Archive for February 2021


“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:27, NIV)

When we consider the natural world, we begin to realize that time hides from us many of the Creator’s most spectacular miracles. Some are too split-second for us to perceive; others are too gradual to appreciate.

For instance, on one hand, consider a single beat of a hummingbird’s wing (up to 80 per second!). On the other hand, ponder the sculpting of the Grand Canyon.

Or think of the human body. Each simple function is a chain of interworkings, incredibly complex, yet almost instantaneous. But just as marvelous is the transformation of a microscopic egg into an adult human being, capable of reason, imagination, love, work, and worship. (Growth seems to be God’s favorite miracle. Up close, it’s invisible. From a distance, it’s breathtaking . . . too beautiful to rush.)

We are locked into the present, with narrow notions of fast and slow. We are caught in the blindness of time, space, and self. The Everlasting One blesses us, and we do not see Him coming or going. We fail to trace all the wonders of Him who is unhurried and unhindered by time, reigning in eternity. To the Overlord of all the ages, the Master of each moment, nothing is fast or slow. Time is not a barrier or a restraint, but a tool wielded by His wisdom.

How foolish, then, for us to pretend to be masters of our time. We frantically try to control what we cannot control. Rigid, rushed schedules are our attempts to bring productivity, consistency, and balance into our confusion and fatigue.

But the Lord reminded me years ago that time anxiety is as foolish and unproductive as all other anxieties. Anxiety blocks our free and open response to God’s moment-by-moment leadership. Worry produces only tension, selfishness, and insensitivity. It chokes out love, gentleness, and joy.

Turn to one of the Gospels in the Bible (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John) and read about Jesus. Notice that while He had so much to accomplish in so little time, He never rushed. He was busy, but He never seemed tense or hurried.

That’s because He focused on only one priority: following His Father’s leadership step by step. Each moment was in His Father’s hands, so Jesus simply did as He was directed to do and worked as He was enabled to work.

Our Creator, our Father gives us the same privilege. We don’t need to juggle our priorities and obligations in our own wisdom. God wants us to lead and balance our lives by his wisdom. He calls us to listen and respond to His leadership regarding time. We are to use our self-discipline there rather than toward our own arbitrary schedules. As we do, He breathes natural balance and joy, a peace and productivity into each moment, of both labor and rest. He slips accomplishments into our schedules that surprise and delight us.

He is personally with you always. He would be delighted to guide and provide for your time needs. This is just one more area in which He calls us into a closer, more constant fellowship with himself.

God’s gifts are practical. They are more satisfying than we have tasted or imagined. He invites us to discover them all.

God is never in a hurry.
He is the master of time,

not its slave.
Walk with Him in His peace.

Hymn: I Leave It in Your Hands

May Our Loved Ones Come to Know You

Matthew 9:36; 18:12-14; Luke 15; 2 Peter 3:9

How we long for our loved ones to
know God in all His fullness!
This hymn of intercession helps us
express those longings
in prayer.

Printed Music

May our loved ones come to know You.
Face by face we lift this prayer.
Father, may Your Spirit grow You
In each heart now unaware.

Help them sense how much they need You.
You are where fulfillment starts.
All the searching that precedes You
Cannot feed their famished hearts.

Faithful love forever speaking,
Offering all that we pursue,
Savior, Shepherd ever seeking,
Lead our loved ones home to You.

by Ken Bible, © 2020

Hebrews, Chapters 12-13

Fresh Views of Timeless Truths

For the next two weeks, reflect on Hebrews, Chapters 12-13. This free pdf consists of scripture, prayers, reflections, and 9 new hymns for public and personal worship.

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

Free pdf of Hebrews, Chapters 12-13
Complete list of available volumes in Fresh Views of Timeless Truths

In Your Time

This is what the high and exalted One says –
He who lives forever, whose name is holy:
“I live in a high and holy place,
But also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit.”
(Isaiah 57:15, NIV)

Transcendent God, You live in eternity
above all time,
untouched by its relentless flow.
You are the Lord of time,
not its servant.
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.

You are completely unlimited by
space and time.
You never lack
time or
materials or
Help me to look beyond my own limitations and
simply rest in all You are.

Hymn: Eternal God, Unbound by Time

If I Could See

God’s wonderful promises
stir within us a
deep longing for our glorious future.
But don’t miss the marvelous now of
walking with Him moment by moment.

Printed Music

If I could see You always here,
Lord, I’d be a rock
Unmoved by fear,
But step by step I’ll follow
And look to You.

If I could reach and touch Your hand,
I’d smile at the pain
Your love has planned,
But step by step I’ll follow
And look to You.

I cannot see, but I can pray.
I cannot touch, but I can say
My Father is the Lord of all,
And He will do what’s best.

When pain is gone and faith is sight,
We’ll walk and we’ll talk
All bathed in light,
So step by step I’ll follow
And look to You.

by Ken Bible, © 2005

What a Day!

“They are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:15-17, NIV)

Imagine the moment of Jesus’ resurrection,
when the power of the Father crushed death—
we will share in it.

Imagine the full splendor of His glory—
we will share in it.

Imagine when all the universe crowns Him
King of Kings and Lord of Lords—
we will share in it.

Imagine the beauty of His life and love,
spreading, blooming, growing everywhere and forever—
we will share in it.

We will share in all He is.

Your realm is all reality.
Your time is all eternity.
Whenever and wherever I am,
I am engulfed in You.

Hymn: Come, Our Lord!

I Am Your Salvation

Salvation is not a
“something” Christ brings to us.
He Himself is our salvation.
His Spirit within is
our life,
our strength,
our holiness,
our joy.
This hymn is meaningful year-round,
but especially through the Lent and Easter seasons.

Printed Music

I am your salvation.
I am Christ your Lord,
Crucified and buried,
Now alive forevermore;
Crushed for your forgiveness,
Broken for your sin,
Risen for your endless joy
And mighty now within.

I am your salvation.
Rest in me today.
Don’t you know I’m with you
And I listen as you pray?
Fear and grief may gather.
Doubt will do its best.
Stand and simply trust in Me,
And I will do the rest.

Alpha and Omega,
Ever on the throne-
All you see will fade and die,
And I will reign alone.
I am your salvation.
I am your reward.
Boldly lose your life in Me
And prove that I am Lord.

by Ken Bible, © 2002

Hebrews, Chapter 11

Fresh Views of Timeless Truths

For the next two weeks, reflect on Hebrews, Chapter 11, the faith chapter of the Bible (the remainder of the book of Hebrews will follow). 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.

Free pdf of Hebrews, Chapter 11
Complete list of available volumes in Fresh Views of Timeless Truths


He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:12-13, NASB)

It started with one Chinese man, a medical research scientist who came to our Sunday School class at the invitation of a co-worker. Soon his wife was attending with him, then two more couples, fellow scientists from mainland China.

They were spiritually and culturally curious. They wanted to learn more about the life and language of America. But having been raised in an atheistic society, they also came with spiritual questions.

We soon found that because of their limited language skills and biblical knowledge, our regular Sunday School class wasn’t enough for them. So we began meeting with them an hour before class. It was Bible 101. We started by introducing them to the scriptures from the ground up. Then we watched the Jesus film together, discussing each scene one by one. At the end, our version of the film addressed dozens of basic questions about the Christian faith. We used those questions to lead our friends into a greater understanding of life in Christ. Next, we began reading through Genesis together, talking and teaching as we went.

Those two and one half years were memorable in so many ways. I remember our first Christmas with them. We brought in a small manger scene, and from us they heard that magnificent story for the very first time.

I remember the Sunday we encouraged them to pray the sinner’s prayer along with us. With all the barriers of language and spiritual understanding, we wondered how much had gotten through to them.

But I particularly remember one man blossoming in his faith. In spite of a horrendous work schedule, Jinyu began praying daily. He read the Bible on his own, bringing in questions that showed he was thinking about it broadly and deeply. He began witnessing to his Chinese friends. He asked us about ancestor worship, knowing that when he next gathered with his family, they would expect him to participate.

But my favorite memory is the morning he came in beaming, saying that he had been asked to read scripture in our main worship service. We were pleased along with him, but also surprised. Jinyu was a gentle, sweet-spirited man whose English was less than perfect. Our church was large, and scripture readers were chosen for their speaking ability. We wondered how well his reading would be understood.

That morning service focused on missions. It included a parade of flags, special music, and a missionary speaker. When it came time for the morning scripture reading, a half dozen or so people came forward. Together they read Psalm 98, each one reading selected verses in a foreign language.

Jinyu read, not in English, but in Chinese, and we were stunned! We had only heard him speak in English, his second language. His speaking was always halting and broken. We had never heard the man who read that morning. He was bold, strong, and fluent. He was eloquent! He was speaking in his own native language. He was at home. He was fully himself.

As I reflect back on that morning, I think about the Body of Christ. I think about all the personalities and cultures that make it up, in all their God-given diversity. What would the Body be like if each of its members were fully, completely themselves? What if all that individuality could blossom into the beauty and variety intended by our Creator, yet still remain one in Christ? Squeezing living things into narrow, artificial molds is constrictive and stifling. It is unnatural. Becoming all our Creator intended us to be is wonderfully freeing and enriching, both to the individual and to the Body. An eye makes a better eye than it does an arm.

That freedom, that blossoming is coming. In fact, it is happening right now as the Holy Spirit nurtures and renews each individual. He assures us that the One who began this good work in us will complete it (Philippians 1:6). Each flower will blossom into its full uniqueness, lovingly nurtured by its Creator. Together, what a garden we will be!

Each of us will speak our own native language, fluently and eloquently. And in Christ all those individual expressions will blend into one universal language: the language of magnificent truth; the language of pure love.

At last we will be all that His love purposed us to be: His holy bride, stunningly beautiful, radiant in all His glory, perfectly prepared for an eternity of oneness with Him.

the believers around us are
 precious seeds that
You Yourself have planted.
Help us to
water and
nurture them
that they might be
abundantly fruitful in You.

Hymn: How Precious Are Your People

Epiphany Hymn

Matthew 2:1-11; 3:13-17; 17:1-8; Mark 1:9-11; 9:2-8;
Luke 3:21-22; 9:28-36; John 1:29-34

This hymn devotes a verse to
each of the major revelations that
anchor the season of Epiphany:
the coming of the magi;
the baptism of Jesus;
the transfiguration.
Two different musical settings are available:
the familiar REGENT SQUARE (“Angels, from the Realms of Glory”), and
a fresh tune, adapted from a traditional English melody (HELMSLEY 2).

Printed Music

God is light! The heavens open!
See the star announce the Son!
God transcendent lives among us.
See the distant nations come.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
All our race in Him is one.

God is light! The heavens open!
See our Savior bear our sin.
Dying here in Jordan’s waters,
See His sacrifice begin.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
All who come are cleansed in Him.

God is light! The heavens open!
Glimpse what eyes have never seen:
God the Son in all His splendor,
Flesh in heaven’s majesty.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
See our glorious destiny!

by Ken Bible, © 2017