Path

2 Samuel 22:36b-37
…you stoop down to make me great.  You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn.”

Hebrews 12:12
“Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.  ‘Make level paths for your feet,’ so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.”

1 John 2:5-6
“But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him.  This is how we know we are in him:  Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.”

Patient Father, you level great mountains into gentle trails.

pathYou splint our brokenness with your faithful love.  Each stride patterned by the footsteps of Christ strengthens our weak limbs.

Correct our stumbling gait by your perfect path.  May we draw alongside the lame and invite them to walk your rehabilitating road.

For the sake of Christ we ask this, who staggered under the weight of Calvary’s cross so that we might climb the heights with straightened steps.

Listen to ‘Come Said Jesus’ Sacred Voice’ featuring Matthew Smith

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Choice from the Cross

Job 2:9-10
“[Job’s] wife said to him, ‘Are you still holding on to your integrity?  Curse God and die!’  He replied, ‘You are talking like a foolish woman.  Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?’  In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.”

Luke 23:39-43
“One of the criminals who hang there hurled insults at him:  ‘Aren’t you the Christ?  Save yourself and us!’  But the other criminal rebuked him.  ‘Don’t you fear God,’ he said, ‘since you are under the same sentence?  We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve.  But this man has done nothing wrong.’  Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’  Jesus answered him, ‘I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.’”

1 Peter 2:23-24
“When they hurled insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats.  Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.  He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”

Loving Saviour, you plunge your holy arm deep into the tragedies of this tainted world.

choice from the cross2We are often blinded by hurt and lash out with a curse.  Yet whether our suffering is just or unjust, you remain on the cross next to us and endure the same pain.

At the moment of choice, may we humbly accept an illogical sorrow as you did, knowing you will not abandon us.  Transform our distress into paradise by your presence.

Through Christ’s healing name we pray, who bore our insults even as he took the curse of death in our place.

Listen to ‘Beneath the Cross of Jesus’ featuring Sandra McCracken and Derek Webb

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Clay Jars

Judges 7:19-21
“Gideon and the hundred men with him reached the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just after they had changed the guard.  They blew their trumpets and broke the jars that were in their hands.  The three companies blew the trumpets and smashed the jars.  Grasping the torches in their left hands and holding in their right hands the trumpets there were to blow, they shouted, ‘A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!’  While each man held his position around the camp, all the Midianites ran, crying out as they ran.”

2 Corinthians 4:6-7
“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness, made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.  But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God, and not from us.”

Psalm 27:1, 3
“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?…Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.”

Mighty God, you advance into the territory of the enemy with the power of your unconquerable light.

clay jars2When we use the weapon of our weakness, your strength shines and overcomes.  Hidden in the shattered clay lies your brilliant victory.

Lead us forward as we grasp the torch and seek the treasure.  May we battle the darkness by breaking our trust in ourselves and thus reveal your radiance.

We ask this in the name of Christ who covered his glory in the mud form of a man, and was broken to fight for our salvation.

Listen to ‘Jesus the Lord My Savior Is’ featuring Sandra McCracken

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Treasures of Darkness

Job 28:1-3, 10-12
“There is a mine for silver and a place where gold is refined.  Iron is taken from the earth, and copper is smelted from ore.  Man puts an end to the darkness; he searches the farthest recesses for ore in the blackest darkness…He tunnels through the rock; his eyes see all its treasures.  He searches the sources of the rivers and brings hidden things to light.  But where can wisdom be found?  Where does understanding dwell?”

Matthew 13:44
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field.  When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”

Isaiah 45:3
“I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.”

Your love, O Lord, is a pure and priceless gemstone set in earth’s dark rubble.

We who endlessly search for gold fail to strike true treasure.  Hidden in the narrow way lies the precious wisdom of your word.

treasures of darknessReveal the glint of glory to our dimmed sight.  May we with joy part with all we have to belong to the kingdom we have discovered.

Thank you that we can ask this in Jesus’ name, who was buried in darkness for us so that we might find a beautiful treasure in him.

Listen to ‘Gladly Would I Leave Behind Me’ by Sovereign Grace Music

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Mother

Isaiah 49:15
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne?  Though she may forget, I will not forget you!”

Luke 1:5, 6a-7, 13a, 16
“…there was a priest named Zechariah…his wife Elizabeth was also a descendent of Aaron.  Both of them were upright…But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren; and they were both well along in years…But the angel said to him:  ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard.  Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son…Many of the people of Israel he will bring back to the Lord their God.’”

John 1:12-13
“Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”

Lord of love, more than any earthly mother you desire to hold your children in your arms.

motherYou demonstrate a bias for the barren woman to fill your household.  The long-awaited offspring calls to the long-departed children to return home.

Make our hearts as maternal as yours, O God.  In knowing your longing help us foster new birth in those around us.

We ask this in the name of Christ, conceived after generations waited, born to begin the family of God.

Listen to ‘The Love of God‘ by Dave Hunt

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Foundation

Luke 6:47-49
“As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like.  They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock.  When the flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.  But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation.  The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”

1 Corinthians 3:10b-11
“But each one should build with care.  For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

Hebrews 3:6
“But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house.  And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.”

Lord of all, you are the immovable God who moves with mercy towards us.

foundationWe leave behind the soft work of sand to carve our footings into your solid truth.  When tested by the torrent we find your word outlasts the storm.

Anchor us deeply into the rock of Christ.  May we build sheltering places upon the granite of your grace to house the dislodged prodigal.

In the sure name of Christ we pray, the foundation we fix upon and the cornerstone that brings us to life.

Listen to ‘How Firm a Foundation’ (track 9) by Enfield

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Race

Ecclesiastes 2:10-11
“I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure.  My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor.  Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.

Hebrews 12:1b-3
“…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

2 Timothy 4:7
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

Mighty God, your presence is our ultimate goal and only resource.

We have pursued trophies as insubstantial as the breeze.  The chase has wearied our hearts.

raceBe our focus to ensure we run the race with consistent purpose.  Lay a course before us that finishes only to begin a new and everlasting joy.

We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, who persevered through pain because he prized us as his reward.

Listen to ‘Higher Ground’ by the Hymn Remix Project

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