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Posts Tagged ‘John 1:16’

One day a neighbor of Fanny Crosby complained, “If I had wealth I would be able to do just what I wish to do, and I would be able to make an impression in the world.”

Some might have expected Fanny to reply, “At least you have eyes that can see.”

Fanny had been blind since the age of two months. Few would blame her for reminding the dissatisfied neighbor that his lack did not begin to compare with her own.

But Fanny answered instead, “Well, take the world, but give me Jesus” (1).

(Fanny Crosby)

Why would Fanny respond like that?  She provided part of the answer in the hymn she wrote, inspired by the above encounter.  The title:  Give Me Jesus (1878).

Her reasons mentioned included his everlasting love, watchful care, deep mercy, and redemption for our sins.

Fanny’s 8000+ hymns and choruses celebrate numerous other reasons, as you can imagine.

If I ever wrote a hymn, the lyrics might include such blessings as these:

With Jesus,

Every need is provided,

Every promise fulfilled,

Every delight enhanced (2).

With Jesus,

Every sin is forgiven,

Every shame erased,

Every grace applied (3).

With Jesus,

Every worry is calmed,

Every fear assuaged,

Every prayer answered (4).

With Jesus,

Every decision is guided,

Every step ordered,

Every circumstance controlled (5).

With Jesus,

Every moment is lovingly attended,

Every necessary truth revealed,

Every God-given task empowered (6).

To view these gifts altogether is like gazing into an overflowing treasure chest.  We find the impact of each blessing magnified, the splendor augmented, the wonder increased by the sheer number of gifts.

And wonder ushers us into worship.

We praise you, O holy God!  You are completely separate from all else in the universe.  No one is your equal in power, wisdom, splendor, and love—all manifested in the glorious work you do in us and for us.

Thank you, Giver of all good gifts, for every kindness mentioned above and more.

With Fanny each of us can say:


Of course this post includes only a partial list of the blessings we experience with Jesus. What would you add? Please share in the comment section below!

Notes:

1. https://wordwisehymns.com/2011/12/16/take-the-world-but-give-me-jesus-2/

2. Philippians 4:19; Psalm 145:13b; Psalm 16:11

3. 1 John 1:9; Isaiah 43:25; John 1:16 ESV

4. Philippians 4:6-7; Psalm 23:4; 1 John 5:14-15

5. Psalm 32:8; Psalm 37:23 NLT; Psalm 103:19

6. Psalm 23:4; John 8:32; Philippians 2:13

Art & photo credits: http://www.worldwidehymns.com; http://www.canva.com; http://www.dailyverses.net; http://www.canva.com; http://www.dailyverses.net; http://www.flickr.com; http://www.canva.com (2).

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After more than a week of full-blown cold symptoms—painful sore throat, totally stuffed-up nose, throbbing headache, and complete lack of energy–I finally woke up feeling more like my old self.

Such euphoria!  I could swallow without pain, take in glorious gulps of air through my nose, and function without the tight hat of sinus pressure on my head or the virtual suit of heavy armor on my body.  Throat, nose, head, and limbs were once again operating in unified wholeness!

But what if I still carried deep heartache, suffered from depression, or continually dealt with on-going stress at work? Relief of cold symptoms would be a small matter by comparison.

Unified wholeness must include mind and spirit as well as body.

This was the kind of completeness Jesus was referring to when he told a healed leper, “Arise, go your way: your faith has made you whole (Luke 17:19, King James 2000 Bible).

 

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You no doubt remember him, the one-out-of-ten healed lepers who took an extra step beyond healing, returned to Jesus, and expressed his gratitude.

Such effort demonstrated a spirit of humility and righteousness as he set aside his own agenda and did the right thing. His faith had impacted his body, yes, but also his mind and spirit.

The leper’s wholeness* manifested holiness—not perfection or proud piousness—but completeness and health of the total person as God fully intended.

Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) explained it like this:

“The old word for holy in the German language, heilig, also means healthy. And so Heilbronn means holy-well, or healthy-well. You could not get any better definition of what holy really is than healthy—completely healthy.”

Wholeness is holiness, and God is our example. He is the picture of complete perfection with the sum of his glorious attributes: love, joy, peace, wisdom, and more.

By contrast, we are pictures of imperfection, with our deficient condition and inability to perfect ourselves on our own.

Yet God comes to us, arms outstretched in welcome, and says, “Your faith can make you whole.” We can turn to him like that one leper did, and he will begin the work of making us like him.

 

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Oh, that sounds wonderful! Just as I desperately want to be made whole when a cold wreaks havoc in my body, so I want to be made whole as sin wreaks havoc in my spirit.

But such transformation involves choices.

During a cold, the choices of rest and plenty of fluids will speed the healing process toward wholeness.

My mental and spiritual wholeness this side of heaven will also require at least two choices:

 

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  1. “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always” (1 Chronicles 16:11, NIV).
  1. Distill the positive out of the negative—goodness out of evil, peace out of pain, joy out of sorrow.

 

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And from the fullness of Jesus’ grace we will receive one blessing after another (John 1:16)—beginning with his power and wisdom to make these sound choices toward wholeness.

 

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

 

Oh Father, sound choices are easy to talk about, not so easy to live out. Remind me that from your wholeness, you provide grace upon grace—if only I look to you. Help me turn away from fear, self-pity, and anger, which lead to brokenness, not wholeness. How I praise you for your good will toward me and the good work of restoration you continue to develop within me!

 

*Synonyms from Webster’s New College Dictionary include: health, restoration, healing, and completeness.

 

(Art & photo credits:  www.families.com; http://www.youtube.com; http://www.verseoftheday.com; http://www.ourdailyblossom.com; http://www.verseoftheday.com.)

 

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