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A Barren Woman

A man and his wife for a child did pray,
The woman being old, was
filled with dismay;
Ridiculed and mocked for childlessness
Hurting and suffering and in much distress;
Living in a society that considered barrenness
a result of some sort of sinfulness.
God Almighty heard their heart-wrenching cry,
Mercifully and kindly their request He could not deny.
So He sent His messenger, Gabriel was his name,
And to this man, Zachariah, he came.
This man Zachariah was of the priestly line,
And by God’s own bidding, this was his special time,
He, by lot, was chosen to enter the temple and burn incense,
And now he finds himself in the angel Gabriel’s presence.
Imagine his shock and absolute fear and dismay,
Standing the presence of an angel this day,
“Do not be afraid, Zachariah, your petition has been heard”
What is the angel saying, what is this word!!
“Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son”
I can only imagine, he would want to hide or run.
But Gabriel continues to speak and say
Not giving Zachariah a chance hide or run away,
“And you will give him the name of John.” Gabriel said,
Zachariah seemed to be filled with confusion and dread,
“How will I know this for certain?’ he finally blurts out,
The Angel Gabriel speaks back without a shadow of a doubt!
“I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God,”
Zachariah must have felt the blow of a rod!
“I have been sent to speak to you” Gabriel said,
Zachariah must have wished he was buried and dead!
But standing there before Gabriel
He listened to what the angel had to tell
The good news of a son in his later life
What a glorious precious gift to his beloved wife,
In her later days she would be a mother,
And her son was special like no other,
The forerunner of God’s beloved Son, Jesus Christ,
Calling from the wilderness a message of repent and trust,
Zachariah cried out to God for a child with his wife,
He didn’t understand, he was just going through life;
But God hear his cry and granted his prayer
And Elizabeth was given a child into her care,
She could now stand before the other women
With her head held high and not guilt-driven.
Looking at the others now face to face,
Elizabeth had her God-given place!!
The Lord God Almighty hears the cries of His children
And He loves and He hears the good desires within them.
Zachariah and Elizabeth were faithful and long-suffering.
Facing ridicule and mocking and so much disgracing,
Yet seeking the Lord even when all seemed lost,
They called on His name and goodness whatever the cost,
They were honored and blessed,
They were granted their request,
John the Baptist was the result
And the world has been blessed.
And what does this mean for us today?
Do we have any word or hope to take away?
God heard the cry of His faithful children,
He does the same today for all who follow Him!
If you have repented and trusted in Jesus the Christ,
then know He hears your cries and in Him do trust!
And if you are faraway and are living on your own belief
Come to Jesus, repent and confess and find eternal relief!
May God help you to do so!!!

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Jerusalem

Jerusalem, Jerusalem! The home of kings and prophets
God’s holy city, the city of David, His chosen one!
God’s people wandered in the wilderness,
God rescued them from the tyranny of Egypt,
They were promised a new land of their very own,
And yet they rebelled and sinned and made of calf
of gold,
They dance and worshipped and reveled,
They tested their God at the waters of Mariah,
Forty years they wandered under Moses!
That generation died out including Moses, Miriam, and Aaron.

And the new ones under Joshua claimed the Promised Land,
The land was divided according to the tribes,
They fought, and conquered the Canaanites, and settled
all as the Lord had decreed.
They kept to their tribes and had no central place of worship.

They sinned and repented and sinned and repented and
were ruled by judges,
But it was an unruly time where everyone did as they pleased
in their own sight.
Finally they cried out to the Lord through God’s chosen man Samuel,
asking for a king like the other nations.

God granted their desire and King Saul was raised up,
He sinned against the Lord and was rejected and died,
In his place God anointed David, a young shepherd boy,
to follow as Israel’s shepherd.
David, a man after God’s own heart–what a declaration!!

David loved God, David sinned greatly, David returned and repented!
David established Jerusalem as his capital city,
That city chosen by God to be the center of worship,
To be the center of the kingdom,century after century,
to be the home of the Temple,
Built not by His servant David, but by His son Solomon,
David the warrior King had blood on his hands,
Solomon reigned in a time of peace and prosperity
and built that most beautiful of all temples,
the Temple where God Almighty met with His people.

There in Jerusalem, the city of David, the Jews gathered
for the feasts and appointed times and sacrificed
and met with their God.
But they sinned and chased after foreign idols and
rejected their God,
God called and called to them through the prophets,
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Habakkuk, and many others;
They rejected some, they persecuted others and even killed some.

The Assyrian captivity and the dispersion of the northern tribes,
The Babylonian captivity and the razing of the Temple,
Crying out to their God and returning to a broken down Jerusalem.
Ezra and Nehemiah returning and rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem
And the rebuilding of the temple, not so grand as Solomon’s,
But promised by God with a future glorious temple, not build
by human hands!
Jerusalem, Jerusalem! Always the capital and center of the Jews!
“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem”

Jesus steps down from heaven into His creation,
As a babe born in Bethlehem, spending most of His time
in Galilee,
Yet He goes to Jerusalem for the feasts and finally, yes finally
Sets His face like flint to go one last time to Jerusalem
To be crucified outside the city to save His people from their sins,
He came to die so that His own might have life and have life eternal!
Mocked, scorned, beaten, spat upon and crucified
Shed His blood on that roman cross,
Accomplished His task
And now sits at the Father’s right hand
In all His glory,

The temple was destroyed in A.D. 70 by Titus,
And the city of Jerusalem as razed to the ground
in A.D. 135 by Hadrian and the Jews dispersed!
And for centuries Jerusalem and the surrounding areas
were barren and desolate under the Romans,

Then Islam came onto the scene and came conquering
and slaughtering and overtaking the areas of
the Middle East and North Africa and even into Europe,
Only to be met by Charles “the Hammer” Martel
At the Battle of Tours A.D. 732 stopping the onslaught,

But Jerusalem, that holy city of God, the city of David,
came under Islamic control,
Disputed even until today,
But Jerusalem is and was always God’s chosen city,
The capital of His people the Jews, sacred to Him.

And yet there is a future day to come,
When heaven and earth will pass away,
And there will be the New Jerusalem,
A city not built by human hands,

Just as John foretold,
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will [a]dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” Revelation 21: 1-4

The earthly Jerusalem is holy to God as a prefigurement of the eternal holy Jerusalem to come. And all believers can rejoice in the glorious promised secure hope of being there in the new Jerusalem with our great Father God and our Lord Jesus Christ forever.

Kingdoms and rulers will come and kingdoms and rulers will perish, but God and His word and His kingdom will stand forever!!! The Jews are His chosen people, Jerusalem is His chosen city and Gentiles are grafted into this glorious kingdom by the decree of God from the earliest of times.

Abraham was told he would be the father of many nations and all would be blessed through him. And through his dependent Jesus were have peace with God and peace with one another, Jew and Gentile alike. He brought down the barrier of the dividing wall and made the two into one new man establishing peace.

How great is our God–taking those at enmity with Him and others and making us all one in Christ.

“There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4: 4-6

#102

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Jesus

Jesus! Jesus! Son of God! Son of Man!
King of glory, hope and love,
That name at which every knee will bow
And every tongue in heaven and earth and below
will confess,
Jesus is Lord! Jesus is God!
Jesus is the Eternal Son
Who stepped down from His glory
At the right hand of the Father,
Leaving heaven’s throne to take on flesh
And clothe Himself in humanity,
Becoming one with His creation
Taking the form of a humble servant
Not to be served but to serve
And to give His life as a ransom for many;
He was born as a tiny babe and laid in a manger,
Amidst the lowing of cows and bleeping of sheep;
His mother wrapped Him in swaddling clothes
And held Him close to her heart,
He grew in wisdom and stature before
God and men,
And then the day came to make His public appearance,
His message was one of repentance
for the kingdom was at hand,
He said deny yourself and follow Me;
The crowds flocked to Him as He healed and fed,
But when He called for self-denial and sacrifice they fled,
A faithful few remained with Him,
Where were they to go,
His words were life-giving!
After serving and teaching for three short and often turbulent years,
He set His face like flint towards Jerusalem and the cross,
He came to die for the sins of mankind,
To give His life so others might live.
Falsely accused and arrested, mocked and ridiculed,
Spat upon and slapped, on His head sat a crown of thorns,
Endured, keeping silent, taking the abuse and misuse,
They cried “Crucify!” and their wish was granted!
He was led off the cross to meet His destiny
In full assurance of His Father’s approval.
This was the plan before the world began,
For the Eternal Son to die at God’s perfect time,
So that all who believe will be reconciled to God,
Sins forgiven and eternal life gained.
He shed His blood and completed His task,
He cried out, “It is finished!” and gave up His spirit.
Sin, death and evil were all defeated,
Mission accomplished, three days later resurrected!
The grave could not hold Him,
Satan crushed under His feet,
He ascended back to where He came from
At His Father’s right hand,
Triumphant and victorious
Securing His inheritance!
He is great, He is mighty,
King of kings and Lord of lords,
Faithful and True is His name forever,
One day He’ll come back for the final judgment
Of all His enemies at the Great White Throne,
And ushering in the eternal age of peace and love
In the new heavens and earth
With all His beloved children
From every tribe and tongue and nation
Around the throne crying,
“To Him who sits on the throne, and to
the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory
and dominion forever and ever.”

#101

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# 98

Blessed be the name of our Lord,
The God of my salvation,
My iniquity and sin was ever before You,
Going my own way, living for self, rebelling against You,
Looking for contentment and satisfaction in the things of this world;
Searching and seeking, but never finding,
Knowing there must be more, but suppressing the truth,
Despairing and empty, no future, no hope,
A lonely longing in my heart
And an aching in my soul;
Agony upon agony and not knowing where to turn,
Slipping into oblivion and darkness,
Hanging by a thread;
But in just the perfect moment You, O God,
In Your amazing mercy and grace,
You took pity on my wretched state,
Sending Your very own Son as the atoning sacrifice;
You washed away my sin and cleansed me from within,
Washed and made new new by the blood of the Lamb,
He took my place on that bloody Roman cross,
My sin and iniquity laid upon Him,
He was crushed in my place under Your wrath,
Your justice satisfied, my sins forgiven,
Redeemed and reconciled by Jesus, my Lord;
No longer Your enemy and under Your wrath,
But now at peace with my Maker, my great God and Savior.
Despair and hopelessness washed away,
I’m a new creature in You,
A new heart and new spirit,
New life and fresh hope,
Guided by Your Holy Spirit
Who dwells within me.
No longer a slave to sin,
Set free to live for You,
Filled with joy and thanksgiving
For who You are and what You’ve done.
You give strength to face each day
And bright hope for tomorrow,
Looking to that blessed day
When I’ll see You face to face,
My glorious God and King
Around Your throne worshipping
With my fellow believers
From every tongue, tribe and nation,
Adoring and praising Jesus our Savior
Forever and forever!

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# 99

Lovely and beautiful,
Graceful and true,
God above all gods
Making all things new.
You are the finest and fairest,
The best of the best,
No one comes close,
No one compares,
You are glorious and radiant,
The rarest of the rares.
Embodying grace and mercy,
Tenderness and love,
Shining Your light down from above,
You are close and ever closer,
You are near and never far,
You are brighter than bright,
The great Morning Star;
Shining forth in glory,
Shining brighter than the sun,
Shining with all brilliance
God’s only begotten, beloved Son.
You are faithful and just,
You are compassionate and kind,
A God we can trust,
Righteous and noble,
Steadfast and strong,
Watching over Your precious ones
All the day long,
Never sleeping nor slumbering,
Ever vigilant and caring,
Never leaving nor forsaking,
Sticking closer than a brother
Or a sister or a mother,
You are the pearl of great price,
The lover of our souls,
You are the Messiah, Jesus the Christ!
The Savior of mankind,
Redeemer and Restorer,
Opening the eyes of the blind,
Reaching out to the downtrodden,
Binding up the broken-hearted,
Holding close the lost and hurting,
Kind words ever spoken,
Jesus, You are great and glorious,
You are awesome and victorious,
You defeat Your enemies
Making them Your footstool,
And one day coming back in glory to rule,
In Your hand an iron rod
Your mission from Your Father God,
To judge all unrighteous ones
And cast all evil, death and wicked ones
Into the lake of fire.
You are able,
You are capable,
You are triumphant and victorious
You are God over all,
All-wise and glorious
Lord of lords and King of kings
Magnificient and majestic,
Our all in all and our everything!
Praise Him, O Praise Him
Jesus our Savior,
Our King and Redeemer
Around Your throne forever.

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The Lord Triumphant

The Lamb of God
Spotless and pure,
Slain for the lost,
The just for the unjust,
Shedding His blood
On a Roman cross.
Washing away
Crimson stains,
And scarlet sins
Now whiter than snow,
Sins remembered no more.
As far as the east is from the west,
Cast down into the depth of the sea,
No guilt, no shame, no condemnation,
Not a license to sin,
But freedom in Christ
To do with is right.
A perfect Savior and Redeemer,
Perfectly reconciling lost sinners
Back to His Father in heaven,
Accomplishing His task.
He cried out, ‘It is finished.”
Commending His spirit to God,
While His body lay dead
In a rich man’s grave.
But death could not hold Him,
Up from the grave He arose,
Triumphing over His enemies
Final teachings for His followers
Ascending to the right hand of the Father
Back into His full glory,
Now High Priest to His own,
Ever interceding for them
Until that day He returns in glory,
Satan, evil, death, hades and sin,
All enemies slain by the breath of His mouth
Cast into the lake of fire
White Throne judgment for sinners
Covered in nothing but their sin,
Perfect judgment, perfect justice,
Every wrong made right
Cast into the lake of fire
Receiving just what they deserve,
Welcoming His beloved children
To the new heaven and earth,
No more tears or sorrow or sin or disease,
Perfect fellowship with God
And one another,
Worshipping around His glorious throne
With angels and believers from every tongue
And tribe and nation and language,
Forever with the Lamb and His Father
In everlasting loveliness and perfection.

# 93

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The Lord Triumphant

The Lamb of God
Spotless and pure,
Slain for the lost,
The just for the unjust,
Shedding His blood
On a Roman cross.
Washing away
Crimson stains,
And scarlet sins
Now whiter than snow,
Sins remembered no more.
As far as the east is from the west,
Cast down into the depth of the sea,
No guilt, no shame, no condemnation,
Not a license to sin,
But freedom in Christ
To do with is right.
A perfect Savior and Redeemer,
Perfectly reconciling lost sinners
Back to His Father in heaven,
Accomplishing His task.
He cried out, ‘It is finished.”
Commending His spirit to God,
While His body lay dead
In a rich man’s grave.
But death could not hold Him,
Up from the grave He arose,
Triumphing over His enemies
Final teachings for His followers
Ascending to the right hand of the Father
Back into His full glory,
Now High Priest to His own,
Ever interceding for them
Until that day He returns in glory,
Satan, evil, death, hades and sin,
All enemies slain by the breath of His mouth
Cast into the lake of fire
White Throne judgment for sinners
Covered in nothing but their sin,
Perfect judgment, perfect justice,
Every wrong made right
Cast into the lake of fire
Receiving just what they deserve,
Welcoming His beloved children
To the new heaven and earth,
No more tears or sorrow or sin or disease,
Perfect fellowship with God
And one another,
Worshipping around His glorious throne
With angels and believers from every tongue
And tribe and nation and language,
Forever with the Lamb and His Father
In everlasting loveliness and perfection.

# 93

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