Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“Once more Jesus addressed the crowd. He said, ‘I am the Light of the world. He (she) who follows Me will not be walking in the dark, but will have the Light which is Life.”
John 8: 12
‘I heard the voice of Jesus say:
‘I am this dark world’s Light;
Look unto Me, thy morn shall rise,
and all thy day be bright.’
I look to Jesus, and I found in Him
my Star, my Sun;
and in that light of life I’ll walk,
till traveling days are done.”
Today’s Study Text:
“And when they came to the place which was called ‘The Skull’ – Latin: Calvary; Hebrew: Golgatha; there they crucified Him, and along with the criminals, one on the right and one on the left.”
Luke 23: 33
“Lest I Forget” – Part 1
“A Place Called Calvary”
“Our immersion in the world’s suffering is like tickling our toes in the ocean of sorrow and need, in comparison with that Calvary-life which plunges into the whole flood.”
What does it mean to me to be led to Calvary?
In the business of each day, do my thoughts ever return to a hill called “Calvary”?
“The cross is a way of life; the way of love meeting all hate with love, all evil with good, all negatives with positives.”
“If your love of God is wholehearted, you will seek Him as much at Calvary as at Mount Tabor and you will definitely find that God’s love toward you is even greater.”
Madame Jeanne Guyon
I love this time of year. My potted daffodil bulbs are bursting up out of the earth, ready to bloom into a fanciful delight of yellow flowers. The early morning winter frost has given way to the bright sunlight that peeks through the blinds in our bedroom. The thought of new life pervades the scenery and fills my mind every day.
There’s no time like spring – a time when new life is called forth everywhere. It just may be that the thought of life anew is what turns my thoughts during this time of year to Easter. A time when Christians around the world reflect on the life of Jesus Christ and what His life, death and resurrection mean to us.
Every year here in Transformation Garden, we take several weeks in the spring, to interrupt our yearly devotional cycle, and spend time reflecting on the love of our precious Saviour. I have to admit that working on the “Easter” devotionals each year has become the absolute highlight of my “writing year.” And I’ll add, this year has been no exception!
Back in November, I decided to clean out some cupboards that had been left unattended for quite some time. As I shuffled through the contents, I came upon a stack of CD’s which I had not played in a very long time. As I’ve shared with you before, I love to have soft gospel music playing in the background when I pen the daily devotionals and so I’m always on the lookout for something new – for music has a way of lifting my heart closer to my Heavenly Father’s throne on high.
You can well imagine my delight when I came upon a special grouping of sacred CD’s which were instrumental meditations of old hymns. What a treasure. And so early one morning, when I took up my “writing routine”, I played one of the CD’s which began with a simple but truly inspiring rendition of the hymn, “Lead Me To Calvary.” Now this particular song has always been one of my favorites. However, hearing the simple notes again in the quiet of my “sanctuary,” which is my closet writing room, I had a fire lit in my heart. And as I studied for several months, I used this hymn as the template as I prepared our new series of devotionals for Easter entitled: “Lest I Forget.”
In the busy hubbub of our daily lives, it can be easy to let memories, even truly important ones, slip to the back of our thought process. While I never knew Jennie E. Hussey, the author of “Lead Me To Calvary” personally, I have an idea that this Godly hymnist, who wrote the words to over 40 songs, found that life in 1921 was a busy one, too. And so, during a time of reflection, she may have found herself asking for a heavenly nudge, a reminder so to speak, which would take her from the everyday common life, to a hill called Calvary.
Interestingly, only one time in the Bible is the word “Calvary” used. It is found in Luke 23: 33, today’s study text. Many versions of the Bible call this mount, “Skull Hill.” But I like the words by Dr. Luke in my old King James Version of the Bible: “And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified Him” (Luke 23: 33). A simple statement which carries within it the most profound and liberating truth expressed in all of Scripture.
In my mind’s eye, I’ve thought about the dreadful walk my Saviour took up that rugged hill called Calvary. Beaten and bruised, He climbed up, up, up until He reached the top – the place where He died for me. I can’t even write these words without weeping for never do I want to forget that if I had been the lone sinner, that one lost sheep, my Saviour would have climbed that hill called Calvary just for me – and He would have done the same for you. When we place the reality of Calvary within our memory; when we recall the unspeakable love and compassion that brought the precious Son of God to earth to seek and save the lost, we should exclaim as Pastor Charles Spurgeon did: “There is no place like Calvary for creating confidence. The air of “this” sacred hill brings health to “my” to “your” trembling faith.”
No wonder Jennie Hussey wrote: “Lest I forget…lead me to Calvary.” We can’t walk up that jagged slope without our memories coming alive as we say, “He walked this path for me.”
So this Easter season, I’ve chosen to take the words from this old hymn as our reminder that we must never forget the cross. No matter how busy my life; no matter how crowded my days; no matter how weary I become – it is my prayer that I will never forget the hill called Calvary. As Bonaventure so touchingly penned, “the memory of Christ Jesus crucified was ever present in the depths of my heart like a ‘bundle of myrrh’.” It is the fragrance of unconditional love, bestowed upon sinners like you and me that we will remember in the coming days. And it may be that there is someone in your life that the aroma from the “bundle of myrrh” can encourage. Why not invite them to come along with us as we remember our Saviour’s love as He walked the road to Calvary. In the words of the gospel favorite penned by Bill and Gloria Gaither: “I believe in a hill call Mount Calvary, I’ll believe whatever the cost; and when time has surrendered and earth is no more, I’ll still cling to that old rugged cross.” As Thomas Kelly, at the beginning of today’s devotional calls our transformation the “Calvary-life,” may each of us find, as we are transported back to Calvary that our lives are forever changed by the fount of love coming from that cross on Calvary’s peak.
“Blessed Lamb of Calvary,
Let Thy spirit fall on me,
Let the cleansing, healing flow
Wash and keep me white as snow,
That henceforth my life may be
Bright and beautiful for Thee.”
The Choice of the Cross
“Hard it is, very hard,
To travel up the slow and stony road
To Calvary, to redeem mankind; far
better to make but one resplendent miracle,
Lean through the cloud, lift the
right hand of power
and with a sudden lightning
smite the world perfect.
Yet this was not God’s way,
Who had the power,
But set it by choosing the cross,
the thorn, the sorrowful wounds.
Something there is, perhaps, that
power destroys in passing, something supreme,
To whose great value in the eyes
of God – that cross, that thorn, and
those five wounds bear witness.”
Dorothy L. Sayers
Lead Me To Calvary
“King of my life, I crown Thee now,
Thine shall the glory be;
Lest I forget Thy thorn-crowned brow,
Lead me to Calvary.
Lest I forget Gethsemane,
Lest I forget Thine agony;
Lest I forget Thy love for me,
Lead me to Calvary.”
Jennie E. Hussy
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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