JESUS! In Word and Song



As He grew in wisdom, realizing more and more firmly His mission from His FATHER, He came to the point where His FATHER’s desire was to make His mission official. And so He came to John the Baptist to be baptized.

“Jesus’ baptism inaugurates his ministry and fulfills God’s saving activity prophesied throughout the OT.”1 “[J]esus as God’s Son is confirmed: at his baptism by a voice from heaven and his anointing by the Spirit.”2

“When he went to be baptized, says John, ‘I have need to be baptized of you, and come you to me?’ (Matt 3:14-15); as if he had said, ‘You have no need at all of it.’ But says Christ, ‘Suffer it to be so, now; for thus it becomes us to fulfill all righteousness.’”3

Christ was here identifying Himself with sinners. He will ultimately bear their sins; His perfect righteousness will be imputed to them. This act of baptism was a necessary part of the righteousness He secured for sinners. This first public event of His ministry is also rich in meaning: (1) it pictured His death and resurrection; (2) it therefore prefigured the significance of Christian baptism; (3) it marked His first public identification with those whose sins He would bear; and (4) it was a public affirmation of His messiahship by testimony directly from heaven.4

The festivals and seasons of the Christian year (or liturgical calendar) offer a way to order the annual life of the church according to the life of Christ and the events of salvation history. At this festival of the Christian year, we not only remember Jesus’ baptism, but we celebrate our own: the baptism we share with Christ.5

“Jesus identifies with the sinful people he came to save through his substitutionary life and death.”6

“[A]ll who have been baptized into Christ were baptized into his death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Rom 6:3-4 ESV).

[B]aptism is understood as an acting out of faith. Baptism dramatically portrays what happened spiritually when you received Christ: Your old self of unbelief and rebellion and idolatry died, and a new you of faith and submission and treasuring Christ came into being.7

“On this day, we celebrate not only Jesus’ baptism but ours as well, for our baptism is rooted in Christ. Baptism joins us to Christ and his church, and with all of the baptized we are called to share in Jesus’ ministry.”8

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(8) JESUS CHRIST Submitted to Baptism

            1. ESV Study Bible, English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2001, ESV Text Edition: 2011) 1825.

            2. ESV Study Bible 1953.

            3. John Owen, Communion with the Triune God (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2007) 296.

            4. John MacArthur, One Perfect Life (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2012) 72.

            5. “Baptism of the Lord”, Presbyterian Mission Agency, 3 July 2021

            6. ESV Study Bible, English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2001, ESV Text Edition: 2011) 1825.

            7. John Piper, “What is Baptism and How Important is it?” 20 July 2008 desiringGod, 2 February 2021

            8. “Baptism of the Lord”, Presbyterian Mission Agency, 3 July 2021

            9. Wakefield, quoted in “Commentary on Matthew 3:15,” 1832, The Adam Clarke Commentary, 2 February 2021

10. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor 5:21 ESV).

            11. “You shall . . . praise the name of the LORD your God, who has dealt wondrously with you” (Joel 2:26 ESV).

            12. “. . . those whom he predestined he also called . . .” (Romans 8:30 ESV).

            13. “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh . . .” (Joel 2:28 ESV).

            14. “John answered . . . He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Luke 3:16 ESV).

            15. “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?” (Romans 6:3 ESV).

            16. “We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin” (Romans 6:6 ESV).

            17. “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4 ESV).

JESUS! In Word and Song



“The glory of the LORD is his manifested presence with his people.”1

The term Epiphany is taken from the Greek word for ‘manifestation; and is a date to celebrate the incarnation of Christ. In some traditions the season of Epiphanytide ends on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday, the start of the Lenten season. In most Protestant churches, though, Epiphany is usually just celebrated on the Sunday closest to January 6.2

“Epiphany is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God incarnate as Jesus Christ.”3

The Cambridge English Dictionary calls Epiphany “a Christian holy day that celebrates the revelation of the baby Jesus to the world.”4

God’s ultimate purpose in redemptive history is to create a people to dwell in his presence, glorifying him through numerous varied activities, and enjoying him forever. The story begins with God in eternal glory and it ends with God and his people in eternal glory. At the center stands the cross, where God revealed his glory through his Son.5

“For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,” (1 Tim 2:5 ESV).

It was requisite that the Mediator should be God, that He might sustain and keep the human nature from sinking under the infinite wrath of God and the power of death; give worth and efficacy to His sufferings, obedience, and intercession; and to satisfy God’s justice, procure His favour, purchase a peculiar people, give His Spirit to them, conquer all their enemies, and bring them to everlasting salvation’ (Westminster Catechism, 1643).6

“God with us. Applied to Christ in the highest and most glorious sense: God incarnate among us, He is still Immanuel, God with us; once He came among men and identified himself with them; now He saves men and identifies them with Himself.”7

“That almighty Friend we now have in heaven, in whose hands all our high interests are placed, though once ‘Man of sorrows’, was, and is, no less, at the same time, one with the Father.”8

“Christ is God over all, blessed forever. Amen” (Rom 9:5 ESV).

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(7) Linking Clay with the Divine

            1. Joe Carter, “9 Things You Should Know About the Christian Calendar,” 1 December 2019, The Gospel Coalition, 3 July 2021

            2. ESV Study Bible, English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2001, ESV Text Edition: 2011) 1503.

            3. “Epiphany,” Wikipedia Wikipedia, 26 January 2021

            4. “Epiphany,” The Cambridge English Dictionary The Cambridge English Dictionary, 26 January 2021

            5. ESV Study Bible, English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2001, ESV Text Edition: 2011) 2495.

            6. Arthur W. Pink, “The Mediation of Christ,” Studies in the Scriptures, (Pensacola, FL: Chapel Library) XI (January 1932) : 2.

            7. Philip Schaff, “Commentary on Matthew 1:23,” 1879-90, Schaff’s Popular Commentary on the New Testament, 18 January 2021

            8. R. Hawker, 1825 quoted in Arthur W. Pink, “The Mediation of Christ,” Studies in the Scriptures, (Pensacola, FL: Chapel Library) XI (January 1932) : 3.

JESUS! In Word and Song



Christ possesses the fullness of the divine nature and attributes (Col 1:19). In Greek philosophical thought, matter was evil; spirit was good. Thus, it was unthinkable that God would ever take on a human body. [The Apostle] Paul refutes that false teaching by stressing the reality of Christ’s incarnation. Jesus was not only fully God, but fully human as well.1

“Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself being born in the likeness of men” (Phil 2:5-7 ESV).

“Our Lord emptied Himself, but the Father gave to His self-emptied Son the fullness of His Spirit. He did not cease to be God, but He became in all things human and was subject to such conditions as were possible to human nature possessed of His Spirit.”2

Fully GOD: “Jesus did not give up any of his divine attributes at the incarnation. He remained in full possession of all of them. For if he were to ever give up any of his divine attributes, he would cease being God.”3

Fully man: “He was not only a man in appearance and likeness, but in reality, having the same common nature, distinguished by the same specific differences, but united to his own eternally divine nature.”4 “Jesus did not cease to be fully human after the resurrection. He will be a man forever as he represents redeemed humanity for all of eternity.”5

[A]ll proceeds from the Father, through the Son, and is by the Holy Spirit. It was the Spirit who formed Christ’s human nature, and directed the whole tenor of His earthly life. Nothing was undertaken but by the Spirit’s directing. The right use of the faculties of His soul owed their exercise to the Holy Spirit who fully controlled Him.6

Just as JESUS, the Son of Man navigated life on earth, so must I. “Jesus’ humanity means he is a true example and pattern for human character and conduct. ‘For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps’ (1 Per 2:21; cf. 1 John 2:6).”7

The two mysteries which exist in the manhood of Christ exist also in the ransomed soul; the presence of the Spirit, and the union with the Son of God. Each soul in grace is a partaker of the Divine Nature. The pure nature of Christ is the instrument of the Spirit in the soul. [T]ransformation of our nature is being accomplished, and His character gradually impressed.8

“The full flood of my life is in the perfect understanding of God and in the communion with Him that Jesus Himself had.”9

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(6) Fully GOD Fully Man

            1. John MacArthur, One Perfect Life (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2012) 18.

            2. Samuel Chadwick, The Way to Pentecost (Fort Washington, PA: CLC Publications, 2000, 2014) 79.

            3. Matt Perman, “How Can Jesus be Both God and Man?” 5 October 2006, desiringGod, 28 January 2021

            4. Thomas Coke, “Philippians 2:7,” 1801-1803, Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. 18 January 2021

            5. The ESV Study Bible, English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2001, ESV Text Edition, 2011) 2517.

            6. A. W. Pink, The Holy Spirit (Pensacola, FL: Mt. Zion Publications),, 32.

            7. The ESV Study Bible, English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2001, ESV Text Edition, 2011) 2518.

            8. W. H. Hutchings, “Commentary on Ephesians 1:17,” 1905-1909, The Biblical Illustrator, 28 January 2021

            9. Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (New York, NY: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1935, Fifty-fifth printing) August 31st.

            10. “For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering” (Hebrews 2:10 ESV).

11. Isaac Watts, The Psalms and Hymns of Isaac Watts (Morgan, PA: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1997) 302. Oliver Holden, Hymn tune: Coronation, 1792.

            12. “Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect . . .” (Hebrews 2:17 ESV).

            13. “For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers,” (Hebrews 2:11 ESV).

            14. “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things . . .” Hebrews 2:14 ESV).

15. Isaac Watts, The Psalms and Hymns of Isaac Watts, Book 1, Hymn XVI, (Morgan, PA: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1997) 302. Oliver Holden, Hymn tune: Coronation, 1792.

JESUS! In Word and Song



“Christmas is the annual Christian festival celebrating Christ’s birth, held on December 25 in the Western Church. The traditional date goes back as far as A.D. 273.”1

When we celebrate Christmas, we are celebrating the moment in history when prophecy was fulfilled. God came to be with us. It was the beginning of God’s redemptive plan for humanity. An act He didn’t have to take part in but He chose to out of love.2

The central truth of the Christmas story is this: the Child of Christmas is God; Christmas is not about the Savior’s infancy; it is about His deity. The humble birth of Jesus Christ was never intended to conceal the reality that God was being born into the world. Without forsaking His divine nature or diminishing His deity, He was born into our world as a tiny infant. He was fully human, with all the needs and emotions that are common to us all. Yet He was also fully God—all wise and all powerful.3

It was only in the Babe of Bethlehem that the whole of God’s character shone forth, that men might not merely find Him and bow before Him, but trust in Him and love Him, as one who could be touched with the feeling of their infirmities. A God in need! A God weak! A God fed by mortal woman! A God wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger! God has been through the pains of infancy from the nature of the babe on its mother’s bosom, to the nature of the full-grown and full-souled man, fighting with all his powers against the evil of the world. All this is His, and He is all; that no human being, from the strongest to the weakest, from the oldest to the youngest, but may be able to say, “What I am, Christ has been!4

Christmas is not about pretending that everything is great and we don’t struggle or suffer. Christmas is about acknowledging that sometimes things are not great and we do struggle and suffer, even at Christmas—and that God knows this, God hears us, and God has got involved for us. You live in a world that has been visited by its Maker. God showed up. God didn’t send Moses. God came himself. That’s how committed he is to your good.5

[W]e are all poor and desperate, so we all need the promise bound up in that baby. We are in need of a way out of our poverty of soul and the desperate state of our human condition. We find it in this child lying in a manger, who was and is Jesus Christ, the long-promised Messiah, Seed, Redeemer, and King.6

“For all the promises of God find their Yes in him” (2 Cor 1:20 ESV).

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(5) Shepherds Rejoice

            1. Rachel Dawson, “What is Christmas: Understanding the History and Origin,” 03 November 2020, Crosswalk, 06 April 2021

            2. Brittany Rust, “What is the Meaning of Christmas?” 01 December 2020, Crosswalk, 06 April 2021

            3. “What is the Real Meaning of Christmas?” Grace To You, 06 April 2021

            4. C. Kingsley, “Commentary on Luke 2:7,” 1905-1909, StudyLight, 06 April 2021

            5. Matt Chandler, An Even Better Christmas (thegoodbook company, The Village Church, 2018) 25.

            6. Stephen Nichols, “The Real Meaning of Christmas,” 04 December 2020, Ligonier, 06 April 2021

            7. Isaac Watts, The Psalms and Hymns of Isaac Watts (Morgan, PA: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1997) 292.

            8. Watts, 497.

            9. John W. Work, adapter, “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” Hymnary, 06 April 2021

            10. Nahum Tate, “While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks,” 1700, Hymnary, 06 April 2021

            11. Isaac Watts, The Psalms and Hymns of Isaac Watts (Morgan, PA: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1997) 497.

            12. “The Spirit of the LORD GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound” (Isaiah 61:1 ESV);

            13. John Gill, “Commentary on Isaiah 9:6,” The New John gill Exposition of the Entire Bible, 06 April 2021

JESUS! In Word and Song



Love is the greatest of all the virtues on the Advent wreath and encompasses Jesus’ entire purpose for being on earth. Christ connects all the Advent candles. Through him, we can have hope, peace, joy, and love.1

“It was a holy night. God’s glory came to earth and wrote a love letter to the world in the form of a newborn baby.”2 “God made His love visible.”3

And certainly the greatest truth about Christmas is that God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son. Christmas is really the effect of which God’s love is the cause. God’s love for mankind then is evident in the offer of the gospel to all people. And the path to the gospel has been given to everybody.4

This was the most loving act ever performed in history, for there has never been and can never be a gift greater than the life of the Son of God given for the “sins of the whole world.” Without God’s Spirit indwelling them, people cannot look to the love they have for others or even the “love” they have for God as an example to be emulated for we are born self-centered and remain so unless the Holy Spirit changes our hearts.5

“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son” (1 John 4:10 ESV).

Christian love comes from God Himself. This love is not natural to fallen humanity. It originates in God and is a divine gift to His people. When we are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit, we are given a capacity for this supernatural love that has God as its source and foundation. [N]ot every human being who loves another is born of God. The kind of love of which he speaks comes only from regeneration. Without the Holy Spirit’s transformation of the human heart, no one has this capacity for love. No unregenerate person has this kind of love, and no regenerate person lacks such love. Therefore, a person who does not have the ability to love in the way John describes has not been born again. “Anyone who does not love [in this manner] does not know God.”6

The Father sent his Son to make his worst enemies into beloved children, and yet he’s crowded out by other, more earthly details — the kind of details that can be finely painted on ornaments. [W]e have an almighty Father of infinite wisdom and relentless love, a Father who authored that first Christmas and every one since. Nothing compares to the Creator of the universe sending the radiance of his own glory, the exact imprint of his nature, into his creation. Let Christmas remind you that the Son was sent, in love, from heaven, and that you are sent, in love, on earth.7

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(4) GOD Came to Us

            1. Hope Bolinger, “What is the Candle of Love and the Christ Candle for Advent. Week 4,” 21 October 2020, Christianity, 26 March 2021

            2. Matt Tullos, “Advent Devotional (Week 5): Christ,” 25 November 2015, Lifeway, 26 March 2021

            3. Mary Brack, “Advent Week 4: Love,” 18 December 2016, Grace Church, 26 March 2021

            4. John MacArthur, “The Love of God, Part 1” 4 Dec 1994, Grace to You, 22 October 2021

            5. “The True Love of God” 2 June 2010, Grace to You, 22 October 2021

            6. R.C. Sproul, “The Holy Love of God” 25 June 2014, Ligonier, 22 October 2021

            7. Marshall Segal, “The Forgotten Giver of Christmas” 5 December 2020, Desiring God, 22 October 2021

            8. Quina Aragon, “Advent Week 4: A Savior is Born,” 16 December 2020, Christianity Today, 31 March 2021

            9. Frederick M. Lehman, “The Love of God,” 1917, Hymnary, 31 March 2021

JESUS! In Word and Song



“Advent is a journey to joy, but it is not we who are traveling. Joy is coming to us.”1

This third week in Advent, let us remember that the good news of Jesus’ birth has the power to bring us great joy this Christmas season. [J]oy that flooded the hearts of the shepherds, the angels, the wise men, the hosts of heaven, and Mary and Joseph is the joy that still has the power to overwhelm our hearts with rejoicing.2

“And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people” (Luke 2:10 ESV).

“The words are expressed in the same kind of language that was used by kings and emperors when a new heir was born. It was the Birth Announcement of a King.”3

“The angel opens his discourse by saying, that he announces great joy. By calling it great joy, he shows us that this blessing is so great and boundless, as fully to compensate for all the pains, distresses, and anxieties of the present life.”4

“We find joy in the truth of what God has already done and in the anticipation of what is to come, in the expectancy of God’s faithfulness. Joy overtakes uncertainty when we see how God works in unexpected ways to fulfill promises.”5

[T]he distinguishing nuance of joy is that it lasts beyond the moments of happiness. It can be present when the shine of Christmas cheer dulls or even tarnishes. Biblical joy is an attitude that God’s people adopt, not because of happy circumstances, but because of our hope in God’s love and promises.6

“We find joy in our current circumstances by choosing to remember the joy that Jesus’ redemption of our lives brings, redemption that is only possible through his birth, death, and resurrection.”7

“Let us learn to be so delighted with Christ alone, that the perception of his grace may overcome, and at length remove from us, all the distresses of the flesh.”8

In our present challenges, we anticipate the returning King, who with ‘salvation and power and glory’ will bring the hope of the fulfilled kingdom into being. We look around us at the brokenness of our world, and in the power of Jesus’ life and love, choose joy anyway.9

“You made known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Ps 16:11 ESV).


(3) Earth Receives Her CHRIST

            1. John Piper

            2. Hope Bolinger, “What is the Candle of Joy for Advent? Week 3,” 16 December 2019, Christianity, 23 March 2021

            3. Peter Pett, “Commentary on Luke 2:10,” 2013, Peter Pett’s Commentary on the Bible, 23 March 2021

            4. John Calvin, “Commentary on Luke 2:10,” 1840-57, Calvin’s Commentary on the Bible, 23 March 2021

            5. “Advent Week 3 – The Candle of Joy,” 13 December 2020, Mill City Church, 23 March 2021

            6. Kala, “Advent Week 3: Joy,” 13 December 2020, The Porch Followers of Jesus, 23 March 2021

            7. “Advent Week 3 – The Candle of Joy,” 13 December 2020, Mill City Church, 23 March 2021

            8. John Calvin, “Commentary on Luke 2:10,” 1840-57, Calvin’s Commentary on the Bible, 23 March 2021

            9. “Advent Week 3 – The Candle of Joy,” 13 December 2020, Mill City Church, 23 March 2021

            10. Hymn tune, “ST. PETER.”

            11. Hymn tune, “WINCHESTER OLD,” modified.

“A Bleeding, Beating Hope” – A Prayer for Oxford

After the tragic events at the high school in Oxford, MI on November 30th last year, I noticed many high school students wrote poetry to give voice to their anger, pain, questions, and cries. Their writing revealed a deep struggle to understand and lament great suffering as those who have no hope. Prayerfully, this poem was written to teach, encourage, and ultimately point to Christ – who is the great source of our hope.    I’ve learned how poetry is such a powerful tool to serve others, as words may be richly arranged to (1) give language to the soul, (2) help bring our questions before the Living God who speaks to us, (3) awaken naturally dull minds to spiritual sight, (4) communicate glorious truths that encourage fearful saints to behold our awesome God, and (5) unite people toward great causes. The contents of this poem were chosen to tie the questions and cries that were heard behind the words of student poetry to the magnificent truths of scripture. 

“A Bleeding, Beating Hope” – A Prayer for Oxford


We are a people, poor and needy

Flesh is our clothing,

Death is certain.

We are a people, who in vain attempt to flee

An inescapable reality.

Enslaved by the fear of death,

Bitterly, we reap the consequences

Of placing our hope in what is transient.

No stable ground for untethered souls

Grasping after vapors which cannot hold,

Aching for an anchor so sure and deep,

A Shepherd who will call and keep.

In mercy we are made to face,

The paralyzing, wide embrace

– of desperation.

Voice is given to lament,

By Him who knows our frame.

He remembers we are dust,

The Man of Sorrows bore our shame.

Spirit searches hearts and minds,

It is He who causes us to cry:

Heal me and I shall be healed,

Save me and I shall be saved”.

Only He breathes life ‘pon the depraved.

A bleeding, beating hope arises

from the wasteland of despair.

Burning embers now aflame,

Rising safely on the wings

Of what cannot be shaken.

All pain bows to the Living God,

Who speaks and darkness dissipates.

Fearfully and wondrously immutable,

This trajectory is irrefutable –

Proud waves are reigned to smooth jagged stone.

Frozen ground is thawed by a heat that serves to heal.

All mysterious shall be at once made clear.

On that day–

When the skies roll back and the stars fall,

King of Kings will ride,

New creation will dawn.

Triumphant over the grave,

Alone He holds

The keys of death and hades.

This bleeding, beating hope

shall be made sight,

Captivated by Holy,

approachable light.

We shall behold our Savior’s face,

Sighing shall cease, only praise. by Emily Burrows

JESUS! In Word and Song



“Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this” (Isa 9:7 ESV). “This was prophesied about Jesus more than 700 year before his birth.”1

“‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’” (Luke 19:38 ESV).

“The Advent of Jesus is the arrival of peace. He not only made peace with God for us, but he became our peace. [N]ot only are we no longer in conflict with God, but much more in that God has restored us to a state of wholeness.”2

“The most basic meaning of shalom is not ‘peace’ but ‘complete’ or ‘whole.’”3 “Peace is not just the absence of war or conflict, but the positive presence of something else.”4

Psalm 46 declares with confidence, ‘We will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea’ (v.2). Our world, like the psalmist’s world is in collapse: racial injustice, wildfires, hurricanes, floods. Our earth is giving way and the mountains are falling into the sea.5

“And [JESUS] awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm” (Mark 4:39 ESV). “His trust was so great that he could rest amid the crashing waves. Such supernatural peace is available to any of us who knows who God is.”6

“’Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!’” (Luke 2:14 ESV).

“The ‘peace’ announced at the first Christmas is a unique peace that only the Messiah Himself can offer, but it’s for anyone who will take it.”7 “Now He doesn’t offer peace on our terms but His. And His terms are this: total surrender, turning away from any sort of self-trust or self-righteousness.”8 “Confession and being made right with God (justification) is our starting point to having peace with God.”9

“And He gives it to those who do it like a kid—humble, wide-eyed, maybe even hesitant or through tears. Jesus gives peace to those who come to the point they truly believe HE is the answer to what they are looking for.”10

[W]here the guilt of the past is forgiven; where the trials of the present are overcome; and where our destiny in the future is secured eternally. This kind of peace has a name. We celebrate during this season that ‘to us a child is born, to us a son is given.’ His name is the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.11

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(2) Prince of Peace

            1. Jimmy Larche, “Advent Devotions (Week 2): Peace and Shalom,” 6 December 2019, Abiding in Him Devotional, 17 March 2021

            2. “Advent: Week 2 Peace,” Feed the Nations, 17 March 2021

            3. “Advent: Week 2 Peace.”

            4. Jim Lewis, “Advent Week 2 – Study Guide,” 6 December 2020, River Community Church, 17 March 2021

            5. Carmen Joy Imes, “Monday: Peace in the Storm,” 6 December 2020, Christianity Today, 17 March 2021

            6. Imes.

            7. Alli Patterson, “10 Minutes to More Peace (Advent: Week 2),” 7 December 2020, Crossroads, 17 March 2021

            8. Allen S. Nelson, “Jesus Deserves Praise,” 2 December 2019, Things Above, 17 March 2021

            9. Jim Lewis, “Advent Week 2 – Study Guide,” 6 December 2020, River Community Church, 17 March 2021

            10. Alli Patterson, “10 Minutes to More Peace (Advent: Week 2),” 7 December 2020, Crossroads, 17 March 2021

            11. “Advent Week 2: Peace,” 5 December 2016, Rivertree Church, 17 March 2021

            12. “. . . we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation” (Romans 5:11 ESV).

            13. John Piper, “Advent Week 4 Prince of Peace,” 20 December 2020, Faithlife Sermons, 17 March 2021

            14. Piper.

            15. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”  (Isaiah 9:6 ESV).

            16. “For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility”  (Ephesians 2:14 ESV).

JESUS! In Word and Song



“Happy New Year! The Christian year begins with the season of Advent.”1 “Advent anticipates the ‘coming of Christ’ from three different perspectives: the physical nativity in Bethlehem, the reception of Christ in the heart of the believer, and the eschatological Second Coming.”2

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land” (Jer 33:14 ESV).

The Christian story is essentially one of daring hope, and we proclaim it boldly during Advent. All our senses tell us that God is not here, that the world is encompassed in darkness, cold, and pain. Yet we proclaim during this darkest, coldest time that He is here, tangibly born in the flesh, present with us still today.3

If you read the Bible cover to cover, you will discover there is a lot of waiting done by God’s people. Even though God made them wait, He didn’t allow them to wait without hope. He made covenants, anointings, and promises with his people while they waited, which gave them hope.4

“Hope, in the Bible, exists as a secure assurance, a trust placed in a trustworthy God. God has not failed us in the past, and therefore, if he claims he will do something in the future, we can have a hope that he will fulfill that claim.”5

“We aren’t alone in hope for an improved political climate. The Jewish people living more than two thousand years ago were hoping for the arrival of the Messiah to rescue them and bring about a just and peaceful kingdom.”6

Revelations initial recipients were living in two overlapping realities: their assurance in the sovereign reign and glorious return of Christ; and their earthly, everyday experience of waiting and suffering. Some two thousand years later, we still live amid these overlapping realities. Here, between Christ’s first coming and his glorious return, our lives may also feel like a mix of kingdom and confidence alongside waiting and suffering.7

“In this day and age, where evil abounds and all seems lost, we can also hope that the prophecies about Jesus’ second arrival to earth will also be fulfilled.”8

“[W]ait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor 1:7-8 ESV).

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(1) In Hope Assured

            1. “Hope is a Verb: Salt’s Lectionary Commentary for Advent Week One,” 27 November 2018, Salt, 9 March 2021

            2. “Advent,” Wikipedia, Wikipedia, 9 March 2021

            3. Catherine McNiel, “Advent Week One: A Hope Made Sure,” 2 December 2019, Awana, 9 March 2021

            4. Dori, “Advent Week 1 Hope: Family Devotional,” 1 December 2018, This Full Life 5, 9 March 2021

            5. Hope Bolinger, “What is the Candle of Hope for Advent? Week 1,” 6 December 2019, Christianity, 9 March 2021

            6. Matt Tullos, “Advent Devotional (Week 1): Faith,” 25 November 2015, Lifeway, 9 March 2021

            7. Kelli B. Trujillo, “Advent Week 1: He Will Come Again in Glory,” 29 November 2020, Christianity Today, 9 March 2021

            8. Hope Bolinger, “What is the Candle of Hope for Advent? Week 1,” 6 December 2019,, 9 March 2021

            9. Robb Redman, “What is Advent?” 17 December 2020, Worship Leader, 9 March 2021

            10. “. . . Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees”  (Romans 8:24 ESV)?

            11. Justin Holcomb, “What is Advent?” 6 November 2020, 9 March 2021

            12. Holcomb.

            13. Arthur S. Way, Letters of Paul, Hebrews and the Book of Psalms (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1926, 1981) 208.

            14. “Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come” (Mark 13:33 ESV).

            15. Mark 13:33.

            16. Charles Wesley and Henry T. Smart, “Jesus Comes with Clouds Descending,” 1758, Hymnary, 9 March 2021

            17. Wesley and Smart.

JESUS! In Word and Song

This week starts posts from a song book. The front pages started to post on Monday. Today they will continue and the songs will start Friday. (See BOOK in the main menu bar for more information.)


My life’s purpose is that I may know CHRIST; that I may progressively become more deeply acquainted with Him. Therefore I determined to ponder His life as told in the scriptures more deliberately than ever before.

JESUS! In Word and Song, Vol. 1, addresses the history of JESUS’ time on earth. The subjects of the songs span the anticipation of His birth until Pentecost. The resources used were the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and Acts, chapters one and two, as well as comments about scripture by “the great cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1) before me.

The written page before each song contains material collected while researching the subject of the song. Each song and page of facts have footnotes where the words are not mine. These “Endnotes” are on the page after each song.

Used as a devotional the volumes, JESUS! In Word and Song Vol. 1 and 2, contain enough songs to meditate on one song and the companion page of information weekly for a year. This is a great help to preach the gospel to ourselves daily.

Songs are positioned in the book to align with the Church Calendar Year. More detailed information about the Calendar can be found in Appendix A. Appendix B lists songs according to subjects and includes scripture references.

JESUS! In Word and Song is also a resource for the church family; it’s well suited for corporate singing and study. It is appropriate for the worship service as well as Bible study and Sunday school.

The Bible’s use in public worship should be set in the context of songs and hymns and programs that are redolent with the substance of God’s holy word. Responsive readings can [also] be beneficial because they involve the congregation in voicing the sacred text.1

“Great are the works of the LORD, studied by all who delight in them” (Ps 111:2 ESV).

1 ESV Study Bible, English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2001, ESV Text Edition: 2011) 2575.


1 In Hope Assured Advent week one–hope

2. Prince of Peace Advent week two–peace

3. Earth Receives Her CHRIST Advent week three–joy

4. GOD Came to Us Advent week four–love

5. Shepherds Rejoice The birth of CHRIST

6. Fully GOD, Fully Man JESUS is fully GOD, fully man

7. Linking Clay with the Divine Epiphany

8. JESUS CHRIST Submitted to Baptism The baptism of JESUS

9. Graced With SPIRIT The Son of man made holy

10. He Sat On the Steps JESUS at age twelve

11. Stop. Ask. For the SPIRIT JESUS Grew in Wisdom

12. JESUS Tempted The Temptation of JESUS

13. Shout for Joy The Compassion of JESUS

14. JESUS Teaches The Teachings of JESUS

15. JESUS, You Suffered The Sufferings of JESUS

16. The Jews Observed the Sabbath JESUS and the Sabbath

17. When the LORD Was With the Twelve JESUS Training His Disciples

18, CHRIST Inside of Me The LORD’s Supper

19. CHRIST Surren’dring All The Crucifixion

20. Have You Heard? The Resurrection

21. Energizing Fear The empty tomb

22. Thomas Was Gone Doubting Thomas

23. I Go Prepare a Place Preparing disciples for his death

24. Following His Lead The great commission

25. At the Temple Praising Disciples Waiting for the Promise

26. The Savior Lives No More to Die The Ascension

27. Abiding Miracle Pentecost