HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY
By: Cathy Irvin, cbn.com
I heard a song titled Ten Thousand Angels Cried, sung by LeAnn Rimes. I could picture heaven the day our Savior was crucified. Those angels were looking at the torture He endured for the salvation of mankind. They must have pondered this senseless way to die. They saw people mocking Him and spitting on Him, lashing at Him with a whip repeatedly, until He was disfigured beyond recognition.
Why would He choose to leave heaven’s splendor to die in our place when we were the sinful ones? We cannot understand this. The fact remains that He chose to lay aside his crown and royalty to take on the form of humanity for you and me.
On Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, people will attend services in churches around the world. There will be the celebration of Resurrection Sunday, better known as Easter.
We rejoice that Jesus was raised from the tomb and lives, forever making intercession for us. He did this so that one day those who have accepted his death, burial, and resurrection will live in Heaven with Him. For those who have invited the Lord into their hearts, these special services will remind us of His supreme sacrifice. We will rejoice that Jesus loves us so much He went to the cross, as painful and humiliating as it was for Him. When we think about how the sky became pitch black and the curtain in the sanctuary immediately tore in two that day (Mark 15:33-37, Luke 23:44-46), the song about the ten thousand angels crying will seem very real. I imagine there may have been a huge display of lightning, thunder, and a downpour of rain. It will be as if those angels were weeping so profusely that their tears resonated heaven’s intense response.
Sometimes I still weep and I am so thankful He did not come down from the cross, because I know He purchased eternal life for me. It helps me know that my tears are a language God understands. The angels must have wondered if there could have been another way. It is in those moments it makes me appreciate that although He was God, He removed His divinity to put on the flesh of man.
Now, whenever thunder roars, the wind blows, and the lightning flashes across the sky, I look out my window. As the raindrops become stronger and louder on the rooftop, I think about the day my Savior was crucified and how the angels cried!
Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. Revelation 5:11 (NIV)
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18 (NIV)
For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Philippians 3:18 (NIV)
A Prayer of Blessing for St. Patrick’s Day – Your Daily Prayer – March 17
By Debbie McDaniel
“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” Ps. 84:11
In 433 A.D., history tells us that St. Patrick was praying for God’s divine protection in his work and ministry in Ireland while facing powerful enemies. He wrote this prayer called St. Patrick’s Breastplate, which is still widely known and recited today.
God soon opened the door for him to share Christ with the Irish King Laoghaire and his subjects, and allowed him to be a part of bringing them out paganism’s dark hold to the saving power of Jesus Christ. St. Patrick was a man who knew much about darkness, hardship, and enemy territory. He had spent years in slavery after being kidnapped by pirates at age 16. And it was in those years that he later tells how he learned about the Mighty power of God’s Presence and prayer.
The life of St. Patrick is such an example to us still today, that even in the darkest of times, God’s Sovereignty shines over His people. He can’t help but to come to our aid. He can’t help but to bless us and let His favor surround our lives. Because He’s a good and loving God. And nothing escapes His notice. He watches over all, and we can trust that our lives and circumstances are held securely in His hands.
“As I arise today,
may the strength of God pilot me,
the power of God uphold me,
the wisdom of God guide me.
May the eye of God look before me,
the ear of God hear me,
the word of God speak for me.
May the hand of God protect me,
the way of God lie before me,
the shield of God defend me,
the host of God save me.
May Christ shield me today.
Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit,
Christ when I stand,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
“God will wipe every tear from their eyes.” – Revelation 7:17 NASB
The shedding of tears is a natural response to deep issues of life – moments of overflowing sadness, grief, pain, or even joy and happiness. The Bible describes many moments when tears have flowed. David once admitted, “I drench my couch with my tears” (Psalm 6:6). On another occasion, he asked God to “put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?” (Psalm 56:8)
In his revelation, John saw tears in Heaven. But something was different: They all had been wiped away! He saw “a great multitude which no one could count … standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (v. 9). They were united in praise and worship.
These people had “come out of the great tribulation” (v. 14). They had endured persecution and been faithful. They had been purified. In Heaven, there was no more hunger or thirst. They served God continually and were in perfect fellowship with the Lamb.
But God knew all they had experienced. Yes, they had shed tears, but all of the tears were gone! This is a message that, if we endure and are faithful, He will make everything right.
This is God’s promise to you! He is with you right now, and He knows what you are going through. He promises to take away every tear. For now, focus on Him. Stay faithful through every situation. Let Him take away your burdens and worries. And worship Him!
Streams in the Desert – March 17
Times have changed, but life’s hard times haven’t
Be thou there till I bring thee word (Matt. 2:13).
I’ll stay where You’ve put me;
I will, dear Lord, Though I wanted so badly to go;
I was eager to march with the ‘rank and file,’
Yes, I wanted to lead them, You know.
I planned to keep step to the music loud,
To cheer when the banner unfurled,
To stand in the midst of the fight straight and proud,
But I’ll stay where You’ve put me.
I’ll stay where You’ve put me; I’ll work, dear Lord,
Though the field be narrow and small,
And the ground be fallow, and the stones lie thick,
And there seems to be no life at all.
The field is Thine own, only give me the seed,
I’ll sow it with never a fear;
I’ll till the dry soil while I wait for the rain,
And rejoice when the green blades appear;
I’ll work where You’ve put me.
I’ll stay where You’ve put me; I will, dear Lord;
I’ll bear the day’s burden and heat,
Always trusting Thee fully; when even has come
I’ll lay heavy sheaves at Thy feet.
And then, when my earth work is ended and done,
In the light of eternity’s glow,
Life’s record all closed, I surely shall find
It was better to stay than to go;
I’ll stay where You’ve put me.
Oh restless heart, that beat against your prison bars of circumstances, yearning for a wider sphere of usefulness, leave God to order all your days. Patience and trust, in the dullness of the routine of life, will be the best preparation for a courageous bearing of the tug and strain of the larger opportunity which God may some time send you.