Serving Christ

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Matthew 16: 21-28 New International Version 

Jesus Predicts His Death

21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”

23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life[f] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.

28 “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

The words and music of this song written by two former General’s of The Salvation Army mean so much to me that I find myself somehow returning to it quite a lot. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s a simple tune with such true and earnest words to it

A Risen Saviour

Mark 16 New International Version

Jesus Has Risen

16 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”

Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.[a]

  1. King of my life, I crown Thee now,
    Thine shall the glory be;
    Lest I forget Thy thorn-crowned brow,
    Lead me to Calvary.
    • Refrain:
      Lest I forget Gethsemane,
      Lest I forget Thine agony;
      Lest I forget Thy love for me,
      Lead me to Calvary.
  2. Show me the tomb where Thou wast laid,
    Tenderly mourned and wept;
    Angels in robes of light arrayed
    Guarded Thee whilst Thou slept.
  3. Let me like Mary, through the gloom,
    Come with a gift to Thee;
    Show to me now the empty tomb,
    Lead me to Calvary.
  4. May I be willing, Lord, to bear
    Daily my cross for Thee;
    Even Thy cup of grief to share,
    Thou hast borne all for me.

Words of Life

John 6 New International Version 

Many Disciples Desert Jesus

60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”

61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit[e]and life. 64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. 65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”

66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.

67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.Image result for Christian words of life

68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

70 Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!” 71 (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.)

  1. Sing them over again to me,
    Wonderful words of life,
    Let me more of their beauty see,
    Wonderful words of life;
    Words of life and beauty
    Teach me faith and duty.

    • Refrain:
      Beautiful words, wonderful words,
      Wonderful words of life;
      Beautiful words, wonderful words,
      Wonderful words of life.
  2. Christ, the blessed One, gives to all
    Wonderful words of life;
    Sinner, list to the loving call,
    Wonderful words of life;
    All so freely given,
    Wooing us to heaven.
  3. Sweetly echo the Saviour’s call,
    Wonderful words of life;
    Offer pardon and peace to all,
    Wonderful words of life;
    Jesus, only Saviour,
    Saves and keeps forever.

The Empty Tomb!

Mark 16

Jesus Has Risen

1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 
2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 
3 and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” 
4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 
5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. 
6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 
7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ ” 
8 Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
9 When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 
10 She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 
11 When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it. 
12 Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. Related image
13 These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either. 
14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. 
15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 
16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 
17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 
18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” 
19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 
20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
 If I got to be honest it wasn’t until my late childhood I realised the symbolism of the egg and that it actually represented the rock in front of Christ’s tomb.

Jesus prays on The Mount of Olives

Luke 22 The Message

A Dark Night

39-40 Leaving there, he went, as he so often did, to Mount Olives. The disciples followed him. When they arrived at the place, he said, “Pray that you don’t give in to temptation.”

41-44 He pulled away from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, “Father, remove this cup from me. But please, not what I want. What do you want?” At once an angel from heaven was at his side, strengthening him. He prayed on all the harder. Sweat, wrung from him like drops of blood, poured off his face.

45-46 He got up from prayer, went back to the disciples and found them asleep, drugged by grief. He said, “What business do you have sleeping? Get up. Pray so you won’t give in to temptation.”

47-48 No sooner were the words out of his mouth than a crowd showed up, Judas, the one from the Twelve, in the lead. He came right up to Jesus to kiss him. Jesus said, “Judas, you would betray the Son of Man with a kiss?”

49-50 When those with him saw what was happening, they said, “Master, shall we fight?” One of them took a swing at the Chief Priest’s servant and cut off his right ear.

51 Jesus said, “Let them be. Even in this.” Then, touching the servant’s ear, he healed him.

52-53 Jesus spoke to those who had come—high priests, Temple police, religion leaders: “What is this, jumping me with swords and clubs as if I were a dangerous criminal? Day after day I’ve been with you in the Temple and you’ve not so much as lifted a hand against me. But do it your way—it’s a dark night, a dark hour.”

Life anew

John 20 New International Version

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Fill me with life anew,
That I may love what Thou dost love,
And do what Thou wouldst do.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Until my heart is pure,
Until with Thee I will one will,
To do and to endure.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Till I am wholly Thine,
Until this earthly part of me
Glows with Thy fire divine.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
So shall I never die,
But live with Thee the perfect life
Of Thine eternity.

When We All Get to Heaven

Photo by Emma Trewin on Pexels.com

John 14 New International Version

Jesus Comforts His Disciples

14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

The Story Behind When We All Get to Heaven

Eliza Hewitt was born in 1851 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She went to school locally and graduated as Valedictorian of the Girl’s Normal School.  She then began teaching in the Philadephia area.  One day while overseeing her students in the playground, she, unfortunately, suffered a severe back injury and was forced to bed for months, dealing with the pain the rest of her life. 

Although Eliza could have been resentful, and no one would have blamed her, she felt the presence of the Lord while confined to bed. She started studying Literature and English while recovering from her injury. Barely did she know that she was being prepared by God to write poetry and hymns, and these two subjects would prove very useful.

As Eliza recovered some of her strength in later years, she was able to get around slowly. She attended the summer Methodist Camp meeting, in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. Here she met Emily D. Wilson and they formed a great friendship. They worshipped and studied together and together created this hymn, “When We All Get To Heaven.” The hymn was first published in 1898 in Pentecostal praises. Her back problems would arise at times and put Eliza down but not for long. She adored Sunday School and most of her hymns were intended for children in Sunday School.

  1. Sing the wondrous love of Jesus,
    Sing His mercy and His grace;
    In the mansions bright and blessed
    He’ll prepare for us a place.
    • Refrain:
      When we all get to heaven,
      What a day of rejoicing that will be!
      When we all see Jesus,
      We’ll sing and shout the victory!
  2. While we walk the pilgrim pathway,
    Clouds will overspread the sky;
    But when trav’ling days are over,
    Not a shadow, not a sigh.
  3. Let us then be true and faithful,
    Trusting, serving every day;
    Just one glimpse of Him in glory
    Will the toils of life repay.
  4. Onward to the prize before us!
    Soon His beauty we’ll behold;
    Soon the pearly gates will open;
    We shall tread the streets of gold.

The Lord’s Children

Matthew 19:14 New International Version

The Little Children and Jesus

13 Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.

14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.

I bring to you today what has to have been one of the first hymns I learned at Sunday School.

A simple prayerful hymn with an invitation for children even adults who don’t know Christ as their Saviour to come to him.

GENTLE Jesus, meek and mild,
Look upon a little child,
Pity my simplicity,
Suffer me to come to thee.

2 Fain I would to thee be brought,
Gracious Lord, forbid it not;
In the Kingdom of thy grace
Give a little child a place.

3 Loving Jesus, gentle Lamb,
In thy gracious hands I am;
Make me, Saviour, what thou art,
Live thyself within my heart.

4 Lamb of God, I look to thee,
Thou shalt my example be;
Thou art gentle, meek and mild;
Thou wast once a little child.

5 Now I would be as thou art;
Give me an obedient heart;
Thou art pitiful and kind,
Let me have thy loving mind.

6 I shall then show forth thy praise,
Serve thee all my happy days;
Then the world shall always see
Christ, the holy child, in me.

Worry

Luke 12 New International Version

 

Photo by Eternal Happiness on Pexels.com

Do Not Worry

22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life[b]26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The Garden

John 20 New International Version – UK

Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene

11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

13 They asked her, ‘Woman, why are you crying?’

‘They have taken my Lord away,’ she said, ‘and I don’t know where they have put him.’ 14 At this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realise that it was Jesus.

15 He asked her, ‘Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?’

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.’

16 Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’

She turned towards him and cried out in Aramaic, ‘Rabboni!’ (which means ‘Teacher’).

17 Jesus said, ‘Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”’

18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: ‘I have seen the Lord!’ And she told them that he had said these things to her.

A couple of days I shared the above passage to the video of ” In the Garden” by The International Staff Songsters of The Salvation Army.

I have always known that this song had some sort of biblical background but where it was I must admit I never gave it much thought.

It wasn’t until I read all about the song that I came across the above passage and thought wow! how fitting the words were for the passage.

I leave you with this thought can you imagine how Mary felt when she seen Jesus. How would you have felt if you were Mary? Think about that!