THE SABBATH OF DISCOURAGEMENT

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They took Jesus down from the cross and buried him in the tomb. The Sabbath began and I wonder—what was the Sabbath like for the disciples, and those that had followed Jesus?

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The disciples had expected Jesus to set up His kingdom on earth, not die on the cross. Even though Jesus had tried patiently to explain to them what was going to take place; He failed to get through. How do we know? Because in John 20:9,10 after Peter and John see the empty tomb on the first day of the week they went away still not aware of Jesus promise to rise again from the dead.

This Sabbath must have been the most mournful and disconsolate Sabbath that the followers of Jesus had ever experienced. I can only imagine the tears and the heartbreak. The numbness of loss they must have experienced. The confusion in their hearts and minds as they tried to fathom how it could have gone so wrong. Only a week before all of Jerusalem was welcoming Jesus as the Messiah and now—it seemed all hope was gone–all dreams dashed—

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Have you ever been in such a place in your life? Have you had a Sabbath of despair? Did you feel like all hope was gone. Perhaps you are there now wondering why God does not send the help that you anticipated. You wonder if the situation that you are in will ever get better. It may be for you your darkest hour just like it was for Jesus follower’s all those centuries ago on their Sabbath of discouragement.

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But then the day passed, the darkness deepened. Night enveloped everything for a few hours and then—-the sun began to rise–and the ladies went to the tomb and discovered something very mysterious. Jesus body was gone from the tomb. Can you imagine the rush of excitement and questions that followed their announcement. Perhaps some caught a whiff of the Spirit of Hope moving across the landscape. As that day dawned, Jesus purpose would be revealed. All doubts and questions would be answered, as He appeared to them. He had not died like any other man. He had not left them alone forever. He had not deserted them. He had a plan. But the plan took time to fulfill. It was not the plan that they had thought He had come to fulfill it was a much greater and more far reaching plan that would include the salvation of all people. Now on the third day the glorious plan is revealed. He has fought death and won. He has risen from the grave and given the power of eternal to those who believe on Him.

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And so in the times of darkness in our lives when we feel like the answer to our prayers will never arrive. When we feel as if God has deserted us. When our feeble hope is fading –God has a plan—we may not see it yet—but He has a plan for you and me and the Bible promises that His plans for us are good.  His answer to our prayers may not look like the answer we anticipated. His answer might even be a bit confusing at first but then as time passes it will become clear that He did answer our prayers–He did move on our behalf-=-He cares—He has not deserted us—And we find ourselves rejoicing just as they did on that first “Easter” morning.–Resurrection Day—when all the prayers of mankind before and after were answered in those words spoken by the angel–”He is not here but is risen” Luke24:6.

                                                                       

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                                                                               CHRIST AROSE

 

 

Low in the grave He lay——-Jesus my Savior!

Waiting the coming day——–Jesus my Lord!

Vainly they watch His bed———Jesus my Savior!

Vainly they seal the dead–Jesus my Lord!

Death cannot keep his prey—–Jesus my Savior!

He tore the bars away–Jesus my Lord!

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Up from the grave He arose,

With a mighty triumpth oe’r His foes;

He arose the Victor from the dark domain,

And He lives forever with His saints to reign.

He arose!     He arose!  Hallelujah! Christ arose!

Robert Lowry

THERE IS A FOUNTAIN PART II

I’M sorry to have not finished the first post on the topic THERE IS A FOUNTAIN FILLED WITH BLOOD–I had some issues –again–with something when I was uploading a picture–so this is the hymn that I want to share with you today–

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There is a fountain filled with blood

Drawn from Immanuel’s veins;

And sinners plunged beneath that flood,

Lose all their guilty stains—-

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the dying thief rejoiced to see

That fountain in his day;

And there may I, though vile as he,

Wash all my sins away—

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Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood

Shall never lose its power,

Till all the ransomed church of God

Be saved, to sin no more—-

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E’er since, by faith, I saw the stream

Thy flowing wounds supply,

Redeeming love has been my theme,

And shall be till I die:——-

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Then in a nobler, sweeter song,

I’ll sing Thy power to save,

When this poor lisping, stammering tongue

Lies silent in the grave—-

William Cowper 1731-1800

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If you have never asked Jesus to forgive your sins and enter your heart I urge you to do it today. He is waiting for you to make that next move and He will embrace you in His love forever.

 

 

THERE IS A FOUNTAIN

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“IN WHOM WE HAVE REDEMPTION THROUGH HIS BLOOD, EVEN THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS.” COLOSSIANS 1:14

“BUT GOD COMMENDETH HIS LOVE TOWARD US, IN THAT WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS, CHRIST DIED FOR US. MUCH MORE BEING JUSTIFIED( made worthy of salvation from our sins) BY HIS BLOOD WE SHALL BE SAVED FROM THE WRATH TO COME.” ROMANS 5:8,9

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FORASMUCH AS YE KNOW THAST YE WERE NOT REDEEMED WITH CORRUPTIBLE THINGS, AS SILVER AND GOLD, FROM YOUR VAIN CONVERSATION(sinful lifestyle) RECEIVED BY TRADITION FROM YOUR FATHERS.; BUT WITH THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF CHRIST, AS A LAMB WITHOUT BLEMISH AND WITHOUT SPOT.” I PETER 1:18,19

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“—THE CHURCH OF GOD, WHICH HE HATH PURCHASED WITH HIS OWN BLOOD.” ACTS 20:28 B

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“IN WHOM WE HAVE REDEMPTION THROUGH HIS BLOOD, THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS, ACCORDING TO THE RICHES OF HIS GRACE. ” EPHESIANS 1:11

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The shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary is the only thing that can wash away our sins. Because of that fact, we need not ‘do’ anything else to come to full salvation in Him. His shed blood is His gift to us. He does not require anything else from us accept our acceptance of His sacrifice. He doesn’t require that do any thing except confess our sins, believe on Him and accept His gift of eternal life.

Unfortunately many religions teach that a person must do this or that to become accepted by God. But if you remember the thief that hung on the cross dying next to Jesus was required to do nothing except believe in order to enter the kingdom of God immediately upon his death.

The truth is we can never be “good’ enough to gain salvation because of our sinful nature. All have sinned the Bible declares and there is not one of us that deny that or change that fact. From the time of our childhood we have succumbed to one sin or another.thCA3SMVG0

 

 

The great old time preacher Charles Spurgeon said this–” I do not know how sufficiently to follow Satan in all is winding into the human heart, but this, I know, he is always trying to keep back the great truth –the blood, and the blood alone has power to save.”

The hymn I’d like to share today was written by William Cowper 1731-1800 This hymn ‘There is a Fountain” is based on Zechariah 13:1 “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and uncleanness.” This is also a reminder, I think, as we, as Christians, celebrate this holy season to pray for the people of Israel that they might turn again to God with their whole hearts and be saved. That they might accept Jesus as the Messiah and understand that the final sacrifice for their sin has been made and that He beckons to them to come and be made whole in Him.

 

 

AT THE LAMB’S HIGH FEAST

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For my readers—I just posted At The Lamb’s High Feast–when I wrote this I must have been in the wrong window so it got posted on my header bar on the blog http://www.simplemeditationswordpress.com –so in your e-mail you will probably receive this title with nothing in the blog itself. Please go to my blog http://www.simplemeditationswordpress.com and click on the title At the Lamb’s High Feast on the header bar and then you will be able to read it. Sorry for the problem.

I hope you will take the time to read this one–it explains the connection between the Jewish holiday of Passover and the Christian one of Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday(Easter). God Bless:)

I also realize now that when you get this post all you have to do is look at the header bar on top and click on the title At the Lamb’s High Feast:) Sorry–My less then tech savvy side is definitely showing with this one:)

DID YOU THINK TO PRAY?

 

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I thought I would continue on the topic of prayer today. I know I need to be reminded of it daily. It is so easy to get caught up in the fast flowing crowded sidewalks of life and neglect the most important thing that I can do. Sometimes I feel like my prayers are ineffectual, and weak, and though I know God promises to hear my prayers I don’t often feel “prayer worthy.’

Yet without prayer God will accomplish little in our lives and the lives of others. If we neglect to pray we neglect the most important part of our day. I know it is hard to get up early and pray and stay awake:). I know–I am not that much of a morning person. But that does not mean you can’t commune with God on the drive to work.  There are times during the day when you sit down to rest and that is a good time to pray as well. Don’t feel like going through a long prayer list? Just pray and thank God for Who He is and what He has done and what He will do. Commune with Him daily and guess who reaps the benefit? You of course:)

First I wanted to add this little funny in here–I’m sure you’ve heard all the talk about the new movie ‘Noah.” I haven’t seen it and probably won’t. Different people have differing view points on it but I think this news story I found speaks for itself –perhaps–”The PREMIERE SHOWING OF ‘NOAH’ WAS CANCELED–AFTER–THE THEATER FLOODS!

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Yes in Exeter, England—-the ice machine broke—apparently it was a large ice machine:)

 

Now for our hymn today—-This  hymn has  much practical advice about when we should pray and why we should pray.

 

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Ere you left your room this morning, Did you think to pray?

In the name of Christ the Savior,

Did you sue for loving favor,

As a shield today?

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When you met with great temptation, Did you think to pray?

By His dying love and merit.

Did you claim the Holy Spirit

As your guide and stay?

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When your heart filled with anger, Did you think to pray?

Did you plead for grace, my brother,

That you might forgive another

Who had crossed your way?

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When sore trials came upon you, Did you think to pray?

When your soul was bowed in sorrow,

Balm of Gilead did you borrow,

At the gates of day?

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Oh how praying rests the weary!

Prayer will change the night to day;

So in sorrow and in gladness,

Don’t forget to pray.

                    Mrs. M. A. Kidder 1820-1905                           W. O. Perkins 1831-1902

PRAYER IS THE CHRISTIAN’S VITAL BREATH

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Prayer is the life breath of the Christian life. It is our communication with our Heavenly Father. Our conversation with Jesus the Son and God the Holy Spirit. It is a great privilege that only a blood washed believer can experience. By Blood washed I mean–to have confessed one’s sins to Jesus and asked forgiveness. His blood is the cleansing flow that takes away our sin and gives us an inner relationship with Him. His blood that He shed on the cross initiates us into the family of God.

Let’s look at what Scripture says about prayer–”Prayer without ceasing.” I Thess. 5:17 The time is always right to pray.

“My voice shalt thou hear in the morning. O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee and I will look up.” Psalms 5:3 A good way to start the day! Looking up rather than down:)tumblr_kw1pb26tNf1qazfomo1_500

“Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray—-” Psalms 55:17

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem—” Psalms 122:6–Yes this is something that we, Christians, need to be reminded of; especially  as Israel faces many challenges in the Middle East today.worship14

 

We must remember to pray for others—I Samuel 12:23  ” –God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you–”

 

Jesus set an example for us–”And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” He expressed His need for that close communion with His Father in order to do His Father’s will. Can we do less?

In Luke 18:1 Jesus says–”Men ought always to pray and not to faint.” He welcomes our prayers and we may ask for something as often as we need.

 “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto  God.” Phil. 4:6   bridgetoenlightenmentjpg

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:6 What a wonderful privilege we have to be able to come boldly before Him to pray for ourselves and others.

 

I Think the hymn writer in this case says it better than I can:) This is a hymn that I have never sung but it’s words are certainly true and beautiful.

 

“PRAYER IS THE SOUL’ S  SINCERE DESIRE”      fountain_pen_by_tuende2

Written by James Montgomery a newspaper man who was asked to write a hymn about prayer to contribute to a book. Montgomery said years later that he received more praise for this hymn than anything else he had written. As a writer this speaks to me. I want my writing to encourage and to help others.  Writer’s write. We are word crafters, charmed by a sentence or a phrase. In spite of our human efforts; God knows what He can use best.  One thing we can be sure of is that, when we are walking in close fellowship with Him, He will bring results to the words that are ultimately a gift from Him.

Many years after he had retired, Montgomery  continued to conduct family prayer meetings in his home. At the end of one of these meetings he retired to his room. The next day he was found unconscious on the floor and later he passed into his Lord’s presence.

“Prayer is the Christian’s “watchword at the gates of death; he enters heaven with prayer.”

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Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire,

Unuttered or expressed,

The motion of a hidden fire

That trembles in the breast.

 

Prayer is the burden of a sigh,

The falling of a tear,

The upward glancing of an eye,

When none but God is near.

 

Prayer is the contrite sinner’s voice,

Returning from his ways,

While angels in their songs rejoice

And cry “Behold, he prays!”

 

Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath,

The Christians’ native air,

His watchword at the gates of death;

He enters heaven with prayer.

 

O Thou, by whom we come to God,

The Life, the Truth, The W;

Lord, teach us how to pray!

James Montgomery   1771–1854

HOLD THE FORT–OUR GREAT COMMANDER APPROACHES

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HO! MY COMRADES!

SEE THE SIGNAL,

WAVING IN THE SKY!

REINFORCEMENTS NOW APPEARING

VICTORY IS NIGH.

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“HOLD THE FORT FOR I AM COMING,” JESUS SIGNALS STILL’

WAVE THE ANSWER BACK TO HEAVEN, “BY THY GRACE WE WILL.”

 

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SEE THE MIGHTY HOST ADVANCING,

SATAN LEADING ON;

MIGHTY MEN AROUND US FALLING,

COURAGE ALMOST GONE!

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SEE THE GLORIOUS BANNER WAVING!

HEAR THE TRUMPET BLOW!

IN OUR LEADER’S NAME WE’LL TRIUMPH

OVER EVERY FOE.

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FIERCE AND LONG THE BATTLE RAGES,

BUT OUR HELP IS NEAR;

ONWARD COMES OUR GREAT COMMANDER,

CHEER, MY COMRADES, CHEER.

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“HOLD THE FORT, FOR I AM COMING,” JESUS SIGNALS STILL;

WAVE THE ANSWER BACK TO HEAVEN, “BY THY GRACE WE WILL.”

PHILLIP PAUL BLISS