“Yes, Jesus Loves Me.” // A Mother’s Song

This week as we honor our mothers, we’re so blessed to share a scripture & song from our guest, Caitlyn Scaggs, of New Hope Girls.

My mom, Cynthia, is a living example of Psalm 78:4,  “We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.

When I think of my childhood I can hear my mom singing to me:

“Jesus loves me, this I know.
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong,
They are weak but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus Loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me,
The Bible tells me so.”

The beautiful simplicity of that song is profound. It is truth she instilled as she rocked me, while I was a colicky baby, and words she reminded me of as I was a moody teenager. They are words that she never let me forget, as I took a hold of my faith with both hands. On good days, the words of this song are true. During tough times, they are just as true. These are words she has sung over my children now, as she delights in her role as “Grandy.”

{Caitlyn is the Executive Manager for New Hope Girls, a non-profit based in the Dominican Republic that fights trafficking, exploitation and cycles of abuse. She starts each day with a cup of coffee and quiet reflection with gratitude, balances career with a deep commitment to faith, family, a love for running (and copious amounts of coffee). With an affinity for fuzzy socks and the color yellow, she lives a vibrant and bold life!}

You can find her on Facebook: Boldly Pursue & New Hope Girls

Instagram: @caitlynscaggs & @newhope.girls

Open the Grace {Day Forty} 40 Gifts for 40 Days

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words. Luke 24:1-8

Open our eyes…

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:30-32

To see The Lord…

They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread. Luke 24:33-35

He has risen from the Grave…

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:45-49

Today’s Gift of Grace // Hallelujah—He’s Alive!

Open the Grace {Day Forty} 40 Gifts for 40 Days

Risen King!

Paid the price!

Our lives to save—

Ultimate Sacrifice.

Opened the grave—

for all mankind!

Hallelujah—He’s Alive!

Hallelujah—He’s Alive!

Open the Grace {Day Thirty-Nine} 40 Gifts for 40 Days

Good Friday // The Road to Calvary & Christ’s Crucifixion

“It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.” —Luke‬ ‭23:44-46‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Today’s Gift of Grace // It is Finished.

Open the Grace {Day Thirty-Nine} 40 Gifts for 40 Days

“After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. So when Jesus had received the sour wine,

He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”

John‬ ‭19:28-30‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Jesus, we remember Your suffering,

The price You paid so dearly with Your blood.

We can never thank You enough,

For all that You are,

For all that You’ve done,

Forever.

We worship and adore You,

Grateful for the most precious gift,

The greatest cost,

So we could spend eternity with You.

Alleluia.

The highest act of love is the giving of the best gift, and, if necessary, at the greatest cost, to the least deserving. That’s what God did. At the loss of His Son’s life to the totally undeserving, God gave the best gift – the display of the glory of Christ who is the image of God.

John Piper

Open the Grace {Day Thirty-Eight} 40 Gifts for 40 Days

Maundy Thursday // The Last Supper, Jesus Prays In The Garden Of Gethsemane

Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.” Luke 22:7-8

Todays Gift of Grace // We Remember

Open the Grace {Day Thirty-Eight} 40 Gifts for 40 Days

Jesus, we remember the way You prepared a table for us.

The bread.

The wine.

Your body.

Your blood.

Broken.

Spilled out.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows. Psalm 23:5

In the Garden of Gethsemane

By Melissa McLaughlin

His footsteps fall softly in the olive grove

Enveloped in verdant Garden fragrance

The tender leaves, the stalwart trunks rooted and still,

The young olive fruit swelling with sustenance

A Garden pulsing with life

Yet death casts its shadow there

The earthy soil once wet with morning dew,

Now soaked with the tears of His divine sorrow

His steps falter as He drops to His knees

Face down, body gripped with anguish

The ominous ordeal looms ahead

Drops of blood slip from His brow

Mingling with tears and sweat

A river of grief flowing steadily down

Cries and tears are His prayer

The Son of Man, spotless and pure

Absorbing the full darkness of humanity

Every sin

of the world

Laid upon the back

Of the innocent Lamb

Precious, holy, gentle and good

In that moment

The Perfect One

Accepts the penalty

For every trace of wickedness

Taking our place

Justice is served

Righteousness upheld

Mercy extended

Grace given

To all who believe

Jesus is LORD

Brooding, dreading, enduring

The cross

For the joy set before Him

We. Were. That. Joy.

Remember another Garden

Not so long ago

Where sin took hold

Where God foretold

Of One who would come

To utter the final Word, “It is finished.”

That battle has begun

Right here in the Garden of Gethsemane

The Word speaks, “Not my will, but yours be done.”

The heaviness lifts

As He arises in the sovereign strength

Of heaven’s redemption song

A rustle of feet, hushed voices call

His captors rush in, the time has come

Yet He walks out in might, Son of God and Son of Man

For the battle on His knees is won

The King who would set us free from sin

Walks out of the Garden of Gethsemane

On a path toward pain and scorn and death

A captive of men

And a Victor for all

Open the Grace {Day Thirty-Seven} 40 Gifts for For Days

Silent Wednesday // Judas & Sanhedrin Prepare for Jesus’ Arrest

Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present. Luke 22:1-6

Today’s Gift of Grace is Silence

Open the Grace {Day Thirty -Seven} 40 Gifts for 40 Days


He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. Isaiah 53:7

For a closer look at “Silent Wednesday”—we’ve included the link below.

https://www.christianity.com/jesus/life-of-jesus/harmony-of-the-gospels/32-silent-wednesday.html

Open the Grace {Day Thirty-Six} 40 Gifts for 40 Days

Holy Tuesday // Jesus Taught at the Temple

Just then he looked up and saw the rich people dropping offerings in the collection plate. Then he saw a poor widow put in two pennies. He said, “The plain truth is that this widow has given by far the largest offering today. All these others made offerings that they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford—she gave her all!”

Luke 21:1-4

One day people were standing around talking about the Temple, remarking how beautiful it was, the splendor of its stonework and memorial gifts. Jesus said, “All this you’re admiring so much—the time is coming when every stone in that building will end up in a heap of rubble.”

They asked him, “Teacher, when is this going to happen? What clue will we get that it’s about to take place?”

He said, “Watch out for the doomsday deceivers. Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities claiming, ‘I’m the One,’ or, ‘The end is near.’ Don’t fall for any of that. When you hear of wars and uprisings, keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history and no sign of the end.”

He went on, “Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. Huge earthquakes will occur in various places. There will be famines. You’ll think at times that the very sky is falling.

“But before any of this happens, they’ll arrest you, hunt you down, and drag you to court and jail. It will go from bad to worse, dog-eat-dog, everyone at your throat because you carry my name. You’ll end up on the witness stand, called to testify. Make up your mind right now not to worry about it. I’ll give you the words and wisdom that will reduce all your accusers to stammers and stutters.

“You’ll even be turned in by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends. Some of you will be killed. There’s no telling who will hate you because of me. Even so, every detail of your body and soul—even the hairs of your head!—is in my care; nothing of you will be lost. Staying with it—that’s what is required. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry; you’ll be saved. Luke 21:5-19

Today’s Gift of Grace // Holy & Free

Open the Grace {Day Thirty-Six} 40 Gifts for 40 Days
Temples—1 Church Movement

Jesus, we trust in You.

You’re Worthy.

Let our hearts be Your dwelling place,

Living Sanctuaries.

Like the widow—we give our all!

Extravagantly.

In the midst of destruction—eyes on You,

Prince of Peace.

As we walk through this sacred week—we’ll keep remembering the path You chose.

Holy & Free.

Open the Grace {Day Thirty-Five} 40 Gifts for 40 Days

Holy Monday // Jesus Cleanses the Temple

“When Jesus entered the temple courts, he began to drive out those who were selling.

“It is written,” he said to them, “ ‘My house will be a house of prayer’; but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’”

Luke 19:46 NIV

Every day he was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him.

Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on his words.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭19:45-48‬ ‭NIV‬‬

My hope does not rest in the affairs of this world. It rests in Christ who is coming again.

Billy Graham

Today’s Gift of Grace is the One & Only Jesus

Open the Grace {Day Thirty-Five} 40 Gifts for 40 Days

Dear Lord, today we remember You.

The only One who holds our hearts.

The only One worthy of our worship.

Worthy of praise.

We lift You up.

There is none like You.

Open the Grace {Day Thirty-Four} 40 Gifts for 40 Days


They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the king of Israel!” John 12:13

Today’s Gift of Grace is Mercy

Open the Grace {Day Thirty-Four} 40 Gifts for 40 Days

After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”

Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”

They replied, “The Lord needs it.”

They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.

When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:

“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” Luke 19:28-44

Humble Savior, let our hearts be attuned to the path You chose

A lowly donkey, palm branches, & cloth

Such an ordinary way to prepare The Way

With humility & grace

You know, Lord

The heart of man

Praises today—“Hosanna!”

Accusations tomorrow—“Crucify Him!”

God have mercy, Lord have mercy

Amen

As we enter this most sacred week—may the Lord of Glory open the eyes of our understanding.

Search me, God, and know my heart;

test me and know my anxious thoughts.

See if there is any offensive way in me,

and lead me in the way everlasting.

Psalm 139:23-24

Open the Grace {Day Thirty-Three} 40 Gifts for 40 Days

“As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind beggar was sitting beside the road.

When he heard the noise of a crowd going past, he asked what was happening. They told him that Jesus the Nazarene was going by.

So he began shouting, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

“Be quiet!” the people in front yelled at him. But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

When Jesus heard him, he stopped and ordered that the man be brought to him. As the man came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord,” he said, “I want to see!”

And Jesus said, “All right, receive your sight! Your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus, praising God. And all who saw it praised God, too.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭18:35-43‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Today’s Gift of Grace is His Restoring Love

Open the Grace {Day Thirty-Three} 40 Gifts for 40 Days
Run to the Father // Cody Carnes

Lord, restore our sight.

We yield to You in every situation.

Believing Your promises when we don’t see anything happening.

We run to You, knowing You are working in all ways, all the time, all for Your glory.

We love You with our whole heart.

Thank You for restoring piece by piece.

Open the Grace {Day Thirty-Two} 40 Gifts for 40 Days

Once a religious leader asked Jesus this question: “Good Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”

“Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked him. “Only God is truly good. But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. Honor your father and mother.’[c]

The man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.”

When Jesus heard his answer, he said, “There is still one thing you haven’t done. Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

But when the man heard this he became very sad, for he was very rich.

When Jesus saw this, he said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God! In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”

Those who heard this said, “Then who in the world can be saved?” Luke 18:18-26

Todays Gift of Grace // Kingdom Possibilities

Open the Grace {Day Thirty-Two} 40 Gifts for 40 Days

Lord, in our own strength we cannot give what You deserve.

Help us to trust in Your provision over self-reliance.

Show us how to value relationships over possessions.

Give us eyes to see the possibilities,

—to look for ways to go beyond our own limitations,

& how to use what we have to advance Your kingdom purpose.

Amen.

As we draw closer to Resurrection Sunday let’s consider what we might give up—for the sake of the world.