Archive for April, 2015

Speaking the truth in love

April 30, 2015

Ephesians_4-15The Verse of the Day for April 30, 2015 is found in Ephesians 4:15 (KJV):

But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

Throughout the New Testament believers are exhorted not only to speak the truth in love but to walk in love, to demonstrate or manifest love, to put on love. Love is to be the guiding principle in all that we say or do.

A previous blog entry encouraged us to follow the Scriptures, whereby we “put off, put on, and put away.” Here is an excerpt from that post:

Colossians 3:12-14 in the Amplified Bible speaks of how believers should behave:

12 Clothe yourselves therefore, as God’s own chosen ones (His own picked representatives), [who are] purified and holy and well-beloved [by God Himself, by putting on behavior marked by] tenderhearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways, [and] patience [which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper].

13 Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive].

14 And above all these [put on] love and enfold yourselves with the bond of perfectness [which binds everything together completely in ideal harmony].

Poetically speaking, we are directed to

Put off the old. Put on the new and leave the past behind.

Follow Christ and be renewed in the spirit of your mind.

As believers, we are encouraged to change of our minds and develop new thinking patterns. We are to put off the old man and to put on the new man, as we put away lying or any other ungodly practices. Instead of continuing in the direction that habitually takes us away from presence of God, we are encouraged to be

Moving in the Opposite Spirit

Quit backbiting—God doesn’t want to hear it.

Don’t retaliate—move in the opposite spirit.

“Bump it up!”

 

And do not be conformed to this world,

but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,

that you may prove what is that good and acceptable

and perfect will of God.

Romans 12:2

Moving in the opposite spirit, not in hate

But walking in love, being kind, tenderhearted;

Not being anxious but learning to patiently wait;

To quench the fiery tongue before it gets started;

Never spewing venom but with our mouth confess

The truth of the Word of God that we might make known

What God declares we are, to always seek to bless

And reap a great harvest from good seed that is sown;

To reverse the curse and counter iniquity.

God orders our steps, and we choose the path of peace,

Not to seek revenge but pray for each enemy,

For all giving assures that favor will increase;

Renewed in the spirit of our mind night and day,

Being transformed “to put off, put on, put away.”

In Ephesians 4:22-25 we find a similar exhortation:

22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another

As followers of Christ, each day we must “Put off! Put on! Put away!”

The contemporary Christian vocal group “A cappella” asks, “Are we teaching the truth in love?”

Casting Crowns offer a related song: “Love you with the truth.”

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My Redeemer lives

April 29, 2015

Job 19.25-26Revised and re-posted from a year ago, the Verse of the Day for April 29, 2015 is taken from Job 19:25 (KJV):

For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.

Having become an expression of hope, the foundation stone upon which the Book of Job is built, this verse relates to hope, not in the broad, general sense as defined as “an expectation of a future good,” but it alludes to “the Hope,” defined as the return of Jesus Christ, which continues to be an imminent possibility that energizes Tbelievers. Indeed, the Hope, the hope of Christ’s return, continues to be a theme that runs through much of my poetry, as Titus 2:13 reveals:

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;

Despite previous disappointments when I had anticipated that the Lord would return and he did not, when I waivered in my trust in God when He did not deliver me at a precise moment that I thought, I remain resolute that Christ shall return, as expressed in the lyrics of this song:

He Shall Return

He shall return.

He shall return.

Look up toward the Eastern sky.

He shall return.

He shall return.

Look up; your redemption is drawing nigh.

He shall return.

He shall return.

He shall return.

No, I am not disappointed, for my soul remains anchored in hope, the essence of the message of the following poem:

Anchored in Hope

[Now] we have this [hope] as a sure and steadfast anchor

of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under

whoever steps out upon it–a hope] that reaches farther

and enters into [the very certainty of the Presence] within the veil,

Hebrews 6:19 [Amplified Bible]

With deepest gratitude for all that I have learned:

That God is so good, as far as I am concerned.

My heart remains fixed; I continue to seek God’s face,

Striving to please Him, to be faithful to the end.

Despite life’s trials, I press on to reach this place:

No longer a bondslave but esteemed as a friend.

In this time between Passover and Pentecost

We look up, as the fullness of time shall reveal

The King of Glory, before whom all souls shall kneel,

The Kinsman Redeemer sent to redeem the lost.

Watching, waiting, in my heart I have prepared room,

Assured by the promise of the faithful bridegroom.

Looking to see far beyond my limited scope,

I am steadfast– my soul remains anchored in hope.

The verse from Job brings to mind George Friedrich Handel’s Messiah, the renowned oratorio based on texts from the King James Version of the Bible. One of the most well known selections from this frequently performed musical composition is based Job 19:25-26: “I Know that My Redeemer Liveth.”

Lost and found: Parable of the Prodigal Son

April 27, 2015

Luke 19_10

Luke 19:10 NLT

For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”

The Verse of the Day for April 27, 2015 was originally posted a year ago and has been modified and reposted below:

Rembrandt's Return_of_the_Prodigal_Son As I reflected upon the Verse of the Day, I thought of the parables of the lost recorded in Luke 15: “The Parable of the Lost Sheep”, “The Parable of the Lost Coin” and “The Parable of the Prodigal Son.” I recall seeing for the first time the Rembrandt portrait of the Prodigal Son which moved me in a most remarkable manner. That particular parable is a favorite of mine, and I have personalized and poetically expressed my identification with the Prodigal Son who is impacted and forever changed by the compassion of his “Forgiving Father,” the “Real Hero” of the passage. Each time I read this account, I think of this poetic rendering:

Homecoming

The Parable of the Prodigal Son

Luke 15:11-32

I prodigalled

and partied

and boogied my

nights away.

I humped and bumped

and stumbled

till I found myself

in a ditch.

I squandered all

of my bread,

down to my

very last crumb.

I had no friends

to turn to

I had no place to go

but home.

I tried to sneak back

unnoticed,

but Daddy ran

to meet me

and greet me with

open arms

(like I’d been down

the road apiece,

or just got

back from town,

or never been

gone at all).

He didn’t ask me

where I’d been,

didn’t ask how

much I’d spent.

He forgave me,

just forgot

all the times I’d

plumb missed the mark.

He spread the

welcome table

and had a

family feast

to satisfy

my hunger

and meet my

every need.

Later on in the

midnight peace

when Pa and I

were alone,

we said nothing,

yet so much;

then through tears

of joy he said,

“It’s all right, son–

it’s all right, now.”

One of the songs that comes to mind in thinking about “that which was lost” is the most celebrated hymn of the Christian Church, “Amazing Grace” with the opening stanza:

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me.

I once was lost, but now I’m found.

Was blind but now I see.

Listen to this moving rendition of the classic hymn sung by Wintley Phipps.

He is able

April 26, 2015

Hebrews-7 25Taken from Hebrews 7:25 (KJV), the Verse of the Day for April 26, 2015 speaks of what Christ is able to do:

Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

We find the phrase “he is able” in three other verses in the New Testament:

Philippians 3:21

Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

The words of this verse have become the lyrics to a familiar hymn “I Know Whom I Have Believed”:

Hebrews 2:18 (NLT) also makes reference to what Christ is able to do and why he is able to do it:

18 Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.

The phrase “he is able” also brings to mind a poem inspired by the account of the “the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace” in the Book of Daniel:

God is Able

If it be so, our God whom we serve is able

to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace,

and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.

 Daniel 3:17

 

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly

above all that we ask or think, according to the power

that works in us,

Ephesians 3:20

 

God is able to do far above all we ask or think.

Life’s greatest challenges will not prevail, but they will shrink.

Although threatened on every hand, we refuse to back down.

In the midst of what seems to be defeat, we will still rebound.

If we have to, we will walk on water and will not sink.

Surrounded by disaster, even at the very brink

Of total defeat, so the enemy would have us to think.

Though confronted but not intimidated, we stand our ground:

God is able.

We have learned that God’s Word and God’s will are always in sync,

That His Word nourishes and sustains us more than food or drink.

Our confident trust in God is nothing less than profound,

As we rise untouched, not singed, even from a fiery showdown.

Renewed in the spirit of our minds, we can now rethink:

God is able.

As I completed this blog entry, two songs came to mind: “He is able” by the Maranatha Singers:

Wintley Phipps expresses the same truth in another powerfully rendered version of “He is Able”:

Christ in you, the hope of glory

April 25, 2015

Colossians-1-27The Verse of the Day for April 25, 2015 is found in Colossians 1:27-28:

27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

These verses were the foundation for a previous blog entry which I have modified and re-posted below:

This passage from Colossians 1:27-28 mentions the concept of “the mystery” which Dr. Mark Hanby refers to as part of the “progressive revelation of God”—reflected in God’s desire for a dwelling place, displayed in the Tabernacle in the Wilderness (first dimension) leading to Solomon’s Temple (second dimension), and culminating in the Temple of the Living God, the body of Christ (third dimension).

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 Chapter 3 of Ephesians, Paul speaks of the spiritual impact that the Church, the Body of Christ, was designed to demonstrate:

Ephesians 3:10 (New Living Translation):

God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.

God’s desire is that members of the Body of Christ, both individually and corporately, might know and apprehend more fully the meaning of the mystery of the one body. We express our yearning to understand the riches of the glory of this mystery to a greater degree in this way:

Oh, To See the Mystery

Ephesians 3

 

Enlighten our eyes that we might openly see;

Expand our mind and widen our comprehension

To understand the temple of the mystery.

Teach us to comprehend fully each dimension

And ascertain the magnitude without measure:

Reveal to us the true length,

though it is endless;

Teach us to find the full breadth,

though it is boundless;

Help us to reach the vast height,

though it is measureless;

Teach us to probe the great depth,

though it is fathomless.

Show us your divine design for the inner man.

Make plain the purpose, the pattern, the symmetry

Unfolded in the blueprints of your master plan

For the One Body, temple of awesome beauty.

Share with us the value of this priceless treasure,

The riches of the glory of this mystery

Held in the secret places of your good pleasure.

Take our hand and lead us, as you would guide a youth,

Who loves and lives to explore the depths of your truth.

The lyrics to this original song were also inspired by Colossians 1:27-28:

Christ in You, Christ in Me

Even before the world began,

God put together His master plan,

Calling Jews and Gentiles into one body,

The riches of the glory of this mystery

Which is Christ in you, the hope of glory,

Christ in you, the hope of glory,

Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Enlighten my eyes, help me to see

All that you have called me to be.

Share with me the secrets that you have for me,

The riches of the glory of this mystery

Which is Christ in me, the hope of glory

Christ in me, the hope of glory,

Christ in me, the hope of glory.

Put on God’s Word, renew your mind.

Seek Him with your whole heart, and you will find

He’ll open your eyes; He’ll let you see

The riches of the glory of this mystery

Which is Christ in you, the hope of glory

Christ in you, the hope of glory,

Christ in you, the hope of glory.

I’m no longer bound; I’ve been set free.

I once was so blind, but now I see.

I’m walking into my destiny:

The riches of the glory of this mystery

Which is Christ in me, the hope of glory

Christ in me, the hope of glory,

Christ in me the hope of glory.

Christ in you, the hope of glory,

Christ in you, the hope of glory,

Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Christ in me, the hope of glory,

Christ in me, the hope of glory,

Christ in me, the hope of glory.

Charlie LeBlanc offers a musical reminder that it’s “Christ in You! (Hosanna! Music)”

Redeemed: What does it mean?

April 24, 2015

SONY DSC

The Verse of the Day for April 24, 2015 is taken from 1 Peter 1:18-19 (KJV):

Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spots

Here is this passage in the New Living Translation:

18 For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. 19 It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.

A recent blog post “Redeemed by the Kinsman Redeemer” discussed the concept of redemption—the act of redeeming. which literally means “to purchase out, buy up; buy out of the hands of a person; to set free; to buy off, to secure for oneself or one’s own use; to buy up from the power or possession of any one.” According to the King James Dictionary, to be redeemed, then, is to be forgiven, to be made holy, to be freed, adopted, and reconciled to God.

In reflecting on our having been redeemed, we recognize that “Everything has its price.” Though Resurrection Sunday has passed, we continue to thank God for the price that was paid for our redemption, expressed in this poetic reflection:

Taking it Personally

Isaiah 53

Cursed with a curse, He was hung on a tree.

The suffering servant bartered for a price,

Battered and bruised for my iniquity.

Behold the Lamb, unblemished sacrifice,

Offered once, Jesus Christ, my Passover.

Afflicted, stricken, smitten that God should

Freely pour out His mercy, moreover,

Lay on Him the chastisement of my peace.

From His side flowed water and sinless blood,

A new covenant established that I might cease

From dead works by a new and living way.

God’s good pleasure no longer concealed

But memorialized this solemn day.

Man of sorrows, with His stripes I am healed

In spirit, mind and body, for I am

Quickened and cleansed by the blood of the Lamb.

We close our blog entry with two related songs: a familiar hymn offered by Bill and Gloria Gaither: “Redeemed”

The second song is “I Have Been Redeemed” by Wendy O’Connell*

Ain’t that good news

April 15, 2015

1 Corinthians-15--1-4Although I did not post this entry as the Verse of the Day for yesterday, April 14, 2015, I find that the overriding message can be applied any day of the week. So here is the post that I missed yesterday:

1 Corinthians 15:1, 3-4 (KJV), the Verse of the Day for April 14, 2015, makes known the gospel or the “good news” of Jesus Christ:

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

The “good news” includes the birth of Jesus Christ which was heralded as “glad tidings of great joy,” as the angel brought “good news” to the shepherds and ultimately to the whole world. Not only was Jesus born but he lived and he died, offering his life as a sacrifice for an atonement for the sins of humanity. When he died, after three days and three nights God raised him from the dead. Christians across the globe recently celebrated his resurrection, a magnificent triumph over sin, sickness, and even over death itself. The latter part of I Corinthians 15, however, relates the grand finale of the “good news”: the return of Jesus Christ expressed in I Corinthians 15:51-58:

51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

Many times as I am driving to work or going about my day, I think of God’s good news, as I give myself a morning pep talk and recite an original poem, “Good News Day” to encourage myself in the Lord. I recall a saying I heard while I was on a short-term mission trip in Los Cabos, a beautiful scenic area on the tip of the Baja peninsula of Mexico: “There are no bad days in Cabo.” I smiled as I responded, “There are no bad days in Cabo (or anywhere else for that matter) because the Lord is good, and every day is a “Good News Day.”

In a blog I posted regarding “Disappointment,” I made the following statement:

. . . [T]here is no failure in God, for God is good. The very essence of God is goodness. Indeed, Jesus Christ said, “There is none good but the Father.” And there is no comparative or superlative with God. There are no “better” days with God. God does not have the “best” day He’s had in a long time in comparison to others. With God every day is a “Good News Day” because “God is good.” Period!

Many times in the midst of adverse circumstances when my life is not unfolding as I thought it would, I recall the words from Psalm 118:24, the introduction to “Good News Day,” and I rejoice and celebrate the goodness of God one more time:

Today and every day can be “A Good News Day” poetically expressed in this way:

Good News Day

This is the day the LORD has made;

we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:24

 

It’s a good new day

no blues day

new shoes

no way to lose

What a good new day

It’s a great day

I can’t wait day

lift your voice

let’s rejoice

Good God, a good news day

It’s a payday

goin my way day

no nay–all yea

what you say

Such a good news day

It’s a live it up day

overflowin cup day

It’s a bright and bubbly

doubly lovely

Show-nuff good news day

As 2015 continues to unfold, may every day be a “Good News Day.” Howard Payne University School of Music Choir offers the spiritual “Ain’t a That Good News,” a related message of hope:

Redemption by Christ Jesus

April 13, 2015

Romans 3--23-24Found in Romans 3:23-24 (KJV), the Verse of the Day for April 13, 2015 reminds us of where we stand as believers:

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

The concept of redemption—the act of redeeming– literally means “to purchase out, buy up; buy out of the hands of a person; to set free; to buy off, to secure for oneself or one’s own use; to buy up from the power or possession of any one.” According to the King James Dictionary, to be redeemed, then, is to be forgiven, to be made holy, to be freed, adopted, and reconciled to God.

This often quoted passage also brings to mind that as believers we have been redeemed or purchased back from hand of the enemy by Christ Jesus, who performs the role of a Kinsman Redeemer. A previous blog entry introduced this prototype which is modified and reposted below:

This heroic figure is foreshadowed in the Book of Ruth, where a male relative assumes the responsibility to act on behalf of a family member who is in danger or trouble or in need of vindication.

A scripture memory song describes this Old Testament prototype:

The Kinsman Redeemer, our wonderful savior.

The Kinsman Redeemer, we know that He is able

To restore and to bless, to turn sadness into joy.’

When we read the Word of God and learn the truth,

We see that the Kinsman Redeemer was Boaz who married Ruth.

I recall a series of teachings based on the Book of Ruth and some of the lessons to be learned from that amazing love story that reveals the heroic figure of the Kinsman Redeemer. The teachings inspired this poem which the Verse of the Day brought to mind:

“If the truth be told”: A Lesson from the Book of Ruth

If the truth be told, we were like that Moabite,

Who wanted to stay and then do what was right.

At first she prospered but then ended with much less,

As death and hunger surfaced, causing much distress.

For this Gentile widow the future was not bright.

Like Ruth, we also want to be the Lord’s delight

And stay committed at all times and not take flight,

For the Kinsman Redeemer will restore and bless,

If the truth be told.

In times of famine when there seems to be no light,

Hope shines on the horizon, though ever so slight.

Some say these are the worst of times, nevertheless,

Our Redeemer transforms trash into loveliness.

Like Ruth, we too must learn to obey day and night,

If the truth be told.

The teachings also inspired a second poem:

Another Lesson from the Book of Ruth

For whatever was thus written in former days was written

for our instruction, that by [our steadfast and patient] endurance

and the encouragement [drawn] from the Scriptures we might

hold fast to and cherish hope.

Romans 15:4

In times of crisis when famine engulfs the land,

Those willing to glean, to sacrifice will survive.

Like Ruth, they shall be satisfied and even thrive

To see blessings flow from the Father’s own right hand.

As a Kinsman Redeemer arose to rescue

Two brave women in despair, Naomi and Ruth,

What God did then, He does no less for me and you.

We have Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and Savior,

Who dismisses failures and overlooks each flaw

When he calls us by name and sets the captives free.

Even in the times of famine we will know favor,

For the price of redemption voided penalty

When he redeemed our souls from the curse of the Law.

The portrait of the family guardian or kinsman redeemer is vividly dramatized in this excerpt from a production by Kenneth Berg.

Heidi French Lovett offers a musical expression of Jesus, our Redeemer:

I am healed

April 11, 2015

1-Peter-2--24

The Verse of the Day for April 11, 2015 is found in 1 Peter 2:24 (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 rendering of this verse in the New Living Translation brought to mind the providential intersection of two recent events when Good Friday and the beginning of Passover occurred on the same day a week ago, April 3, 2015.

I recall an experience that took place when a particular Good Friday coincided with the start of Passover 17 years ago. At that time I participated in Holy Communion at our church on Good Friday, and although I had received the Lord’s Supper on countless occasions prior, that particular experience inspired a poem which alluded to the verse from 1 Peter 2:24 which is a variation on Isaiah 53:5

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.

Taking It Personally

Isaiah 53

 

Cursed with a curse, He was hung on a tree.

The suffering servant bartered for a price,

Battered and bruised for my iniquity.

Behold the Lamb, unblemished sacrifice,

Offered once, Jesus Christ, my Passover.

Afflicted, stricken, smitten that God should

Freely pour out His mercy, moreover,

Lay on Him the chastisement of my peace.

From His side flowed water and sinless blood,

A new covenant established that I might cease

From dead works by a new and living way.

God’s good pleasure no longer concealed

But memorialized this solemn day.

Man of sorrows, with His stripes I am healed

In spirit, mind and body, for I am

Quickened and cleansed by the blood of the Lamb.

April 15, 1998

Passover

The Verse of the Day for April 1, 2015 also brings to mind the reality of the covenant that God made with the Children of Israel so expressed in Exodus 15:26:

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 Don Moen song of worship: “I am the Lord that healeth thee.”

The closing three lines of the poem “Taking it Personally” include the phrase “I am. . .” which brings 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 says “I am” and all that I AM says “I am”

“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 He 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 the music of Don Moen remind me of who I am in light of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and I am healed.

Stamped with your character

April 9, 2015

Hebrews-1--3

The Verse of the Day for April 9, 2015 comes from Hebrews 1:3, but to apprehend more fully the essence of the message, let us take a look at Hebrews 1:1-3

The New Living Testament renders the passage this way:

Hebrews 1:1-3:

1Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe. 3The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.

As I considered deeply who Jesus Christ is and what he represents, I thought of the opening phrase of verse three, “The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God. . .” or as the King James states that Christ is “the express image of his [God’s] person.”

As believers our innermost desire should be that our lives become expressions of the character of Christ, just as Christ is the expression of “the very character of God.”

Not long ago, I recall hearing this statement which was labeled “Essence of Destiny” which inspired the accompanying poem:

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Choose your words, for they become actions. Understand your actions, for they become habits. Study your habits, for they become your character. Develop your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

 

Stamped with Your Character

The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God. . .

Hebrews 1:3a

 

As you seek a dwelling place, may you see my heart,

Custom-designed and conformed to your own image.

As you scan sea and land, may you see my visage

And decide to abide in my innermost part.

Search my character as I seek a deeper walk

With you, for I long to abide in your presence.

Naked and humble before you with no pretense,

May I be true in how I live, the way I talk.

As you search me and know me, may you find no flaw

In character, only a heart of purity.

And may your Word unfold my true identity,

Perfected in the precepts of your changeless law.

I pledge my love and covenant with you today

To be stamped with your character in every way.

The David Crowder Band offer a musical expression of Hebrew 1:3 entitled “Stars”: