Fullness of Joy

Facing His darkest hour,
what did Jesus long to
share with His disciples?
The fullness of His joy.
This hymn helps us
understand and receive that joy.
Set to a familiar tune.

Recording
Printed Music

Fullness of joy in You, my Father,
I find in Christ Your Son,
Sharing Your Spirit’s breath, uniting
Our lives to breathe as one.
I share His love, His faith, His peace,
His deep and humble prayer,
Strong in His perfect weakness, trusting
Our Father’s tender care.

How can Your path of tender care be
So rough and dark and steep?
How can Your loving wisdom lead us
To groan and grieve and weep?
My Lord has walked this road before,
And I am not alone.
Fullness of joy is mine in Jesus,
And He will lead me home.

Sharing His life in You, my Father,
I share His fuller joy,
Joy beyond words, aglow with glory
No sorrow can destroy.
This lesson Christ in love would teach
And prove profoundly true:
Father, Your goal and greatest gift is
The joy of knowing You.

by Ken Bible, © 2015 LNWhymns.com.

Revelation, Chapters 15-19

Fresh Views of Timeless Truths

For the next two weeks, reflect on Revelation, Chapters 15-19. The rest of Revelation comes in four other installments. This rich book doesn’t need to remain a closed mystery for you. This free pdf consists of scripture, prayers, reflections, and 12 new hymns for public and personal worship.

It is part of the new series, Fresh Views of Timeless Truth, focused reflections on key topics.

LINKS:
Free pdf of Revelation, Chapters 15-19
Complete list of available volumes in Fresh Views of Timeless Truths

Building a People

Jesus said to His disciples:

“Who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” (Matthew 16:15-16, NASB)

The Apostle Paul wrote:

You are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22, NASB)

If you had all eternity and all the resources of the universe,
what kind of home would you build for yourself?

God is building a home for himself.
That home is His people.
Our infinite, holy, all-wise, and endlessly creative God
is planning to live forever
with and in His people.

Imagine knowing such a people,
the home of an infinite God!
Imagine actually being part of them!

If God is investing all His energies in building a people,
that’s how I want to invest my life as well.
A material home will last a short time.
God’s people will last forever.

We believers are all together
in the same room,
waiting for God to finish the deliverance
He has so beautifully begun.
As we endure these final hours of
pain, darkness, grief, and death,
let’s encourage one another to the
hope and joy that are ours.
Let’s share songs, stories, and
acts of kindness that
remind us of God’s unfailing love.

Hymn: Revelation 21

Nothing Else Matters

“Your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.”
This short hymn helps us focus on
that one, all-important desire.

Recording
Printed Music

Nothing else matters –
Have Your way.
Nothing else matters,
High and Holy Father.
Nothing else matters –
I am Yours completely.
Nothing else matters –
Have Your way.

by Ken Bible, © 2000 LNWhymns.com.

Longing

How lovely are Your dwelling places,
O Lord of hosts!
My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.
(Psalm 84:1-2, NASB)

For me, heaven is not a mansion,
a harp, or
angels’ wings.
It is not meeting old friends or
an endless family reunion.
That is not what my heart longs for.

My heart longs for You,
my Father,
my Creator.
My heart longs for my Savior,
my Brother,
my Wisdom and Holiness,
My heart longs for the Second Adam of all I will be.
My heart longs for the Breath of God,
the Wind of God,
the Life of God
blowing fully, freely, and unceasingly through all I am.

I long for
a heart,
a mind,
a world
permeated completely and forever
with God alone.
Come, Lord Jesus!
I long, and
I wait.

Father, I embrace the brevity of
my life in this world, and
I long to be where
my oneness with You is complete,
constant, and forever.

Hymn: O Living God

Psalm 54

This hymn assures us that
God’s Spirit keeps us through temptation
as we rely on Him.

Recording
Printed Music

Lord, how I’ll meet the enemy
I cannot know today,
As small allurements whispering
Or mountains in the way.
But Jesus breathes within me and
Will help me to obey,
Seeing You,
Trusting You,
Father, always, only You!

Discouragement, distraction, or
The heat of strong desire
Would turn my eyes toward lesser things
To fear or to admire.
But keep me face-to-face with You,
O Holy Wind and Fire,
Seeing You,
Trusting You,
Father, always, only You!

Lord, draw me every moment with
The light of all You are,
For even in the darkness shines
The Bright and Morning Star.
Right now I sing my joy in You
Though dawn may seem so far,
Seeing You,
Trusting You,
Father, always, only You!

by Ken Bible, © 2021 LNWhymns.com.

Revelation, Chapters 10-14

Fresh Views of Timeless Truths

For the next two weeks, reflect on Revelation, Chapters 10-14. The rest of Revelation comes in four other installments. This rich book doesn’t need to remain a closed mystery for you. This free pdf consists of scripture, prayers, reflections, and 11 new hymns for public and personal worship.

It is part of the new series, Fresh Views of Timeless Truth, focused reflections on key topics.

LINKS:
Free pdf of Revelation, Chapters 10-14
Complete list of available volumes in Fresh Views of Timeless Truths

We Are Not Home

Genesis 15; Hebrews 11:9-16

Abraham was heir to some of the most magnificent promises God ever made to a human being. Yet he didn’t see them fulfilled in his lifetime. He was to be the father of a great nation, but his single heir wasn’t born till he was one hundred years old. The promised land was to belong to his seed, but he spent his entire life living in tents, moving from place to place. The only land he ever owned was a burial plot for his wife.

He lived as an alien, a stranger, a foreigner, an exile, always temporary, always in a strange land, never a citizen, never belonging.

But he was not alone. The biblical history of God’s people is permeated with the pain of separation. Adam and Eve were forced out of their garden home, never to return. Noah lost everything and everyone in the flood, except for seven members of his immediate family. Joseph’s own brothers sold him into slavery in a foreign land. Moses lost his Jewish family, then his home in the Egyptian palace, then spent eighty years in a brutal wilderness—forty as a shepherd, and another forty leading a rebellious people. Israel spent 400 years in a foreign land, much of that as slaves, then later lost their home, their nationhood, and their dignity in a bitter exile. The prophets, John the Baptist, Jesus, the disciples, the Apostle Paul, all knew the gnawing sorrow of separation, of living where they never belonged.

We know that deep sorrow as well. Many of us know what it’s like to live much, or all, of our lives where we know we are not home.

All of us know the restless yearning of separation from our Father, our Creator. We groan under our troubles and sufferings, longing for perfect peace in Him. Even the joy of His presence makes us conscious that we are not yet completely, constantly one with Him. Each taste of Him increases our sense of separation and longing.

But realize that such longing is itself a precious gift from our loving Father. It creates a deep, undying sense of anticipation. Just as hunger focuses all our attention on food, and as the thirsty can think of nothing but water, our separation from God pulls us toward the fullness, oneness, and completeness that will soon be ours in Jesus Christ. He is the longing that overshadows every joy. He is the joy that eclipses all suffering. In pleasure and pain, today and forever, He is our only satisfaction.

Every experience, every struggle in life can bind our hearts closer and closer to Him.

The emptiness, pain, and sorrow
of our present existence
continually remind us of this truth:
Jesus Christ alone is
life as it was meant to be—
full,
rich,
joyful, and
everlasting.

Hymn: The Only Good Is Jesus

Focus

A hymn of total commitment

Recording
Printed Music

I place in Your hands, Holy Father,
My love and my life.
Your will is my joy and my purpose,
Your voice, my delight.
So much is unknown,
But here at Your throne,
Your splendor is all I see.
I’m safe in Your hands, Holy Father,
Through all that will be.

The praise of this world is worth nothing.
I lift up my eyes,
And turning from every distraction,
I press toward the prize:
To fight the good fight,
To finish my course,
To take every step by faith
Till there in the light of Your presence
My joy is Your praise.

by Ken Bible, © 2009 LNWhymns.com.

A Seed Must Be Planted

1 Corinthians 15:35-58

That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies.
It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body;
it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory;
it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;
it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
(1 Corinthians 15:36, 42-44, NASB)

As we stand at the funeral of a loved one, their absence feels so complete and forever. The death of this body, this fragile vessel, seems to be the end of life itself. It feels like the eternal loss of a unique individual unspeakably precious.

But our Father reigns beyond the veil of death, and He assures us that for those who trust Him, the death of the body is the beginning of life, not its end. Ours is not a life that ends in death, but a death that ends in life. This body is planted like a seed. A seed only comes to life after it dies. It falls into the earth and disappears, only that a beautiful new life may grow from it.

The death of our bodies is the necessary first step toward a glorious new life. Every seed is planted, not to destroy life, but to create it, life infinitely greater and more glorious than its humble seed. The death of this body is not the annihilation of a life but its preparation for a future unimaginably greater. This life, this unique individual will rise as a radiant new being, fully like the risen, glorified Christ.

This broken body has served its temporary purpose and will hamper this child of God no longer. This beautiful soul will be given a new body, one designed to glow with the greatness and goodness of God Himself. It will be a body made, not for earth, but for heaven. It will be perfectly suited for love, joy, and worship in the very presence of God Himself.

What is being sown as a perishable body will be raised imperishable.
It is sown in dishonor, it will be raised in glory.
It is sown in weakness, it will be raised in power.
It is sown an earthly body, it will be raised as a body made for heaven.
This mortal being will be clothed in the splendid garments of immortality.
Death will be swallowed up in life.

“O Death, where is your victory?
O Death, where is your sting?”
Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable,
always abounding in the work of the Lord,
knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.
(1 Corinthians 15:55, 57-58, NASB)

Hymn: Sown in Tears, Raised in Joy