Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all!

                         With love from Sparrow

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Joyful, Joyful Lyrics

I just wanted to post the lyrics to the hymn from the previous post.  They are so good, I wanted to have them written out here:

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day!

All Thy works with joy surround Thee, earth and heaven reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee, center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain, flowery meadow, flashing sea,
Singing bird and flowing fountain call us to rejoice in Thee.

Thou art giving and forgiving, ever blessing, ever blessed,
Wellspring of the joy of living, ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our Brother, all who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other, lift us to the joy divine.

Mortals, join the happy chorus, which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o’er us, brother love binds man to man.
Ever singing, march we onward, victors in the midst of strife,
Joyful music leads us Sunward in the triumph song of life.

                                                                     Henry J. vanDyke

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I love this hymn, with its wonderful is such a happy and jubilant song of praise to the One whose birth we are celebrating now!

He broke into this dark and suffering world to bring hope, release, freedom and joy!

He broke onto the scene and changed everything!  His presence, like a shaft of brilliant light, pierced the darkness forever and melted it away!

In His presence, there is such healing, and restoration, such freedom and delight, such peace and rest, such grace and acceptance, such abundance and JOY!

Thank You for coming into this world to start up Your Kingdom of Kindness and Love, dear Jesus!  You have ALL authority over the enemy of our souls, and You came to set us free from the evil grip of lies, bondage, ruin, darkness and decay.  You came to give us life, Your Life, that is more abundant than we can ever imagine!  We are in Your presence, spirit to Spirit, forevermore - oh, what a wonderful place we find ourselves in with You!

You are the One that we have always longed for!

Hearts unfold like flowers before You!

You make ALL things new!

In Your Presence is FULLNESS of joy!

And at Your right hand are pleasures FOREVERMORE!

Thank You for coming and taking on flesh for us, as us, so that we could be identified with You and united with You forever.  Christ in us, the hope of Glory!

Joyful, joyful, we adore You!


Saturday, December 17, 2011

The One Who Saves - His Love Endures Forever

The One Who Saves by Hillsong Live

Come join the song, lift your voice 
As heaven and earth give praise 
Fall to your knees, at the feet 
Of the Son of The One True God 
Turn from old ways, lift your eyes 
For the kingdom of God is here 
Open your heart, offer all 
For Jesus Christ is here 
Oh now 

We have found our hope 
We have found our peace 
We have found our rest 
In the One who Loves 
He will light the way 
He will lead us home 
As we offer all 
To the One who saves us 

Call on the Name, that is hope 
Jesus the Son of God 
Lord over all, He is good 
And His mercy endures

His love endures 
Forever His love endures 
Forever His love endures 
Forever and ever 

I love this wonderful song!  Just thinking about how, in Christ, we have it all...and we have found what we have been searching our whole lives to find - the peace, the love, the rest - we are finally home, for we have found our home in Him!

And then the idea of His love enduring forever, I just ponder that and can't really even take it in!  His love won't EVER fail us.  He will always, always love us, no matter what!

Even if I fail, even if I doubt, even if I end up ruining my life and crashing into the gutter - His love for me will still be just the same.  That love will be there to pick me up and gently turn my face until I am looking into His eyes, and I will ever only see LOVE in that gaze!  Not disappointment, anger, displeasure, wrath, irritation, or callousness - only LOVE radiates out from that countenance!  Only LOVE shines out from those eternal eyes!  And I'm perfectly accepted in those eyes of Love!  Those eyes see me whole, beautiful, delightful and perfect.  His love won't ever fail to uplift and restore and keep and hold and smile upon us, forever and ever!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Secure in Christ 5 - He Upholds and Keeps Us

I'm continuing with my thinking about our security in Christ, and with the idea of being safe in God's hand.  He holds me in His hand and also UPholds me with His hand..

I love the truth that God upholds me with His hand!  It is just another facet of the finished work of Christ that lets me know I'm secure in Him forever.  By the cross, Christ has done away with my sins and even my old sinful nature/self.  He has eradicated the former ruler of my life, that terrible slave master of sin, evil, and the enemy.  Through the resurrection He has brought me to life with Him, a whole new creation, part of the eternal realm, made with Jesus' eternal life-DNA; my spirit is now alive and united with His Spirit!  He sent the Spirit to baptize/fill us with the fullness of Himself!  We are now alive as we were meant to be, glowing with His very Spirit, radiating His life, full of His glory, lavished with His grace, loved and cherished and held!  Christ is in us, Christ is our very life.  And also, we are IN Him just as He is IN us.  Our life is hidden with Christ in God now, safe in His Hand.  By the finished work, Christ has raised us up to a whole new life that is located in God's hand.  We are placed in His hand forever.  That's our address now!

Being in God's hand is such a safe place to be.  That hand is always underneath us. that hand is always holding on to us and holding us up.  So we can't fatally fall, can't fall out of that grip!

I think of  Ps 37:23-24 -  "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way.  Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord upholds him with His hand."  He won't let us fall away.  The will uphold us with His righteous right hand.  He says it so beautifully in Is 41:10 -   "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."  And another favorite I am reminded of:  "Yet I am always with You; You hold me by my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will take me into glory...My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."  (Ps. 73:23, 24, 26)  I love that verse, because it just reminds me that there is something behind and underneath and around me holding me up - God Himself.  He is greater.  He is greater than all my fears and doubts and sins and failings.  My flesh and my heart may fail, but HE won't fail.  He won't let me down.  He will keep me safe in His hand, hold me up, carry me all the way through.  Underneath this broken and sometimes banged up life are the everlasting arms.  And He won't fail to uphold me and bring me safely to glory!

God is our keeper (Ps. 121).  We don't have to worry about keeping ourselves.  He will keep us.  He will move us along and get us to where He wants us to be.  His Spirit is inside us, willing and working, making sure we get to our destination.  God is the one who establishes us or makes us firm and secure in Christ (2 Co. 1:22).  He will be faithful to keep what we've committed to Him - our very lives - until the day of Christ.  We don't have to worry about keeping ourselves.  He Himself will keep us firm in the faith:  "He will keep you firm to the end" (1 Co. 1:8) - or, as the Phillips translation says, "He will keep you steadfast in the faith to the end, so that when His day comes you need fear no condemnation.  God is utterly dependable, and it is He who has called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ, our Lord."

It is such a relief to me that I don't have to worry about holding on to Him or losing my grip and slipping away;  He is holding on to me, and He won't lose His grip!  He won't let me fall!  I'm safe in His hand, and no one - not even myself - can pluck me out of His hand!  Wow - in John 10 Jesus says no one can snatch the sheep out of His Father's hand.  No one!  No one is all inclusive and means nobody at all - including Satan, other people, and even myself!  Safe in His arms forever! The Good Shepherd Himself is the very Guardian and Keeper of my soul, so that means I'm surely secure forever!  (1 Pet. 2:25)

Whatever God does, He does all the way and forever.  He will finish the work He started and be faithful to complete it in us (Phil. 1:6)  He has promised that He won't cast us out or lose us or drop us!  He will carry us safely and uphold us safely in His hand all the way to the last day when He returns, for that's the Father's will:  "And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that I shall lose none of all those He has given Me, but raise them up at the last day.  For My Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day."  (Jn. 6:39-40)   Christ finished the work the Father gave Him to do and we looked to the Son and believed.  So that's that.  We are already in His hand, safe and secure.  That's where we'll be now and forever.
He will preserve us, body, soul, and spirit, blameless till the coming of the Lord.  He is faithful and He will do it! (1 Th. 5:23-4)

Thank You, Lord, for upholding us with Your strong Hand!  Thank You for being our keeper, the very guardian of our souls!  You watch over us, protect and guard our souls, and keep us safe in Your heavenly kingdom.  It is so good to know those Almighty arms are underneath us, holding us tightly and protectively, keeping us firmly with You forever.  It is so good to rest in Your arms today..

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Secure in Christ 4 - We Are Held in God's Hand

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; noone will snatch them out of My hand.  My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; noone can snatch them out of My Father's hand.  John 10:28-9

I'm continuing with some thoughts on our security in Christ.  So often in the past I have felt insecure in my relationship with God, worried that I could possible do something to knock me out of God's family, so to speak.  But God has helped me to see that I'm not stronger than He is!  I am in God's hand, and nothing or noone can knock me out or snatch me out of that strong, protective, sheltering hand - not even myself!  God the Father is "greater than all," even greater than me and my actions and possible doubts and failings.  I am so thankful that He holds me safely in His hand!

We can rest assured that if the verse says noone can snatch us from His hand, not only does that include we ourselves with all our doubtings and failings, but it also includes any power in this world, including the devil himself.  Satan can never snatch me out of God's hand.  I don't have to worry that he'll "get me" on some big temptation or confusion or doubt and somehow snatch me away from God.  1 John 5:18 reminds me that the evil one CAN'T TOUCH US!  Hallelujah!  We are safe from every attack!  We are in God's hand now, not the enemy's!  We are in God's kingdom now, where Christ reigns.  "For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves" (Col. 1:13)  We are under God's jurisdiction now, not Satan's. Jesus is Lord of us now, not the enemy!  The enemy is no longer in control of us, for Jesus has freed us from the devil's reign, control, bondage, and destruction.

The devil has NO authority in my life to hurt me or snatch me away from God!  Even if I seem to give the devil any leeway or listen to his lies, he can't snatch me away from God because God is GREATER than all, greater than those lies, greater than Satan's attacks upon me, greater even than my sometimes dumb choices to let the enemy have a word in my ear.  We can rest assured that not only do we have a new nature and really don't ever and won't ever want to leave God anyway (we are His sheep and we follow Him, that's a promise, that we WILL follow Him - "My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me" - John 10:27), but also that Satan can never change that intent of our heart or trick us and snatch us away.  No matter what, I am still safely in God's hand!

He won't fail us.  No matter what, always and forever, underneath us are the everlasting arms of God.  He will hold onto us, even when we don't have the strength to hold onto Him.  We can't get away from this love that will not let us go!  No matter where we go, no matter where we seem to run sometimes, even there in the most desolate of places that we find ourselves, even there His right hand shall hold us - Ps 139:10.  He's got a grip on us and He's not letting go!

"He (God) Himself has said, 'I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support.  I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let you down (relax My hold on you)!  Assuredly not!'"  Heb. 13:5 (AMP)  He will never relax His hold on us!  We're held safe and secure by God.  The arms that hold the world are holding you and me today..

Thank You, Lord, that You are greater than ALL!  You are greater than my sins, doubts, confusion or troubled thoughts, greater than all the powers in this world, FAR greater than the enemy who assails me with doubts and confusion.  You are greater than all that!  GREATER is He that is IN me than he that is in the world!  GREATER is He that is holding on to me than anyone or anything else, including my own little self with its paltry decisions.  Thank You that I am SAFE in Your hand where noone and nothing can snatch me out, forever and always!  Safe in the arms of love...I can snuggle down in Your arms and rest, knowing You ONLY make me to rest in safety and security and peace.  Thank You that You in Your grace hold me, and You will never relax Your hold on me!

May the amazing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Co. 13:14