January 24, 2018

Holding Nothing Back


I am chosen, I am free
I am living for eternity
Free now forever

You picked me up, turned me around
You set my feet on solid ground
Yours now forever

And nothing’s gonna hold me back
Nothing’s gonna hold me back
Nothing’s gonna hold me back

My chains fell off
My heart was free
I’m alive to live for You
I’m alive to live for You
Amazing Love, how can it be?
You give everything for me
You give everything for me

You washed my sin and shame away
The slate is clean: a brand new day,
Free now forever

Now boldly I approach Your throne
To claim this crown through Christ my own
Yours now forever

Free to live
Free to give
Free to be
I’m free to love You

 Jesus Culture / written by Martin Smith and Tim Hughes

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It’s amazing how, when life gets out of control and things get cloudy, how quickly we can forget that we are free from the chains of bondage. We are free to just be…. We are alive to live for Him. Let us not forget that God is the one that picked us up and placed us on solid ground. If we choose to be there….

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;
He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
Psalm 40:2

Are we solid in Him? Or do our circumstances sway us to and fro?

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting,
for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
James 1:6 NIV

When you are going through difficulty it is easy to get caught up with all that is going on around you and get lost in the vortex of despair. That is when we need to dig deep and get our focus back on God.  He is the only one that can give us the strength to cling to the Rock…

“Christ is the ROCK and if we build our house, or our lives, on Him, we will not have to fear the storms of life which may come our way. For He is there to always help us in the time of need. The book of John, chapter 16 and verse 33 says: In the world you shall have trouble: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. We are in the world and because we live in the world, situations and troubles will come from time to time. But through building your life in Jesus, we, through Him can overcome our problems. In the book of Psalms chapter 94 and verse 22, it says “But the Lord is my defense; and my God is the ROCK of my refuge.” Isn’t it a wonderful feeling to know we have someone to turn to that loves us more than we’ll ever know, and has all the power of the universe to help us out of our troubles! It’s certainly helped my life go better the last 22 years. I cannot even imagine living on the sand! What a scary thought!”

Excerpted from Jesus Is the Rock  (click here to read article.)

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Heavenly Father, thank You that we are FREE in You. May we hold nothing back and forget the things of this world and solely place our focus on You. In Jesus’ Name…AMEN!!!

I Love You, Lord

I love You, Lord
And I lift my voice
To worship You
Oh, my soul, rejoice!
Take joy, my King
In what You hear
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound
In Your ear

Songwriter: Laurie Klein / Performed by Petra

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My daughter and I used to sing this song to my grandson when we were rocking him to sleep.  As I was remembering this, a thought came to mind—it is easy to make a sweet sound when I sing praise songs and worship my God.  But are my thoughts and words a sweet sound in His ear as well?  Ouch!

Laurie Klein, who wrote this song, said, “We must be prepared to meet Him no matter who we’re talking to or what we’re doing, whether we’re worshipping in church or worshipping with all the tasks that make up our day.”

I am afraid I do not guard my words, my thoughts or my intentions as closely as I should.  Deuteronomy 1:45 (NASB) warns of what can happen if we don’t.

Then you returned and wept before the Lord;
but the Lord did not listen to your voice nor give ear to you.

How horrible would that be?!?  Instead, I want Him to put a “new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;” Psalm 40:2 (NASB).  I want “the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart (to) be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer” Psalm 19:14 (NASB).

1 Chronicles 28:9 says we are to “serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts.”  I would do well to remember that He alone understands EVERY intent of my thoughts.  I can hide nothing from Him.

I do love Him.  I want to lift not only my voice, but my words, my thoughts, and my intentions in worship to Him.  And I pray they are a sweet, sweet sound to His ear.

CHRISTLife — Week Eight

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Here we are, friends, coming down the homestretch!  This is week 8—the final week of our CHRISTLife study!  Y’know perhaps ‘homestretch’ is not the right word.  Truly this is not the destination but rather the launching pad to living our lives with the mindset ‘I AM who God says I am!’

Born-again and given a new identity in Christ, we have total sufficiency in Him (2 Corinthians 3:5).  And this week, Mrs. Myers puts before us that “…righteous, holy living is consistent with the persons we are now. It isn’t something foreign to us that we have to produce out of duty or even gratefulness. Rather, as we choose to follow Christ, we can expect to live a holy life because of who Christ is, what He has done, and what He has made us through our new birth.”

We ARE who God says we are…who Christ has enabled us to be!  Some of these images we will consider this week are:

  • Nurtured

Casting the whole of your care…on Him, for He cares for you
affectionately and cares about you watchfully.
1 Peter 5:7

  • Satisfied

I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
Psalm 63:5

  • Secure

He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.
Psalm 40:2

  • Competent

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:10

  • Bold

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13

  • Confident

And your ears will hear a word behind you, saying,
This is the way; walk in it,
when you turn to the right hand and when you turn to the left.
Isaiah 30:21

  • Purposeful

…for it is God who is at work in you,
both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
Philippians 2:13

May I encourage each of you, friends, to believe and take hold of these Truthful images that we are looking at each day this week.  They are who you are (me, too!) because of the indwelling of Christ!

In this song, I Lift My Life Up, the lyrics go “When I hear You calling out…I follow now wherever the road may go.”  We, too, can make this commitment knowing that God has already enabled us!  This is who we ARE!  And, God has not left us alone to figure out what to do with these enablements. We have His Holy Spirit inside us helping us to remember that I AM who God says I am—nurtured, satisfied, secure, competent, bold, confident, and purposeful!  All for His glory!

I lift my life, lift my life up
I give it all in surrender
I lift my heart, lift my heart up
You can have it forever
All my dreams, all my plans
Lord, I leave it in Your hands
I lift my life, lift my life up
Have Your way in me