All We Are in Him

We are God’s chosen people.
What varied and beautiful pictures He draws of
all we are in Him!

We are His temple,
built with solidity and strength,
built to last.
Our strength comes from our eternal foundation, which is
Jesus Christ.
As God’s temple, we are a holy vessel,
prepared to be filled with
His life and
His worship.

We are branches in the Vine,
inseparably united with the True Vine,
Jesus Christ.
We have no existence apart from Him.
As we remain in Him, we are
vibrantly alive,
ever growing, and
richly fruitful.

We are the body of Christ.
Christ is our Head.
We live and function
from Him,
through Him, and
to Him.
We are inseparable from Him and
organically dependent on Him.

We are the bride of Christ.
We who are human
now glow with
the radiant, vibrant love of
our heavenly Bridegroom.
As we receive His love and
give His love,
we are
deeply,
beautifully,
eternally one with Him.

Now and forever,
we are
His temple,
His branches,
His body,
His bride.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Chosen in Jesus
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I Am Yours Completely

Creator God, Father God,
I am Yours.
You conceived me and shaped me
from Yourself.
You gifted me
from Yourself.
My life,
my dignity,
any ability or awareness or worth I have
are all given by You and
shared with You.
I can only exist
in You.
I can only be whole
in You.
I am from You.

Redeemer God, Son of God,
I am Yours.
When I was hopelessly enslaved to
sin, weakness, and death,
You laid down Your own life to buy me back.
I belong to You
body,
mind, and
spirit.
My only life is
in You.
My only forgiveness is
in You.
My only holiness is
in You.

Breath of God, Spirit of God,
I am Yours.
Moment by moment
I am one with the Father
in You.
I am one with the Son
in You.
I breathe the life,
the power, and
the wisdom of God
in You.

Father,
Son, and
Spirit,
by Your Word,
by Your blood, and
by Your breath,
I am Yours completely
now and
forever.
Praise to You!

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Give God What Is God’s
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from Prepare Yourself for Worship

Prepare for Ascension Day

Father, thank You for the ascension of Jesus.
He is once again in Your intimate presence,
breathing the love and peace that were Yours
from all eternity.
We share Your joy in His return!

His ascension assures us that His work here is complete.
The perfect human life has been lived.
The full and final sacrifice for all our sin has been
offered and
accepted.
At Your side He is ruling all history and all reality with
perfect wisdom,
perfect power, and
perfect love.
Once again He is bathed in the glory and magnificence
that are uniquely and rightfully His.

As He is parted from us, You reassure us that
You will be with us forever.
You remind us that
You will soon pour out Your Spirit on us, and
Your Son will one day return
just as we have seen Him go.

By His ascension, You have exalted the crucified Christ as
Savior,
Lord, and
soon-coming King.
Father, we praise You!
Today help us celebrate this glorious reality.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: The Glorified Christ
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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.

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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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