A Sinner’s Prayer

In 2014, at the age of 75, I wrote this hymn as a witness of how, over many years, the Lord brought me to Himself. I set it to a tune to be sung as a solo but I plan to use a  familiar tune, instead, so that it can be sung in corporate worship. It is a hymn all true Christians should be able to sing.

I share only the text in this post. I will share the musical version when it is available.

A SINNER’S PRAYER

He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them. Psalm 145:19

1. LORD, be merciful to me, a sinner.
What have I to bring to you?
I am poor, and lost, and helpless;
Show and teach me what is true.

Hear me calling, gracious Father,
I am deaf and cannot see.
I am hopeless; I am dying.
No one here can answer me.

2.  Lord, you said that you would save me 
If I trust in you alone.
What is faith; what is believing?
It is your work, not my own.

Hear me crying, dear Lord Jesus;
Hear my pleading; see my tears.
In my sin and in my anguish,
I have struggled through the years.

3. All my trying, all my labor
Are but vanity to you.
I am dust in need of Spirit.
Breathe in me your life anew.

I confess Lord, that I need you.
I repent of all my sin.
By your Spirit, live within me.
Be my strength and be my Friend.

4. Lord, you promised life abundant
When you came and bled and died.
Let me see and hear you clearly —
Jesus Christ, the crucified.

O, I can see you, I can hear you.
You have opened eyes and ears.
You have covered sin and sorrow;
You have banished all my fears.

5. Lord, let this poor, ransomed sinner
Know you, love you, and obey;
With your guidance, daily leading,
Showing me your will and way.

Hear me calling, blessed Redeemer,
In my nights and in my days.
I am helpless, but your grace, Lord,
Will lift these weak lips to praise.

© Fran Rogers 2014

Ten Most Important Words ~ A Survey

Continuing our thoughts on words, I want your input on this one, and it is not as easy as you may think.

Words form our thoughts.  Even images are described by words.  Words convey our thoughts in our speech.  Our thoughts and words initiate our actions.  The words that we live by determine our relationship with God and with others.

Concerning the fact that words are our means of communication, and in them is meaning in how we think, speak and live, what would you consider the ten most important words in the English language? The words we are looking for are those that pertain to our relationships with God and others ~ from a Christian view.

At some time in life, we may come to feel the point of the following video. What are the words we want to hear, that we need to hear and to use often?

If you can’t think of ten, share as many as you wish to ~ even five or less. If only one, we welcome your comment. Take your time ~ we are in no hurry for this.

LOVE  may very well be the most popular word and if so, it must be with a proper understanding of the source ~ GOD, Himself.

 Thank you for your response.

Image: Pixabay
Image: Pixabay

Words of Life ~ BLOOD

We are blessed again to have Jim from The Domain for Truth post a special Word of Life. Thank you, Jim. You are a precious example and a great teacher of the Life we have in Christ.

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(All Bible verses are from the NASB with Strong’s definitions)

How rich is the theme that leads us to the blood of Christ – the blood of the everlasting covenant through which His people are united in Him for eternity.

There are 392 references to blood in the Bible (KJV) with meanings.

A study of the meaning of blood shows the wonderful grace of God through Jesus Christ.

The Old Testament lays the foundation.  Starting with the book of Genesis, we see the early use of the term blood testifies of the seriousness of sin.

Old Testament H1818
םדָּ dâm, dawm; from H1826; blood (as that which when shed causes death) of man or an animal; by analogy, the juice of the grape; figuratively (especially in the plural) bloodshed (i.e. drops of blood):—blood(-y, -guiltiness), (-thirsty), + innocent

In Genesis 4:10-11 we find what God says the blood of the innocent did after the matter with Cain murdering Abel:

“He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground.
Now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.

In the Noahic covenant, God established the penalty of blood for blood.

“Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man.” Genesis 9:6

Then there is the extended discussion in the Laws of the Old Testament about the sacrificial system which involves blood.  Why is it a bloody matter?

“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” Leviticus 17:11

That is the Old Testament reference from Leviticus the writer of Hebrews uses:

“And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” Hebrews 9:22

This verse states that without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. It is fitting imagery given to show blood is needed for physical life – so in the spiritual realm, the blood of Christ is needed for spiritual life.

The blood of Christ is sufficient for the forgiveness of sins; an accomplishment that is multi-faceted.  We will survey some of these aspects below. We can learn much about the order of salvation from tracing the theme of the blood of Christ.

New Testament G129
αἷμα haîma, hah’-ee-mah; blood, literally (of men or animals), figuratively (the juice of grapes) or specially (the atoning blood of Christ); by implication, bloodshed, also kindred:—blood.

The Blood of Christ Justifies 

God is a Holy and Just Judge. In order for us to be saved from hell, Jesus Christ had to pay the penalty for our sins.  Justification is to be declared legally righteous on the basis of what Christ has done.  Yet Romans 5:8-9 teaches that justification is accomplished by the blood of Christ:

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.”

Verse 8 reveals that God has shown His love to sinners. The means is stated in the second half of the verse – Christ died for us.  Verse 9 unpacks this truth by revealing to us that believers have been justified by His blood.  The effect of being justified by His blood means we are saved from God’s wrath and judgment.  What wonder – that the blood of Christ can declare us legally righteous!

The Blood of Christ Provides Propitiation

Remember Romans 5:9 – the blood of Christ justifies us and therefore we shall be saved from the wrath of God.  To appease the wrath of God against sinners, that is, to have the wrath of God against us satisfied, requires the blood of Christ (Romans 5:9). This is called the doctrine of propitiation.

Those who trust in the atoning work of Christ live in gratitude for His work of grace to and in us.

The Blood of Christ Redeems 

The Bible reveals that as nonbelievers we were at one time slaves to sin.

“For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.” Romans 6:20

In the New Testament era, the purchase of slaves by a new master was called redemption. God uses this motif to say He has paid the cost to make us His people that we may be servants of righteousness (Romans 8:6).

 “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace” Ephesians 1:7

Redemption is only through Christ’s blood. This is not because we deserved it. No – the verse makes it clear – it is because of the riches of God’s grace.

This doctrine has implications and practical application for church members.

“Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” Acts 20:28

The Blood of Christ Provides Communion with God

When I say the blood of Christ provides communion with God, I mean that the blood of Christ brings us close to God.

“Remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” Ephesians 2:12-13

Verse 12 explains our condition before we became believers – we were separated and far from God.  But in verse 13 we see the opposite for us as believers.  How are we brought near to God?

By what means? – by the blood of Christ. Knowing what it cost should change how we view our time with God and our worship.

The Blood of Christ Sanctifies

The blood of Christ also washes us and changes us in a practical and ethical way.

“Therefore, Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.” Hebrews 13:12

Christ sanctifies us. That’s amazing, since Christians often think of the Holy Spirit’s sanctification. The truth is that it is both Christ and the Spirit!  Yet what is the means by which Christ sanctifies us? The verse here says, through His own blood.  This is associated with the crucifixion of Christ as the verse references His suffering outside the gate of Jerusalem.

This should change the way we view holiness and sanctification.  It is a privilege to pursue godliness to please God and Christ in light of what Christ has done for us.

The shedding of the blood of Christ is the means God has provided to save us.  Tracing the theme of the blood of Christ reveals the beautiful jewels of Christ’s work of salvation.  His blood has justified us, provided propitiation, redeemed us, draws us near to God, and sanctifies us in Christ, making us His – here, now, and forever.

Have you appreciated these treasured truths of the Gospel to such a point that you are motivated to serve and live for Christ? Let this be our prayer.

“And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb
and because of the word of their testimony,
and they did not love their life even [when faced with death.”
Revelation 12:11

Related Article: A Bloody Crown, A Bloody Cross, A Bloody Sacrifice

 

The Law of the Lord is Perfect

English: Scroll of the Psalms

The Law of the Lord is Perfect is the text of Psalm 19:7-11, which speaks of the work of God’s Word in the life of the believer.

The Law of the Lord Is Perfect        

The law of the Lord is perfect,
Converting the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure,
Making wise the simple.

(refrain)
More to be desired are they than gold.
Yea, than much fine gold,
Sweeter also than honey
And the honeycomb.

The statutes of the Lord are right,
Rejoicing the heart:
The commandment of the Lord is pure,
Enlightening the eyes.
(refrain)

 The fear of the Lord is clean,
Enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true
And righteous altogether.
(refrain)
Music by Joanne Roberts Graham  

Dear Father in heaven. Lead us to meditate on your law day and night. On this special day, enable your ministers to proclaim your Word in power as you open our hearts to hear and respond. Use your Word today for conversion, wisdom, rejoicing, and enlightenment for your glory. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Image: Google

Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending

This hymn was unknown to me until a few years ago when I purchased an album by the Cambridge Singers under the direction of John Rutter. This rendition sounds like the prelude to Jesus’ triumphant return in His great glory. The second is a quieter, more personal expression.

Between the two are the lyrics to this hymn written by John Cennick, Collection of Sacred Hymns 1752, republished & altered by Charles Wesley, 1758. The tune Helmsley is usually attributed to Thomas Olivers, a Welsh Methodist preacher and hymn-writer but this hymn is sung to other tunes, also. This has been my favorite and seems to fit the text better than others. (The first rendition uses first, second, and last verses.)

“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him.
Rev. 1:7 

Lo! he comes, with clouds descending,
Once for favored sinners slain;
Thousand, thousand saints attending
Swell the triumph of his train:
Alleluia! alleluia! alleluia!
Christ the Lord appears on earth to reign.

Every eye shall now behold him,
Robed in dreadful majesty;
Those who set at nought and sold him,
Pierced, and nailed him to the tree,
Deeply wailing, deeply wailing, deeply wailing,
Shall the true Messiah see.

Every island, sea, and mountain,
Heav’n and earth, shall flee away;
All who hate him must, confounded
Hear the trump proclaim the day;
Come to judgment! Come to judgment!
Come, to judgment, come away!

Now redemption, long expected,
See in solemn pomp appear;
All his saints, by man rejected,
Now shall meet him in the air:
Alleluia! alleluia! alleluia!
See the day of God appear!

The dear tokens of His passion
Still His dazzling body bears;
Cause of endless exultation
To His ransomed worshippers;
With what rapture, with what rapture, with what rapture
Gaze we on those glorious scars!

Yea, amen! let all adore thee,
High on thine eternal throne;
Savior, take the power and glory;
Claim the kingdom for thine own:
O come quickly, O come quickly;
Alleluia! come, Lord, come.

John Cannick 1752
Republished and altered by Charles Wesley in 1758           Tune: Helmsly

“This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven,
shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”
Acts 1:11

Copy of music score for Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending

Reflections on a Lord’s Day in the Year of our Lord 2001

(Written on the afternoon of the Lord’s Day, September 23, 2001)

Imagine a soldier in the service of his country who is given an order. Instead of obeying, he says, “I cannot because I have something else  to do.” Or he says, “Let me check with my wife to see if we have other plans.”

As ludicrous as this sounds, was this not Adam’s reason for his dishonorable discharge. And is it not the reason for so many who fail to obey their call to active duty as soldiers of the cross. Our calling on this day of each week is to be in His house of worship to praise Him and to hear His Word, to renew our covenant with Him, and receive His grace for the following week.

In the afternoon of a Lord’s day in 2001, I was thinking of the gift of righteousness, the unspeakable gift of His grace, and the unsearchable riches of Christ  (Ephesians 3:8). My heart was quickened in the understanding of our Father’s overwhelming love and His redeeming grace for us (1 John 4:10).

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
2 Corinthians 9:15

We can give to Him only what He has given to us ~ our time and worship, our talents and all this life. The love, the gifts, and fruit of the Spirit ~ all that is from Him ~ when used for His glory, He gives again and again.

Dear Father in heaven, thank you that your grace continues to bring the fruit of the life of Christ in and through us. Fill us with your Holy Spirit today that we may worship you in spirit and truth; to spend this day faithfully with you. Prepare us to serve you this week. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Image: Google

 

A Special Day of Grace ~ for God’s Eternal Glory

Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness;
Fear before Him, all the earth.
Psalm 96:9

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

O worship the King all glorious above.
O gratefully sing his pow’r and HIs love;
Our shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days,
Pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise.”
Robert Grant 1833  ~  Based on Psalm 104