April 29, 2017

My Story

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

If I told you my story,
You would hear hope, that wouldn’t let go
and if I told you my story,
you would hear Love that never gave up
and if I told you my story,
you would hear Life, but it wasn’t mine

If I should speak, then let it be
of the grace that is Greater than all my sin
of when justice was served, and where mercy wins!
of the kindness of Jesus, that draws me in
oh to tell you my story, is to tell of Him

If I told you my story,
you would hear victory over the enemy
and if I told you my story,
you would hear freedom that was won for me
and if I told you my story,
you would hear Life Overcome the grave

This is my story, this is my song
praising my Savior, all the day long
this is my story, this is my song
praising my Savior, all the day long

for the grace that is Greater, than all my sin
of where justice was served, and where mercy wins!
of the kindness of Jesus, that draws me in
o to tell you my story,
is to tell of the grace that is Greater, than all my sin
of where justice was served, and mercy wins!

of the kindness of Jesus, that draws me in
oh to tell you my story, is to tell of Him
oh to tell you my story, is to tell of Him

This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long

Big Daddy Weave
written by Jason Ingram and Mike Weaver

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This is the time of year when we, as a nation, take time to focus on what we are thankful for.  We have—this beautiful land in which we live, our freedom to vote, our freedom to worship, our families, our friends, our jobs, and so much more.  We should be full of thanksgiving to our Lord, because He is the Provider of all good things.

And God will generously provide all you need.
Then you will always have everything you need
and plenty left over to share with others…
For God is the One who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat.
In the same way, He will provide and increase your resources
and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.
2 Corinthians 9:8-10

The greatest gift that we should be thankful for is our salvation.  We have salvation when we don’t have freedom.  We have salvation when we don’t have family or friends.  We have salvation when we are out of work and have no income.  We have salvation even when we are in a Third World country.  Our salvation is not dependent on any of these things.

But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food.
Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you.
For God the Father has given Me the seal of His approval.
John 6:27

You see, it’s really Jesus’ story for which I am most thankful.  Our salvation is dependent on Jesus and His sacrifice on the Cross for us, each of us…not just a select few.  His provision to save us gives us grace, love, hope, life.  It gives us victory over the enemy, and freedom.  Out of His kindness, out of His story comes my story.  I have no story to tell if it were not for Jesus being willing to do His Father’s will and come to earth to live and die and be raised again to new life.

God saved you by His grace when you believed.
And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.
Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done,
so none of us can boast about it.
Ephesians 2:8-9

For the wages of sin is death,
but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23

I can and want to praise my Savior “all the day long.”

  • He gave His love, which never gives up.
  • He provides hope, which won’t let go.
  • He gave His life, so I could have mine.

Oh, the kindness of the Lord compels me to tell/sing of His grace and mercy, which always wins!

In His kindness, God called you to share
in His eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus.
1 Peter 5:10

What are you thankful for during this Thanksgiving season?  Is your list long?  What’s at the top of that list? I’m praying that your salvation is number one.  I’m praying that your story is not based on the things you are thankful for, but on the One you are thankful to.  Tell me your story; I’d love to hear you tell me about Jesus.

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With great thanksgiving, Lord, we come to You.  We come with our hearts bursting with the love and joy we have for You, knowing that all good things come from You.  Thank You for all of Your blessings.  We also come to thank You for our salvation.  Thank You, Jesus, for obeying Your Father’s will, so that we can experience new life with You.  The details of our individual stories may look different, but the truth of our stories is that it is Your story.  We are privileged to share Your Good News with others.  Help us by Your Holy Spirit to praise You all the day long so that others will hear Your story and come to You.  In Jesus’ Precious Name we pray, Amen.

Can He…Could He…Would He…Yes, He Can

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Can He (can He save me), could He (could He love me)
Would He (would He take me), did He (did He really)
Can He, could He, would He, yes, He can, He could, He would, and He did
Can He (can He save me), could He (could He love me)
Would He (would He take me), did He (did He really)
Can He, could He, would He, yes, He can, He could, He would, and He did

From the moment I heard about the Lord and His Word
Well, it seemed to be too good to be true
Major questions and doubts I tried to figure it out
But the best that I could do
Was to wander around in the love that I found
Until my questions started answering themselves, singing
Can He, could He, would He, yes, He can, He could, He would, and He did

You can say you don’t know it’s necessarily so
Like somebody said it once in a song
You can think what you choose, but, let me tell you the news
The Lord has loved you all along
So if you’re asking again will the doubts never end,
Simply trust Him and you’ll see for yourself, singing
Can He, could He, would He, yes, He can, He could, He would, and He did

Vocal Union
written by John Chisum, Dwight Liles
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Cute song, yes?  But really these {Can He save me?  Could He love me? Would He take me?  Did He really?} are deep, vital questions!  And we each need to know—that we know—that we know the answers!  Oh, we might be able to say we do…but…are we convinced in our hearts?  The Scriptures give us the Truth to hold onto and treasure in our hearts for those times we may falter.

Can He save me?  Yes, He can…and He did!

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
1 Timothy 2:3

For by grace are ye saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Ephesians 2:8 and 9

And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven
that has been given among men by which we must be saved.
Acts 4:12

Could He love me?  Yes, He could…and He does!

For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world
that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son,
so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.
John 3:16 AMP

But God proves His own love for us
in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!
Romans 5:8

This is love: not that we loved God,
but that He loved us
and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
1 John 4:10

Would He take me?  Yes, He would…and He’ll never leave you!

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.
He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.
Psalms 103:8-14

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels,
nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come,
nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing,
will be able to separate us from the love of God,
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38 and 39

Then Peter opened his mouth and said:
Most certainly and thoroughly I now perceive
and understand that God shows no partiality and is no respecter of persons,
But in every nation he who venerates and has a reverential fear for God,
treating Him with worshipful obedience and living uprightly,
is acceptable to Him and sure of being received and welcomed by Him.
Acts 10:34 and 35

Did He really (do ALL that)?
Yes, He did…and much, much more…and none of that will ever change!

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Can He?  Could He?  Would He?  YES, He can!  He could…He would…and He did!

Oh. Yes. He. Did.  (Don’t ever forget that!)   ♥

Thankful

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

‘Cause we’re all stillborn and dead in our transgressions
Now we’re shackled up to the sin we hold so dear
So what part can I play in the work of redemption
‘Cause I can’t refuse, I cannot add a thing
‘Cause I am just like Lazarus and I can hear Your voice
I stand and rub my eyes and walk to You because I have no choice

So I am thankful that I’m incapable
But I’m doin’ any good on my own
I say that I’m so thankful that I’m incapable
Of doin’ any good on my own

It’s by grace I have been saved
Through faith that’s not my own
It is the gift of God and not by works
Lest anyone should boast

So I am thankful that I’m incapable
And I’m doin’ any good on my own, yeah
I say that I’m so thankful that I’m incapable
And I’m doin’ any good on my own

Listen while you read! 

Written by Derek Webb, Alex Band, Aaron Kamm Kamin

Performed by Caedmon’s Call

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For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves,
it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9

Anytime I see or hear the above verse, I think of an old saying that my dad used to say to me as a child… “The road to heaven is not paved with good works.” Only as I grew up and grew, hopefully, wiser did I start to understand what he meant. As a teenager I learned that to be “saved” you had to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and confess with your mouth that you believed He died on the Cross for you. Yet, as anyone goes through life and accepts Christ, they learn that it is more than that—it is having a personal relationship with Him.

Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.”  Then Jesus shouted,“Lazarus, come out!” And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!”
John 11:40-44

Just like Lazarus we are dead—not physically but spiritually—until we believe and confess that Jesus died on the Cross to defeat the sentence of death for our sin. Our spirits are asleep as long as we refuse to “wake up” and see the true teachings and miracles of Jesus. We are in a spiritual grave until Jesus calls to our hearts, and we answer. We come stumbling out of the tomb just as Lazarus did when Jesus gave him life.

Just like Lazarus, we are products of God’s glory and work. We are created to worship God and bring Him glory in all that we do. We are incapable of doing His work without having Him in our hearts and at our sides. When we acknowledge that God is with us and that He died for us, we grow stronger, and unbelievers can see the work of God in us. Jesus unwraps us from the tangled web of sin and sets us free. We become capable when we have Jesus with us.

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Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for untangling me from the web of sin. Thank You for making me capable of showing the glory of God in my everyday life.  Thank You for making me capable.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Thank You, Lord, For Saving My Soul

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Thank You, Lord, for saving my soul
Thank You, Lord, for making me whole
Thank You, Lord, for giving to me
Thy great salvation so rich and free

~  Sing this song with me as our prayer and worship today.  ~

~  Written by Seth and Bessie Sykes  /  Sung by Jimmy Swaggart  ~

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I’m writing this Hymn blog in remembrance of my mother, Leona Nelson Gilbert, who went to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, November 2010.  As far back as I can remember we sang the chorus of this song.  It was a favorite…in church, in our home, and even in our car.  The last place I heard my mom sing this chorus was in her bed as I would tuck her in at night.  She was 95+ years old.  We would talk, pray, and sing before she grew too tired to sing anymore. “God is So Good” and “Thank You, Lord, for Saving My Soul” were her two favorites.

In my research I found that this chorus is actually part of a hymn written by Seth and Bessie Sykes, copyrighted in 1940.

In 1929 Sykes left his job as a tramway conductor, and along with his wife became a full-time traveling evangelist, well known in the United Kingdom and the USA. Seth’s sermons led countless people to Christ and this hymn was most assuredly sung as a regular part of their services.

Click here and listen to this beautiful song along with the complete set of lyrics.

Our family, like so many others, went through some hard times, but my mother taught me that when Jesus is in my heart I always have a song to sing.  I don’t know if she ever knew the rest of the hymn but I know she would have liked it, because it thanks God for all that she held dear—family, friends, His creation, His joy, His grace, His great salvation.

Now she sings this chorus of praise as she looks upon His glorious face.  I’m looking forward to the day when I will join Mom in front of God’s Throne, and sing “Thank You, Lord, for saving my soul, Thank You, Lord, for making me whole.” Jesus gave us His great salvation so rich and free.  He gave His all.  I pray that I, like Mom, will give Him my all, all the days of my life.  My mother taught me that He is Worthy!

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—
and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—
not by works, so that no one can boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV

O give thanks unto the LORD; for He is good;
for His mercy endureth for ever.
1 Chronicles 16:34 KJV

Steve Green’s song, “Find Us Faithful” says, “May the footprints that we leave lead them to believe…” and that is exactly what Mom prayed and lived.  In whatever role(s) you play…mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, friend, or caregiver…never begrudge the time you take to play, sing, read, listen, or even “act silly” with a child.  It’s important!  That child is listening and learning from you.  Make every moment count–it’s eternally worth it.

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Dear Lord, thank You for saving our soul, thank You for making us whole. Thank You for the women in our lives who have shared Your love with us. Lord, in our busyness, remind us to take time to share Your love and salvation with others around us, especially the children. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Amazing Grace

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Amazing grace, oh, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I’m found was blind, but now I see

When we’ve been there ten thousand years bright shining as the sun
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise then when we first begun

Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come
‘Twas grace that brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home

Amazing grace, oh, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I’m found; was blind but now I see (was blind but now I see)

~  Sing this song with me as our prayer and worship today.  ~

Amazing Grace!  How sweet the sound!  Oh, YES, the sound of grace has been so sweet in my life.  I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see….

Grace is the word that God gave me as ‘my word’ for this year 2014.  Grace is something I am so very thankful for in my own life and something that God expects me now to give to others.  What God has so freely given you…you must now pour out onto others.  Let’s explore the meaning of the word grace.

Grace means to get something that you do not deserve; unmerited favor. Mercy means you do not get a punishment that you do deserve; compassion, forbearance. God is abundant in grace and mercy; we can read about it in the Bible. His greatest act of grace is the gift of salvation that is available for all people through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). When the gift is accepted, eternal life is promised to the recipient. This eternal life is a promise of a home one day in Heaven with God. The promise to the believer is sealed with the Holy Spirit as a guarantee that one day Jesus the Christ will return to earth to claim His purchased possession (Ephesians 1:12-14; 4:30).  Jesus purchased every sinner with His own blood on the cross at Calvary.”   Read the rest of this article at What Christians Want To Know

I really love how this sums it up: I am not capable of loving anyone, without God’s grace. When I give grace to others, it is not my grace. I’m just passing along grace that God has given me.

We also give grace to others by forgiving them.  Everyone fails sometimes.  The church needs to be a safe place to come back to, even (especially!) when you’ve blown it.  Forgiveness doesn’t mean that the other person hasn’t hurt you. It means she has hurt you.  But you are choosing to release that hurt, and that person, into the grace of God given through Jesus Christ. After all, your sins have been forgiven. If God’s grace is enough to make forgiveness a reality in my life, it should be enough to make forgiveness a reality in the life of the person who hurt me.

Grace and forgiveness go hand in hand.  We must give the grace to others that we have so freely been given and we must forgive others as God has forgiven us.

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you
Matthew 6:14 ESV

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Heavenly Father, I thank You for the Amazing Grace that saved a wretch like me.  I thank You that once I was lost and now I am found.  I thank You that I was once blind but now I see.  Please empower us through the Holy Spirit to pour out to others the AMAZING Grace and forgiveness that You have so freely given to us.  In Jesus’ name.  AMEN!!!