Saturday Song: Jesus Paid It All

“Since I read, ‘Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out’ (John 6:37), I came, and he did not cast me out.” -Spurgeon

By God’s grace, arranged and played by Kate

God so loved

The Bible is full of sweet words of truth and hard words of truth. John 3 speaks both.

The hardest to hear is that sinful, unbelieving people are bound to perish. That is, they are bound to suffer in the hell prepared for those who do not repent and “believe in the Lord Jesus” (Acts 16:31; Revelation 20:15).

But the sweetest words and the best news is that God loves. And out of that love, He gave His Son so that sinful people may not perish, but have everlasting life.

May this deep, unfathomable love of God compel his people to tell the message of his love and salvation. May his amazing love fill his people with trust and peace. May his love result in an ever-increasing overflow of love in his people- in thought, in speech, and in action.

“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:9-10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Fellowship and Joy

“May our fellowship with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ, be unquestionable. May it be fuel. May it fill us with joy. May it be a most real fact this day. May we enjoy it to the full, knowing whom we have believed, knowing who is our Father, knowing who it is that dwells in us, even the Holy Spirit.

“Take away from us everything that might hinder our delighting ourselves in God. May we come to God this day with a supreme joy. May we speak of Him as “God, my exceeding joy, my own God is He.”

C.H. Spurgeon

May God grant that each child of His knows Him better today. That they meditate on His Word and hang every hope on Him. That they experience again and in different ways His power to strengthen, satisfy, and comfort.

Surely

Saturday reflections…

How many times did I focus on the “what ifs” of worry rather than the “surely” of scripture? How many times was I more gripped by restless thoughts than the steadfast love of God?

But where there is failing in his child, there is his grace to sanctify. Where there is struggling faith, there is his grace to strengthen. And surely his goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life. And at the end of my life, I will dwell with him forever. A promise better than a thousand lifetimes.

“Come, Thou Fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
Streams of mercy, never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above
Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it
Mount of Thy redeeming love.”

St. Patrick’s Day: Rifts and Reconciliation

St. Patrick’s Day is a light-hearted celebration day. At least in the States. Everyone wants to be Irish. All the things, clothes, and food are green. Or you’ll get pinched.

I even gave into the spirit of the day. Irish Pandora playing (Chieftains for the win!) while I baked scones donned in a green shirt. My Irish great- uncle would be proud. Or at least amused.

Throughout the day, I’ve been thinking about the more serious, tragic themes of St. Patrick’s story and the reasons behind the green and orange colors: slavery, religious wars, paganism, Patrick’s own animosity to his Creator. These in turn remind me of the rifts I see today. Dissent and polarization in politics, denominations, and even families. Slavery still to be eradicated. Hate-filled wars continue. People still reject their Creator.

But then there are other themes from St. Patrick’s story: Patrick’s reconciliation to God, his forgiveness and missionary work for his former enslavers, freedom from paganism for those who believed in Christ.

Patrick’s story that reminds me of Joseph in the Bible. And Paul. In these stories and more throughout history, God has shown himself powerful to work even in the bleakest, most hopeless situations. And His purposes led to life for his people, even when it seems all is lost.

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” Genesis‬ ‭50:20‬

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans‬ ‭8:38-39‬ ‭

That gives me hope for the rifts today. Hope to pray for reconciliation. Hope that God is still at work. Hope to keep doing the work he gives.

When Anxiety is Great

Whatever anxiety it is that may grip my heart, my Heavenly Father has a consolation to meet it; a beautiful majesty of his character that surpasses any worry. Loneliness is met with his presence. Animosity is met with his love. Guilt and failure are met with his forgiveness and mercy. Weakness is met with his strength. Hard tasks are met with his grace. Decisions are met with his wisdom. Difficult situations are met with his peace. Grief is met with his comfort. Indifference is met with his compassion. Weak faith is met with his abundance. Lies are met with the truth of his Word. All the evil done in the world will be met with judgment. All those who hope in God will be with him forever.

Therefore, little heart, obey his call to “cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

Yours forever

“Oh the joy of knowing that we are yours forever, Yours in the trials of life, and Yours in the last dread trial of death, and then Yours in resurrection, Yours throughout eternity! We do therefore worship You, O God, not under coercion, nor under terror or pressure, but cheerfully and gladly, ascribing to You praise, power, dominion, glory, and honor, world without end.”

C.H. Spurgeon