April 27, 2017

Even So Come

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

All of creation
All of the earth
Make straight a highway
A path for the Lord
Jesus is coming soon

Call back the sinner
Wake up the saint
Let every nation shout of Your fame
Jesus is coming soon

Like a bride waiting for her groom
We’ll be a Church ready for You
Every heart longing for our King
We sing 

Even so come, Lord Jesus, come

There will be justice
All will be new
Your name forever
Faithful and true
Jesus is coming soon

Even so come, Lord Jesus, come
So we wait, we wait for You
God, we wait
You’re coming soon  

Kristian Stanfill / Passion
written by Chris Tomlin, Jess Cates, Jason Ingram

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When I recently heard this new song I became excited.  It talked about something I’m looking forward to—Jesus is coming soon!  The Church (the fellowship of believers) is waiting like a bride for The Groom, Jesus, to come get her.  In Jesus’ day, the bride would be waiting in her parents’ home for the groom to come and take her with him to the home that he had prepared for her. [Click here to learn more about marriage in Jesus’ day.)  How excited she must have been, waiting in anticipation.  Did she keep looking out the window, or crack the door open to check to see if he was coming up the street?  How many times did she straighten her dress, and check her hair to make sure everything was perfect for her coming groom?

With that same anticipation, preparedness, and excitement, we as believers should be looking for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  We hear stories occasionally of a bride being left at the altar, jilted by her groom.  That is very, very sad.  But we have the assurance that Jesus is faithful and true, and He loves us so much that we never need to worry about being jilted by Him.  Jesus will come again to take us to His home in Heaven.  He has prepared a place for each of us to spend eternity with Him.

Here are a few encouraging and reassuring Scriptures to get you excited about our soon-coming King:

Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting,
“Clear the way through the wilderness for the Lord!
Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God!
Isaiah 40:3

Listen to me, O royal daughter; take to heart what I say.
Forget your people and your family far away.
For your royal husband delights in your beauty;
honor Him, for He is your Lord…
The bride, a princess, looks glorious in her golden gown.
In her beautiful robes, she is led to the King, accompanied by her bridesmaids.
What a joyful and enthusiastic procession as they enter the King’s palace!
Psalms 45:10-15

I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God!
For He has dressed me with the clothing of salvation
and draped me in a robe of righteousness.
I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding or a bride with her jewels.
Isaiah 61:10

…there will be heard once more the sounds of joy and laughter.
The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will be heard again,
along with the joyous songs of people bringing thanksgiving offerings to the Lord.
They will sing, ‘Give thanks to the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
for the Lord is good.  His faithful love endures forever!’
Jeremiah 33:11

“Praise the Lord! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.
Let us be glad and rejoice, and let us give honor to Him.
For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb, and His bride has prepared herself.
She has been given the finest of pure white linen to wear.”
For the fine linen represents the good deeds of God’s holy people.
And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.”
And he added, “These are true words that come from God.”
Revelation 19:6-9

“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this message for the churches.
I am both the source of David and the Heir to his throne.
I am the Bright Morning Star.”
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.”
Let anyone who hears this say, “Come.”
Let anyone who is thirsty come.
Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life.
Revelation 22:16-17

He Who is the Faithful Witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!”
Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!
May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s holy people.
Revelations 22:20-21

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in Me.
There is more than enough room in My Father’s home.
If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?
When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with Me where I am.
John 14:1-3

So with joy and anticipation, as this song says, “Wake up the saint, let every nation shout Jesus’ fame,” because it is a sure thing—Jesus is coming.  Maranatha!

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Dear God, we are so thankful to be called the bride of Christ!  What joy, what privilege, and also what responsibility.  Help us by Your Holy Spirit to be alert and waiting with great anticipation for our soon-coming King.  While in that waiting, may our joy draw others to seek You, too.  Come, Lord Jesus!  In Your Holy Name we pray.  Amen.

Truth We Can Depend On

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Every word of God proves true.
    He is a shield to all who come to Him for protection.
Proverbs 30:5  NLT

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 And The Message version reads,

Every promise of God proves true;
He protects everyone who runs to Him for help.

Does it boggle your mind to try to understand that every (all possible) word of God proves (shows beyond doubt) that it is true (accurate, faithful)?  In our human experience, with ourselves and with those around us, we know that kind of perfection and faithfulness doesn’t exist 100% of the time.

Thankfully, it is true for God’s Word.  In the Amplified, it says His words are “…tested and refined like silver.”  And Psalm 12:6 states, “The Lord’s promises are pure, like silver refined in a furnace, purified seven times over.”  That leaves absolutely no imperfections.

Your promises have been thoroughly tested;
that is why I love them so much.
Psalm 119:140

Because of this purity, God’s Word is sure and we can trust it.  God is one with His Word.  God promises to protect all who come to Him, and we can be sure He will.

God is our Refuge and Strength [mighty and impenetrable],
A very present and well-proved help in trouble.
Psalm 46:1 AMP

In the midst of life’s conflicts and disappointments, God is our Shield. Shields come in many different shapes and sizes. Some are tall to cover the warrior from head to toe. Some other shapes are made to protect the most vital organs, and to deflect the enemy’s weapons from harming the warrior. Spiritually speaking, God does exactly that.  When we come (run) to Him, He is there to protect us from the “fiery darts” of the enemy.  In Ephesians 6:16, God says, “…in all circumstances take up the shield of faith.”  God is there for us, but in faith we must come to Him and accept (take up) His protection.

  • The more we know Jesus, the more we will know God’s Word:

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
and we have seen His glory,
glory as of the only Son from the Father,
full of grace and truth.
John 1:1, 14

  •  The more we know Jesus, the more we know the Father:

I and the Father are one.
John 10:30

  • The more we know Jesus, the more we know the Father’s Truth:

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.
No one can come to the Father except through Me.”
John 14:6

 

  • The more we know Jesus, the more we will be sanctified and protected by God’s Truth.

Sanctify them in the truth; Your Word is truth.
John 17:17

If we will study Jesus—His life, His words, His relationships with others, and His relationship with God the Father—we will know that God’s Word is truth and we can trust it.  We will have the assurance that we can run to God and find the protection we need.  We will walk in faith, and be shielded by Him.

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Dear God, we are so grateful that we have Your Word to turn to.  Life is not easy, and, we need Your protection even when we don’t realize it.  Help us, Lord, not to just “pick up” Your shield in times of imminent danger…but to live our lives getting to know Jesus, Your Word, so we can be in Your protection at all times.  Thank You for the promise that “Every word of God proves true.”  In Jesus’ Precious Name we pray, Amen.

My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less

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My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name

When darkness seems to veil His face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil

His oath, His covenant and blood
Support me in the ‘whelming flood
When all around my soul gives way
He then is all my hope and stay

On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand

When the last trumpet’s voice shall sound
O may I then in Him be found
Clothed in His righteousness alone
Faultless to stand before His throne

Sovereign Grace Music
Words by Edward Mote (1797-1874)

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We use the word ‘hope’ often in our daily lives.  We hope it’s a sunny day, we hope there are good sales when we go to the grocery store, we hope we sleep well at night.  There’s also the more serious hopes.  We hope our kids stay healthy, we hope we get the job promotion, we hope our budget stretches to the end of the month, we hope we make it to Heaven.  I’m sure you have heard all of those hopes, have even said them…and many more.

Those hopeful comments express the day-to-day feeling of desire for a certain thing to happen, a wishful thinking.  The hope that is sung about in this old hymn is based on a trust in something or someone.  Defined by one Biblical source it is an ‘expectation of, a looking forward to, something beneficial now and in the future’.  Another source uses the words ‘confidence, to anticipate, welcome, an expectation of what is sure, certain’, to describe this kind of hope.

Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed)
of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see
and the conviction of their reality
[faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].
Hebrews 11:1 AMP

…So that by two unchangeable things,
in which it is impossible for God to lie,
we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement
to hold fast to the hope set before us.
Hebrews 6:19

As a child, I remember ‘belting out’ the words to this chorus, “On Christ the solid rock I stand; All other ground is sinking sand.”  I love the words of this old hymn, because they are true.  The hope I have is built on Christ, The Rock, His blood and His righteousness.  That is all I ever want to trust in. All other hope is “sinking sand.”  People, as caring and well-meaning as they can be, are not enough to secure my standing before God.  In the “high and stormy gale” there is no anchor that holds me like Jesus.

For it says in Scripture:

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.”
So the honor is for you who believe…
1 Peter 2:6-7

For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid,
which is Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:11

Here are just a few Scriptures of assurance that God is our Hope, our Refuge, our Strength in life:

On God my salvation and my glory rest;
The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.
Psalm 62:7 NASB

He only is my Rock and my Salvation, my Fortress; I shall not be shaken.
Psalm 62:6 ESV

You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble;
You surround me with songs of deliverance.
Psalm 32:7 NASB

The LORD is my Light and my Salvation; whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the Stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27:1 ESV

God is our Refuge and Strength, a very present Help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear…
Psalm 46:1-2 ESV

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, “My Refuge and my Fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
Psalm 91:1-2 ESV

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10 ESV

I encourage you to meditate on this parable from Jesus:

Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.  But everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.

Matthew 7:24-27

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Who or what is your rock, your refuge?  Do you live in hope, in confidence, and in certainty of Jesus Christ as your sure foundation?  My prayer is that you can ‘belt out’ this song with me:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
IT IS SO!

God’s Promises Last Forever

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The grass withers and the flowers fall
but the Word of God stands forever.
Isaiah 40:8

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To everything there is a season.  Because of the sin of Adam and Eve, there is life and there is death.  All of creation is under that curse.  The grass has a life span; then it withers and dies.  The flowers open with beauty and sweet fragrance; then they fade and die. There are storms that break the stems of the plant, and there are floods that drown the grass.  There are also droughts that kill the grass, flowers, and other vegetation.

For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 NLT

This summer, as I walked beside a nearby creek, I discovered a single plant that had the most beautiful little red flowers growing along its stem. I had never seen it before and I have no idea what its name is, but I enjoyed its beauty.  That is until the flowers one by one started to fade and die.  That made me sad.  I’m so hoping I will find it growing along the bank next year, but I have no promise of that.

What I do know is that I/we have the promise, as our devotional Scripture says, that God’s Word will stand forever.

For that is what God is like.
He is our God forever and ever,
and He will guide us until we die.
Psalm 48:14

All He does is just and good,
and all His commandments are trustworthy.
They are forever true,
to be obeyed faithfully and with integrity.
He has paid a full ransom for His people.
He has guaranteed His covenant with them forever.
What a holy, awe-inspiring name He has!
Psalms 111:7-9

But You are near, O Lord,
and all Your commands are true.
I have known from my earliest days
that Your laws will last forever.
Psalms 119:151-152

The very essence of Your words is truth;
all Your just regulations will stand forever.
Psalm 119:160

For each of us, there is life and there is death.  For each of us, we will have storms that try to break us, floods that try to drown us, droughts that try to kill us.  Perhaps you are going through one of those periods right now in your life.  If you are grounded in the Word of the Lord—as the flower is rooted in the rich soil along the creek bank—rest assured that the hard times are for a season but God’s Word lasts forever.  The sun will come out, Spring will come again, the grass will grow and the flower will bloom in your life.  We have that promise when we trust in His Word.

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Dear God, we, Your children, thank You for Your Word.  We know You are from everlasting to everlasting, therefore so is Your Word.  You and Your Word are one.  When we are going through seasons of storms or droughts, please remind us by Your Holy Spirit that Your promises are true everyday no matter what.  You will see us through the stormy times, and we will grow and bloom again and be stronger than before.  Thank You, Lord, that Your Word stands forever.  In Jesus’ Precious Name, Amen.

It Is Well (Through It All)

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv
Grand earth has quaked before
Moved by the sound of His voice
Seas that are shaken and stirred
Can be calmed and broken for my regard

And through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
And through it all, through it all
It is well
And through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
And it is well with me

Far be it from me to not believe
Even when my eyes can’t see
And this mountain that’s in front of me
Will be thrown into the midst of the sea

So let go, my soul, and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name

It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You, Lord
Through it all, through it all
It is well with me

Bethel Music
written by Kristene DeMarco
Traditional hymn, It Is Well, written by Horatio Spafford

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  • From the beginning of Creation, the earth has responded to the voice of God, its Creator. (Genesis 1)
  • As the Israelites escaped from the Egyptians, the Red Sea parted at God’s command. (Exodus 13:17-14:31)
  • When the disciples were in the raging storm on the Sea of Galilee, it was calmed at the voice of Jesus. (Mark 4:35-41)
  • When God speaks and nature responds, it’s for a reason. When Christ was dying on the Cross, for the sins committed by each of us, there was great pain (spiritually and physically) and Christ cried out and the earth responded with a quake. (Matthew 27:46-56)

Our God is sovereign over all of Creation…and that includes each of us.

When we pass through the waters, He will be there for us.

But now thus says the Lord,
He who created you, O Jacob,
He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Isaiah 43:1-3

Whether we are escaping the enemy of our soul or the storms and pains of daily life, our God can command calm.  Whether it is physical, emotional, financial, relational, or spiritual, because Christ paid the price on the Cross, it can be “calmed and broken for my regard.”  He knows our pain and so much more.  We may not see the answers immediately, but our hope is built on nothing less than our faith in Jesus’ cleansing blood and righteousness.

The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart
(that is, the word of faith that we proclaim);
because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”
Romans 10:8-11

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses,
but we have One who has been tempted in every way,
just as we are—yet He did not sin.
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence,
so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Hebrews 4:15-16

Through it all, He is Emmanuel—God with us.  When the mountains in our life are too big for us to climb, Jesus wants us to have the faith to command it to be thrown into the sea.

And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God.
Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain,
‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart,
but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer,
believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Mark 11:23

When we are going through hard times in our lives, God wants us to keep our eyes on Jesus.  It is with the authority of Christ given to us that we can speak His Name to the mountains and storms.  He is our Salvation…spirit, soul, and body.

So let go, my soul, and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His Name…
…Through it all
It is well, it is well with me

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Lord Jesus, oh how, we love You!  All of us have waves and wind and mountains that try to stop us in our tracks (and sometimes they do for a time) but through it all You give us the love and confidence to say, “it is well with my soul.”  Help us by Your Holy Spirit to keep our eyes fixed on You and not on our circumstances.  We have our faith in You so we can say, “Though we pass through the waters You are with us, so we will not drown!”  Thank You!  In Jesus’ precious Name, Amen.

Refiner’s Fire

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Purify my heart
Let me be as gold and precious silver
Purify my heart
Let me be as gold, pure gold

Refiner’s fire
My heart’s one desire
Is to be holy
Set apart for You, Lord
I choose to be holy
Set apart for You, my Master
Ready to do Your will

Purify my heart
Cleanse me from within
And make me holy

Purify my heart
Cleanse me from my sin
Deep within

Brian Doerksen
singer/songwriter

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There are numerous uses for fire.  Fire on a torch will light the way in a cavern.  A bonfire can provide warmth and a place to prepare food for campers.  A fire can also destroy property and lives, as we have seen this summer in the Western states.

There is a fire that I definitely want in my life.  This fire destroys the impurities in my life. It is the Refiner’s Fire.

“Behold, I send my messenger, and He will prepare the way before Me.
And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to His temple;
and the Messenger of the covenant in Whom you delight,
behold, He is coming, says the Lord of hosts.
But who can endure the day of His coming, and who can stand when He appears?
For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap.
He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver,
and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver,
and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord.
Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord
as in the days of old and as in former years.
Malachi 3:1-4

Silver doesn’t come right out of the ground pure.  It is found in dirt, surrounded by other minerals such as copper, lead, and zinc.  To get the pure silver that has value, it must be refined.  There are several different refining methods, but the one that intrigues me most is the refining fire.  Silver melts at very high temperatures.  It is lightweight compared to other minerals, so it will float to the top; and the dross (the other minerals and impurities) will separate from the silver so it can be extracted in its pure form.  A similar process is done to purify gold, as well.

Do you see a comparison with our lives?  Each of us is precious in God’s sight since He created us in His image.  But each of us in our carnal nature comes to Jesus imperfect, impure.  We have sin (dirt) in our lives. We have bad habits (copper), bad attitudes (zinc), and even fears (lead) that cling to us and weigh us down. To stay in His presence we must become perfect, pure even as God is pure.

Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him.
Proverbs 30:5 KJV
[The Douay-Rheims Bible says, “Every word of God is fire tried:”]

The LORD’s promises are pure, like silver refined in a furnace, purified seven times over.
Psalm 12:6 NLT

As for God, His way is blameless (pure); the word of the LORD is tested;
2 Samuel 22:13NAS

I want to stay in the presence of my/our pure and holy God.  I can’t do that without allowing Him to refine me.  I sing this song with the sincere desire to be purified, cleansed of all impurities that cling to my life.  The refining fire may hurt because there are things in my carnal nature that I don’t want to let go.  But when I submit to God’s purifying, I find that I’m very glad to get rid of those impurities and their weight.

…let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely,
and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us….
Hebrews 12:1 ESV

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So I pray today and I hope you will join me:
Lord, purify my heart.  Please cleanse me from deep within.  I choose to allow You to use Your refining fire to cleanse the dross of my life away.  Please forgive me, Lord, for holding onto those things which tarnish the precious creation that You made me to be.  My one desire, Lord, is to be set apart for You—pure and holy—so I am ready to do Your Will.  In Jesus’ pure and holy Name, I pray.  Amen.

Love Came Down

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

If my heart is overwhelmed
And I cannot hear Your voice
I hold on to what is true
Though I cannot see

If the storms of life they come
And the road ahead gets steep
I will lift these hands in faith
I will believe

I’ll remind myself
Of all that You’ve done
And the life I have
Because of Your Son

Love came down and rescued me
Love came down and set me free
I am Yours; Lord, I’m forever Yours
Mountains high or valley low
I sing out and remind my soul
I am Yours,  I am forever Yours

When my heart is filled with hope
Every promise comes my way
When I feel Your hands of grace
Rest upon me

I am Yours, I am Yours
All my days, Jesus, I am Yours

Staying desperate for You, God
Staying humble at Your feet
I will lift these hands in praise
I will believe

Yeah, I am Yours, I’m Yours, I am Yours
Jesus I am Yours

Kari Jobe ~ singer/songwriter

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Has your heart been overwhelmed?  Have there been storms in your life so dark that you couldn’t see your next step?  Who, or what, do you rely on during those times?

I know in my life it’s not if but when my heart is overwhelmed and when the storms of life come.  None of us are immune to troubles; after all, we live in a fallen world where sin abounds.  Thankfully, from the time I was born I was taught about the love of God through Jesus, and at an early age I accepted Jesus as my Savior.  (Read John 3:16-17.)  That certainly didn’t take away all the bad stuff that life brings, but it did give me Someone to look to for love and security.  And that has been my foundation when “the road ahead gets steep” or the “mountains high or valleys low.”

I’ve had some very dark days when I couldn’t see my next step. During those times “I’ll remind myself of all that You’ve done, and the life I have because of Your Son.”  The love of God rescued me as a child from sin and death, and His love continues to rescue me. Why? Because I am His!

But God is so rich in mercy, and He loved us so much,
that even though we were dead because of our sins,
He gave us life when He raised Christ from the dead.
(It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)
Ephesians 2:4-5

The following passage is a little long, but please take time to read it with a listening heart.  When you do, I believe your ‘mountain’ won’t seem too high, because of the reassurance that you are God’s and  that NOTHING can separate you from His love.

What shall we say about such wonderful things as these?  If God is for us, who can ever be against us?  Since He did not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all, won’t He also give us everything else?  …Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and He is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love?  Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?  …No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, Who loved us.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

from Romans 8:31-39

Your unfailing love will last forever.
Your faithfulness is as enduring as the heavens.
Psalm 89:2

I am so thankful to sing:

Love came down and rescued me
Love came down and set me free
I am Yours
I am forever Yours

 Are you singing with me? I pray it is “yes and amen” for you, too!

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Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for Your great love for each of us.  You have rescued us and set us free from sin and death, and for that we give You all praise and honor.  There are times when we are overwhelmed in the storms of life, but we have the security of knowing that You are always with us.  Knowing You love us fills us with hope.  Our hearts’ cry is to stay “desperate for You,” and “humble at Your feet.”  We are so thankful to sing, “I am Yours, I’m Yours, I am Yours, Jesus, I am Yours!”  In Jesus’ Precious Name, Amen.

I Can Pray

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

I may never sing a song that brings people to their feet
And mighty men of world renown I may never get to meet
But I have an invitation to hasten to His throne
To lay my burdens at His feet and make my petitions known

I can pray
Though the storm around me rages
I can trust the Rock of ages when I pray
And the peace I can’t explain when I call upon His Name
I just know I’m not the same when I pray

When it seems the road I’m trav’ling on just doesn’t have an end
I have found that He will be my brother and my friend
For He never will forsake me; He will always hear my plea
Because He stands beside the Father, interceding just for me

If my people
Who are called by My Name
Will humble themselves
Will humble themselves and pray

Singer/ Songwriter: Kim Culpepper
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I heard this song several months ago, and it spoke to me.  I put it in my ‘maybe’ list of songs to blog, not knowing when or if I was to share it.  Over the past two months a 16 year old young man in our church has been struggling with a deadly illness and has been through several brains surgeries already, with the almost certain need for more.  Our congregation, friends and family, both near and far, are praying for this boy!  What more can we do?!

Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:2

Instead of worrying, pray.
Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers,
letting God know your concerns.
Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness,
everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down.
It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Philippians 4:6-7 MSG

The songs I sing will never bring people to their feet, and won’t heal Zach.  The mighty men of world renown can visit him at his hospital bedside, but they can’t heal Zach.  This road that Zach and his family are traveling on seems to have no end.  This is a storm that is too great for any human to conquer.  Perhaps you, too, (physically, emotionally, or spiritually), are on a rugged road that seems to have no end, and are in a storm too great to conquer.

BUT GOD!  Each of us has an invitation to hasten to the Throne of the One and Only God, the Rock of Ages, Who can do anything, including heal our dear Zach and calm your storm. That is exactly what Zach’s parents, and we are doing daily, even moment-by-moment, and I encourage you to do the same.

Where else can we find peace?
Who else assures us that He hears our prayers?
Who else promises to never leave us or forsake us?
Who else can calm the storm?
Who else can heal Zach?
Who else can smooth your road?
No one, BUT GOD!

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God.
There we will receive His mercy,
and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
Hebrews 14:16 NLT

Trust in the LORD always, for the LORD God is the eternal Rock.
Isaiah 26:4

Trust in Him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our Refuge.
Psalm 62:8

As one song says, “Our God is an awesome God, Who reigns in Heaven above, with wisdom, power, and love, our God is an awesome God.”  With that assurance, we run into God’s Throne Room, and lay our “burdens at His feet and make my (our) petitions known.”

It is there

  • we have the assurance that He hears our prayers
  • we know that Jesus is interceding before our Father for us
  • we find our peace
  • we find our answers
  • we are “not the same when I (we) pray.”

If God is for us, who can be against us?
He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all,
how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?…
Christ Jesus is the One who died
—more than that, Who was raised—
Who is at the right hand of God, Who indeed is interceding for us….
Romans 8:31-39

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Whatever your storm is today, dear friend, believe that Jesus wants you to come to Him with it.  Believe He will take care of your need, no matter what is it.  When you can’t do anything else, YOU CAN PRAY.  And we, your sisters in Christ, will pray with you.  Jesus is waiting and listening…and answering.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7 NIV

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.
Isaiah 26:3

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 14:27

Drops In The Ocean

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I want you as you are, not as you ought to be
Won’t you lay down your guard and come to Me
The shame that grips you now is crippling
It breaks My heart to see you suffering

‘Cause I am for you
I’m not against you

If you want to know
How far my love can go
Just how deep, just how wide
If want to see
How much you mean to Me
Look at My hands, look at My side
If you could count the times I say you are forgiven
It’s more than the drops in the ocean

Don’t think you need to settle for a substitute
When I’m the only love that changes you

And I am for you
I’m not against you
And I am for you
I’m not against you

I am for you,
I’m not against you

Hawk Nelson
Writers: Jon Steingard; Jason Ingram; Matt Bronleewe

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Do you hear God speaking to you through this song?  God says, “I want you as you are … come to Me … it breaks My heart to see you suffering.”

Then Jesus said,
“Come to Me,
all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28

‘Cause I am for you
I’m not against you

Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid or terrified because of them,
for the LORD your God goes with you;
He will never leave you nor forsake you.
Deuteronomy 31:6

For the LORD will not reject His people;
He will never forsake His inheritance.
Psalm 94:14

If you want to know
How far my love can go
Just how deep, just how wide

Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him.
Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.
And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should,
how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is.
May you experience the love of Christ,
though it is too great to understand fully.
Then you will be made complete
with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Ephesians 3:17-19

The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love Me.
I will protect those who trust in My name.
When they call on Me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
I will reward them with a long life
and give them My salvation.”
Psalms 91:14-17

If you want to see
How much you mean to me
Look at my hands, look at my side
If you could count the times I say you are forgiven
It’s more than the drops in the ocean

But the Lord our God is merciful and forgiving,
even though we have rebelled against Him.
Daniel 9:9

He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west.
Psalm 103:12

Once again You will have compassion on us.
You will trample our sins under Your feet
and throw them into the depths of the ocean!
Micah 7:19

Don’t think you need to settle for a substitute
When I’m the only love that changes you

He is so rich in kindness and grace
that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son
and forgave our sins.
Ephesians 1:7

Open your heart,
It’s time that we start again

But if we confess our sins to Him,
He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins
and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
1 John 1:9

They found grace out in the desert,
…out looking for a place to rest,
[they] met God out looking for them!
God told them, “I’ve never quit loving you and never will.
Expect love, love, and more love!
And so now I’ll start over with you and build you up again…
Jeremiah 31:2-4 MSG

Do you see, my sisters, how much God loves you?!  In all these Scriptures and so many more, God tells us “I LOVE YOU!” There is no substitute for God’s love expressed in Jesus’ willingness to come and die for us. What love! He is always for us. He’s never against us. He always wants to forgive us. When shame grips us, when we are suffering, Jesus says, “Open your heart, it’s time we start again.”

YOU ARE FORGIVEN!  YOU ARE LOVED!

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Lord, thank You for expressing over and over again “how wide, how long, how high, and how deep” Your love is for each of us.  You are so rich in kindness and grace, that You forgive us more times than there are “drops in the ocean.”  Help us to always accept Your love and forgiveness.  Help us share this good news with others.  In Jesus’ precious Name, Amen.

Jesus Is All The World To Me

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Jesus is all the world to me,
My life, my joy, my all;
He is my strength from day to day,
Without Him I would fall.
When I am sad, to Him I go,
No other one can cheer me so;
When I am sad, He makes me glad,
He’s my Friend.

Jesus is all the world to me,
My Friend in trials sore;
I go to Him for blessings, and
He gives them o’er and o’er.
He sends the sunshine and the rain,
He sends the harvest’s golden grain;
Sunshine and rain, harvest of grain,
He’s my Friend.

Jesus is all the world to me,
And true to Him I’ll be;
Oh, how could I this Friend deny,
When He’s so true to me?
Following Him I know I’m right,
He watches o’er me day and night;
Following Him by day and night,
He’s my Friend.

Jesus is all the world to me,
I want no better Friend;
I trust Him now, I’ll trust Him when
Life’s fleeting days shall end.
Beautiful life with such a Friend,
Beautiful life that has no end;
Eternal life, eternal joy,
He’s my Friend.

CRC Worship
written by Will Thompson

This song came into my mind a few weeks ago, and I kept “singing” it over and over.  I noticed that the word “Friend” was in each verse at least once.  Mr. Thompson referred to Jesus as his ‘Friend’. I decided to go to Biblegateway.com to look at Scriptures with “friend” in them.  There are 170 verses in the NIV translation with that term and many more with references to friendship.  Some verses refer to betrayal or jealousy, while others refer to intimacy.  The verses I pulled out refer to the personal friendship with God and Jesus that means “all the world to me.”

Even now my Witness is in Heaven; my Advocate is on high.
My Intercessor is my friend, as my eyes pour out tears to God;
on behalf of a man He pleads with God as one pleads for a friend.
Job 16:19-20

A friend loves at all times,…
Proverbs 17:17

…there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 18:24

One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace
will have the King for a friend.
Proverbs 22:11

When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
Luke 5:20

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
John 15:13-15

Here are just a few more “friend” verses that you may want to read at your convenience: Exodus 33:11, Song of Songs 5:16, Matthew 11:19, Luke 12:4, James 2:23.

There have been (and will be) times when we fall, and we fail to do God’s perfect will.  I’m so thankful that Jesus is there for us.  He is our Strength, and lifts us up back into fellowship with Him.  In Him we find true joy.  Jesus is “all the world to me!

The LORD upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.
Psalm 145:14

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
James 4:10

…and those the Lord has rescued will return.
They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
Isaiah 35:10

When we are in fellowship with Jesus, we will experience blessings even when we are going through trials.  That’s because wherever Jesus is blessings are too.  They are a part of Him, and we are the benefactors.  Jesus is “all the world to me.”

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms
because we are united with Christ.
Ephesians 1:3

There is no truer Friend you or I can have than Jesus who laid down His life for us (John 15:13), and promises us that He will never forsake us. Jesus is “all the world to me.

…be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6
Because of our friendship with Jesus, we have this assurance:

Beautiful life with such a Friend,
Beautiful life that has no end;
Eternal life, eternal joy,
He’s my (your) Friend.

And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding,
so that we may know Him who is true;
and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ.
He is the true God and eternal life.
1 John 5:20

Jesus said to her, “I am the Resurrection and the Life.
The one who believes in Me will live, even though they die;
and whoever lives by believing in Me will never die.
John 11:25

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Revelation 21:4

Is Jesus your Friend?  If not, He’s waiting for you.  My friendship with Jesus means “all the world to me,”  and I pray you can say the same.  You will have “no better Friend.”

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone hears My voice and opens the door,
I will come in and eat with that person, and they with Me.”
Revelation 3:20

 

Dear Jesus, thank You for laying down Your life and rising to new life for us. Through Your ultimate sacrifice, You made the way for us to become Your friend, a part of Your family. We have no better Friend. You are our life, our joy, our all. You are “all the world to us.” Thank You! We give You our all to be Your friend. In Your Holy Precious Name we pray, Amen.