keep me near the cross,
There a precious fountain—
Free to all, a healing stream—
Flows from Calv’ry’s mountain.
In the cross, in the cross,
Be my glory ever;
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.
the cross, a trembling soul,
Love and Mercy found me;
There the bright and morning star
Sheds its beams around me.
the cross! O Lamb of God,
Bring its scenes before me;
Help me walk from day to day,
With its shadows o’er me.
“For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.”
How does God move your heart? What circumstances, people, experiences, events, etc. at the hand of our sovereign God move you to tears of joy, laughter of love, feelings of compassion, empathy, deep heart-felt love, genuine concern to the point of anger and grief, especially as you pray and desire the mind of Christ? Certainly, the truth of the gospel and experiencing our great salvation brings us perpetual joy and overflowing praise to our glorious God. “I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” The opportunities to observe joyful kids being free to play and enjoy the safety of loving parents, family, and friends are God’s grace manifest. Maybe those hurting stir you and me toward mercy, love, and compassion. A God-given desire compels us to generously serve and work to be the comfort of our Mighty Savior. This supernatural dynamic to love, have mercy, show compassion, and effectively work-out this great salvation is consumed in the prayer, ‘Jesus keep me near the cross, our precious fountain, a healing stream… ‘Near the cross! O Lamb of God, bring its scenes before me; help me walk from day to day, with its shadows o’er me.’
I was moved to tears this week by the body of Christ gathered. The many kids, the family of God loving one another with attentiveness and concern; the laughter, joy, refuge as we gathered to worship our God, experience his presence with supernatural biblical insights and the affective stirring of my heart affirmed the powerful holy presence of God. The amazing power of God to change a calloused heart, change motivation, perspective, interests, desires; we are a new creation relying on his mighty strength to empower you and me to truly live, struggle, and enjoy this Christ-life! “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”
Beloved, our ambition because of our indwelling God is to be humble, be joyful always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances. We live together in him and encourage one another and build each other up. Persevering in Christ, crying out for his help daily, even moment by moment ensures we do not put out the Spirit’s fire. “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.”
As you journey with Christ, be encouraged this day because of God’s presence. He gives you and me his Holy Spirit. To God’s glory, you were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. You truly believed by God’s mercy and abundant grace. We have been marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the full redemption of those who are God’s possession. In this truth, we rejoice! In contrast, we weep and shed many tears in prayer for those who live as enemies of the cross of Christ. My heart aches to know their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. We want others to know the depths of this great salvation, especially those, who we once were, ‘darkness’ to experience and be ‘light’ of Christ. “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” The heart cry of the Wesleyan hymn:
to the right or left I stray,
His voice behind me may I hear,
“Return, and walk in Christ Thy way,
Fly back to Christ, for sin is near.”
sacred unction from above
Be still my Comforter and Guide;
Till all the hardness He remove,
And in my loving heart reside.
Let us rejoice and weep as the Holy Spirit leads this supernatural journey in Christ. Excel more and more in the love of Jesus! “Jesus my Savior, Brother, Friend, on Whom I cast my every care, on Whom for all things I depend, inspire, and then accept, my prayer.”
the cross I’ll watch and wait
Hoping, trusting ever,
Till I reach the golden strand,
Just beyond the river.
Sisters are meeting for prayer. First Baptist, 1912 Arnold Way, Alpine, 0900.
You are invited to join with faithful sisters in Christ. Go be encouraged and encourage your sisters with the love, joy, and glorious power of God sustaining your life in Him.
Brothers are meeting too! Alpine Youth Center, 2153 Arnold Way, Alpine, 0730
Join us if your schedule allows. We meet to love, encourage, listen, share, and earnestly pray as the Holy Spirit leads our time together. No expectations other than the God’s presence in our midst. I need to see you, love you, and be filled with joy!
 Philippians 3:18
 Luke 15:10
 Ephesians 1:17-18
 1 Thessalonians 5:10-11, 16, 19 1 Peter 5:6
 Ibid 5:23
 Ephesians 1:13-14
 Philippians 3:19
 2 Peter 3:8-10
 ibid. Jesus, my Savior, Brother, Friend.