Written in 2014 at the age of 75, recorded in 2021 at the age of 82, this song expresses the powerful work of God through many years to bring me into fellowship with Him as our Father, His Son, and His Holy Spirit. There is truly a joy and wonder of His life at work in us.
Why contend with others about the Jewish Sabbath and the Christian Sabbath?
The First Sabbath
“Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” Genesis 2:3
The Old Testament Sabbath was the beginning of God’s good pleasure, rest, and rule after the first creation. But there was the ongoing anticipation in the prophecy for God’s people of a Messiah. God’s Word speaks continually of the salvation that would come through Christ.
The Second Sabbath
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26
The law concerning the first Sabbath was written in stone. The new Sabbath of our Lord is written on our minds and in our hearts. (Hebrews 10:16)
The Anointed One, Jesus Christ, has come and finished the work of redemption to a new life. The old has passed away. In Christ, we are a new creation. A new day, the day of the Lord was established to celebrate and worship our risen Lord, and to live the new life in Him, to rest in Him in anticipation of His second coming
The Eternal Sabbath
“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.” Isaiah 64:17
“Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” 2 Peter 3:13
As Jesus’ followers, instead of setting aside Saturday, the seventh day, for our own use and pleasure, let us use it for preparation for the Lord’s Day. We still need to prepare our hearts and our children for worship each week on His day in anticipation of the new heavens and new earth.
Dear Father in heaven, thank you for your first creation and the Sabbath rest for your worship then. We praise you that we, your children, are the second creation, the new creation. Set our hearts to worship you daily and prepare our hearts for the gathering of your saints for the Lord’s Day each week in preparation for that final gathering of your children when Christ comes again to bring us to you and your eternal glory. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
BEGOTTEN is not a word used every day but one that all Christians should know as it speaks of our birth into the kingdom of God.
The Old Testament has only a few references to this word concerning men who have begotten children. One reference in Psalm 2:7 and repeated in Hebrews 1 relates to God and His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Old Testament H3205
Strong’s Concordance defines begotten yâlad, yaw-lad’ to bear, bring forth, beget, gender, travail
“I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me,
Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.”
New Testament G3439
monogenḗs, mon-og-en-ace’; from G3441 and G1096; single of its kind, only used of only sons or daughters (viewed in relation to their parents; used of Christ, denotes the only begotten son of God
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
“No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” John 1:18
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
“He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:18
The following references are used by Paul, Peter, and John pertaining to the new birth of all God’s children.
“For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.” 1 Corinthians 4:15
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again
unto a lively hope by the resurrection
of Jesus Christ from the dead,”
1 Peter 1:3
“Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.” 1 John 5:1
“We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.” 1 John 5:18
John speaks of Jesus being the first begotten of the dead—the first to be raised from the dead; the promise and the means of our salvation (see 1 Peter 1:3 above).
“And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness,
and the first begotten of the dead,
and the prince of the kings of the earth.
Unto him that loved us,
and washed us from our sins in his own blood,”
“In this was manifested the love of God toward us,
because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world,
that we might live through him.”
1 John 4:9
Except Jesus died and was raised from the dead, we would not have become children of God but now have hope of eternal life. Because the Father loved us, He desired us and sired us to be His own. He gave His one child ~ one of a kind ~ to birth many children into His family.
Gracious Father, how blessed we are to call you Father and Jesus our Lord and brother. Because, you draw us to Him and birth us by the power of your Holy Spirit, we desire your continual presence and power to conform us to His image. By the same Word and living hope, keep us close and growing in Christ. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
As I continue to study Andrew Murray’s, Humility ~ the Beauty of Holiness, the end of this year seems a good time to share some treasures from this book. We can take into the new year these special truths that can change our thinking and our lives. Considering if we live in pride or humility is to know if we live by the flesh as in the first Adam, or by the Spirit in the second Adam.
Think of the power of sin that was within us before we were born of the Spirit. Then meditate on the following quotes from Andrew Murray. Let us take these with us into the new year as we continue to study the power of the new life, the life of redemption that is ours in our Lord, Jesus Christ.
“Even as we need to look to the first Adam and his fall to know the power of the sin within us, we need to know well the Second Adam and His power to give within us a life of humility as real and abiding and overmastering as has been that of pride. We have our life from and in Christ, as truly, even more truly, than from and in Adam.”
“The life of God, which in the incarnation entered human nature, is the root in which we are to stand and grow. It is the same almighty power that worked there, and from then on to the resurrection, which works daily in us. Our one need (now) is to study and know and trust the life that has been revealed in Christ as the life that is now ours.”
There is no greater blessing than a life of humility; serving the Lord and others.
Gracious Father, we thank you for the new life that is ours in Christ. We praise you that you showed your power in His incarnation, resurrection, and redemption so that we can experience the power of His humility working in us. In Jesus’ name, we thank you and praise you. Amen.
Have This Mind Among Yourselves
Philippians 2:5-11 Music
Suggested Reading: A Broad Review of Andrew Murray’s Humility
As we look at the word AFFECTION, we understand its meaning from the beginning of God’s Word, seeing that everything good begins with God. Affection is related to what we love; what we find to be pleasant and desirable. The right love is first revealed in God. He, through His Word, shows us true love and where our affections should be. Deuteronomy 33:3 speaks of the love of God for His people when Moses gave them His commandments. He gave His rules only to His people because He loved them; derived from H2245 chabab (khaw-bab) meaning to cherish (with affection) – love. Biblical affection seems to be a special love from God, and us to Him, the things of God and His people.
Old Testament H7521
Strong’s ratsah rä·tsä’a primitive root; to be pleased with, be favourable to, accept favourably. (See references)
King David, before his death, had planned to build the temple, but was only able to prepare for it. It would be his son, Solomon, who would build it. But because of his affection ~ his love ~ for God, he gave his gold and silver for it.
“Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine own proper good, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house,”
1 Chronicles 29:3
New Testament G3804
Strong’s defines affection: pathema pä’-thā-mä
subjectively, an emotion or influence:– affection, affliction, motion, suffering; affection for (denoting personal attachment, as a matter of sentiment or feeling) Galatians 5:24
“And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”
G5426 phroneo fron-eh’-o from 5424; to exercise the mind, i.e. entertain or have a sentiment or opinion; by implication, to be (mentally) disposed (more or less earnestly in a certain direction); intensively, to interest oneself in (with concern or obedience):–set the affection on, regard, savour, think. phroneo is used in several references for the word savour, Colossians 3:2
The Spirit of Christ turns us from the affections of the flesh and the things of the world to “things above.” (We will elaborate on Colossians 3:1-4 in our next post, Intent, Tender, and Tenacious.)
4698 splagchnonc splangkh’-non probably strengthened from splen (the “spleen”); an intestine (plural); figuratively, pity or sympathy:–bowels, inward affection, + tender mercy.
Regarded by the Hebrews as the seat of the tenderer affections, esp. kindness, benevolence, compassion; hence our heart (tender mercies, affections, etc.) In 2 Corinthians 7:15, Paul speaks of Titus’ affection toward the believers at Corinth.
“And his inward affection is more abundant toward you, whilst he remembereth the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling ye received him.”
Paul’s affection for the Gentile Christians uses the word homeiromai ho-mā’-ro-mī G2442 meaning to desire, long for, esp. the longing of love.
“So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.
1 Thessalonians 2:8
Romans 12:10 uses the word philostorgos fil-os’-tor-gos G5387 from G5384, (cherishing one’s kindred; parents, children, natural relatives, i.e . fraternal towards fellow Christians.
“Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;”
From God’s affection for His people in the Old Testament, King David’s affection for God and His house, to the love of Christ in the New Testament, we are taught and delivered from our natural affections. Being raised with Christ to new life, we set our affections on Him and the heavenly life that awaits in glory with Him. In the meantime, our hearts are trained to show mercy and compassion on those of our own household and fellow believers.
Gracious Father, thank you for the example of your affections for your people, through the nation of Israel and us, who are new creatures in Christ. Teach us to exercise our minds in the things of your Word, so as to displace our affections for the things of this world with the things above which are eternal In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
A few weeks ago, the pastor and elders of the church we had been visiting, came to our home to pray for us and while here, to hear our witness of Christ for membership. God had been working twenty years for this transition from our last church. All that the Lord has done in my life (almost 79 years) could never be shared in one day, and I praise Him that He is not through with His work in my life. The following poem is the concise witness the Lord gave me for that day.
His Story is My Story
No one knows even half of my story
It is covered by heaven’s pure glory.
Jesus came down and died for my sin.
By HIs blood I am cleansed from within.
By His righteousness alone,
For my sins did He atone.
So that sinners such as I
May on His work now rely.
Singing and praising every day
In the new and upward way.
Fran ~ 2018
In my seventy-ninth year, I no longer use steps without the help of a handrail.
In a recent vision, I was faced with an extremely wide staircase, not seeing where it was leading. It seemed that God had placed me there and expected me to climb the middle of the stairs. As in other visions, I was not given a choice, but a revelation of what the Lord wanted me to see.
I had no rails to hold, and starting to climb this unknown stairway, I saw Jerry standing next to me, expecting me to hold his hand as we climbed ~ without his prosthesis.
As I took his hand, I saw Jesus taking his other hand. Together, we climbed the stairs, until reaching the top, Jerry received his new leg in heaven. ~ Fran 3/18
“As for me, I will behold thy face
in righteousness: I shall be satisfied,
when I awake with thy likeness.”
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God,
and it doth not yet appear
what we shall be: but we know that,
when he shall appear, we shall be like him;
for we shall see him as he is.”
1 John 3:2
“Therefore if any man be in Christ,
he is a new creature:
old things are passed away;
behold, all things are become new.”
2 Corinthians 5:17
(Stay with me—the best wine is reserved for last.)
Our children and grandchildren came today to celebrate the birthday of our youngest child, our daughter, Lee. For more than forty years we have witnessed what God, our heavenly Father, has been doing in this one life—“beforehand ordained” to be born of the earth, and of heaven.
How grateful I am that she has a new mother, for I was not able to give her eternal life. As a child she exhibited traits of someone else’s child. (At times I thought she was perfect; she was not at all like me.) She attested to her new birth at the age of fifteen when she was baptized and formerly became a member of Christ’s church.
Though we drifted apart over the years we have since been drawn together in a new way through the difficult times—“everything working together” to conform both of us to the image of Christ.
I lived part of my life through her, for she had a life I did not have. God enabled me to see what He can do, beyond what any earthly parent can do. Perhaps this was part of His plan for me to see beyond myself to Him.
This week as I have been preparing for this celebration the thought came that revealed the blessing that God put in my life all these years. If I could have lived the life of another woman here on this earth I would have wished for the life He gave my daughter.
That is how much I love the daughter that He gave me.
Celebration of THE LIFE
Now that we have celebrated the life of our daughter today we are continuing our plans for tomorrow. Every day and every week is the time for preparation for the Lord’s Day—the day we celebrate the Life from which all life comes.
“For by Him (Jesus Christ) were all things created that are in heaven and in the earth…and by Him all things consist. For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness (life) dwell.” Colossians 1:16-19
“And of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” John 1:16
Christ exhibited this Life in human form and then sacrificed that physical life that we might receive eternal life through Him.
Those who can testify of their new birth—new life in Christ—will celebrate the eternal life of Jesus Christ on the Lord’s Day. It is the inheritance we have in Him as children of the living God, our heavenly Father.
We meet together with his other sons and daughters to worship and adore the one who gave His life that we might live with Him, forever.
At Christ Reformed Church we are invited every Lord’s Day to His table to feast on this life—His body broken for us; His blood shed for us—all for us, that we might be all for Him.
My heavenly Father blessed me with a precious daughter and son here on this earth, both originating with His Son. Through new life in Him, supernaturally by His own Spirit, He continues to bless me and promises this for eternity.
Even in the years of my estrangement from Him Christ compensated for me and in His timing brought me to know His love for me. Now the only life I desire is the life of Christ; His life in me, and my living in Him. This is how much I love the Son given to me.
“He who has the Son has Life.”
1 John 5:12
Father, open our eyes to see ourselves as we are without you. Reveal Christ to us as our only hope of life for this world and for eternity. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen