A personal Good Friday

April 2, 2010

2 Corinthians 12:9a
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

My husband, Rev. George Woodliff III, has been diagnosed with a colon tumor and will undergo surgery on Monday. Jill Woodliff

Lord, Your grace is indeed sufficient. We pray for Your perfect strength and healing. Amen.

New York City

April 2, 2010

Several major publishing houses have their headquarters in New York City, as do a large number of national magazines. The central offices of many of the country’s largest corporations are located there, supporting a great many banks, public-relations firms, advertising agencies, management consultants, and law firms. Because of this concentration of business and culture, New York City maintains a leading national position in American life.

Dear Heavenly Father,
Zaccheus sought to see You by climbing up into a sycamore tree. We pray that the media, business, and entertainment industries in New York City will be used like that sycamore tree, to provide a better view of You.
Come by here, dear Lord. We receive You into our nation joyfully. Abide with us. Amen.
Luke 19:1-10

A Good Friday Hymn: In Evil Long I Took Delight

April 2, 2010

April 2014 – see the end of the post for an update.

This hymn by John Newton was part of the famous “Olney Hymnal”  of 1779.  (available online at CCEL) You can hear the tune at the Cyber Hymnal

In evil long I took delight,
Unawed by shame or fear,
Till a new object struck my sight,
And stopped my wild career.

I saw One hanging on a tree,
In agonies and blood,
Who fixed His languid eyes on me,
As near His cross I stood.

Sure, never till my latest breath,
Can I forget that look;
It seemed to charge me with His death,
Though not a word He spoke.

My conscience felt and owned the guilt,
And plunged me in despair,
I saw my sins His blood had spilt,
And helped to nail Him there.

Alas, I knew not what I did,
But now my tears are vain;
Where shall my trembling soul be hid?
For I the Lord have slain.

A second look He gave, which said,
“I freely all forgive;
This blood is for thy ransom paid;
I die that thou mayst live.”

Thus, while His death my sin displays
In all its blackest hue,
Such is the mystery of grace,
It seals my pardon too.

With pleasing grief and mournful joy,
My spirit is now filled;
That I should such a life destroy,
Yet live by him I killed.

John Newton


Song Writer and worship leader Bob Kauflin has written a modern arrangement / adaptation of this hymn.  He reflects on the meaning of the lyrics as follows.  (see below for an update)

For years, C.J. Mahaney referred to a John Newton hymn that began with the lines, “In evil long I took delight.” Newton imagines the Savior looking down at him twice from the cross. The first look communicates our guilt and responsibility for the death of Christ. The second look assures us that this sacrifice forever secures our forgiveness before God. The two looks together fill us with a “pleasing grief and mournful joy.”


2014 Update:  I’ve posted an updated entry with current links to a video with the modern adaptation of the hymn, and links to purchase it, as well as an audio recording of John Newton’s original hymn.

John 13:36-38 and John 19:38-42

April 2, 2010

Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you shall follow me afterward.” Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for your sake.” Jesus answered him, “Will you lay down your life for my sake? Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied me three times. (John 13:36-38 )
      Lord Jesus, even though we often deny you by our words and deeds, our heart’s desire is to follow you; please help us daily do that. Thank you.

After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus. And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews’ Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby. (John 19:38-42)
      Jesus, you were crushed for our iniquities and pierced because of our transgressions: help us daily recognize our need for your saving grace. Help us daily walk in your peace and healing. Thank you.

Good Friday: 40:1-14(15-19), 54; Lamentations 3:1-9, 19-33; 1 Peter 1:10-20; John 13:36-38; John 19:38-42
Holy Saturday: 27; Lamentations 3:37-58; Hebrews 4:1-16; Romans 8:1-11

      Notes from the Front Line

***** The hymn “O Sacred Head Now Wounded”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98LcbCkhqJs

Albany Intercessor

A Good Friday Prayer: Charles Spurgeon – the Wonders of Calvary

April 2, 2010

A fantastic prayer from Charles Spurgeon, so appropriate for Good Friday, as adapted by Trevin Wax at Kingdom People:

Great God,
there was a time when we dreaded the thought of coming near to You,
for we were guilty and You were angry with us,
but now we will praise You
because Your anger is turned away and You comfort us.

Yes, and the very throne which once was a place of dread
has now become the place of shelter. I flee to You to hide me.

O bring us, we pray You, now near to Yourself.
Let us bathe ourselves in communion with our God.
Blessed be the love which chose us before the world began.
We can never sufficiently adore You for Your sovereignty,
the sovereignty of love which saw us in the ruins of the Fall,
yet loved us anyway.

We also bless You, O God, as the God of our redemption,
for You have so loved us as to give even Your dear Son for us.
He gave Himself, His very life for us
that He might redeem us from all iniquity and separate us unto Himself
to be His peculiar people, zealous for good works.

Never can we sufficiently adore free grace and undying love.
The wonders of Calvary never cease to be wonders,
they are growing more marvelous in our esteem
as we think of Him who washed us from our sins in His own blood.
Nor can we cease to praise the God of our regeneration
who found us dead and made us live,
found us at enmity and reconciled us,
found us loving the things of this world
and lifted us out of the muck and mire of selfishness and worldliness
in the love of divine everlasting things.

(There are a few more stanzas to the prayer here)

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