For Our Transgressions

Tuesday, August 8, 2017, 3:34 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Tell Me the Story of Jesus.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 53 (Select vv. ESV).

Who Has Believed? (vv. 1-3; cf. Rom. 10:16)

Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah of Israel, our God and Lord, came to earth and took on human form, begotten of God the Father, and born as a baby to a human mother. He suffered as we suffer, and he was tempted in like manner as we are also tempted, yet without sin. There was nothing about his physical appearance that anyone should be attracted to him. He did have some true followers (disciples), though. And, crowds did follow him, for he healed many, he drove out evil spirits, he performed many miracles, and he fed the hungry. But, when he spoke of the cost of following him, many who had been following him deserted him, never to return.

Many of the religious leaders within the Jewish temple did not like Jesus, and they made it their mission to destroy him. They hated him because he dared to be different, because he did not follow their human rules and traditions, because he healed people on the Sabbath, and he claimed to be God; and because he confronted sinful humans with their sinful conditions, warned of divine judgment and called for repentance and faith in himself. They were jealous of him because of his temporary and short-lived popularity among the people, and because they felt their own positions of power were being threatened by him. So, they plotted his death, and he was crucified on a cross for our sins (See: Jn. 1:1-34; Jn. 6:35-66; Phil. 2:1-11; 1 Co. 5:21).

We Are Healed (vv. 4-6)

Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

When Jesus died on that cross, he who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God. He died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. In his death, he put sin to death, and when he was resurrected from the grave, he rose victorious over sin, hell, Satan and death for our sake. By God’s grace, through faith in him, via death to sin and resurrection to new life in Christ, we can be forgiven our sins, released from the ultimate punishment of sin (eternal damnation), delivered out of slavery to sin, and released to walk in the Spirit and in Christ’s righteousness and holiness, and be given eternal life with God.

When we are born into this world, we are born with sin natures, separate from God and unable to attain God’s divine approval through human effort. So, that is why Jesus gave his life up for us, that we might be saved from our sins, walk in the Spirit, and have eternal life with God. Because he died, we are able to die to sin, and because he lives, we can live with him and for him for eternity. Yet, he did not come to earth, take on human flesh, and suffer for our sake just so we can escape hell and have the promise of heaven when we die. He died that we might live for him, and he suffered that he might be our compassionate and merciful high priest in taking our sorrows upon himself that he might also comfort us in our sorrows.

The Will of God (vv. 10-12)

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.

It was God the Father’s will that his Son should suffer and die for our sins. This was planned for us even before the creation of the world, and that many of us would believe on him as our Savior and would become children of God, and followers of Christ. Through faith in Jesus Christ we are not only made righteous in God’s sight, but we are able to live righteously for Him and for his will for our lives, for this is why he died. Jesus “gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Tit. 2:14).

So, we must walk (in lifestyle) according to the Spirit of God, and no longer according to our sinful flesh. For, if we walk according to the flesh, we will die in our sins, even if we have made a profession of faith in Christ Jesus. If we hold on to our old lives (of living for sin and self), we will lose them for eternity. But, if we lose our lives (die with Christ to sin), for His sake, we will gain eternal life with God (See: Lu. 9:23-25; Ro. 8:1-14). If we claim to have fellowship with God, but we still walk (conduct our lives) in darkness (sin), we are liars (1 Jn. 1:6). The true story of Jesus (the gospel) is not just that Jesus died to forgive us our sins, but he died to deliver us out of slavery to sin, and to give us new lives in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Eph. 4:17-24; Ro. 6:1-23; Gal. 2:20). Amen!

Tell Me the Story of Jesus
Fanny J. Crosby / John R. Sweney

Tell me the story of Jesus,
Write on my heart every word;
Tell me the story most precious,
Sweetest that ever was heard.
Tell how the angels in chorus,
Sang as they welcomed His birth,
“Glory to God in the highest!
Peace and good tidings to earth.”

Fasting alone in the desert,
Tell of the days that are past,
How for our sins He was tempted,
Yet was triumphant at last.
Tell of the years of His labor,
Tell of the sorrow He bore;
He was despised and afflicted,
Homeless, rejected and poor.

Tell of the cross where they nailed Him,
Writhing in anguish and pain;
Tell of the grave where they laid Him,
Tell how He liveth again.
Love in that story so tender,
Clearer than ever I see;
Stay, let me weep while you whisper,
“Love paid the ransom for me.”

Tell me the story of Jesus,
Write on my heart every word;
Tell me the story most precious,
Sweetest that ever was heard.

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His Loving Kindness

Tuesday, July 18, 2017, 3:44 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Jesus, I Am Resting, Resting.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read various scriptures (NASB) on the subject of God’s lovingkindness towards us.

Rich in Mercy (Eph. 2:1-10)

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

When God created man and woman, they were sinless, but then they sinned against God by doing what he commanded them not to do. Ever since then, all of us have been born into sin, with sin natures, and we have come up short of attaining God’s divine approval (Ro. 5:12-19; 1 Co. 15:21-22, 42-49; Ro. 3:23). Yet, God had planned, even before he created the world, and us, how he was going to save us from our sins (See: Gen. 3:15; Ro. 8:29; 2 Tim. 1:8-9; Eph. 1:3-4). He sent his Son Jesus Christ, God the Son, to the earth to take on human form, and then to die on cross. Although he knew no sin, he became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God.

Because we are born sinners, we can do nothing to earn or to deserve our own salvation. We can never be good enough in our own merit. None of us are deserving of God’s grace to us. No amount of good works will ever earn us a place in heaven. Our own righteousness is like filthy rags in God’s sight. Only by God’s grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, can any of us be saved from our sins and have the hope of eternal life with God in heaven. Yet, we must have a biblical understanding of God’s grace lest we be led astray by those who would tickle itching ears with feel-good messages which give its adherents a false hope of eternity with God based on a lie, which leaves its followers still dead in their sins, yet thinking they are going to heaven.

So, what is God’s grace to us? Notice with me how this passage begins where it states how we formerly walked (in lifestyle) according to the course of this world, in disobedience, when we were dead in our trespasses and sins. We formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging in sinful passions and desires, and thus we were children of wrath. Yet, because of God’s loving kindness towards us, he made us alive in Christ. Not only did he forgive us of our sins, but he delivered us out of bondage (slavery) to sin. So, now we don’t walk according to the course (path, pattern) of this ungodly world, but we walk (in lifestyle) according to the Spirit of God (See: Ro. 6:1-23; Ro. 8:1-14; Lu. 9:23-25; Eph. 4:17-24; Tit. 2:11-14).

The Kindness of God (Titus 3:1-8)

Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men. For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men.

God’s grace to us in saving us from our sins is not merely to free us from hell and to promise us heaven when we die (or when he comes to take us home). His grace to us is for the purpose to deliver us out of slavery to sin (darkness) and to bring us into his wonderful light (truth, righteousness). It is to turn us from the power Satan had over our lives to God, to follow our Lord in his truth and in his ways, so that we might receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those sanctified by faith in Jesus (Acts 26:16-18).

Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us. His grace to us is not carte blanche (free rein) to continue in willful sin against God. His grace, which brings salvation, instructs (commands) us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we await Christ’s return. Jesus didn’t die that horrible death on a cross so we could continue in sin without guilt. He gave himself up for us to release (liberate) us “from every lawless deed, and to purify for himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds” (1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Co. 5:15; Tit. 2:11-14).

Notice again with me that it says here that we were ONCE (meaning past) disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts, envious and hating one another. God’s grace to us, again, is not just to forgive us our sins, but it is to free us from our addiction to sin. It is so that we no longer walk (conduct our lives) according to the ways of this sinful world, but so we now walk according to the Spirit and in Christ’s righteousness. We are not merely forgiven of our sins and given a free pass, but we are washed, we are cleansed of our sins, and we are transformed, and given new lives in Christ Jesus, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. And, being holy means to be separate (unlike, different) from the world, because we are being conformed into the likeness of Christ Jesus, our Lord (owner-master).

Long for the Pure Milk (1 Pet. 2:1-5)

Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.

And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

The primary purpose of God’s lovingkindness to us in saving us from our sins is that we might no longer walk (live) in sin, but that we might walk (conduct our lives) according to his righteousness. When we truly believe in Jesus Christ with God-given faith, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin that we might live with Christ to his righteousness (Ro. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24). For, if we walk (in lifestyle) in darkness (sin), according to our sinful flesh, we will die in our sins, even if we believe we are saved. But if we, by the Spirit, are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live with Christ for eternity (Lu. 9:23-25; Ro. 8:1-14; Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:3-6).

So, as followers of Jesus Christ, daily we should be putting sin to death in our lives, and we should be walking in the Spirit and no longer according to our sinful flesh (Lu. 9:23-25; Ro. 8:1-14). And, we should be longing for (thirsting after) the pure milk of the Word of God. This is not to say we should remain content with the milk only, though, and that we should not move on to the meat of the Word, for if we do, we will remain spiritual infants, and not move on to maturity in Christ. And, the whole purpose here is that we might grow (mature) in respect to salvation, i.e. that we should be mature in Christ and walking in his righteousness and holiness.

The house of God under the Old Covenant was a physical building. Yet, when Jesus Christ died for our sins, and he rose from the dead, and his Spirit came to live within those who have believed him to be Lord and Savior of their lives, we became his house, his body. We are not a physical building, but a spiritual one, with Jesus Christ as the chief cornerstone. He is our foundation, our Rock on which we stand. And, we are being built up (developed; formed; encouraged) as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. In other words, we are being conformed to the likeness of Christ, and so we are to give our lives to our Lord as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, no longer conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but transformed of the Spirit of God in heart and mind (Ro. 12:1-2) for the glory of God.

Jesus, I am Resting, Resting
Jean Sophia Pigott

Jesus, I am resting, resting,
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.
Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee,
And Thy beauty fills my soul,
For by Thy transforming power,
Thou hast made me whole.

O, how great Thy loving kindness,
Vaster, broader than the sea!
O, how marvelous Thy goodness,
Lavished all on me!
Yes, I rest in Thee, Belovèd,
Know what wealth of grace is Thine,
Know Thy certainty of promise,
And have made it mine.

Simply trusting Thee, Lord Jesus,
I behold Thee as Thou art,
And Thy love, so pure, so changeless,
Satisfies my heart;
Satisfies its deepest longings,
Meets, supplies its every need,
Compasseth me round with blessings:
Thine is love indeed!

Ever lift Thy face upon me
As I work and wait for Thee;
Resting ‘neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus,
Earth’s dark shadows flee.
Brightness of my Father’s glory,
Sunshine of my Father’s face,
Keep me ever trusting, resting,
Fill me with Thy grace.

Jesus, I am resting, resting,
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.

Live for Him

Sunday, July 16, 2017, 5:22 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Your Grace Divine.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read various scriptures (in the NASB) on the subject of living for Jesus.

Dead to Sin; Alive to God (Ro. 8:12-14; cf. 1 Pet. 2:24; Gal. 2:20)

So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

If we are to live for Jesus, we must first of all die with him to sin and self (See: Lu. 9:23-25; Ro. 8:1-14; Eph. 4:17-24). If the old man has not been crucified with Christ, the new man (person) cannot exist. It is when we die with Christ to sin that we are reborn of the Spirit of God, and thus we can now live and walk in the Spirit and no longer according to our sinful passions and desires. Yet, this death to sin and living to Jesus is not a onetime salvation experience, but it is our daily walk with Christ Jesus, as well. For, it is not those who claim to have had a salvation experience who are the children of God, but it is those who are being led by the Spirit, who are following the Lord Jesus with their lives, who are his sons and daughters.

For the Lord (2 Co. 5:14-15; cf. Ro. 14:7-9; Phil. 1:19-21)

For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.

Jesus Christ did not die on the cross for our sins merely that we might escape hell and have the hope of heaven when we die. He died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us. When we trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, our lives are no longer our own, to live however we want, for we were bought back for God with the price of Jesus’ blood, shed on the cross for our sins. So, we are to honor God with our lives. He is to be our Lord (owner-master), not just our Savior. And, we are to be his bond-servants, slaves now to righteousness (Ro. 6:1-23). And, each day we should inquire of him as to what he wants, and then follow his lead in doing, being, and saying what and going where he desires.

In Contentment (Phil. 4:11-13)

Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

I know, too, what it is like to be poor, and to not have much at all, and I know what it is like to have more than what we need so that we have enough to share with others, and so we could enjoy some of the conveniences and comforts of having more physical space and provisions. Yet, we have always had a roof over our heads, clothing on our bodies, and food in our stomachs, so we don’t really know yet what it is like to go hungry or to be in want of shelter or of clothing. But, that time is most likely to come, too, if we live long enough. Yet, some of the poorest of times taught us to live by faith and to trust the Lord for everything. And, some of the more affluent times provided us the opportunity to use what we had been given to minister God’s grace and mercy to and to be a blessing to others. I can live in any of these ways through the strength God gives me.

To Deny Ungodliness (Tit. 2:11-14)

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

Some people have the notion that faith in Jesus Christ means merely to acknowledge who he was/is and what he did for us in dying for our sins, and to accept his forgiveness for our sins. Yet, there is no death to sin or living to righteousness in that (Ro. 6:1-23). Thus, there is no new birth or heart transformation of the Spirit of God. As well, there is no true salvation from sin, but only a false hope of heaven when one dies, only to face the reality of one-day hearing God say “Depart from me, I never knew you!”

Truly God’s grace, which brings salvation from sin, is not just to forgive people of their sin, but it is to turn them from darkness (sin) to the light (truth, righteousness, Christ), and away from the control (power) Satan had over their lives to God, to walk daily in his righteousness and holiness. Then, they can receive forgiveness of sins and have a place among those who are sanctified (made holy, purified) by faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 26:16-18). God’s grace is not a free license to continue in willful sin against God, but it directs us to leave our lives of sin behind us and to follow our Lord in obedience and in surrender to his will for our lives.

On Every Word (Matt. 4:4)

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”

In order for us to live for Jesus, we need to know him and we need to know his Word, so that we can obey him and his Word. For our physical bodies to live, we need food and water, but for us to live spiritually we need to feed on the Word of God. And, remember that Jesus is the Word (See: John 1). So, every day we are to be in God’s Word, listening to what God – the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit – has to say to us, and doing what the Word says. His Word is our guide, counsel, teacher, instruction, encouragement, and urging for us to live holy lives pleasing to God, as well as it is our warning against idolatry, spiritual adultery, lusts of the flesh, and worldly living, etc. In keeping (obeying) God’s Word, there is great reward (Ps. 19:11).

Your Grace Divine
An Original Work / November 6, 2011

All I have is Yours, Lord.
You gave all to me,
When You died at Calv’ry
On that cruel tree.
Crucified for my sins;
You paid what I owe,
So I’d be forgiven;
My God come to know.
All I have is Yours, Lord.
You gave all to me,
When You died at Calv’ry
On that cruel tree.

Lord, I am so thankful
For Your grace divine.
I invited You, Lord,
In this heart of mine.
I have been forgiven
For all of my sins,
So I’d live with Jesus;
His grace flow within.
Lord, I am so thankful
For Your grace divine.
I invited You, Lord,
In this heart of mine.

Growing in Your grace, Lord;
Live for You each day;
How I love to worship
You throughout my day.
Sitting at Your feet, Lord,
List’ning to You speak,
Leads me to love You, Lord,
More throughout the week.
Growing in Your grace, Lord;
Live for You each day;
How I love to worship
You throughout my day.

His Ways, His Truth

Monday, May 29, 2017, 8:08 p.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Draw Me Close.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Psalm 25 (Select vv. ESV).

His Ways (vv. 4-5)

Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.

We who profess faith in Jesus Christ need to know His ways, His truth and His paths. The primary way in which we know these is through the study of God’s Word, the Bible, in particular in the New Testament, although all scripture (Genesis-Revelation) is “God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Yet, we must be diligent to present ourselves to God as those approved, workers who have no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). Thus, we must be careful to read scriptures in context, and to compare scripture with scripture, if we want to rightly handle the Word. And, we must interpret what we read in light of the gospel of Christ.

Also, as believers in Jesus Christ – we who have died with Christ to sin, and who have been resurrected with Christ to newness of life – we have the Holy Spirit of God living within us, teaching us the ways of our Lord, and guiding us into all truth. So, when we study God’s Word, we must do so under the guidance of the Holy Spirit who will give us spiritual understanding into its truths. He is the one, as well, who makes practical application of God’s Word to our lives. So, when we study God’s Word, we should pray for the Spirit of God to open God’s Words to our hearts and to teach us what we need to learn, and for him to apply its truths to our hearts and lives. And, then we must listen to the Holy Spirit, and obey our Lord, and do what he says.

His Instructions (vv. 8-10)

Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.

Our God is holy, righteous, good, merciful, gracious, compassionate and just. His goal in saving us from our sins is not just to give us an escape from hell or to promise us heaven as our eternal destiny. Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. His grace, which brings salvation, teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return (1 Pet. 2:24; Tit. 2:11-14). His grace is not carte blanche (free rein) to continue in willful sin against God. When God saves us from our sins, he gives us the faith to believe in Jesus Christ, thus the faith to believe in Jesus is in accord with God’s holiness and righteousness, so it submits to Christ and His Word.

When we trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord (owner-master) and Savior of our lives, we humbly come to God in godly sorrow over our sin, we repent of our sins, we turn away from them, and we turn to God to follow Him in his ways. And, he leads us in what is right. He is not going to lead someone who won’t be led, who thinks faith in Jesus merely means Jesus forgives us our sins, but who rejects the teachings of scripture with regard to repentance and obedience to Christ. So, if we desire to know and to follow his ways, we must humble ourselves before him, we must turn from our sins, and we must walk in obedience to him, according to the Holy Spirit of God (Ro. 8:1-14). For, the ways of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness. Amen!

Fear Him (vv. 11-15)

For your name’s sake, O Lord,
pardon my guilt, for it is great.
Who is the man who fears the Lord?
Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose.
His soul shall abide in well-being,
and his offspring shall inherit the land.
The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him,
and he makes known to them his covenant.
My eyes are ever toward the Lord,
for he will pluck my feet out of the net.

I think sometimes we get the idea that God’s forgiveness of our sins is solely for us, the sinners. Yet, it is for the honor of His Name that he pardons us, as well. Like for instance, a man was born blind, and the reason was that, when Jesus healed him, “the works of God might be displayed in him” (Jn. 9:3). When God saves us, his glory is revealed in us. His divine character is, thus, shown, so that all may see that he is loving, gracious, merciful and all powerful, in that he can transform human lives. By his grace and his power, we can be translated from death to live, and be turned from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so we might receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ.

If we want to be instructed in the ways of the Lord, and in his truth, we must fear the Lord. We must revere, honor, value, esteem, respect, obey and worship him. We do this, not just with our lips, though, but with our lives (by our lifestyles). We live holy lives, pleasing to him, which is our reasonable and acceptable worship of him – no longer conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but transformed in the renewing of our minds, so that we might prove what is the perfect, good and acceptable will of God. We no longer walk (in lifestyle) according to our sinful flesh, but we now walk (conduct our lives) according to (in agreement with) the Spirit of God.

His Grace (vv. 16-18)

Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
The troubles of my heart are enlarged;
bring me out of my distresses.
Consider my affliction and my trouble,
and forgive all my sins.

If we want God to turn to us, and to be gracious to us, when we are in trouble, in distress, in loneliness or in affliction, we must honor him with our lives. For, it is not the one who merely professes Christ as Savior who is saved from his sins, but it is the one who is walking in the Spirit, who is being led by the Spirit, and whose mind and lifestyle is no longer controlled by the sinful nature. He is a child of God, and an heir of the promise (See: Rom. 8, the whole chapter, in context). For those who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose, all things work together for good. And, how do we know if we love God? Our obedience bears testimony.

Draw Me Close To You / Donnie McClurkin

Draw me close to You
Never let me go
I lay it all down again
To hear You say that I’m Your friend

You are my desire
And no one else will do
‘Cause nothing else can take Your place
To feel the warmth of Your embrace…

Feed On Him

Sunday, April 30, 2017, 9:05 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read John 6 (select vv. NIV).

Seeking Blessings (vv. 26-27)

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”

Many people will believe in Jesus Christ with human faith just because of what they perceive will be the benefits of such a faith, such as forgiveness of sins, relief from punishment in hell, and the hope of heaven when they die. Although it is true that these are some of the benefits of faith in Jesus Christ, it is apparent that these people want their resurrection without the cross, i.e. that they want the benefits of salvation from sin without death to sin, submission to Christ and his cross, and obedience to his word. So, it isn’t Jesus they seek, but what they can get out of him. So, they end up worshipping the gifts rather than the creator who gave the gifts.

If we look only to the end game, and what rewards we think we will receive, then we are missing the boat. Jesus didn’t die for our sins just so we could escape hell and have the promise of heaven when we die. He died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us. His grace is not a free license to continue in sin without guilt and without remorse. He commands all people everywhere to repent, i.e. to turn from their lifestyles of sin, to be transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God, and to receive new lives in Christ Jesus, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Co. 5:15; Tit. 2:11-14; Eph. 4:17-24; Lu. 9:23-25; Ro. 6:1-23; Ro. 8:1-14; Acts 17:30; 26:16-18).

Bread of Life (vv. 35-40)

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

So many people today, especially here in America, are seeking and are following after what will never satisfy the deep longings of their souls. Yet, is God against us having houses, lands, automobiles and possessions? I don’t believe so. I do believe, though, that he is against us having excess (more than we need) while we see those in need and we refuse to help. I believe he is also against us making these things our gods, i.e. to where we worship them rather than the creator; to where we give our hearts, passion, time and energies over to what is going to perish, while we neglect what is eternal.

Many people, including many Christians, are also seeking after self-pleasure and entertainment, idols of men, politicians, preachers, and the like to satisfy them, to give them a sense of security or fulfillment, or to be their saviors. But, they will always come up empty, and always wanting more, and they will often be disappointed, let down, and betrayed by what gives a false sense of hope for joy and peace, because the things of this world and humans can never fill the God-void in our lives, which only HE can fill. They will all wear out like a garment, but the Word of God stands forever!

Jesus Christ is our sustenance and our supply for everything we need. In him we find complete satisfaction, fulfillment, peace and joy. If we come to him, and we find in him all that we need for this life, our hearts will be fully satisfied. Yet, he says that if any would come after him, he must deny self, take up his cross daily (die daily to sin and self) and follow (obey) him. He said that if we hold on to our old lives (of living for sin and self), we will lose them (for eternity), but if we lose our lives (die to sin and self), we will gain eternal life, i.e. we will find our lives in him (Lu. 9:23-25; cf. Rom. 8:1-14).

Flesh and Blood (vv. 48-58)

I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”

Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”

Jesus is the bread from heaven; the bread of life. The things of this life to which we look to satisfy us, or to bring us happiness, are temporal. They have no power to impart life. Jesus is the giver of life in creation, and he is the giver of eternal life for all who eat of (partake in) him. Yet, in order to receive this life (eternal) we must eat of his flesh and drink of his blood. So, what does that mean?

Jesus gave his body for us in death to sin on a cross. He also shed his blood for us that we might be reconciled to God. So, to eat of his flesh and to drink of his blood means we partake with him in death to sin so that we might live with him to righteousness, and so we might be reunited in fellowship with God. There can be no resurrection without the cross. There can be no life in the Spirit without death to sin, and not just Jesus’ death to sin, but us being crucified with Christ in death to sin (Rom. 6:1-23; Gal. 2:20; 1 Pet. 2:24).

In other words, faith in Jesus Christ is so much more than just an escape from hell and the hope of heaven. It is a life, and it is a lifestyle, and it is in Christ, and to be lived in his power and strength, and guided by the Holy Spirit. It is a radical life transformation away from living under the yoke of slavery to sin, to now walking in freedom from the control of sin over our lives, in the Spirit, and in Christ’s righteousness and holiness. It is trusting in Jesus to meet our every need and not looking to the flesh of man or to the things of this world for our provision, hope, healing, or for our deliverance.

This is not to say, obviously, that we don’t have jobs or earn our living or provide for our families or that we just sit around waiting for manna to drop from heaven while we do nothing. But, it is to say that we should trust in Jesus Christ for all things, and that we should not operate in the flesh, but in the Spirit, and that we should look to him for our fulfillment, for our deliverance from evil, and for meaning, purpose and direction for our lives. He is the one who should get our vows of allegiance, our passion, desire, loyalty, devotion, fidelity, worship and praise. He alone should be our God. And, we should feed on him daily via prayer, the study of the Word, and through following him in obedience to whatever he tells us to do and to be.

Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah
William Williams / John Hughes

Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah,
Pilgrim through this barren land.
I am weak, but Thou art mighty;
Hold me with Thy powerful hand.
Bread of Heaven, Bread of Heaven,
Feed me till I want no more;
Feed me till I want no more.

Open now the crystal fountain,
Whence the healing stream doth flow;
Let the fire and cloudy pillar
Lead me all my journey through.
Strong Deliverer, strong Deliverer,
Be Thou still my Strength and Shield;
Be Thou still my Strength and Shield.

Lord, I trust Thy mighty power,
Wondrous are Thy works of old;
Thou deliver’st thine from thralldom,
Who for naught themselves had sold.
Thou didst conquer, Thou didst conquer
Sin and Satan and the grave,
Sin and Satan and the grave.

When I tread the verge of Jordan,
Bid my anxious fears subside;
Death of deaths, and hell’s destruction,
Land me safe on Canaan’s side.
Songs of praises, songs of praises,
I will ever give to Thee;
I will ever give to Thee. Amen.

Mere Accolades

Sunday, February 26, 2017, 2:02 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Seek the Lord.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read 1 John 1 (NASB).

We Proclaim Him (vv. 1-4)

What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life— and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us— what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.

When our Lord walked the face of this earth, John was one of Jesus’ twelve disciples. So, John gave eyewitness testimony here as to Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah, Lord and Christ of God. He and the other eleven traveled with and worked with Jesus in ministry for at least three years. He was also an eyewitness to Jesus’ death on the cross and of his resurrection from the dead. So, he was able to say that he, along with the others, had heard him, seen him, and that he had touched him. He was sharing first-hand testimony and knowledge concerning the Christ, the Son of God (God the Son).

In the Gospel of John, he shared even more detail concerning the Word of Life. Jesus Christ was in the beginning with God, and he was God – the second person of our triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. All things came into being through Him, i.e. Jesus Christ is our creator. He is the Light of men (humankind) which shines in the darkness. The Word (Jesus) became flesh, and he made his dwelling among us. Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. Jesus, too, was the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world, via his death on a cross and resurrection from the dead.

Yet, not everyone received (believed on) him. Many hated him, were jealous of him, and despised him because he told them the truth about who he is, about their sin, about judgment, and about their eternal destiny, as well as he gave many messages of hope and healing for the penitent. So, they killed him. But, this was God’s will that he should die for us so that we could believe on him, be delivered from slavery to sin, and have eternal life with God, and so we could be born of God and could become children of God.

In the Light (vv. 5-10)

This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

When I woke up this morning, the phrase “mere accolades” was in my mind, so I did a dictionary search on the word “accolade.” The words which jumped out at me, which were contained within the definitions, were “ceremonial,” “ritualistic,” “formality,” “performance,” “nominal,” and “acknowledgment.” To acknowledge something means to admit its truth or existence. For something to be nominal, it means that it is in name only, or it is so-called. And, other words for “formal” are “mechanical” or “performed.” And, to “perform” means to “play act.” The phrase “ceremonial embrace” was also included, which means formality or show of acceptance, agreement or belief.

So, how does this apply to this passage of scripture? Well, first of all we read here that God is light and that in him is no darkness at all. Light is truth, morality, righteousness, goodness, mercy, holiness, and purity, etc. Darkness is the opposite of light, so it is lies (deception), unrighteousness, wickedness, sinfulness, hatred, immorality, impurity, and irreverence, etc. God is not a mixture of both light and darkness. Only goodness exists within him. So, if we say we are in Christ Jesus, by faith in him, and thus we have fellowship (friendship, partnership) with God, but we conduct our lives (walk) in darkness (wickedness), then this says we are liars.

So, what is a liar? He (or she) is a fraud, fake, pretender – a phony. He is a fibber, storyteller, and a deceiver. He is someone who pretends to be what he is not, i.e. he is a hypocrite. He is someone who goes through the motions of being a Christian and a follower of Christ, but it is just an act. He is just performing for the crowds. He is a Christian in name only, but not in reality, i.e. not in lifestyle, i.e. not in actions. His profession of faith in Jesus Christ is ceremonial only, i.e. it is ritualistic or mechanical, but his heart is far from God. His praise of God is for show only. His worship is in vain. He acknowledges the existence and truth of Christ, but it is head knowledge only. His lifestyle does not back up his profession. Thus, he is a liar.

This is not saying that, as Christians, we will live in absolute perfection, though, or that we will never sin (See: 1 Jn. 2:1). But, it is saying that when we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives that our lifestyles (the way we live our lives day in and day out) should reflect Christ in our lives. If we truly have believed in Jesus, our old self was put to death with him, and we have been born anew of the Spirit of God, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24). We died to sin so that we might live to righteousness. So, this should be evident in our lives that this spiritual transformation has taken place. Daily we should be dying to sin and self; daily we should be putting to death, by the Spirit, the misdeeds of our flesh (See: Lu. 9:23-25; Ro. 8:1-14). And, daily we should be walking (living our lives) according to the Spirit of God.

You see, there are many people today who are preaching a false grace gospel. What I mean by this is that they are not teaching that genuine faith in Christ means death to sin and living to righteousness. True faith in Christ includes repentance (turning from sin) and obedience (submission) to Christ and to his Word. This is because genuine faith is a gift from God, i.e. it is God’s divine persuasion (convincing) of us as to his will for our lives. It is him moving us to some kind of action, and that action is holiness, which is what we were called to. So, if we believe in Jesus with God-given faith, our hearts will be transformed of the Spirit of God away from sin to God and to his righteousness. We will be crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we will be resurrected with Christ to newness of life, and our lifestyles will reflect this, although this is an ongoing process of being made holy by God.

Yet, if we get this idea that we can just acknowledge that Jesus Christ died for our sins to free us from condemnation, and to promise us heaven when we die, and that we can make a mere profession of such, but with no real heart transformation ever having to take place, then we are lying to ourselves. If we think God is pleased by our mere formality of service to him, by our false worship of him, or by our mere church attendance, and/or with us just going through the motions (rituals) of Christianity, while we hold on to our old lives of living for sin and self, then we need a wakeup call! Genuine belief in Jesus Christ results in genuine lifestyle change. We no longer live our lives to please our sinful passions and desires, but we live our lives to please God, and we keep growing in our faith and service to our Lord, and he continually cleanses us and renews us and grows us in Him.

Then, like John, we can give first-hand witness, knowledge and testimony of Jesus Christ and of his saving grace, not because we touched him physically, as did John, but because we have a real-life relationship with him. We know him, not just intellectually, but experientially. We have true fellowship with him because we walk in the Light, and we’ve been cleansed from all sin.

Seek the Lord / An Original Work / July 20, 2012

Based off Isaiah 55

“Come to Me all you who thirst; come to waters.
Listen to Me, and eat what’s good today,
And your soul will delight in richest of fare.
Give ear to Me, and you will live.
I have made an eternal covenant with you.
Wash in the blood of the Lamb.”

Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him.
Let the wicked forsake his way, in truth.
Let him turn to the Lord, and he will receive mercy.
Freely, God pardons him.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,”
declares the Lord, our God.

“My word that goes out of My mouth is truthful.
It will not return to Me unfulfilled.
My word will accomplish all that I desire,
And achieve the goal I intend.
You will go in joy, and be led forth in peace.
The mountains will burst into song… before you,
And all of the trees clap their hands.”

Becoming Like Jesus

Sunday, December 18, 2016, 7:01 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Oh, To Be Like Thee.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Romans 12:1-2 (ESV).

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

What is a living sacrifice?

Well, a sacrifice is something you surrender, that you give up or you let go of. It is living, because we are living, and we are the sacrifice. So, if we present our lives to God as living sacrifices, then basically we are giving up ownership of our own lives, and we are surrendering them to God to be used for his purposes and for his glory. This is basically what takes place when we accept God’s invitation to his great salvation, and the Holy Spirit comes to indwell us. We are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are resurrected with Christ to newness of life, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (See: Eph. 4:20-24; Ro. 6:1-23).

The problem, though, is that we still live in these flesh bodies, and so we still have a propensity to sin, and a tendency to want to take back ownership of our own lives. Since we are a living sacrifice, it is possible to take ourselves back off that altar, too. So, that is why Jesus said that if we want to come after him that we must deny self, take up our cross DAILY (die daily to sin and self) and follow (obey) him (Lu. 9:23-25). And, it is why Paul said that if we walk in the flesh, we will die (in our sins), but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live (with Christ for eternity) (See: Ro. 8:1-14). DAILY we must offer ourselves to God as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him. DAILY we must surrender our lives to our Lord.

So, why is it important that we offer ourselves to God as living sacrifices? It is because of Jesus’ mercy to us in dying on a cross to save us from our sins. Jesus didn’t die just so we could escape hell and go to heaven when we die. He died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24). He died to radically transform our lives away from living for sin and self to living for God and for his purposes. Jesus came to the earth to turn us from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that we might receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified (made holy) by faith in Jesus Christ (See: Ac. 26:16-18). Jesus “gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Tit. 2:14).

What does it mean to be holy and acceptable to God?

To be holy means to be set apart (unlike, different) from the world because we are becoming like Jesus. Although we must live in the world, we are not supposed to live in the same manner as the world does. We should not take on the world’s character, mind, behaviors, attitudes, values and actions, though many Christians do. So, why do they, or why did I? Well, for one we still live in flesh bodies, and we are still drawn to sin, although Jesus died to free us from slavery to sin, so it should no longer be our master. But the other big factor, I believe, is that so many Christians are daily consuming the world’s character, etc. via TV, movies, music, games, etc.

You have probably heard the saying, “Garbage in. Garbage out.” If daily we digest the world’s values and mindset via TV, the internet, social media, games, secular music, and sports, etc., not to mention TV commercials, it is what is going to direct our lives instead of the Lord Jesus directing our lives, especially if we spend 2 hours or more a day digesting the world while we spend little time each day, if any, in God’s word and in prayer. If we give our lives to the junk of this world, but we give Jesus only a passing nod, the world is going to be what wins out, “hands down,” as the saying goes. So, if we want to live holy lives, pleasing to God, then we need to reevaluate how we are spending our time each day, and what kinds of things we are daily taking into our minds, eyes and hearts. And, we need to yield to Jesus.

To be acceptable (pleasing) to God in our daily lives, we need to then find out what pleases him, and then do it. Many people today are saying that God is pleased with us no matter what we do, and that he delights in us even when we are steeped in sin. Wrong! That is not what scripture teaches. In fact, it teaches just the opposite. It has much to say on living holy lives pleasing (or acceptable) to God. Some of what pleases God should be quite obvious to us, like we should cease from living daily for sin and self, and we should, instead, set our minds to live to God to do his will, his way. Then, we should spend more time with him in prayer and in his Word, listening to him speak to our hearts, so that we know his will, and so we can do what he says, and then we need to do it – in the power and working of the Holy Spirit, who now lives within us.

What is spiritual worship?

Today’s modern institutional church has often given Christians the wrong concept of worship of God. They present “worship” as collectively singing songs of praise and worship to God during a song service in a building called “church.” Now, certainly singing songs of praise and adoration to our Lord is part of our worship of him, but there is a sequence of events which must first take place for true worship to also take place.

First of all, since much of the “church” regularly invites into their meetings the people of the world, and they also regularly conform their “worship services” to do what is pleasing to the world, so that the world will want to come back to their meetings, then these times of “worship” are often more geared to the world than they are to be pleasing to God. God is not in first place in many of these “worship” services. So, for true worship of God to take place, the worship itself must be as God designed it to be, according to what is pleasing to him, not according to what is pleasing to the world.

Also, we can’t worship God if we don’t know him, or if we are not living for him. So, we must first of all come into genuine relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ, via repentance and obedience (submission and surrender to God). We must die with Christ to sin, and we must be born anew of the Spirit of God to living now to God and to his righteousness. And, we must give our lives over to God as living sacrifices and make Jesus truly Lord (owner-master) of our lives, living holy lives pleasing to God. This is true worship of God! We can sing songs and raise or clap our hands, but if we are still living for the flesh, and we are doing what pleases us, instead of what pleases God, then we are not truly worshiping God.

How are we transformed in the renewing of our minds?

So, instead of living to please ourselves, doing things our way, or living our lives in accordance with the ways of this sinful world, we are to be transformed in the renewing of our minds. So, how do we do that? We do that through submission and surrender to our Lord, to follow him in obedience to his will and to his ways. We are not just hearers of the Word who walk away and forget what we look like, but we are doers of the Word, not in legalistic and ritualistic adherence to a set of rules, but in humble and contrite obedience to our Lord whenever he speaks conviction to our hearts. And, we do this in the power and working of God’s Holy Spirit within us, as we cooperate fully with that work of grace in our lives.

We also do this via put offs and put ons (See: Ephesians 4-5). For instance, my husband and I used to watch a lot of movies. We went back and forth on this issue for many years, and then one day we examined all that we were watching against Philippians 4:8. We found that most of what we were watching, even things we thought were pretty innocent, didn’t pass the test. And, so we threw out most all our movies, and eventually all of them, as well as we chose to get rid of our TV. That was 8 years ago. I don’t miss them at all! And, I found I had a lot more time for God, and for his Word, and I didn’t have all that junk from the world fighting against what God was doing in filling my mind with himself and with his righteousness.

So, for our minds to be transformed and renewed, we have to cooperate with God, and with his Word, and with his Work in our lives by removing from our lives and our minds what is junk, and what is contrary to his teachings, so that we can fill our minds and lives with what is holy, righteous and pleasing to our Lord. Then, we are able to discern what the will of God is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. For, it is really hard to discern his will when we are filling our minds with the junk of this world. So, I would encourage anyone reading this today to prayerfully examine all that you are doing, and all that you are taking into your mind and life, to see if it is pleasing to God. If it is not, then I pray that you would remove all from your life which does not bring glory to God, and that you will begin to fill your life and mind with God, with His Word, and with doing his will, his way.

Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Thomas O. Chisholm / W. J. Kirkpatrick

Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.

O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.

O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.