LAVISH LOVE: How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (I John 3:1 NIV)

Archive for April, 2012

New Way to Pray

ImageMy women’s Bible study group has been studying Galatians over the winter and spring months. After reading verses like the following, one woman came to an interesting conclusion, which you can read after you read the scriptures.

“God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.'” (4:6)

“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” (5:16)

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (5:22)

“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (5:25)

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” (6:7-8)

My friend’s ah-ha moment? She said she’d been praying wrong. Instead of praying, “Lord, fix me,” she now plans to pray, “Lord, fill me,” because if we’re filled with the Spirit of Jesus, we won’t be controlled by selfish desires (chapters 5 and 6). Instead, we will love and serve others as ourselves (5:13-14) and produce the other-centered fruit of the Spirit (5:22). We will keep in step with the Spirit (5:25) and do good to all people (6:10), boasting only in the Cross of Christ (6:14).

Early in Jesus ministry, John the Baptist said, “He must become greater; I must become less.” Jesus fixed us when he saved us (Galatians 6:15, 2 Corinthians 5:17), but daily we need his filling (Ephesians 5:18). Reminds me of the chorus to the old song titled “Fill My Cup, Lord” by Richard Blanshard.

Fill my cup Lord, I lift it up, Lord!
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul;
Bread of heaven, Feed me till I want no more–
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole!

What is Maundy Thursday?

ImageIn Seasons of Prayer – Rediscovering Classic Prayers Through the Christian Calendar, Donna Fletcher Crow writes:

“The name Maundy comes from the Latin mandatum (commandment) because John 13:34 (“A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another”) was sung at early foot-washing ceremonies, as it often is today.

“Robert Webber says, ‘In the ancient church the service of Maundy Thursday began the great triduum, the three great days of the paschal celebration. These were days of fasting and prayer, days when the church remembered the final acts of Christ’s saving work.'”

Jesus’ final acts just before his arrest: After washing his disciples’ feet, sharing the Passover meal with them, and sending Judas away, Jesus taught the remaining disciples about love and their future relationship with the Trinity. Then he prayed for his band of followers and led them across the Kidron Valley and up the Mount of Olives to an olive grove called Gethsemane.

“Sit here while I go and pray,” he said. Taking Peter, James and John with him, he began to be filled with horror and deep distress. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death.” (Mark 14/NLT)

Hallelujah! What a Savior! by Philip P. Bliss, pub.1875

  1. “Man of Sorrows!” what a name
    For the Son of God, who came
    Ruined sinners to reclaim.
    Hallelujah! What a Savior!
  2. Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
    In my place condemned He stood;
    Sealed my pardon with His blood.
    Hallelujah! What a Savior!
  3. Guilty, vile, and helpless we;
    Spotless Lamb of God was He;
    “Full atonement!” can it be?
    Hallelujah! What a Savior!
  4. Lifted up was He to die;
    “It is finished!” was His cry;
    Now in Heav’n exalted high.
    Hallelujah! What a Savior!
  5. When He comes, our glorious King,
    All His ransomed home to bring,
    Then anew His song we’ll sing:
    Hallelujah! What a Savior!

The Great Week

Donna Fletcher Crow writes the following in “Seasons of Prayer – Rediscovering ImageClassic Prayers Through the Christian Calendar”:

The week between Palm Sunday and Easter is the most important week in the Christian calendar. It has even been called “the defining week of the entire year.” This one week called the Great Week in the Early Church, and often called Passion Week today, encompasses the arrest, conviction, crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. “It was a week in which the world was redeemed–a week in which the re-creation of the world began.” (quote taken from “Rediscovering the Christian Feasts” by Robert Webber)

A Palm Sunday prayer quoted in the same chapter reads:

“Assist us mercifully with your help, O Lord God of our salvation, that we may enter with joy upon the contemplation of those mighty acts, whereby you have given us life and immortality through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Throughout this “Great Week,” may each of us contemplate the mighty acts that resulted in the re-creation of the world. And may we worship our omnipotent God and Savior, who accomplished those mighty acts to give us life and immortality.

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