Archive for September 2016

The Lord’s Supper and Passover

from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD

Read Exodus 12:1-28, 43-51

When Jesus initiated the Lord’s Supper, He and His disciples were celebrating Passover. To understand the Lord’s Supper, we must look briefly at Passover.

Passover memorialized God’s deliverance from the hopeless and bitter bondage of slavery into the glorious freedom of God’s chosen and blessed people.

Read the Exodus 12 account of Passover while keeping the Lord’s Supper in mind. What parallels do you see? Here are a few:

  • Both were remembrances, re-enactments of God’s salvation. God reveals Himself primarily by His actions, and some memories of His actions are too important to be entrusted to words alone. Both Passover and the Lord’s Supper were ways of physically acting out what God had done for His people.
  • The Lord’s Supper, the new Passover, is so sweeping that it makes the first Passover, which is glorious in its own right, into a mere foreshadowing of what God did for us in Christ.
  • The first Passover celebrates the defeat of the greatest power among nations, the oppressor of God’s people. The Lord’s Supper celebrates the defeat of all evil.
  • With Passover, God demonstrated His power through killing Egypt’s firstborn. With the Lord’s Supper, God demonstrated His love by offering His own firstborn.
  • Jesus invested the bread and wine, parts of the Passover meal, with a new meaning. They became symbols of His own body and His own blood. He Himself was the meal God offered.
  • Jesus became the unblemished Passover Lamb on whom God’s people feasted. It was His blood that saved them from death.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Remember Your Lord
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics

One Body

We were all baptized into one body. (1 Corinthians 12:13, NASB) 

Lord Jesus, when I become one with You,
I become one with every other believer.
I come into one Body with them.
When I first answered Your call,
that’s what happened.
When I answer Your call and surrender to Your will now,
that’s what happens.
I become one member of Your Body,
with all its many members.

I get so focused on my individual life.
I forget that in reality
I’m one part of a grand picture,
a panorama that extends
throughout recorded history and
beyond.
I’m one part of Your own family,
of Your precious people.

Jesus, teach me to think that way.
Teach me to pray that way.
Teach me to work that way.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: We Have Come, God’s Living Temple
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics

Simple Responses

I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with loving-kindness.
(Jeremiah 31:3, NIV)

From our birth to our death
God Almighty showers us with
His love,
His guidance, and
His daily care.

Consistently and constantly,
in big ways and small ways, He says,
“I love you!
You can trust Me!”

As you live day by day,
are you responding to His love?
Your present and future happiness depend on your responses. 

Father, when You bless me,
I will thank You.
With every need,
I will turn to You and trust You.
As You love me,
I will love those around me. 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: A Thankful Heart
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics

Needing the Father

from the book, ONE WITH OUR FATHER 

John 5:19-30

“Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing. 

“I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” (John 5:19-20, 30, NASB)

Father, I want so many things.
I am always hungry and thirsty.

I need so many things.
I feel weak and vulnerable
and am constantly grasping for security.

But no human being was ever weaker than Your Son,
and He wanted only You.
He needed only You.
Your glory,
Your Kingdom,
Your will—
that is all He sought.

He was always sufficient,
always speaking Your Words,
always doing Your works,
always able,
always at peace.

Father, my Father,
help me to be as weak and as strong as He was.
Give me the Spirit of Christ.
Help me to want only You.

Father, Jesus was single-mindedly devoted to You.
You were His joy,
His wisdom,
His source, and
His focus.
Be the same to me, Father.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Father, Father
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics

Nothing but You, Christ

When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power. (1 Corinthians 2:1-5, NIV)

Lord, You are pointing Your finger at
every avenue of ministry You have given me.
Help me not to approach them with attempts at
human eloquence or
persuasion.
Such efforts demonstrate me, not You.
They are nothing but distractions.

For, Jesus, You are
the wisdom and
the power and
the salvation of God.
By Your Spirit, demonstrate yourself through me.
Show yourself.
Draw people to yourself alone, not to me.

When I come as Your servant,
let me come in weakness.
Let me come with nothing but You.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Not I, but Christ
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics

Learn a New Response to Need

Whenever we feel a need, we want to eliminate it.
All our focus is on ridding ourselves of the source of our discomfort.

But realize that our neediness is permanent and pervasive.
We can never eliminate it.
Eliminate the need that obsesses you right now, and
another will soon replace it.

Instead, God is teaching us to rest in His sufficiency,
right there in the presence of the need.
We can find peace in Him,
even when the need continues for a time.

What needs are you feeling in your life right now?
God is using them to draw you to Himself.
Look past your normal solutions,
your usual sources of relief that never prove adequate.
Turn to Him.
Bring your concerns to Him, and rest in Him.
He is peace.
He is your sufficiency through every need.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Lord, How Good to Rest in You
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics

Better Bread

from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD

Read John 6:26-34

The crowd that Jesus had fed from the loaves and fishes followed Him to other side of the Sea of Galilee. When they caught up with Him, their opening question was, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” (John 6:25, NASB). Jesus knew what they really wanted, so He ignored their question and cut straight to the point:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.” (John 6:26, NASB)

A “sign” is a miracle intended to verify the truth of a teaching. Jesus intended the feeding of the five thousand to be a sign pointing to Himself as the Bread of Life, the satisfaction for all their deepest hungers. The crowd didn’t see the sign, only the free food. For people who worked hard for daily bread, free food was a powerful motivator. But Jesus continued to press them to understand the real purpose of the sign: 

“Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.” (John 6:27, NASB)

He urged them to look beyond physical bread, shallow and temporary. He tried to redirect them toward Himself as the satisfaction for all their deeper needs. But their hearts were focused on themselves, not on Him, and on their physical desires, not their spiritual needs.

They pointed out that Moses had provided manna in the wilderness and suggested that Jesus should do the same for them. But they were missing the point. Manna had been intended to teach the people to depend on God, not on physical bread:

He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna…that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord. (Deuteronomy 8:3, NASB)

Their self-centered, materialistic hearts were causing them to overlook God’s greater provision, just as the Jews in the wilderness had done.

What needs are you feeling in your life right now? God is using them to draw you to Himself.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: We Taste Your Life and Long for More
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics

Make Me Whole in You

Father, I am from You.
I am not simply created by You.
I am Your offspring,
Your own child.

What is more, I
live and
move and
exist entirely in You.

Today, Father,
my imperfect body is in Your hands.
My imperfect thoughts and actions are in Your hands.
By Your Spirit,
in Your mercy and love,
make me more and more like
Your holy Son,
my glorious Brother,
Jesus Christ.
Make me whole,
complete, and
pleasing in Him.

I love You, Father, and
I trust You.
I am in Your hands,
body,
mind, and
spirit.
You are my Shepherd,
my Father,
my breath,
my existence.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: God Alone
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics

Content

I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11-13, NASB)

We spend much of our lives restless and dissatisfied, wanting something we don’t have. Sometimes it’s material things. Sometimes a relationship or respect or some accomplishment. We want and want, and when we get what we want, we want something else.

Recently the Lord put His finger on this passage and challenged me to always be content in Him.

He is always with me. Simply turning to Him during the day reminds me that God is God, that His will will be done, and that it is always good. Looking to Him for a moment, I find peace and joy in His presence, and life is OK again.

The real riches of life is Christ in us.

Jesus, I will always be content in You.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Content in You
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics

QUIETNESS Devotional Tapestry

QUIETNESS Devotional Tapestry

Devotional Tapestries are short recordings designed to draw your heart and mind to the Living God. Each includes a devotional reading over instrumental music, leading into a hymn.

Listen to QUIETNESS Devotional Tapestry.

Printed devotional & hymn
More Devotional Tapestries

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