Archive for October, 2014

Recognizing Reformation Day

October 31, 2014
Originally written in Latin by Martin Luther in 1517, the Ninety-Five Theses, which Luther posted on the door of the Cathedral at Wittenburg, are regarded as a primary catalyst for the Protestant Reformation.

Originally written in Latin by Martin Luther in 1517, the Ninety-Five Theses, which Luther posted on the door of the Cathedral at Wittenburg, are regarded as a primary catalyst for the Protestant Reformation.

Instead of focusing on the Verse of the Day for October 31, 2014, I am posting an excerpt from an Examiner.com article written in recognition of Reformation Day and the Third Apostolic Reformation:

Although most Americans readily recognized October 31st as Halloween, many people around the world acknowledge the last day in October as Reformation Day. Many Protestant Churches celebrate “Reformation Sunday” as the last Sunday in October, in light of October 31, 1517 being the actual date when Martin Luther nailed his “95 Theses” to the door of the Wittenberg Church in Germany, igniting the Protestant Reformation.

From the Protestant Reformation emerged five phrases that summarized the movement. Using the word Sola the Latin word for “alone,” these basic theological beliefs stood boldly in opposition to the prevailing teaching of the Roman Catholic Church at the time.

Sola scriptura (“by Scripture alone”) teaches that the Bible is the only inspired and authoritative Word of God, the only source for Christian doctrine, and is accessible to all and that the Bible requires no interpretation outside of itself.

Sola fide (“by faith alone”) teaches that justification, the act of “being declared right by God”, and assumed to mean exactly “salvation”), is received by faith only, without any mixture of or need for good works, though in classical Protestant theology, saving faith is always evidenced by good works.

Sola gratia (“by grace alone”) teaches that salvation comes by God‘s grace or “unmerited favor” only. This means that salvation is an unearned gift from God through faith in Jesus Christ.

Solus Christus or Solo Christo (“Christ alone” or “through Christ alone”) Teaches that Christ is the only mediator between God and man, and that there is salvation through no other.

Soli Deo gloria (“glory to God alone”) Teaches that all glory is to be due to God alone, since salvation is accomplished solely through His will and action — not only the gift of the all-sufficient atonement of Jesus on the cross but also the gift of faith in that atonement, created in the heart of the believer by the Holy Spirit.

With Scripture alone as the sure foundation, the Reformers affirmed that justification is by grace alone, received through faith alone because of Christ alone — for the glory of God alone. Today Christians around the world give thanks to God for Martin Luther’s bold proclamation and the unfolding of God’s design for the Church which occurred 497 years ago and continues to be revealed.

Out of the Reformation, came forth a “new sound”, commonly refer to as “the hymn.” Here is a performance of “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” which has become known as “The Battle Hymn of the Reformation.” Luther composed the song after reading Psalm 46 which became the text for this most popular and best known hymn.

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Moving from Rescue to Restoration

October 30, 2014

outhouseFor the past couple of years I have posted a blog entry around the 31st of October in which I relate a Halloween prank which had disastrous consequences for a young man. This year I am re-posting the entry with an additional commentary based a teaching that was the perfect sequel to the initial posting:

Halloween and some of its negative aspects, such as pranks, remind me of an incident a friend shared with me when he went to live with a relative in the rural South where there was no indoor plumbing, and everyone used an outdoor toilet known as an “outhouse.” Unbeknownst to my young friend, the custom on Halloween night was to move the “outhouse” from its original position so that when a person stepped inside, he would fall into the pit. That’s exactly what happened, and my friend immediately cried out, “Daddy, Daddy, come and get me!” His father came running with a flashlight and reached down and grabbed his son by the collar and snatched him out of the horrible pit.

That incident never fails to remind me of a spiritual parallel whereby I, like the young boy in horrific circumstances, called out to my Heavenly Father in desperation. I identified with my friend and expressed my thoughts in some of the lines of “my testimony in poetry”:

With lovin arms you reach way down

And snatched me from Satan’s outhouse,

Sought me and flat-out rescued me,

Fixed me up in my Father’s house.

Why Don’t Somebody Help Me Praise the Lord?

(from Stone upon Stone: Psalms of Remembrance)

Like the Psalmist we may find ourselves in situations whereby we cry out to God:

Psalm 35:17

Lord, how long wilt thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions.

Like Daniel in the den of lions, we sometimes find ourselves in desperate, seemingly impossible situations from which we cannot extract ourselves on our own. When we think of such situations like that of Daniel, we must remember the King’s response when God delivered Daniel:

Daniel 6:27

He [the God of Daniel] delivers and rescues, and he works signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.

In thinking about the record of Daniel in the lion’s den, the words of a Black Spiritual also raise an important question:

Didn’t my Lord deliver Daniel, deliver Daniel, Deliver Daniel?

Didn’t my Lord deliver Daniel? Then why not every man?

During times of intense pressure and overwhelming circumstances, I sometimes forget just how faithful God has been in responding to my call, but He gently comforts and reminds with these words:

   Listen to Me

Isaiah 46:3-4

Listen to me. Open your ears and clearly hear

I have always been there. Though you had not perceived

My presence in the wasteland, I was ever near.

Indeed, I knew you before you were first conceived.

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He

Who still holds you and causes you to remember.

I open deaf ears and cause blinded eyes to see

The passion that consumes your soul was once an ember.

Though I seem to be delayed, I will not tarry

But will return for the faithful ones who remain:

Those whom I have made those I will also carry;

Those whom I have called by name I will sustain.

Rest in me: I will perform all I said to do.

Know that I will sustain you and will rescue you.

Every Halloween when I recall my friend who found himself in a horrific situation and called out to his father or whenever I find myself in a horrible mess, generally of my own making, I am also reminded of this truth that when I cry out, my Heavenly Father will come “to the rescue.”

The calling out to God in desperation to “come rescue me” is beautifully expressed in this rendition of “I Need You Now” by Smokie Norful:

Earlier this week, I heard a message from Minister Phyllis Simmons-King of Christian Provision Ministries, entitled “Moving from Rescue to Restoration,” which appeared to be a perfect sequel to my annual Halloween reflections. The objective of her teaching was “To encourage you to stay encouraged while moving from rescue to restoration.” In expounding upon the cleansing of the 10 lepers in Luke 17, only one of whom returned to glorify God (“. . . and he was a Samaritan”), Minister Simmons-King, noted that there is an intermediary stage between “Rescue” and “Restoration,” that being “Recovery.” This phase involves a process that takes time, as we look to God and His Word to be strengthened and encouraged as we move toward our ultimate destination. The masterful teaching brought to mind the song “Restoration” by the Winans, the perfect way to cap off the initial sharing and the recent sequel:

Romans 12:1: a living sacrifice

October 29, 2014

Romans-12-1-2The Verse of the Day for October 29, 2014 is found in Romans 12: 1. Verses 1 and 2 became the focal point of a blog entry posted two weeks ago, which is revised and re-posted below. The topic of the passage relates to “renewing the mind: an ongoing process.” Two weeks later, we are still in the process of renewing our minds, and so it will be until Christ returns when we shall experience the ultimate transformation.

The Amplified Bible offers this expanded rendering of Romans 12:1-2:

1I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.

Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].

This passage brings to mind the process of metamorphosis that butterflies and other organisms undergo, reminding us of a similar spiritual process called “renewing the mind.” Christians are instructed not to be conformed but to be transformed by the renewing of their minds (Romans 12:1). The New Testament phrase is translated from the Greek word metamorphoo, from which the English word metamorphosis is derived. The phrase is also used to express that as believers strive to manifest more of Christ in their lives, they are also “changed” into the same image.

Blue longwing butterflyButterflies as they undergo metamorphosis are transformed from egg to larva or caterpillar to chrysalis (cocoon) to butterfly (adult). Christian believers also continually undergo a similar spiritual transformation as they mature in Christ. The essence of this amazing process is expressed in this poem:

Death to the Caterpillar

Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat

falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone;

but if it dies, it produces much grain.

John 12:24

 

What is death to the caterpillar we call a butterfly.

— Anonymous

From the dark of earth new life stems from seeds once sown.

Despite the pain of loss and our questioning why,

From the source of life this eternal truth is shown:

“Death to the caterpillar we call a butterfly.”

Creation travails until the sons of God appear;

No longer conformed, we have at last been set free,

As every Kingdom mystery is now made clear,

Totally transformed into glorious liberty.

Triumphant in the race we desired to win:

From victory to victory and glory to glory,

We see that power to change comes from within,

As we write another chapter of our life’s story.

The final stage of glory unfolds this result:

Transformed from egg to larva to pupa to adult.

The accompanying video shows a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis.

The Verse of the Day reminds us that as we renew our minds, we prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Listen to the Romans 12-1-2 Song “A Living Sacrifice” (Christian Scripture Praise Worship Song with Lyrics).

The Word of God: Unfailing Power

October 27, 2014

Hebrews 4--12Hebrews 4:12 in the Amplified Bible provides the Verse of the Day for October 27, 2014:

For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.

In reflecting upon this verse, I recall a poem which uses Hebrews 4:12 as its epigraph or introduction:

Unfailing Power

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper

than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division

of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow,

and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

                                               Hebrews 4:12 [NKJV]

No word of God spoken shall be devoid of power

But shall prosper in the thing to which it is sent,

Beyond all past limits, to its farthest extent

And thus abound in fruit as seed of the sower,

Returning four-fold measure to the one who lent.

It is impossible not to fulfill God’s will,

Once spoken and thus declared that the Lord might show

The wonders of His amazing ways and instill

In us His unfailing power that we might know

That in the beginning God spoke and it was so.

Sharper than a two-edged sword, cutting as a knife,

The word is quick to energize and encompass

The past, present and future, as it brings forth life.

While yet in our mouths, it has surely come to pass.

This powerful message regarding the Word of God comes across in even greater measure in the song from Casting Crowns: “The Word is Alive.”

To further reinforce the message, the Seeds Family Worship offer the Word of God Video also based on Hebrews 4:12:

Always be grateful

October 25, 2014

Ephesians-5-19-21Taken from Ephesians 5:19-20, the Verse of the Day offers a great exhortation to always be grateful:

Speak out to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, offering praise with voices [and instruments] and making melody with all your heart to the Lord,

At all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.

Colossians 3:16-17 (AMP) offer a corresponding reminder of the same principles, also referring to “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs”:

16 Let the word [spoken by] Christ (the Messiah) have its home [in your hearts and minds] and dwell in you in [all its] richness, as you teach and admonish and train one another in all insight and intelligence and wisdom [in spiritual things, and as you sing] psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody to God with [His] grace in your hearts.

17 And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon] His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him.

The Word of God reveals further reveals that the giving of thanks is to be more than an occasional act of gratitude; it is to be an ongoing part of our lives.

Take a look at Philippians 4:6-7(AMP)

Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition ([a]definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.

And God’s peace [shall be yours, that [b]tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall [c]garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

The Scripture Memory Song “Do Not Be Anxious” (Philippians 4:6-7) conveys the same message:

Hebrews 13:15 in the Amplified Bible offers this reminder:

15 Through Him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name.

This verse brings to mind the song “We Bring the Sacrifice of Praise”:

Perhaps the most dramatic reminder to live in continuous thanksgiving is found in I Thessalonians 5:18:

18 Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].

The King James Version renders the verse this way:

In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Here are lyrics to another Scripture Memory Song “In Everything Give Thanks”:

In everything give thanks,

In everything give thanks,

For this is the will of God

In Christ Jesus concerning you.

Repeat

When things in life don’t seem to turn out

Just as we think they should,

We know that God still has a grand plan

And works all things together—

He works all things together for our good.

In everything give thanks,

In everything give thanks,

For this is the will of God

In Christ Jesus concerning you.

The sun shines bright or the darkest night,

No matter what the mood,

We still give thanks always for all things.

In the name of Jesus Christ,

We keep an attitude of gratitude.

In everything give thanks,

In everything give thanks,

For this is the will of God

In Christ Jesus concerning you.

The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir offers this beautiful summation of the matter: “In Everything Give Him Thanks.”

The beginning of wisdom

October 24, 2014

Proverbs 9--10Proverbs 9:10 in the Amplified Bible, the Verse of the Day for October 24, 2014, makes a bold statement regarding the origin of wisdom:

The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning (the chief and choice part) of Wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight and understanding.

In light of the topic of wisdom, this verse brings to mind a series of teachings posted as blog entries entitled “Words of Wisdom”—a daily dose of “words to the wise.” One of the entries is modified and re-posted below:                                                                      

Despite the sweet savor of past victories that we desire to linger forever or the bitter aftertaste of former times of seeming defeat that we seek to forget, each day unfolds as a new beginning, an opportunity to make a fresh start. How do we begin? We go back to the beginning. As we reflect upon wisdom, so brilliantly displayed in the Book of Proverbs, we find that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” poetically expressed in this manner:

The Beginning of Wisdom

The [reverent] fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

Psalm 19:9 (AMP)

The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning (the chief and choice part) of Wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight and understanding.

Proverbs 9:10 (AMP)

 

I begin and stand in absolute awe of You,

Thoroughly washed in the fountain of holiness.

The old has passed away—Behold, You make all things new:

Redeemed and justified by Christ, my righteousness.

As You search the earth, may I find grace in your sight.

I seek to be wise but never in my own eyes.

Here stands a perfect man, one destined to walk upright,

A beloved son, whose heart Your Word purifies.

I am filled with knowledge and wisdom from above

And bound by a covenant no one can sever,

For nothing can separate me from God’s love:

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever.

I am renewed in strength and upheld by God’s Word,

As I pursue wisdom, growing in the fear of the Lord.

A perfect musical accompaniment to this blog entry is the song “The Perfect Wisdom of Our God.”

“We Choose the Fear of the Lord” by the Maranatha Music also relates to the beginning of wisdom.

Walking on the Troubled Waters of Life

October 23, 2014

Matthew-14--30-31 In thinking about the storms of life, I recall the words of Dr. Aaron Parker, who spoke of the cycle of life, whereby, as believers, we are either in the midst of a storm or coming out of a storm and preparing to go through another storm. The statement was made in a series of teachings following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. One of the teachings related the riveting account of Jesus Christ, who comes walking on the water in the midst of a horrific storm and Peter’s response, found in Matthew 14: 25-33 in the Amplified Bible:

25 And in the fourth watch [between 3:00—6:00 a.m.] of the night, Jesus came to them, walking on the sea.

26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified and said, It is a ghost! And they screamed out with fright.

27 But instantly He spoke to them, saying, Take courage! I Am! Stop being afraid!

28 And Peter answered Him, Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.

29 He said, Come! So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water, and he came toward Jesus.

30 But when he perceived and felt the strong wind, he was frightened, and as he began to sink, he cried out, Lord, save me [from death]!

31 Instantly Jesus reached out His hand and caught and held him, saying to him, O you of little faith, why did you doubt?

32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.

33 And those in the boat knelt and worshiped Him, saying, Truly You are the Son of God!

Recently Bishop Charles Mellette of Christian Provision Ministries has also made reference to Peter and his walking on the water, noting that even though Peter became distracted and start to sink, he recovered and walked back to the boat with the Lord. The teaching by Bishop Mellette brought to mind this poem in which I personalized the account of Peter’s demonstrated boldness and his recovery:

Walking on the Troubled Waters of Life                  

Matthew 14:22-33


In the fourth watch, long before the sun begins to rise,

A tempest attacks my ship with waves that overwhelm.

My vessel seems abandoned with no one at the helm

When a vision of the Savior appears before my eyes:

Jesus comes walking on the troubled waters of life.

As storms of our times bring conflict, confusion and strife.

May I not be fretful, anxious, cowardly like some,

But like Peter say, “Since you are my Lord, bid me come.”

And step out of the boat to walk on the storm-tossed sea.

While battered by fierce waves, tormented and tossed about,

In the time of my distress I cry out, “Lord, save me!”

He then asks, “O, you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

In the midst of turbulent times, may I “get a grip”

And walk hand in hand with the Master back to the ship.

                   

Michael Card offers “Walking on Water,” a personalized musical rendering of the passage from Matthew 14, set against the scene, as depicted in the mini-series The Bible:

A word spoken at the right moment

October 22, 2014

The Verse of the Day is a word of wisdom taken from Proverbs 15:23 in the Amplified Bible:

A man has joy in making an apt answer, and a word spoken at the right moment—how good it is!

Today’s blog is a revision of the entry shared a year ago and reposted below:

Proverbs 15--23

The Verse of the Day for October 22, 2014 mentions the phrase “a word spoken at the right moment” which brings to mind another related verse found in Proverbs 25:11 (AMP):

A word fitly spoken and in due season is like apples of gold in settings of silver.

Bishop KC Pillai, a 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, indicates that the reference to “apples of gold” is actually referring to a variety of succulent oranges grown in the Middle East. He comments on the often quoted verse from Proverbs:

“Verse 11 ‘Apples of gold’ had nothing to do with apples. These are a kind of orange we grow in Egypt, Syria and India of which there is no English name. . . There is a special orange tree called Kitchilika tree, sweetest of all oranges. This fruit makes a refreshing drink which soothes and comforts. It is gold in color, and does not last long after it is ripe and can’t be exported outside of the country. Very tasty, we make sherbet of it, and it is easily smelled when ripe on the tree. They are very beautiful to look at and quench the thirst quicker than any other juice. It was called apples of gold because there was no other English word.

The verse should read: ‘A word appropriately spoken is like oranges placed in a tray of silver.’

So a word appropriately spoken to a weary or troubled person will refresh, soothe, comfort, revitalize, strengthen. The Word of God is the only ‘word fitly spoken.’ It will lift a person out of trouble and despondency. Words appropriately spoken (to a troubled person) are like golden oranges in trays of silver. They are refreshing, strengthening, pleasing, uplifting.”

A great way to start the day is with a glass of “OJ”—orange juice of a special kind.

I delight to do your will

October 21, 2014

Psalm 40--8The Verse of the Day for October 21, 2014 is found in Psalm 40:8 in the Amplified Bible:

I delight to do Your will, O my God; yes, Your law is within my heart.

In reflecting on the Verse of the Day, my mind immediately went to the First Psalm, the first passage of scripture that I ever committed to memory when I was in grade school, more than 60 years ago, way back in the day, in what we called “junior high school.” I remember that Mrs. Little, the local undertaker’s wife, gathered kids from the neighborhood and told us to memorize Psalm 1, which I did and still recall by heart to this day. Psalm 40:8 brought to mind Psalm 1:1-2:

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

Here is a reading of Psalm 1 in Hebrew with English subtitles:

Psalm 1 is set to music in this selection from Kim Hill:

The opening phrase of the Verse of the Day, “I delight to do your will” brings to mind the unusual circumstances of the first poem that I ever wrote. This rather accidental (providential) occurrence took place during my first year in college in my freshman composition class when I was asked to write a response to this prompt:”May I Tell You What Delights Me?” I made a list of things that brought me pleasure, and when I read what I had written to the class, my professor described it as poetry. Years later I realized that I had written a free-verse, catalog poem, in the style of Walt Whitman. Near the top of the list of sources of delight for me was the Psalms of David. Indeed, I concur with the Psalmist who proclaims his delight in doing the will of God, a subject that inspired this poem:

The Will of God

To find the will of God is the greatest discovery.

To know the will of God is the greatest knowledge.

To do the will of God is the greatest achievement.

Albert Schweitzer

 

My food is to do the will of Him who sent me,

and to finish His work.

John 4:34 [NKJV]

                                                

To unearth at last the world’s most priceless treasure

And gaze upon the splendor of God’s sovereignty

Is to savor joy unspeakable beyond measure:

To find the will of God is the greatest discovery.

To know intimacy beyond the highest degree,

A confident assurance when I acknowledge

And embrace the path, the destiny, prepared for me:

To know the will of God is the greatest knowledge.

To live life, knowing I am covered by the Blood

Is to walk with no regret, never to lament,

For all decisions work together for the good:

To do the will of God is the greatest achievement.

Guided and protected by the Shepherd’s staff and rod,

I rejoice to find, to know and do the will of God.

Monique Walker and the Love Fellowship Choir under the direction of Hezekiah Walker offer “The Will of God”:

Psalm 37:4: Your heart’s desires He has placed there

October 19, 2014

 

Psalm 37--4

The Verse of the Day is taken from Psalm 37:4 in the Amplified Bible, but to appreciate the context of the verse more fully, take a look at the following verse as well:

Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass.

Each day I am learning to answer yes to God’s call to service, knowing this, according to the Amplified Bible:

“We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.”

That’s Romans 8:28, my all-time favorite verse in the entire Bible.

Paul reminds us, “Faithful is He who calls you, who will also do it.” Once again, the Psalmist also clearly offers a similar reminder in Psalm 112:1(AMP):

Praise the Lord! (Hallelujah!) Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who fears (reveres and worships) the Lord, who delights greatly in His commandments.

My heart’s desire is to please God and that desire He has placed there. I express my heart’s desire toward God in this poem:

The Passion of My Heart

The passion of my heart is to fulfill the call,

To walk worthy of the vocation, to stand tall

Yet humbly in His presence, to ever succeed

And abound in God’s grace and to sow righteous seed

That bears fruit each season, wherever it may fall.

 

To serve God with a pure heart, untainted with gall,

May I never forget His goodness but recall

The Word of God spoken to give life and to feed

The passion of my heart.

 

May I walk in peace and live to tear down each wall;

May I know the touch that will quicken and enthrall.

Touched by God’s hand, my life now reveals such deep need.

I must do more than merely hear but must give heed

To the desire to please the Father with all

The passion of my heart.

 

1 Peter 5:10 in the Amplified Bible (AMP) offers this benediction:

10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace [Who imparts all blessing and favor], Who has called you to His [own] eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself complete and make you what you ought to be, establish and ground you securely, and strengthen, and settle you.

Listen to this delightful version of Psalm 37:4 by Junko Nishiguchi Cheng from Saddleback Church in Southern California: