Christ in you, the hope of glory

April 25, 2018

The Verse of the Day for April 25, 2018 is like a beautifully wrapped, surprise package offered to believers. This passage reveals the concept of “the mystery” unfolded in Colossians 1:27-28 in the Amplified Bible:

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.

Derived from the Greek word musterion, translated “sacred secret,” the essence of “this mystery” is that Jews and Gentiles would be united in one body, the Body of Christ. This “great mystery” was hidden in Christ before the foundations of the earth. Had Satan known this mystery or great secret, the Scriptures declare that he never would have crucified the Lord of glory, Jesus Christ. The mystery was revealed to the Apostle Paul as the context of the Verse of the Day indicates.

In the Book of Ephesians, Paul also speaks of the magnificence of God’s new creation in Christ and describes the spiritual impact that the Church, the Body of Christ, was designed to demonstrate. Our discussion of the riches of the glory of this mystery of the one body brought to mind to mind to an experience that occurred several years ago when my wife and I visited family and friends in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

During our stay in the City by the Bay, we enjoyed a most enlightening experience at the Asian Museum where we saw a special exhibit from the Ming Dynasty. One of the pieces on display was a stationery box which is similar to the one shown below. Although the final product reveals what the designer had in mind, we do not see how the object looked at the various stages of development. So it is with the Church, the Body of Christ, which is made reference to in the Book of Ephesians, especially in Chapters 2 and 3. The Church, as such, is still a work in progress, but I believe that God is putting “the finishing touches on His crowning achievement.” The poem “Exquisite Exhibit” conveys in part thoughts regarding the Church and our role in this amazing masterpiece of God’s creation.

Exquisite Exhibit

Viewing a Ryoshi-bako (stationery box)
Power and Glory: Court Arts of China’s Ming Dynasty
Asian Museum–San Francisco, California

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Ephesians 2:10

God’s purpose was to show his wisdom in all its rich variety
to all the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms.
They will see this when Jews and Gentiles
are joined together in his church.                                                         Ephesians 3:10

 

Sublime thoughts never diminish, only increase,
As we marvel at this ancient masterpiece.
The designer sees the end long before he starts
And envisions intricate details of the parts
And fashions a wood box inlaid with jade and gold,
Lacquered vessel for deepest thoughts the mind can hold.
Beyond all that we see, God fashioned you and me
With precise measure of each scroll and filigree.
Displayed by the skillful hands of the Master craftsman,
Beyond the finest design of any artisan,
The Church, exquisite exhibit now on display,
Treasures from the hand of God take our breath away.
With the eyes of our heart now opened, we find
We are the masterpiece Jehovah had in mind.

A number of years ago I also hosted a radio show “Poetry and Praise,” where I would close each show with this reference to Ephesians 2:10:

Every day of our lives we recognize and celebrate the truth that as born-again believers we are all new creations in Christ, and we praise God that He has given us all things richly to enjoy. Indeed, “. . . we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” The word “workmanship” is translated from the Greek word poiema, which means “masterpiece, a glorious creation, a centerpiece of attention, as the French would say, le piece de resistance, or showpiece.” Of course, the Greek word poiema is transliterated into our English word poem, which in the minds of many people, certainly present company included, is always a “masterpiece” or glorious creation. So that the people of God represent the real poetry of life, for which we praise God. Yes, each of us is a poem, or God’s handiwork or workmanship, a special work created by God that we should be to the praise of His glory….

We close with “Christ in You!” from Charlie LeBlanc (Hosanna! Music):

It’s about time: Now is the time!

April 23, 2018

Once again instead of commenting on the Verse of the Day, we are going to take a look at the “Phrase of the Day” for April 23, 2018:

“It’s about Time.”

According to dictionary.com, the phrase “It’s about time” is an idiom that relates to the “right time.” In one sense it can mean “long past the right time” or “approximately the right time.” Thus, It’s about time you started an exercise plan can mean either that you should have started to exercise much earlier (often stated with emphasis on the word time), or that now is the appropriate time for you to work out. A synonym would be “high time”: It’s high time you went to the gym.

Exactly when is the “right time”? Some say that “Now is the right time.” It has been said that yesterday is a memory; tomorrow is a promise, but today is a gift–open the present and enjoy its beauty.” In How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie quotes Sir William Osler, who encourages people to cultivate the habit of learning to “Live in day-tight compartments.” Rather than dwelling excessively on the past or being absorbed with the future each moment, the idea is to make each day count, as we learn to “live in the now,” succinctly expressed in this poem:

The Eternal Moment

Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5:16

Now is always the time.

Though grains of sand
fall and form
a mountain
range,
Now
does not
add nor take;
the moment cannot change.
The time is always Now.

This little three-letter word conveys eternity. As an adverb “now” indicates time. The word generally means “at the present time or moment” or “in the time immediately before the present, as in “just now” or “right now.” Used throughout the Bible, the word “now” often begins a statement that expresses the present moment or time.

I also recall that many years ago I shared a teaching that focused on the word “now.” To illustrate that now is an ever-present reality, I drew a picture of a clock with no hands on it. In the center of the clock in bold capital letters was the word “NOW.” I asked the audience a series of questions, as they looked at the clock: “What time is it?” “In five minutes what will be the time?” “If the Lord tarries, in five years what will be the time at that time?” In each instance, the response was the same. “Now!”

With regard to time, Believers are encouraged to redeem the time. To seize each opportunity and “live in the now.” We are familiar with this statement:

Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is a mystery.
Today is a gift.
That is why it is called the present.

To follow up on that anonymous quote, we must learn to redeem the time, to seize the moment, and live in the now, and do the will of the Lord now. As these words encourage us to do:

Do It Now!

Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Therefore be ye not unwise, but understanding
what the will of the Lord is.
Ephesians 5:16-17

If you want to live each minute
With the fullest measure in it,
To run your best race and win it,
Then start to do it now!

Don’t wait until it’s tomorrow
To look for the time to borrow,
For you may be filled with sorrow
Unless you do it now!

Don’t wait until the time is right.
By then you may have long lost sight
Of work to do with all your might.
Be sure to do it now!

Make up your mind; don’t hesitate.
Now is the time to act, don’t wait.
You’ve got nothing to lose; go straight
Ahead and do it now!

Just put the past behind somehow
And with each moment make a vow:
Now is the time to do it now.
Get up and do it now!

Babbie Mason offers a reminder that “Now is the right time to praise the Lord.”

Good, better, best

April 22, 2018

Instead of the usual Verse of the Day, we want to examine the Quote of the Day for April 22, 2018. Here are motivational lines attributed to Saint Jerome:

Good, better, best
Never let it rest
Until your good is better
And your better is best

Professional athletes, such as Tim Duncan and others, use this motto in an athletic as well as personal context. This saying also serves as the motto for the classes that I teach. Since I describe myself as a “player/coach,” a writer who also teaches writing classes, the quote applies in an academic context as well as in my personal walk.

In introducing my students to the saying, I sometimes show them a video excerpt from “Facing the Giants” to illustrate someone who all he asks of another individual is that that individual give him “his best.” Here we have a coach asking one of his players to “him his best.” That’s really all that anyone can ask of another person. Even so, as the player coach that I am, all I’m asking of my students in each class—“Give me your best.” Take a look at the excerpt from “Facing the Giants” posted at the end of this entry and see if it has personal application.

In discussing the Quote of the Day, let us look for a moment at the adjective “good” which is derived from “God” who alone is good. Indeed, Jesus Christ said, “There is none good but the Father.” Good is an adjective, and an adjective has a comparative form and a superlative form. When you compare two objects, one is said to be better than the other.  If you compare three or more items, one is selected as the best of the group. With God, however, there is no comparative nor superlative. No, God has not seen “better” days, and God does not have the “best” day He’s had in a long time in comparison to others. With God everyday is a “Good News Day” because “God is good.” Period! Because God is good, “. . . all things work together for the good, to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28—my favorite verse in the whole Bible) So no matter how bad the situation may appear to be, it will work together for the good.

“O, taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man that puts his trust in Him.”
“For the Lord is good, and His mercy endures forever.”

As we strive to apply this inspirational quote to every aspect of our lives, there should be an underlying motivation: that we want to express to God our gratitude for all that He has done for us through Christ Jesus, His Son, the least that we can do is give him our best. Like the coach in “Facing the Giants” that’s all that God is asking of us. This should be our response: “Giving My Best to You, Lord.” as offered by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir:

“Facing the Giants” Excerpt

My times are in your hands

April 21, 2018

The Verse of the Day for April 21, 2018 provides this comforting reminder that we are in “good hands”:

John 10:28-30:

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

Jesus Christ assures his followers that beyond the claims of Allstate Insurance, we are not only in “good hands,” but we are in we are in God’s hands and nothing can snatch us out of His powerful and all-protective hand.

Not only does God, our Father, hold us in the palms of His hands, but the scriptures also reveal that He has tattooed us in the palms of His hands.

Isaiah 49:16 in the Amplified Bible makes this known:

16 Behold, I have indelibly imprinted (tattooed a picture of) you on the palm of each of My hands; [O Zion] your walls are continually before Me.

New King James Version states:

16 See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;
Your walls are continually before Me.

Although tattooing is extremely popular today, what God has done for us is unique. KC Pillai, converted Hindu, who dedicated his life to enlightening students of the Bible regarding Orientalisms or customs and practices from the Eastern sectors of the world, explains that tattooing is the oriental way of remembering people expressed in Isaiah 49:16:

If you give a present, you may lose it, but if you tattoo something on an individual, you will never lose it. Therefore, we always remember you. They tattoo all over the arm different places, but never in the palm. The palm is too tender and delicate. It takes time to look for other tattoos, but here in the hand [there is] no time to look, just as open as your palm.

Pillai goes on to explain, “No man can engrave on palms, because the area is tender and the needle is hot and hurts too much.”

Every time God “does something with His hand” those whom He loves come to mind, for He remembers everything about them. God tattoos our names and faces in His palms—we are always before Him. Far beyond the lyrics of Willie Nelson, “We are always on His mind.”

In addition, the Psalmist also makes reference to God’s hands in this passage:

Psalm 31:14-16 Amplified Bible (AMP)

14 But as for me, I trust [confidently] in You and Your greatness, O LORD;

I said, “You are my God.”

15 My times are in Your hands;
Rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from those who pursue and persecute me.

16 Make Your face shine upon Your servant;
Save me in Your lovingkindness.

The first part of verse 15 inspired these original lyrics:

My Times Are In Your Hand

There are times in life when I simply don’t understand,
When I cannot see the intricacy of your perfect plan,
When I’m tossed about and full of doubt,
When it seems I just can’t endure,
Your spirit comes beside me,
To comfort and to guide me,
To redirect and reassure,
To help me understand that my times are in your hands.

My times are in your hands.
My times are in your hands.
Your spirit comes beside me,
To comfort and to guide me,
To redirect and reassure,
To help me understand that my times are in your hands.

My times are in your hands.
My times are in your hands.
I submit every vision, each purpose and plan.
Though I may never fully understand,
I stand secure in knowing my times are in your hands.

It’s so comforting to know
My times are in your hands.
My times are in your hands.

The Braeded Chord offers a lovely song inspired by Psalm 31: “My Times Are in Your Hands”

Feasts converge in April

April 19, 2018

1 Corinthians-15-Verse-20

As the month of April moves toward its conclusion, we recognize that this year the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ began on Sunday, April 1. During that same time, the Jews observed the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the 8-day festival that began at Sundown on Sunday, April 1 and ended in the evening of Saturday, April 8.  Passover, also known as Pesach, the first event of the celebration, commemorating the Jewish exodus from Egypt, also took place on April 1. Following the Feast of Unleavened Bread, was Feast of First-Fruits, which began at sundown on April 7 and ended at sundown April 8.

The Verse of the Day for April 19, 2018 makes reference to this observance:

1 Corinthians 15:20-22:

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

In the Old Testament, the first-fruits of the ground were offered unto God just as the first-born of man and animals. The Law required that newly harvested grain corn should be waved by the priest before the altar, as every individual, besides, was required to consecrate to God a portion of the first-fruits of the land.

Leviticus 23:9-10 offers these instructions:

The Lord said to Moses, 10 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest.”

In the New Testament, Jesus Christ has become the first fruit offering as described in the Old Testament.  Jesus Christ’s resurrection is a promise that we, too, will be resurrected. In a similar manner the Church, the Body of believers, has become “a kind of first-fruits,” as James 1:18 declares:

18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first-fruits of all he created.

This message is reinforced in this poetic offering:

First-fruits

Of His own will He brought us forth by the word

of truth, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures.

James 1:18

 

Transform and then so fashion our very visage

To be like Christ, the brightness of all of your glory.

In your refiner’s fire melt and mold me,

Cast my being in His express image:

As boldface type printed upon the page,

As a new coin minted in your treasure,

Stamped with the essence of your character

To convey the power of your message.

So saturate my spirit, heart, soul and mind,

Every fiber of my being, each of our pores;

So permeate our presence that we also might find

My true calling as Christ’s chosen ambassadors.

The promised fulfilled that the Earth has awaited:

Like Christ, we are first-fruits of all God’s created

We close with a musical expression “First Fruits” by Steve McConnell

 

 

Power of confession: If we confess

April 18, 2018

It has been said God is no respecter of persons. The scriptures make this clear. When God displayed His love and opened the way of salvation to the Gentiles, “Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). Romans 2:11 reiterates this truth: “For there is no respect of persons with God.” God, however, is a respecter of conditions. Many times the terms of condition are expressed by the use of “if.” Throughout the Bible we find “If . . . then” phrases whereby God has set up “If . . . then” statements” to reveal promises that God will fulfill if we do our part.

Nowhere are the terms of condition more clearly expressed than in the Verse of the Day for April 18, 2018 where the crux of salvation is displayed in Romans 10:9-10 (NIV):

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

What does it mean to confess?

To confess is to say with one’s mouth . . . to say the same thing as another; that is to agree with, assent. The verb has also been translated to concede, to confess, to declare openly, speak out freely, to profess.

In 1: John 1:9 (NIV): we find another notable use of the verb confess.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

The context for 1 John chapter 1 is fellowship with God and with fellow believers. Having this close fellowship with God and with one another is God’s desire for His people expressed in 1 John 1:6-10 where each verse begins with the conditional clause “if we” followed by a verb: “If we say…, if we walk…, if we say…, if we confess…, if we say….”

These expressions establish the conditions which if met on our part, will result in a corresponding action on God’s part. These two parts of the conditional sentences are especially noted in 1 John 1:9. If we do our part, which is confess our sins, our faithful and just God will do His part, which is “to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Confession, the act of saying with the mouth, represents a vital concept used in the Bible. The noun has also been described as a bridge between the ungodly, unrighteousness state of humanity and the righteousness of God. The Scottish proverb “Open confession is good for the soul,” also comes to mind in light of the particular confession of Romans 10:9-10

9 If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.

This open, honest confession from the heart is not only good for the soul, but a person’s whole spirit and soul and body are eternally transformed by that confession.

Chevelle Franklin offers a song of praise based on Romans 10:9, 10: “If you confess”:

Owe nothing to anyone

April 16, 2018

Romans_13-8

Revised and re-posted, the Verse of the Day for April 16, 2018 offers sound advice, not only during “tax time” but these words we can apply every day of our lives:

Romans 13:8 ( NLT):

[Love Fulfills God’s Requirements] Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law.

Here is the New King James Version:

Owe no one anything except to love one another,

for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.

The Amplified Bible offers a sure-fire strategy to “get out of debt” with this restatement of Romans 13:8:

Keep out of debt and owe no man anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor [who practices loving others] has fulfilled the Law [relating to one’s fellowmen, meeting all its requirements].

In reflecting on this verse, we also recognize “The first and great commandment: To love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” Believers are further instructed to “love your neighbor as yourself.” When we love God, first of all, and then love others to the same degree that we love ourselves, we fulfill the law of love which is the highest expression of God, who is love.

Romans 13:8 also provides the introduction to:

This Debt of Love

Owe no one anything except to love one another,

 for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.

Romans 13:8[NKJV]

 

What can you give when all you have is not enough

And when you have exhausted all your resources

And you still come up short as you assess the worth

Of the precious love so freely given to you?

When the last dram of oil from your vial has been poured

As a sacrifice and you have no more to give

But still feel this unction to offer all the more,

What more can you say beyond a feeble thank you

When words cannot convey all you desire to say.

Though you try to show Him as you follow His ways,

You still stumble from time to time and miss the mark,

But He looks beyond your faults and sees your intent.

As you live your life to serve, you will come to see

This debt of love so great that no one can repay.

Lamar Campbell and Praise express the essence of the message in song with “This Debt of Love I Owe.”

 

 

 

Resurrection of Christ

April 14, 2018

The Verse of the Day for April 4, 2018 reminds believers of the “gospel or “good news” regarding Christ’s resurrection:

1 Corinthians 15:1, 3-4 (NIV):

[The Resurrection of Christ] Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

Though we celebrated this life-transforming event of the ages two weeks ago, we are always to remember the importance of what transpired. Never forget::Jesus Christ died for our sins. He was our substitute, in that when he died, we died with him. In addition, he was buried, and we were buried with him in baptism. “Buried, he carried our sins far away. “Finally, he was raised up, out from among the dead, and we were raised to life eternal with him. ”Rising, he justified, freed us forever.”

We also recall the lyrics to the spiritual often sung during the time of the celebration of the resurrection: “Were You There?” We note a series of questions asked in the following verses:

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Were you there when God raised him from the tomb?
Some lyrics ask, Were you there when he rose up from the dead?

In truth, the questions raised can be transformed into declarations that proclaim:

You were there in each instance:

When they crucified our Lord, when they nailed him to the tree, when they laid him in the tomb, when he rose up from the dead.

In reflecting on the resurrection of the Savior, we must also remember this exhortation from Romans 6:11 which serves as the introduction to this poetic response:

We are dead

Likewise you also, reckon yourselves
to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God
in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:11 NKJV

We are dead: we have died to the flesh and its lust.
We are unmoved: the dead do not know anything.
Blessed assurance is ours, as those who trust
That each day we die we grow immune to death’s sting.
We are dead: we have died to the lust of our eyes.
From the world and its trappings we are now set free,
For it is appointed unto us once to die.
Opened eyes, once closed in death, no longer see.
We are dead: we too have died to the pride of life.
It does not matter what others may think or say.
We learn to rise above conflict, envy, and strife.
Though dead, we abide in Christ, the new and living way.
As with Christ, death precedes any resurrection,
So the path we choose leads north, our new direction.

We close with Larnelle Harris offering a Worship Medley~ Were You There/Jesus Paid It All~

April: National Poetry Month and Jazz Appreciation Month

April 13, 2018

National poetry month

The April is a month of special celebrations. In addition to being National Poetry Month, April has been set aside as Jazz Appreciation Month, and so these celebrations come together in a personal way, as poet who is strongly influenced by all manner of music, but especially jazz.

As a distinctively American musical form, jazz expresses a wide range of emotions, from sheer joy and ecstasy to deepest sorrow and pain. Central to this musical expression is improvisation, a spontaneous interchange between soloists and ensemble, often with “call and response” and other characteristics that give jazz a uniquely American flavor.

With its origins in the South in the early part of the 20th Century, jazz developed most notably in New Orleans, which brought together a delectable medley of sounds, a kind of “Cajun, creole, gumbo”, a sumptuous blending of music from diverse cultural populations: Caribbean, Mexican, German, Italian, French, Native American, African and others. The music blended ragtime, marches, with a heavy dose of the blues, along with European light classical music and other musical forms.
Jazz Appreciation Month

I first began writing poetry in the late 1960s when I was drafted into the US Army, as a pharmacy instructor stationed at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas. As I reflect upon the beginnings of my writing poetry, I recognize that some of the initial inspiration to write came from music. While I was in the Army, I attended a concert, featuring Ravi Shankar, the renowned sitarist from India. This was my first exposure to sitar music, and I sat enraptured as Mr. Shankar explained the structure of musical compositions called ragas, which involve a good amount of improvisation.

As I listened to the performance, I thought of the similarities between this variety of Indian music and jazz, and I thought, “This ain’t nothin’ but jazz. This is a show nuff jam session.” After the concert which proved to be a profoundly moving worship experience, I consciously determined to express the essence of my experience in a poem which I entitled “Sacred Jazz” which later became the title poem of the collection Sacred Jazz: Music, Mood and Mind.

Sacred Jazz: Ravi Shankar in Concert

come
remove your shoes
come
sit with me under the canopy

unwind
your mind
ascend
with incense
and with me
absorb the sounds
of sacred jazz

dig this Indic jam session
set of rare rapport
improvisation

evening raga

rag raga rag a song of India

Indo-oriole
Skitting skatting

riffing
taking off

Alap blues ala Shankar

Alap all blues

serene somber soul-subduing

Alap Jor Jala

sitar and tabla
constant encyclic tamboura

all dialogue transcending speech
in effort
to reach
the Divine

come
remove your shoes
come
sit with me under the canopy

As the month of April continues to unfold, we continue to celebrate poetry and appreciate jazz all year long. We conclude with a medley of Christian jazz instrumental music: I Love You Lord Today/There Is None Like You (Instrumental)

“I am” says I am healed

April 11, 2018

The Verse of the Day for April 11, 2018 can be found in 1 Peter 2:24 in the New Living Translation:

He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.

The New King James Version renders the verse this way:

Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.

1 Peter 2:24 is actually a variation on Isaiah 53:5 (KJV):

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

The Verse of the Day also brings to mind the reality of the covenant that God made with the Children of Israel expressed in Exodus 15:26 (KJV):

And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.

This verse was the inspiration behind the classic Don Moen song of worship:

“I am the God that healeth thee.”

The closing words of the verse inspiring this song include the phrase “I am. . .”,  bringing to mind a powerful life-changing message heard years ago related to our identity, as revealed in the Word of God. At the end of the message, the minister encouraged the congregation to make a list of qualities or attributes that the Bible declares us to be. I personalized the assignment and composed a list of metaphors which opened with the phrase:

“I am. . .”

I am light, the light of the world, sent forth to shine.

I am salt, the salt of the earth, full of savor.

I am alive in Christ; eternal life is mine.

I am blessed: in the midst of famine is favor.

I am trusting in the Lord; I am not afraid.

I am made whole in Christ; by His stripes I am healed.

I am so fearfully and wonderfully made.

I am redeemed, and by the Spirit I am sealed.

I am a sweet savor, a living sacrifice.

I am ever before Him, always on His mind.

I am clothed in righteousness, bought with a price.

I am His beloved, the one He runs to find.

I am cleansed and made whole by the blood of the Lamb.

I am, by the grace of God, what I am says I am.

Another Don Moen song “Jesus, You are My Healer” proclaims this truth: “By his stripes I am healed.”

The Verse of Day and other related verses along with the music of Don Moen remind me of who I am in light of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and I am healed.