Our Hearts Ye Mend


At the break of dawn the period we are in comes to an end
and we beseech thee LORD God, to us your ear lend,
and pray that in this new year, to your will, our lives, we bend
forgive us of our secret willful sins; we ask, our hearts ye mend!

Mend us Lord to love you and to love all men

and gather us again as your brood, our mother hen,
delivering us from the evil one, in your sheep’s pen
as we hear your voice and follow you, keeping not just one command but all ten

To our firstborn, you affirmed not once but twice
that you are indeed Jehovah-Rophe, who paid the price,
restoring us all back to spiritual health, to the devil’s surprise,
and that O LORD is the greatest of all wealth, we solely apprise.

To our secondborn, your word was given
that you are his everlasting light, as darkness was driven
when you came into this world, which for salvation was striven
and found that only by your blood, can all of creation be forgiven

To my beloved, your word came
assuring that “Emmanuel” indeed is your Name.
“To fear not or be dismayed”, in life’s game
for you are her strengthener and helper, our God – the same.

You promised me that you will satisfy my needs and be my guide
and I pray that, you in me and I in you, always abide,
lest in the beggarly worldly things I pride and backslide,
O LORD God, over our lives, you solely and sovereignly preside.

At the break of dawn the period we are in comes to an end
and we beseech thee LORD God, to us your ear lend,
and pray that in this new year, to your will, our lives, we bend
forgive us of our secret willful sins; we ask, our hearts ye mend!

From the Author’s/Poet’s Desk:
As we arrived at the beginning of a new year, thinking about the year gone past and looking forward to the year ahead, this poem is an expressions of our hearts, that in the coming year, my family (Sangeetha, Reuben, Ittai and me), focus solely on the Lord God who can mend our hearts to Love him and love all. During the watchnight service on December 31st, at the Austin Christian Fellowship of India (ACFI), we picked promise cards for each one in the family. The poem is written by compiling the verses from our promise cards, as a personal reminder to us, but we pray that you personalize this for yourself by replaced the pronouns and words like “our” with “me” or “my” and any personal pronoun with your name or “I”.

The promise  cards picked for 2016.
For Reuben (our firstborn): 17 For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after. (Jeremiah 30:17)
For Ittai (our secondborn): 20 Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. (Isaiah 60:20)
For Sangeetha (my beloved): 10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. (Isaiah 41:10)
For Mano: 11 And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. (Isaiah 58:11)

Promise Cards 2016

A line-by-line exegesis of the poem [in square brackets] is given below:

At the break of dawn the period we are in comes to an end
[January 01, 2016]
and we beseech thee LORD God, to us your ear lend,
[Psalm 17:6, Psalm 86:10]
and pray that in this new year, to your will, our lives, we bend

[Luke 22:42]
forgive us of our secret willful sins; we ask, our hearts ye mend!
[Psalm 19:12; Ezekiel 11:19]

Mend us Lord to love you and to love all men
[Matthew 22:37-39]
and gather us again as your brood, our mother hen,
[Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:34]
delivering us from the evil one, in your sheep’s pen

[Matthew 6:13;John 10:11-18]
as we hear your voice and follow you, keeping not just one command but all ten
[John 10:27; John 14:15]

To our firstborn, you affirmed not once but twice
[Promise verse for Reuben – Jeremiah 30:17]
that you are indeed Jehovah-Rophe, who paid the price,
[Jeremiah 30:17; John 19:30]

restoring us all back to spiritual health, to the devil’s surprise,
[Psalm 23:3; Hebrews 2:14-15]

and that O LORD is the greatest of all wealth, we solely apprise.
[Psalm 71:15-16]

To our secondborn, your word was given
[Promise verse for Ittai – Isaiah 60:20]
that you are his everlasting light, as darkness was driven
[Isaiah 60:20; 2 Corinthians 4:6]
when you came into this world, which for salvation was striven
[Isaiah 9:2; Matthew 4:16; Romans 8:22]
and found that only by your blood, can all of creation be forgiven
[Matthew 26:28; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:22]

To my beloved, your word came
[Promise verse for Sangeetha – Isaiah 41:10]
assuring that “Emmanuel” indeed is your Name.
[Isaiah 41:10; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23]
“To fear not or be dismayed”, in life’s game
[Isaiah 41:10; Luke 1:30]

for you are her strengthener and helper, our God – the same.
[Isaiah 41:10; Hebrews 13:8]

You promised me that you will satisfy my needs and be my guide
[Promise verse for Mano – Isaiah 58:11]
and I pray that, you in me and I in you, always abide,
[John 15:2-5 {the Church’s theme verse for 2015}]
lest in the beggarly worldly things I pride and backslide,
[Galatians 4:9; Galatians 6:14]
O LORD God, over our lives, you solely and sovereignly preside.
[Psalm 47:8; Colossians 3:15]

At the break of dawn the period we are in comes to an end
[January 01, 2016]
and we beseech thee LORD God, to us your ear lend,
[Psalm 17:6, Psalm 86:10]
and pray that in this new year, to your will, our lives, we bend

[Luke 22:42]
forgive us of our secret willful sins; we ask, our hearts ye mend!
[Psalm 19:12; Ezekiel 11:19]

Advertisements

Sans Jesus’ Blood, Sans Life


One of American Red Cross’ mission is to get blood donors and they often promote their blood donation drives by banners that read – Give the gift of life; Give blood. So in a sense, life is in the blood. Medically, blood in one’s system is made up of four components – the red blood cells, the white blood cells, the platelets and plasma. The red blood cells are responsible for the transport of Oxygen, an element essential for life. The white blood cells help in fighting against pathogens and harmful threat agents. The platelets help with the prevention of excessive blood loss by aiding in the healing process and the plasma is used to transport nutrients, proteins and hormones to the cells for them to function as they should. So in essence, medically, one can say that life is in the blood. In other words, sans blood, sans life.

Interestingly, and not surprisingly, the Bible actually prescribes to this same notion as Genesis 9:4 forbids man from eating meat with blood still in it, for it states that life is in the blood. The Bible also teaches us that without the shedding of blood, their is no remission – remission of sins (Hebrews 9:22), and, only in the blood of Jesus Christ, through faith in it, is one declared righteous, through the forbearance of God (Romans 3:25).

Points to ponder:
Life is in the blood – the blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ blood carries the life giving Spirit like oxygen into our life (John 6:56), when we believe in him. By his blood are we victorious against the harmful viles of the evil one (Revelation 12:11). It was the shedding of Jesus’ blood that brought us healing (Isaiah 53:5), and it is the blood of Jesus Christ, that gives us the power which is needed to grow in his grace and makes us complete for every good work (Hebrews 13:20-21) – to function as we should. Jesus donated his blood, and the Cross on which he was nailed was stained red by his blood. He donated his blood so that you and I may have life. Have you believed in Jesus, for without the blood of Jesus Christ, there is no life – no eternal life? Sans Jesus’ blood, sans life.

Genesis 9:4 (KJV)
But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.

Hebrews 9:22 (KJV)
22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

Romans 3:23-26 (KJV)
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Nahum 3:1 – Woe to the bloody city!


While the first chapter of Nahum showcases God as a jealous God and the second chapter showcases God as a judging God, the third chapter of Nahum establishes the fact, that God is not only jealous and judging, but that he is a Just God and his justice shall always prevail.

Nahum chapter 3 highlights the justice of God on the enemies of his people (Judah), particularly Nineveh (Assyrians) in this case. The verdict on Nineveh is that it was a bloody city, full of lies and robbery, always victimizing (preying on) other nations and afflicting the people of God (Nahum 3:1; Nahum 3:19). It begins with the words, “Woe to the bloody city!”, the city here referring to Nineveh, the capital city of Assyria. Nineveh was known for its bloodshed. The Assyrians did not spare any nation that they conquered (2 Kings 19:11) and the extent of their vile cruel wickedness stretched to all the nations they invaded (Nahum 3:19). Rightfully so, the Assyrian kings and princesses were referred to as lions (Nahum 2:11-12), for lions do not spare the cubs of the pride that they take over. The Assyrians were guilty of bloodshed and murder, directly contradicting the “Thou shalt not kill” commandment of God (Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17; Matthew 5:21; Romans 13:9).

Points to ponder:
The Bible states that in the blood is life (Genesis 9:4) and woe to anyone who sheds blood. By shedding blood, the Assyrians were snatching the life that was in the people, who are fashioned in God’s image.  According to God’s word, this warranted equitable justice – blood for blood, for it is written “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” (Genesis 9:6). The blood of the Assyrians will soon be spilled by the Medo-Babylonian army of men, that God was raising to conquer Nineveh.

God is a just God, but he is also a loving God. In God’s just nature, he avenges with a “blood for blood” motif, but in his loving nature, he is willing to forgive even the vilest of murderers (like Barabbas (Mark 15:7), king David (2 Samuel 11:14-17), the Apostle Paul when he was Saul (Acts 9:1)). Jesus demonstrated the love of God, by crying out, “Father, forgive them (those who shed his blood by crucifying him to the Cross) for they did not know, how the Justice and Love of God should meet on the Cross, for the remission of sins and redemption of mankind.” Yes, it is  woe to all who shed blood, according to the law, but the law is purged by blood (Hebrews 9:22) for if we repent, God is faithful and just to forgive us of all our sins (1 John 1:9).

Nahum 3:1-7 (KJV)
Woe to the bloody city! it is all full of lies and robbery; the prey departeth not;

Hebrews 9:22 (KJV)
22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. 

The first sacrifice – God sheds blood


Genesis 3:21 states that the Lord God made coats of skins and clothed Adam and his wife. After Adam and his wife, Eve, sinned, they became aware of their nakedness. They attempted to cover their nakedness with aprons of figs, but still found themselves to be naked before God (Genesis 3:7). While their physical shame may have been covered by the aprons of fig, their spiritual nakedness that resulted from their sin could not be covered by their own efforts. God had to personally make them clothing – coats of skins. This means that God had to shed blood to cover their sin. The Lord God had to make the first sacrifice. Since animals were not given unto man for food until after the flood (Genesis 9:3,4), this shedding of the blood was for sacrifice, and not sustenance.

Furthermore, this act of God demonstrates his loving and thus giving nature. The Bible states in Leviticus 7:8 that the skin of the animal that is given as a burnt offering belongs to the priest. And so the Son God, the Highest of all high priests (Hebrews 4:14; Hebrews 5:10), gave what belonged to him – his own life (John 10:17-18) and his righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21) – to purge the sin of man and cover man’s shame. God so loved the world (and at this time, it was just Adam and Eve as humans who were in the world) that he gave himself.

Points to ponder:
Jesus Christ is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son (Jesus Christ) so that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin (Hebrews 9:22). Our righteousness (aprons of figs) are like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6), insufficient to cover our spiritual nakedness that results from sin. We need to put on the righteousness of God which is imputed unto all who believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ (Romans 4:24). We need to be clothed with the clothing (white robes of righteousness) that God has given to us in his Son – the first sacrifice from the foundation of the world. Are you clothed with the righteousness of God in Jesus? If not, believe in him and be imputed his righteousness.

Genesis 3:21 (KJV)
21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

Hebrews 9:22 (KJV)
22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

Leviticus 7:8 (KJV)
8 And the priest that offereth any man’s burnt offering, even the priest shall have to himself the skin of the burnt offering which he hath offered.

John 3:16-17 (KJV)
16 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.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.