Jesus, 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 ransomed soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.
Near the cross, a trembling soul,
Love and mercy found me;
There the Bright and Morning Star
Shed His beams around me.
This past Sunday brother Jack said to the congregation, “God has allowed us to be here. We have God’s word, his Spirit, the insight of believers from thousands of years back.” “Believe on the Lord!” He highlighted God’s mercy, his grace according to his sovereign plan. Our sovereign God orchestrates as he determines, even allowing painful events or circumstances that ultimately, he does work for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. So, yes, ‘believe on the Lord’ and rejoice always! Jesus, keep me near the cross, there a precious fountain free to all, a healing stream. Love and mercy found me—a supernatural initiation resulting in a supernatural response to loving-kindness.
The apostle Paul was full of joy as he wrote to the Philippians because of their partnership in the gospel. He prayed for them with joy and was confident that the believers there were in fellowship with God and participated in the life of God. We too fellowship and participate, especially as we cherish the inspired word from thousands of years back; we recognize the relevance of the living word that becomes more and more evident as the regenerate heart grows in grace and matures in our understanding of the Bible. I want to know greater depths and experience deeper the joy of fellowship with God our Father, through the Son Jesus, in the power of the Holy Spirit. I want to live in the flow of the Spirit, so do you as our Lord Jesus molds and shapes our new life in him. Moreover, we care for and nurture each other as family in Christ. Our living faith manifests in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control as we live in relationship with one another to the glory of God.
Our merciful and gracious God keeps us strong ‘till my ransomed soul shall find rest beyond the river.’ Our confidence is in the truth as revealed in the word of God, “that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Moreover, “God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.” The apostle John highlights the fellowship of believers and fellowship with God, “We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And, our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.”
A brother expressed concern this week about his teen daughter who was very discouraged to the point of tears because she can’t “feel” God when she goes to church. I encouraged the reading of 1 John. Therein and throughout the scriptures, we want to recognize we live in fellowship with God and have the assurance of salvation based on what we know. I am certainly thankful for the sense of God’s presence, feeling joy and excitement about what I know through the cross, the power of the Spirit, etc., however, when I feel down, I always rely on what I know from the word of God. Feelings can be misleading and confusing as a primary guide to our life in Christ. C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, “Now Faith, in the sense in which I am here using the word, is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods.”
Paul clearly encourages us, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.” In fact, every regenerate heart is “…marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” I pray you know the gospel, stay near the cross, and experience the joy of your salvation always!
Near the cross! O lamb of God,
Bring its scenes before me;
Help me walk from day to day
With its shadow o’er me.
Near 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! Gals are meeting to fellowship with each other and with our merciful God. Friday mornings are an intentional time of prayer before the throne of grace. If your schedule allows go and enjoy.
Brothers are meeting too! Mt. View Bible, 2710 Alpine Blvd. Alpine, 0730
The joy of brothers meeting together! United at the cross and devoted to the gospel of Jesus! You are invited to join Christian brothers for a sweet hour of prayer. If you haven’t been, you have been missed! With much love, we pray for one another and allow the Holy Spirit to lead our time together.
 Emmanuel Christian Church, Harbison Canyon @ Ironside Park
 Romans 8:28
 Philippians 1: 3-5
 Ibid v. 6
 1 Corinthians 1:9
 1 John 1: 3-4
 Ephesians 1:13-14