July 27, 2017

How Many Kings

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Follow the star to a place unexpected
Would you believe, after all we’ve projected, a Child in a manger
Lowly and small, the weakest of all
Unlikeliest hero, wrapped in His mother’s shawl – just a child –
Is this who we’ve waited for

How many kings stepped down from their thrones
How many lords have abandoned their homes
How many greats have become the least for me
And how many gods have poured out their hearts
To romance a world that is torn all apart
How many fathers gave up their sons for me

Bringing our gifts for the newborn Savior
All that we have, whether costly or meek
Because we believe
Gold for His honor, and frankincense for His pleasure
And myrrh for the Cross He will suffer
Do you believe is this who we’ve waited for

Only One did that for me
All, all for me…
All for you…

DownHere
Written by Marc Martel and Jason Germain 
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How many do you know of?  How many would have such a depth of love?  How many would sacrifice?  How many would choose to be sacrificed?  How many would give their most precious?  How many would leave the most perfect place…for such a broken place?  How many would do all this for sinful humanity?  Only ONE God…only ONE Lord.

only ONE Lord…only ONE Great…only ONE God…
only ONE Father…only ONE Son
only ONE King

The love

For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

The sacrifice

[Here is] the High Priest [perfectly adapted] to our needs, as was fitting—holy, blameless, unstained by sin, separated from sinners, and exalted higher than the heavens.
He has no day by day necessity, as [do each of these other] high priests, to offer sacrifice first of all for his own [personal] sins and then for those of the people, because He [met all the requirements] once for all when He brought Himself [as a sacrifice] which He offered up.
For the Law sets up men in their weakness [frail, sinful, dying human beings] as high priests, but the word of [God’s] oath, which [was spoken later] after the institution of the Law, [chooses and appoints as priest One Whose appointment is complete and permanent], a Son Who has been made perfect forever.
Now the main point of what we have to say is this: We have such a High Priest, One Who is seated at the right hand of the majestic [God] in heaven,

Hebrews 7:26-8:1

The humility

Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [Let Him be your example in humility:] Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God], did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained, But stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being. And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross! Therefore [because He stooped so low] God has highly exalted Him and has freely bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, That in (at) the name of Jesus every knee should (must) bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, And every tongue [frankly and openly] confess and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:5-11

The greatness

It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you
must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you
must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served
but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Matthew 20:26-28

The  majesty…

He who descended is Himself also
He who ascended far above all the heavens,
so that He might fill all things.
Ephesians 4:10

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that though He was rich,
yet for your sake He became poor,
so that you by His poverty might become rich.
2 Corinthians 8:9

And the ONLY response…

By this the love of God was manifested in us,
that God has sent His only begotten Son
into the world so that we might live through Him.
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us
and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:9-11

By this we know that we love the children of God,
when we love God and obey His commandments.
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.
And His commandments are not burdensome.
1 John 5:2 and 3

If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love;
just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
John 15:10

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With Every Act Of Love

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Sitting at the stoplight
He can’t be bothered by the heart cry
Written on the cardboard in her hand
But when she looks him in the eye
His heart is broken open wide
And he feels the hand of God reach out through him
As Heaven touches earth

Oh – we bring the Kingdom come
Oh – with every act of love
Jesus help us carry You
Alive in us, Your light shines through
With every act of love
We bring the Kingdom come

There’s silence at the table
He wants to talk but he’s not able
For all the shame that’s locked him deep inside
But her words are the medicine
When she says they can begin again
And forgiveness will set him free tonight
As Heaven touches earth

God put a million, million doors in the world
For His love to walk through
One of those doors is you
I said, God put a million, million doors in the world
For His love to walk through
One of those doors is you

 Jason Gray

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Christmas is all so much about giving.  Even the stingiest folks that we know…you know, the ones with the ‘bah! humbug!’ attitude…understand the giving of the season.  Little children understand about giving; big kids, too.  So much of our conversation at this time of the year centers around the subject of giving.

Now…back to my first sentence.  What I first wrote is true. ‘Christmas IS all about giving.’  THAT is the absolute, total, complete, whole TRUTH!

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
John 3:16

But, wait…let’s look at those words again.  God ‘so loved the world…’ His love was the motivation.  And what He gave (His only begotten Son, Jesus), well that’s love, too.  Almighty God has set the standard for giving—LOVE.  Giving should be all about love.

  • Just like God, love should be the motivation for our giving
  • Just like God, love should be what we give

And we, as His children, have been enabled and equipped to be ABLE to love.

…for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts
through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.
Romans 5:5

So, in the midst of the sewing, and the wrapping, and the baking, and the shopping, and all the other activities, here’s a challenge I would like to set before each of us: let’s purpose to give LOVE!  I can only begin to imagine the myriad of opportunities that we will have to give love if we look to do so!  Start small, perhaps…give love by smiling at those you meet.  Whether wandering through the aisles or in line at the grocery store…look into the eyes of those you pass and smile.  (Oh!  And pray for them!)   Or go a little bigger…there are so very many needs in this world!  Go to a battered women’s shelter and sit and talk.  Visit an assisted living community and sing Christmas carols.  If we ask God to lead us and give us opportunity to show His love…I KNOW He will!

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.
Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
This is how God showed His love among us:
He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.
This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us
and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Dear friends, since God so loved us,
we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:7-11

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Oh dear Father, You have shown such a perfect standard for giving.  And we thank You for that!  And You have enabled us to show Your love by pouring Your love into our hearts.  Help us, Father, especially during this Christmas season, to reach out with that love.  Help us to go beyond our comfort level, and be love to those who need love.  May You be pleased by our obedience and our actions.  And may the love we show draw others to You.  Thank You for Your love, gracious Father!  We love You so!  In Jesus’ precious name, we pray.  Amen.

God’s Goodness

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Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever.
Psalms 136:1-3

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This repeated refrain ‘His love endures forever‘ teaches us that God’s love is the foundation for all His actions on our behalf and the fountainhead of all our thanksgiving.  His love includes His mercy,  His faithfulness, and His kindness.  God, by His nature, is good.  We are seeing His love always.  He sent His Son to die for us (John 3:16).  All for His love for us—the love that endures forever.

The Lord loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of His unfailing love.
Psalm 33:5

Being full of His unfailing love means not ever reaching a point of lack in all aspects of life because He is giving Himself fully to us.  It is only  when we realize this kind of love and meditate on this kind of love that we appreciate how deep the Father’s love is for us, how incredibly vast beyond measure.

Our God loves us with all His heart.  Let us reciprocate by loving Him,  too, with our inner being.  Let us not live a life that displeases Him but rather a life that is set on pleasing Him.

Some people depend on chariots, substituting other gods for the One True God.  Remember God is the only One who is good.

“Why do you ask Me about what is good?” Jesus replied.
“There is only One who is good.
If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.
Matthew 19:17

I just love how He loves us all! Even those that are living in sin He still loves them because He created them.  However there is judgement to them that are not in Christ Jesus. And those that are in Christ Jesus they testify of His love that endures forever for they shall not be judged and so the joys shall never cease.

Therefore let us choose, brethren, to live a life that pleases the Lord. We should love Him for He first loved us.  We should also exercise the same love and goodness to others for we are created in His own image and likeliness.  There has to be no difference.

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Father, we give You all the praise and all the glory for You are the great God, the ‘I AM who I AM,’ the all-knowing and always present God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth.  The earth is full of Your lovingkindness, dear Lord, and so we worship You.  Heavenly father, thank You for showing us Your goodness and mercy that endures forever in Your Scripture.  We love You and adore You; and thank You for the love that is given to us.  We pray for forgiveness for at times we have taken Your love for granted.  Teach us to appreciate Your love more and more.  And to love others and do good to them.  We adore You and give You thanks; in Jesus’ name we have prayed. Amen.

Thankful Representatives

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And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.
For as members of one body you are called to live in peace.
And always be thankful.
Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives.
Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom He gives.
Sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.
And whatever you do or say,
do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus,

giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
Colossians 3:15-17 NLT

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According to Google.com, a representative is “a person chosen or appointed to act or speak for another or others.”  And at Dictionary.com it is also defined as “a typical example or specimen of a group, quality, or kind.”

This passage of Scripture gives us a lot to consider.  As one chosen by God, we, as Christians, are to represent Christ Jesus to those around us.  We are to be a “typical example of His quality.”  And how do we do that?  “Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives” (verse 16).

What is “the message about Christ?”  It is the message that God loves us so much that “He gave His Son, His one and only Son.  And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in Him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life” (John 3:16 MSG).  Does that good news fill your heart with thankfulness and joy to the point of singing?  It does mine!

“If thankfulness becomes a way of life, it will make it much easier to maintain a state of peace.  It helps us look on the bright side instead of focusing upon the events which can disturb our calm [our inner peace.]”

quote taken from The Complete Biblical Library,
The New Testament Study Bible Galatians through Philemon

God’s quality and quantity of love is beyond measure.  God is not asking us to “be Him” [which we know is impossible], but He is asking us to live and love “like Him.” When we choose to be the representative He wants us to be and in the place He wants us to be, we will have His peace.

In Philippians 4:1-9, Paul told Euodia and Syntyche to settle their disagreements, and he told the church to help them.  Paul wanted them to experience the joy and peace that God desires for His people, and to be the representatives God wanted them to be. When we live in peace, joy, thankfulness, and God’s wisdom, we will be representatives that show the world around us our God of love. With thankful hearts, we can sing, speak, and do that which draws others to Christ, and that also strengthens our sisters (and brothers) in Christ.

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

A life that is full of Christ’s peace and His Word
is a life that is thankful, and rich and wise.
It will enrich everyone around you. Thank You, Lord.

(Many years ago I wrote this note in the margin of my Bible; I still believe it today.)

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Dear Lord Jesus, we come to You with thankful hearts.  Your Word—Your Good News—fills our lives with wisdom, peace, and joy.  Those are qualities people around us are looking for in their lives.  Lord, please help us to be Your representatives so that others will be drawn to You.  May our thanksgiving during this season of the year (and everyday) make people curious enough to ask why so we can share You with them.  In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.

Reasons to Give Thanks

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Every day throughout November, we’ll bring you a  devotional focused on giving thanks, gratitude, or giving of ourselves. We welcome you to check in each day and give thanks along with us!

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
His faithful love endures forever.
Let Israel say, “His faithful love endures forever.
Psalms 118:1-2 HCSB

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Hallelujah!
Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
His faithful love endures forever.
Psalm 106:1 HCSB

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
His faithful love endures forever.
Psalm 107:1 HCSB

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
His faithful love endures forever.
Psalm 118:29 HCSB

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good.
His love is eternal.
Psalm 136:1

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
His faithful love endures forever.
1 Chronicles 16:34 HCSB

Repetition, in the Bible, emphasizes the importance of the statement. Psalm 118:1 must be really important since it is repeated almost verbatim at least 6 times.  I love how this verse creates a question and supplies the answer.

Give thanks to the Lord.
Why ?
For He is good.
Why ?
His faithful love endures forever.

I am sitting in a room in a skilled nursing facility as I am writing this, and thinking about the frailty of life and the finality of death.  Yet, looking at these verses, I am reminded that death is not final. God’s love endures forever.  His loves for us is eternal.  So much so that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 NKJV

As I was researching Psalm 118:1, I came across this quote from Matthew Henry:

“The more our hearts are impressed with a sense of God’s goodness, the more they will be enlarged in all manner of obedience.”

Praising God and thanking God reminds us of His goodness thus making us more willing to be obedient to Him.  I really want to be more obedient to God.  But sometimes I find it hard to gives thanks.  I get caught up in life.  What I need to remember is that circumstances do not determine my reasons for giving thanks.  My reasons for giving thanks is summed up in John 3:16 (God so loved that He gave) and  Psalm 118:1 (He is good).  Goodness is part of God’s character, it is what He is.  His love is faithful, enduring, and eternal. And those are the only reasons I need.

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So I will give thanks to You, Lord, for You ARE good and Your love does endure forever.
AMEN – it is so!

Hello My Name Is

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Hello, my name is regret
I’m pretty sure we have met
Every single day of your life
I’m the whisper inside
That won’t let you forget

Hello, my name is defeat
I know you recognize me
Just when you think you can win
I’ll drag you right back down again
‘Til you’ve lost all belief

Oh, these are the voices. Oh, these are the lies
And I have believed them for the very last time

Hello, my name is child of the one true King
I’ve been saved, I’ve been changed, I have been set free
“Amazing Grace” is the song I sing
Hello, my name is child of the one true King

I am no longer defined
By all the wreckage behind
The one who makes all things new
Has proven it’s true
Just take a look at my life

What love the Father has lavished upon us
That we should be called His children
I am a child of the one true King

Matthew West

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When you look in the mirror…what do you see?  When you talk to yourself…what names do you call yourself?

In the morning, when the alarm clock goes off late and the lunches aren’t made and that pair of shorts that she just had to wear…well, they aren’t quite dry….  Your name becomes ‘failure’.  You say things like, “I ALWAYS mess up everything.”  “I will NEVER succeed at this mom thing.”  But God says: “You are My child and I love You”

The LORD appeared to him from far away.
I have loved you with an everlasting love;
therefore, I have continued to extend faithful love to you.
Jeremiah 31:3

Perhaps you have been struggling with a habit, and you have been so good; and then you have a hard week and you mess up.  You call yourself…”mistake.”  But God calls you “beloved.”  He loves you so much that He sent His own Son to die in your place!

For God loved the world in this way:
He gave His One and Only Son,
so that everyone who believes in Him
will not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16

Perhaps your marriage isn’t what you thought it would be…and everywhere you look, you see everyone else succeeding at their marriage.  Maybe you have been previously married.  You label yourself a “mess-up.”  But God sees you as His beautiful child that just needs to lean on Him a little bit more.  He wants you to know that nothing is impossible when He is involved!

For nothing is impossible with God.
Luke 1:37

Next time that you are tempted to call yourself names, make sure to use the ones that your Father gave you!  And if you don’t know any, please read His love letters to you in His Word.

Because you are…

  • loved
  • wanted
  • redeemed
  • forgiven
  • free
  • embraced
  • beloved
  • white as snow…and so much more!

And most of all, you are HIS!

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Let us pray: Dear God, Your voice is the only one that matters.  Thank You for loving us so much and for sending Jesus to die in our place. Lord, some days we believe those lies that the enemy whispers in our ear and we get so discouraged.  Please forgive us for allowing these words to define us for You have already named us and claimed us as Yours.  I pray today that Your voice is the only one that we hear and that the names we call ourselves from now on only come from You!  Oh Lord, You are our Fortress and our Provider.  You are the only constant in our lives and we trust in You!  We love You and praise You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

10,000 Reasons

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Bless the Lord, O my soul, O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before, O my soul
I worship Your holy name

The sun comes up; it’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

You’re rich in love and You’re slow to anger
Your name is great and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness, I will keep on singing
10,000 reasons for my heart to find

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
10,000 years and then forever more

Bless the Lord, O my soul, O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before, O my soul
I worship Your holy name
Jesus, I worship Your holy name
I worship Your holy name
Sing like never before, O my soul
I worship Your holy name
I worship Your holy name
I worship Your holy name

Matt Redman
written with Jonas Myrin

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Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is [deep] within me, bless His holy name.
Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, O my soul,
Psalms 103:1-2a AMP

Recently I have seen several FaceBook posts about blessing the Lord.  This song immediately came to mind.  And, as I thought about blessing the Lord, two questions were at the forefront:

1) Why are we to bless the Lord?    2) How do we bless the Lord?

First, WHY  are we to bless the Lord?  The song title says there are 10,000 reasons to bless the Lord.  And in the second verse, it gives us several specific reasons taken from Scripture:

  • The Lord is rich in love

But God, being [so very] rich in mercy,
because of His great and wonderful love with which He loved us…
Ephesians 2:4 AMP

Yahweh—Yahweh is a compassionate and gracious God,
…rich in faithful love and truth,
Exodus 34:6 HCSB

  • The Lord is slow to anger

Return to the Lord your God,
For He is gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger,
Joel 2:13 NKJV

The Lord is slow to anger…forgiving wrongdoing and rebellion
Numbers 14:18 HCSB

  • His name is great

Inasmuch as there is none like You, O Lord
You are great, and Your name is great in might
Jeremiah 10:6 NKJV

I will vindicate the holiness of My great name
which has been profaned among the nations
Ezekiel 36:23 NASB

  • His heart is kind

For His merciful kindness is great toward us
Psalm 117:2 NKJV

“But with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,”
says the Lord your Redeemer.
Isaiah 54:8 AMP

The Lord is righteous in all His ways
And kind in all His deeds
Psalm 145:17 NASB

But, the best reason is because He loves us.  John 3:16 tells us He loved us so much that He sent His only Son to die in our place, so that we could have everlasting life.

Augustine explained it like this
“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.”

His plan would have been put into effect even if you or I were the only person on earth. This leaves me speechless!

And, second, HOW  do we bless the Lord?  What could I possibly do that would bless Him?  Thankfully, in the words of David, we have the answer:

I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.
Psalm 34:1-3NKJV

We are to praise the Lord continually—boast about Him, magnify Him, and exalt His Holy name.  That’s how we bless the Lord.  (That’s not asking too much, is it?)

I Choose Jesus

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I have searched to find the meaning of this life
Something that would fill my empty soul
Some believe a lie, choose darkness over light
But I will stand and let the whole world know

I choose Jesus, I choose Jesus
The One who first chose me

I stand unashamed trusting in one Name
‘Cause I have seen the Cross and I believe
This choice comes at cost, all other things are lost
No other love could mean so much to me

I choose Jesus, I choose Jesus
The One who first chose me
I choose Jesus, I choose Jesus
For now and eternity

He chose to love me when I felt unlovable
He chose to reach me when I felt unreachable
He carried me out of my fear and doubt
How I want the world to know—I choose Jesus

Moriah Peters
along with songwriters: Tony Wood, Chuck Butler, Ed Cash

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Have you searched to find meaning and SOMEthing that would fill the emptiness of your soul?  I have….  Oh, how I have yearned to KNOW I was l-o-v-e-d!  Probably for most of the first quarter century of my  life, I attempted to fill that void. But nothing…not accomplishments, not approval, not people, not food, not inappropriate relationships…nothing was able to fill that hole in my heart.  And, assuredly, there is nothing which COULD fill that hole in my heart…only Jesus.  Perhaps you have heard this quote,

“There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every person,
and it can never be filled by any created thing.
It can only be filled by God, made known through Jesus Christ.”

–  Blaise Pascal

I think that describes it so well—a ‘God-shaped vacuum in the heart.’  I believe God created man (and woman) with that need.  And I know He perfectly provided for the filling of that vacuum when He made Adam and Eve and gave them the opportunity to have perfect fellowship with Him every moment of every day.  And I trust He would have always supplied their need…but they were deceived.   They chose to think that something else—being equal and alike to God Almighty—was the true answer to their needs.

But the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die,
for God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened,
and you will be like God, knowing the difference
between good and evil and blessing and calamity.
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food
and that it was delightful to look at,
and a tree to be desired in order to make one wise,
she took of its fruit and ate; and she gave some also to her husband, and he ate.
Genesis 3:4-6

And, because they chose the deception of the enemy of their souls and disobeyed the One Who truly DID love them, they lost that fellowship and perfect connection and the fulfillment that a relationship with their God gave them.

And mankind has suffered under the sin of Adam since.  But God would not allow His plan, His desire to fail.  And He provided so that all of humanity could have that ‘God-shaped vacuum’ filled in the way He had originally planned.

By this the love of God was manifested in us,
that God has sent His only begotten Son
into the world so that we might live through Him.
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us
and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1 John 4:9 and 10

Jesus IS the perfect and complete filling of that vacuum!  We do not need to search or attempt to fill the void inside…we need to accept God’s perfect provision making Jesus our Lord and Master and live our lives in obedience to Him.

In this beautiful song, Moriah Peters sings, “He chose to love me when I felt unlovable…He chose to reach me when I felt unreachable…He carried me out of my fear and doubt.”  No longer do I (nor you, either!) have to search for something to fulfill the emptiness, the void.  We need to choose Jesus!  He has chosen me (you, too)!

Would you sing along with me…

I choose Jesus, I choose Jesus
The One who first chose me
I choose Jesus, I choose Jesus
For now and eternity

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!

 *  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

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!)   ♥

Shelter in God

SeekingHimLogo

The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,
    a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know Your name trust in You,
for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You.
Psalms 9:9-10

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 Shelter  –

1: a structure that covers or protects people or things
2: a place that provides food and protection for people or animals that need assistance
3: a place to live

Refuge  –

1: shelter or protection from danger or trouble
2: a place that provides shelter or protection

How wonderful is our God! He strives to be our Friend, our Provider, and our Refuge.  All we have to do is ask.  We may say that is easier said than done, but trust me, it can be.

For those who have grown up in a normal household, you probably have a healthy reality of what a home should be—calm, peaceful, neat, well-groomed…both inside and out. At least I thought this was so.

Growing up for me was not this way.  I started out pretty okay. My birth parents gave me up for adoption at an early age. My maternal aunt and uncle adopted me. They had just lost a child and knew that my mother was not able to care for me. So they raised me as best they could. I had clothes to wear, food to eat, went to school. But I always felt different.

They were able to have another child, a boy, and we grew up as brother and sister.   Dad set Mom up with a store when we moved to another city.  We lived in an old building with the store in the front and living space in the back.  It was our shelter, our refuge.  I learned life was not always fair. But God always provided a way.  I learned to forgive and know God gives people choices in their actions.  I learned guilt, shame, disgust and dread there. But I also learned about God’s provision. I learned God was always there. Every tear I cried, God cried. Every thing I did wrong, God was there shaking His head. Everything done to me, He cried and cheered when I forgave.

I was saved in a  little country Baptist church and was baptized.  I learned about Jesus and this truth:

For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish,
but have everlasting life.
John 3:16 KJV

I learned about Lottie Moon and Corrie Ten Boom and about missionaries.  I learned about performing with puppets; I sang in the choir and did 4-H things with school.  But I also learned what it was like to be excluded.  I was not exposed to drugs or went to parties where those things were.  God protected me although I did not always see it.

I had choices to make: I could either live thinking about what had been taken away from me…or I could give them to God and know He would be faithful to restore them back to me.  So I made those choices, everyday, to live (and still do).  I do not always succeed but I do my best.  God is my Shelter and my Refuge.  He is the one I am learning to run to for all things. Not to others, but to God first. If there is someone who can help in my situation, I would pray for God to point me in this person’s direction for help and guidance.

Beginning today, let us have a new attitude. Let us learn from our past. Let us choose to give it all to God.  Let us learn to live the life God has intended for us.  Let us pray for peace in our lives.  Let the Holy Spirit give us what we need to overcome any obstacle which presents itself as a roadblock. We can have happiness; though, at times, we may have to seek it more intentionally.

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Father, send Your Holy Spirit so we can see how Your light, Your provisions, Your grace and mercy is always present in our lives.  Teach us Your ways.  And show us how to be better followers of Jesus and selfless in how we are to walk.  Thank you for Your Word—your instruction manual for our lives. In Jesus’ name, amen.