Archive for Devotional with Hymn

Secure

The eternal God is your refuge,
and underneath are the everlasting arms. (Deuteronomy 33:27, NIV)

We go our own way.
We make our own plans
for our own reasons,
pursuing our own goals.
Then we build walls,
protecting ourselves from every interference.
We are secure.
We are self-sufficient.
We can handle whatever comes.

But the unforeseen happens — it always does — and
we discover that no walls can keep out
the evil that floods this world.
No matter how strong we are,
we are vulnerable.
No matter how watchful we are,
we are insecure.
We cannot control the reality that engulfs us.

But when our false security is stripped away,
we can rediscover the security on which creation itself rests—
the security that keeps the days and seasons revolving,
untouched and unthreatened by human hatred or pride.
We can rediscover that no matter what knowledge we accumulate,
God is our only wisdom.
No matter much power we try to harness,
God is sovereign.

He is love, and we are His children.
That is the only security we will ever have and
the only security we will ever need.

Father,
salvation is always something
You do.
All I do is bow and allow
God to be God in me.

Hymn: In Your Presence, God Almighty
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Father, as I Look Back

What is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him? (Psalm 8:4, NIV)

Father, as I look back,
I realize that as I simply trust You,
You bring a consistency to my life that is
totally beyond me.

I stumble through life.
My response to You is on and off,
lukewarm,
self-centered,
easily distracted.
It is so far less than the truth demands.

But You are always with me,
always guiding,
always enabling,
always blessing.
Thank You,
merciful and patient Father!

Hymn: My Loving Father
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Eternal God

They said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” (John 6:29, NASB)

Eternal God, You overflow
all the vast universe and
all human thought and imagination.
Though You are consistent,
You consistently stretch every comfortable understanding of You.

But what you require of us is amazingly, stunningly simple:
Trust Me.

As we trust You,
we live in the comforting truth of
Your greatness and
our smallness.

As we trust You,
we fear You
and fear nothing else.

As we trust You,
our horizons are as vast as You are.
We share Your character,
Your power,
Your goodness, and
Your unlimited future.

As we trust You,
we are unmoved by threats and
unconcerned about unknowns.
We look beyond today’s ups and downs.
Fruitless worry disappears into peace
when we see only You.

Father,
as we begin to know You better,
as mental beliefs become personal reality,
more and more life is
simple faith.
We simply rely on
You being You.

Hymn: As I Trust You
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The Most Natural Way

All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful
toward those who keep the demands of his covenant. (Psalm 25:10, NIV)

What if it’s all true:
What if all that is was created by a wonderful Being,
more vast and mysterious than the universe itself;
if He formed us and somehow patterned us after himself;
if He loves us as His own children;
if He came to us in person to share our lives,
to deliver us from our wrongness,
to die for us when we couldn’t help ourselves;
if this Creator wants to teach us the happiest way to live . . .
What if it’s all true?

Look at this beautiful, orderly, intricate world. Look at Jesus Christ – His love, His self-sacrifice. Look at yourself. Without God, do you sense a wrongness inside?

If all the above is true, then how should we be living? Shouldn’t we turn to our loving, wise Creator to find the best, the simplest, the most natural way to live?

He has put us here together, His children, to care for each other and to depend on each other. He has given us families, friends, communities. Yet we think and live so selfishly, and so many among us are needy and lonely.

He provides for us beautifully and abundantly day by day. What do we need that His world doesn’t provide? Yet we are anxious, fearful, and greedy.

He wants to enrich us in ways we can’t even imagine. He wants us to know Him better. He wants each of us to have a face-to-face relationship with Him. Yet we consider Him irrelevant and look right past Him.

Look at the people around you. Look within yourself. Is anxiety and selfishness really the most natural way to live? The most common, perhaps, but the simplest, the most peaceful, the most satisfying? In our smallness and helplessness, is it logical to ignore the One who created us?

The One who gives us day and night, sun and rain, work and rest, the One who conceived and shaped this world of ours, cannot He guide us to the most natural way to live?

Cannot He help you become the person you were designed to be, that you want to be?

Is He not listening if you talk to Him right now?

I have a personal, constant relationship with
the Lord of all reality.
We converse freely.
We walk together in relaxed silence,
like loving Parent and child.
What could be more wonderful than this?

Hymn: Present Lord
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God’s Burning Love

God is love (1 John 4:8).
He is deep,
complete,
changeless love.
All He does,
all He says,
all He is
is love.

His love –
deeply desiring the very best for all He has made –
His power –
creating, supporting, and ruling all He has made – and
His wisdom –
completely knowing all He has made –
are infinite and
inseparable.
His love reaches everywhere
His power and His knowing go.
He completely knows and
completely loves
all He has made.
His infinite power,
infinite wisdom, and
infinite love
are simply different aspects of
His all-ness.

There is no indifference in His love –
never,
to not even the slightest degree.
No coolness.
No distance.
No half-heartedness.
No distraction.
No unthinking routine.
His love is a fire
that blazes eternally,
white-hot.

But His love never forces itself on any of us.
He whispers.
He woos.
And yes, He sometimes shouts.
But then He always waits.
He never enters without an invitation.
He watches for even the smallest, weakest response, then
patiently,
unhurriedly,
tenderly,
wisely
fans it into flame,
as His creature allows.

Father, I love You!
Help me to love You and
know You
more and
more.

Hymn: Your Ceaseless, Unexhausted Love
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Go Beyond

[Your creatures] all wait for You
To give them their food in due season.
You give to them, they gather it up;
You open Your hand, they are satisfied with good.
You hide Your face, they are dismayed;
You take away their spirit, they expire
And return to their dust.
You send forth Your Spirit, they are created;
And You renew the face of the ground.
(Psalm 104:27-30, NASB)

Go beyond thinking of God
as merely a means to an end,
as a way to obtain more loving relationships or
inner peace or
even everlasting life.

He Himself is the end of all things.
He is our greatest blessing,
our glorious reward,
our eternal destiny.

Love,
inner peace, and
everlasting life
are merely partial descriptions of
all that He is.

Hymn: The Upward Call
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A New Day

Father, it’s like a sunrise
whenever I taste Your love;
whenever I sense Your working;
whenever I realize Your personal presence with me.
Each time it is a ray of light,
a bit of splendor!
It is a glimpse of Your magnificence!

And each sunrise,
each shining, new day,
reminds me of what is soon to come:
the dawning of a radiant, stunningly-perfect day
that will never end.

No more darkness.
No more pain or sorrow.
No more dying
ever again.
Just You and
all that You are,
filling all that is.

In the meantime, Father,
thank You for each of Your glorious reminders!

Sometimes the Bible explains heaven
in terms of earthly things,
to help us begin to grasp
what is beyond our experience.
But when we get there, I believe we will see that
heaven is the original and
earth is a shadow of it.
As we get closer to the Light,
we will see more truly and broadly.

Hymn: I See the New Creation
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A Living Hymn

The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
Day to day pours forth speech,
And night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words;
Their voice is not heard.
Their line has gone out through all the earth,
And their utterances to the end of the world.
(Psalm 19:1-4, NASB)

Father, the heavens sing of Your greatness so
beautifully and
constantly.
Even their silence is
eloquent and
majestic.

Can I, Your child, do any less?
May my daily kindness sing of Your
warm smile and
open-armed acceptance.
May my generosity sing of Your
great bounty and
eagerness to share.
Let my patience under pressure sing of Your
faithfulness and
gentle strength and
unshakable peace.

Let my joy in every situation remind those around me that You are
always near and
always good.

Father, make my life a hymn to Your great love.

O Father, my Father,
may I always respond to all You are!
Like the mountains,
may I quake at Your footsteps.
Like the green earth,
may I bear rich fruit because of Your presence in me.
May all pride melt away before the fire of
Your magnificence and
Your holiness.

Hymn: God Alone
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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
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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
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