Tragic Life

The average person in the world today, without faith and without God and without hope, is engaged in a desperate personal search throughout his lifetime. He does not really know where he has been.  He does not really know what he is doing here and now. He does not know where he is going. The sad commentary is that he is doing it all on borrowed time and borrowed money and borrowed strength; and he already knows that in the end he will surely die! Man, made more like God than any other creature, has become less like God than any other creature. Created to reflect the glory of God, he has retreated sullenly into his cave; reflecting only his own sinfulness. Certainly it is a tragedy above all tragedies in this world that man, made with a soul to worship and praise and sing to God’s glory, now sulks silently in his cave.

 A.W. Tozer

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In Feast Or Fallow – Sandra McCracken

When the fields are dry, and the winter is long
Blessed are the meek, the hungry, the poor
When my soul is downcast, and my voice has no song
For mercy, for comfort, I wait on the Lord

In the harvest feast or the fallow ground,
My certain hope is in Jesus found
My lot, my cup, my portion sure
Whatever comes, we shall endure.
Whatever comes, we shall endure

On a cross of wood, His blood was outpoured
He Rose from the ground, like a bird to the sky
Bringing peace to our violence, and crushing death?s door
Our Maker incarnate, our God who provides.

Repeat chorus

Bridge:
come, oh come, Emman- u- el
come, oh come, Emman- u- el

When the earth beneath me crumbles and quakes
Not a sparrow falls, nor a hair from my head
Without His hand to guide me, my shield and my strength
In joy or in sorrow, in life or in death

Repeat chorus

Merry Christmas 2011

The religion of Christ is the religion of joy. Christ came to take away our sins, to roll off our curse, to unbind our chains, to open our prison house, to cancel our debt; in a word, to give us the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Is not this joy? Where can we find a joy so real, so deep, so pure, so lasting? There is every element of joy – deep, ecstatic, satisfying, sanctifying joy – in the gospel of Christ. The believer in Jesus is essentially a happy man. The child of God is, from necessity, a joyful man. His sins are forgiven, his soul is justified, his person is adopted, his trials are blessings, his conflicts are victories, his death is immortality, his future is a heaven of inconceivable, unthought-of, untold, and endless blessedness. With such a God, such a Savior, and such a hope, is he not, ought he not, to be a joyful man? – Octavius Winslow

The portrait of Jesus in the gospels is altogether different from the picture contemporary evangelicals typically imagine. Rather than a would-be redeemer who merely stands outside anxiously awaiting an invitation to come into unregenerate lives, the Savior described in the New Testament is God in the flesh, invading the world of sinful men and challenging them to turn from their iniquity. Rather than waiting for an invitation, He issues His own – in the form of a command to repent and take on a yoke of submission. – John MacArthur

Fundamentally, our Lord’s message was Himself. He did not come merely to preach a Gospel; He Himself is that Gospel. He did not come merely to give bread; He said, “I am the Bread.” He did not come merely to shed light; He said, “I am the Light.” He did not come merely to show the door; He said, “I am the Door.” He did not come merely to name a shepherd; He said, “I am the Shepherd.” He did not come merely to point the way; He said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” – J. Sidlow Baxter

Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed – Nathan Clark George

This is probably my favorite version of this song. Beautifully done by: Nathan Clark George. What a beautiful worship hymn!

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 Christ, the mighty Maker died,
For man the creature’s sin.

Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt my eyes to tears.

But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give my self away
’Tis all that I can do.

Speak O'Lord – Kristyn Getty

Make this your prayer today. Pray that God will speak to you and plant his Holy Word in your heart.

Speak, O Lord, as we come to You
To receive the food of Your Holy Word.
Take Your truth, plant it deep in us;
Shape and fashion us in Your likeness,
That the light of Christ might be seen today
In our acts of love and our deeds of faith.
Speak, O Lord, and fulfill in us
All Your purposes for Your glory.

Teach us, Lord, full obedience,
Holy reverence, true humility;
Test our thoughts and our attitudes
In the radiance of Your purity.
Cause our faith to rise; cause our eyes to see
Your majestic love and authority.
Words of pow’r that can never fail—
Let their truth prevail over unbelief.

Speak, O Lord, and renew our minds;
Help us grasp the heights of Your plans for us—
Truths unchanged from the dawn of time
That will echo down through eternity.
And by grace we’ll stand on Your promises,
And by faith we’ll walk as You walk with us.
Speak, O Lord, till Your church is built
And the earth is filled with Your glory. 

Valley Of Vision

Lord, High and Holy, Meek and Lowly,

Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see thee
in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold
thy glory.

Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.

Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from
deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter
thy stars shine;
Let me find thy light in my darkness,
thy life in my death,
thy joy in my sorrow,
thy grace in my sin,
thy riches in my poverty
thy glory in my valley.

Be Thou My Vision

Be Thou my vision, O lord of my heart;
Nought be all else to me, save that Thou art;
Thou my best thought, in the day and the night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my wisdom, be Thou my true word;
I ever with Thee, and Thou with me Lord;
Thou and Thou only, the first in my heart,
Great God of Heaven, my treasure Thou art.

Great God of Heaven my victory won,
Grant Heaven`s joy to me , bright heaven`s sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be thou my vision, O Ruler of all

Great God of Wonders – Samuel Davies 1723-1761

O Lord my God, You are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty.
(Psalm 104:1)

It is possible for Christians to lose a sense of the infinite power and greatness of God and make of Him merely a heavenly friend—a God who is no bigger than our mundane needs. Our personal and intimate relationship with God must always be balanced with the realization that He is still the “Great God of Wonders.” This great God is as unbounded in His presence as He is in His glory and power—even the heavens cannot contain Him
(1 Kings 8:27).

This was the awareness that King Solomon had after building his magnificent temple. He stated in this passage that if God cannot be contained even in the highest heaven, “how much less in this temple I have built.” God’s great design in all of His works is the manifestation of His own glory. His glory is the result of His very nature and acts. A mark of a mature Christian is the ability to say “not unto us, but unto Thy name be glory”
(Psalm 29:2).

The author of this hymn text, Samuel Davies, was an American Presbyterian minister who was appointed president of Princeton University in 1759, succeeding the well-known evangelist, Jonathan Edwards. Dr. Davies was a man of distinguished ability and was highly influential in the fields of religion and education. He wrote a number of fine hymns that had a wide acceptance in the 18th century, especially in England.

Although not a trained musician, composer John Newton could, when necessary, compose the music for texts as well. His musical setting is well-suited to this fine text by Samuel Davies, and it makes a strong vehicle for conveying its majestic quality, especially on the refrain:

Great God of wonders! all Thy ways are matchless, God-like and divine; but the fair glories of Thy grace more God-like and unrivaled shine, more God-like and unrivaled shine.
In wonder lost, with trembling joy, we take the pardon of our God: Pardon for crimes of deepest dye, a pardon bought with Jesus’ blood, a pardon bought with Jesus’ blood.
O may this strange, this matchless grace, this God-like miracle of love, fill the whole earth with grateful praise, and all th’ angelic choirs above, and all th’ angelic choirs above.
Refrain: Who is a pard’ning God like Thee? Or who has grace so rich and free? Or who has grace so rich and free?

For Today: 1 Chronicles 29:11; Job 36:5; Psalm 31:19; 145:3; Isaiah 40:26, 28

Reflect again on God’s greatness. In what ways do we sometimes try to contain His greatness? Determine to let “God be God” in every situation. Carry this musical question as you go

The Gospel Song – Sovereign Grace

Holy God in love became
Perfect man to bear my blame
On the cross he took my sin
By his death I live again

Amazing Grace – Rhema Marvanne (Must Listen)

Amazing Grace – how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believed!

When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we first begun.

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