April 28, 2017

I Can Leave It In Your Hands

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

The dawn is breaking and I can hear Your whisper on the breeze
The world is waking and I am here to meet You on my knees
When I’m with You my soul finds rest
‘Cause I can leave it in Your hands

The day keeps coming pulling me a million different ways
I’m always running but never seem to catch the things I chase
When I’m with You my soul finds rest
‘Cause I can leave it in Your hands

Every sorrow, I leave it in Your hands
Every sickness, I leave it in Your hands
All my failures, I leave ‘em in Your hands
Amen. (I leave it in Your hands)

So I am laying the weight of all these burdens at Your feet
No more waiting ‘cause You’ve already won my victories
In Jesus my soul finds rest
‘Cause I can leave it in Your hands

Every promise, I leave it in Your hands
Every healing, I leave it in Your hands
And my future, I leave it in Your hands
Amen. (I can leave it in Your hands)

It’s Your hands that form the mountains
Your hands set boundaries for the seas
And in Your hands You hold tomorrow
The same hands that took the nails for me

Unspoken  
Mike Gomez, Jon Lowry, Chad Mattson and Ariel Munoz
*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *
Where would we be if it were not for choosing to ‘leave it in His hands’?  We can proclaim our trust as the psalmist did.

But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord,
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in Your hand…
Psalms 31:14 and 15

These could easily have been similar words to what Ezra voiced in his prayers to his God.   Many things were performed by God through the life and ministry of the priest Ezra and it was very apparent that Ezra’s life was in God’s hand (Ezra 7: 6, 9, 28).  Most notably were the events which led to Ezra being commanded to come before King Artaxerxes (the son of Ahaseurus (Xerxes)—yes! THAT Ahaseurus…the husband of Esther!) to write a most important letter to be carried throughout the kingdom which determined that much wealth and “things” were acquired for the beautifying of the Temple in Jerusalem. (You can read the whole amazing record here.)

On the first of the first month he started out from Babylon,
and on the first of the fifth month he arrived in Jerusalem,
for upon him was the good hand of his God.
For Ezra had prepared and set his heart to seek the Law of the Lord
[to inquire for it and of it, to require and yearn for it],
and to do and teach in Israel its statutes and its ordinances.
Ezra 7:9 and 10

Ezra wrote (‘scribed’) the king’s decree and also accompanied the letter throughout the kingdom. He thoroughly understood the magnitude of this event and praised God saying,

Blessed be the Lord, the God of our fathers [said Ezra],
Who put such a thing as this into the king’s heart,
to beautify the house of the Lord in Jerusalem,
and Who has extended His mercy and steadfast love to me
before the king, his counselors, and all the king’s mighty officers.
I was strengthened and encouraged,
for the hand of the Lord my God was upon me,
and I gathered together outstanding men of Israel to go with me to Jerusalem.
verses 27 and 28

God’s hand accomplishes small and mighty things!  The point is not in the enormity of His blessing but the point is His sovereignty!  Our God has had the entire world and the lives of every person ever born ‘in His hand’ all along.

The prophet Isaiah was given many strong encouraging AND admonishing words to speak to God’s people.  He had told them just how to pursue God when fasting and they chose to do it their own way…and they did not receive the things they were asking of the Lord.  And Isaiah plainly told them why “the Lord’s hand” was against them.

Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened at all, that it cannot save,
nor His ear dull with deafness, that it cannot hear.
But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,
and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.
Isaiah 59:1 and 2

We, as well, must always have the true fear of the Lord in our hearts compelling us to believe (and obey!).

Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest,
any one of you may seem to have come short of it.
For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also;
but the word they heard did not profit them,
because it was not united by faith in those who heard.
For we who have believed enter that rest….
Hebrews 4:1-3

God’s heart (and His accompanying hand of provision and blessing) is to always provide what is good and best for those who seek Him.  As Unspoken sings, “every sorrow…sickness…failure as well as every promise…healing…and our future” are best left in His hand.  Amen?

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord
with all your heart and mind
and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.
In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him,
and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes;
reverently fear and worship the Lord
and turn [entirely] away from evil.
Proverbs 3:5-7

Call It Grace

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

{ hi there!  i would love to encourage you to listen to the entire length of the video attached below.  the first few minutes are a wonderful sharing by Chad Mattson of Unspoken about the impact God’s grace has made in his life.  if perhaps you don’t have the time right now, click ahead to 6:45 where the song begins.  <3  }

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

It’s the light that pierces through you
To the darkest hidden place
It knows your deepest secrets
But it never looks away
It’s the gentle hand that pulls you
From the judgement of the crowd
When you stand before them guilty
And you got no way out

Some may call it foolish and impossible
But for every heart it rescues, it’s a miracle
It’s nothing less than scandalous
This Love that took our place
Just call it what it is, call it grace
Call it grace

It’s the breath that’s breathing new life
Into what we thought was dead
It’s the Favor that takes orphans
Placing crowns upon their heads
It’s the Hope for our tomorrow
The Rock on which we stand
It’s a strong and mighty fortress
Even hell can’t stand against

Amazing, unshaking
This is grace, this is grace
Unchanging, unfailing
This is grace, this is grace

Unspoken
Chad Mattson, Mike Gomez, Jon Lowry, and Ariel Munoz

* ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

I just love the attributes attached to grace that the guys of Unspoken sing about—amazing…unshaking…unchanging…unfailing—don’t you?  Grace IS each of these things because the Giver of grace, our Sovereign Almighty God, IS all of those things.

The following are a few passages from the New Testament that are so encouraging and humbling as they remind us of the grace God has shown to us!  Each of them speaks clearly of the  ‘amazing, unshaking (steadfast, unwavering), unchanging, unfailing’ nature of our great God.

So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the Promise the unchangeable character of His purpose, He guaranteed it with an oath, 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.  We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul.

Hebrews 6:17-19

So too at the present time there is a remnant, selected (chosen) by  grace (by God’s unmerited favor and graciousness).  But if it is by grace (His unmerited favor and graciousness), it is no longer conditioned on works or anything men have done. Otherwise, grace would no longer be grace [it would be meaningless]. For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable.  [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.]

Romans 11:5-6, 29 AMP

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Ephesians 2:4-9

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, has given grace upon grace upon grace to His people throughout the ages.  He always has been and always will be a grace-giving God!  Truly our eternal future is totally dependent on the truth and fact that He IS  ‘amazing, unshaking (steadfast, unwavering), unchanging, unfailing’ !

There is a famous quote attributed to a 16th century believer, John Bradford. Whether Bradford truly is the one who spoke this phrase into infamy or not, I believe we all have voiced a similar thought many times!

“There but for the grace of God go I!”

Perhaps the world considers this a fatalistic way of thinking…but the Apostle Paul believed just the same thing.  Paul clearly recognized the value and magnitude of the grace that was given to him!  Writing to the Corinthian church regarding Jesus’ appearances after His Resurrection, he said:

He <Jesus> appeared to me also. For I am the least of the apostles,
and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
But by the grace of God I am what I am,
and His grace toward me did not prove vain;
but I labored even more than all of them,
yet not I, but the grace of God with me.
1 Corinthians 15:8-10

And we too, who are recipients of MUCH of God’s amazing, unshakable, unchanging, unfailing grace, we know this is a foundational truth of our lives.  ‘But for the grace of God’ each of our lives would look much different!  (I hear your ‘Amen!’)  Grace cannot be earned…so just call it what it is—call it  grace!

May I pray the very last benediction given in the Scriptures over each of you…
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all.  Amen.
Revelation 22:21

Start A Fire

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

This world can be cold and bitter
Feels like we’re in the dead of winter
Waiting on something better
But am I really gonna hide forever
Over and over again
I hear Your voice in my head
Let Your light shine, let Your light shine for all to see

Start a fire in my soul
Fan the flame and make it grow
So there’s no doubt or denying
Let it burn so brightly
That everyone around can see
That it’s You, that it’s You that we need
Start a fire in me

You only need a spark to start a whole blaze
It only takes a little faith
Let it start right here in this city
So these old walls will never be the same
Over and over again
I hear Your voice in my head
They need to know
I need to go
Spirit, won’t You fall on my heart now

You are the fire, You are the flame
You are the light on the darkest day
We have the hope we bear Your name
We carry the news that You have come to save
Only You can save

Writer(s): Jon Lowry / Chad Mattson / Seth Mosley

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

“Start a Fire” … is an exciting heart cry to live out Matthew 5:16 as the band sings, “Over and over again, I hear Your voice in my head, let Your light shine, let Your light shine for all to see.” “ – Kevin Davis (read more here).

In the same way, let your light shine before men,
so that they may see your good works
and give glory to your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:16 HCSB

This song speaks to me about being passionate… about being bold.  When we are passionate about something it shows.  Our very demeanor exudes it.  Our inner fire burns bright.  We want to share our passion with everyone, especially those around us.  We should be passionate about our relationship with Christ, and be eager to share His love with others.  But sometimes life gets in the way. Sometimes, it’s a struggle isn’t it?

Life is hard.  Trials and troubles often abound.  How do we let our light shine when we feel cold and bitter, like we are stuck in the dead of winter?  We go to the Source.

Then Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world.
Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.”
John 8:12 HCSB

While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.
John 9:5 NASB

Jesus is the Source of our light.  He is the Light of Life within us.  In 2 Timothy 1:6a (AMP) Paul encourages us to “stir up, rekindle the embers of, fan the flame of, and keep burning the gracious gift of God, the inner fire that is in you.”

The gracious gift of God is His Son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit living within us.  He can start a fire in the wet wood of our heart.  He fans the flames of our passion.  As the bridge of this song says Jesus is the Fire.  He is our Flame. He is the Light on the darkest day.  We have hope because we bear HIS Name.  Our job, our responsibility is to burn so brightly for Him there is no doubt that there is no denying it is Him shining through us, burning in us.  All we need to do is ask Him to

Start a fire in my soul
Fan the flame and make it grow
So there’s no doubt or denying
Let it burn so brightly
That everyone around can see
That it’s You, that it’s You that we need
Start a fire in me.

It only takes a little faith.

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

Father God, we are truly blessed by Your gracious gifts.  Use them to fan the flames of our faith so we may shine brightly for You.  In Christ’s Name, I ask, Amen – It is so!

Start A Fire

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

This world can be cold and bitter
Feels like we’re in the dead of winter
Waiting on something better
But am I really gonna hide forever

Over and over again
I hear Your voice in my head
Let Your light shine, let Your light shine for all to see

Start a fire in my soul
Fan the flame and make it grow
So there’s no doubt or denying
Let it burn so brightly
That everyone around can see
That it’s You, that it’s You that we need
Start a fire in me

You only need a spark to start a whole blaze
It only takes a little faith
Let it start right here in this city
So these old walls will never be the same

Over and over again
I hear Your voice in my head
They need to know
I need to go
Spirit won’t You fall on my heart now

You are the Light on the darkest day
We have the hope, we bear Your name
We carry the news that You have come to save
Only You can save

Writer(s): Jon Lowry / Chad Mattson / Seth Mosley

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

I’m not a New Year’s resolution-type of person, due to the fact that I forget the next day.  So instead, I make lists of how good my God is and all that He has done for me. And in return, I want to tell all the world of His goodness and mercy and grace.  I want to be the light that shines for Him, so that when people see me, they see all that God has redeemed and restored.  Oh, I’m not perfect nor am I always the Jesus-follower I should be, but I keep following.

In the same way, let your light shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your Father in Heaven.
Matthew 5:16

I don’t think it means that we are to do all this good all for the world to see—just to shine the light on ourselves.  It means that all we do and say should reflect the One Who created us and glorify Him—Jesus!!!—so that all will want what we have.  And what a perfect time to ask for a fresh start…a rekindled fire…so that there is no doubt that it is God that we need.

As the song says, He is the Light on the darkest day and we cannot keep this hope to ourselves!  It’s just too good to keep in.  We live in such a dark, hurting world that is full of so much pain.  There are so many sad people that truly need a Savior and we need to share what we have with all the world!  Love, love His people by reaching out to them.  Not just people you don’t know but also those you work with, go to church with, live with…shine no matter where you are.

The place that seems to be the hardest is home, anyone agree?  We tend to let our light fizzle a bit here.  We think, “they know us, they know we love Jesus,” so we lose patience with the ones closest to us and we forget that they, too, need to see the light of Jesus in us.  And moms…our children will imitate us and talk like us to each other.  I know that is something to really think about and pray about.  So before your feet hit the floor, ask Jesus to fill you up  each day so that His light spills over to those you come in contact with!  Let’s pray for each other, shall we?  And look up those verses in His Word today that give hope and write them on cards and put them to memory.  Teach them to your children and watch your world get a little brighter…and carry that light with you wherever you go.

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Matthew 5:14

And the light shines in darkness, and the darkness cannot comprehend it.
John 1:5

But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
1 John 1:7

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

Let us pray: Dear God, thank You for walking with us into this new year of 2015.  You are our light in this dark world, our hope that we hold onto when all is falling apart, and our song that we sing when the world is so loud.  Thank You for Your grace and mercy and love.  I pray that we can be that light to all Your children, ones that are walking in darkness and need You so much.  Nothing is wasted, Lord; You make good out of everything. and the way we handle the hard will glorify You if we keep You at the center.  Help us to keep shining for You and to not keep this awesome joy and this peace (that only You can give) to ourselves.  Start a fire in us and keep it burning until You come again.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Call It Grace

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

hi there!  i would love to encourage you to listen to the entire length of the video attached below.  the first few minutes are a wonderful sharing by Chad Mattson of Unspoken about the impact God’s grace has made in his life.  if perhaps you don’t have the time right now, click ahead to 6:45 where the song begins.  <3

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

It’s the light that pierces through you
To the darkest hidden place
It knows your deepest secrets
But it never looks away
It’s the gentle hand that pulls you
From the judgement of the crowd
When you stand before them guilty
And you got no way out

Some may call it foolish and impossible
But for every heart it rescues, it’s a miracle
It’s nothing less than scandalous
This Love that took our place
Just call it what it is, call it grace
Call it grace

It’s the breath that’s breathing new life
Into what we thought was dead
It’s the Favor that takes orphans
Placing crowns upon their heads
It’s the Hope for our tomorrow
The Rock on which we stand
It’s a strong and mighty fortress
Even hell can’t stand against

Amazing, unshaking
This is grace, this is grace
Unchanging, unfailing
This is grace, this is grace

Written and Performed by
Unspoken, Chad Mattson, Mike Gomez, Jon Lowry, and Ariel Munoz

* ~ ♥ ~ ✞ ~ ♥ ~ *

I just love the attributes attached to grace that the guys of Unspoken sing about—amazing…unshaking…unchanging…unfailing—don’t you?  Grace IS each of these things because the Giver of grace, our Sovereign Almighty God, IS all of those things.

The following are a few passages from the New Testament that are so encouraging and humbling as they remind us of the grace God has shown to us!  Each of them speaks clearly of the  ‘amazing, unshaking (steadfast, unwavering), unchanging, unfailing’ nature of our great God.

So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the Promise the unchangeable character of His purpose, He guaranteed it with an oath, 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. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul.
Hebrews 6:17-19

So too at the present time there is a remnant, selected (chosen) by grace (by God’s unmerited favor and graciousness).
But if it is by grace (His unmerited favor and graciousness), it is no longer conditioned on works or anything men have done. Otherwise, grace would no longer be grace [it would be meaningless].
For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable. [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.]
Romans 11:5-6, 29 AMP

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Ephesians 2:4-9

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, has given grace upon grace upon grace to His people throughout the ages.  He always has been and always will be a grace-giving God!  Truly our eternal future is totally dependent on the truth and fact that He IS  ‘amazing, unshaking (steadfast, unwavering), unchanging, unfailing’

There is a famous quote attributed to a 16th century believer, John Bradford. Whether Bradford truly is the one who spoke this phrase into infamy or not, I believe we all have voiced a similar thought many times!

“There but for the grace of God go I!”

Perhaps the world considers this a fatalistic way of thinking…but the Apostle Paul believed just the same thing.  Paul clearly recognized the value and magnitude of the grace that was given to him!  Writing to the Corinthian church regarding Jesus’ appearances after His Resurrection, he said:

He <Jesus>appeared to me also. For I am the least of the apostles,
and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain;
but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.
1 Corinthians 15:8-10

And we too, who are recipients of MUCH of God’s amazing, unshakable, unchanging, unfailing grace, know this is a foundational truth of our lives.  ‘But for the grace of God’ each of our lives would look much different!  (I hear your ‘Amen!’)  Grace cannot be earned…so just call it what it is—Call It Grace!

May I pray the final benediction given in the Scriptures over each of you…
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all.  Amen.
Revelation 22:21

In Your Hands

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

 ~  Listen while you read, please!  ~

The dawn is breaking and I can hear Your whisper on the breeze
The world is waking and I am here to meet You on my knees
When I’m with You my soul finds rest ‘cause I can leave it in Your hands

The day keeps coming pulling me a million different ways
I’m always running but never seem to catch the things I chase
When I’m with You my soul finds rest ‘cause I can leave it in Your hands

Every sorrow, I leave it in Your hands
Every sickness, I leave it in Your hands
All my failures, I leave ‘em in Your hands
Amen. (I leave it in Your hands)

So I am laying the weight of all these burdens at Your feet
No more waiting ‘cause You’ve already won my victories
In Jesus my soul finds rest ‘cause I can leave it in Your hands

Every promise, I leave it in Your hands
Every healing, I leave it in Your hands
And my future, I leave it in Your hands
Amen. (I can leave it in Your hands)

It’s Your hands that form the mountains
Your hands set boundaries for the seas
And in Your hands You hold tomorrow
The same hands that took the nails for me

Every sorrow, I leave it in Your hands
Every sickness, I leave it in Your hands
All my failures, I leave them in Your hands
Amen. (I can leave it in Your hands)

Every promise, I leave it in Your hands
Every healing, I leave it in Your hands
And my future, I leave it in Your hands
Amen. (I can leave it in Your hands)
…I can leave it in Your hands

~  Performed by Unspoken  ~
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
I love this song for the confession of the Truth that it is!  Where would we be if it were not for choosing to ‘leave it in His hands’?  We can proclaim our trust as the psalmist did.

But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord,
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in Your hand…
Psalms 31:14 and 15

These could easily have been similar words to what Ezra voiced in his prayers to his God.  Ezra was a man “uncompromisingly righteous” (I Kings 8:32).  God worked many things through the life and ministry of the priest Ezra and it was very apparent that Ezra’s life was in God’s hand (verses 6, 9, 28).  Most notably were the events which led to Ezra being commanded to come before King Artaxerxes (the son of Ahaseurus (Xerxes)—yes! THAT Ahaseurus…the husband of Esther!) to write a most important letter to be carried throughout the kingdom which determined that much wealth and “things” were acquired for the beautifying of the Temple in Jerusalem. (You can read the whole amazing record here.)

On the first of the first month he started out from Babylon, and on the first of the fifth month he arrived in Jerusalem, for upon him was the good hand of his God.
For Ezra had prepared and set his heart to seek the Law of the Lord [to inquire for it and of it, to require and yearn for it], and to do and teach in Israel its statutes and its ordinances.

Ezra 7:9 and 10

Ezra wrote (“scribed”) the king’s decree and also accompanied the letter throughout the kingdom. He thoroughly understood the magnitude of this event and praised God saying,

Blessed be the Lord, the God of our fathers [said Ezra], Who put such a thing as this into the king’s heart, to beautify the house of the Lord in Jerusalem, and Who has extended His mercy and steadfast love to me before the king, his counselors, and all the king’s mighty officers. I was strengthened and encouraged, for the hand of the Lord my God was upon me, and I gathered together outstanding men of Israel to go with me to Jerusalem.

Verses 27 and 28

God’s hand accomplishes small and mighty things!  The point is not in the enormity of His blessing but the point is His sovereignty!  Our God has had the entire world and the lives of every person ever born ‘in His hand’ all along.

The prophet Isaiah was given many strong encouraging AND admonishing words to speak to God’s people.  He had told them just how to pursue God when fasting and they chose to do it their own way…and they did not receive the things they were asking of the Lord.  And Isaiah plainly told them why “the Lord’s hand” was against them.

Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened at all, that it cannot save,
nor His ear dull with deafness, that it cannot hear.
But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,
and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.
Isaiah 59:1 and 2

We, as well, must always have the true fear of the Lord in our hearts compelling us to believe (and obey!).

Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest,
any one of you may seem to have come short of it.
For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word
they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.
For we who have believed enter that rest….
Hebrews 4:1-3

God’s heart (and His accompanying hand of provision and blessing) is to always provide what is good and best for those who seek Him. As Unspoken sings, “every sorrow…sickness…failure as well as every promise…healing…and our future” are best left in His hand.  Amen?

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind
and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.
In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him,
and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes; reverently fear and worship the Lord
and turn [entirely] away from evil.

Proverbs 3:5-7

CHRISTLife — Week Eight

cl part three banner

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

Lift My Life Up

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

~  Listen while you read, please!  ~

You brought me this far so why would I question You now
You have provided so why would I start to doubt
I’ve never been stranded, abandoned or left here to fight alone
So I’m giving You control

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

If peace is a river then let it sweep over me
I’m under fire I know it’s refining me
When I hear You calling out I follow now wherever the road may go
I know You’re leading me home

Take my life and let it be all for You
Take my life and let it be all for You

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

Have Your way with me…have Your way with me
Take my life and let it be all for You

Performed by Unspoken /

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

Surrender—that’s the word that has been on my heart the past few days. What does it mean to surrender?

The definition of surrender is to give up control of something.  There are many things God has been showing me that I have not surrendered…to Him.  When I don’t surrender I am choosing to take control of the situation in my own strength instead of allowing Him to take control.  When I surrender to God completely I am trusting Him in my situation.  He is ALWAYS Faithful in every circumstance and every situation.

Why is it so hard for us to surrender?  I know the hardest thing for me are my boys! And yet God entrusted me—a woman with a checkered past, saved by Grace—with these precious gifts.  I know that I don’t deserve it.  But isn’t that just like God…to give you another chance to do it well?  And to do it well is my heart’s desire.  So when I choose to not surrender or hang on to the precious gifts I have been given such as my boys, it is as if I am saying I do not trust the Giver of the gift.

So what is it you are hanging onto??  What is it that you need to surrender to Him—the Giver of the gift—and give Him complete control over?  When we choose to surrender our hearts to Him we are showing Him that we trust Him.

In Job 11:13-15 it says,

Surrender your heart to God,
turn to Him in prayer,
and give up your sins—
even those you do in secret.
Then you won’t be ashamed;
you will be confident
and fearless.

I love the last part of that verse…”then you WILL be Confident and Fearless.”  That is who I want to be: a woman who lives her life in surrender who lives Confident and Fearless.  Will you join me and surrender all?

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

Father, my prayer this day for myself and any woman reading this is that we will choose to live a life in surrender and leave it ALL in Your hands.  All our dreams, all our hopes, all our plans!  Lord, I leave it in Your hands. Father, “take my life and let it be ALL for you!” In Jesus name, AMEN!!!