Friday Morning Prayer:)… March 7, 2019

March 7, 2019 - 8 minutes read

Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.  

Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.  

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.  

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need in Thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.[1]  

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”[2]

My charismatic Catholic brother asked, “Do protestants practice Lent?”  To be honest, his question reminded me it was Ash Wednesday.  I did not give him a solid answer because I was not certain how to answer.  His question got me thinking and exploring. Regardless of your position regarding the tradition of Lent or the ritual practice of Ash Wednesday, the gospel certainly rejects the idea that there is any season, 40 days, or participating in any liturgical practice that earns greater favor with God.  In fact, any idea of meritorious behavior or earning favor with God through our works, even good and healthy spiritual disciplines is contrary to the gospel of grace.  “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”[3]    

On matters of dispute I have to ask, who am I to judge someone else’s servant?  The Apostle Paul makes it clear, “To his own master he stands or falls.  And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.”[4]  The regenerate heart is in God’s sovereign hand.  I think it better to consider every day alike, but another considers one day more sacred.  For me in our ever-increasing self-centered, vain, no regard for God, pagan culture is to at least recognize my need to be set apart, to intentionally pursue God, and consider my life in Christ.  We sing, 

This world is not my home I’m just passing through
my treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue
the angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door
and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore[5]   

I trust God who sovereignly called me unto himself and empowers me, and you too, to: live for him, please him, worship our God who loves us, delights in us, and we are free to delight in him by the power of the Spirit.    

The idea of preparation for resurrection Sunday makes sense to me every day of the week leading to Sunday.  We gather and worship every Sunday, our Lord’s Day.  Therefore, every Sunday we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus!  Engaging in spiritual disciplines highlights God’s grace to read, meditate, examine ourselves, worship, and enjoy our God.  “Training ourselves in the art of spiritual self-discipline requires us to see beyond the now, it also produces a freedom to experience the fruits of the Holy Spirit in spite of the difficulties we face as Christians.”[6]  Beloved, we are in the process of becoming more like Jesus.  The constant goal is to move closer to our God, to be empowered daily, mature in our shared faith and glorify God with our lives.   

I pray for necessary grace every day, including the next 40 days, on into Holy week, and right through Easter to be a daily pursuit of God, to experience his power, to overflow love, to encourage others to persevere in our shared faith, in prayer, to love God with all you got, to love others even when you do not feel like it, to live humbly, penitent, and full of joy because of our living and abiding God!  We live this life as God intended through taking up our cross daily and keeping eternity at the forefront of our thoughts.  The following sums it well,   

“For believers, the “essential” is the eternal, and the eternal comes to us through the cross. The paradox of death leading to rebirth only appears to be a contradiction. All of Christ’s gifts are given to us through death — his death. And it will only be through a different death — our death — that we will finally receive the fullness of life that Jesus died to impart.”[7]   

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.  

Just as I am, Thy love unknown
Hath broken every barrier down;
Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come..

 Sisters in Christ are meeting to pray.  First Baptist.  1912 Arnold Way,  Alpine,  0900

You are invited to join in the spiritual disciplines of prayer and fellowship.  Diverse gals meeting to encourage one another and ask, seek, and knock as the Spirit leads.

Brothers are meeting too!  Mt. View Bible. 2710 Alpine Blvd.  Alpine, 0730

Join brothers in Christ to enjoy our God in the presence of one another. We rely on the leading of the Holy Spirit and trust our God to empower us as we pursue him in humble faith.


[2] Ephesians 2:8-9

[3] Romans 3:22-24

[4] Romans 14:4