Friday, April 29, 2011

Awaiting Our King

Has your life suddenly become more organized, messes picked up, problems resolved? Mine certainly has. All the times before have all led up to this moment: all the praying, all the heart transformation, and even the problems. Use the time appropriately to do what the LORD God Almighty directs, for the climax is coming soon. The moment for which we have all been waiting will be here.

The spectacular way that God has given life to his people is that we do not ever have to be out of work to do for God. At the same time he gives the most splendid rest. We are permitted to rest in his presence and delight in him in the midst of our work! Do you have some things that God is prompting you to give away? Do it in secret, and let the salvation of God be your joy! Pray that your life is full of what he wants today. Run after what is good and flee from evil. The king is coming in his glory! Be on active duty!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Love of God

The Love of God is greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell!
It goes beyond the highest star and reaches to the lowest hell!
The guilty pair bowed down with care, God gave His Son to win!
His erring child, HE RECONCILED, and pardoned from his sin!

The love of God...How rich and pure! How measureless and strong!
It shall forever more endure the saints' and angels' song!

When years and time shall pass away, and earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men on earth refuse to pray, on rocks and hills, and mountains call,
God's love so sure, shall still endure! All measureless and strong!
Redeeming grace to Adam's race, the saints' and angels' song!

The love of God...HOW RICH AND PURE! How measureless and strong!
It shall forever more endure the saints' and angels' song!

Could we with ink the ocean fill, or were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill, and every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole, though stretched from sky to sky!

How rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forever more endure the saints' and angels' song!

"For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord!"

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Honor the King of kings

In church yesterday, we sang “Jesus Shall Reign.” While we were driving home, my mom made a really interesting comment. Americans have a rather distorted view of God as the King of kings...we’re used to a democracy. Back during the time of Jesus–or even as recent as Queen Victoria–the king (or queen) had supreme authority. No one dared cross the will of the ruler. Victoria was shocked when her husband, Prince Albert, dared to question the command of his wife, the queen! Questioning political authority was out of the question. But now, in a democracy, we change things to fit the will of the people. If enough people disagree with the law, we can change it. But God–as the King of kings–does not leave room for us to question His authority. What He says is the law. We can’t vote God out of the picture. What He says is truth, and there is no changing it. Yet man, in his fallen state, thinks that God’s law can be changed just like the law in a democracy. Look at the moral mess this has put us in! There is no absolute law anymore; it’s whatever is right in the majority’s eyes. This is so wrong! We need to view God as an absolute Sovereign, not as a political party that can be voted out in the next election. Jesus rules over everything! There is no questioning Him. Honor the King!

Jesus shall reign where’er the sun
Does his successive journeys run;
His kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
Till moons shall wax and wane no more.

Behold the islands with their kings,
And Europe her best tribute brings;
From north to south the princes meet,
To pay their homage at His feet.

There Persia, glorious to behold,
There India shines in eastern gold;
And barb’rous nations at His word
Submit, and bow, and own their Lord.

To Him shall endless prayer be made,
And praises throng to crown His head;
His Name like sweet perfume shall rise
With every morning sacrifice.

People and realms of every tongue
Dwell on His love with sweetest song;
And infant voices shall proclaim
Their early blessings on His Name.

Blessings abound wherever He reigns;
The prisoner leaps to lose his chains;
The weary find eternal rest,
And all the sons of want are blessed.

Where He displays His healing power,
Death and the curse are known no more:
In Him the tribes of Adam boast
More blessings than their father lost.

Let every creature rise and bring
Peculiar honors to our King;
Angels descend with songs again,
And earth repeat the loud amen!

Great God, whose universal sway
The known and unknown worlds obey,
Now give the kingdom to Thy Son,
Extend His power, exalt His throne.

The scepter well becomes His hands;
All Heav’n submits to His commands;
His justice shall avenge the poor,
And pride and rage prevail no more.

With power He vindicates the just,
And treads th’oppressor in the dust:
His worship and His fear shall last
Till hours, and years, and time be past.

As rain on meadows newly mown,
So shall He send his influence down:
His grace on fainting souls distills,
Like heav’nly dew on thirsty hills.

The heathen lands, that lie beneath
The shades of overspreading death,
Revive at His first dawning light;
And deserts blossom at the sight.

The saints shall flourish in His days,
Dressed in the robes of joy and praise;
Peace, like a river, from His throne
Shall flow to nations yet unknown.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory! (1 Corinthians 15:54)

Why does it matter that a Jewish carpenter who lived 2000 years ago lived to tell about when He was crucified by the Romans?

1 Corinthians 15:21-22– For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.

Romans 6:3-11–Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ephesians 2:8–For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.

1 Peter 1:3--Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

1 Corinthians 15:57–But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Because we believe that that Jewish carpenter still lives, we also can live. His death gave us hope, life, and the victory.

Have a wonderful day rejoicing at Christ’s resurrection from the dead and His redemptive work in us!

He is not here, for He is risen!! (Matthew 28:6)

The Day of Despair

Can you imagine the despair of this day?
Jesus is DEAD. As Ashley has reminded us, He really did die. Everyone knew it. He was gone. In a tomb.

The disciples are in hiding. We often act as if this was shameful or cowardly, but put yourself in their places! They had followed this man for three years; they had followed Him out in the open, so they were well-known. Now He was gone.

What were they to do with their lives? Would they even get a chance, or would they too be hunted down and killed?

They could not see how this day was necessary. Have you ever come to a point of utter hopelessness and helplessness? Have you every looked at your life and seen no point, no purpose?

That's where we are without Christ. We are hopeless, without God in the world. We are separated from our only hope because of our sin. We are in despair. In our sin, it doesn't matter if the sun is shining, because we are bound to a place of darkness and utter isolation.

Have you ever seen yourself as this kind of sinner? HOPELESS?

We all know that the story doesn't end here, but in order for the story of the resurrection to be as joyful and hopeful as it is, we must understand our condition without it.

"For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly." Romans 5:8

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23

"For the wages of sin is death..." Romans 6:23a

"And you were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit now at work among the sons of disobedience..." Ephesians 2:1-2

"Remember that at that time you were separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenant of promise, having no hope and without God in the world." Ephesians 2:12

"Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned." Romans 5:12

The disciples didn't know the rest of the story, as we do. Today, meditate on who you are without Christ. Though it is not a pleasant thought, maybe it will help us to be bolder in sharing our faith, because we KNOW THE REST OF THE STORY.

All those around us who do not know Christ live like this every day of their lives. They have no hope. They are separated from Christ. They live Black Saturday every day.

As the Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 2, "REMEMBER..." Remembering our sin makes the Resurrection GLORIOUS! But if you don't know Christ as Savior, today is your life. Don't wait to turn to Christ and see how your darkness can be infused with His LIGHT!
If you have any questions about how to know Christ, comment on this post, or click the "contact me" button on the side of this page, and we would love to tell you about the REST OF THE STORY.

Friday, April 22, 2011

He Died

He died. He really died. The nerves in his feet were torn. His body was unimaginably abused. Not only do we have silence, we have a reality. This man changes reality. He has CHANGED our reality. One gaze into his death changes an onlooker's countenance, a bystander's thoughts. This man can change the least loved and the most hurting that have never heard this before. His death never ceases to change people forever.

Isaiah 65:1-2 says, “I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.’ All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations.”

Wow. The words blow me away. My heart aches on top of that. This really puts me in the dust. Not only are those who have no knowledge of God sought ought by Him, but I too am guilty of not offering every moment to seeking Him. What of my imagination? I have pursued it and it has led me away from reality.

The only true home and place of belonging is where God is. It’s a moveable home with joy and purpose. It's a home with a hero who has experienced death before, who has already saved his children from a death they could have had. Our God can move people to action. Only Jesus has died a death that God reveals as the one death on the face of this earth to have the POWER to make one clean. A death can make a person CLEAN?! This is truly profound.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Power Of The Cross

This is a beautiful song by Keith and Kristyn Getty. This song is a great song for this season of the year as we celebrate Christ's death and resurrection. May power of cross become very real to you this Easter season as well as the rest of the year! God bless!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Word

In the beginning was The Word,
And the Word was with God,
And the Word was God.

Think about the beginning, there was God, and nothing besides God. John 1 goes on to say that all things were made through God, and without God, there was nothing. Starting to get the picture?:) Let's keep reading...

"In Him was life, and the life was the light of men! And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it." These are verses that we have memorized, quoted many, many, many, many times, and heard all of our lives! Do you realize what that means? That means you have THE WORD in your hands, in your mind, and at your constant disposal! If the Word is God, then that means we have God...His thoughts, His actions, His words, the most supreme, awesome, wonderful, magnificent power written down for us to understand, and in our minds!

Don't take The Word of God for granted! When you read Jesus' words, don't skim over it because you know it so well...LOVE IT! Soak it in, realizing that IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE! Love it enough to make sure others have heard it as well. To the world, The Bible is foolishness, but to us it is the power of God! Be bold enough to share this Power, and then sit back and be amazed at what God can do when we hand over the controls!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Salting our speech

Have you ever taken a bite of something that was really bland and then reached for the salt shaker? I know I’ve done that a few times! Some things just don’t taste very good until they’re seasoned with a bit of salt. It’s not that they’re bad, but something is missing. Once you add the salt, everything comes together and you can fully appreciate Mom’s good cooking.

Our words are often the same way. Colossians 4:6 says Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. That sounds odd! How do we salt our words? Well, in Matthew 5:13, Jesus tells us that You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. Salt, in context, is what differentiates us from the rest of the world. What makes us different from the rest of the world? Jesus! Salting our words is like sprinkling the good news in our speech. Salt your conversation by telling people about Jesus, sharing your love for Him, and praising God for what He has done. Just like we are supposed to let our light shine in a dark world, we are also supposed to season our speech with God’s grace.

When my mom was growing up, my grandma had signs hanging all over the house. My mom remembers one in particular that was in the kitchen. “Let my words be well seasoned, because I may have to eat them later.” To eat one’s words is never fun. I certainly don’t enjoy it very much. I never realize how many unintelligent things I say until they come right back at me, and they do not taste good going down. But, if we season our words with salt, they would taste a lot better! Wouldn’t it be great if, instead of hearing some unkind thing you said thrown back at you, someone came up to you and said, “You’re the one who told me about Jesus”? We’re all going to have to “eat our words” someday. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment (Matthew 12:36). Let’s not let our words be idle. When I have to answer to God for every little word I’ve spoken, I would like to here Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21). I want the words of my mouth to be acceptable in His sight (Psalm 19:14). I know I fail often and say things that are not pleasing to Him, but with God’s help, I can please Him. Let’s start seasoning our speech today!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Having a heart for people

I've been reading through the book of 1 Corinthians in my devotions this past week. I've been learning so much - I could share a lot ;). One of the many things that has stuck out to me is Paul's heart for people. He heart's desire was that the Gospel would be proclaimed and that people would be saved. He wanted to edify, strengthen, and build up Christians. This theme was very clearly portrayed in chapters 9 and 10. In chapter 9 verses 1-23, Paul shares how he put others and their need for salvation and spiritual growth before his own personal needs. He willingly gave up his "rights" so that the Gospel could go forth more effectively. He humbled himself and had no regard for his own standing but was always reaching out to every type of person so that he might win them for the Gospel. In chapter 10 and verses 23-33, Paul tells that, in order that people would grow spiritually and be built up, he did not participate in some activities; even though they were lawful activities. Paul's heart's desire was for people. He didn't seek his own profit, but the profit of others (10:33).

Wow! I mean, Paul really had it all together in this area! So, what does this mean for me? The application is found in chapter eleven verse one: "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ." Here are some things that I found that I need to apply to my own life:
  • I need to be seeking the benefit, growth, edification, and salvation of others. Do I truly look for ways that I can bless and build up those around me? Do I genuinely search for ways that I share the Gospel with unbelievers? Do I intentionally seek to strengthen believers in their walk with the Lord?
  • Even if a certain activity isn't wrong for me to do, I need to consider how it will edify and be helpful. "Let no one seek his own, but each one the other's well-being" (chapter 10:24). Do I do what I do just because I want to? Just because I can? or Do I sincerely seek other people's well-being and how I can edify and strengthen them?
  • My heart's desire needs to be "How can I edify and build up others?" not "How can I serve and make myself more happy?"
  • In witnessing, I need to humble myself and not worry about what how funny or foolish I might appear. I need to "lay down my guard" and give up my "rights" so that I can effectively share the Gospel. For me, I know that I struggle with worrying about what other people will think about me. "Will they think that I'm not 'cool'? "Will they think that I'm foolish?" I need to love people more and fear people less. I need to cultivate true compassion for the lost. I need to care more about their souls than what they think about me. What really matters; their souls? or my status?
So, these are few things that I've been learning lately. I hope that you've been able to glean some helpful insights and encouragement from it as well! Grace be with you all!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I Am Your Shield

When her family was going through some difficult times, Rachel Wissmann wrote this song to encourage them. The words are a beautiful reminder of God's loving care for His children. This song has encouraged my family a lot--I hope it is a blessing to you all!


My child, are you discouraged by the sorrows of the day?
Does it seem that life is crumbling? The skies have turned to gray.
Don't forget I gave you promises to guide you every hour
In the moments of you heart break, let me show you My great Pow'r!

And I will be your Shield when the battle rages on.
And I will be your Light when the way ahead is dark.
will be your Strong Tower and guide you every hour,
just place your life completely in My hands.

I know it won't be easy. I never said it would;
but My grace will always be there; My plans for you are good.
Remember that your weaknesses are perfect in My sight.
Only when you yield them to Me can I turn them into Might!

And I will be your Shield when the battle rages on.
And I will be your Light when the way ahead is dark.
I will be your Strong Tower and guide you every hour,
just place your life completely in My hands.

And someday you will understand why I sent this trial.
And someday you will see the end and know it's all worthwhile.

And I will be your Shield when the battle rages on.
And I will be your Light when the way ahead is dark.
I will be your Strong Tower and guide you every hour,
just place your life completely in My hands.

( check out the Wissmann's website at for more songs )

Sunday, April 3, 2011

It doesn't get any better than this

“It doesn’t get any better than this.”

My pastor says that almost every Communion Sunday, and this week was no exception. And, as usual, it was true. It doesn’t get any better than when we are in the presence of a holy God worshiping Him and remembering what He has done for us. Those moments are sacred, and in the sacred, we feel God with us. We long for that...for a holy God who is with us. We know that He, the great I AM, the Holy One of Israel, has come and is with us. Like Moses before us, we stand on holy ground. We stand in the presence of God and know that He has forgiven us and we can approach the throne of grace with confidence (con < L. “with,” fidence=fidelis <. L. “faith;” we can approach with faith). And during Communion, we remember our God. We taste and see His goodness, and we know that we are forgiven. How can it get any better? It doesn’t–it doesn’t get any better than to know that Jesus has washed us with His own blood and presents us blameless before God. It doesn’t get any better than to remember that and rejoice in it with other believers.

Jesus promised that where two or three are gathered in His name, He will be there in the midst of them (Matthew 18:20). Isn’t that what church is? A time when many gather together in His name to worship Him? And does that not mean that He will be there with us? We are in the presence of God. In His presence is joy. Joy complete and full there in the presence of God. No wonder Sundays are so full of joy. We are with God. Does it get any better?