The Fifth Sunday In Lent

Psalm 51:1-12

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my trangressions.

Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.

Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.

Restore unto me the joy of my salvation; and uphold my with thy free spirit.

This week we are reminded of God’s mercy and His grace.

David sinned and tried to cover it up.

But God saw his sin and sent Nathan the prophet to call him to account.

He reaped the consequences of his sin.

This psalm is David’s plea for pardon and the restoration of the relationship with the Lord.

We are human. We mess up.

But we have a God who is always ready to forgive when we earnestly repent and confess our sins.

Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole,

I want Thee forever to live in my soul;

Break down every idol, cast out every foe;

Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Whiter than snow; yes, whiter than snow;

Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

Lord Jesus, let nothing unholy remain,

Apply Thine own blood and extract every stain;

To get this blest cleansing I all things forego;

Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

Whiter than snow; yes, whiter than snow;

Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

Lord Jesus, look down from Thy throne in the skies,

And help me to make a complete sacrifice;

I give up myself and whatever I know;

Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

Whiter than snow; yes, whiter than snow;

Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

Lord Jesus, for this I most humbly entreat;

I wait, blessed Lord, at Thy crucified feet;

By faith, for my cleansing I see Thy blood flow;

Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

Whiter than snow; yes, whiter than snow;

Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

Lord Jesus, Thou seest I patiently wait;

Come now, and within me a new heart create;

To those who have sought Thee Thou never saidst, No;

Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

Whiter than snow; yes, whiter than snow;

Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

Words by James L. Nicholson

Fourth Sunday In Lent

Photo by John-Mark Smith on

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. but he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

John 3:16-21

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not know the truth: but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

I John 1:5-10

We live in perilous times. Everything has changed. There is a world-wide pandemic. Our political system is under attack. Our economy is in turmoil. We are cut off from all normal activity. The only certainty is that God is still God. He is still in control.

This season of Lent has been a season of reflection.

The first Sunday we are faced with the question – am I serving God or the world?

The second Sunday – do others see Jesus in me?

The third Sunday we are reminded This Is My Father’s World. God’s world – God’s way.

This fourth Sunday reminds us that we are all sinners in need of a Savior.

We are called to walk in the light and it takes dedication to follow Jesus.

Oswald Chambers challenges us to be vigilant in our walk of faith.

This is an every moment of every day decision.

The Master Assizes

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ. II Corinthians 5:10

Paul says that we must all, preacher and people alike, “appear before the judgment seat of Christ.” If you learn to live in the white light of Christ here and now, judgment finally will cause you to delight in the work of God in you. Keep yourself steadily faced by the judgment seat of Christ; walk now in the light of the holiest you know. A wrong temper of mind about another soul will end in the spirit of the devil, no matter how saintly you are. One carnal judgment, and the end of it is hell in you. Drag it to the light at once and say – “My God, I have been guilty there.” If you don’t, hardness will come all through. The penalty of sin is confirmation in sin. It is not only God who punishes for sin; sin confirms itself in the sinner and gives back full pay. No struggling nor prying will enable you to stop doing some things, and the penalty of sin is that gradually you get used to it and do not know that it is sin. No power save the incoming of the Holy Ghost can altar the inherent consequences of sin.

“But if we walk in the light as He is in the light.” Walking in the light means for many of us walking according to our standard for another person. The deadliest Pharisaism to-day is not hypocrisy, but unconscious unreality.

Oswald Chambers


Father God, You have promised to show me the way. I can only walk by faith and not by sight. I want to walk in the light. You alone can guide me in this. Even Your church cannot seem to agree on what is sin. Show me, Father God, by Your Holy Spirit, how to walk in the light. Reveal to me my sin. Don’t allow me to make excuses. Don’t allow me to be ignorant of sin. Teach me. Guide me. Lead me. Keep me. My relationship with You is all important – all else depends upon it.

Third Sunday In Lent


The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.

Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.

There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.

Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.

In the heavens He has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat.

The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul.

The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.

The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart.

The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.

The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever.

The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous.

They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. By them is Your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

Who can discern His errors? Forgive my hidden faults.

Keep Your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me.

Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight,

O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

This is my Father's world, and to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Father's world: I rest me in the thought 
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas His hands the wonders wrought.

This is my Father's world, the birds their carols raise
The morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker's praise.
This is my Father's world: He shines in all that's fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass, He speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father's world. O let me ne'er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father's world: why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring! God reigns; let the earth be glad!

Maltbie D. Babcock (1901)

Second Sunday In Lent

He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.

But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get thee behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”

Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?  If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

Mark 8:31-38

The shadow of the cross was there always.

Jesus knew what lay ahead of him but when he tried to prepare his disciples they didn’t want to hear it. This was a hard teaching. One that did not fit the narrative of a conquering Messiah. And so they resisted. Peter even went so far as to “rebuke” Jesus for saying such things. The definition of the word rebuke is “to criticize sharply; to reprimand. How could Peter dared to address Jesus in that way? Just prior to this confrontation Jesus had asked the disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” Yet when hearing a difficult truth Peter balked. He could not accept that Jesus must suffer a horrible death.

Jesus doesn’t allow Peter to speak in that manner. He reprimands the disciple harshly. Peter is not thinking of God and His purpose but instead is thinking only of himself and his wants and needs.

Jesus reminds him and the others that there is a cost to discipleship. Not only will Jesus carry a cross but each one who decides to follow Jesus must be willing to take up their cross, to surrender self, and serve him whatever the cost.

What does this mean to you?

 If we are devoted to the cause of humanity, 
 shall soon be crushed and broken-hearted,
  for we shall often meet with more ingratitude from men than we would from a dog; 
 but if our motive is love to God, 
 no ingratitude can hinder us from serving our fellow men. 

So long as there is a human being who does not know Jesus Christ, I am his debtor to serve him until he does.

Oswald Chambers

My Utmost For His Highest

What does this mean to you?

The world we live in is fractured by sin. People have wandered far from God. There is anger and resentment on all sides. We have an opportunity to share God’s love with them. Not to preach to them but to love them. We may not agree on anything but we can respond with dignity and respect even when disagreeing. Shouting angry words doesn’t change anyone’s perspective.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live,

but Christ lives in me.

The life I live in the body,

I live by faith in the Son of God,

who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Galatians 2:20

Let us live out our faith.

Let others see Jesus in you.


Father God, we have an amazing opportunity in these times of trouble and turmoil.

When so many are filled with anger and resentment,

where hurtful words are spoken, written, or spewed across the internet.

Help us to respond with love and compassion.

Let us answer angry words with truth spoken in love.

Let us reach out to hurting people with compassion.

Let us stand firm on Your Word and offer them Christ.