January 21, 2018

Breath Of Heaven

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I have traveled many moonless nights
Cold and weary with a babe inside
And I wonder what I’ve done
Holy Father, You have come
And chosen me now to carry Your Son

I am waiting in a silent prayer
I am frightened by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone
Be with me now, be with me now

Breath of heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of heaven

Breath of heaven
Lighten my darkness
Pour over me Your holiness
For You are holy
Breath of heaven

Do you wonder as you watch my face
If a wiser one should have had my place
But I offer all I am
For the mercy of Your plan
Help me be strong
Help me be…Help me

Sara Groves
written by Chris Eaton and Amy Grant

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This song—a depiction of Mary’s heart as she prepares to give birth to God’s Son—is such a simple prayer, too… Can’t you just imagine Mary singing it under her own breath?  No one really could ever fully understand Mary’s heart as she gives birth to her Son, Who is her Savior, her Redeemer, Emmanuel.  Perhaps in a small way (especially those who have also labored and delivered a baby) we can empathize a bit with her feelings.  But I do believe we can (we DO!) at times also sing/plead this same prayer.  How about you…been there?  Me, too.

Breath of heaven, hold me together!
Be forever near me, Breath of heaven!
Breath of heaven, 
lighten my darkness
Pour over me Your holiness…for You are holy!

This is a prayer I know He will answer…the Scriptures assure us that it is so.

For in Him all things were created…
all things have been created through Him and for Him.
He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
Colossians 1:16 and 17

O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, O Lord, You know it all.
You have enclosed me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high, I cannot attain to it.
Psalms 139:1-6

You know me inside and out, You hold me together
Psalm 41:12

Don’t the lyrics of this chorus just capture so much what we feel—our total dependence on the Lord for everything we need.  And because Emmanuel has come, our Help is here.

Just like Mary, we also recognize our great need for hope to cling to.  She grew up knowing and believing the promises made throughout the Old Testament of a Redeemer, a Savior.  She clung to the words spoken by the Angel Gabriel telling her of the greatness of this baby she was carrying.

For with God nothing [is or ever] shall be impossible.
Luke 1:37

We also know and believe this same Truth as well as the promises that God has made to us…not only of our Lord’s Coming but also of His second Coming!

Mary, I am sure, had moments of fear and worry and despair, but she had been given a promise and she knew that holding on to that promise was ultimately not only all she had but all she needed.  We, too, should follow Mary’s example.  For nothing shall be impossible with God!  We, too, have the hope of being blessed by God’s goodness and faithfulness and grace to cling to!

Let us seize and hold tightly the confession of our hope without wavering,
for He who promised is reliable and trustworthy and faithful [to His Word]…
Hebrews 10:23

Knowing of the great love that God has for mankind (for you…and for me!), we have faith and hope and trust in His ability to ‘hold us together’ and to ‘be forever near me’.  I am praying and asking God to encourage you, my friend, and remind you that He loves you.

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
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 8:37-39

Faithful Promises

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Your eternal word, O Lord, stands firm in heaven.
Your faithfulness extends to every generation,
as enduring as the earth You created.
Psalms 119:89-90

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The thing I love about God’s Word is that no matter how I am feeling, no matter what is going on around me, no matter what other people say, and no matter what my mind or eyes see God’s promises take rank over all of it.

God’s promise is always true. Sometimes it is hard to see this, but it is true. You know, when bad things happen God does not cause them.  He is a good God, therefore, He is incapable of doing wrong or bad.  He can only do good. It is hard for us to understand because we, as humans, can do both. However, God is not like us in this aspect.  He can only do good.

Let me say it again, He can ONLY do good.

God’s word says that He has come to give us life and that He has come to give us that life abundantly (John 10:10).  Here are a few of my favorite promises:

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary
and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you.
Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart
and you will find rest for your souls.”
Matthew 11:28-29

And this same God who takes care of me
will supply all your needs from His glorious riches,
which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19

I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart.
And the peace I give is a gift the world can’t give.
So don’t be troubled or afraid.
John 14:27

Knowing God’s promises isn’t enough…we have to believe them no matter what.

Hebrews 10: 23 (my favorite verse) says,
“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm,
for God can be trusted to keep His promise.”

This Week…Hebrews 10:23

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So let us seize and hold fast
and retain without wavering
the hope we cherish
and confess and our acknowledgement of it,
for He Who promised is reliable
(sure) and faithful to His Word.
Hebrews 10:23 AMP

This week, here on the Seeking Him devotional blog, we are finishing a mini-series on the subject of HOPE.  Our devotional writers have shared the Truth given us in this week’s passage reminding us that ‘we boast in the hope of the glory of God’!  Here are a few of their thoughts….

In Hope (A Profession), Ann encouraged us with these words…

In the KJV the same verse says, ‘Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering (for He is faithful that promised).’

What are we seeing here?  Hope is the profession of our faith.  What is  ‘profession’ then?  In biblical terms, this is a calling.  It is ‘an occupation, practice, or vocation requiring mastery of a complex set of knowledge and skills through formal education and/or practical…’.

So if we take the AMP version that we should hold fast…without wavering…the hope, we are saying we should take the profession of our faith without wavering.

In Unswerving Hope, Ahmee shared her own testimony and reminded us of Abraham and Sarah and their hope….

When I first got saved this verse held me up through many storms and confused nights.  I’d cry from feeling so close to defeat, but would cling to knowing that “He who promised is faithful.”  Written in my Bible I have a note next to this verse that says “regardless of how things seem!” How true?!

God promises us things that seem so impossible sometimes.  We know that His promises are true.  We know He cannot tell a lie and we know He is faithful.  And yet, what our eyes see and our minds perceive is something totally different.  The question remains: “Which do you believe?” We rely on our eyes daily to show us the world around us. Our eyes are tangible. However, we KNOW that God is to be trusted. Both seem right.

A prime example of this type of situation is that of the story of Abraham….

We Praise You for You are Faithful

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Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter
the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,

By a new and living way opened for us
through the curtain, that is, His body,

And since we have a great priest over the house of God,
Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart
and with the full assurance that faith brings,

Having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience
and having our bodies washed with pure water.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess,
for He who promised is faithful.|

Hebrews 10:19-23

We praise You and we thank You for Your faithfulness, Almighty God!  We thank You, dear Lord, for Your faithfulness in all things…what You have promised, You will provide.  We rest in Your faithfulness, Your goodness, Your love. we praise You for You are our faithful Father, always providing what is good, what is needful, what is best for us!
O Lord! how thankful, how grateful we are to utter such confessions as ‘confidence to enter the Most Holy Place’ and ‘full assurance that faith brings,’ and ‘hold unswervingly to the hope.’  None of this is of our own doing…but simply because we know to Whom we belong and we know Your heart for us!  It is by Your doing—we have confidence to enter by the blood of Jesus.  It is because of Your faithfulness—we hold to the Hope.
Grant us today, Father, the peace that is beyond our understanding so that we are not anxious about anything, but with prayer and with thanksgiving we let our requests be made known to You as we draw near to You.  We thank You for Your faithfulness…we rest in Your faithfulness.  We praise You for Your  faithfulness!  We come before You praying these things in Jesus, our Lord’s name, amen.

Unswerving Hope

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Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess
for He who promised is faithful.
Hebrews 10:23

When I saw that Hebrews 10:23 was the verse we were writing on, my heart did a little jump inside.  This is my “most favorite-est” verse in the Bible.

When I first got saved this verse held me up through many storms and confused nights.  I’d cry from feeling so close to defeat, but would cling to knowing that “He who promised is faithful.”  Written in my Bible I have a note next to this verse that says “regardless of how things seem!” How true?!

God promises us things that seem so impossible sometimes.  We know that His promises are true.  We know He cannot tell a lie and we know He is faithful.  And yet, what our eyes see and our minds perceive is something totally different.  The question remains: “Which do you believe?” We rely on our eyes daily to show us the world around us. Our eyes are tangible. However, we KNOW that God is to be trusted. Both seem right.

A prime example of this type of situation is that of the story of Abraham.  In Genesis 12:1-3, God gave (then) Abram a command and several blessings. Genesis 12:4 tells us that Abraham was 25 at the time.  In Genesis 21:1-5, God’s promise is fulfilled.  Genesis 21:5 says that Abraham was (now) 100 years old.  Think of it this way: not only did God’s promise take 9 chapters in the Bible to actualize, but it took 75 years.  Say it with me ‘75 years‘!  God promised Abraham that he would have a son.  He told Abraham this while he and his wife were very young – “the optimized time for child-bearing” and yet! God waited until both of them were old and well passed “child-bearing” age to provide them with a child.

From his story we know that Abraham and his wife got impatient with God and (in Genesis 16) took matters into their own hands.  Abraham laid with his wife’s servant and Ishmael, a son, was born to him.  This, of course, was not God’s plan; therefore, strife resulted from this situation.  We must be careful that we are not trying to rush God’s hand while waiting.  75 years. That’s a l-o-o-o-ng time to wait, especially for children, but for anything at all!

What promise is it that you are clinging to from God?  
Does His word support it?  Yes?  Good!  
Now ask yourself: Are you willing to wait 75 years for it?

Hope (A Profession)

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So let us seize and hold fast and retain without wavering
the hope we cherish and confess and our acknowledgment of it,
for He who promised is reliable (sure) and faithful to His Word.

Hebrew 10:23 AMP

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In the KJV the same verse says,

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering
(for He is faithful that promised).

What are we seeing here?  Hope is the profession of our faith.  What is  ‘profession’ then?  In biblical terms, this is a calling.  It is ‘an occupation, practice, or vocation requiring mastery of a complex set of knowledge and skills through formal education and/or practical…’.

So if we take the AMP version that we should hold fast…without wavering…the hope, we are saying we should take the profession of our faith without wavering.

In a business world setting, if you know that you are an accountant, anything concerning administration does not concern you because there is nothing you can do about it.  You are not trained for that and you do not have knowledge concerning it. This is also true with the profession of our faith…we are called in this field of hope in which we are being trained to hope in the Lord, we are being equipped to undertake this profession without wavering.

We are called to this profession ourselves because God already knows that we need training.  The training is the faith which needs to be exercised on a daily basis.

Faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God…
Romans 10:17

Once you hear  the Word of God, hope in the Lord moves from one level of glory to the other.   Faith and hope are inseparable professions that we as believers need to know and must have.  We need to combine these professions if we want to live a successful life.  A life of abundance only comes when we take our certificates in the profession which are desire, prayers, and belief.  (“What things soever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them” Mark 11: 24).

For God to act on anything we need to have hope and faith in God.  Don’t doubt God.  Brethren I have never seen the righteous forsaken therefore let us hold fast our profession in God for He never fails.  Those marriages we are hoping for will come…finances needed…babies we desire…. All these will only come when we exercise our profession (HOPE).

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Father, I thank You for the wonderful time we had in Your Presence.  Thank You for the Scripture we have read;  we pray and believe that grace shall abound in us that we shall do our profession without wavering.  Grant us that grace, Lord, for we need it to exercise our inheritance in Your Kingdom.  For without faith we cannot please You!   We need it time and time again.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

The Promise

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So let us seize and hold fast
and retain without wavering
the hope we cherish
and confess and our acknowledgement of it,
for He Who promised is reliable
(sure) and faithful to His Word.
Hebrews 10:23 AMP

I never said that I would give you silver or gold
Or that you would never feel the fire or shiver in the cold
But I did say you’d never walk through this world alone
And I did say, don’t make this world your home

I never said that fear wouldn’t find you in the night
Or that loneliness was something you’d never have to fight
But I did say I’d be right there by your side
And I did say I’ll always help you fight

‘Cause you know I made a promise that I intend to keep
My grace will be sufficient in every time of need
my love will be the anchor that you can hold onto
This is the promise, this is the promise I’ve made to you

I never said that friends would never turn their backs on you
Or that the world around you wouldn’t see you as a fool
But I did say like Me you’ll surely be despised
And I did say My ways confound the wise

I didn’t say you’d never taste the bitter kiss of death
Or have to walk through chilly Jordan to enter into rest
But I did say I’d be waiting right on the other side
And I did say I’ll dry every tear you cry

‘Cause you know I made a promise that I’ve prepared a place
And some day sooner than you think you’ll see Me face to face
And you’ll sing with the angels and a countless multitude
This is the promise, this is the promise I’ve made to you

So just keep on walkin’, don’t turn to the left or right
And in the midst of darkness, let this be your light
That hell can’t separate us and you’re gonna make it through
This is the promise, this is the promise I made to you

Half A Mile
written by Don Poythress and Brian White

We Are Full Of Hope

encouragementbloggraphicromans15What strength do I have that I should continue to hope?
What is my future, that I should be patient?
Is my strength that of stone, or my flesh made of bronze?
Since I cannot help myself, the hope for success has been banished from me.
Job 6: 11-13

God created us to feel every emotion we as humans will experience in our lifetime. We never want to be so dead inside not to grieve. Tears are actually a gift…they take us to a place that words cannot. And they bring healing, yes, much healing. As much as this may hurt or cause us discomfort, can you imagine if you weren’t allowed to cry and grieve?

As Jesus’ followers, the world that we live in causes us to grieve on a daily basis. Then hope and faith are found also, when we rely solely on God the Father and Jesus the Son to fill us.  That which we lost, we gain in Him.

Job’s thoughts hit home.  “What  strength do I have…since I cannot help myself, so all hope for success has been banished.”  When we feel God has let us down, or didn’t answer the way we wanted, we feel like Job—hopeless because we have no control over the outcome.  We cannot always help ourselves. But He can!  He is always the answer! He is always your strength! The best part is this:

Life’s outcomes aren’t dependent on you…
Your future lies in His hands, His capable, strong hands.

Need proof? Let’s go to The Word:

Be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24

I will praise You forever for what You have done.
In the presence of Your faithful people,
I will put my hope in Your name, for it is good.
Psalms 52:9

__________, {put your name here} put your hope in the Lord.
For there is faithful love with the Lord, and with Him is redemption in abundance.
Psalm 130:7

Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer.
Romans 12:12

I pray that the perception of your mind may be enlightened
so you may know what is the hope of His calling.
Ephesians 1:18a

Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering,
for HE WHO PROMISED IS FAITHFUL.
Hebrews 10:23 (emphasis mine)

Pain will fill our lives in different seasons and we will have loss in this life. So we must grieve when we need to but we must not be hopeless. Because His hands control everything and in Him is so much hope.  Sadness?  Yes we will feel it, but we will be happy and full of joy again.  Why?  Because He promised us!  And He can be trusted, even when you can’t trust anyone else.

He will bless you and He will love you.
And there may be sadness right now…
but joy comes in the morning!

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Do you know that God loves you so much that He sent His only Son to die in your place? And He would’ve done this for just you if it meant that you would live with Him forever. Jesus is waiting to come into your heart. Today is the day for change! Ready?

Let us pray:
God, I know I am a sinner. My life is out of control and I am so tired. I need You to be my God. I believe that Jesus is Your Son. You sent Him to die in my place so that my sins are forgiven. I will get to live in Heaven with You forever. Walk with me through this hard life and bring me into the light. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

Unswerving Hope

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Each week during the season of Advent  our blogs will focus on a central theme associated with the coming of Christ—His Advent.  This week’s theme is HOPE.
Christians throughout the world celebrate Advent. Some light candles or sing songs; some give gifts or  hang wreaths.  All of these are simple joyous ways of extending the celebration of Jesus’s coming beyond a mere 24 hours on December 25. Our prayer is that these devotionals throughout this season of Advent would help you to celebrate His first Coming and anticipate with joy His second Coming.

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Hebrew 10:23 NIV

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess for he who promised is faithful.

Who is this Who is faithful that we should put all our hope on?  And what is hope?!?

Hebrew 11:1

Now faith is the substance of things (HOPED) for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hope comes when you are at zero (0) and you want to be at one (1).  How to get to one…you just don’t know how.  It is all dependent on an external force, an external factor to propel you to get to one (1).

In this world we hope for so many things and many of these depend on others.  As we have seen the scripture on Hebrew 11:1, faith is the substance of things hoped for, things that we would want to have!  Things we desire to own, but, as much as we desire things of this world and hope (believing) of owning them one day…let us also hope for an eternal life that is given by accepting Christ Jesus which is better and of much greater value.

When we hope for the better, rest assured that the Faithful One will make it a point we have it. God is the One who is Faithful.  He fulfils all His promises to us and therefore we “… hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised….)”

Psalm 119:74

They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word.

Testimonies follow when we hope in the Lord, and others will see His providing for us.

Psalm 130:5

I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.

Let us acknowledge God as our own Father and approach him as a father;  you will never regret the way your hopes are being answered.  God is our hope. He is our everything and in all things we praise Him.

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Father, we put our trust in You, and give our all to the glory of your Holy name.  AMEN!!!