Bible Verse of the Day

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Scars: A Parable

“Jesus.  Help me.  I didn’t know who else to talk to, but I saw your scars and I knew you would understand.  You see, I am hurting too.  I have scars.  I know you understand how to help me because you fathom why I too have scars.”

Could you pick up the phone and make that call?  Or send an email or an instant message?  Would you if you had scars and didn’t know what to do?

What if you couldn’t see Jesus’ scars, or didn’t know that anyone wrote and spoke of seeing them?  How relevant would His suffering seem then?  Would you expect Him to understand your pain?

A scar is defined as “a mark left by a healed wound, sore, or burn; or, “a lasting aftereffect of trouble, especially a lasting psychological injury resulting from suffering or trauma.”

We all have scars.  We’re all pretty good at covering them up.  If they’re covered, we don’t have to look at our pain.  We don’t have to deal with it. We certainly don’t have to share it.  No one will call us, or email or send an instant message, or say, “I saw your scars and knew you would understand.  Please help me.”
The opening paragraph’s conversation really happened, except it was between two people on earth.  One who is brave enough to have visible scars, and willing to be open and help others, and one who is hurting badly and didn’t know where else to turn.  In fact, some version of that conversation has happened many times.  It could never have happened if the scars were hidden.

The Psalmist tells us that “He [Jesus] heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”  (Psalm 147:3)  How does He do that?  Does He do it all by himself?  He could.  After all, He is all-powerful!  But wait.  Aren’t we supposed to live the way He lived?  Perhaps we are meant to be part of His healing team, recruited here on earth, reaching out in His name and touching the hurting.  Like the Good Samaritan, we are challenged to clean and bandage wounds and provide care and a safe environment.  Since by definition a wound or scar includes psychological injury as well as physical injury, we do a disservice to those who are suffering emotionally when we cast them aside, minimize their problems as being inconsequential, fail to understand what has caused their intense heartache, and try to project our own ideals of recovery onto their unique situation.

We can all claim the promise that “’I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds,’ says the Lord.” (Isaiah 30:17)  Remember one thing.  Jesus will bear His scars for eternity, while ours will be healed.  If you are afraid to see scars on a friend here on earth, then how will it be possible for you to be in Jesus’ scarred presence in Heaven?

Copyright Susan Mercy
January 7, 2014

Thursday, October 03, 2013

The Lord Is My Light

The Lord Is My Light
Text written by James Nicholson (1828-1876)
Tune composed by Dr. J. W. Bischoff (1849-1909)

Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?

V. 1 The Lord is my light; then why should I fear?
By day and by night His presence is near;
He is my salvation from sorrow and sin;
This blessed persuasion the Spirit brings in.

Refrain: The Lord is my light, my joy, and my song;
By day and by night He leads me along;
The Lord is my light, my joy, and my song;
By day and by night He leads me along.

V. 2 The Lord is my light; though clouds may arise,
Faith, stronger than sight, looks up to the skies
Where Jesus forever in glory doth reign:
Then how can I ever in darkness remain?

2 Corinthians 5:7 For we live by faith, not by sight. 

V. 3 The Lord is my light, the Lord is my strength;
I know in His might I'll conquer at length;
My weakness in mercy He covers with power,
And, walking by faith, He upholds me each hour.

Isaiah 49:26 I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh; they will be drunk on their own blood, as with wine. Then all mankind will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

Colossians 3:11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. 

V. 4 The Lord is my light, my all and in all;
There is in His sight no darkness at all;
He is my Redeemer, my Savior and King;
With saints and with angels His praises I sing.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

For God So Love Us

For God So Loved Us
Text written in 1856 by August D. Rische (1819-1906)
Sung to GOTT IST DIE LIEBE, Thuringer Melody, c. 1840

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 

V. 1 For God so loved us, He sent the Savior:
For God so loved us, and loves me too.

Jeremiah 31:3 The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness."

Refrain: Love so unending! I'll sing His praises,
God loves His Children, loves even me.

Isaiah 42:26 I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh; they will be drunk on their own blood, as with wine. Then all mankind will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

V. 2 He sent the Savior, the blest Redeemer;
He sent the Savior to set me free.

Isaiah 49:10 They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the desert heat or the sun beat down on them. He who has compassion on them will guide them
and lead them beside springs of water.

V. 3 He bade me welcome, O word of mercy;
He bade me welcome, O voice divine.

Revelation 5:13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!”

V. 4 Glory and honor, O Love eternal,
To Him be given while life shall last.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

In Our Work and in Our Play

In Our Work and in Our Play
Text written by Whitfield G. Wills (1841-1891)
Sung to ROSSLYN, an English melody

Isaiah 43:15 I am the Lord, your Holy One, Israel’s Creator, your King.

1 Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

V. 1 In our work and in our play,
Jesus, ever with us stay;
May we always strive to be
True and faithful unto Thee.
Then we truthfully can sing,
We are children of the King.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

V. 2 May we in Thy strength subdue
Evil tempers, words untrue,
Thoughts impure, and deeds unkind,
All things hateful to Thy mind.
Then we truthfully can sing,
We are children of the King.

V. 3 Children of the King are we!
May we loyal to Him be;
Try to please Him every day,
In our work and in our play.
Then we truthfully can sing,
We are children of the King.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me

Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me
Text written in 1871 by Edward Hopper (1818-1888)
Sung to PILOT, composed in 1871 by John E. Gould (1822-1875)

V. 1 Jesus, Savior, pilot me
Over life's tempestuous sea;
Unknown waves before me roll,
Hiding rock and treacherous shoal;
Chart and compass come from Thee;
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

Mark 4:39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 

V. 2 As a mother stills her child,
Thou canst hush the ocean wild;
Boisterous waves obey Thy will
When Thou sayest to them, "Be still."
Wondrous Sovereign of the sea,
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

Isaiah 43:1, 2 But now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

V. 3 When at last I near the shore,
And the fearful breakers roar
'Twixt me and the peaceful rest,
Then, while leaning on Thy breast,
May I hear Thee say to me,
"Fear not, I will pilot thee."

Sunday, September 29, 2013

How Firm a Foundation

How Firm a Foundation
Text taken from "Rippon's A Selection of Hymns, 1787"
Sung to FOUNDATION, from Funk's Genuine Church Music, 1832, arranged in 1984 by Melvin West (1930-?)

2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” 

Hebrews 6:18 God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. 

V. 1 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,
To you who for refuge to Jesus hath fled?

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

V. 2 "Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed;
For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand."

Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.

V. 3 "When thro' the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress."

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Nature With Open Volume Stands

Nature With Open Volume Stands
Text written by Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
Sung to ANGELUS, composed in the 17th century by Georg Joseph

Psalm 145:10 All your works praise you, Lord; your faithful people extol you.

V. 1 Nature with open volume stands,
To spread its Maker's praise abroad;
And every labor of His hands
Shows something worthy of our God.

Galatians 6:14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 

V. 2 But in the grace that rescued us
His brightest form of glory shines;
'Tis fairest drawn upon the cross
In precious blood and crimson lines.

1 Corinthians 1:24 ...but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

V. 3 Here His whole name appears complete.
Nor wit can guess, nor reason prove,
Which of the letters best is writ,
The pow'r, the wisdom, or the love.

Revelation 5:12 In a loud voice they were saying: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!”

V. 4 We would forever speak His name
In sounds to mortal ears unknown,
With angels join to praise the Lamb,
And worship at His Father's throne.