Lenten Reflection: Let Me Never Outlive My Love to Thee

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by Tricia Hitchcock

“O Sacred Head Now Wounded”

How fickle we are. And how forgetful.

On Sunday morning, as we are sitting in church singing and hearing God’s Word, it is easy to be impressed with all that God has done. And we are grateful.

But as the week wears on, we are tired. We feel like God has given us more than we can handle. We even sometimes feel forgotten. And we complain.

But God has done so much for us. We can never be grateful enough. He created us. He gives us every blessing in our lives. He has given us a beautiful world to live in. And we rejected Him. But He didn’t give us up for loss. Instead, He Himself provided a way that our sins could be paid for and we could come to Him. At great cost, with great pain, Jesus was wounded and died for us. How can we ever say thank you?

We live as God’s children, for His glory, sharing the message of His grace with a world that doesn’t know Him, living for Him wherever we are. May we never forget all He has done. And may we never outlive our love for Him.

 

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Lenten Reflection: What A Savior!

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by Nick Laninga

 

“He was despised and rejected by men, a man sorrows, and familiar with suffering…He was despised and, and we esteemed Him not. {Isaiah 53:3}

HALLELUJAH, WHAT A SAVIOR. Words and music by Philip P. Bliss 1838-1876

How ironic that Christ, who is the Creator and sustainer of all things, was rejected and was put to death by those to whom He gave life. How ironic that He went to the cross in the display of Divine mercy toward us

  1. “Man of sorrows!” what a name for the Son of God, who came ruined sinners to reclaim! HALLELUJAH, WHAT A SAVIOR! This first verse brings out the Old Testament prophecy of Isaiah 53. Speaking of the suffering of our Savior at the cross and the substitutionary work that Christ did there. He suffered for us willingly and deliberately.
  2. Bearing shame and scoffing rude, in my place condemned He stood—sealed my pardon with His blood: HALLELUJAH, WHAT A SAVIOR! Verse two speaks of the scorn that was heaped on Him. He stood condemned on our [my] place, suffering what we rightfully deserved. Christ guaranteed our pardon sealed with His blood, the official seal that made it legal and effective.
  3. Guilty, vile and helpless we, spotless Lamb of God was He; full atonement! Can it be? HALLELUJAH, WHAT A SAVIOR! Verse three tells us it was we, not Christ that deserved what He suffered and bore. We are guilty, vile and helpless unable to do anything to atone for our sins. He on the other hand is the sacrifice “the spotless Lamb of God” He alone could render full atonement. 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! Verse four. The once and for all sufficiency of Christ’s atoning death. John 19:30 “It is finished!!!”
  5. When He comes, our glorious King, all his ransomed home to bring, then anew this song we’ll sing. HALLELUJAH, WHAT A SAVIOR! Verse five the end. He is now in heaven exalted above all things [Philippians 2:9] He will return to bring us home where we will sing anew a new song. [ Revelation 14:3] which was our song from the beginning “ HALLELUJAH, WHAT A SAVIOR!

KEY for us is that a life of praise is not something that can be worked up. Rather, it is a remembrance and a response to Christ’s sacrificial death on our behalf. As we reflect on who Christ is and what He accomplished for us, what He provides in our daily lives as an advocate before God, and what He has promised for our future, our hearts are melted before Him. We bow at His feet in humble adoration. HALLELUJAH is basically the same in all languages. What a celebration as one day from every tribe, language, people and nation will gather to sing eternally “HALLELUJAH to the Lamb”

Reflect often on the Wondrous Cross of Christ His love and atoning work. Have a blessed Lent.

Some of the content came from John Macarthur and Kenneth Osbeck.

 

Lenten Reflection: Thy Presence My Light

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By Casie Rodenberger

Be thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art-
Thou my best thought, be day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my my Wisdom,
and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Though with me Lord;
Thou my great Father, I thy true son,
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Confrontation is not my thing. Somewhat shocking I know coming from someone who is in law school. But professional confrontation and personal confrontation are two entirely different things. And personal confrontation comes in all shapes, sizes, and severities when you are a Christian.

Not all confrontation needs an active response. There are growing moments where it is best to listen, to acknowledge what the Lord is teaching me. To embrace the moment and be present with the Lord. But there are also those confrontations where I am moved to respond. Sometimes I am able to speak up, and I hope that I am able to speak with the wisdom that the Lord has granted me. Other times I am not, as my words or courage simply fail me.

It is in the this hymn that I find comfort. Knowing that with the Lord, any confrontation or challenging moment that I face is not alone. Whether it is a learning moment or one that brings me pause, He is there. His presence is my light as I continue to learn and grow from these moments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lenten Reflection: None Beside Thee

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by Danyale Tamminga

“None other Lamb, none other name,
none other hope in heav’n or earth or sea,
none other hiding place from guilt and shame,
none beside thee!”
-Christina Rossetti, 1892

 

I have loved this hymn by for a long time. It is not one I grew up singing in church, but was introduced to by a friend in my mid-twenties. I managed, when I was a student in Ohio, to plunk out the William Jeater tune (one of the versions in our hymnal; the one we usually sing) on the piano. My piano playing is very weak, so to manage this was a feat for me. It is a rather simple tune, gentle and sweet. The tune seems to echo the words of Rossetti’s poem quite perfectly. Thinking back twenty years ago, sitting down at the fusty, old piano in the house I was living in, playing and singing the words to this hymn are a happy memory to me.

The poem, “None Other Lamb,” is found in Rossetti’s last published book, The Face of the Deep (1892). It is a book of her reflections on the book of Revelation. I’ve learned that this particular piece is part of her meditation on Rev. 5.6, after the apostle John is found weeping “because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside.” This was troublesome to John, but “Then one of the elders said to me, ‘See the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and it’s seven seals.’ ”

Then comes verse 6: “Then I saw between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders a Lamb standing as if it had been slain . . .”

In her poem, Rossetti puts Jesus Christ in sharp focus for us as the only source of . . . our everything! None other Lamb, none other name, none other hope, none other hiding place, none beside thee. None. None. None.

 

 

 

Lenten Reflection: The Prize for Which He Died

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by Tricia Hitchcock

 

Wow! Isn’t that an amazing thought? WE are Christ’s prize! His prize for which He died! I don’t know about you, but I rarely feel like a prize. Sometimes I honestly wonder how even my friends and family can put up with me, mess that I am. But Christ died for me. He died to save me. He died to pay a debt I couldn’t pay. And I am the good thing that He got by suffering. In spite of the mess that I am, Christ wanted me and suffered and died so that I could come to God. I am part of His beautiful Bride, the church.

It is amazing that God loves me that much. May I never forget!

 

 

 

 

Lenten Reflection: This is the Day

by Nick Laninga

Every Sunday for many years we sang the following song and chorus as an opening song at church.

This is the day, this is the day.

That the Lord has made, that the Lord has made.

We will rejoice, we will rejoice,

And be glad in it, and be glad in it,

This is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.

This is the day, this is the day,

That the Lord has made!

As often as we sang this song I only related it to the “Day” Sunday . Boy did I ever miss the full importance of this “Day that was being referred to. Psalm 118:19-24 gives us the fuller context:

“ Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it.

{That gate is the way Christ opened to us His redeemed by His atoning sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection}.

I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.
THE STONE THAT THE BUILDERS REJECTED HAS BECOME THE CORNERSTONE.
This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
THIS IS THE DAY THAT THE LORD HAS MADE; LET US REJOICE AND BE GLAD IN IT.”

This is the Day of Lent when our Savior died and opened the way, the gates as it were, to God. Full Salvation was procured on that “DAY”

So as we sing let us always remember.

This was the Day.

Blessings from the Laninga’s.

 

 

Lenten Reflection: Prone to Wander

by Jan Lovegren

 

“Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”

This song expresses the amazing gift of grace God has waiting for all people.
“Let that goodness like a fetter 
Bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the Lord I love.
Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it,
Seal it for thy courts above.”
This particular verse really hit me with the wonder of what God did for us in Jesus.
Before I met my Savior I always knew I could never pull off being good enough for God. How could I ever know the creator of this beautiful, fantastic universe? Then I heard his amazing offer that he would be good enough for me!
When He opened my eyes and I understood this free gift, how could I resist Him?
Still prone to wander, I get distracted and not measure up.
But God has sealed my heart for his courts above with the precious blood of Jesus.
I can barely contain my joy, thankyou, dearest savior.