Archive for Devotional with Hymn

Good to All

The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
(Psalm 145:9, NIV)

When someone else is “lucky,” I sometimes feel a little jealous.
It’s not a storm of jealousy…just a whisper.

But God has many children, and
He is lavish with them all.
They are my brothers and sisters,
dearly loved by the One I love.
Because they are dear to Him,
they are dear to me.

I see my Lord in them.
I love Him in them.
I serve Him in them.

There is no place for jealousy.

Lord, let praise always be my reaction to Your goodness.

Father,
I will rejoice in all our blessings,
even when they fall on the next person,
not on me.

Hymn: A Thankful Heart
Recording
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God Loves to Grow Things

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit.” (John 15:5, NASB)

The truth is all around you:
God loves to grow things.
When you look at your own life, with your
faults,
struggles, and
blind spots,
remember:
God loves to grow things.

When you look at other people,
with all their insensitivities and annoying qualities,
remember:
God loves to grow things.

Think of people as growing things.
You’re seeing them in only one moment of their development.
God, the patient gardener, is working
carefully and joyfully,
moment by moment,
year by year.
He is tenderly nurturing them from
a tiny seed to
beautiful fullness in Him.

Try not to step on His flowers.
If a holy and all-knowing God can love them just as they are,
can’t we?

All our relationships are to be shaped by
the love of the Father – His love
for them, for us,
for all of us.
He loves “them” as much as “us”.
In every relationship,
only His unselfish love is worthy of Him.

Hymn: Live and Love and Grow in Christ
Recording
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From Every Nation

[Jesus said:] “People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places…in the kingdom of God. (Luke 13:29, NIV)

We were at the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth, which commemorates the place where the angel announced to Mary that Messiah would be born of her.

I was struck by the many languages, nationalities, and religious traditions that filled the church. They were like children on their first day in heaven, rushing from place to place, bubbling with excitement. Most had traveled long distances at great expense to be there.

What a vivid reminder that people come to faith in Christ through many avenues. Those avenues are as varied as the cultures and personalities of all the people of all the ages.

With each of us, our understanding of God is so partial and so marred by ignorance. But God’s goodness comes in many flavors, and His incarnation has so many beautiful faces.

Father,
You don’t rank individuals by
importance or
respectability, and
neither should we.
Each one is Your dearly-loved child, and
we should treat each one as such.

Hymn: God of All People
Recording
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Hear God’s Higher Call

You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God. (1 Peter 2:9-10, NASB)

See your God for who He is and
all He is.
He is the Father of the entire human family.
He lovingly formed them all to be His very own.
He invested Himself in each and every individual.
Now realize that we are children of this Father,
this loving, universal Father.
He is so much greater than
our self-centered perspective and
limited minds.
He is grander than
our immature faith and
our love, still growing.

This Father is calling us beyond our
small,
fearful,
sectarian ways.
He is calling us to share
His broader mind and
larger heart.
He is urging us toward prayer that believes
He is all He says He is and
does all He says He will do.
He is leading us toward a faith that is simpler,
a vision that is higher, and
a love that is as universal as He is,
a love that is
boundless and
fearless and
free.

In this lost and needy world, He is calling us to live as
His children,
His Body,
His divine life made flesh and bone.
His compassion for His lost children is
calling us and constraining us to be
the light of the world,
the salt of the earth,
a royal priesthood,
a holy nation.

His love is compelling us and empowering us to be
the People of God.

Father, as we follow Your Spirit,
we are many members
all working together as one Body.
We are the Body of Jesus Christ Himself,
living and loving in this world.
What an amazing reality!

Hymn: We Will Be Your People

I Am from You

The Lord God formed man of dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7, NASB)

God, in a way, our relationship is private and personal,
one that You and I share alone.
It’s an organic relationship,
as fundamental as my substance,
as my existence.
I am from You.

I turn back to You now as demands leave me
uncertain and
seeking support.
I am from You.

I don’t just have my source in You.
I’m not a child now seeking independence.
I am a part of You once ripped away,
now seeking reunion.
You are life, and I am alive.
You are reality, and I exist.
You are air, and I am a breath.

Father, I am from You.
Make us one again, I pray.

Father, as I trust You,
my reality is as vast as You are.
I share in Your character,
Your power,
Your goodness, and
Your unlimited future.

Hymn: Imagine Your Creator’s Breath

Creator

You created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
your works are wonderful.
(Psalm 139:13-14, NIV)

Creator,
Father,
I am Yours—
life, breath, mind, energy,
spirit and body, past and future,
I am entirely Yours.
Conceived by Your love,
knit together by Your infinite wisdom,
born and cradled by Your power,
I am the child of Your very being,
O Lord of all.

You love me.
Father God,
before the mountains could witness it,
You invested yourself in me.
You devoted yourself to my needs.
Driven by love, You held nothing back—
now, then, always.
I don’t understand it, but
everything around me says it is so—
the air, my food and water, every pattern and color,
every conversation with a friend.
Reminders flood my senses from birth through death.

Creator,
Father,
Your glory invites me to come and know You,
and prodded by my needs,
my failures and anxieties,
I look up to You.
I hunger for You.
Father, fulfill in me that unhindered relationship
that Your love has always craved,
that Your wisdom would patiently teach,
that Your power can provide.
Draw my life energies into yourself,
the Source and Goal of all I am.
Enable me to become all I can become,
to grow, to learn, to discover and aspire,
but all in You and unto You.

Creator,
Father,
nurture that trust within me.
Nurture that love.

True wealth is not possessing, but
being possessed by
almighty
all-loving,
all-wise God.

Hymn: God of the Universe

I Am His Child

Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.
(Psalm 103:13-14, NASB)

God loves us as a parent loves a newborn child.
An infant doesn’t have to earn the parents’ affection.
A baby is loved because of relationship, not because of merit.

Read the beautiful picture painted in Psalm 103.
The Father understands us far better than we understand ourselves.
He never expects us to live like something we’re not.
We don’t need to pretend with Him.

Instead, He takes the initiative to transform us
into more than we can be on our own.
He wants to make us truly His children.
He wants to make us like our Father in every way.

All He asks is that we respond to Him in trust, step-by-step.

Like Your Son, Father,
may my thoughts flow
from You and
to You.
Keep me hungry for
Your glory,
not mine.

Hymn: Holy Father, Only You

God Our Fullness

We are inherently, inescapably needy.
We are not self-sufficient and never can be.
We forever have needs outside ourselves –
food,
water,
air,
temperature control,
companionship, and
so much more.
We are fragile creatures,
never self-contained,
designed to be dependent,
designed to be incomplete.

Sovereign God, You are complete in Yourself.
You are all power,
all wisdom,
all life,
all truth, and
all rightness.
You are self-contained.
You need nothing.
You lack nothing.
You are full to overflowing.
You give of Yourself
constantly,
lavishly,
lovingly.

O God of all,
we need You.
Only in Your fullness can we be complete.
Only in Your wisdom can we think aright.
Only in Your power can we
be who we need to be.
Only in You are we
pure and
at peace.
Only in You are we
loved,
honored, and
truly, deeply satisfied.
Only in You, Father.
Only in You.

Father, I look to this world, and
I am engulfed in
death, darkness,
disappointment, and despair.
I look to You, and I see
life,
love,
deep meaning, and
a shining future.
Fix my eyes on You.

Hymn: All-in-all

The Hunger

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. (Matthew 5:6, NASB)

I had an extra day off work, and I wanted to enjoy it to the fullest. One of the best parts of having the day off is getting to stay up late the night before. So I watched TV to my heart’s content. I lay around instead of taking that walk I needed. And I ate whatever I felt like eating.

By the time I went to bed, I felt bloated, guilty, and restless. I had learned again what I should have already known: self-indulgence is not the path to happiness.

What’s more, satisfying the needs of our bodies does not satisfy us.

Yes, we are physical creatures. In a sense, we are children of this earth. Our bodies are made of its elements. We are sustained by its resources and are dependent on them for life – water, food, and air. Even our concepts of pleasure and beauty are largely shaped by this earth. And when we die, our bodies return to the elements from which we were formed. Physically, we are children of this earth.

But we are more than that. We are more than this weak, dying body. Life is more than a sensory experience. Happiness is more than making our bodies as comfortable as possible.

We indulge ourselves. We make life as easy as we can. Or we make it as stimulating as we can. Pleasure . . . ambition . . . they add interest to life, for a while. They can be pleasant distractions, some for longer than others. But always the emptiness returns, the “is that all there is?” feeling. We hunger for something greater, something deeper, something truly fulfilling . . . something lasting.

We hunger to reach all the way to the roots of our existence. We hunger for our Father, our Mother.

We hunger for God.

We don’t want to think of it that way. We want to look at the need a “rational” way and come to a more human solution. But the fact is that we hunger for something more than this sea of humanity has to offer, more than it can know. We hunger for our Creator. We hunger to know Him and be known by Him, to understand, to rise to all that we can be, to find our place . . . forever.

We grasp for fulfillment, and fulfillment can only be found in the One that created us from Himself. Fulfillment can only be found in all that He is and all that we can be in Him.

If you’re searching for meaning, for purpose, for soul-deep satisfaction, for all that life should be, search for the Source. Search for Him.

You’ll discover that He has been searching for you all along . . . searching for His child. And you’ll discover that finding Him is as close as a single, honest prayer.

God is a gardener at heart.
He delights to grow things from tiny seeds.
Look at your life and
the lives of those who are following Him.
It’s like a stroll through His garden.
What is He growing?
Isn’t it beautiful?

Hymn: Growing in God

When God Calls

By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. (Hebrews 11:8, NASB)

The old adage says, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”. Apparently Abraham didn’t believe that. When Almighty God called him to leave his home and extended family—the comfortable, the familiar, the secure, the “bird in the hand”—he obeyed. He didn’t know where God was taking him, but he followed anyway.

His obedience was the outward evidence of an inward faith. He had met Sovereign God, the Creator, the Lord of heaven and earth. Once Abraham had encountered Him, nothing else mattered. God’s reality was motivation enough. God Himself had called. Abraham obeyed. Since he believed in this Being who spoke to him, what else would he do? It was by faith that Abraham obeyed (Hebrews 11:8, NASB).

Abraham’s situation is not unique. Almighty God comes personally to every believer. He calls each of us. He makes demands. He makes promises.

He points to a new path and commands us to leave the life we have known and begin a new one. We don’t know where our new life, our new path, will take us. But if we believe the One who is calling—if we believe He is who He says He is—what else would we do but bow and obey? How else could we respond but to follow wherever He leads us?

For a time, God may isolate us
from every other source of supply
but Himself.
It can be frightening.
But what an amazing privilege!
Almighty Creator God is looking into our eyes,
one-on-one,
face-to-face, saying,
“I am God your Father.
I love you.
You can trust Me.”

Hymn: I Only Want to Walk in You