Archive for May 2017

LOVE IN CHRIST Devotional Tapestry

LOVE IN CHRIST 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 LOVE IN CHRIST Devotional Tapestry.

Printed hymn & devotional
More Devotional Tapestries

The Father’s Gift

Father, we are thoroughly human,
made from dust.
You are thoroughly transcendent,
infinitely above us.
How can we ever be fully united with You?

You show us Jesus.
He was completely human,
yet You and He were completely one
because You shared the same Spirit.
You shared the same Breath.
You lived as one.
You spoke as one.
You loved as one.

Your Son came to fill us with Your Spirit,
the Spirit that made Him so
beautiful and complete in You.
He came to share with us
His relationship with You,
His life in You,
His oneness with You.

This life-changing Gift is poured out
among us and
within us
by simple faith.
And what a marvelous Gift He is!
Yet He is only a downpayment,
only a small taste of
our full and eternal oneness with You.

One with You, Father,
one in Your Son,
one through Your Spirit,
fully and forever.
This is the Gift You have given.
You Yourself are the Gift.
Praise to You!

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Holy, Boundless Breath of God
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics

from Prepare Yourself for Worship

Father, We Need You

Father, our needs drive us to You.

We need to see Your greatness.
We need to see You in all Your magnificence.
For without seeing You,
we lose perspective and
quickly get out of focus.
Our thoughts are overwhelmed by the twin evils of
fear and
pride.

We need Your wisdom.
In our eyes,
the present is deeply distorted, and
the future is complete darkness.
We need Your light.

We need Your holiness.
We are too weak to even desire what is right,
much less attain it.

But most of all, Holy Father,
we need You.
We gather because
we need You.
We need You
with us,
within us,
leading us,
enfolding us,
uplifting us.

We gather with our Christian brothers and sisters,
because through them, we hope to sense
Your smile,
Your touch,
Your teaching,
Your fellowship,
Your encouragement.

Merciful Father, be near.
We need You.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: We Need You, Holy God
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics

Diversity

1 Corinthians 12

Father, in the Church,
in Your Body,
we flinch at our diversity.
How often we wish that others weren’t so painfully different than us!
If only “they” were as enlightened as we are!

But You remind us that diversity is a blessing,
a good and perfect gift
from You, our all-wise, all-loving Father.
How could we function as a Body without
tough bones,
angular elbows,
stretchy tendons, and
sensitive nerve cells?
Diversity enables us to
be who we need to be as a whole.
Diversity is given to
nurture our unity,
not destroy it.
We need each other!
We need our differences!

In the Body of Christ there is no place for
partisanship or
self-centered pride.
Individually, each of us is
small and
incomplete.
Only together,
only in our
head-spinning
ever-challenging variety
are we the Body of the glorious, universal Christ.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: One in Jesus
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics

Tuned to the Father

from the book, ONE WITH OUR FATHER

John 17:20-26

“I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity.” (John 17:20-23, NASB) 

In John 17 Jesus’ prayer and His vision encompass,
not just His disciples,
not just all who would believe through them,
but the entire glorified Church with Him in heaven.
His prayer,
His vision,
His deepest longing
is that we all be one.
But one with whom?
And how?

An orchestra tunes,
not by all attempting to tune to each other,
but by each individual tuning to a common pitch.
In the same way, our unity starts with
the unity between Father and Son.
Their unity is born of deep love and unbroken sharing.
As we trust that Jesus is one with the Father,
the Holy Spirit makes us part of their sharing.
The Spirit tunes each of us to the Father and Son.
Our unity with each other is a by-product of
our union with them.

The Father loves us as completely as
He loves His own Son.
All the blessings of eternal life and eternal oneness
flow from the Father’s love.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Father, as You Love Your Son
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics

 

from Prepare Yourself for Worship

Living Praise

Omnipotent Father
worthy of all praise,
we worship You most eloquently,
not by what we say,
but by
what we do and
who we are.

You created us for this purpose.
You redeemed us and
transformed us sinners into brand new creatures.
You did so that others,
in realms and ages far beyond our own,
might wonder at
the glory of Your grace (Ephesians 1:5-6, 12),
the riches of Your kindness (Ephesians 2:7), and
Your amazing, many-sided wisdom (Ephesians 3:8-11).
You made us who we are
to show others just how
great and
good and
gracious You are.

O Father,
I want to praise You that way!
I want to glorify You that way!
I want others to
see me and
worship You.

Help me to praise You that way
today,
among Your people.
And as we worship together,
prepare me to glorify You
all week long.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Make My Life a Holy Fragrance
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics

Reinvest My Thoughts

Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear…For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:25, 32-33, NIV)

Father,
You take such good care of me that so
little thought can profitably be spent
on myself.

So take my thoughts,
my hopes,
my energies -
all of them -
and invest them where they will get
their best return.
Invest them where they will
glorify and please You.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Lord, May Our Thoughts Begin with You
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics

The Life of God

“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 

“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive. (John 3:8; 7:37-39, NASB)

As uncontrollable as the wind,
as refreshing as a spring,
as mighty as a great river,
the Life of God blows,
rises, and
flows
all around us and within us,
purifying,
transforming,
enlightening, and
empowering anyone who will simply trust in Jesus Christ.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Life of God
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics

from Prepare Yourself for Worship

Father, Receive My Gift

Father, You are beyond all need.
You are full to overflowing.
All that is flows from You and
is forever nourished by You.
Your nature, Your joy is
to give,
to share,
to bless.

Your resources are endless, and
Your authority is complete.
You simply speak, and it is so.
Your will is the power that fuels all reality.
Your love is the music that makes the universe dance.

You are not impressed by our material gifts.
You are like a great-hearted king
to whom a child joyfully, lovingly brings a penny.
The penny is worthless.
The love is priceless.

Father, my Father,
that’s what I want to give You:
I want to daily bring You my love.
Like the alabaster perfume,
like the widow’s mite,
I want my life to be a gift of love,
worthless to the world, but
priceless to my loving Father.

Let all my “accomplishments” be like
a child’s drawing.
Receive the love they express, Father.
Receive the worship,
simple but sincere.
Receive the gift
because it is all I have.
I offer it joyfully, thankfully to You.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: As Simply as a Child
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics

Reflecting Back

What is it like to follow God?

When we respond to His call and follow Him, we are saying “Yes!” to His invitation of love. We are fully embracing a love that never quits, that gladly sacrifices itself completely for those it holds dear.

If you’ve loved a spouse or raised children, you’ve had a taste of what love requires. But look at the life of Jesus, or the Apostle Paul, and you’ll get a fuller idea of what it means to follow God and live His all-giving love.

It’s demanding. Often draining. Sometimes frustrating…and overwhelming.

It lays bare your every weakness, every vulnerability, every failure.

It is a tornado that catches you up and spins you helplessly around. It seems to threaten all you hold dear.

It’s heart-wrenching. At times it dangles you over the brink of despair.

But following God unites you with Him. And in that union, your life becomes infinitely more than it ever could have been. Now you walk as a full-fledged citizen in realms higher and holier than you know you deserve.

When you look back over the years, you see part of what God has accomplished through your stumbling obedience. It’s stunning, and humbling. His grace, operating through your imperfect faith, has made you fellow workers with a God who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20, NIV).

Brothers and sisters, when Almighty God comes to you making lavish demands and lavish promises, follow Him, even at the risk of utter failure. Your failure might become the most important thing you have ever done.

To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:21, NASB)

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