Archive for July, 2022

“A fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit” is what we need

July 25, 2022
My thinking is that we need a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit as promised by God, our Father, in Acts 2:17-17

This morning as I began my daily devotional, this thought came to mind: “What we need as 21st Century believers is a “fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit.” I also recalled lyrics from my formative years passionately expressed in the traditional hymn: “Spirit of the Living God” :

Spirit of the Living God,
Fall afresh on me,
Spirit of the Living God,
Fall afresh on me.
Break me, melt me, mold me, fill me.
Spirit of the Living God,
Fall afresh on me.

Lucy Adams in  “Song Stories: Celebrate Pentecost with ‘Spirit of the Living God’” offers background information on this popular 20th Century hymn:

Born in 1890, the composer, Daniel Iverson, a Presbyterian minister, composed the hymn while attending an evangelistic crusade in 1926 in Orlando, Florida. The text from Acts 11:15, “The Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning” inspired Iverson to seek his own Holy Spirit renewal.

After the morning service, he went alone to the nearby First Presbyterian Church. With the great teaching still fresh in his ears and heart, he sat at the piano and prayed. He wanted to express in music his desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit of God. The words and music came quickly. Iverson introduced the song to the campaign and subsequently distributed it for others to sing.

Francis Dixon, in discussing the infilling of the Holy Spirit, refers to some of the lyrics and comments, “We should experience fresh fillings of the Spirit all the way through our Christian experience, for only then can we live joyfully, serve powerfully, and glorify God in all that we think, do, and say.”

George O. Wood explains “Why You Need a Fresh Touch of the Holy Spirit Daily”:

“…The Spirit, in our present challenges, is filling us to every level of capacity. May we be filled at this moment in life with all of God that we can take. May we experience to the deepest level and core of our being the fullness of God that the Spirit makes present!”

The lyrics from that hymn flooded my soul with warm memories of my desire to experience more of the presence of God through the Holy Spirit, and it inspired this original psalm, an expression of my prayer for the world at this time:

“. . . And The Spirit of God Moved. . . .”

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

George Iverson

Traditional Hymn

As the Spirit of God moved upon the water,

As an eagle ascends on high and stirs her nest,

Attentive to the cries of her starving young ones;

As she satisfies her young and then spreads her wings,

So Holy Spirit with a gentle wavering,

Flutter over, move upon us in a new way.

As a gentle dove would hover over her brood,

Cover our souls and saturate our whole being.

As we wait upon you, spread your wings, bear us up

That we might soar to heights above the fowler’s snare.

Renew our strength and refresh our desire to serve.

As you feed us and sustain us, we shall mount up

On eagle’s wings. We shall run and not be weary.

As we look to you, we shall walk and not faint.

We close with the contemporary worship song “Rest on Us” by Maverick City Music with lyrics by Brandon Lake:


To follow the way of truth is a choice

July 22, 2022

In Psalm 119:30 (New King James Version) we find the Verse of the Day for July 21, 2022:

I have chosen the way of truth; Your judgments I have laid before me.

The Voice Translation renders the verse this way:

I have decided to take the path of faith; I have focused my eyes on Your regulations.

The reference to “the way of truth” brings to mind an earlier blog entry in which I discussed “The Will of God,” using the analogy of the will of God as a road, a path, or a way, looking at the Hebrew word derek, translated “way, road, path, distance, journey, manner.” The word also refers to a direction, manner, habit, way of life, a course of life or mode of action, and a lifestyle.  

In “Why Don’t Somebody Help Me Praise the Lord?” a poetic expression of my personal testimony, I refer to “the path of truth”:  

Stumbling down the road of life,
I was wasting all my youth,
Then took a right turn to Jesus Christ;
Now I’m walking the path of truth.  

Why Don’t Somebody Help Me Praise the Lord?  

In a previous post on the Will of God, I spoke of the will of God as the road less traveled, referring to the often-quoted poem by Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken.” Most remarkably, I first committed that poem to memory as a junior in high school, back in the middle of the Twentieth Century. I still know the poem by heart and recognize now more clearly than ever its application to my life at this time:  

The Will of God: the Road Less Travelled by

I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.  

The Road Not Taken
—Robert Frost    

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world,
but let God transform you into a new person
by changing the way you think. Then you will learn
to know God’s will for you, which is good and   
pleasing and perfect.

Romans 12:2 (New Living Translation)  

I begin again, this year of my jubilee.
Reflecting on life’s journey, I cannot deny
That the will of God is the road less traveled by:
To choose to serve, even though having been set free.
The straight and narrow way I once again select.
I press on, still striving toward the highest good.
In this place, we renew our covenant of blood,
Reassured that “As for God His way is perfect.”
I see clearly with new eyes where our paths have led.
In the midst of turbulent times, I remain still,
Proving that good and acceptable and perfect will.
I look back, waiting in the now, then look ahead.
Each day God offers another chance to commence:
The choice to do God’s will makes all the difference.  

To follow the Will of God is to decide which path we are going to take. Many times it is easier to follow our own path and seek our own way rather than God’s way or God’s will. Like the Psalmist, we should choose to follow the path of truth, taking the “road less traveled by.” As believers we choose to follow that path, “the way, the truth, and the life,” revealed through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, expressed in this musical composition by Pat Barrett:

With God, all things are possible or nothing is impossible

July 11, 2022

The Verse of the Day for July 11, 2022, comes from Jeremiah 32:17 in the New Living Translation:

“O Sovereign Lord! You made the heavens and earth by your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you!

This verse offers encouragement and assurance in the midst of the challenging times in which we live, times described as perilous or difficult to deal with, where the nation and the world seem to be entrapped in a tangled web of impossible situations.

The Verse of the Day also brings to mind two other scriptures that speak of the awesome power of God and His Word. Both say the same thing but in different ways, that nothing is too hard for God.  In one place in the Gospels, Jesus Christ states “. . . with God all things are possible.” In another place, the Word declares, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

The Amplified Bible renders Luke 1:37 in this way:

For with God, nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment.

As I acknowledged that the two verses express the same concept but in different ways, I thought of a principle from Geometry: “Things equal to the same thing are equal to each other.” These two verses also inspired this original psalm:

No Matter How You Phrase It

And Jesus looking upon them said,    

With men it is impossible, but not with God:    

for with God, all things are possible

Mark 10:27

For with God, nothing shall be impossible.                                                                                             

Luke 1:37

There is none like God who never fails to come through:

Whether you say “With God all things are possible”

Or say, “With God, nothing shall be impossible.”

No matter how you phrase it, the Word is still true.

As those who observe the times, we wisely surmise

That the Prince of Peace ascended to end all strife,

Leading captive even death to release new life,

Just as from ashes beauty and splendor arise.

We boldly declare the Word of God and assert

The Providence of an all-wise Father who makes

Barrenness to bloom with rivers in the desert.

With the Word of Life, even death itself awakes.

We seek to walk in wisdom and number our days,

Humbly discerning that His ways are not our ways.

The line “Just as from ashes beauty and splendor arise” brings to mind the verse which says, “God gives beauty for ashes.” Did you know that ashes under extreme heat and pressure form gemstones, and that diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and such come from ashes?  You see this when many of the volcanoes erupt, and when they settle and cool, you find beautiful gems at the base.  

In a similar way, watch God turn around what seems like a total disaster. No matter how challenging the situation may appear to be, He can turn it into a magnificent triumph.

The Verse of the Day and the accompanying poem reinforce a similar message that “Anything is Possible,” words also echoed in these vibrant lyrics offered by Bethel Music featuring Dante Bowe: