Tag Archives: Jesus Saves

The delight which God has in His redeemed people!

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The delight which God has in His redeemed people! 

“I will rejoice over them to do them good.” Jeremiah 32:41 

“As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so your God will rejoice over you!” Isaiah 62:5 

The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you . . . He will rejoice over you with singing!” Zephaniah 3:17 

How heart-cheering to the believer, is the delight which God has in His redeemed people!

We cannot see any reason in ourselves why the Lord should take pleasure in us. We cannot take delight in ourselves, for we often have to groan, being burdened; conscious of our sinfulness, and deploring our unfaithfulness. 

And we fear that God’s people cannot take much delight in us, for they must perceive so much of our imperfections and our follies, that they may rather lament our infirmities, than admire our graces. 

But we love to dwell upon this transcendent truth, this glorious mystery–that as the bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so does the Lord rejoice over us! 

We do not read anywhere that God delights in the cloud-capped mountains, or the sparkling stars–but we do read that His delights are with the sons of men. 

We do not find it written that even angels give His soul delight; nor does He say, concerning cherubim and seraphim, “You shall be called Hephzibah, for the Lord delights in you”; but He does say all that to poor fallen creatures like ourselves, debased and depraved by sin–but redeemed and saved by His grace. 

In what strong language He expresses His delight in His people! Who could have conceived of the eternal One as bursting forth into a song? Yet it is written, “He will take great delight in you . . . He will rejoice over you with singing!” 

As He looked upon the world He had made, He said, “It is very good”. But when He beheld those who are the purchase of Jesus’ blood, His own chosen ones, it seemed as if the great heart of the Infinite could restrain itself no longer–but overflowed in divine exclamations of joy. 

Should not we utter our grateful response to such a marvelous declaration of His love, and sing, “I will rejoice in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation!” 

May we see our sins

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May we see our sins

(
Henry Law, “Family Prayers”)

O God the Holy Spirit, have mercy upon us miserable sinners. Move, we beseech You, in our disordered hearts. Remove the deformities of unruly desires and hateful lusts. Chase away the mists and darkness of unbelief. Brighten our inner man with the pure light of truth. Sow abundantly the seeds of righteousness. Make our souls fragrant as the garden of the Lord. Enrich them with every godly fruit. Beautify them with heavenly grace. Be our comforter, our guide, our light, our sanctification. 

Especially take of the things of Christ, and show them with enlarged power to our longing souls. May we daily learn more of His love, His grace, His tender compassion, His faithfulness, and His beauty. May we delight ourselves in Him with increased delight. Lead us to the cross, and show us in His wounds–the hateful character of sin. May we see our sins, as . . . 
  the nails which transfixed Him,
  the cords which bound Him,
  the sword which pierced Him,
  the thorns which tore Him,
  the taunts which stung Him. 

Help us to read in His cruel death, the reality and immensity of His love. 

Open to us the wondrous volumes of glorious truth in the cry, “It is finished!” 
Our atonement is forever achieved, 
our debt is fully paid, 
all our guilt is washed away,
all our sins most righteously forgiven,
our souls saved,
Hell vanquished,
the devil crushed,
Heaven won, and 
eternity of glory our rightful home!

Holy Spirit, deepen in us these saving lessons. 
Write them with Your finger on the tablets of our hearts. 

May our walk be . . .
  sin-loathing,
  sin-fleeing,
  Christ-loving,
  God-fearing!

As foolish as to hope to bind an angel with a string, or to lure a star with music!

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As foolish as to hope to bind an angel with a string, or to lure a star with music! 

(Charles Spurgeon)

“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes!” Romans 1:16 

To try to win a soul to Christ by keeping that soul in ignorance of any truth, is contrary to the mind of the Spirit. To endeavor to save men by mere claptrap, or entertainments, or excitements, or oratorical displays–is as foolish as to hope to bind an angel with a string, or to lure a star with music! 

The best attraction is the gospel in its purity. The weapon with which the Lord conquers men, is the truth as it is in Jesus. The gospel will be found equal to every emergency. The gospel is an arrow which can pierce the hardest heart–a balm which will heal the deadliest wound. Preach it, and preach nothing else. Rely implicitly upon the old, old gospel. 

You need no other nets when you fish for men; those your Master has given you are strong enough for the large fish, and have meshes fine enough to hold the little ones. 

Spread those nets and no others, and you need not fear the fulfillment of His Word, “I will make you fishers of men.”

There is one stable rock amidst the billows of the sea of life!

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There is one stable rock amidst the billows of the sea of life!

(Charles Spurgeon

“Be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age!” Matthew 28:20 

It is well that there is One who is ever the same, and who is ever with us. It is well that there is one stable rock amidst the billows of the sea of life. O my soul, do not set your affections upon rusting, moth-eaten, decaying treasures–but set your heart upon Him who abides forever faithful to you. Do not build your house upon the moving quicksands of a deceitful world–but found your hopes upon this rock, which, amid descending rain and roaring floods, shall stand immovably secure!

My soul, I charge you–lay up your treasure in the only secure cabinet; store your jewels where you can never lose them. Put your all in Christ; set . . .
  all your affections on His person,
  all your hope in His merit,
  all your trust in His efficacious blood,
  all your joy in His presence,
and so you may laugh at loss and defy difficulties. 

Remember that all the flowers in the world’s garden wither and die–and the day is coming when nothing will be left but the black, cold earth. Death’s black extinguisher must soon put out your candle. Oh! how sweet to have sunlight–when the candle is gone! The dark flood must soon roll between you and all you have! 

So wed your heart to Him who will never leave you. Trust yourself with Him who will go with you through the black and surging current of death’s stream, and who will land you safely on the celestial shore, and make you sit with Him in heavenly places forever! 

Go, sorrowing son of affliction–tell your secret troubles to the Friend who sticks closer than a brother. Trust all your concerns with Him . . .
  who never can be taken from you,
  who will never leave you, and
  who will never let you leave Him, even “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” 

“I am with you always,” is enough for my soul to live upon–though all others forsake me!

“I’ve never seen so clearly since going blind” 20 Years Of Sight-loss!

Me playing my Taylor K22ce at church and in front of a cross on the wall

Hi friends. As it is 20 years to the day since i went blind…I thought i’d share one of my older posts(yet updated) from 4 years ago when i was asked to share a little of what i went through when i lost my sight at 24.

I really hope that you’ll have the time to read it, and that it blesses you in some small way?! 

Here Goes…

I was asked by our Minister Nik if i would share my Testimony in the parade service. The theme was ‘Faith through Adversity’, Nik said “i can ask you some straight forward questions, it will only take about 5 minutes(or so we thought)” “Yeah, ok, if you think it will help?”.

Sunday 8th May 2016…

Walking into the church building Sunday morning, it was quite full, as it was parade service, the scouts and other uniformed groups were there, but Nik found us seats at the front, then showed me up the steps and where i’d stand to speak, after testing the microphone i remembered the steps and sat back down. 

As i’m blind, i can’t use any notes, so i spent a little time trying to etch some answer headings into my mind, hoping i’d not veer too far off track. I then prayed that i’d use this time to Glorify Him, as i talked about the Truth that sets us free, and how i’m not ashamed of the Gospel, it’s the power of God unto Salvation to all who believe…please make it real(be careful praying this, lol).

It;s time…

Steve, we are looking at people who have showed faith in difficult circumstances and I have asked you to share some of your story with us.

Many people here, even those who have seen you around at various church events may not know that you are blind.

My Testimony…

Nik stood next to me at the microphone and started with the first 2 questions:

Have you always been blind? How and when did you loose your sight?

I explained i’d been fully sighted until i was 24, and after 2 brain haemorrhages(March – July 2000) that burst my optic nerve, i’m now registered blind and have Severe Hypertensive Retinopathy.

“How did that change your life?”

I said “I can only scratch the surface this morning, but if ever you see me walking around here or in town, please ask me anything. But now i’ll try and sketch you a quick picture and give you a flavour of what happened…”

“I went to the gym 6-7 days a week, played football most evenings and was quite violent, acting the tough guy.  I wasn’t a Christian, i hadn’t been born again, or even been inside a church building…so…As i stepped out of the eye consultants office after being told i’d be blind for the rest of my life, it was out of character but i collapsed on the floor sobbingg my eyes out. And as my crying out got a little too loud they pulled me into a small empty room….And this was the easy bit”.

“Following this was pure isolation… all my football mates left me, i lost my job, my car and ability to do anything…i lost everything, i was completely broken, and on top of that i was left to my acusing thoughts “Nobody wants you, you’re useless now, unwanted, rejected, unloved and unlovable!!”

Suddenly, as i was telling my story…

My mouth was silenced, an image of Jesus in Glory(Revelation 1) filled my mind, it was so clear(not blurred by my blindness) I could see His flaming eyes of judgment…then…the image changed, it was Jesus on the cross, now His eyes were filled with Mercy, Compassion & Grace, and while looking down straight at me he said “I did this for you, so that you can live. I…LOVE…YOU!!!

I started sobbing uncontrollably, and it took a couple of minutes for me to try and start talking again….but more sobbing…i was completely undone. But these tears were different!

I already knew He’d given His life so i could live. He’d come down so far to save me it is immeasurable. His blood washed me clean, white as snow. He’s forgiven me all my sins, past, present and future, and there is no more condemnation for me, it is finished!

I’d been  praying for so long for God to “Break my heart for what broke His” and sang the songs many times, but rarely had i caught a glimpse of the true cost of His Love, and His free gift of Grace to those who Repent and Believe in Him. I knew He wanted me to share the True Gospel to people listening(and now reading), as it alone is the only Hope. It is the Power of God unto Salvation for anyone that believes.

Still sobbing, i continued…

My every word was a different pitch but i said “My pit was so dark, my accusing thoughts were too heavy, and this led to a daily cycle of waking up and trying to kill myself…failing, which made me feel worse…then drinking so much i could drown them out for the rest of the day, until i woke the next day, then it started again. 

I didn’t have the strength to kill myself, and i didn’t have the strength to live…i was without God, and without Hope!

Nik, who’s hand was rested on my shoulder asked question 4 “I know you were deeply unhappy at the time, what changed that?”

The world followed it’s pattern and sent me to Counselling, then Psychotherapy & finally Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, they didn’t work, they all had no answer for me, they couldn’t reach far enough down to pull me out. I needed a Saviour, I needed the light of the Gospel! 

The Good News & Lovely Sarah

Meeting Sarah changed my life! I have no idea how she’s put up with me. She’s  been so patient and long suffering as i tried attacking her Faith and this Jesus! But she kept on loving me. Sarah always seemed to have a rock to stand on no matter how bad things got for her, and i was being dragged deeper into the sinking sand. She always had this Blessed Hope that i didn’t,

Jesus worked through Sarah to shine the light of the Gospel, the Good News i was dying for. 

Words failed me as i was trying to describe how much i love Sarah, so when my mind filled with thoughts of how far we’ve grown together in love…i broke down again. 

The sobbing was still making me pause every few words, but mentioned Jesus doesn’t want to see anyone perish, but he pursues you, He has come to seek and save that which is lost. He loves you and no matter how bad or hopeless you think you are, He’ll keep coming with His free gift of Salvation!

Nik asked Question 5 “some people would say that your life must be worse now, would you agree with them?”

I’d gone way over my time slot, and i was almost pulled away from the mic as i was so overwhelmed…BUT i knew these tears were not about me, or my losses. I had 1 focus and that was to share the Truth that sets us free. I had no feeling of sorrow or pain. I knew it must have seemed like this to the congregation, and i thought they’d stick me in a counselling room when i’d finished!

The Holy Spirit was filling me like never before, and made the Power of the Gospel so real to me i almost exploded.

I continued “I wouldn’t agree with anyone who thinks(or measures) life by how good our circumstances are. I’d lead them to 2 Corinthians 4 & 5 where it talks about living by Faith, not by Sight, and now that we are born again in the Spirit, we should walk by the Spirit. Not living for things that are seen which are temporary(like my sight loss), but living for the unseen which is Eternal”

“I used to hate this song, but now i’d play it every service if i could…have you heard Amazing Grace, the Chris Tomlin version? If you pass me in the street you’ll normally hear me singing or humming these words:”

“Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see. My chains are gone I’ve been set free. My God, my Saviour has ransomed me. And like a flood His mercy reigns. Unending love, amazing grace”.

“I’ve never seen so clearly since going blind” This is one of my fave sayings. 😀 

Nik then walked me back to my seat next to Sarah. The church was completely silent, it had been silent since i first started sobbing. I could feel Sarah was upset as she didn’t react for a while, then she said “People kept on running up and passing me tissues”. Nik sat down next to Sarah, and Sarah said “You’re not borrowing him again to speak”. 

After the service people came over and said they really connected with the things i said, although i think everyone thinks i’m back in dark depression again, lol.

He showed me the reality and Power of transformation in His Gospel, and how vital it is to share it, as Jesus is the  Way, the Truth and the Life and no-one gets to  the Father but by Him. He’s the forgiver of Sins, breaker of chains, and the only Salvation for Eternal Life in Heaven.

John 3:14-21 New King James Version (NKJV)

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but[a] have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

I felt i needed to share this post to try and explain a little more of what was happening to me, and maybe reach out to someone who is struggling with the creeping death called Depression,or who is just simply lost and without God, and without Hope.

Related Post: My Full Testimony 

We are tossed upon an ocean of troubles, fears and temptations!

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We are tossed upon an ocean of troubles, fears and temptations!

(John Flavel)

“Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.” John 16:33 

The way to Heaven lies through much tribulation. All our troubles are not over when we are saved by Christ; nay, then commonly our greatest sorrows begin! Nor are we to expect freedom from our troubles, until harbored in Heaven.

This winter weather shall be useful to destroy those noxious weeds, which the summer of prosperity bred. By wintry trials, God will mortify and purge our corruptions!

At present we are tossed upon an ocean of troubles, fears and temptations–but these will make Heaven all the sweeter. Cheer up, then, O my soul, your salvation is now nearer than when you first believed! Yet a few more days, and then comes that blessed day you have so long waited and panted for!

God will shortly put a blessed end to all of your soul troubles, cares and watchings. The time is coming, when your heart shall be as you would have it, when you shall be discharged of all these cares, fears and sorrows, and never more cry out: “O my hard, my proud, my vain, my earthly heart!”

The time is coming, when all vanity shall be purged perfectly out of your thoughts–and they will be everlastingly, ravishingly, and delightfully entertained and exercised upon that supreme goodness and infinite excellency of God!
 
“Then the King will say to those on His right: Come, you who are blessed by My Father; take your inheritance, the Kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world!” Matthew 25:34

The Complaint!

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The Complaint!

(James Smith, 1864)

“O my God, my soul is cast down within me!” Psalm 42:6 

And why are you cast down? 

“My heart is burdened with a sense of my short-comings. 
 Every holy duty I perform is so imperfect. 
 Every good purpose I form is so soon frustrated. 
 Every hope of seeing better days is so soon beclouded.
 My heart is so fearfully depraved.
 My life is so unlike the life of Jesus.
 My affections are so unholy.
 My prayers are so brief and heartless.
 My praises are so feeble and fitful.
 I do so little good.
 I live to so little purpose.
 My evidences are so dim. 
 My prospects are so overcast. 
 I am harassed sometimes with the fear of death
 I cannot grasp the glories of Heaven
 I am dissatisfied with the world–and yet glued to it! 
 I hate sin–and yet fall into it! 
 I am a riddle, a mystery, a mass of inconsistency! 
 Is it, then, any wonder that I am cast down?” 

No, if you look at yourself, and pore over the things you have named–then it is no wonder that you are cast down! They are enough to cast anyone down! But if you carry them to the throne of grace, if you there confess them before God, if you look to the mercy of Jesus–then, in spite of them, you will not long be cast down. 

I know it is difficult to do this. There is a natural proneness to pore over such things. One feels at times a secret liking to indulge in self-pity. 

But we must look away from self–for if we do not, we shall become anxious, doubting and downcast! We must run the race–not looking at our imperfections, short-comings, and failures–but looking unto Jesus. He knows what we are. He knew what we wouldbe–before He called us by His grace; yes, before He shed His sin-atoning blood for us! 
He loved us, as sinners. 
He died for us, as sinners. 
He called us, as sinners. 
He saves us, as sinners. 
He will have great glory by saving such great sinners. We cannot do anything to repay Him for His wondrous love. Salvation is by free grace–from first to last! Believe this, and it will raise up your drooping mind!

The life-boat of free grace has put you on board the vessel of salvation, and that will convey you safely to the port of glory! Do not look at your spiritual destitution, or feebleness, or incapacity, or imperfections–but trust in your Pilot, rely on your Captain, and expect His mercy and merit to land you safely in Heaven at last! 

Regardless of any amount of spiritual progress, your dying prayer will still be, “God be merciful unto me–a sinner!”

Hope in God!
His mercy is great unto the Heavens, 
His grace is as free as the air, 
His love is as changeless as His nature,
His promise is as immutable as His love. 

He will save you for His own sake, and present you before assembled worlds as a monument of His mercy, and a trophy of His grace!

“Why are you cast down, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?
 
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and  my God!” Psalm 42:5

You must be born again!

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You must be born again!

(Don Fortner)

“You must be born again!” John 3:7

In order for God to save a sinner two things must be done: 
God must do something FOR you, and God must do something IN you.

  Redemption is the work of God FOR sinners. 

  Regeneration is the work of God IN sinners. 

Both are the works of God. Man has nothing more to do with regeneration, than he has to do with redemption.

“You must be born again” because by nature we are fallen, sinful, depraved children of human flesh. All flesh is defiled. All flesh is corrupt. All flesh is sinful. All flesh is condemned. All flesh must die. Unless we are born of the Spirit, we will die in our sins, and our flesh  shall be justly damned.

“You must be born again!” 
You can reform your life without the new birth. 
You can be baptized without the new birth. 
You can join the church, be zealous in religion, teach a Bible class, serve as a deacon or elder; you can even preach with great success without being born again. 

“You must be born again” for without the new birth . . .
  you will never enter the kingdom of God, 
  you will never be a part of the family of God, 
  you will never have eternal life, 
  you will never be admitted into the presence of God’s glory in the bliss of Heaven. 
Only new creatures will enter the New Jerusalem. 
Only holy men will walk into the Holy City. 
Only Heaven born citizens will possess the bliss of Heaven.

To be born again is to be made new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). 
In the new birth, God the Holy Spirit gives chosen, redeemed sinners . . .
  a new heart to love God,
  a new will to bow to the rule of Christ,
  a new mind to understand the things of God,
  a new spiritual nature to know, enjoy, and live upon spiritual things,
  new eyes, eyes of faith, with which to see Christ,
  new ears with which to hear His voice,
  new hands, hands of faith, with which to lay hold of Christ and do His will,
  new feet, with which to flee to Christ and walk with Him in the newness of life.

John 3:3, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again!” 

The Savior’s abiding presence with His redeemed people!

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The Savior’s abiding presence with His redeemed people!

(J.R. Miller, “The Practical Value of a Promise“)

“O LORD, You have searched me and You know me.
 You know when I sit and when I rise;
 You perceive my thoughts from afar.
 You discern my going out and my lying down;
 You are familiar with all my ways!
 Before a word is on my tongue, You know it completely, O LORD!” Psalm 139:1-4

Doctrines are not such cold, lifeless things as some would have us to believe. There is no doctrine of Scripture which is not fitted toaffect the life of him who believes it. Consider the proper influence upon us, of the doctrine and promise of the Savior’s abiding presence with His redeemed people. If we believe and always recollect that Christ is truly with us always–how will it affect us?

For one thing it will make us very thoughtful and careful in all our words and acts. Christ is present in His holiness as well as in His love and tenderness. His pure eyes see all our life, and see into our hearts. He is ever beholding us–our real inner life.

The thought of the Master’s eye upon us should . . .
  make us holy,
  rebuke our sins, and
  hold us back from evil. 

We cannot do wicked things in the presence of even a pure and holy human friend. But could we be continually conscious of Christ’s perpetual presence with us, of His eye ever resting upon us, then . . .
  Could we run into sin?
  Could we live carelessly?
  Could we trifle?
  Could we speak sharp, bitter, or unkind words?
  Could we do unholy, unlovely things? 

Surely the realizing of His perpetual abiding presence would make us live reverently, purely, lovingly–so as always to please and never to grieve Him.

“My Testimony” by Steve

Me  Sarah playing in Church

Please click the photo above to read “MY Testimony”.

Hi all! After updating “My Testimony” this morning…I realised i hadn’t shared my redemption story for years on here! I know lots of you have read it and left me some proper humbling comments that have just left me in tears(including this morning after i went through a lot of them).  

With all of the personal stories and news stories of suicide I hear at the moment…I just wanted to remind people that Jesus has the “Good News”. I know this as it has happened to me and i want to share it with everyone! 😀 

In love He blessed us with all spiritual blessings!

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In love He blessed us with all spiritual blessings!

(James Smith, “The Evening Sacrifice; Or, A Help to Devotion” 1859)

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” Ephesians 1:3

God’s love to us is infinite. He considers nothing too good or too great to confer upon His redeemed children. Having chosen us in His Son, that we may be holy and blameless before Him–in love He blessed us with all spiritual blessings. He gave us . . .
  grace in Jesus,
  grace before the foundation of the world, 
  grace for all time, 
  grace for all trials,
  grace to be given to us as our circumstances may require. 

In going to the throne of grace, therefore–we simply go to receive what our heavenly Father has stored up in Jesus for us. What sweet encouragement is this! Well may the apostle say, “Therefore let us come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” 

Blessed Lord, we thank You, we praise You, we bless Your glorious name–that You have chosen us and put us into Christ, made provision for us in Christ, and will make us perfectly holy through Christ. Teach us to come with boldness and confidence to Your throne, that we may obtain for our use, all that You have treasured up for us in Jesus. O give us . . .
  more faith in Christ,
  more humility when at your throne,
  more zeal for Your glory when in the world, 
  more love to You and Your people; and 
teach us to eat, drink, dress, and do everything to Your glory! 

O to be thoroughly Christ-like! O to reflect the glory of God on all around us! O to live and act as on the confines of eternity, as if always impressed with this fact, “I shall soon be in Heaven!” Gracious Savior, raise me above this world, fix my affections on Yourself, fill me with Your Spirit, and enable me to lie down tonight with the assurance that all spiritual blessings are mine!

Jesus Christ is completely sufficient!

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Jesus Christ is completely sufficient!

“For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power!” Colossians 2:9-10 

One of the great tenets of Scripture, is the claim that Jesus Christ is completely sufficient for all matters of life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3-4)! 

He is sufficient for:
  creation (Colossians 1:16-17)
  salvation (Hebrews 10:10-12)
  sanctification (Ephesians 5:26-27)
  and glorification (Romans 8:30). 

So pure is He, that there is no blemish, stain, spot of sin, defilement, deception, corruption, error, or imperfection in Him! (1 Peter 1:18-20)

So complete is He, that . . .
  there is no other God besides Him (Isaiah 45:5)
  He is the only begotten Son (John 1:14, John 1:18)
  all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are in Him (Colossians 2:3)
  the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily in Him (Colossians 2:9)
  He is heir of all things (Hebrews 1:2)
  He created all things–and all things were made 
      by Him, through Him, and for Him (Colossians 1:16)
  He upholds all things by the word of His power (Colossians 1:17, Hebrews 1:3)
  He is the firstborn of all creation (Colossians 1:15)
  He is the exact representation of God (Hebrews 1:3).

He has no beginning and no end (Revelation 1:17-18) 
He is the spotless Lamb of God (John 1:29)
He is our peace (Ephesians 2:14) 
He is our hope (1 Timothy 1:1) 
He is our life (Colossians 3:4) 
He is the living and true Way (John 14:6) 
He is the Root and Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star (Revelation 22:16) 
He is Faithful and True (Revelation 19:11) 
He is the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2) 
He is Captain of our Salvation (Hebrews 2:10)  
He is the Elect One (Isaiah 42:1) 
He is the Apostle and High-Priest of our confession (Hebrews 3:1) 
He is the Righteous Servant (Isaiah 53:11).
He is the Lord Almighty (Malachi 3:17)
He is the Redeemer (Isaiah 41:14)
He is the Holy One of Israel (Isaiah 54:5)
He is the God of the whole earth (Isaiah 54:5) 
He is the Man of Sorrows (Isaiah 53:3) 
He is the Light of the world (John 9:5)
He is the Son of Man (Matthew 20:28) 
He is the true Vine (John 15:5)
He is the Bread of Life (John 6:48)
He is the Door to Heaven (John 10:7)
He is the Sovereign Lord (Philippians 2:10-13) 
He is Prophet, Priest and King (Hebrews 1:1-3) 
He is our Sabbath rest (Hebrews 4:9) 
He is our Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6) 
He is the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, 
   the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) 
He is the Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4) 
He is the Lion of Judah (Revelation 5:5)
He is the Rock of Salvation (Psalm 62:2)
He is the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:13)
He is the Counselor and Comforter (John 14:26)
He is the Messiah (John 4:25-26) and 
He is the great I AM (John 8:58)!

The very first letter in the alphabet of Christianity!

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The very first letter in the alphabet of Christianity!

(J.C. Ryle)

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 5:3

The Lord Jesus calls those blessed, who are poor in spirit. He means the humble, and lowly-minded, and self-abased. He means those who are deeply convinced of their own sinfulness in God’s sight. These are those who are not “wise in their own eyes and holy in their own sight.” They are not “rich and increased with goods.” They do not imagine that they need nothing. They regard themselves as “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” Blessed are all such! Humility is the very first letter in the alphabet of Christianity! We must begin low, if we would build high.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4

The Lord Jesus calls those blessed, who mournHe means those who sorrow for sin, and grieve daily over their own short-comings. These are they who trouble themselves more about sin than about anything on earth. The remembrance of it is grievous to them. The burden of it is intolerable. Blessed are all such! “The sacrifices of God are a broken and contrite spirit.” One day they shall weep no more! “They shall be comforted.”

Let us learn how entirely contrary are the principles of Christ–to the principles of the world. It is vain to deny it. They are almost diametrically opposed! The very characters which the Lord Jesus praises–the world despises. The very pride, and thoughtlessness, and high tempers, and worldliness, and selfishness, and formality, and unlovingness, which abound everywhere–the Lord Jesus condemns!

Let us learn how unhappily different is the teaching of Christ from the practice of many professing Christians. Where shall we find men and women among those who go to churches and chapels, who are striving to live up to the pattern we have read of today? Alas! there is much reason to fear, that many baptized people are utterly ignorant of what the New Testament contains!

Above all let us learn how holy and spiritual-minded all believers should be. They should never aim at any standard lower than that of the Beatitudes. Christianity is eminently a practical religion. Sound doctrine is its root and foundation–but holy living should always be its fruit. And if we would know what holy living is, let us often think who they are that Jesus calls “blessed.” 

Can these dry bones live?

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Can these dry bones live?
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“The Restoration and Conversion of the Jews”
No. 582.  Ezekiel 37:1-10.

Men, by nature, are just like these dry bones
exposed in the open valley. The whole spiritual
frame is dislocated; the sap and marrow of
spiritual life has been dried out of manhood.
Human nature is not only dead, but, like the
bleaching bones which have long whitened in
the sun, it has lost all trace of the divine life.
Will and power have both departed. Spiritual
death reigns undisturbed. Yet the dry bones
can live. Under the preaching of the Word, the
vilest sinners can be reclaimed, the most stubborn
wills can be subdued, the most unholy lives can
be sanctified. When the holy “breath” comes
from the four winds, when the divine Spirit
descends to own the Word, then multitudes of
sinners, as on Pentecost’s hallowed day, stand
up upon their feet, an exceeding great army,
to praise the Lord their God.

The Christian Message

“The Christian message is not an inclusive message that embraces all religions; it’s not a message that there are many paths to the same place. The Christian message is summed up in the brave words of Peter before the Sanhedrin: “Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:11–12).”

Michael Youssef, Jesus, Jihad and Peace: What Bible Prophecy Says About World Events Today

Saviour, Sobbing & Sharing my Testimony ~ Amazing Grace

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I was asked by our Minister Nik if i would share my Testimony in yesterdays parade service. The theme was ‘Faith through Adversity’, Nik said “i can ask you some straight forward questions, it will only take about 5 minutes(or so we thought)” “Yeah, ok, if you think it will help?”.

Sunday 8th May 2016…

Walking into the church building Sunday morning, it was quite full, as it was parade service, the scouts and other uniformed groups were there, but Nik found us seats at the front, then showed me up the steps and where i’d stand to speak, after testing the microphone i remembered the steps and sat back down. 

As i’m blind, i can’t use any notes, so i spent a little time trying to etch some answer headings into my mind, hoping i’d not veer too far off track. I then prayed that i’d use this time to Glorify Him, as i talked about the Truth that sets us free, and how i’m not ashamed of the Gospel, it’s the power of God unto Salvation to all who believe…please make it real(be careful praying this).

It;s time…

Steve, we are looking at people who have showed faith in difficult circumstances and I have asked you to share some of your story with us.

Many people here, even those who have seen you around at various church events may not know that you are blind.

My Testimony…

Nik stood next to me at the microphone and started with the first 2 questions:

Have you always been blind? How and when did you loose your sight?

I explained i’d been fully sighted until i was 24, and after 2 brain haemorrhages(March 2000) that burst my optic nerve, i’m now registered blind and have Severe Hypertensive Retinopathy.

“How did that change your life?”

I said “I can only scratch the surface this morning, but if ever you see me walking around here or in town, please ask me anything. But now i’ll try and sketch you a quick picture and give you a flavour of what happened…”

“I went to the gym 6-7 days a week, played football most evenings and was quite violent, acting the tough guy.  I wasn’t a Christian, i hadn’t been born again, or even been inside a church building…so… as i stepped out of the eye consultants office after being told i’d be blind for the rest of my life, i collapsed on the floor crying out….and this was the easy bit”.

“Following this was pure isolation… all my football mates left me, i lost my job, my car…everything, i was completely broken, and on top of that i was left to my acusing thoughts “Nobody wants you, you’re useless now, unwanted, rejected, unloved and unlovable!!”

Suddenly…

It was about this time where my mouth was silenced, an image of Jesus in Glory(Revelation 1) filled my mind, it was so clear(not blurred by my blindness) I could see His flaming eyes of judgment…then…the image changed, it was Jesus on the cross, now His eyes were filled with Mercy, Compassion & Grace, and while looking down straight at me he said “I did this for you, so that you can live. I…LOVE…YOU!!!

I started sobbing uncontrollably…i’d never sobbed like this in my entire life, and it took a couple of minutes for me to try and start talking again….but more sobbing…i was completely undone.

I knew He’d given His life so i could live. He’d come down so far to save me it is immeasurable. His blood washed me clean, white as snow. He’s forgiven me all my sins, past, present and future, and there is no more condemnation for me(or you), it is finished!

I’d been  praying for so long for God to “Break my heart for what broke His” and sang the songs many times, but never had i caught a glimpse of the true cost of His Love, and His free gift of Grace to those who Repent and Believe in Him. I knew He wanted me to share the True Gospel to people listening(and now reading), as it alone is the only Hope. It is the Power of God unto Salvation for anyone that believes.

Still sobbing, i continued…

My every word was a different pitch but i said “My pit was so dark, my accusing thoughts were too heavy, and this led to a daily cycle of waking up and trying to kill myself…failing, which made me feel worse…then drinking so much i could drown them out for the rest of the day, until i woke the next day, then it started again. 

I didn’t have the strength to kill myself, and i didn’t have the strength to live…i was without God, and without Hope!

Nik, who’s hand was rested on my shoulder asked question 4 “I know you were deeply unhappy at the time, what changed that?”

The world followed it’s pattern and sent me to Counselling, then Psychotherapy & finally Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, they didn’t work, they all had no answer for me, they couldn’t reach far enough down to pull me out. I needed a Saviour, I needed the light of the Gospel! 

The Good News & Lovely Sarah

Meeting Sarah changed my life! I have no idea how she’s put up with me. She’s  been so patient and long suffering as i tried attacking her Faith and this Jesus! But she kept on loving me. Sarah always seemed to have a rock she was standing on no matter how bad things got for her, she always had this Blessed Hope that i didn’t,

Jesus worked through Sarah to shine the light of the Gospel, the Good News i was dying for.

Words failed me as i was trying to describe how much i love Sarah, so when my mind filled with thoughts of how far we’ve grown together in love…i broke down again. 

The sobbing was still making me pause every few words, but mentioned Jesus doesn’t want to see anyone perish, but he pursues you, He has come to seek and save that which is lost. He loves you and no matter how bad or hopeless you think you are, He’ll keep coming with His free gift of Salvation!

Nik asked Question 5 “some people would say that your life must be worse now, would you agree with them?”

I’d gone way over my time slot, and i was almost pulled away from the mic as i was so overwhelmed…BUT i knew these tears were not about me, or my losses. I had 1 focus and that was to share the Truth that sets us free. I had no feeling of sorrow or pain. I knew it must have seemed like this to the congregation, and i thought they’d stick me in a counselling room when i’d finished!

The Holy Spirit was filling me like never before, and made the Power of the Gospel so real to me i almost exploded.

I continued “I wouldn’t agree with anyone who thinks(or measures) life by how good our circumstances are. I’d lead them to 2 Corinthians 4 & 5 where it talks about living by Faith, not by Sight, and now that we are born again in the Spirit, we should walk by the Spirit. Not living for things that are seen which are temporary(like my sight loss), but living for the unseen which is Eternal”

“I used to hate this song, but now i’d play it every service if i could…have you heard Amazing Grace, the Chris Tomlin version? If you pass me in the street you’ll normally hear me singing or humming these words:”

“Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see. My chains are gone I’ve been set free. My God, my Saviour has ransomed me. And like a flood His mercy reigns. Unending love, amazing grace”.

Nik then walked me back to my seat next to Sarah. The church was completely silent, it had been silent since i first started sobbing. I could feel Sarah was upset as she didn’t react for a while, then she said “People kept on running up and passing me tissues”. Nik sat down next to Sarah, and Sarah said “You’re not borrowing him again to speak”. 

After the service people came over and said they really connected with the things i said, although i think everyone thinks i’m back in dark depression again.

He showed me the reality and Power of transformation in His Gospel, and how vital it is to share it, as Jesus is the  Way, the Truth and the Life and no-one gets to  the Father but by Him. He’s the forgiver of Sins, breaker of chains, and the only Salvation for Eternal Life in Heaven.

John 3:14-21 New King James Version (NKJV)

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but[a] have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

I felt i needed to share this post to try and explain a little more of what was happening to me, and maybe reach out to someone who is struggling with the creeping death called Depression,or who is just simply lost and without God, and without Hope.

Related Posts:

My Testimony

Captivity of Negativity

The Popular Christ

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“Unfortunately, the ten-cent-store Jesus being preached now by many men is not the Jesus that will come to judge the world. This plastic, painted Christ who has no spine and no justice, but is a soft and pliant friend to everybody, if He is the only Christ, then we might as well close our books, bar our doors and make a bakery or garage out of our church buildings. The popular Christ being preached now is not the Christ of God nor the Christ of the Bible nor the Christ we must deal with finally. For the Christ that we deal with has eyes as a flame of fire. And His feet are like burnished brass; and out of His mouth cometh a sharp two-edged sword (see Rev. 1:14-16). He will be the judge of humanity. You can leave your loved ones in His hands knowing that He Himself suffered, knowing that He knows all, no mistakes can be made, there can be no miscarriage of justice, because He knows all that can be known… Jesus Christ our Lord, the judge with the flaming eyes, is the one with whom we must deal. We cannot escape it.”

A.W. Tozer, And He Dwelt Among Us: Teachings from the Gospel of John

Stephen Salmon ~ Absent From The Body & Present With The Lord

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2 Corinthians 5:6-8 New King James Version (NKJV)

6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

Meet Stephen…

This post is to celebrate the life of “Brother in Christ” Stephen Salmon (aged 33). His funeral is today so could you please pray for family and friends and all who are affected by his passing.

First i’d like you to meet Stephen as he describes in this video testimony how God pulled him from the streets of Tenerife. Stephen was homeless, addicted to all kinds of drugs and alcohol, and yet God showed him a glimpse of heaven and his new eternal home with Jesus.

 

I saw Stephen’s testimony for the first time whilst looking through the Epsom Baptist Church’s Facebook page which Stephen (and his lovely wife Claire) posted on regularly. Afterwards i shouted Sarah to come and watch as his was the first proper northern accent i’d heard since becoming a Christian, and after moving down to Surrey his voice was like a breath of fresh air, and he somehow made God so personal!

Sarah and i were invited by Ben (our close Brother in Christ, after Ben had visited our church where Sarah & i played in the evening service. We got chatting and he mentioned they were needing a drummer for the morning Worship band. I said we weren’t currently attending a morning service, but i also play the drums…so if you can use me then i’ll come !

The Spirit within…

I still remember the first time i met Stephen, it was at a Sunday morning service and once i heard his accent i nudged Sarah and said “Sarah, that’s the man from the testimony video”. I can’t accurately describe the warmth oozing from him, but the Spirit within him just made you smile. 🙂

The term “Full of beans” always springs to mind when thinking of his character. This brother was “Full On” for God and his hunger for the Word, passion and empathy for the homeless touched so many lives including my own.

As i write this (and thinking of his age) the Metallica lyric “The brightest flame burns quickest” just popped into my head. 

Also (like all of us) this brother was not perfect. We all struggle to mortify the flesh as our body of sin makes war against the Holy Spirit in our journey of Sanctification. I thank God for saving Stephen and giving him the blessed hope we in Christ all look forward to. And i thank God that i got to meet Stephen who not only inspired me…but he encouraged me too. 🙂

Last year i posted one of Stephen’s quotes on iChristian and i’d like to share it again…

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Jacob was a cheater, Peter had a temper, David had an affair, Noah got drunk, Jonah ran from God, Paul was a murderer, Gideon was insecure, Miriam was a gossiper, Martha was a worrier, Thomas was a doubter, Sarah was impatient, Elijah was depressed, Moses stuttered, Zaccheus was short, Abraham was old, and Lazarus was dead …..

God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the CALLED|

Like, Comment or Reblog  this if you know you are NOT perfect, but that God is working in your life anyway…

Stephen Salmon (Brother in Christ)

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I’d like to finish with a message taken from his Facebook timeline… 

Amanda McCrea: See you heaven Stephen. You touched so many lives in life and on Facebook. You used social media as a means to inspire and uplift others. A brother in Christ and a wonderful testimony to how God can transform a life. A true servant heart. My condolences to your loved ones. May God comfort you all at this sad time. Love and prayers. Amanda.

Overflowing With Hope

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“The Samaritan woman grasped what He said with fervor that came from an awareness of her real need. The transaction was fascinating. She has come with a bucket. He sent her back with a spring of living water. She had come as a reject. He sent her back being accepted by God Himself. She came wounded. He sent her back whole. She came laden with questions. He sent her back as a source for answers. She came living a life of quiet desperation. She ran back overflowing with hope. The disciples missed it all. It was lunchtime for them.”

Ravi Zacharias

Inspired & Uplifted

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I Just received this amazing story and prayer, as soon as i read it, i knew  i had to share with you. Thanks to loving sister Sara for emailing it to me!  Be inspired and uplifted. 🙂

This is a story written by a doctor who worked in Africa .

One night I had worked hard to help a mother in the labor ward; but in spite of all we could do, she died, leaving us with a tiny, premature baby and a crying two-year-old daughter. We would have difficulty keeping the baby alive; as we had no incubator (we had no electricity to run an incubator).

We also had no special feeding facilities. Although we lived on the equator, nights were often chilly with treacherous drafts. One student midwife went for the box we had for such babies and the cotton wool that the baby would be wrapped in.

Another went to stoke up the fire and fill a hot water bottle. She came back shortly in distress to tell me that in filling the bottle, it had burst (rubber perishes easily in tropical climates). ‘And it is our last hot water bottle!’ she exclaimed.

As in the West, it is no good crying over spilled milk, so in Central Africa it might be considered no good crying over burst water bottles. They do not grow on trees, and there are no drugstores down forest pathways.

‘All right,’ I said, ‘put the baby as near the fire as you safely can, and sleep between the baby and the door to keep it free from drafts Your job is to keep the baby warm.’

The following noon, as I did most days, I went to have prayers with any of the orphanage children who chose to gather with me. I gave the youngsters various suggestions of things to pray about and told them about the tiny baby. I explained our problem about keeping the baby warm enough, mentioning the hot water bottle, and that the baby could so easily die if it got chills. I also told them of the two-year-old sister, crying because her mother had died.

During prayer time, one ten -year-old girl, Ruth, prayed with the usual blunt conciseness of our African children. ‘Please, God,’ she prayed, ‘send us a hot water bottle today. It’ll be no good tomorrow, God, as the baby will be dead, so please send it this afternoon.’
While I gasped inwardly at the audacity of the prayer, she added, ‘And while You are about it, would You please send a dolly for the little girl so she’ll know You really love her?’

As often with children’s prayers, I was put on the spot. Could I honestly say ‘Amen?’ I just did not believe that God could do this.

Oh, yes, I know that He can do everything; the Bible says so. But there are limits, aren’t there? The only way God could answer this particular prayer would be by sending me a parcel from the homeland. I had been in Africa for almost four years at that time, and I had never, ever, received a parcel from home.

Anyway, if anyone did send me a parcel, who would put in a hot water bottle? I lived on the equator!

Halfway through the afternoon, while I was teaching in the nurses’ training school, a message was sent that there was a car at my front door. By the time I reached home, the car had gone, but there on the verandah was a large 22-pound parcel. I felt tears pricking my eyes. I could not open the parcel alone, so I sent for the orphanage children. Together we pulled off the string, carefully undoing each knot. We folded the paper, taking care not to tear it unduly. Excitement was mounting. Some thirty or forty pairs of eyes were focused on the large cardboard box. From the top, I lifted out brightly-colored, knitted jerseys. Eyes sparkled as I gave them out. Then there were the knitted bandages for the leprosy patients, and the children looked a little bored. Then came a box of mixed raisins and sultanas – that would make a batch of buns for the weekend.

Then, as I put my hand in again, I felt the…..could it really be? I grasped it and pulled it out. Yes, a brand new, rubber hot water bottle. I cried. I had not asked God to send it; I had not truly believed that He could.

Ruth was in the front row of the children. She rushed forward, crying out, ‘If God has sent the bottle, He must have sent the dolly, too!’
Rummaging down to the bottom of the box, she pulled out the small, beautifully-dressed dolly. Her eyes shone! She had never doubted!
Looking up at me, she asked, ‘Can I go over with you and give this dolly to that little girl, so she’ll know that Jesus really loves her?’
‘Of course,’ I replied!

That parcel had been on the way for five whole months, packed up by my former Sunday school class, whose leader had heard and obeyed God’s prompting to send a hot water bottle, even to the equator.
And one of the girls had put in a dolly for an African child – five months before, in answer to the believing prayer of a ten-year-old to bring it ‘that afternoon.’

Isaiah 65:24

‘Before they call, I will answer.’

When you receive this, say the prayer. That’s all I ask. No strings attached. Just send it on to whomever you want – but do send it on.

Prayer is one of the best free gifts we receive. There is no cost, but a lot of rewards. Let’s continue praying for one another.

🙏 iPray

Heavenly Father, I ask you to bless my friends reading this. I ask You to minister to their spirit. Where there is pain, give them Your peace and mercy. Where there is self doubting, release a renewed confidence to work through them; where there is tiredness or exhaustion, I ask You to give them understanding, guidance, and strength. Where there is fear, reveal your love and release to them Your courage. Bless their finances, give them greater vision, and raise up leaders and friends to support and encourage them. I ask You to do these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.

✞ Music “I Need A Miracle” by Third Day

“I Need A Miracle”

Well, late one night, she started to cry and thought, “He ain’t coming home”
She was tired of the lies, tired of the fight, but she didn’t want to see him go
She fell on her knees and said, “I haven’t prayed since I was young
But Lord above, I need a miracle”

Well no matter who you are and no matter what you’ve done
There will come a time when you can’t make it on your own
And in your hour of desperation
Know you’re not the only one
Prayin’, “lord above, I need a miracle
I need a miracle”

He lost his job and all he had in the fall of ’09
Now he feared the worst, that he would lose his children and his wife
So he drove down deep into the woods and thought he’d end it all
And prayed, “Lord above, I need a miracle”

Well no matter who you are and no matter what you’ve done
There will come a time when you can’t make it on your own
And in your hour of desperation
Know you’re not the only one
Prayin’, “lord above, I need a miracle
I need a miracle”

He turned on the radio to hear a song for the last time
He didn’t know what he was looking for, or even what he’d find
The song he heard gave him hope and strength to carry on
And on that night they found a miracle
They found a miracle

And in your hour of desperation
Know you’re not the only one
Prayin’, “lord above, I need a miracle”

“Lord above, I need a miracle”


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