31 Days of Giving Thanks (With the help of Andrew Peterson’s “Is He Worthy?)

This week we are going to allow God’s gift of music

to stir our hearts toward thankfulness, for music has power.

I see it in prison all the time.

They begin to sing with their hearts and minds,

and He comes to them.

We must do the same, from the rising of the sun,

to the going down of the same.

Discipleship Unlimited Faith Dorm in Texas. Photo courtesy of Nan Dickson.

 

William Cowper wrote:

Sometimes a light surprises,

the Christian when he sings.

It is the Lord who rises,

with healing in His wings.

Sunday: (Day 15 of giving thanks)

1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

2. Why do you think it is, as Cowper says, that sometimes the Lord comes to us when we are singing His praises? Can you give a scriptural reason?

3. Was there a time in your life when you sang more (or less) than you do now? (Or listened more to sacred music…) If there has been a change, why, do you think?

4. What can you give thanks for this Sabbath day?

Monday Action Assignment (Day 16)

5. Choose a hymn or praise chorus to memorize this week — maybe just one verse, maybe more. What will it be and why did you choose it? How does it help you be thankful?

6. Practice the above and write out as much as you can without looking at it here.

Tuesday: Introducing “Is He Worthy?” (Days 17)

 

7. Keep learning and practicing your song and share any way it is impacting you and helping you to give thanks.

 

Andrew Peterson’s song, “Is He Worthy?” which one of you (one of you may remember who it was!)  has moved me to the core. It is saturated with scriptural truths and will help us to give thanks these next three days. Peterson is part of a liturgical church that responds to the worship leader, so that was what inspired him to write “Is He Worthy?” Prepare your heart by watching this and then share your thoughts, comments, and feelings.

8. What truths from the above resonate with you and why?

Here is an article from The Gospel Coalition on the background of this song:

Andrew Peterson’s New Song for the People

9. Comments on the above?

 

Wed.-Thurs.: Reflecting on the truths from the first half of “Is He Worthy?” (Days 18-19)

10. Though we live in a fallen world, still we have “echoes of Eden.” The third line of “Is He Worthy?” asks “But do you know that all the dark won’t stop the light from getting through?” This is the truth of John 1:5: The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.

A. What sweetness in family or friendships do you see right now in this fallen world? Give thanks for them.

 

 

 

Annie Brestin Lano and her daughter Lily Grace

B. Though we live in a fallen world, what beauty in nature do you see? Give thanks.

 

My daughter-in-law Dianne sent me this and called it “streets of gold.” I loved that, for this is the kind of streets of gold I hope to see in heaven, but glimpse right now.

 

 

11. I’m going to list a few of the ways our world is broken and see if you can find the promise for it being made new, and then give thanks. 

A. Death has come into the world, and it is hard to see the bodies of our loved ones and our own bodies fall apart. Our bodies, indeed, as Paul says, will die, will be sown in dishonor. How is your body falling apart?

1) What promise do we have in 1 Corin. 15:43?

2) Give thanks for what this means to you for yourself and for loved one.

B. Our bodies have weaknesses, for we were borne of the image of the man of dust.

1) What promise do we have in 1 Corin. 15:49?

2) Give thanks for what this means to you.

C. Romans tells us that all creation is under the curse, and is groaning for its redemption. How do you see this brokenness in creation?

 

1) What promise do we have in Isaiah 65:17 and echoed In Revelation 21:1?

 

2) Give thanks for what this means to you.

 

D. When sin came into the world, our relationships began to break, even between brothers and sisters in Christ. In what relationships are you praying for healing?

1) What promise can you find for the healing of relationships in heaven in Hosea 2:17 and Isaiah 65:19? 

2) Give thanks for what this means to you.

Friday: Reflecting on the Truths from the 2nd Half of “Is He Worthy?”

12. Write down as much as you have learned of your song without looking at it. How is it impacting you?

13. “Is He Worthy” asks, “Is it good that we remind ourselves of this?” How is practicing a thankful heart impacting you?

14. Read Revelation 5:1-7.

Contained in the scroll are the mysteries of God, including the end times, that have been hidden from us until this time. Those who hunger and thirst for God long to understand more, so John weeps that no one is worthy to open that scroll.

     A. Is any person worthy to open the scroll? Why not?

     B. Who is worthy?

     C. Why do you think that God hides things from us?

D. How is Jesus described in Revelation 5:5-6. How is He both a Lion and a Lamb? Can you give thanks here for this?

 

 

“Does the Father truly love us?” Many of you know my daughter Sally’s story of her painting of “Aslan” and how a mysterious slain lamb appeared in it without her realizing she had painted it. That painting now hangs in the Marion Wade Museum’s foyer at Wheaton College which houses artifacts of C. S. Lewis and other British authors. This painting was such a comfort to us, finished days before my husband and Sally’s father was diagnosed with cancer. This is just one of the many evidences in our lives that “the Father truly loves us.”

The Marion Wade Museum is at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Il.

 

18. Share an evidence in your life that the Father truly loves you.

 

19. “Is He Worthy” asks “Does the Spirit move among us?” Share an evidence in your life that He does.

 

Saturday:

20. What is your take-a-way and why?

 

 

 

 

COMMENTS (154) Post a New Comment ↓
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10. A. What sweetness in family or friendships do you see right now in this fallen world? Give thanks for them.

It’s convicting how easy it is for me to give so much weight to the hard relationships within my family and give so much less weight to the beautiful ones He has blessed me with. I am so thankful for my marriage, and a very special relationship with two of my children. I’m blessed with great fellowship at my office, and love my neighbors–huge direct answered prayer there.

B. Though we live in a fallen world, what beauty in nature do you see? Give thanks.

Oh wow, nature–there is just so much beauty, so much that reflects Him, I could go on and on here! I love how nature gives us more glimpses and truths of God’s character, helping us know Him more. Like how He created bulbs so that we bury them deep in the ground and then one day, they sprout leaves and then flowers, and some come back year after year–depicting how He loves to surprise us with His blessings. The sunsets, always original and unique, or how a rainbow so perfectly reminds us that beauty comes after the storms.Sometimes I think about bubbles. Our majestic all-powerful God created bubbles, that can only be because He loves to see us smile! Or even non-physical nature, like laughter–my son and I were talking about this yesterday, He actually created us to laugh when another person tickles us–that just tells me something about His Father-like tender heart.

11. A. Death has come into the world, and it is hard to see the bodies of our loved ones and our own bodies fall apart. Our bodies, indeed, as Paul says, will die, will be sown in dishonor. How is your body falling apart?

I don’t like that question Dee! Sorry, kidding, sort of, but I do feel the affects of age and stress MUCH more than I’d like :)

1) What promise do we have in 1 Corin. 15:43?

We will be raised in glory!

2) Give thanks for what this means to you for yourself and for loved one.

I especially think of my dear friend our “Mary E”–oh, what joy is brings to know she will one Day be raised in glory, completely healed, free of pain. But it is also a truth I need for myself–One Day, all will be made new! And I can be a ballerina :)

B. Our bodies have weaknesses, for we were borne of the image of the man of dust.

1) What promise do we have in 1 Corin. 15:49?

We will bear Christ’s image.

2) Give thanks for what this means to you.

It’s indescribable, so hard to imagine, truly being LIKE Him, loving like Him, forgiving, serving, like Him… Thank You Father. 1 John 3:2 “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.”

C. Romans tells us that all creation is under the curse, and is groaning for its redemption. How do you see this brokenness in creation?

I first thought of my sweet 15 year old Labrador who I had from 3 weeks old, she died 2 summers ago–she was an incredible gift, but developed arthritis and skin disease, lumps all over. My beautiful hydrangea that was doing so well until the deer (and/or bunnies) ate it’s leaves!

But we are also his creation and the brokenness in man, in myself–the sin and deceit, I know breaks His heart more than anything.

 

    Reply

    Love hearing about answered prayer with neighbors!

     

    You have a ballerina body — did you ever dance?

     

     

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8. What truths from the above resonate with you and why? – My heart aches so bad in seeing how the people here on Earth are acting. There is so much bitterness and anger it just saddens me. I listened to the song twice and the first time I didn’t realize what they were doing, but when I put my ear buds in and blocked out the noise around me, I thought, wow I could be in that choir answering those questions. Everything he asked is true for the world today. The only saving grace we have is that God has conquered it all and we can look forward to our eternal home where there will be peace and joy and everyone will get along, just like the Lion and the Lamb. There is hope in this world, if we look to the cross.

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9. Comments on the above? – I liked how the Gospel Coalition did this. A little bit of background on where he came from. He saw what the people needed and he created a way for them to really realize how the world is. I think too that for me hearing the answers repeated helps me to see what the world has become without Jesus in it. But our hope and future are not in this world we live in today, but with Jesus in our heavenly home. We have something to look forward to. And that is a life with Jesus in heaven.

    Reply

    I liked that piece from The Gospel Coalition too, Julie!

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10. Though we live in a fallen world, still we have “echoes of Eden.” The third line of “Is He Worthy?” asks “But do you know that all the dark won’t stop the light from getting through?” This is the truth of John 1:5: The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.
 
A. What sweetness in family or friendships do you see right now in this fallen world? Give thanks for them. – My Mom, who will be 91 on the 18th is now living with me and my husband and one son. I love spending time with her and can’t wait until the weekends get here so I can be home with her. My Life Group family are precious to me and we have a great bound that we can reach out to each other for help. This is what everyone in this world should be doing. Thank you Lord for these precious gifts you have given me.
B. Though we live in a fallen world, what beauty in nature do you see? Give thanks. – This time of year where I live in Northwest Indiana is so beautiful with the many colors of the season showing. I love just driving down the roads and seeing Gods beauty. I love the mass amounts of stars that are too many to count up in the sky on a clear night. Looking up and seeing all of them tells me that there is someone much greater than me and I’m thankful he has chosen me to be one of His. 

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10. Though we live in a fallen world, still we have “echoes of Eden”. The third line of “Is He Worthy?” asks “But do you know that all the dark won’t stop the light from getting through?” This is the truth of John 1:5: The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.”

 

A. What sweetness in family or friendships do you see right now in this fallen world? Give thanks for them.

 

Yes, this world is dark and fallen. I loved Mary’s saying that relationships (in her life) are “sprinkled” in her life like stars….yes, little lights in the darkness. My children bring sweetness to me….last night my oldest son who lives in Florida sent me a video of him teaching his dog, Chief, how to sit and lie down on command. He recently sent me a picture of both of them taking a nap, with Chief’s face pressed up against my son’s cheek (his wife took the photo). I can tell that dog loves my son! My daughter is a sweet companion – even when she’s grouchy, I will call her a “prickly pear” and that always makes her smile. Sometimes my husband and I go on long walks together. We don’t have the easiest marriage, nor the intimacy that I would like to have, but here’s something that happened one day recently: he had gone out for a walk, and as I was in the kitchen looking out the window, I saw him coming home, walking out of the woods behind our house. I felt glad to see him inside, and I thought to myself that I wouldn’t really want to be married to anyone else. Lord, I thank You for my family.

 

B. Though we live in a fallen world, what beauty in nature do you see? Give thanks.

 

There is beauty all around. I often think if my only “slice” of the world was what I can see out of my window, even that holds so much beauty. The colors of the trees are blazing now, and I think of the beauty of an apple orchard nearby, where I used to take my kids to pick apples. Colorful leaves carpeting the grass, colorful mums and bright orange pumpkins, Indian corn, the cornfields turning brown….have you ever noticed how many shades of brown there are in nature? Love that photo above from Dianne!

Lord, thank You for the beauty of the earth.

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11. C. Romans tells us that all creation is under the curse, and is groaning for its redemption. How do you see this brokenness in creation?
I see it in the rampant wildfires that light up in California and elsewhere; When flowers die and in everything that decays; Natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes and tornados. With us I see it in death, cruelty to one another, our selfish pride, our idolatry..this longing He has set inside for Him gets replaced with our thirsting after ways to redeem ourselves.

1) What promise do we have in Isaiah 65:17 and echoed In Revelation 21:1?
 He will make a new heaven and a new earth and we won’t remember the old nor will it come to mind!
2) Give thanks for what this means to you.
I am thankful He has written it down for this is a salve right now! It puts my current troubles AS momentary and light and that I won’t remember them. I won’t remember any of this brokenness and my heart will no longer have moments or seasons of heaviness. Also, going back to above, that these troubles are MOMENTARY but not only that, Jesus is using them to prune me and shape me into His image more and more. I am just thankful that even though I hate the pain of my broken body, and the pain of this broken world, my broken family, etc..and even though pain and stress does affect us physically, it is momentary. It won’t even come to mind in the new heaven and new earth.

    Reply

    Yes, it is such a gift it is written down!

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11. A. Death has come into the world, and it is hard to see the bodies of our loved ones and our own bodies fall apart. Our bodies, indeed, as Paul says, will die, will be sown in dishonor. How is your body falling apart?
 

My hair is turning gray, my joints ache more, I can see a few more wrinkles too.

 
1) What promise do we have in 1 Corin. 15:43?
 

The body will be raised in glory, power, and spirituality.

 
2) Give thanks for what this means to you for yourself and for loved one.
 

I suppose it means we don’t need to worry about losing our bodies, as they will  be glorified to God in the end.

 
B. Our bodies have weaknesses, for we were borne of the image of the man of dust.
1) What promise do we have in 1 Corin. 15:49?
 

We will be in the image of Christ.

 
2) Give thanks for what this means to you.
 

Thank You Jesus for giving Your life for us so we are able to enter heaven. Thank You for making us in Your likeness so we don’t feel all the pains we did on earth. Thank You for giving us a Holy body that won’t deteriorate so that we might know our loved ones, and they know us, and we don’t have the worries of the flesh falling apart; we will be made new.

    Reply

    Laura-dancer, I like to say my hair is not turning gray, it’s turning artic blonde🤗

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11. C. Romans tells us that all creation is under the curse, and is groaning for its redemption. How do you see this brokenness in creation?
 
I see it in how the teens in our school treat each other and the adults in the school. I also see it in how adults treat each other as well. Love is sometimes not apparent; in fact as I write this another shooting has occurred in our country. Sad things happen here on earth.
 
1) What promise do we have in Isaiah 65:17 and echoed In Revelation 21:1?
 
 There will be a new heaven and earth and all things will be forgotten. The new heaven and earth was seen by John in his dream. He also saw the old heaven and earth fall away.
 
2) Give thanks for what this means to you.
 

Thank You Lord for taking away the old, fallen world along with its awful-ness of pain and strife. Thank You, in advance, for the beauty of the new world; it’s peacefulensss and quietness that awaits us. Thank You for every need being met and all our thoughts of the prior, sad world being taken away.

    Reply

    Yes, Laura….it is so sad that these mass shootings are almost weekly occurrences.

    Reply

    Your thanks, Laura, cause me to rejoice too!

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11. I’m going to list a few of the ways our world is broken and see if you can find the promise  for it being made new, and then give thanks.

 

A. Death has come into the world, and it is hard to see the bodies of our loved ones and our own bodies fall apart. Our bodies, indeed, as Paul says, will die, will be sown in dishonor. How is your body falling apart?

 

I am thankful to be in pretty good health; I have an autoimmune disorder that makes my immune system attack my thyroid gland, but I take medication, and it is stable. I have a few more aches and pains than I used to, like if I sleep on my side my hip aches in the morning, and I can’t read without “cheaters”. My sister is twelve years older than me – 66, and I am worried about her. She has an extremely rare condition called PVNS, in which giant-cell tumors that are non-cancerous but destroy surrounding tissues grow, usually in the knee and more rarely, the hip. In 2012, she was diagnosed with a tumor in her right hip and had surgery to remove it, but it left the hip joint weakened and so last October, she had to have a total hip replacement. Now she has a strange lump and an indentation along her incision. Trauma can start these things growing. She went back to her hip surgeon and he’s sending her to another specialist for some diagnostic tests, but she fears it is another tumor. These tumors can wrap themselves around tendons and be impossible to remove surgically, and sometimes they use chemo and radiation to try to shrink them. The horrible thing is that they can keep growing back. She’s having a hard time going up steps and has some weakness in her leg. Would you please keep her in your prayers….I pray this is not another tumor.

 

1) What promise do we have in 1 Corinthians 15:43?   Our bodies, which are sown in dishonor and weakness, will be raised in glory and power. And verse 42 says raised imperishable.

 

2) Give thanks for what this means to you for yourself and for loved one.

 

Lord, You tell us to present our requests to you with thanksgiving. I am thankful for this future promise that one day, our bodies will be free from disease, weakness, tumors and all the rest….yet I pray for healing for my sister, for her leg, and for You to be with her in this trial.

 

B. Our bodies have weaknesses, for we were borne of the image of the man of dust.

 

1) What promise do we have in 1 Corinthians 15:49?  We have borne the likeness of Adam, and we shall bear the likeness of the man from heaven – Jesus. Our resurrected bodies will be just like His.

 

2) Give thanks for what this means to you.

 

Lord, we surely do have to bear weakness in our earthly bodies because of the penalty of sin, and we have to die, too. But I am thankful that Jesus came and showed Himself to his friends so that they could see, and write about it, what He was like after being raised – he could eat, and drink, and was real in every way. Thank you that You will take our bodies, even if they are nothing but bones and dust, and give them back to us.

 

C. Romans tells us that all creation is under the curse, and is groaning for its redemption. How do you see this brokenness in creation?

 

I dust and dust, and the dust keeps coming back. There is litter and pollution, our air and water are polluted. There are natural disasters that seem to be getting worse.

 

1) What promise do we have in Isaiah 65:17 and echoed in Revelation 21:1?

 

The promise in Isaiah is that God will create a new heaven and a new earth, and in Revelation, John “sees” it, saying that the first heaven and earth had passed away.

 

2) Give thanks for what this means to you.

 

Lord, it’s hard for me to imagine how You could improve upon what You’ve already made – things like the Alps and the oceans and all the different kinds of birds, flowers, trees, all the colors….thank you for planning to make something even newer and better and it will be perfect, too.

    Reply

    Susan, Hate to hear what your sister is going through! Yes, praying for her now.

    Reply

    I’m sorry to hear about your sister too.

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11.A.  Aging and decay…. My body wheezes at the least exertion, and I can’t get up off the floor without a lot of help.

1) 1 Cor, I may be weak now, but someday will be raised in strength.

2) thank You, Lord, that this life is not all there is. Someday I will trade mortality for immortality, and the same will be true for all who love You.

B.  We will be like Jesus.

Thank You, Lord, not only will I be free of earthly decay and curses, but I will be like You in perfect balance. I especially look forward to being free of my sin nature and able to perfectly obey You.

Brokenness in creation….the winding down of everything created. The decay and rot and constant erosion.

Revelation says He will create, or recreate, the heavens and the earth.

We won’t be just spirits, floating around. We will be able to enjoy every solid gift You ever created for man.

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Today I have the day off from work because I am now qualified for Senior Citizen Day (55+) at the National Peanut Festival in Dothan AL. I’m going with a group from my hometown. Please pray the rain holds off until we return home.

11. How is my body falling apart?

My battle with depression took a toll on my body. My energy isn’t near where it once was and my stomach is now sensitive to certain foods.

Sometimes I have to use closed captioning when watching tv because I can’t understand what’s being said if a character uses a low voice.

Instead of getting down on the floor to retrieve an item that’s under the bed (Cora, the family cat likes to come in my room and play with my bedroom shoes under the bed) I’ll get the broom. There’s no carpet in my room so it’s easy to sweep things out. I have an apple that rolled under the bed the other day that’s waiting to be rescued. I can give it to Daisy. (She’s an old goat) Sorry, I have tendency to get off track.

Susan, my older sister is 61. She had polio has a child so she’s never been able to ride a bike or run and play like I did. Because my mom had braces put on her legs as part of her treatment, she has walked longer than most who had the same disease. She now has to use a walker but not once have I ever heard her complain. She suffers though terribly in the winter because arthritis has set in and she’s had multiple broken bones. God perserved her life when she was 21 in a terrible car accident. She fell out of her car when she was hit and her car ran over her. She suffered a broken pelvis, broken leg and she was 8 months pregnant. The baby she was carrying is my oldest niece who will be 41 on November 24.

Lord how grateful I am for Your preservation of not just my life but the life of my sister and her daughter. You spared my mother from suffering the loss of her daughters and granddaughter. You are Faithful. I praise your Holy Name this day! In Jesus’ Name Amen.

Have a wonderful day everyone ❤️

    Reply

    Tammy, your day off sounds fun! And that’s incredible about your sister, how her life was spared, and also the life of your niece. Wow.

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14-C.   Why do you think God hides things from us?

Pondering this here this morning.
Isaiah 64: 6-7
Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall
and our sins sweep us away like the wind.
Yet no one calls on your name
or pleads with you for mercy.
Therefore, you have turned away from us
and turned us over to our sins.

C.H. Spurgeon, known as the prince of preachers,  made these two statements:

When God hides His face from His people it is almost always behind cloud of dust which they have made themselves.

Sin is usually at the bottom of all the hidings of the Lord’s face; let us ask the Lord to reveal the special form of it to us, that we may repent of it, overcome it, and henceforth forsake it.

I’ve been listening to musician Andrew Peterson for many years.  In 2003 he released a song entitled The Silence of God.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvytewIxll0

His first verse begins like this:

It’s enough to drive a man crazy;
it’ll break a man’s faith

It’s enough to make him wonder if he’s ever been sane

When he’s bleating for comfort from Thy staff and Thy rod

And the heaven’s only answer is the silence of God

Thinking about how Aslan (representing Christ in the Chronicles of Narnia)  hid himself from the children at times and sometimes for long periods of time.    Anyone have some insight on why C.S. Lewis wove a hiding lion into his Chronicles and any specific examples from his stories that alluded to why Aslan hid?

    Reply

    Nila, though Spurgeon was a prince among preachers, he was not infallible. It may often be the case that our sin hides God from us. But if that is a person’s only answer, then they are the same as Job’s friends who said his troubles came from his own sin. In Job, God is silent until the last couple of chapters. Not because Job sinned, but for His own purposes. We know more than Job did before, during, or after his trial. But we really don’t know why He was so silent with Job. I loved it in Andrew Peterson’s song about the silence of God that Jesus also experienced God’s silence. Somewhere in faith we have to be able to say that even if or when He is silent, we still choose to trust Him.

      Reply

      Yes Mary.   As Job said, “Though He slay me yet will I trust Him.”  (Job 13:15)

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    Nila — I love the quote from St John of the Cross concerning this passage in The Song of Songs:

    The voice of my beloved!
    Behold, he comes,
    Leaping over the mountains,
    Bounding over the hills,
    My beloved is like a gazelle
    Or a young stag

    Song of Songs 2:8-9

    It is noteworthy that in the Song of Songs the bride compares the Bridegroom to the state…
    She makes this comparison…because of the swiftness with which he shows and then hides himself. He usually visits devout souls in order to gladden and liven them, and then leaves in order to try, humble, and teach them.

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    The voice of my beloved!
                            Behold, he comes,
                            Leaping over the mountains,
                            Bounding over the hills,
                            My beloved is like a gazelle
                            Or a young stag
     
                                                    Song of Songs 2:8-9

    It is noteworthy that in the Song of Songs the bride compares the Bridegroom to the state…
    She makes this comparison…because of the swiftness with which he shows and then hides himself. He usually visits devout souls in order to gladden and liven them, and then leaves in order to try, humble, and teach them.

      Reply

      Sorry about all those things that appeared in my response to Nila! I can’t seem to delete them.

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Nila ……my strong thinking about why C S Lewis wove a “hiding Lion” into His stories, is that He reveals Himself to us usually when we are looking intently for Him, like Lucy often did. She looked with faith & the eyes of her heart, & Aslan would show Himself to her & not always the others. Also I believe that God loves to surprise us, at times when we least expect Him. Such a God of mystery & joy!

I am thankful, that tho my husband & grown kids are not believers, the Lord has graced us with love for eachother & kept our family together thro some tough times & dysfunction. I am soooo thankful to the Lord for the beauty of Nature & how He reveals His majesty, power & sense of order. He uses it to restore my soul & turn my heart to Him.

11.A. My body is still pretty fit but wrinkles & graying hair for sure! My mom’s mind is deteriorating with Alzheimer’s & her body aging…also my Dad :(   The promise we have in 1Cor 15:43 is that our bodies will be raised in glory & power.

Thank You Lord, that tho my body is aging & my parents are fading, we will have new bodies when we are with You…we will be brand new!

B. 1Cor 15:49 We will bear the image of the “Heavenly Man” Jesus our Lord from Heaven.

Thank You Jesus for coming to earth & showing us God, for giving us the Hope & assurance of life beyond death. Give us holy imaginations to picture having a body like You!

C. Brokenness in creation is everywhere :(   Broken families, sickness, violence, depression, fear & death.  Is65:17 & Rev 21:1 tells us that the Lord is creating a New heaven & a New earth…the old ones will pass away & not be remembered.

Thank You Lord God, that this gives me such hope & security…this life is not all there is. You are our Creator & You make all things new!

D. I am praying most & always for my husband & kids to receive the Lord & healing for their souls. To be reconciled to their heavenly Father & know Peace with Him. For my marriage, that love & trust will deepen.

1. The Lord will rejoice in His people. He will remove the names of false gods from our mouths. There will be no more crying.

I praise You Lord, that one day only Your Name will be worshiped & there will be no more grief or tears. Please continue to draw my family to Yourself & open their eyes to see Who You truly are!

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    Jenny, your faith inspires me. You inspire me so for it is Him in you strengthening your faith even though your family doesn’t know him, and that is a difficult journey. I feel that often here for I have a few in a long term wilderness and two who have rejected him..It gets lonely at times but I am thankful as you said for His gift of human love in my home like the song Susan gave us this week. Also for His love burning in us and the mystery of how he draws us and his timing. I pray with you..Lord I agree with Jenny..soften the hearts of those in our family who don’t know you and those in my family who are in the wilderness help your word go from their head to their heart..God please, please make their hearts hearts of flesh.. We ask that they would desire you. In your Holy name, amen.

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      Amen Rebecca!  :)  Thank you  :)

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14. Read Revelation 5:1-7.
     A. Is any person worthy to open the scroll? Why not?
No one, because Jesus is the only one who is worthy for He has triumphed!

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14. C. Why do you think that God hides things from us?

I think it is because He is Holy and it would be too overwhelming for us to know for He is the Lion and the Lamb-not safe but good. I also think it would breed such awful pride perhaps if we did know His mysteries? Just a thought but I think it is better for us if we don’t know for we lose anticipation and His mysteries put us in awe humbling us. God hiding things from us creates anticipation and I see all throughout the Song where He creates anticipation in relationship with surprises of his presence and oh the culmination of His glorious surprise!

 

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    Love this insight of God hiding to create anticipation and to keep us humble!

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12. Write down as much as you have learned of your song without looking at it. How is it impacting you?

 

To God be the glory great things He has done.

So loved He the world that He gave us His Son.

Who yielded His life an atonement of sin,

and opened the life gate for all to go in.

 

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Let the earth hear His voice

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Let the people rejoice!

Oh come to the Father through Jesus the Son

and give Him the glory great things He has done.

 

Oh perfect redemption, the purchase of blood.

To every believer the promise of God.

The vilest offender who truly believes

that moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

 

I only missed a couple of small words so I’m feeling fairly good about the memorizing. I still have one verse through to go. It’s taking me two days to get the verse down.

 

The words are are really meaningful in this gym. They are put into a different order to make the rhyme, and I like that it makes me think more about them.

 

13. “Is He Worthy” asks, “Is it good that we remind ourselves of this?” How is practicing a thankful heart impacting you?

 

Absolutely it is good to remind ourselves so we know who is in charge! It is difficult for me to be thankful these days; I’m not sure why? I feel like I have been more thankful in the past. It’s not something that is just coming to me lately. I am thinking that it helps remind me that I should be thankful more often though. For example, my friend is also raising her grandkids, but the difference is her son and ex-wife are addicted to drugs. Sarah is not; I am thankful.

 

 

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In Columbia for a teachers convention till today. Yesterday while here, my pastor-husband heard of 2 deaths from among our congregation. One lady, a praying saint was 94. The other was 57,oldest daughter of one of our pianists. We do not know yet the cause of the latter’s death but it is of deep devastation not only to her mom, our pianist but very much so to one of the sons who has Down’s syndrome. Both ladies were Christians.

We had our first snow-very pretty from our hotel window but reminiscent of the changing seasons in our lives.

John 1:5: The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.

In the midst of all the darkness in the world, “But do you know that all the dark won’t stop the light from getting through?”

He dwells among us in our grief, our aging bodies and the decaying world.

” The Lion of Judah who conquered the grave He is David’s root and the Lamb who died to ransom the slaveFrom every people and tribe Every nation and tongueHe has made us a kingdom and priests to God To reign with the Son.”

He is worthy!

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11.D.  Where are you praying for relational healing?

places where I’ve seen evidence of little foxes eating grapes; places where there is no outright break, but my spirit pulls back from them for some reason.

Isaiah and Hosea say there will be no more distance in relationships and no communication barriers. No misunderstandings or suspicions. Just love and laughter and light.

 

12. My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness

no merit of my own I claim, but wholly lean on Jesus’name. Chorus

his oath, his covenant, his blood support me in the o’rwhelming flood

when all around my soul gives way he then is all my hope and stay.  Chorus

when darkness veils his lovely face I rest on his unchanging grace

in every high and stormy gale my anchor holds within the veil.  Chorus

when he shall come with trumpet sound oh may I then in him be found

dressed in his righteousness alone faultless to stand before the throne.

Chorus: on Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.

i got verses two and three switched around, but the words within them correct, so that is progress.

 

13.  How does thankfulness impact you?

it is like warm slippers on a cold floor. It insulates me from the shortcomings of this life and turns my attention to the One who is above all others.

 

14.A.  None has been worthy of opening the scroll, I expect, partly because of sin and partly because it has been reserved for the Lamb. No one else has His qualifications of being totally man and totally perfect and totally sacrificed by the Father’s will.

C.  Why does God hide things from us? Proverbs says it is the glory of God to conceal a matter. I think there are many reasons. The rest of the proverb says that it is the glory of kings to search out a matter. God made us to delight in discovering for ourselves. We see it in children and love being a part of them discovering. Like has already been posted, some things are better not known, at least for now. Deuteronomy says the secret things belong to God.  He has told us everything we need to know, especially about the future. It is wicked to try and find out more.

D.  Jesus is both Lion and Lamb. He was slain as a sacrifice for us, tender and innocent as a lamb. And He is tender and gentle with us as well. He is the Lion because He is the rightful and mighty King. When He comes to rule, He will crush all who refuse His reign in their lives.

I am grateful, Lord, that You are both. I can take comfort that You know my weakness and sorrows, but You are strong enough to make it all right.

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    Mary, I love your metaphor of thankfulness being like “warm slippers on a cold floor. It insulates me from the shortcomings of this life and turns my attention to the One who is above all others.”

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18.  Evidence that the Father truly loves me.  There are a thousand small things every day.

Feeling His delight when I am awestruck by the sky He painted just for me.

His word speaking to me.

The fact that He created color, texture, music, wind, laughter, tears of joy, waterfalls, beaches, mountains, prairies….all for us.

Knowing that He wants us to see Him, respond to Him, know His love and care for us.

 

19.  Does the Spirit move among us, and an evidence in my life.  When I pray ahead of my meeting with my college mentee and the Spirit leads me to the right scriptures for her, feeling Him helping me with the right words and stories for her.

I wrote that before finding out that she is again hospitalized for depression. I haven’t been able to talk with her yet, so don’t know if she made another suicide attempt or not. I am so sad for her.

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18. Share an evidence in your life that the Father truly loves you.
1. This wasn’t all for me..but He gave me deep pleasure getting to experience my dad’s heart so tender for Jesus before my eyes. He answered our prayerI I have never seen my dad that way before and we never connected that deep before. That year before he died was truly a gift.
2. The time I was feeling like I was the worst parent on the planet, beating myself up for my kids not seeming to want Jesus, assuming the teachers think I am horrible due to my oldest two’s issues on the Autism spectrum; recounting what I could have done better, acting as if I had control. And yet even though thinking I had control really is sin I think God saw through it and saw that it stemmed from my heart grieving with His. The way He encouraged me was at my son’s debate tournament I was judging at.  His debate teacher said, “I have had all of your boys in my class and wish you had more boys coming here-you should have more kids!! You are such a good parent, they are all delightful, kind and respectful. I just have one teen and he is a mess!” -Doesn’t make sense that God would encourage that way but it was a huge lift for it gave me hope that they see Him in our family.

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    I’ve been memorizing this verse of a hymn, to sing at church tomorrow…it’s beautiful & sung by Keith & Kristin Getty:

    My heart is filled with thankfulness to Him who bore my pain

    Who plumbed the depths of my disgrace & gave me life again

    Who crushed my curse of sinfulness & clothed me with His light

    And wrote His law of righteousness with power upon my heart

    These words & the beautiful tune have filled me with joy & made me ponder what Jesus did for me…He did all the work so I could be free & live in His grace , in communion with Him.

     

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    Rebecca that was such a HUGE encouragement for You & straight from our dear Father’s heart!  :)

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    Rebecca–love this encouragement for you from this teacher, and I agree with every word!

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I’m loving how you are memorizing hymns and eager to also hear how the words are impacting you!

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A. & B. Only Jesus is worthy to open the scroll; only He is perfect & has defeated Death & Sin.

C. I think God hides things from us so we can have the joy of finding them. Also He loves to surprise us & reveal more of Himself at times He chooses….to thrill our hearts.

D. Jesus is described as the Lion of tribe of Judah, & as a Lamb that had been slain, with 7 horns & 7 eyes. He is a Lion cause He is all powerful ; a Lamb because He was the chosen Lamb of God who was sacrificed to take away the sin of the world.

E. Does the Father love us…oh Yes He does! So many times He has shown me. This was a personal touch, but one day I was asking Him to show me His love in a tangible way. I was in my kitchen & heard a flock of geese coming, so I opened the door to see them. They flew so close & low over me that I could hear the brush & whoosh of their wings & it took my breath a way. It felt like Father’s kisses on my cheek & it popped into my mind “butterfly kisses”. I hadn’t thought of them since my kids were little, & I would brush my eyelashes on their cheeks & say “butterfly kisses”! Made me cry & thank Him for His tenderness & closeness to me.

I can see the Holy Spirit moving among us as we encourage each other & dwell on His word together!  :) He is moving!

Thankfulness is a way of keeping my focus on Him & His greatness & that He sees the big picture….& I dont… Helps me rest in Him.   :)

 

 

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11. D. When sin came into the world, our relationships began to break, even between brothers and sisters in Christ. In what relationships are you praying for healing?

 

I see how in my own family, relationships are strained, fractured, broken. I pray for healing in my relationship with my husband, and between myself and my two sisters, for the three of us. There was a serious break in the relationship of my two sisters which resulted in them not speaking for a few years. Since my dad has moved in with one of my sisters, those two have at least been speaking to one another and not fighting. This week, the three of us took my dad to the cemetery to place flowers on my mom’s grave, and the three of us, along with my dad, stood around her grave holding hands. Then we all went to lunch. That was pretty significant, and I know it meant a lot to my dad. I’m not convinced that their relationship is really healed, but at least there was peace that day.

 

1) What promise can you find for the healing of relationships in Hosea 2:17 and Isaiah 65:19?

 

God says that He will removed the names of the Baals from her lips. Idolatry means that I am in the arms of another, that I am loving someone or something more than Him, and that breaks my relationship with God. My heart naturally bends towards idols, but one day, He will free me from that so my relationship with Him will be truly healed. Idolatry also is the cause of much of the problems in my horizontal relationships as well.

Isaiah speaks of the Lord rejoicing over His people and the sound of weeping and crying will be heard no more. I have cried many tears over my lifetime as a result of broken relationships, arguments and misunderstandings.

 

2) Give thanks for what this means to you.

 

Oh Lord, to imagine the day when ALL barriers between ourselves and You and between ourselves and others are removed….that will be a wonderful, wonderful day!

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11. D. When sin came into the world, our relationships began to break, even between brothers and sisters in Christ. In what relationships are you praying for healing?

 

I see how in my own family, relationships are strained, fractured, broken. I pray for healing in my relationship with my husband, and between myself and my two sisters, for the three of us. There was a serious break in the relationship of my two sisters which resulted in them not speaking for a few years. Since my dad has moved in with one of my sisters, those two have at least been speaking to one another and not fighting. This week, the three of us took my dad to the cemetery to place flowers on my mom’s grave, and the three of us, along with my dad, stood around her grave holding hands. Then we all went to lunch. That was pretty significant, and I know it meant a lot to my dad. I’m not convinced that their relationship is really healed, but at least there was peace that day.

 

1) What promise can you find for the healing of relationships in Hosea 2:17 and Isaiah 65:19?

 

God says that He will removed the names of the Baals from her lips. Idolatry means that I am in the arms of another, that I am loving someone or something more than Him, and that breaks my relationship with God. My heart naturally bends towards idols, but one day, He will free me from that so my relationship with Him will be truly healed. Idolatry also is the cause of much of the problems in my horizontal relationships as well.

Isaiah speaks of the Lord rejoicing over His people and the sound of weeping and crying will be heard no more. I have cried many tears over my lifetime as a result of broken relationships, arguments and misunderstandings.

 

2) Give thanks for what this means to you.

 

Oh Lord, to imagine the day when ALL barriers between ourselves and You and between ourselves and others are removed….that will be a wonderful, wonderful day! Thank you for giving us this amazing hope.

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12. Write down as much as you have learned of your song without looking at it. How is it impacting you?

 

For the beauty of the earth, for the beauty of the skies. For the love which from our birth, over and around us lies.

Lord of all to Thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise.

For the beauty of each hour, of the day and of the night. Hill and vale and tree and flower, sun and moon and stars of light.

Lord of all to Thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise.

For the gift of human love, brother sister parent child. Friends on earth and friends above, for all thoughts and…

 

Singing this hymn and Andrew Peterson’s Is He Worthy is impacting me. I am learning to love Peterson’s song because I have to listen carefully and give a response, and it’s causing me to think about the truths in the song that I am hearing. This morning singing my song, it caused me to ponder and to thank God for….the gift of thankfulness. How did humans learn to say thank you? Every good thing originated from Him. He is the One who gave the first good gifts to man. I wondered, did Adam and Eve say thank you for the beautiful garden? Did they say thank you when He clothed them, after they sinned? We say thank you because there is God behind all the good gifts we have.

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13. “Is He Worthy” asks, “Is it good that we remind ourselves of this?” How is practicing a thankful heart impacting you?

 

When I hear that line in this song, it reminds me of what we’ve learned here, and that is, “We must speak truth to our souls.” Yes, I need to remind myself of the truths contained in this song. That is what practicing thankfulness is doing for me (when I remember to do it)….to find hope in the darkness, to remind myself that all the darkness can’t keep the light from getting through. Some days it has been more of a struggle; I can easily slide into pity. Thankfulness is a choice. I took a walk this week at a park to enjoy the Fall colors in the woods and was so thankful for lungs to breathe in the air and to smell the good smell of the leaves.

 

14. Read Revelation 5:1-7

 

A. Is any person worthy to open the scroll? Why not?

 

No human person is worthy to be given all the mysteries of God. We are sinful….what would a sinful person do with that information? He couldn’t be trusted with it. Even Peter, who was so close to Jesus, when Jesus was talking about His death, said, “No!”

 

B. Who is worthy?

 

The Lord Jesus Christ is the only One who is worthy.

 

C. Why do you think God hides things from us?

 

Our finite minds don’t have the capacity, knowledge, wisdom, and understanding, let alone the purity, to be entrusted with knowing all things.

 

D. How is Jesus described in Revelation 5:5-6? How is He both a Lion and a Lamb? Can you give thanks here for this?

 

He is a Lamb because He was, like the sacrificial lamb of old, slain for the sins of the people. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, He never opened His mouth. Yet, He is a Lion because when He comes again, it will not be as a meek and gentle lamb, but with all the armies of heaven to finally make everything right. It’s scary, and it should be. Lord, thank You for making a way for us to approach You, by Jesus coming as a humble servant, the Son of Man. And thank You that one day, You will put all that is wrong right, and we can trust You that You will judge justly.

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