Isaiah 25:4

For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones [is] as a storm [against] the wall.

The Lord God Almighty is ever our bastion and bulwark of defense.  As we marshal to the fore go join battle against our raging enemy, ever does the Lord’s banner fly before us.  As we take up the call to arms and muster to the field of our spiritual war, we take our courage in His strength – for by Him, we are become far more than mere conquerors.  We are children of the King and shall ever be victorious against our foe.

 

 

Proverbs 16:9

A man’s heart deviseth his ways; but the Lord directeth his steps.

My Prayer:  Heavenly Father, thank you for guiding me through all things despite my foolishness.  You know all my sorrowful ways, and yet, you continue to love me in spite of them.  Father, continue to touch my heart and bring me to a right understanding of your gracious love!  Direct my steps that I may give all honour and glory to your name.  Amen.

Courtesy of Blue Letter Bible

Good Friday – Part II

Easter Classic: BAILEY’S JESUS (from The Daily Encourager): 

God recently allowed me to see Jesus through the eyes of someone seeing Him for the first time. Having the advantage of knowing how the story ends, we can easily forget the cost of our redemption and the love of our Savior.

Every year we attend a local church pageant at Christmas time, which tells the story of Jesus from His birth through His resurrection. It is a spectacular event, with live animals and hundreds of cast members in realistic costumes. The magi enter the huge auditorium on llamas from the rear, descending the steps in pomp and majesty. Roman soldiers look huge and menacing in their costumes and makeup.

Of all the years we have attended, one stands out indelibly in my heart. It was the year we took our then three-year-old granddaughter, Bailey, who loves Jesus. She was mesmerized throughout the entire play, not just watching, but involved as if she were a player. She watches as Joseph and Mary travel to the Inn and is thrilled when she sees the baby Jesus in His mother’s arms.

When Jesus, on a young donkey, descends the steps from the back of the auditorium, depicting His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Bailey was ecstatic. As he neared our aisle, Bailey began jumping up and down, screaming, “Jesus, Jesus! There’s Jesus!” Not just saying the words but exclaiming them with every fiber of her being. She alternated between screaming his name and hugging us. “It’s Jesus. Look!”

I thought she might actually pass out. Tears filled my eyes as I looked at Jesus through the eyes of a child in love with Him, seeing Him for the first time. How like the blind beggar screaming out in reckless abandon, “Jesus, Jesus!”, afraid he might miss Him, not caring what others thought. (Mark 10:46-52)

This was so much fun.

Then came the arrest scene. On stage, the soldiers shoved and slapped Jesus as they moved Him from the Garden of Gesthemane to Pilate. Bailey responded as if she were in the crowd of women, with terror and anger. “Stop it!” she screamed. “Bad soldiers, stop it!” As I watched her reaction, I wished we had talked to her before the play. “Bailey it’s OK. They are just pretending.”

“They are hurting Jesus! Stop it!”

She stood in her seat reacting to each and every move. People around us at first smiled at her reaction, thinking “How cute!”. Then they quit smiling and began watching her watch Him. In a most powerful scene, the soldiers lead Jesus carrying the cross down the steps of the auditorium from the back They were yelling, whipping, and cursing at Jesus, who was bloodied and beaten.

Bailey was now hysterical. “Stop it! Soldiers! Stop it,” she screamed. She must have been wondering why all these people did nothing. She then began to cry instead of scream. “Jesus, Oh, Jesus!” People all around us began to weep as we all watch this devoted little disciple see her Jesus beaten and killed as those first century disciples had.

Going back and forth between her mother’s lap and mine for comfort, she was distraught. I kept saying, “Bailey, it’s OK. Jesus is going to be OK. These are just people pretending to be soldiers. She looked at me like I was crazy. In my lap, we talked through the cross and burial. “Watch, Bailey, watch for Jesus!”

The tomb began to tremble and lightening flashed as the stone rolled away. A Super Bowl touchdown cheer couldn’t come close to matching this little one’s reaction to the resurrection. “Jesus! He’s OK. Mommy, it’s Jesus!” I prayed that she wasn’t going to be traumatized by this event, but that she would remember it. I shall never forget it. I shall never forget seeing Jesus’s suffering, crucifixion, and resurrection through the eyes of an innocent child.

Following the pageant the actors all assembled in the foyer to be greeted by the audience. As we passed by some of the soldiers Bailey screamed out, “Bad soldier, don’t you hurt Jesus.” The actor who portrayed Jesus was some distance away surrounded by well-wishers and friends. Bailey broke away from us and ran toward him, wrapping herself around his legs, holding on for dear life. He hugged her and said, “Jesus loves you.” He patted her to go away.

She wouldn’t let go. She kept clinging to Him, laughing and calling His name. She wasn’t about to let go of her Jesus.

I think God in heaven stopped what ever was going on that day and made all the angels watch Bailey. “Now, look there! You see what I meant when I said, ‘Of such is the kingdom of heaven?'”

Bailey’s reaction should be our reaction every day. When we think of Him, who He is, what He did for us, and what He offers us, we have to say, how can we do anything less than worship Him?  

 

 

 

1 Chronicles 29:11

Thine, O Lord is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:  for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.

“He is the fountain and centre of every thing that is bright and blessed.  All that we can, in our most exalted praises, attribute to him he has an unquestionable title to.  His is the greatness; his greatness is immense and incomprehensible; and all others are little, are nothing, in comparison of him.  His is the power, and it is almighty and irresistible; power belongs to him, and all the power of all the creatures is derived from him and depends upon him.  His is the glory; for his glory is his own end and the end of the whole creation.  All the glory we can give him with our hearts, lips and lives comes infinitely short of what is his due.  His is the victory; he transcends and surpasses all, and is able to conquer and subdue all things to himself; and his victories are incontestable and uncontrollable.”  By Matthew Henry

And this same God bore the cross for us – now that’s love.  Hallelujah Jesus! 

Psalms 5:12

For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield. 

The children of the Father of all mercy stand fair and strong.  They are unchained and free to do well in His sight.  Their protection is assured and the Lord will shield their heads forever.  Their enemy has fallen by the wayside by the power of their God, who is a consuming fire.  Their lives are won.  Their souls are assured.  Nome may stand against these righteous for they are the Lord’s.  And those for whom the Lord stands cannot be stood against!  Hallelujah!

Courtesy of the Blue Letter Bible

1 Corinthians 1:18

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

Thank you Lord that “all the valued learning of this world is confounded, baffled, and eclipsed, by the Christian revelation and the glorious triumphs of the cross.  Matthew Henry