Monthly Archives: February 2016

THE ROCK WON’T MOVE

You know how a song can be out for a while; then it’s just the right season and the song really speaks to you?

That would be this one by Vertical Church Band.  Enjoy:

 

YOUR KINGDOM COME

When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He included this line:  “Your Kingdom come, your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven…”

As I have pondered these phrases, an idea has come to me.  What would happen if Christians joined together for a day of declaring God’s Kingdom reality over the Earth?  Instead of rehearsing the troubles, wrongs and evil we come across, we would recite and declare all that God is and all that He has for His world.  For example, instead of repeating all of the news about the Zica virus and focusing on how bad it is, we would declare that God is Healer; all disease is defeated by Him.
If we hear something about a neighbor, even something true, we can turn it to blessing:
Statement:  “She’s such a nag!
Response:  God bless her and give her peace.  The Prince of Peace rule her heart and mind.””

 

Among other Scriptures, Romans 12 is full of instructions to serve and bless.  I have been learning an important lesson about this:  Blessing tears down curses.  God is so much more powerful than all other forces and entities, there is no contest!  When we agree with Him, His Kingdom reality takes over.

This all sounds a little “goody two shoes” to me, yet it is what we are called to as His people.  In Romans 12:21, Paul exhorts us, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”  We don’t do this on our own strength.  IT is only as God lives in us and transforms us that we can have this kind of victory.

Obviously, God would have us respond this way all of the time. The only reason I suggest a day is, we would practice joining together in such a powerful way.  As we “put what we learn into practice,” (Philippians 4:9) we grow in the ways of the Lord.

Are you interested?  Can we set a date and agree to join in blessing?  Then we can share the stories about what happens.  Let me know in the comments.

WORTHY OF PRAISE

Warm sun and soft breezes;
Magnificent days;
Times when cold eases:
These are worthy of praise.
Good friends and companions
Affectionate ways;
Time spent with loved ones:
These are worthy of praise.
God’s love and faithfulness;
His mercy and grace;
All that blesses us:
These are worthy of praise.
Lord teach us to ponder
Your goodness always;
The joy and wonder
That is worthy of praise.

EXCELLENCE

Excellence calls us to be our best:
To immitate God
In how we live,
Who we are,
What we give.
Excellence sets the standard higher
According to God,
His living Word,
Birthed in us;
Seen and heard.

 

Excellence directs our eyes to Him:
The Most Holy One;
Worthy of praise
and worship
All our days.

WHATEVER IS ADMIRABLE

Love and affection freely expressed;
People with courage who endure life’s fire;
Those who are able to trust and rest;
These are ones that I admire.
Parents who raise their children with cheer,
Who bless and challenge them to reach higher;
Tender hearts who are able to hear;
These are ones that I admire.
Living expressions of God’s glory;
Unwavering trust in His faithful ways;
Examples of His loving story;
I admire all my days.

WHATEVER IS LOVELY

Lovely makes my heart sing.
I delight in it and find myself worshipping, just because I am so blessed.
Lovely things might be:
Beautiful music
Warm days
Gentle breezes
Flowers of all sorts
Little children playing
People laughing
The view from a mountain
The ocean
Well crafted art
Sunrise and sunset
A garden

What is lovely to you?
How do you feel when you encounter such things?

WHATEVER IS PURE

We live in a world that our enemy tries to paint with smudges of profanity, perversity, division, strife, prejudice, distortions, deceptions and lies of all sorts.

 

The good news is, we get to choose where we will direct our attention.  This is important, because we become what we behold.  You know the saying, “we are what we eat.”
When I think of purity, the”milk of God’s word” comes to mind.  Because He is pure, everything He says and does is, too.  When we feast on Scripture and positive examples from other believers, we are strengthened and changed.

 

The Word also refers to Jesus (Read the first part of John 1.)  Jesus is pure; without sin or blemish.  He is absolutely trustworthy.  To think on Him in worship, adoration, praise and meditation is to become more like Him.

 

As we focus on God and His Kingdom, we are transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2.)  While God’s approach is respectful and revelatory, not “brain washing,” I dare say that most of our minds need a good scrub from time to time!

WHATEVER IS RIGHT

To think on whatever is right and just requires that I lay down all need for revenge, getting even, wanting others to be punished or pay for a wrong against me.
To think on right things is to extend forgiveness and mercy without compromising biblical principles.
True justice demands restitution, which has already been paid in full by Jesus.
True revenge happens when Satan loses his hold on yet one more person.
When healing and restoration occur; when God is glorified:  This is just and right.

WHATEVER IS NOBLE

As I studied this word, I found that most translations read, “honorable.”  Either word is appropriate:  When we focus on things that are worthy of praise and respect, we build up and bring blessing.  This will keep us away from things like gossip, criticism and other things that tear down.

 

 

I set my mind on honorable things,
Worthy of respect and praise;
So that what I say God’s glory brings,
To magnify His ways.
May I always feast on heavenly food
So that I can give away
God’s many blessings so rich and good,
In all I do and say.
All that I take in or think about
Will determine how I live.
By your grace, oh Lord, may I pour out
The goodness that you give.

WHATEVER IS TRUE

It has been several years since I maintained a Lenten discipline.  This year, however, it seems like a life giving thing for me to do.
Philippians 4:8-9 came to mind as the basis for my discipline – “Whatever is true, noble(honorable), right, pure…think on these things.  Whatever you have learned, put into practice.  (the lifehelps revised version)
The focus of my discipline is to reflect on what God is saying about who He is, who I am in Him and what He has or wants for me.  This may seem rather basic, but I find that it is easy to get distracted.
The first word in Philippians 4:8 is “true.”
Here is an exerpt I copied from Bible Hub.com:
“what can’t be hidden”) stresses undeniable reality when something is fully tested, i.e. it will ultimately be shown to be fact (authentic).”

 

Hmm, what can’t be hidden.  I am immediately reminded of a paradox:

There are several Bible verses that talk about mystery and how God hides things; then there are at least as many about revelation, hearing, seeing and knowing.  I think the key to this is that we cannot know God apart from Him.  We need Holy Spirit to reveal and quicken God’s word to us.  We need His conviction, confirmation and direction.  To “know” God is not about collecting factoids; it’s about personally experiencing and becoming acquainted in a relational sense.  That is a life-long journey.

 

“stresses undeniable reality when something is fully tested.”
If there is one thing about God, all that He is, says and does that brings me great strength and comfort, it’s that He can be “fully tested” and He’ll come out true every time!  A lot of things in life can seem very real; yet when they are really tested or challenged, they fail.  Any lie is subject to such a fall.  What God says is; we can depend on that.

 

“It will ultimately be shown to be fact (authentic.)”
That’s the kind of truth I want to hold on to:  Real, authentic, reliable, eternal, indisputable!

 

Lord Jesus, lead us into truth; your Word is truth.  Amen.