Isaiah 53

This hymn text is based on
Isaiah 53’s prophecy of
God’s sacrificial Lamb, with
music is adapted from
Handel’s moving “Sarabande”.

Recording
Printed Music

See Him rejected.
Who could imagine
The glory of heaven
In One now abandoned?

Bloody, disfigured,
Now barely human,
Repulsive and scarred,
His only clothing is shame.

But our shame He suffers,
Our sin He carries.
See what a beating He bears in our name!

Hear all the guilty
Mocking and cursing.
Our Savior is still.
This is the reason He came!

For our shame He suffers,
Our sin He carries.
How deep the sorrow He bears in our name!

Watch as His Father,
Eager to crush Him,
Now offers His Son
To bring His children back home.

by Ken Bible, © 2011 LNWhymns.com.

ThinkSingPray

ThinkSingPray
about
Relationships That Are Difficult 2

Monday –      Forgiving Each Other
Hymn: The Mind of Christ (recording) (printed)

Tuesday –     A Prayer Response to Romans 14
Hymn: Prayer of Intercession (recording) (printed)

Wednesday – Sanctify My Words
Hymn: Prayer for Purity (recording) (printed)

Thursday –  Relationship Lessons

Friday –          Help for Difficult Relationships

Saturday –     Individuals, Not Issues

for more, visit
ThinkSingPray
at KenBible.com

Holy Week Devotional Resources

For many of us, Holy Week services are the most meaningful of the entire year. How can we celebrate its world-changing events without meeting together? Here is one tool that might prove useful to you and your people.

Click this link to download Holy Week Devotional Resources 2020. For each day of Holy Week, it provides:

  1. One or more scripture readings from the lectionary.
  2. A link to a devotional reflection.
  3. A link to a hymn. The hymn page includes a recording of the hymn — see the “Listen” link in the upper right-hand section of the page.

May God’s Spirit speak and bless you as you pause to consider all Christ did for you in His suffering, death, and resurrection.

Each of Us Is a Gift of Grace

To each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. . . . It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:7, 11-13, NIV)

Read the following passage about God’s judgment on His disobedient people, and imagine yourself living through this situation:

See now, the Lord, the Lord Almighty, is about to take from Jerusalem and Judah both supply and support . . . the hero and warrior, the judge and prophet, the soothsayer and elder, the captain of fifty and man of rank, the counselor, skilled craftsman and clever enchanter. I will make boys their officials; mere children will govern them. People will oppress each other–man against man, neighbor against neighbor. The young will rise up against the old, the base against the honorable. (Isaiah 3:1-5, NIV)

Imagine any society with all its skilled people taken away: no leaders, no teachers, no doctors or dentists, no repair people or builders, no police officers or soldiers, no writers or performers, no cooks or crafts people or specialists of any kind.

Imagine a church with all its skills and talents gone.

That makes us realize how dependent we are on such gifts from God. It helps us see His grace reaching out through society, providing for our every need while drawing us together as a people. God is our complete support. We are totally dependent on Him for everything.

What do you have that you did not receive? (1 Corinthians 4:7, NIV)

But He has also made us dependent on each other. The gifts that you have been given – material goods, abilities, or even inclinations – are not gifts to you but are God’s gifts to His people through you.

In Ephesians chapters 1 and 2, we hear about God’s great grace poured out through Jesus. In chapter 3 Paul talks about himself as a vessel of God’s grace. But here in Ephesians 4 he says that God pours out His goodness and love through each of us. He is pouring out His provision through you. He has entrusted a portion of His grace to you.

You are part of a beautiful pattern, like the waterways of the earth or the blood vessels of the body, bringing God’s life to every corner of our world, meeting every human need. And He is using human hands. He is using your hands!

Praise to our all-wise God for His goodness! Praise Him for teaching us the blessings of unity!

Each of us is the steward of a gift
designed to glorify God,
to show those around us
how good and loving He is.
Together,
what a beautiful picture of God we could paint!

Hymn: Through Me

Psalm 46

This triumphant Psalm of faith
is here given a
thoughtful hymn setting,
with a tune adapted from a
folk melody.

Recording
Printed Music

Almighty defender, so near in our need,
Unchanging, unchallenged, and sovereign indeed!
The mightiest mountains may crumble and flee,
But God, You are greater than all that can be.

Though changes engulf us and troubles increase,
In You there is perfect, unshakable peace.
You speak, and the oceans and planets obey.
You speak, and all history will move as You say.

The powers of heaven await Your command,
So fear and all worry are hushed in Your hand.
O God, we exalt You and, trusting Your will,
We rest as You whisper, “My children, be still.”

by Ken Bible, © 2018 LNWhymns.com.

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ThinkSingPray
about
Relationships That Are Difficult 1

Monday –      Love’s Wisdom

Tuesday –     Use Me
Hymn: Share Your Father’s Heart (recording) (printed)

Wednesday – Loving Difficult People
Hymn: God of All People (recording) (printed)

Thursday – Hard Changes

Friday –          Tense Situations

Saturday –     When I’m Angry
Hymn: Your Thoughts, Your Words (recording) (printed)

for more, visit
ThinkSingPray
at KenBible.com

A Broader Vision

All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you. (Colossians 1:6, NIV)

Christians had gathered from all over the world to spend a week worshiping, talking, and learning together. And I had spent the entire week there in a publisher’s booth selling one particular product: our new hymnal. Every little feature of that product, every detail of the booth, was my life for those days.

Then on the last day, with lighter crowds, I wandered around a bit and saw some of the other exhibits. Right there across the aisle from me was the world missions area. Walking through, I got a glimpse of the desperate needs in so many world areas. I saw display after display of the world’s great cities, and I thought of all the needy millions crammed into each of them.

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the details and mechanics of our own little area of ministry. And let’s be honest: at times our concerns revolve too much around how that ministry impacts our own interests. We forget the needs of people, which is the real reason the ministry exists.

With all that in mind, I was approached by a former missionary who was hosting the display. Seeing my name, he commented on a publication I had helped produce years before. He relayed how useful it had been in his work on the mission field.

As he spoke, I thought immediately of new projects I was working on. I realized that God would be able to use them to touch the lives of others, if I stayed focused on Him and on the needs of His people.

I came away with a desire to do a better job right where I am. I don’t need a broader field of service. I need a broader vision of His work here where He has placed me.

Our ministries are only a tiny part of the overall picture, but they matter. We need to stay faithful to Him and focused on Him with each task He places before us. Somewhere that task will make a difference in the lives of people. Somewhere are needs He intends to meet through us today.

God designed our individual spiritual gifts and
roles in the Church to be
small and specialized.
Yet He calls us to
a perspective on the Church that is
broad and all-encompassing,
taking in the entire eternal purpose of God.

Hymn: Beyond All Barriers

Jesus, Living God!

Join the throng that
praised Jesus on that
first Palm Sunday!
Set to a familiar tune.

Recording
Printed Music

Who is He
Robed in light,
Radiant one at the Father’s right?
Hear Him speak.
Life is born,
Gracious gift from our loving Lord.
It is Jesus!
It is Jesus!
He is life and light from the Father’s heart.
Lord Almighty, Holy,
Jesus, Living God!

Who is He,
Truth and grace,
Peasant child in the poorest place?
Selfless love,
Spotless lamb,
Dying King and the Great I Am.
It is Jesus!
It is Jesus!
He is life and light from the Father’s heart.
Lord Almighty, Holy,
Jesus, Living God!

Who is He
Lifted high,
King of Kings at the Father’s right?
Lamb of God
Reigning now!
Lord of Lords! Every knee will bow!
It is Jesus!
It is Jesus!
He is life and light from the Father’s heart.
Lord Almighty, Holy,
Jesus, Living God!

by Ken Bible, © 2006 LNWhymns.com.

ThinkSingPray

ThinkSingPray
about
Relationships, Love in the Home

Monday –      God Is Shaping You
Hymn: Beyond Myself (recording) (printed)

Tuesday –     As We Live in Christ
Hymn: Live and Love and Grow in Christ (recording) (printed)

Wednesday – Daily Needs
Hymn: Our Daily Bread (recording) (printed)

Thursday –  The Dream

Friday –          Parenting
Hymn: Everlasting Father (recording) (printed)

Saturday –     Love One Another
Hymn: Love One Another (recording) (printed)

for more, visit
ThinkSingPray
at KenBible.com

More on Stewardship

“Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:21, NIV)

A steward is one who handles an owner’s property as the owner would want it handled. In a day when slow travel and communication created many absentee business owners, the steward was responsible for making daily decisions as the owner would make them.

As God’s stewards, how are we to manage His resources? What is important to Him? Sure, He wants us to value and respect His ownership too much to waste what He has entrusted to us. But penny-pinching and maximizing profits are not the essence of the stewardship He desires. Remember, He can create anything He wants by simply speaking the word.

What is important to Him? Where does He want His resources focused?

God is love (1 John 4:8). Love is precious to Him. People are precious to Him. Look at the way He spent His one and only Son. He was willing to sacrifice what was most precious to Him for the good of His people.

If we want to please our Owner, we must treat people well. That means everyone: family and strangers, friends and the unfriendly, next-door neighbors and people across the globe. God is love. If we love Him, we will love those He loves. They are all unspeakably dear to Him. He asks us to love them all as much as we love ourselves.

This “golden rule” isn’t some secondary, optional commandment. It is the prime directive. And there is no business exemption. He doesn’t say, “Treat people the way you want to be treated, as long as they treat you fairly” or “as long as it doesn’t cost too much.” Jesus said that loving God and loving other people are the two greatest, most essential commandments in all the world. Everything…everything…hangs on these two commands. (Read Matthew 22:34-40.)

Further, if you want to please your Owner, trust Him. He treasures the simple faith of His children. Trust Him with every need and every concern. Words of trust aren’t good enough. He wants you to prove your trust by the way you use His resources.

In summary, if we want to be a good steward and please the God who trusted you with His resources, use them to love people. That’s how this Owner wants His resources spent. Treat people as He would treat them. And show God that you trust Him by the way you spend what He has lent you. Remember what Jesus said:

“Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things [the necessities of life] will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33, NASB)