September 21, 2017

Amen

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You have given us a new name
The sons and daughters of Your righteousness

And You have taken all of our shame
And given us the gift of holiness

Lord we’re crying out for faith
To believe the words You say

You say we are loved
You say we belong to You
Your Grace is enough
Nothing more that we can do
You say we’ve been bought
By Your blood, by Your blood
And all that we can say
Is Amen
Amen

You have given us a new hope
An anchor for the soul that shall not fail

Jesus we believe Your truth shines
Yes in the darkest night You shall prevail

Lord we’re crying out for faith
To believe the words You say

Amen, Your word is true
Amen, we trust in You

Steven Curtis Chapman
written along with Rend Collective
*   ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★   *

A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy.
I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.
John 10:10

Jesus…the one Name that takes away all fear and shame.  He is the Hope that we hold on to and the Anchor that keeps us grounded.

The enemy comes at us in so many ways, especially this time of year when our focus gets a little off. We should be thinking of how awesome it is that Jesus came as a small baby to save us from sin. Instead we get so frustrated and overwhelmed because we have so much to buy and it always feels like it is never enough.

What if we had kept Christmas about Him—would we be a bit happier, more joyful?  What if we gave instead of received?  What if we praised Him for His provision instead of petitioning for more? What if we just rested in Him this season and soaked in the love that He has for us.  And reminded ourselves that HE is always for us. {Can I get an Amen?}

So today, I pray that hope prevails in your life…and that Jesus fills you with peace and love…and that you spread it to all that will listen.  And, if you do not have a relationship with Him…and IF you want to know this Jesus, He is here for you!  Just pray this prayer today…

Jesus, come into my heart.  I know that I am a sinner and I need forgiveness.  I believe You died for me.  I want to live with You as Lord of my Life!  In Jesus’ name, amen.

2000 Decembers Ago

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Did it feel like a night any different
Then at least a million before
Was there any rare expectation
Like there was some kind of something in store
Did the sky have to hold back the thunder
Did the moon find new reasons to glow
Could the children somehow sense the wonder
2000 Decembers ago

Were the sheep as amazed as the shepherds
At the new star that lit up the sky
Did the willow trees whisper excitement
To the rivers and streams passing by
Did the joy ricochet off the mountains
‘Til it filled up the valleys below
Did all the world sense love abounding
2000 Decembers ago

Was anyone able to look at the stable
And not see a child but a King
I wish I could hear back over the years
As heaven and nature sing, heaven and nature sing

Did the walls of the barn start to tremble
With a glory they could not contain
Did anyone wake with the feeling
Of peace that they could not explain
Oh the love must have been overwhelming
As it warmed everyone in its flow
For all of the earth is still telling
Of 2000 Decembers ago

Oh, the love must have been overwhelming
2000 Decembers ago


Written and sung by Joy Williams

*   ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *

For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you;
Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God,
and saying, Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Luke 2:11-14 KJV

I remember the first time I laid eyes on my firstborn.  I felt a love that I couldn’t even put into words.  I looked at every detail and found her absolutely perfect.  I imagine that God felt the same way that night.

There, in a dirty stable, a King was born.  That tiny baby would become the Savior of the world.  And yes, He is a King, but He would be more at home with the dirtiest, the poorest, and the most humble. He would be a Friend of sinners and ultimately die for each and every one.

I imagine that the stars did shine brighter that night.  The moon was probably beautiful and full and love was everywhere…His glory would light up our lives for thousands of years to come.   No darkness is too dark, and no sin too big, and no life too lost for Him to redeem.  He is the only Gift we will ever need!

So as you light your home and put out your nativity scene, I hope that your thoughts go back to that perfect night when the only perfect Child was born.  The night when the angels sang and the shepherds sought Him and Love came down to save us all.  This is the reason we celebrate today, 2000 Decembers later.

Let us pray: Dear Lord, You are Awesome, Sovereign, Holy, and Mighty.  You are just, full of grace and mercy!  We bow down to You today and thank You for the perfect Gift that You sent to us, all those years ago.  You gave us Your only Son, a Savior to take all of our sins away.  How can we ever thank You enough?  Help us, oh God, to remember what this season is really about. And to not get so wrapped up in the commercial side of it but to place our thoughts on You.  To be with those who are hurting and lonely and surround them with Your love.  May we be Your hands and feet, and spread hope to those who need it.  We love You and we praise You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

Cast My Cares

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When fear feels bigger than my faith
And struggles steal my breath away

When my back’s pressed up against the wall
With the weight of my worries stacked up tall
You’re strong enough to hold it all

I will cast my cares on You
You’re the Anchor of my hope
The only One Who’s in control
I will cast my cares on You
I’ll trade the troubles of this world
For Your peace inside my soul

This war’s not what I would’ve chosen
But You see the future no one knows yet

And You’re still good when I can’t
See the working of Your hands
You’re holding it all

I’m finding there’s freedom
When I lay it all on Your shoulders

Cast my cares, I will
Cast my cares, I will
Cast my cares on You

Finding Favour
Writers: Blake NeeSmith, Casy Brown & Sam Tinnesz

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   * 

Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you;
He will never let the righteous be shaken.
Psalm 52:22

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.
1 Peter 1:7

Why is it that we still worry and doubt, even when He has proven to us over and over again that He will always come through for us and that all the resources that are our Father’s are ours, too?  I can look back, week after week, and see His hand in my life and His provision; yet I can still get myself all worked up and anxious.

I have areas in my life that are so easy to hand over to God…

  • my children’s safety
  • protection over us
  • my parents well-being
  • …and the list goes on.

But there is one that I continue to give Him…and then take back (and it is on-going).  But God is always faithful and He reminds me over and over again in His Word that His promises always come true (Deuteronomy 7:9, 2 Corinthians 1:20) and that if He cares about the birds in the air, how much more does He care about us (Matthew 6:25-34)?

What are you holding onto today that is keeping you from the joy that is yours?  Our God is so capable of handling all of our problems all at once. He is everywhere and He is so close to you.  His love reaches to the ends of the earth and knows no end.  Today I challenge us all to make a list of three things that we need to give to Him and let Him handle.  Journal them and see if your load is a little lighter and your smile is a little brighter!  And look in the Bible and seek those verses on just this topic, casting it all on God!

 *   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   * 

Let us pray: Dear God, You are so loving and so true.  You are always the same even when everything around us is changing.  You are so capable of holding all of our burdens on Your shoulders.  Oh Lord, we are Your children and we need You.  Help us to love You more each day and to remember to give You all our problems, believing that You will take care of it.  We love You and we trust You.  In Jesus’ 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.