Fairest Lord Jesus
(Anonymous German Hymn, Munster Gesangbuch, 1677)
Fairest Lord Jesus, Ruler of all nature, O Thou of
God and man the Son: Thee will I cherish, Thee will I
honor, Thou my soul’s glory, joy, and crown.
Fair are the meadows, Fairer still the woodlands, Robed in the
Blooming garb of spring: Jesus is fairer, Jesus is
purer, Who makes the woeful heart to sing.
Fair is the sunshine, Fairer still the moonlight, And all the
twinkling starry host: Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines
Purer Than all the angels in heaven can boast.
Beautiful Savior! Lord of the nations! Son of
God and Son of Man! Glory and honor, Praise,
adoration, Now and forevermore be Thine! Amen.
During the forty days of Lent, I have been getting some Spring Cleaning done. My Spring Cleaning involves the cleaning up of my heart and soul and making more room for Jesus the Savior of my soul and Ruler of my heart. A good place to start is to THINK about Who God is and who I am: “’For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isaiah 55:8-9). Meditating on the greatness of God makes me realize my sinfulness and my need for Jesus to be my Savior. I am utterly helpless in my sins without His forgiveness and grace. As someone who dearly loves Jesus I practice the discipline of FASTING to have more time with Jesus in PRAYER and the READING of His Word and DOING His will. Instead of eating or watching TV or any other worldly activity, I use that time to seek His Face and repent [turn away] from the things that are holding me back from all He wants for me. During my time with God, He may call me to visit someone in need, write an encouraging note to someone who needs a lift, or anything that will use my Spiritual Gifts to demonstrate God‘s unfailing love to my Christian family and my neighbors. Most of my Lenten Spring Cleaning begins in my PRAYER Closet, where I “CAST all [my] anxiety on [Jesus] because He cares for [me]” (I Peter 5:7).
When I pray, God does not want to hear me pontificate in perfunctory platitudes (see Matthew 6:5-13). He just wants me to be honest and tell the truth.
C= Confession (continued from Part VII): “God, have mercy on me, a sinner” (The tax collector’s Prayer of Confession in Luke 18:13b). “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us of our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9). “”For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear [are in awe of] Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear [honor] Him; for He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust [without Him]” (Psalm 103:11-14). Sometimes, I use the “Prayer Book” of the Bible, the Psalms, to help me get started in my Prayer of Confession. These are some of the Psalms of Confession: 6. 19, 32, 38, 51, 143.
A= Adoration (continued from Part VII): In my Prayers of Adoration, I acknowledge God’s worthiness to be worshiped and adored by meditating on His character- holiness, goodness, love, mercy, power, grace, etc. Also, I praise God for His attributes (see Part IIV). God’s Word and music play a big part in the worship of God: “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God” (Colossians 3:16). I listen to Handel’s “Messiah” and other Christian worship music in my Prayers of Adoration. I also have a church hymnal to find hymns of adoration to READ and PRAY over. In my church hymnal, there are hymns of Adoration and Praise to God the Father for His Majesty and Power, for His Guidance and Care, for His Works in Creation, For His Love and Mercy. Hymns of Adoration and Praise to Jesus our Savior for His Advent, for His Birth, for His Epiphany, for His Life and Ministry, for His Triumphal Entry, for His Suffering and Death, for His Redemptive Works, for His Cross, for His Cleansing Blood, for His Grace and Love and Mercy, for His Resurrection, for His Ascension and Reign, for His Second Coming. In total, there are 246 hymns regarding the topics mentioned. This is not counting the Hymns concerning the Holy Spirit, the Holy Trinity and other aspects about God that are worthy of our adoration and praise. If I don’t know where to begin you Prayer of Adoration, the church hymnal is a help, along with Christian Worship CDs and the Book of Psalms. Some of the Psalms of Adoration are 8, 19, 33, 103, 109, 118, 95-100, 145-150.
S= Supplication (Praying for the needs of others and yourself): The Apostle Paul writes to his young friend Timothy, “The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live” (I Timothy 2:1-3 [The Message]). Paul also writes to the church in Philippi, with Timothy’s help, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: REJOICE! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by PRAYER and PETITION [SUPPLICATION], with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:4-7). Again, in I Thessalonians 5:16-18, Paul writes to that church, “Be JOYFUL always; PRAY continually; give THANKS in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” The writer of Hebrews encourages us, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with CONFIDENCE, so that we may receive MERCY and find GRACE to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). God wants us to pray to Him about our needs. We see that in the Lord’s Prayer. He also wants us to be able to take our eyes off ourselves and be aware of and pray for the needs of others. God wants Christians to pray for the President and other government officials, with a gentle heart and a spirit of compassion, regardless of our political affiliations. Sadly, this is not being done by many Christians who place politics over prayer.
As in the Book of Job, the Book of Psalms, written by King David and other writers, is filled with complaining and arguing with God. Out of one hundred-fifty Psalms, sixty-seven of them are Psalms of Lament. In these Psalms, the writer laments [complains] about his condition and his circumstances and cries out to God, “How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your Face from me?” (13:1) and “Why have You rejected us forever, O God? Why does Your anger smolder against the sheep of Your pasture?” (74:1) and “Remember how fleeting is my life. For what futility You have created all men! What man can live and not see death, or save himself from the grave? O LORD, where is Your former great love, which in Your faithfulness You swore to David?” (89:46-49). All I can say, oddly enough, is in the Book of Lamentations 3:22-26: “Because of the LORD’s great LOVE we are not consumed, for His COMPASSIONS never fail. They are new every morning; GREAT is Your FAITHFULNESS. I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.’ The LORD is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.”
I do not know any other religion where God gets so much grief from his people without blasting them to smithereens as the God of the Bible. Instead, God welcomes our complaining and arguing and uses it for our spiritual healing. Our God is a “Stooping God”: “Who is like the LORD our God, the One Who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth? He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap.” God lets us get out our anger and bitterness and hurt, and after we “let God have it with both barrels”, we end up singing His praises and adoring Him for the Great God that He is and our hearts are filled with THANKSGIVING for all that He has done for us. Out of the sixty-seven Psalms of Lament, only Psalm 88 does not end in THANKSGIVING and PRAISE. How AWESOME is our God?!
T= Thanksgiving: Once we start our PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING for Who God is and for all the things He has done for us and continues to do, our PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING can go on and on and on. Psalms of Thanksgiving: 30, 32, 34, 40, 75, 107, 116, 118. I’m most thankful for FAIREST LORD JESUS!
“Never Stop Improving!” Jesus will help.