Archive for January 2017

Set Apart

“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17, NIV)

We are weak, imperfect people
sent into an evil, hostile world
to do the work of a holy God.
How can we be protected from the evil all around us?
How can we effectively do God’s work here?

We must be sanctified.
“Sanctified” means “set apart”.
We must be set apart to God:
consecrated entirely to Him,
cleansed and made entirely His own,
equipped for His service.

What does God use to set us apart entirely as His own?
He sets us apart and keeps us
by the truth—
that is, by the reality and reliability of His mighty word.
We go into this evil world in complete safety and
do His work boldly and effectively
because we are shielded and empowered by
the reality and reliability of Who He is and all He says.

In all our weakness
we can be holy and effective in this world
because God is Who He is, and
we are in Him.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: It’s a Gift
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics

from Prepare Yourself for Worship

My Heart Is Yours

Father, You are all that is good,
all that is holy,
all that is lasting,
all that is life.
As I turn to You now,
draw all my desires to Yourself alone.

Burn away every other desire,
every other yearning,
every other hope,
every other ambition.
Burn them away with the light of
Your beauty,
Your unbounded goodness, and
Your complete sufficiency.

Forgive my foolish wandering.
My heart is Yours alone.
All I want is You.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: An Undivided Heart
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics

See as God Sees

from the book, ONE WITH OUR FATHER 

John 13:1-3

In difficult times,
our concerns, our pain, and our loss
seem so real and permanent.
But this entire physical world is passing away,
including these bodies.
What seems so solid and lasting is only temporary.

What will last is
God,
His life in us, and
our service to those He loves.
In the long run, material things are only important as
they impact His purposes.
Money and possessions either lure us away from God or
draw us closer to Him.
They either serve Him or
deny Him.

Look to God,
consider His purposes, and
begin to see the events in your life as He sees them.

Through life’s painful experiences rejoice that

His purpose is advancing and coming to completion.
We are not suffering permanent loss but are being drawn closer to God.
He has not forgotten us. In fact, He is showing His love for us in a richer, deeper way. 

Father, when difficulties come,
help me to cling to You and to Your will
the way Jesus did. 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: We Are in Christ Jesus
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics

Use Me Today

Offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God.
(Romans 12:1, NIV)

Lord, it’s the start of a new day.
I want this day to count for You.

I want it to be a good day with You.
I want to know You better.
I want to draw closer to You.
I want to please You.
I want to be used by You to help others,
to love them for You,
to draw them to You.

Lord,
use me today.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Through Me
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics

from Prepare Yourself for Worship

My Mind Is Yours

Father,
Creator,
Redeemer,
You have called me here before You,
face to face.
As I come,
draw my thoughts to You alone.
You are God.
You are wisdom.
You are right and
good and
all-in-all.

As I come, Lord,
my mind is Yours.
Fill it with Your light,
Your truth,
Yourself.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: My Mind Is Yours
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics

The True Vine

from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD

Read John 15:1-8

God had carefully, lovingly tended His vineyard, Israel, for centuries, but it only yielded bad fruit. So He tore down all protection for His vineyard and let it be plundered.

But He promised that later, His vineyard would again be fruitful, protected, and blessed, and its fruit would fill the whole earth.

What would make the difference? What could make a hopelessly unfruitful vineyard now fruitful beyond all expectations?

For the answer, read John 15:1-8. God’s fruitful vine is no longer a human nation, but Jesus Christ. We His people are now branches in that vine.

Israel had been called to be God’s light to the nations, His servant to bring redemption to all peoples (Isaiah 44:1-2), and His fruitful vine (Isaiah 5:1-7). When it seemed that they had failed, Jesus Christ, growing from Israel, fulfilled all God’s purposes for His people.

  • He is now the Light of the World (Isaiah 49:6; John 8:12), and He lights the world through His people (Matthew 5:14).
  • He is God’s servant to bring redemption to all who will trust in Him (Isaiah 42:1; John 3:16). He sends us, His servants, to carry on His work (John 20:21).
  • He is the Father’s fruitful vine, and we are His branches as we live in the vine (John 15:1-8).

Do you remember Jesus’ very first miracle? He turned water into wine (John 2:1-11). This was a close-up, personal version of a miracle our Creator does every day in every vineyard: He turns water into wine.

Our Creator does this miracle every day in and through His people as well. He turns ordinary human living into rich, flavorful, fruitful living as they abide in the vine – as they trust in Jesus Christ.

Come to the Source

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5, NIV) 

The demands of love can seem overwhelming and beyond our ability.

But when God calls us to love, He is not pushing us into the impossible. He is calling us to himself. He is urging us to look away from ourselves and our own needs and resources, and to look to Him.

The more we look to our Father, the more we trust Him and love Him. As we trust Him, we are free to be generous with others. As we love Him, we grow to love those He loves.

Is loving difficult? Spend more time with your loving Father. As you live in His presence, you’ll become more and more like Him.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Hungry for God
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics

from Prepare Yourself for Worship

Prepare for Epiphany

Father, we who walked in darkness
have seen a Great Light.
The Sun of Righteousness has risen over us.
The Light of all the nations has dawned.

Your glory has appeared, and
we have seen it.
It is the glory of Your only Son,
who has come from Your own intimate presence.
His glory shines brightly with
Your grace and
Your truth.

Jesus is the Light of the World.
As we come to worship this Epiphany,
we come to the Light.
We walk in the Light.
We lift the Light so that all can see Him.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Light of Every Nation
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics

UPWARD CALL Devotional Tapestry

UPWARD CALL 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 UPWARD CALL Devotional Tapestry.

Printed hymn & devotional
More Devotional Tapestries

Light

John 1:4-9

God floods our world with His life.
His life brings Light into darkness.
It brings wisdom and love into our fear.
It brings understanding into our ignorance.
It is truth, and it drives out all that is false.
The Light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness is overpowered.

Jesus is this Light…
pure, uncreated Light
shining from our Father.
As we receive the Light,
He melts the darkness from our hearts and lives.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: You Are the Light
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics

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