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Give Me Jesus

During the months of September through May I lead a woman’s bible study,  Due to everyone’s busy schedule, we take off June through August. It is a time when I use to rest and spend time doing some other things that I enjoy. The Lord led to purchase a bible study by Sheila Walsh entitled The Longing in Me. I planned to spend the summer months working through this on my own but God had other plans. I had the joy of doing the study with three friends who also have the summer off from their normal bible study time. It was a blessed time to get to know one another better and spend time sharing with each other.

The study focused on the man and character of David. David was known as a “man after God’s own heart.”
We find much of his character in the book of Psalms as he opened up his life for all to examine. David’s life was portrayed by both success (he killed Goliath – I Samuel 17) and failure (his sin with another man’s wife – 2 Samuel 11) and he was far from perfect.
So the question is, how could God call David “a man after His heart” when David was such a terrible a sinner, having committed adultery and murder? Let’s look a little closer at the life of David to see if we can find out the answer to that question.
David had solid faith in God. In 1 Samuel 17 where David as a young shepherd boy fearlessly killed the Philistine, Goliath. His faith said, “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David,”Go, and the LORD be with you!” David was fully aware that God was in control of his life, and he had faith that God would deliver him. How else would one venture into a potentially fatal situation with such calm and confidence? David knew early on in life that God was to be trusted and obeyed. As we see in Scripture, David’s faith pleased God, and he is rewarded for it by the Lord.
David also loved God’s law. Of the 150 psalms in the Bible, David is credited for writing over half of them. David repeatedly mentioned how much he loved God’s perfect Word. We find a beautiful example of this in Psalm 119:47-48: “For I delight in your commands because I love them. I lift up my hands to your commands, which I love, and I meditate on your decrees.” It is not hard to see his complete adoration for God’s Word. But also notice how he mentions that he “meditates” on God’s statutes. God granted David understanding and wisdom through daily meditation. What a beautiful example to us, “Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart. They do nothing wrong; they walk in his ways” (Psalm 119:2-3).

David’s experienced seasons of great peace and prosperity as well as times of fear and despair. But through all of the seasons in his life, he never forgot to thank the Lord for everything that he had. It is truly one of his finest characteristics. “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!” (Psalm 100:4,). A s followers of Jesus Christ, we would do well to follow David’s lead of offering praise through thanksgiving to our Lord on a daily basis.
I believe David’s greatest characteristic was that he was truly repentant. Not only had he committed adultery and lying, but also murder. He had sinned against God and he admits it in 2 Samuel 12:13: “David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the LORD.’ And Nathan said to David, ‘The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die.’” But admitting our sin and asking for forgiveness is only half of the equation. The other half is repentance, and David did what we should all do: repent of our sins. One of my all-time favorite scripture is Psalm 51. This is David’s prayer of repentance to God: “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!” (Psalm 51:1-2).
David was truly repentant and God forgave him. David is a role model for us and he indeed, was a man after God’s own heart.
When we fail God through sin and disobedience, we can go to him in confidence knowing that “if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to not only forgive us but to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9).
Are you a woman after God’s own heart? What is the desire of your heart? Do you have that longing in your heart that says, Give Me Jesus?
Give Me Jesus is a fairly old hymn, originating as an African-American spiritual written during the time of slavery in the Untied States. Each time I hear this song it touches the true desire of my heart. The lyrics of Give Me Jesus are simple, but powerful. My prayer for you is that this is the message of your heart. Whether you are going through a time of success or a time failure, do you want Jesus more than all?
Give me Jesus
Lord when I am alone
And when I am alone
And when I am alone
Give me Jesus

Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus
You can have all this world

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What is man’s greatest need and what keeps man from having that need met?

And seeing the multitudes, Jesus went up on the mountain, and when He was seated, his disciples came to Him.  He opened his mouth and taught them saying, “Blessed are the poor in spirit….”  (Matthew 5:3)

When Jesus saw the people, He saw their greatest need.  He saw their fear, their anxiety and their suffering.  He wanted to give them the secret to finding true happiness.

Everyone wants to be happy.  If we would take a survey and ask 100 people “what would make you happy” we would get a variety of answers; being loved and appreciated, feeling secure, living in the right house, having the perfect job, happing everything I want.

We all, at some point in time, have come to the disturbing moment of truth when we realize we have achieved these things and we are still not happy.

I can almost hear Jesus saying to the crowd, “Listen to me.  What I have to say is of utmost importance.  I really want you to get this.”  His first point, in what we know as the Sermon on the Mount” was “Blessed are the poor in Spirit.”  I can imagine the disciples talking among themselves, “what is he saying, what does this mean?  How can you be happy when you are poor?”

To help us better understand what Jesus was saying, let’s look at the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector found in Luke 18:9-14.  A parable is a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson; an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.

This parable is a story about two men.  The first man prays and says, “God, I thank you I am not like other people -robbers, evil doers, adulterous – or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week and I give a tenth of all I get.”

The second man, his face in his hands, not daring to look towards heaven prays, “God, be merciful to me a sinner. Please forgive me.”

What was the difference between these two men?  The first man, the Pharisee, was obsessed by his own virtues, his own good works.  He trusted in his own righteousness.  The second man, the tax collector, humbly asked God for mercy.  He saw his need before God.  He recognized his guilt and acknowledged his sins and he ask God for forgiveness.

Jesus, when He said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit”, saw man’s greatest need. The need to be happy and the only way man can be happy is to have that right relationship with Him.

What about us? What is the heavenly meaning of this earthly story for you?

These typical attitudes of self-righteousness are common even to us today.” I go to church, I give to the poor, I help my neighbor.  I have everything I need, I can do it on my own, I am not a sinner.  “I don’t need God.”  One of the most serious forms of spiritual pride is to say. “I don’t need God or his help.  I can do it on my own.”  Are these people truly happy?  Have they found the secret of true happiness?

True happiness comes when we recognize our need for God.  True happiness comes as we accept Christ, not only as Savior but Lord of our lives.  May we humbly pray as the tax collector did, “God be merciful to me a sinner.   Please forgive me.  Amen.

Quote from a friend: “We are all sinners and when we ask for His mercy He gives it freely and that is the beginning of finding true happiness.”

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,  that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,  I Corinthians 15:3-45

Living He loved me. Dying He saved me.

Buried He carried my sins far away.  Rising He justified freely forever,

One day He’s coming, Oh Glorious Day!  His return…OH GLORIOUS DAY.

One Day was written by a Presbyterian Evangelist, Rev. John Wilbur Chapman in 1908. This song has been loved through the ages.

A revised music version was created in 2008 by Michael Bleecker, a worship pastor.  Easter was approaching…he was having a difficult time finding just the right song.  He noticed a hymnal nearby and began flipping through it.  He found the hymn “One Day.

Michael Bleecker writes, “Combined with the words of the song, the Lord gave me the melody in five minutes.  His prayer is that it will be used to teach the Gospel and stir the affections of others for Jesus.”  Yes, this song has been around for a long time. But it’s timeless truth  is fresh every morning and its message remains forever.

When I hear this song, my mind immediately goes to of scripture penned by the Apostle Paul found in I Corinthians 15:3-4.   I like to call this scripture, “The Gospel in a Nutshell.”

I echo the words of Paul, “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance.”  Romans 1:16 says, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power that leads to salvation to EVERYONE who believes.”

As we sing along with Casting Crown, sing it with the hope and joy of its message and then, share its truths with those around you….for it is the power that leads to salvation.

 

I found a website, “worship with scripture.com;” A scriptural foundation for modern worship songs.  If you would like to do more do a more in-depth study of this song, I’ve listed the scriptural foundation for this song.”

 

One day when Heaven was filled with His praises (Isaiah 6:1-5, Daniel 7:13-14)
One day when sin was as black as could be (Psalm 38:3-8, Psalm 51:3-5, Isaiah 1:18Isaiah 64:6, Matthew 6:23Romans 3:23)
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14Matthew 1:18-25Luke 1:26-38)
Dwelt among men, my example is He (John 13:12-17Romans 15:1-3)
Word became flesh and the light shined among us (John 1:4-514)
His glory revealed (Matthew 17:1-2John 1:14)

[Chorus:]
Living, He loved me (John 3:16, John 15:9, 12, Galatians 2:20)
Dying, He saved me (John 3:17, John 10:11)
Buried, He carried my sins far away (Psalm 103:12, Isaiah 43:25, Isaiah 44:22, Micah 7:19, Romans 6:6-7)
Rising, He justified freely forever (Romans 3:21-26Romans 4:25Romans 8:3-4)
One day He’s coming (John 14:1-3Acts 1:9-11, 1 Thessalonians 4:16, Revelation 22:12, 20)*
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day

One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain (Luke 23:33 KJV)
One day they nailed Him to die on a tree (Psalm 22:16, Matthew 27:35Mark 15:24, Luke 23:33-34, John 19:16-18)
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected (Isaiah 53:3-4)
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He (Isaiah 53:12)
Hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree (2 Chronicles 7:14)
And took the nails for me (Isaiah 53:5-6, Colossians 2:13-14)

[Chorus]

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer
One day the stone rolled away from the door (Matthew 28:2, Mark 16:4, Luke 24:1-2, John 20:1)
Then He arose, over death He had conquered (Matthew 28:7Mark 16:6, 1 Corinthians 15:16-20)
Now He’s ascended, my Lord evermore (Luke 24:50-51, Acts 1:9-11)
Death could not hold Him, the grave could not keep Him (Acts 2:24)
From rising again

[Chorus]

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming (1 Thessalonians 4:16, Revelation 11:15-19)
One day the skies with His glories will shine (Matthew 24:27Luke 21:27Revelation 1:7)
Wonderful day, my Beloved One, bringing
My Savior, Jesus, is mine

The Day After Christmas

Christmas seems to start earlier and earlier each year.  Christmas decorations are in the stores early October; several television stations start showing their Christmas movies.  When I was a child, you never began celebrating Christmas till after Thanksgiving was over.

A few days after Christmas, as I was driving to work, a Christmas song came over the radio.  I thought, “I am ready to get back to the regular programing of the station.”  I want to hear some of my favorite songs of praise and songs with a message of encouragement and excitement.   Songs that spoke to my every day experiences.  As soon as I let those thoughts enter my mind, I felt sad.  For you see, the message of Christmas lives on every day.

Matthew West wrote a song entitled “Day After Christmas.”  For some, Christmas may not be a happy time, so we are ready for it to be over.  For others, Christmas is “the most wonderful time of the year.”

Whatever Christmas may mean to you, the Christmas message lives on.    The light of the world, Jesus is still here with us.  Not in the form of a baby.  He was born, lived on this earth, was nailed to a cross and crucified for you and for me.  He was buried and on the third day rose again and is now seated at the right hand of the Father.  But, He did not leave us nor forsake us.  He sent the Holy Spirit to be with us daily as we walk this journey called life.  So I wish you, “Happy day after Christmas, and Merry New Year.

Here comes the letdown Christmas is over
Here comes the meltdown, there goes the cheer
But before we have a breakdown, let us remember
The light of the world is still here

Happy day after Christmas
And merry rest of the year
Even when Christmas is over
The light of the world is still here
The light of the world

Come January I’m ready for summer
The Super Bowl’s over and I’ll settle for spring
Sometimes we all need a change in the weather
But it won’t change the reason we sing

Happy day after Christmas
And merry rest of the year
Even when Christmas is over
The light of the world is still here

The light of the world
The light of the world
The light of the world

So take down the stockings, take back the sweaters
Take down the lights and the star and the tree
But don’t let this world take your joy after Christmas
Take joy to the world and just sing

Happy day after Christmas
And merry rest of the year
Even when Christmas is over
The light of the world is still here

Happy day after Christmas
And merry rest of the year
Even when Christmas is over
The light of the world is still here

The light of the world
The light of the world
The light of the world
The light of the world
The light of the world
The light of the world
The light of the world

 

1 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.
2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance : that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
1 Corinthians 15:1-4

We live in a world of noise and movement.  Many of us are constantly moving.  We have a family and home to take care of, we have a job to go to, the kids are involved in sports and we all have hobbies we enjoy. The list can go on and on.

Movement is not a bad thing.  It shows that we are alive and living.  But,we must be careful that our movement is leading us in the right direction.  In order to be sure we are moving in the right direction, we must take time to be still.

Psalm 46:10 encourages us to be still and know God.

God wants us to have more than a “head” knowledge of Him.  He wants us to have a “heart” knowledge.  He wants us to have more than an intellectual understanding.  He wants us to have a personal and intimate knowledge  that lead us to a personal relationship with Jesus.

Taking time to “be still” before God requires an intentional effort on our part.  If you do not presently have this spiritual discipline in your life, start slow and don’t become discouraged.  God will honor your desire and your effort, no matter how small.

How to be still before God

A.  Set aside a time that works for you – maybe you are a morning person…maybe it will be after you drop the kids off at school.  For me, it is in the evening when the activities and responsibilities of the day are done.

B.  Find a quite place away from distractions and interruptions. Maybe it’s a small corner of the kitchen or bedroom.  Maybe it’s a closet (have you seen the movie “War Room?”)

C.  Don’t rush it.  Allow yourself to relax and unwind if needed. Let go of the worries that have weighed you down.

D.  Begin with a simple prayer:

  • thank God for bringing you to this moment before Him
  • ask him to open your heart and mind to His word
  • thank him in advance for what He is going to say to you.

E.  Have the necessary tools to help you in your quiet time

  • A bible
  • a notebook and pen to record your thoughts and feelings
  • a devotional book is helpful if you don’t know where to start
  • a hymnal

Once you have spent time in the Word, sit in silence and reflect on what you have read.

Pause and listen for what God has to say to you.

Ask God how He wants you to apply it to your life.

End your time in worship and prayer.  Praise Him for who He is, Thank him for how He has spoken you you.   Sing a hymn of praise.  He is faithful.

As you intentionally take time to be still before God your faith will grow, you will be blessed and you will be a blessing to others.

You may have some other tips to encourage others as they spend quite time with the Lord.  Please leave a comment sharing those tips with those who read this blog.

As always, feel free to leave a comment or ask a question.  If you do not have that personal relationship with Jesus, I will be happy to discuss it with you.Blessings to you as you spend time being still before God.

In closing I would like to share the final clip to the movie, “The War Room.”  Lord Raise Up a people who are still before you.  That we might know you personally as Lord and Savior.  Raise up those that love you and seek you and trust you. Amen.

 

 

You’ve done it again, Lord. You’ve done it again.
You are good, and You are mighty, and You are merciful! And You keep taking care of me when I don’t deserve it.
Praise You, Jesus! You are Lord….

Raise up more that will call upon Your name.
Raise up those that love You, and seek You, and trust You.
Raise ‘em up, Lord!
Raise ’em up!

Lord, we need a generation of believers who are not ashamed of the gospel!
We need an army of believers, Lord, that hate to be lukewarm, and will stand on Your Word above all else!
Raise ’em up, Lord!
Raise ’em up!

I pray for unity among those that love You.
I pray that You open their eyes so that they can see Your truth, Lord.
I pray for Your hand of protection and guidance.
Raise up a generation, Lord, that will take light into this world; that will not compromise when under pressure; that will not cower, Lord, when others fall away!

Raise ’em up, Lord, that they will proclaim that there is salvation in the name of Jesus Christ!
Raise up warriors, Lord, who will fight on their knees, who will worship you with their whole hearts, Lord!
Lord, call us to battle, that we may proclaim King of Kings, and Lord of Lords!

I pray these things with all my heart.
Raise ’em up, Lord!
Raise ’em up!

“Raise ‘Em Up”, from the movie “The War Room”

 

 

Some say, “silence is golden.”  Me………….I like noise.  When home, I have the television on even if I am not watching it. While driving to work, the car radio is on and when I get to work the first thing i do is turn the Pandora radio station.  There is noise all around me.

Psalm 46:10 calls us (me) to be still (silent).  

This past week  I have been forced to endure silence was while driving to work.  The car radio/cd player had quit working and I have not had time to have it fixed.  I have to admit that silence is not a bad thing.  It is nothing to fear.

As I had driven to work, I had time to pray and reflect on the grace and goodness of God.  I found myself humming and singing the old familiar hymn, “To God be the Glory.”  Read these words with me and allow God to open your heart to the truth they encompass.

To God be the glory, great things He hath done;
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life, an atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate, that all may go in.

O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
To every believer, the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, our transport1, when Jesus we see!

Refrain:
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, 
Let the people rejoice!

He (God) so loved he world he gave his son (Jesus).  He (Jesus) yielded his life an atonement for sin.  To every believer (you and me) the promise of God (eternal life). The vilest offender who truly believes  (remember the Apostle Paul who said he was the worst of sinners.)  But purer and higher and greater will be, our wonder, our transport when Jesus we see (heaven).

Praise the Lord……….Give Him the Glory……………..Great things he has done!

How could I not but praise Him?

Had there not been that time of silence while driving to work, I would have missed it.  I would have missed the blessing God had for me that morning.  God says be still (silent) and know that I am God,

Let’s take a moment to reflect:

  • How are you at experiencing those times of being still (silent) before God?
  • What hinders you from being still before God?
  • what are the benefits of being still before God?

In my next posting (within the next few days) I will share some ways to be still before the God.  Please check back.

Prayer:  Thank you dear Father for that time of silence while driving to work.  it not only gave me the opportunity to pray, but also the opportunity to hear from you through the words of “To God be the Glory.”  Lord, you have done great things for me and I am filled with joy (and praise.) – Psalm 126:3

Leave me a comment and tell me what do you to be still before God.

As I sit here reflecting on 2013 and thinking about a new year soon to dawn upon me,  I think of several verses in Isaiah that talk about forgetting the past and looking ahead to the new things God wants to do.

With the end of the year approaching, there are many regrets, sorrows and disappointments.  Mistakes have been made; hopes and dreams have been crushed.  There have been times of discouragement and hardships and struggles.

This is not to say there were not times of encouragement and blessings because there were. But, for some reason at this time of year I tend to focus on those things I want to change.

There’s no reason to remain enslaved to the mistakes and sins and the shortcomings of my past year. I don’t have to continually feel guilty  because of something I did or didn’t do this past year.  God in Christ has forgiven me and I chose to accept His forgiveness and say “thank you.” Because of God’s grace and mercy I can move on to the new year with new hope, new determination and new strength. God says He is doing a new thing; He has already begun.

I don’t know what lies ahead in 2014.  I know there are things about myself I want to change and I know there are things in my life God wants to change.  In either case, I know I can’t change on my own.  I will need God’s help.  He has promised not to leave me nor forsake me.  He will give me the strength and courage I need if I just keep my eyes upon Him.  There will be more disappointments and discouraging times, more hardships and struggles but I also know that God promises that His Holy Spirit will be there with me and be my companion and helper.   He will lead me and guide me in the way I should go if I seek Him.

What about you?  Where are you at in your walk with the Lord as we approach 2014?  Are there things you want to change?  Are there changes God wants to make in you?  Will you allow him to lead you and guide you, comfort and strengthen you?  Will you seek Him daily?

Prayer:  Dear Father God,

This year is soon to pass.  With it goes all its mistakes and disappointments.  Thank you for your grace and mercy that you extended to me in 2013.

As we approach 2014, let me remember it is a time of new beginning.  You are going to do a new thing.  You have already begun.  I place 2014 into your strong hands to lead me and guide me.  Create in me a heart of acceptance and gratitude.   Help me to know you more, to walk in faith , to serve you better and to grow in your grace.  In Jesus name, I pray.  Amen.

Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland

 NLT “But forget all that— it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
For I am about to do something new.  See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.