealed to him. His prior life perhaps even feeling like a waste.  Yes, moving forward would be difficult and would require hard and uncomfortable work, perhaps even facing those of whom he had ripped apart with his words and actions.  However he responded, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?”

We often find ourselves in unexpected circumstances and places.  In places or circumstances we never planned nor wanted to be.  For some, we may be drowning in debt, inhibited by physical restraints, or suffering under the weight of trials in general.

Whether Jesus finds us today in a prison cell, or a mansion, whether He finds us broken and broke or absorbed by our own desires, Scripture tells us to heed Paul’s advice to forget what lies behind us and to press forward.

Regardless, of where we find ourselves, there is no barrier to moving forward in Christ. Its NEVER too late for a fresh start. Glory Hallelujah!  Trust that there are great and marvelous plans ahead for each of us.  So, lets get on our way and start today.  God has great plans for us.

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Google

Beyond

 

Beyond time, He spoke and created all things
Beyond music, He made all the morning stars sing
Beyond mercy, He called Abram out from his home
Beyond wonder, He gave him a son of his own
Beyond signs, He made Egypt set Israel free
Beyond mighty, He reached out and parted the sea
Beyond sovereign, He called out a people to save
Beyond faithful, He restored them each time they strayed
Beyond grace, when we were yet sinners He gave
Beyond lowly, His only SON, born in a cave
Beyond humble, He cast off His Godly array
Beyond sorrow, He watched as we turned Him away
Beyond love, He went to the cross for my sin
Beyond power, He conquered death and rose again
Beyond pain, beyond suffering, death, and the grave
He reached out to touch me; He came to save.

Sheila Bertrand

A New View of Change

“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me.” John 10:14 

Scripture reference: John 10: 7-18

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We as a people typically dislike any kind of change.  But the change we generally resist is the kind that we think will make our situation worse rather than better.  We eagerly change jobs when it means higher pay and more influence.  We happily move to a bigger house in a better neighborhood.  So it’s not change in general that we dislike; it’s change that seemingly involves loss.  Whether physical, emotional, or psychological.

Change is both inevitable and necessary. If everything was to stay the same, nothing or no one would grow.

But we have a Shepherd who guides us through change and leads us to a better place.  Getting there may be difficult, as it was for the Israelites in reaching the Promise Land.  They complained when their situation got worse rather than better.

However, we have the example of Jesus.

In less than a week, He went from being the leader of many to being abandoned by all.  Between Palm Sunday and Good Friday, our Good Shepherd became the Passover Lamb. Because Christ willingly went through suffering, God elevated Him to the highest place.

Not all change is pleasant, but when we’re being led to a better place by Someone who loves us, we don’t need to fear it.

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Faith in Jesus will keep us steady in the stormy sea of change.  He is with us every step of the way.

Photos Courtesy of: Tiny Buddah, Deniseonforum and Google

After Suffering comes…

Scripture Text: John 16: 17-33  Hebrews 12:2

As we approach  and prepare for the most glorious day of Easter.  Many will be decorating Easter eggs, baskets, and buying new dresses and suits.  Yes, this is most definitely a time to celebrate our Savior. For He has done great and marvelous things for us!

Yet, with all of the preparations, I am reminded of why we celebrate.  The awful pain that Jesus endured for us on that hill at Golgotha, and the pain that we as followers oftentimes endure too.

Just before Jesus went to the cross, He told His followers they were about to go through a time of great pain and sorrow.  The Lord compared their coming experience to that of a woman during childbirth when her anguish turns to joy after her child is born. michael journal

With me giving birth to beautiful children myself, I can most assuredly relate to the pain that accompanies natural childbirth and the joy that follows.

With that in mind, we can all expect that sorrow will come to us all along the road of life.   Jesus endured the cross for us, and in return those who open their hearts to Him, receive forgiveness, redemption and freedom.

His grueling sacrifice accomplished God’s eternal purpose of opening the way to fellowship and friendship with Him, that could not have been obtained any other way. The joy of our Savior outweighed His suffering, just as the joy He gives to us overshadows our pain. No, when we are going thru the pain, we don’t see the joys being produced in and through us.

So as we prepare for this most holy day, may we be mindful that the pain that our Savior endured and the pain that we at times will endure too, won’t last always.

Joy returns after the process, and the sun will shine again!

 

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Photo(s) Courtesy of :

Michael Journal.org

Muskogeeusa.net

 

 

 

The Mystery of Life

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We walk in a world that is strange and unknown
And in the midst of the crowd we still feel alone,
We question our purpose, our part and our place.

In this vast land of mystery suspended in space,
We probe and explore and try hard to explain
The tumult of thoughts that our minds entertain…
But all of our probings and complex explanations
Of man’s inner feelings and fears and frustrations
Still leave us engulfed in the “mystery of life”
With all of its struggles and suffering and strife,
Unable to fathom what tomorrow will bring —
But there is one truth to which we can cling,
For while life’s a mystery we can’t understand
The “great giver of life” is holding our hand
And safe in His care there is no need for seeing
For “in Him we live and move and have our being.”

by Helen Steiner Rice

 

GOD Knows Best

Our Father knows what’s best for us,
So why should we complain
We always want the sunshine,
But He knows there must be rain

We love the sound of laughter
And the merriment of cheer,
But our hearts would lose their tenderness
If we never shed a tear…

Our Father tests us oftenb9c5c87005d8c4862ceb09ea93b59f598a74.jpg
With suffering and with sorrow,
He tests us, not to punish us,
But to help us meet tomorrow…

For growing trees are strengthened
When they withstand the storm,
And the sharp cut of a chisel
Gives the marble grace and form…

God never hurts us needlessly,
And He never wastes our pain
For every loss He send to us
Is followed by rich gain…

And when we count the blessings
That God has so freely sent,
We will find no cause for murmuring
And no time to lament…

For our Father loves His children,
And to Him all things are plain,
So He never sends us pleasure
When the soul’s deep need is pain…

So whenever we are troubled,
And when everything goes wrong,
It is just God working in us
To make our spirit strong.

Helen Steiner Rice