Archive for November 2018

You Come to Me

You come
comforting me,
forgiving me,
recreating me,
giving me a destiny.

You come
teaching me,
healing me,
nourishing me, and
sharing Yourself with me.

Though infinitely above me, You come to be
all around me,
all within me,
ever before me,
ever beside me.

Almighty, all-holy, all-loving God,
You wrap me in Your presence,
enabling me to
speak and
live and
be like You.
Praise to You! 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Isaiah 40
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Evil’s False Power

A reflection on Revelation 17:7-18,
the Lamb’s victory over the beast

Just as the appeal of evil is a lie,
so its power is a lie.
All reality has only
one Master,
one Creator,
one King.

Evil is built on
a truth,
a world,
a good,
a reality
outside of God, and
no such reality exists.
No such good exists.

Evil is self-deceived, and
in the end,
it will self-destruct.
It will unwittingly serve the purposes of
the one Master,
the one Creator.

Outside of Him, everything is only
a lie,
a shadow,
a false hope,
without substance,
emptiness,
nothingness.

All truth,
all good,
all power
is in God alone. 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Great Lord of All Reality
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Resting in the Lord

There remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.
For the one who has entered His rest
has himself also rested from his works,
as God did from His.
(Hebrews 4:9-10, NASB) 

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Jesus, Jesus, Lord and Brother,
Wisdom, joy, and life in me.
Fullness of my Father’s presence,
Peace and perfect liberty;
As You spoke and out of nothing
Bloomed Your love’s abundant wealth,
So You spoke and filled my darkness
With the beauty of Yourself.

Great Creator, Christ exalted,
As You rest, Your work complete,
So I come and leave my struggles,
Living, learning at Your feet,
Free to rest and free to listen,
Knowing that Your love will speak.
Jesus, Savior, ever present,
You are all I need and seek.

Here I find my satisfaction,
Here is where my heart is home,
Fruitful in Your living Spirit,
Driven by Your love alone.
Let me share Your endless Sabbath,
Holy, Lord, in all I do,
In my working, in my waiting,
Resting in and unto You.

Fullness of Joy

My tears have been my food day and night.
O my God, my soul is in despair.
All Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over Me.
(Psalm 42:3, 6, 7, NASB)

Father, grief and sorrow have come in like a flood,
and I am overwhelmed.
Tears are my constant companion.
I need joy, the joy that comes only from You,
but I cannot grasp it.

Father, now I am ready to hear the words of Christ.
Now I am ready to look hungrily at His example.
Hours before His arrest, torture, and brutal execution,
what was He so eager to share with His disciples?
The fullness of His joy:

“These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” (John 15:11, NASB)

“[Father,] now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves.” (John 17:13, NASB)

Jesus stood on the brink of the greatest
physical, emotional, and spiritual assault
any human has ever faced.
What strengthened Him, encouraged Him, and drew Him on?
His fullness of joy.

“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1b-2, NASB)

Jesus endured every humiliation that unbridled hatred could throw at Him, yet
He despised the shame.
He considered it unworthy of consideration in light of
the joy set before Him.

Father, Jesus found His joy in You, in
knowing You,
pleasing You, and
glorifying You.
Father, You are the fullness of joy for me as well.
With Jesus, I seek,
not joy,
but You. 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Fullness of Joy
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Evil’s False Face

A prayer response to Revelation 17:1-6,
the doom of Babylon

Temptation comes
appearing to be alluring beauty,
pretending to provide something good,
offering pleasant and harmless stimulation.

But Father, help me to see evil for what it
really is and
always is:
destructive,
ugly,
cruel,
corrupt, and
deadly.
Its appeal is a pretense,
always shallow and
always a lie.
It is unable to give anything
good or
lasting.
It is impotent,
unwise,
unbeautiful, and
unloving.
The tempter is a sworn enemy of all that is good.
His purpose is always to
steal,
kill, and
destroy (John 10:10).
Following him always leads to
disappointment and
failure.

But Father, I cannot handle temptation on my own.
When it comes, help me to immediately
turn to You and
trust You to deliver me.
And when I fail,
help me to repent immediately,
knowing that You are always eager to
forgive and
restore completely.

You are good, Father, and
Your love endures forever! 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Soldiers of Christ, Arise
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Remember Your Lord

A Hymn for the Lord’s Supper

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Remember your darkness, remember the Light.
Then far from your Father, now all is made right.
Now one with His Son, we can live unafraid.
But bow and remember the price that He paid.

Remember His glory, remember your shame.
Remember the curse that His love overcame.
Come drink all the life that His dying began!
As death passes over, come feast on the Lamb!

Remember His promise, remember your crown.
Remember His beautiful bride coming down.
Remember the dawn of creation restored.
Remember to thank Him. Remember your Lord.

At the End of the Day

Father, it’s nearly bedtime.
My mind is tired.
My body is tired.
But I don’t want this day to end
without turning to You once more, at its close.

You were good and faithful today,
just like always.
Thank You, my Father!
You being You
is what makes life wonderful!

I was not always like Christ today:
harsh words…
missed opportunities.
Too often I was distracted from what was
truly important.
Sometimes I forgot to pray
when I needed You.

But Father, You are
so good,
so forgiving, and
so generous
that I still end this day with a glow of joy.
You are with me, and
I am with You,
always,
completely,
forever.
You love me,
deeply,
with all Your magnificent being.
How can I help but smile all over,
even when I’m weary
and imperfect?
How can I help but love You? 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Evening Prayer
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Stay Ready

A reflection on Revelation 16,
the pouring out of the bowls of wrath

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
(2 Peter 3:9, NASB)

Our loving God is so patient.
He seems to
delay and
delay and
delay His return,
anxious for all to repent and come to Him.

But our patient God will not delay forever.
He warns us that after delays that seem endless,
the end will come suddenly.
The God who has waited for so long will move
quickly and decisively.
That is His way.
He will come unexpectedly,
like a thief in the night.

Turn to Him
now.
Give yourself completely to Him
now.
Whatever good you know to do,
do it now.

The only way to be ready for
that unknown day and hour is to
stay ready.
Stay busy at your assigned task.
Stay faithful.
Keep your hopes and desires focused on
Him alone. 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Christ Is Coming! Lift Your Eyes!
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