Lucia's Blog: 2021-01-10
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Thursday, January 14, 2021

"MORE HOLINESS GIVE ME"

"Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God."
2 Corinthians 7:1


The song "More Holiness Give Me" motivates us to perfect holiness, asking God to help us add more holiness to our lives. Our heart is the starting and focal point, for we must look inward to add and strive for more holiness in our lives. As we look within, examining our hearts, we can perfect holiness in the fear of God. The sufferings and tribulations of our lives develop in us more patience and endurance. The testing of our faith produces steadfastness, which helps us to be mature and complete.

"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."  (James 1:2-4)

As we walk by faith, trusting our Savior with all of our heart and might, we become aware of His unceasing care for us. So we must walk by faith and not by sight, casting all of our cares and worries on Him, for He cares for us and loves us.
"For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, 3 if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. 4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.  6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight."  (2 Cor. 5:1-7)
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen."  (1 Pet. 5:6-11)

Our patience in the midst of suffering and trials helps us to develop joy as we serve our Lord. Our prayers help us cast our cares on Him, for He is always near assisting us.
"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  (Phil. 4:4-7)

As we trust God and praise Him, our hearts become grateful because our hope is in Him and His Word. His Word can build us up and sanctify us.
"And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified."  (Acts 20:32)
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls."  (1 Pet. 1:3-9)


We have a living hope because of the sorrows and grief of Jesus' death.   Jesus died for us while we were sinners without the hope of redemption and eternity (Rom. 5:8, 1 Cor. 15:3). His love and suffering for us must compel us to show more meekness in our trials

"Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."  (Romans 5:3-5

Our purity and strength will influence and motivate others to do good. As we keep ourselves unspotted or unstained from the world, we can motivate others to serve the Lord faithfully, knowing that we’re just pilgrims and strangers in this world of darkness as we look for a better home.
"Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. "  (James 1:26-27)
"Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation."  (1 Peter 2:11-12)

Our godly and righteous conduct will compel others, even unbelievers, to glorify our Father in heaven. We can rest assured that when we practice God's principles of righteousness, we will be vessels for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful in the kingdom of our Great Master, ready for every good work.
"Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work."  (2 Tim. 2:20-21)

But we must acknowledge that to be purer, more holy, and more godly, we must put into practice all of our Savior’s principles of righteousness and become more like Him. Our Savior has left us a perfect example so that we might walk in His footsteps to please God. 
"For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps."  (1 Peter 2:19-21

Thus, we must strive and make an effort to be more holy and pure before our God, becoming what God wants us to be. Since Jesus died for you and me, we must pray to God to help us perfect our holiness with fear or reverence that we might be with Him forever in heaven. "More Holiness Give Me." "More purity give me.”

May we strive to be more holy and pure before God.  May God help us to perfect our holiness with fear that we might be with Him forever in heaven.  May we examine our hearts to perfect our holiness in the fear of God.  May Jesus' love and suffering compel us to show more meekness in our trials.   

I hope the words of this beautiful song move you the way they move me!

More holiness give me, More strivings within,
More patience in suffering, More sorrow for sin, 
More faith in my Savior, More sense of His care, 
More joy in His service, More purpose in prayer.

More gratitude give me, More trust in the Lord,
More praise for His glory, More hope in His word,
More tears for His sorrows, More pain at His grief,
More meekness in trial, More praise for relief.

More purity give me, More strength to o’ercome,
More freedom from earth stains, More longings for home,
More fit for the kingdom, More useful I’d be,
More blessed and holy, More, Savior, like Thee.  


Luci 

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

"WHEN MY LOVE TO CHRIST GROWS WEAK"

 

“And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. 40 And when he came to the place, he said to them, 'Pray that you may not enter into temptation.' 41 And he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, ‘Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.’ 43 And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. 45 And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, 46 and he said to them, Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.’ 63 Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him. 64 They also blindfolded him and kept asking him, ‘Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?’ 65 And they said many other things against him, blaspheming him.”’ 
Luke 22:39-65


The song “When My Love to Christ Grows Weak” reminds us of what our Lord and Savior had to endure and suffer before He was hung on that cross of Calvary. He prayed fervently when He was in agony in the Garden of Gethsemane before they tortured Him and crucified Him. When our love grows weak for Christ, we must think of Gethsemane, for it reminds us of how He first loved us. 

 "We love because he first loved us"  (1 John 4:19).


We must have a deeper faith.  

We must increase our faith to remind us of Jesus’ sufferings and death in Gethsemane and to sustain us when we are weak (Luke 17:5

Jesus wept and prayed for us in Gethsemane.  

His soul was exceedingly sorrowful even to death.

"Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, 'Sit here, while I go over there and pray.' 37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled"'  (Matthew 26:36-38). 


He knelt there to pray as a “suffering, friendless One.” 

He felt sorrowful and troubled while He watched His disciples sleep, whom He took to watch with Him.

"And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, 'My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.' 40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, 'So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.'" (Matthew 26:39-41). 


And though He was troubled and in anguish, He still prayed and wept for us because He first loved us.

"Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, 'My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.' 43 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again"(Matt. 26:42-44).


When our love grows weak for Christ, we must seek for deeper faith by thinking of Calvary. 

We must love one another because He first loved us and gave Himself to die on Calvary.

"If anyone says, 'I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother'" (1 Jn. 4:20-21). 


When our love grows weak for one another, we must think of Calvary to strengthen our faith and give glory to God.

"No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised"  (Rom. 4:20-21). 


It was on Calvary that our Lord and Savior was crucified, shedding His blood for the remission of everyone’s sins.

"And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left"  (Luke 23:33). 


At Calvary, our Lord was mocked, scoffed, blasphemed, beaten.  At Calvary, He suffered in agony on a bitter tree.
"And Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.'  And they cast lots to divide his garments. 35 And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, 'He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!' 36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine 37 and saying, 'If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!' 38 There was also an inscription over him, 'This is the King of the Jews'"  (Lk. 23:34-38). 

Though our Lord and Savior was in deep anguish, we can still see how deep was His faith and His love, as He spoke to one of the criminals that hung next to Him.
"One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, 'Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!' 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, 'Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.' 42 And he said, 'Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.' 43 And he said to him, 'Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise'"  (Lk. 23:39-43). 

We can clearly see His triumphant love as He died for the sins of this world of darkness.

"It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45 while the sun's light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, 'Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!' And having said this he breathed his last'" (Lk. 23:44-46). 


Therefore, since Jesus, our Lord, suffered in Gethsemane and died on Calvary, we must reflect on what He did for us by denying ourselves, dying to self, and bearing our own cross in full sacrifice.

"And he said to all, 'If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels'" (Lk. 9:23-26). 


When our love for Christ grows weak, we must reflect on His sacrifice because that helps us be more devoted and faithful to Him with deeper faith that will overcome this world of darkness in triumphant victory.

I hope the words of “When My Love For Christ Grows Weak” move you deeply as you meditate on what Jesus did for us in Gethsemane and Calvary.


When my love for Christ grows weak,
When for deeper faith I seek,
Then in thought I go to thee, 
Garden of Gethsemane.

There I walk amid the shades,
While the lingering twilight fades,
See that suffering, friendless One,
Weeping, praying there alone.

When my love for man grows weak,
When for stronger faith I seek,
Hill of Calvary, I go 
To thy scenes of fear and woe.

There behold His agony,
Suffered on the bitter tree;
See His anguish, see His faith,
Love triumphant still in death.

Then to life I turn again,
Learning all the worth of pain,
Learning all the might that lies
In a full self-sacrifice.


Luci