Ashes to Ashes

We do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16, NIV)

We’re all engaged in a battle to keep our bodies healthy and attractive. It’s a worthy effort.

But it’s a battle we will lose. Our bodies will decay and die. It’s happening right now.

On the other hand, that inner core of your life, that relationship with God, that inner life you share with Him, can grow more and more healthy as time goes by, no matter what happens to your body. That’s where your future lies. That’s where you should invest your effort.

Jesus, I look forward to ever-increasing health in You.

All the care we lavish on our bodies does only
a little good
for a very short time.
Nourishing our relationship with God is
infinitely fruitful
today and forever.

Hymn: Ashes to Ashes

Father, You See Our Need

Here is a prayer for
all who feel their deep need for
the living Christ.

Recording
Printed Music

Father, You see our need,
Know our helpless poverty.
You see Your children
So weak apart from You.

Refrain:
Breathe the breath of Christ.
Plant the mind of Christ.
Grow the life and love of Him
Who shares your very heart.
Pour the peace of Christ.
Shine the light of Christ.
Share the holy heart of Christ,
Our Way, Our Truth, Our Life.

Father, remove from me
All the hurtful things You see,
Needless distractions
That draw my heart from You.

by Ken Bible, © 2009 LNWhymns.com.

Revelation, Chapters 1-3

Fresh Views of Timeless Truths

For the next two weeks, reflect on Revelation, Chapters 1-3. The rest of Revelation will follow in four more installments. This rich book doesn’t need to remain a closed mystery for you. This free pdf consists of scripture, prayers, reflections, and 15 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 1-3
Complete list of available volumes in Fresh Views of Timeless Truths

The Inevitable Reality

Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:20, NIV).

To most people, even Christians, too much talk of heaven is not intellectually respectable.

We squirm when Jesus talks so often about trying to gain rewards in heaven. That isn’t much of a motive for doing good, is it?

But Jesus had seen heaven, as well as earth. He had a unique perspective on the shortness of life here. The heaven that we feel is so far away is upon us even now.

Jesus pointed to heaven as the ultimate and inevitable reality. He urges us in the strongest terms to be wise – to live our brief lives with that reality in full view.

Jesus emphasized the coming judgment
over and over,
in the strongest terms.
He had seen life from both earth and eternity, and
He urged us to live with eternity in view.
Look all around you: we are
temporary creatures living in a
temporary world.
All we see and touch is
quickly passing.

Hymn: Captives of Eternal Love

Psalm 15

This ancient Psalm is about
holiness.
Who can stand in His holy presence?
Set to a familiar tune.

Recording
Printed Music

O Holy God, the Lord Most High,
Your greatness fills all time and space.
Who dares approach Your awe-full throne
Or stand before You face-to-face?

The one who talks and walks Your truth,
Whose words and deeds are like Your own,
Who freely gives as You would give
And lives each day to You alone.

But none are pure or right or good
But You Yourself, O Holy One.
Come bow and breathe Your greatest gift:
The Spirit of Your Holy Son.

In Him, our Lord, we simply share
The goodness only You can be,
A holiness that’s rich and real,
That all the world can feel and see.

by Ken Bible, © 2020 LNWhymns.com.

Children: God’s Living Promise

Children are a gift of the Lord. (Psalm 127:3, NASB)

Why does our loving God continue to send helpless infants into this horrific world? They arrive totally dependent, entering every conceivable circumstance, including the most cruel and inhumane. There they are too often neglected and brutally victimized by the darkest human evil.

Why does God continue to send us children?

Remember God’s promise to Noah. Faced with the relentless evil of the human race, God gave us a new start through Noah and his family. Then He promised all life on earth that no matter how awful evil became, death would not win. Life would win. Then He gave the rainbow as His beautiful reminder of that promise.

Children are God’s living rainbow. They are His gift of life, of future, of hope. They are His beautiful, tender, tangible assurance that, in the face of all that evil can do, LIFE WILL WIN.

Evil seems powerful and pervasive.
But its time is strictly limited.
It is a beast that
charges in and rages
but is doomed to die.

Hymn: Snowflakes

Psalm 12

In a world filled with lies,
focus on the Word of God,
who always speaks life-giving truth

Recording
Printed Music

Speak Your truth, all-knowing God.
Speak out Your light!
Speak out Your love!
All Your Words are rich and pure.
Speak out Your truth, O God!

Selfish hearts speak selfish words,
Hiding in lies,
Hiding their sin.
All You say is love and light.
Speak out Your truth, O God!

By Your Spirit speak Your Word.
Speak it in us!
Speak it through us!
Through our words, our lives, our love,
Speak out Your truth, O God!

by Ken Bible, © 2020 LNWhymns.com.

Psalms of Ascents

Fresh Views of Timeless Truths

For the next two weeks, reflect on the Psalms of Ascents, Psalms 120-134. These ancient songs help us come to God out of our difficult, sin-ridden world. This free pdf consists of scripture, prayers, reflections, and 15 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 Psalms of Ascents
Complete list of available volumes in Fresh Views of Timeless Truths

Live Love

All those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.

Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. (Acts 2:44-47, NASB)

Imagine a world where everyone loves everyone else, sincerely, from the heart.

Imagine a place where people speak of each other only what is true, and only what will build each other up;

  • a place where everyone treats others the way they themselves want to be treated;
  • a place where self-centeredness, greed, and fighting are gone;
  • a place where people live each day as joined to everyone else, as part of each other, as members of one body;
  • a place where gentleness and kindness are highly prized;
  • a place where forgiveness, patience, and forbearance are the norm;
  • a place where need is no more, since each person shares what they have, freely and unafraid;
  • a place where everything, everything is done in love.

Wouldn’t you like to live in such a place? That’s the kind of world our Creator is building. And that’s the kind of life He wants for you. He wants to grow it in you. He wants to help you live such love in your home, on your job, in your neighborhood, among your friends. And He wants to start today.

But how could anyone live such a life in this world of greed and brute force? What’s more, how can we live that kind of love when selfishness is so deeply rooted within us?

The good news is this: God is love (1 John 4:16). Our Creator is love. The One who designed this world designed it for love. The One who designed us designed us for love. Love is our purpose, our heritage, our destiny. Love is the rich life, the full life, the natural life that He is giving to every one of us.

A life of love is not an heroic feat of self-control. As we trust Him simply, step-by-step, we grow in Him. As we grow in Him, He grows in us. His love grows in us. It begins as a tiny seed and grows into a beautiful tree that gives shelter and nourishment to everyone around.

Look around you.
The entire earthly kingdom that runs on
greed and
self-indulgence,
now so dominant and pervasive,
will be judged by Almighty God and
utterly destroyed.
He will create a brand new society.

Hymn: Lord, You Are Love

Psalm 113

Our holy, transcendent God
humbles Himself to
see and care about
even our lowliest needs.
Praise God!
How magnificent He is!

Recording
Printed Music

Praise to You, God, from Your servants, Your children!
Praise from our hearts, ever eager to sing.
Glory and honor and joyful thanksgiving
Rise up to You, our Creator and King.
Lord of all, Most High and most humble,
Father, Redeemer, Creator and King!

Ocean of being, its source and its center,
Utter magnificence no mind can know,
Holy, almighty, eternal, exalted –
Even the heavens are so far below.
Lord of all, Most High and most humble,
We are Your creatures and so far below.

Yet in Your love You reach down to the weakest –
Those without honor, the sick and the small.
To all the helpless, the lepers, the lonely,
Fully and freely You pour out Your all.
Lord of all, Most High and most humble,
Open our hearts as You pour out Your all.

by Ken Bible, © 2020 LNWhymns.com.