Archive for October 2017

Cross Every Barrier

Transcendent God,
unseen God,
high and holy God,
You have broken down every barrier between
You and
us.
You have come to us and
made Yourself
fully,
humbly,
humanly one with us.

As You are now one with us,
we are one with You.
We share Your life.
We share Your love.
Within our hearts is the love that
breaks down every barrier and
crosses every boundary.
No human being is off-limits to Your great compassion.
No one is too unlovely.
No one is too sinful.
No one is too needy.

Father, live that love through us.
You have broken down every barrier.
May we let none of those old barriers stand in our way –
not race or religion,
not language or geography,
not culture or education,
not sexual orientation or social status,
not comfort, self-centeredness, or fear.
You are the Father of us all, and
Your almighty love respects no boundaries.
Make us bold in You,
loving in You,
joyful in You,
ever sacrificing ourselves freely, completely to You.

O great Father of all,
lead us everywhere Your love longs to go.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Beyond All Barriers
Recording
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from Prepare Yourself for Worship

We Come and Go as Your People

Father, we come because You call us.
You call us together
as Your children,
as Your people.
You gather us to Yourself.

When our brief gathering is ended,
we go because You send us.
You send us
as Your children,
as Your people.
You send us out into our individual
homes,
neighborhoods,
communities,
schools,
work places,
social groups, and
circles of friends.
You scatter Your people into every corner where
people are,
people whom You long to know You.

Father, as we come and
as we go,
help us come and go
in Your name,
in Your love, and
in the Spirit of Jesus Christ. 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Come, Children, Come
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Wisdom Is More than Words

from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD
Read Exodus 35:10 – 36:2

We usually associate wisdom with kings and prophets, with preachers, teachers, and writers. They use words to share God’s wisdom.

But words are not the only medium for expressing God’s wisdom. In this physical world, the Creator communicates His wisdom to and through the five senses.

Between Egypt and the Promised Land lay a desert wilderness, vast and inhospitable. God chose this setting to reshape Israel from slaves into a holy nation, a people of His very own. His generous provision would stand out more vividly in a land that provided almost none of life’s necessities. He wanted His new nation to experience His love and His presence as physical realities.

That’s one reason He commanded Moses to build a portable tabernacle. This tabernacle was no haphazard affair. God gave Moses complete instructions as to how every detail was to be constructed. This earthly tabernacle, made with human hands, was to be a copy and shadow of a heavenly tabernacle (Exodus 25:40; Hebrews 8:5).

Since this physical tabernacle was to communicate the glory of the transcendent God to the human senses, it was to be artistic and beautiful down to the finest detail. It was to be constructed of all the best materials. Where would they get such materials, far from civilization? God had already provided them by prompting the Egyptians to lavish expensive gifts on the Israelites as they left Egypt. The gold, silver, precious stones, fine woods, expensive cloth, and exotic animal skins needed for the tabernacle were donated by God’s people, who had carried them out of Egypt.

God also provided the artistic and technical expertise that would be needed to pull off such a huge project. God’s Spirit gave two men, Bezalel and Oholiab, the “wisdom” (Exodus 35:31) and craftsmanship they would need to work with all these varied materials. What’s more, they were given the desire and ability to teach other willing learners so that together, they would finish the work.

In this physical world filled with physical beings, God needs more than people skilled with words. He also needs artists, crafts people, builders, designers, and dedicated laborers. He calls them. He equips them. He inspires them to glorify Him through what they hold in their hands.

God will use and equip anyone with a heart for exalting their Creator God.

God Keeps His Promises

During His final days on earth, Jesus told His disciples what was to come:

“All the nations of the earth… will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” (Matthew 24:30-31, NIV)

Every year Advent and Christmas shout this truth:
God keeps His promises.
Though the promises are ancient, and
the wait is long, and
the fulfillment seems so improbable,
God always keeps His promises.

For centuries God had spoken through His prophets,
telling in amazing detail of a coming Messiah.
Jesus Christ came exactly as prophesied.
The same God promises that
this same Jesus will come again.
He urges us to be watchful,
to be faithful,
for the Day will come when least expected.

Lord, we are watching.
We are waiting.
We are obeying.
Come, Lord Jesus!

Consider this:
The great drama of salvation,
with all its faithfulness and betrayal,
its patient endurance and apostasy,
its self-centeredness and self-sacrifice,
is going on right now.
Each of us is taking part day by day. 

Father, when Jesus returns,
may I be faithfully at my post,
trusting,
serving, and
eagerly expecting Him.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: The Trumpet Will Sound
Recording
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from Prepare Yourself for Worship

Jesus Among Us

Jesus, You have promised to gather with us,
even though we be only two or three.
But will we recognize You there?

You taught us this:

“Whoever receives one child like this in My name
receives Me.” (Mark 9:37, NASB)

“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to
one of these brothers of Mine,
even the least of them,
you did it to Me.” (Matthew 25:40, NASB)

Jesus, You are among us in
the neediest,
the weakest,
the smallest.
You arrive disguised as those easiest for
self-centered eyes to overlook.

As we gather together, give me
Your loving eyes,
Your loving heart, and
Your loving hands.
As You arrive among us
disguised as the needy,
help me to
welcome You and
serve You
with all the joyful love You deserve. 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Welcome, Jesus Christ!
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Holy, Holy, Holy

Transcendent
Pure
High above
Wholly other
Separate
Creator
Uncreated
Eternal, without beginning or ending
Awe-full
Incomparable
Incorruptible
Majestic
Divine
Supreme
Exalted
Infinitely beyond
Just
Right
Perfect
Complete

Holy
Holy
Holy
God 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Eternal Light
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In Your Time

Transcendent God, You live in eternity
above all time,
unlimited,
unhurried,
untouched by its relentless flow.
You are the master of time,
not its slave.
Time means change, and
You are beyond all change.
You are unchanging fullness,
unchanging perfection.

Yet we humans need time, Father.
We need its opportunities to
change and grow.
We are only the seeds of
who we need to be.
And You are like a gardener,
content to work,
content to wait,
content to patiently nurture us
until the time is exactly right and
we are all Your love intended us to be.

You will not rush.
What seems like delays is
only Your mercy,
only Your unflinching determination to give
only Your best to Your children.

Transcendent God, we cannot think Your thoughts.
We cannot trace Your ways,
But we trust Your perfect wisdom and
Your unchanging love.
Help us to work and rest
in Your Spirit,
in Your time,
in Your peace.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Eternal God, Unbound by Tim
Recording
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from Prepare Yourself for Worship

Worship Like Jesus

“True worshipers will worship the Father
in spirit and truth;
for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.
God is spirit, and those who worship Him
must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23-24, NASB)

Father, I want to worship You
as You desire to be worshiped.
I want to worship You as Your Son worshiped You.
His worship rose,
not just from His lips,
but from His heart and life.
His worship was
prayer,
simple trust,
eager obedience,
loving service, and
complete self-sacrifice.
He worshiped You with all He was,
with all His
heart,
soul,
mind, and
strength.

Father, give me His Spirit.
Form in me His character.
Form in me His relationship with You.
Help me to worship You
like Jesus. 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Father, Help Me Worship You
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See the Eternal Son

from the book, ONE WITH OUR FATHER
John 1:1-9; 17:24; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Colossians 1:15-17 

There is but one God, the Father,
from whom are all things and
we exist for Him;
and one Lord, Jesus Christ,
by whom are all things, and
we exist through Him. (1 Corinthians 8:6, NASB)

See the Son in His eternal magnificence.
Nothing existed before Him.
From the very beginning,
He is with God, and
He is God.
He is the Father’s only Son,
one with Him in every way.
The Father and Son are two persons,
not interchangeable,
yet nothing separates them.
They are one substance.

The Son is the Word of the Father,
sovereign and
creative.
He is completely responsive to the Father.
All the Father’s purposes, all His heart,
the Son brings to full and perfect reality.

See the Son:
all the Father’s life and
all the Father’s light,
pure, unborrowed, uncreated.
See the Son,
overflowing with all the infinite wealth that is the Father.
See the Son,
totally invested,
totally absorbed in the loving will of His Father.

Father, I want to know Christ.
I want a living share in His relationship with You,
in His glad obedience to You, whatever the cost.
I want to share in His Word,
His death,
His resurrection,
His Spirit, and
His eternal glory in Your presence.
Father, I ask for a
constant and complete oneness with You
in Jesus Christ. 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: We Can Know Our God Transcendent
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Deep Knowing

Father, in Your great heart
You long for us to know You
entirely and completely,
all we are
knowing
all You are.

You created this entire universe,
immense and majestic,
not only to show us Yourself,
but to engulf us in
Your power,
Your wisdom,
Your love, and
the vastness of Your mystery.
Yet even as we are immersed in all this, we see only
the fringes of Your robe.
We hear only
a faint whisper of You. (Job 26:14)

To show Yourself completely,
You gave us Your own Son.
You incarnated Him as
the most helpless and humble of all human beings:
the newborn infant of
an unmarried peasant girl
from a small, oppressed people
in one corner of the world.

Here is the transcendent, undiminished God!
Here is the full radiance of Your glory!
Here is the exact representation of Your very nature! (Hebrews 1:3)
Here is the fullness of Your Deity in bodily form, and
You have made us
full and complete
in Him. (Colossians 2:9-10)
As we look to Him,
we are being changed into His likeness. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

But we do yet see Him for all He is. (1 John 3:2)
With all His many magnificent names,
He has a name, an identity,
that no one knows but Him. (Revelation 19:12)

But we know this:
when He appears,
we will be like Him,
because we will see Him just as He is. (1 John 3:2, NASB)
We will know Him fully,
we will know You, Father,
even as we are fully known. (1 Corinthians 13:12)

Your deep longing for us
will be fulfilled
every moment,
forever,
entirely and completely,
all we are
knowing
all You are.
We will be immersed in You,
one with You,
saturated with
Your presence,
Your holiness,
Your love,
Your life, in all its depth and richness.

Father, finish what You have begun.
We long for You!
We are waiting at the door.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Knowing God
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