I Am Content

I am content!  My Jesus ever lives, in whom my heart is pleased.  He has fulfilled the Law of God for me, God’s wrath He has appeased.  Since He in death could perish never, I also shall not die forever.  I am content!  I am content!

I am content!  My Jesus is my head;  His member I shall be.  He bowed His head when on the cross He died with cries of agony.  Now death is brought into subjection for me by Jesus’ resurrection.  I am content!  I am content!

I am content!  My Jesus is my light, my radiant sun of grace.  His cheering rays beam blessings forth for all, sweet comfort, hope and peace.  This Easter sun has brought salvation and everlasting exultation.  I am content!  I am content!

I am content!  At length I shall be free, awakened from the dead, arising glorious evermore to be with You, my living head.  The chains that hold my body, sever;  Then shall my soul rejoice forever.  I am content!  I am content!

Hymn text by Johann J. Moller, 1600-1733

“And He [Jesus] said to them, “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead on the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”  Luke 24:46-47

Ponder

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Jesus I will ponder now on Your holy passion;  with Your Spirit me endow for such meditation.  Grant that I in love and faith may the image cherish of Your suff’ring, pain and death that I may not perish.

Make me see Your great distress, anguish and affliction, bonds and stripes and wretchedness and Your crucifixion;  Make me see how scourge and rod, spear and nails did wound You, how for them You died, O God, who with thorns had crowned You.

Yet, O Lord, not thus alone make me see Your passion, but its cause to me make known and its termination.  Ah!  I also and my sin wrought Your deep affliction;  this indeed the cause has been of Your crucifixion.

Grant that I Your passion view with repentant grieving.  Let me not bring shame to You by unholy living.  How could I refuse to shun every sinful pleasure since for me God’s only Son suffered without measure?

If my sins give me alarm and my conscience grieve me, let Your cross my fear disarm; peace of conscience give me.  Help me see forgiveness won by Your holy passion.  If for me He slays His Son, God must have compassion!

Graciously my faith renew;  Help me bear my crosses, learning humbleness from You, peace mid pain and losses.  May I give You love for love!  Hear me, O my Savior, that I may in heav’n above sing Your praise forever.

Hymn text by Sigismund von Birken, 1626-1681

“What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare His own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”  Romans 8:31-32

Alas

suzie galagher

Photo by suzie gallagher

Alas! And did my Savior bleed, and did my sovereign die?  Would He devote that sacred head for such a worm as I?

Was it for crimes that I had done He groaned upon the tree?  Amazing pity, grace unknown, and love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide and shut his glories in when God, the mighty maker, died for His own creatures’ sin.

Thus might I hide my blushing face while His dear cross appears, dissolve my heart in thankfulness, and melt mine eyes to tears.

But drops of grief can ne’er repay the debt of love I owe; here, Lord, I give myself away: ‘Tis all that I can do.

Hymn Text by Isaac Watts, 1674-1748

“For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” Colossians 1:19-20

 

Refuge

Kyle Wright cross

Image by Kyle Wright

Jesus, refuge of the weary, blest Redeemer whom we love, fountain in life’s desert dreary, Savior from the world above:  Often have Your eyes, offended, gazed upon the sinner’s fall; yet upon the cross extended, You have borne the pain of all.

Do we pass that cross unheeding, breathing no repentant vow, though we see You wounded, bleeding, see Your thorn encircled brow?  Yet Your sinless death has brought us life eternal, peace and rest; only what Your grace has taught us calms the sinner’s deep distress.

Jesus, may our hearts be burning with more fervent love for You; may our eyes be ever turning to behold Your cross anew till in glory, parted never from the blessed Savior’s side, graven in our hearts forever, dwell the cross, the Crucified.

Hymn text by Girolamo Savonarola, 1452-98

“For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.”  Jeremiah 31:25

 

Love Unknown

Ben Parker cross

Photo by Ben Cross

My song is love unknown, my Savior’s love to me, love to the loveless shows that they might lovely be.   Oh, who am I that for my sake my Lord should take frail flesh and die?

He came from His blest throne salvation to bestow; but men made strange and none the longed-for Christ would know.  But, oh, my friend, my friend indeed, who at my need His life did spend!

Sometimes they strew His way and His sweet praises sing; resounding all the day Hosannas to their King.  Then “Crucify!” is all their breath, and for His death they thirst and cry.

Why, what hath my Lord done?  What makes this rage and spite?  He made the lame to run, He gave the blind their sight.  Sweet injuries!  Yet they at these themselves displease and ‘gainst Him rise.

They rise and needs will have my dear Lord made a way; A murderer they save, the Prince of Life they slay.  Yet cheerful He to suff’ring goes that He His foes from thence might free.

In life no house, no home my Lord on earth might have; In death no friendly tomb but what a stranger gave.  What may I say? Heav’n was His home but mine the tomb wherein He lay.

Here might I stay and sing, no story so divine!  Never was love, dear King, never was grief like Thine.  This is my friend, in whose sweet praise I all my days could gladly spend!

Hymn text by Samuel Crossman, 1624-83

“but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:8

Walked the Road

photo by Jennifer Cabrera

O Christ, You walked the road our wandr’ing feet must go.  You faced with us temptations power and fought our ancient foe.

No bread of earth alone can fill our hung’ring hearts.  Lord, help us seek Your living Word, the food Your grace imparts.

No blinding sign we ask, no wonder from above.  Lord, help us place our trust alone in Your unswerving love.

When lures of easy gain with promise brightly shine, Lord, help us seek Your kingdom first; our will with Yours align.

O Christ, You walked the road our wand’ring feet must go.  Stay with us through temptation’s hour to fight our ancient foe.

Hymn text by Herman Stuempfle, Jr. 1923-2007

“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.  No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will  be able to endure it.  Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.” 1 Corinthians 10:12-14.

Battle Ready

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand  in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.

Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth,

and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.

In all circumstances take up the shield of faith,

with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.”

Ephesians 6:10-20

* * * * *

Our Champion goes before us

Victory in His Hands

And we who stand before Him

listen to His commands

To speak His Word of Truth and Grace

In a world that’s in the dark

that would rather quell the News.

Lord give us the same bold Spirit

to speak Your Name aloud.

Grant us Your protection

Give us courage

For Jesus’ sake,

Amen.

Lord God, in the midst of the spiritual battles of our day–You are with us.  When all around us are people who desire to erase all mention of You from the public arena, give us boldness and discernment and humble hearts.  For all too often our “old Adam” wants to turn his back to you and to go its own way.  Forgive us, Lord, when we fail to walk in Your ways.  Thank you, through Jesus Christ our Lord, that you forgive our sins, and continue to be our Champion.  Equip us this day to be “light” in the world around us, that others may come to know you as the Way and the Truth and the Life.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Triune God, be Thou our stay;

O let us perish never!

Cleanse us from our sins, we pray,

And grant us life forever.

Keep us from the evil one;

Uphold our faith most holy,

And let us trust You soley

With humble hearts and lowly.

Let us put God’s armor on,

With all true Christians running,

Our heavn’ly race and shunning

The devil’s wiles and cunning.

Amen, amen! This be done;

So sing we, Alleluia!”

~Martin Luther