Tag Archives: Lent

Lenten Reflections – Day 33

21 Mar

Blessed be thy love for giving thy Son to die for our sins, for the means of grce, and for the hope of glory.

Blessed be thy love for all the temporal benefits which thou has dealt with a liberal hand poured out upon me; for my health and strength, food and raiment, and all other necessities with which thou has provided thy sinful servant.

I also bless thee that after all my refusals of thy grace thou still hast patience with me, hast preserved me this night and given me yet another day to renew and perfect my repentance.

Pardon, good Lord, all my former sins, and make me every day more zealous and diligent to improve every opportunity of building up my soul in thy fait, love and obedience.

Make thyself always present to my mind, and let thy love fill and rule my soul in all those places, companies and employments to which thou callest me this day.

In all my passage through this world suffer not my heart to be set upon it, but always fix my single eye and my undivided affections on the price of my high calling.

This one thing let me do: let me press toward this as to make all things else minister unto it, and be careful so as to use them as thereby to fit my soul for that pure bliss which thou has prepared for those that love thee.

~ From John Wesley’s Prayers

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Lenten Reflections – Day 32

20 Mar

But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
Philippians 3:7

When they buried the blind preacher, George Matheson, they lined his grave with red roses in memory of his love-love of sacrifice. And itw as this man sso beautifully and significantly honored, who wrote,

O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee,
I give The back the life I ow,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O Light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to Thee,
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to Thee,
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from Thee,
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms read,
Life that shall endless be.

There is a legend of an artist who had found the secret of a wonderful red which no other artist could imitate. The secret of his color died with him. But after his death an old wound was discovered over his heart. This revealed the source of the matchless hue of his pictures. The legend teaches that no great achievement can be made, no lofty attachment reached, nothing of much value to the world done, ave at the cost of heart’s blood.

From Streams in the Desert.

Lenten Reflections – Day 31

19 Mar

Nothing But the Blood
by William Doane and Robert Lowry

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Refrain

Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

For my pardon, this I see,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
For my cleansing this my plea,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Refrain

Nothing can for sin atone,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
Naught of good that I have done,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Refrain

This is all my hope and peace,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
This is all my righteousness,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Refrain

Now by this I’ll overcome—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus,
Now by this I’ll reach my home—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Refrain

Glory! Glory! This I sing—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus,
All my praise for this I bring—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Refrain

Lenten Reflections – Day 30

17 Mar

A Civil War Within the Self
E. Stanley Jones

Romans 7:7-25
What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “Do not covet.”But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.

For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.

We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

Into the conscious mind is introduced by conversion a new sense of conscious cleanness, a new loyalty, a new love. This introduction is so real, so satisfying, so conduct determining, that the converted think the battle is over, that life is now to be one glad song of victory. Those honeymoon days come to an end, ususally within a year. The subconscious urges, which have been laying low, apparently stunned into insensibility by the introduction of the new and different and authoritative life in the conscious mind no begin to reasert themselves. Tempers, moods, fears, resentments, which we thought were gone forever, now lift their heads from the storm cellars of the subconscious, and the struggle between the conscious and the subconscious ensues. Paul calls it the war between “spirit” and “flesh.”

Many take it for granted that this stalemate is the best that the Christian faith offers. So they settle down to the state of being canceled out by this inevitable conflict. The seventh chapter of Romans in their escape and their excuse – Paul had this conflict, why shouldn’t we? If the seventh of Romans were the only gospel Paul had to preach we would never have heard of him again. But the seventh of Romans is pre-Christian and sub-Christian – a man under the law fighting with sin in the subconscious with no resources of Christ at his disposal. It depicts the whole world experience without Christ. Does the Christian faith provide a way out of this dilemma? It can only if it provides for the conversion of the subconscious, and it does provide for just that. The area of the work of the Holy Spirit is largely, if not entirely, in the subconscious. He who made the subconscious has made plans for its redemption, its conversion, its sanctification. What kind of Creator would he have been if he had created the subconsious and then had not provided for its redemption in case evil should invade it?

Lenten Reflections – Day 29

17 Mar

Luke 1: 46-48

And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.”

I recently heard Mark Lowry in concert sing the simple yet powerful words, “Mary, did you know…This child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you.”

In the overwhelming experience of being visited by an angel, Mary didn’t know that. She only knew that she had been chosen by God for a special mission. She may never have fully understood the impact of God’s choice for her life.

But what Mary knew for certain was that this child’s conception and birth was miraculous. Mary knew that she had not been with a man. Throughout history the words “conceived by the Holy Spirit” have been words that mankind has accepted through faith. Mary knew them to be fact.

Years later, Mary may have had a better understanding of who her son was. As she watched him be beaten and abused and then watched in horror as he was nailed to the cross, her mother’s heart was broken. The natural maternal instinct would be to cry out in anguish that “No! You can’t do that to my son.”

But Mary was silent. She stood weeping at the foot of the cross. She understood that Jesus was fulfilling the purpose for which He came. Mary’s silence stands throughout the ages as recognition of the humanity and the divinity of the baby she once cradled in her arms.

Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?

Lenten Reflections – Day 28

16 Mar

Grace Greater Than our Sin
Julia H. Johnston

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled.

Refrain

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,
Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,
Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.

Refrain

Dark is the stain that we cannot hide.
What can avail to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide,
Brighter than snow you may be today.

Refrain

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?

Refrain

Lenten Reflections – Day 27

15 Mar


“I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls . . .”

—2 Corinthians 12:15

Once “the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit,” we deliberately begin to identify ourselves with Jesus Christ’s interests and purposes in others’ lives (Romans 5:5 ). And Jesus has an interest in every individual person. We have no right in Christian service to be guided by our own interests and desires. In fact, this is one of the greatest tests of our relationship with Jesus Christ. The delight of sacrifice is that I lay down my life for my Friend, Jesus (see John 15:13 ). I don’t throw my life away, but I willingly and deliberately lay it down for Him and His interests in other people. And I do this for no cause or purpose of my own. Paul spent his life for only one purpose— that he might win people to Jesus Christ. Paul always attracted people to his Lord, but never to himself. He said, “I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some” ( 1 Corinthians 9:22 ).

When someone thinks that to develop a holy life he must always be alone with God, he is no longer of any use to others. This is like putting himself on a pedestal and isolating himself from the rest of society. Paul was a holy person, but wherever he went Jesus Christ was always allowed to help Himself to his life. Many of us are interested only in our own goals, and Jesus cannot help Himself to our lives. But if we are totally surrendered to Him, we have no goals of our own to serve. Paul said that he knew how to be a “doormat” without resenting it, because the motivation of his life was devotion to Jesus. We tend to be devoted, not to Jesus Christ, but to the things which allow us more spiritual freedom than total surrender to Him would allow. Freedom was not Paul’s motive at all. In fact, he stated, “I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren . . .” ( Romans 9:3 ). Had Paul lost his ability to reason? Not at all! For someone who is in love, this is not an overstatement. And Paul was in love with Jesus Christ.

Oswald Chambers

Lenten Reflections – Day 26

14 Mar

“But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa.” – Jonah 1:3

Instead of going to Nineveh to preach the Word, as God bade him, Jonah disliked the work, and went down to Joppa to escape from it. There are occasions when God’s servants shrink from duty. But what is the consequence? What did Jonah lose by his conduct? He lost the presence and comfortable enjoyment of God’s love. When we serve our Lord Jesus as believers should do, our God is with us; and though we have the whole world against us, if we have God with us, what does it matter? But the moment we start back, and seek our own inventions, we are at sea without a pilot. Then may we bitterly lament and groan out, “O my God, where hast thou gone? How could I have been so foolish as to shun thy service, and in this way to lose all the bright shinings of thy face? This is a price too high. Let me return to my allegiance, that I may rejoice in thy presence.” In the next place, Jonah lost all peace of mind. Sin soon destroys a believer’s comfort. It is the poisonous upas tree, from whose leaves distil deadly drops which destroy the life of joy and peace. Jonah lost everything upon which he might have drawn for comfort in any other case. He could not plead the promise of divine protection, for he was not in God’s ways; he could not say, “Lord, I meet with these difficulties in the discharge of my duty, therefore help me through them.” He was reaping his own deeds; he was filled with his own ways. Christian, do not play the Jonah, unless you wish to have all the waves and the billows rolling over your head. You will find in the long run that it is far harder to shun the work and will of God than to at once yield yourself to it. Jonah lost his time, for he had to go to Nineveh after all. It is hard to contend with God; let us yield ourselves at once.

~ Charles Spurgeon

Lenten Reflections – Day 25

13 Mar

Hebrews 11:13
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.

Are you a stranger on this earth or are you comfortable here?  Are you so settled in your life that you can’t imagine going anywhere else?  You don’t want anything to change?

It’s easy enough, particularly for the American Christian.  We like our houses, our cars, our vacation homes.  No, not all Americans are equally blessed, but by the standards of the world, we’re pretty rich.  For the most part we find the job we like, the house we like, the church we like all because they’re the right fit.

So it’s easy to get that sense of security.  That sense of belonging.  But as followers of Christ, should it be that way?

In the Old Testament, the Children of Israel seemed to move quite a bit.  Even after being delivered to the Promised Land, they didn’t get to stay there.  As Tevye says in Fiddler on the Roof, “Our forefathers have been forced out of many, many places at a moment’s notice.  Maybe that’s why we always wear our hats.”

It’s true that in the course of history the Jewish people have rarely had the chance to be comfortable.  It seems God has always moved them around, sometimes to display His power, sometimes because of their disobedience.  But always with His purpose in mind.

Do we have His purpose in mind?  Or are we so comfortable that we just don’t want to move?  It’s easy to get so caught up in our lives that we forget that we’re not really home.  Or we forget that we’re called to a world in need that just might require we step out of our comfort zone.

While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying God’s blessings, we should never get so comfortable that we’re unwilling to move when He says it’s time to go.

Where does God want to move you today?

Lenten Reflections – Day 24

12 Mar

I Am His and He Is Mine

Loved with everlasting love, led by grace that love to know;
Gracious Spirit from above, Thou hast taught me it is so!
O this full and perfect peace! O this transport all divine!
In a love which cannot cease, I am His, and He is mine.
In a love which cannot cease, I am His, and He is mine.

Heav’n above is softer blue, Earth around is sweeter green!
Something lives in every hue Christless eyes have never seen;
Birds with gladder songs o’erflow, flowers with deeper beauties shine,
Since I know, as now I know, I am His, and He is mine.
Since I know, as now I know, I am His, and He is mine.

Things that once were wild alarms cannot now disturb my rest;
Closed in everlasting arms, pillowed on the loving breast.
O to lie forever here, doubt and care and self resign,
While He whispers in my ear, I am His, and He is mine.
While He whispers in my ear, I am His, and He is mine.

His forever, only His; Who the Lord and me shall part?
Ah, with what a rest of bliss Christ can fill the loving heart!
Heav’n and earth may fade and flee, firstborn light in gloom decline;
But while God and I shall be, I am His, and He is mine.
But while God and I shall be, I am His, and He is mine.

George W. Robinson, 1876