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

 

March 20 Crooked No More

Image

Photo by Allison Espino

Numbers 30:1-31:54;  Luke 4:1-30;  Psalm 63:1-11;  Proverbs 11:20-21

“Those of crooked heart are an

abomination to the Lord,

but those of blameless ways

are his delight.

Be assured, an evil person

will not go unpunished,

but the offspring of the righteous

will be delivered.”

Proverbs 11:20-21

Lord, without your amazing, saving grace;

without your shed blood on the Cross that covers the filth of my sins and washes them away forever;

without faith in You as my only salvation–

I would be an abomination–a taboo, a banned creature in your sight.

What is truly amazing, Lord, is that while I was such an abomination, you chose be to be your own.  You cleaned me up and made me presentable before your Father in Heaven.  I was helpless to do this on my own–you did it all for me!  So great is your love for sinners–for me!  Thank you Lord Jesus, for straightening and healing my crooked heart.  Help me to walk in your ways to the glory of your holy name!  Amen.

“Because your steadfast love

is better than life,

my lips

will praise you.

I will bless you

as long as I live

in your name I will

lift up my hands.”

Psalm 63:3-4

 

March 27 Tears of Love

Deuteronomy 7:1-8:20;  Luke 7:36-8:3;  Psalm 69:1-18;  Proverbs 12:1

She was one of many that day who listened to the words of Jesus.

He spoke about the Kingdom of God.

He spoke of repentance and the forgiveness of sins.

The truths pierced her heart.

Her life changed forever…

“And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment and standing behind him at his feet , weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wipe them with the hair of her head, and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment.”  Luke 7:37-38

The power of forgiveness to set a sinful heart free.  The gift of faith to receive and believe. The outpouring of great love and gratitude.

The woman who sinned much was forgiven much.  She heard from Jesus’ own lips “Your sins are forgiven…Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”  Luke 7:48, 50

The Kingdom of God was within her!

Lord God, we thank and praise you for the power of your Word to change peoples’ lives.  The ‘worst’ sinner can experience a new life through the forgiveness of sins.  We pray for the power of the Gospel to save–that many will hear, repent, and believe.  That lives may be filled with loving acts of gratitude in service to You.

May we remember this Holy Week that we were once lost–our sin separated us from you; we were destined for Hell.  May we give you thanks and praise for saving us through Christ’s death on the Cross.  And may we serve you with joy and gladness–for the Kingdom of God is among us now!  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

“But I pray to you, O Lord,

in the time of your favor;

in your great love, O God,

answer me with your sure salvation.”

                                                    Psalm 69:13