The Heart Song of God

God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:16-17)

Photo by Lorenzo Spoleti on Unsplash

The gospel is of first importance in the Christian journey (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). It is our means of salvation and our portal to heaven. In grateful thanks for the gospel, our eyes are lifted up to our risen Lord with whom we are even now seated in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 2:6).

The blessings of the gospel

Yet the gospel is so much more: it is not only for tomorrow but it is for today. Not only does the gospel ignite the Christian life, it is also the fuel that keeps Christ-followers going and growing each day. Because of the gospel, we are a forgiving, repentant, reconciled and reconciling people. Through the gospel, Jesus has saved us from the penalty of sin, is saving us from the effects of sin, and one day will completely save us from the presence of sin. Through the gospel, Jesus is redeeming his bride from every nation, and restoring creation in anticipation of a new heaven and new earth.

Village Schools of the Bible

Village Schools of the Bible offers a unique opportunity to go deeper into gospel truth. Through the Cover-to-Cover class we discover that the gospel is anticipated in every book of the Bible — including the Old Testament. We discover Jesus as the central character of the entire Bible. Reading the Bible through the gospel lens helps us discover God’s heart-song through the creation, fall, redemption and consummation plotline connecting all 66 books of the Bible. We discover that we are participants in and carriers each day of God’s ongoing gospel story. As we keep this big picture in mind we learn to think the gospel, pray the gospel and apply the gospel in every situation, for there’s nothing more than the gospel, just more of the gospel. 


At Village Schools of the Bible we encourage writing. Writing slows our pace, and helps our concentration so that we can ingest God’s truth more deeply into our thinking as an act of worship and transformation.  Also, journaling is a great way to pray. To grow in the gospel, we need to slow down and spend time with Jesus. Journaling helps us commune more deeply and intimately with our Lord as we pray the gospel more deeply into our hearts.

Gospel-centered prayer

Prayer is crucial in gospel growth. Because of the gospel we can enter into the very throne room of heaven, knowing that we’re welcomed and loved in a place where God is eager to hear the voice of His people. The Good Shepherd is with us even in our darkest nights and deepest valleys. Jesus is in the midst of all the heartache and pain of this broken world and our struggling hearts. Yet with the Holy Spirit’s help, our prayers breathe freely the gospel of grace, resting in the joy of knowing that God’s favor permanently rests on his people. In such loving assurance, we submit willingly to the redemptive love of Jesus who is making all things new, including us and the broken world around us.

The gospel is the soothing, strengthening, challenging and transforming heart-song of God that our hearts most want to hear. It fills our day with holy truth, honest love and real hope. It awakens us to our sin and need of grace, points us to the Savior, and prepares us to walk with the Lord each day. Intentionally and always, come back to the gospel truth of who we are in Christ and who he is in us. As grateful ambassadors of Christ, let us finish the race and complete the task that the Lord Jesus has given us of testifying by word and deed to the gospel of God’s grace (Acts 20:24).

Prayer and Praise

Lord Jesus, keep our souls engaged with the gospel, so that we can find hope for the day, and grace for the journey. Liberate us by your grace, and launch us into your story of redemption. Thank you for making all things new, including me. Serving you is the greatest privilege conceivable and the purest delight imaginable. Thank you for the blessing! Amen

“To God be the glory, great things He hath done;
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate that all may go in.

O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
To every believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!

O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He hath done.”

Crosby, F. To God Be the Glory. (Hymn) 1875.

By Warwick Alcock, Village Schools of the Bible


Mears, H.C. What the Bible is all about. Regal, 2011.

Smith, S. Everyday Prayers. 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith. Baker, 2011.

The Heart Song of God

Psalm 43

Hello, my friend. If you have read Psalm 43, I’m sure you have seen how it relates to the psalm we looked at yesterday, Psalm 42.  I hope you were able to join in, as I shared the gripping story of my friend, Leigh Robinson, and his refuge in the Lord of this Psalm at the shattering news of his wife’s sudden death.   I am especially touched by David’s bewildered question in Psalm 43, vs. 2, “You are God, my stronghold.  Why have you rejected me?  Why must I go about mourning?”  It is that strange ambivalence in our nature, about which I spoke last week.  If we could only be absolutely immovable, unshakable, rock-solid in our feelings.  But even as a day often changes from sunshine to shadow, so do our lives.  And it’s important to take the clouds when they come.  They darken the sunshine, but they hold the showers which are necessary for a rich harvest.

And in the moment of his introspection, David suddenly shouts a passage which we have all loved since childhood, vs. 3,4, “Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me;  let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell.  Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight.  I will praise you with the harp, O God, my God.”   All this cycle of moods may indicate a kind of vacillation on the part of the Psalmist, but I don’t think this is the case.  If we were never subject to the times of even questioning the reality, the quality of our faith, we would never have occasion to ponder its significance, and deepen its roots. It’s the strong winds of spring that deepen the roots of the trees.  Without the pressure, there would be no need to strengthen our foundations.

So, take heart, my friend, if you have had moments of questioning, of doubt, of being confronted by the winds of circumstances.  Once we have become children of the King, we become members of the Royal household, even when we may not feel very noble.  Nothing can change our relationship with God, nothing, as Paul shouts in Romans 8:38, “I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” We can revel in the faithfulness of our Lord.

“Thank you, Lord, for your understanding of our frailty and your provision of our needs.  We rejoice in your Word, as it touches us.  Bless my faithful fellow-E-LINK and others in special need.  Thank you, Lord.”

Thank you, partner.   Cheerio!

These meditations on the Psalms were written by Village Schools of the Bible Founder, Monty Sholund and first published in book form as Monty’s Musings on the Psalms in 2000.

Psalm 43

Christ The Lord Is Risen Today

He is Risen Indeed!

The words of this well-known hymn, originally written by Charles Wesley in the 1700s, capture the exhilaration we feel on Easter Sunday when we celebrate Christ’s victory over sin and death by his own death and resurrection.

It is a rousing song of joy and victory, sung here by the Salvation Army choir.

May the Lord bless you as you read or listen to this wonderful hymn today.

1 Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia! 
Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia! 
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia! 
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia! 

2 Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia! 
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia! 
Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia! 
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia! 

3 Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia! 
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia! 
Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia! 
Where’s thy victory, boasting grave? Alleluia! 

4 Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia! 
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia! 
Made like him, like him we rise, Alleluia! 
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia! 

Compiled by Trish Alcock, Village Schools of the Bible

Christ The Lord Is Risen Today

The Marvel of the Christ’s Sacrifice

On Good Friday, (or in German “Sorrowful Friday”), we marvel and agonize as we focus on Christ’s death on the cross. Human words and thought are inadequate to describe what happened the day they crucified Jesus of Nazareth. Cosmic changes took place in heaven and earth. His ultimate sacrifice was centuries in the making.

Highlighted below are five truths from Scripture that support the gravity and the significance of Jesus’ work on the cross for us.

1) Jesus knew he would bear humiliation and great suffering.  

“And taking the twelve again, he (Jesus) began to tell them what was to happen to him, saying, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. And they will mock him and spit on him and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise” (Mark 10:32b-34). 

2) Jesus offered his life willingly. 

“… I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father” (John 10: 17b-18).

 3) Jesus felt anguish and grief, expecting the suffering of the cross. 

“And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.” And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will” (Mark 14:33-36).

4) Jesus endured separation from His Father due to carrying the sin of humanity. 

And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34).

5) Paul tells us in Romans that we don’t deserve Jesus’ sacrifice and there was no way to repay it or even appreciate the cost of the gift. 

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die — but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life” (Romans 5:6-10).

As we meditate on God’s great and costly love, Isaac Watts’s hymn rings true:

“My God, why would You shed Your blood
So pure and undefiled
To make a sinful one like me
Your chosen, precious child?

Thus, might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness

And melt my eyes to tears.” (Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed)

Lord, break our hearts in sorrow for the cost you paid for our sin; melt our pride as we experience your humility; fill our mouths with praise and thanksgiving at receiving your lavish gift of mercy. Amen.

By Laurie Besonen, Executive Director, Village Schools of the Bible

The Marvel of the Christ’s Sacrifice