Thursday, February 28

Sins Washed Away

Zechariah 13:1 On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness.

Children love to play and be washed in water fountains as the photo above demonstrates. The water cleans their sweaty and dirty bodies. The great hymn below also speaks of a cleansing fountain that washes sinners clean. All human beings have sinned and fall short of God’s glory and righteous standards. The Bible teaches there is no forgiveness of sins without the shedding of blood and that the Old Testament sacrificial system of animal sacrifice does not atone for sin. The book of Hebrews explains that the Old Testament sacrificial system pointed toward the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, as the savior who could make atonement for sin.

Praise God that he so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son to redeem sinners from the curse caused by sin. There simply was no other way that God could forgive the debt incurred by human sin. The great hymn below points to this great truth and gives some of the details and reasons the blood of Jesus on the cross of Calvary saves sinners. Just as children are attracted to the water fountain above, Christians are drawn to the fountain filled with the blood of our savior Jesus Christ. What peace, joy, and comfort it is for believers to know that all of their sins have been washed away by His redeeming love.

There is a Fountain Filled with Blood
Words by: William Cowper

There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s
veins; And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.
Lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.
Washed all my sins away, washed all my sins away;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood shall never lose its power
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.
Be saved, to sin no more, be saved, to sin no more;
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.

E’er since, by faith, I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.
And shall be till I die, and shall be till I die;
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.

Then in a nobler, sweeter song, I’ll sing Thy power to save,
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.
Lies silent in the grave, lies silent in the grave;
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.

Lord, I believe Thou hast prepared, unworthy though I be,
For me a blood bought free reward, a golden harp for me!
’Tis strung and tuned for endless years, and formed by power divine,
To sound in God the Father’s ears no other name but Thine.

Sunday, February 24

The Firm Foundation

Hebrews 13:5 “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

In the photo above, the cabin is supported by steel pipes that are anchored in solid rock. Although it seems to be in a precarious position, it has been built on a firm foundation of solid rock. If the exact same pipes were in sand, the house would come tumbling down the hillside with the first heavy rain.

Christians also have a firm foundation in Jesus Christ. By grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, Christians are assured of eternal life in a spiritual house built on a foundation of Jesus, the solid rock described in Matthew 7:24. They are further protected in their temporal life from any harm that God has not ordained. The great hymn below points out what a great savior we have in this life for those who seek refuge in him. He will never forsake his flock in sickness or health. He will be there in poverty or wealth, and when old age slips upon the scene, He will be there to comfort and give the peace that passes all understanding. The love and promises of God are built on this firm foundation that cannot be overturned by anything on earth or in the spiritual realm. Praise God that this firm foundation will not and, in fact, cannot fail.

How Firm a Foundation
Words by: John Rippon

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?

In every condition, in sickness, in health;
In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.

Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

Even down to old age all My people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.

The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.

Wednesday, February 20

Abide with Me

1 John 4:15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

Just before bedtime every night Cuffy cat likes to cuddle as the above photo shows. It is a ritual that is repeated every evening, just like clockwork, as Cuffy very much desires and seeks this human interaction. In a like manner Christians increasingly desire and covet having Jesus abide with them as they enter the evening time of their lives. Earth’s joys grow dim and its glories pass away as this great hymn states, and Christians need the presence of the LORD as time flies away.

Praise God that when Christians walk through the eventide of life God is with them to comfort and to abide with them. God’s magnificent grace saves, sanctifies, and glorifies believers as they pass through this temporary world on their journey to their eternal home. Brethren, rest assured that each heartfelt prayer and plea for God to abide with me is fulfilled. Our savior told us in Matthew 28:20 “…….And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Nothing can prevent Christians from arriving safely home to heaven with the Savior by their side. Abide with me; fast falls the eventide; the darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.

Abide with Me
(words by: Henry F Lyte)

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word;
But as Thou dwell’st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.

Come not in terrors, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings,
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea—
Come, Friend of sinners, and thus bide with me.

Thou on my head in early youth didst smile;
And, though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee,
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

Jazzy on HOPE and CHANGE at Jazzy Cat 2

Check out Sweet Jazzy Cat 2 as Jazzy issues press release on Hope and Change!

Also check out Bluecollar where Christian doctrine is presented and discussed!

Sunday, February 17

Perfect Peace

Ephesians 1:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ

A river is used to illustrate God’s perfect peace in the hymn below. In the photo above, it is apparent that a beautiful river can be a very peaceful setting. During ancient times and in the early days of exploration and settling of the United States, rivers were a source of much needed water for people and their livestock. After a long days journey, it must have been a peaceful and refreshing time when pilgrims camped by a river.

Paul used the above Scripture blessing seven times in his epistles. Saints can rest in the spiritual peace that comes from the trust they have in God’s providence and sovereignty. Christians are hidden and safe in His blessed hand as the hymn below states. There is no worry or no fear for God’s redeemed when their focus is on their spiritual and eternal condition. Brethren, this is God’s perfect peace and it is like a river glorious. Praise God that Christians will have an eternal home of perfect peace and rest as they are camped forever by that great river glorious. How do worldly concerns compare with such a great salvation? In Romans 8:18 Paul summed it up really well when he said, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Let us be ever mindful and meditate with thanksgiving and praise on our spiritual destination where we will have perfect peace.

Like A River Glorious
Words by: Frances Havergal

Like a river glorious, is God’s perfect peace,
Over all victorious, in its bright increase;
Perfect, yet it floweth, fuller every day,
Perfect, yet it groweth, deeper all the way.

Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.

Hidden in the hollow of His blessed hand,
Never foe can follow, never traitor stand;
Not a surge of worry, not a shade of care,
Not a blast of hurry touch the spirit there.

Every joy or trial falleth from above,
Traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love;
We may trust Him fully all for us to do.
They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.

Vol. 2 Peace and Comfort Photo Devotionals

21. In The Garden
Grace Greater Than Our Sin
Leaning On The Everlasting Arms
Death Hath No Terrors
25. Come Thou Font of Every Blessing

26. Take It To The Lord In Prayer
Jesus Paid It All
28. Praise Him! Praise Him!
Sweet Hour Of Prayer

30. Breathe On Me

31. Great Is Thy Faithfulness
I Need Thee Every Hour
I Love To Tell The Story

34. I Saw The Light
How Great Thou Art
I Know Whom I Have Believed

Wednesday, February 13

Beulah Land

1 Corinthians 2:9 But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”—

God’s magnificent work of creation is on full display in the Colorado town above. There are undoubtedly many beautiful and scenic places and towns in this world. However, from the above passage we can conclude that we have not seen anything yet. Not only have we not seen the glory that has been prepared for us in Beulah Land, we have not even imagined in our wildest dreams how magnificent the City of God will be when we arrive at our eternal home. As Christians age in this fallen world, God’s grace comforts them as they meditate on this passage and this hymn. They long for, and are homesick for, this land of joy and peace where they have never been.

Brethren, imagine the unbelievable joy in that instant when faith turns to sight as believers walk through deaths door to enter sweet Beulah Land. Praise God with thanksgiving for this grace and spiritual provision that was bought and paid for by Jesus Christ who became the second Adam so that, by faith, we could be counted as righteous. Romans 5:19 For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous. Therefore, Jesus restored what Adam destroyed and we will have all of eternity to be giddy with joy and praise in sweet Beulah Land.

Beulah Land
Words by Squire Parsons Jr.

I'm kind of homesick for a country
to which I've never been before
No sad goodbyes will there be spoken
and time won't matter anymore

Beulah Land I'm longing for you,
and someday on thee I'll stand
There my home shall be eternal.
In Beulah Land, Sweet Beulah land

I'm looking now across that river,
to where my faiths 'gonna end in sight
There's just a few more days to labor,
then I will take my heavenly flight

Beulah Land I'm longing for you,
and someday on thee I'll stand
There my home shall be eternal
In Beulah Land, Sweet Beulah land

Sunday, February 10

Hidden In A Cleft

Colossians 3:3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

The ruins of ancient cliff dwellers have been preserved at Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado. As the photo above shows, villages were built in the clefts of cliffs. These buildings provided the inhabitants protection from the elements, enemies, and wild animals. The only way to reach these settlements was with tall ladders, which could be pulled up from the valley floor if necessary. The inhabitants were basically hidden in plain sight from many kinds of harm. They lived in the cleft of a rock.

What peace and comfort it is for Christians to know that the same kind of cleft is available for their spiritual well-being in the person and work of Jesus Christ. He is the rock of our salvation and in him we are not only saved from wrath, but we are also made pure and spotless by his blood sacrifice on the cross of Calvary. There is simply no other way that sinful humans can be accepted by a Holy and just God since the labor of our hands cannot pay this infinite sin debt. Thou must save and Thou alone is the message of the hymn below. Thus, lost sinners flee to the cross for the grace and mercy that is provided by the Rock of Ages. Christians are safe from all spiritual harm when they are hidden in the cleft of this rock. What a joy it is to reflect on line two below where sinners come to Christ and ask to be hidden in his grace and mercy. Praise God, for we know that his cleft is large enough for all who come in faith.

Rock of Ages
Words by: Augustus M. Toplady

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure;
Save from wrath and make me pure.

Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to the cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
When mine eyes shall close in death,
When I soar to worlds unknown,
See Thee on Thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.

Thursday, February 7

The Anchor Holds

Psalms 57:1 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.

Storms are a part of the human condition, both literally and figuratively. Christians are aware that their physical safety and well being is ultimately in the hands of Almighty God. Not even a sparrow falls to the ground apart from the will of the Father. Therefore, Christians understand as David understood that seeking refuge in God through prayer and trust is vital until the storms of destruction pass by. God is watching in the dark night when a person is a thousand miles from land flying over or sailing on the open sea. While beauty and serenity bring joy to our lives, it is during the storms of our lives that God proves his love for us. It is in the midst of these times when we should get on our knees and pray to God that the anchor holds.

Although we all will someday face physical death, we can be sure that the anchor will hold for our spiritual well being if we are in Christ Jesus by faith. His grace will prevail and his refuge will be secure as our souls rejoice in his mercy and love. We may come through our life torn and battered like a ship in a storm, but brethren we can shout and sing with joy that the anchor holds. Praise God.

The Anchor Holds
Words By: Lawrence Chewning and Ray Boltz

I have journeyed
Through the long, dark night
Out on the open sea
By faith alone
Sight unknown
And yet His eyes were watching me

The anchor holds
Though the ship is battered
The anchor holds
Though the sails are torn
I have fallen on my knees
As I faced the raging seas
The anchor holds
In spite of the storm

I've had visions
I've had dreams
I've even held them in my hand
But I never knew
They would slip right through
Like they were only grains of sand

The anchor holds
Though the ship is battered
The anchor holds
Though the sails are torn
I have fallen on my knees
As I faced the raging seas
The anchor holds
In spite of the storm

I have been young
But I am older now
And there has been beauty
That these eyes have seen
But it was in the night
Through the storms of my life
Oh, that's where God proved
His love to me

The anchor holds
Though the ship is battered
The anchor holds
Though the sails are torn
I have fallen on my knees
As I faced the raging seas
The anchor holds
In spite of the storm

I have fallen on my knees
As I faced the raging seas
The anchor holds
In spite of the storm

Sunday, February 3

God Will Wipe Away Every Tear!

Revelation 7:17 For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

As the photo above illustrates, tears begin early in our fallen world and they continue throughout our lives. The tears that come with the inevitable human event of losing a loved one to death is vividly described in the hymn below. It is a bittersweet moment full of tears for the Christian that is left behind to bid farewell to the loved one that has passed into the heavenly realm. The sadness and grief of this farewell is pitted against the rejoicing of heaven’s anthems for the deceased loved one. Memories of happier days and fellowship, prayer, and praise are all that is left of this earthly friendship. The songs of earth with family and friends have ended and will be no more. Loved one, farewell.

However, praise God that salvation’s story is not over. Loved ones ascend to where angels dwell and the saints in heaven form a praising throng singing and praising God with new made songs. Soon enough there will be a reunion at the pearly gate when friends and family meet, and where God will wipe away every tear and lead them all to springs of living water. Loved ones, farewell and be sure to watch and wait as we all get to heaven one by one. What a day of rejoicing that will be.

Loved One, Farewell
Mary B. Slade

Birds are rejoicing,
O’er hill and dell;
Hushed is thy voicing,
Sweeter that fell.
Friend of our happy days,
Brother of prayer and praise,
Thine own sweet music says,
Loved one, farewell!

Thou hast ascended,
Where angels dwell;
Where, earth songs ended,
Heav’n’s anthems swell.
Safe, all the saints among,
Blest with the praising
throng,Singing the new made songs,
Loved one, farewell!

Salvation’s story
Then thou wilt tell;
Triumphs of glory,
Thy voice shall swell.
Rest thou, oh, friend so dear,
Thy precious Savior near,
Where God shall wipe each tear,
Loved one, farewell!

Safe from thee turning,
Grief’s tones will knell;
Hard, hard the learning,
God doeth well!
Till, be it soon or late,
Up, at the pearly gate,
We meet, oh watch and wait,
Loved one, farewell!