Posts Tagged ‘Trust and Obey’

When? In the beginning

December 1, 2017

John 1--1-2

Revised and re-posted is the Verse of the Day for December 1, 2017: a familiar passage taken from John 1:1-2, 14 in the King James Version:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The same was in the beginning with God.

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Here is a scripture memory song based on John 1:1-2:

The widely recognized passage that opens the Gospel of John also brings to mind the opening scripture of the Bible, Genesis 1:1 (KJV):

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

This verse was among the first scripture memory songs that I was inspired to compose more than 15 years ago. I also used gestures to reinforce the message:

The index finger on the right hand was raised followed by the index finger on the left hand being raised to indicate “Genesis: 1:1.” Sweeping gestures were then used to reinforce the words “In the beginning” with hands that came together to represent an open Bible. The index finger on each hand would then be extended heavenward pointing to “God.” With the palms of the hand held outward with circular motions representing “God created,” followed by the index fingers pointing upward again on the words “the heavens.”  With the hands pointing downward in a repeated criss-cross motion to represent “the Earth.” Genesis 1:1 would be repeated with the index fingers being raised on the right hand and the left hand.

Crosstown Kids offer their version of Genesis 1:1 as a scripture memory song

The video of the well-known hymn “Trust and Obey” also opens with a reference to Genesis 1:1 and closes with a reference to John 1:1 in a magnificent manner:

Trust: Another definition

September 1, 2017

Psalm 56--4

In the midst of the tempestuous times in which we live, when we are beset on every hand by circumstances that increase our stress levels, we receive strength and comfort by the words of the Psalmist encourage us to trust in God. In thinking about placing our trust in God, I recall an acronym that reveals one way that we can define T-R-U-S-T: Taking Risks Under Stressful Times.

Psalm 56 records David’s response to an extremely stressful situation when he was taken captive by his fierce enemy, the Philistines:

Psalm 56:1-4:

O God, have mercy on me,
for people are hounding me.
My foes attack me all day long.
I am constantly hounded by those who slander me,
and many are boldly attacking me.
But when I am afraid,
I will put my trust in you.
I praise God for what he has promised.
I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
What can mere mortals do to me?

Additional verses in the Psalms echo the same viewpoint:

Psalm 56:11 (NKJV):

In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?

Psalm 118:6 (NKJV)

The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?

These words found in the Psalms resound in Hebrews 13:5-6 where the bold declaration of what God has said precedes the closing question of the passage:

Hebrews 13:5-7 (Amplified Bible)

5Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]

6So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me?

This passage brings to mind the lyrics to the powerful hymn of the Christian Church “How Firm a Foundation.” The last stanza reinforces the message of the passage from Hebrews which echoes the same sentiments of Psalm 56:4 in a particularly profound way:

“The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I will not, desert to his foes;
that soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never, forsake!”

As believers, we are continually learning to trust in the Lord, particularly during times of great stress. In the midst of the “perilous times” in which we live, times described as “difficult to deal with,” we demonstrate our confidence that God will deliver us, as we look to the Word of God and follow the exhortation to walk

By Faith

Look at the proud; his soul is not straight or right within him,         

but the [rigidly] just and the [uncompromisingly] righteous man shall  

live by his faith and in his faithfulness.

Habakkuk 2:4 [Amplified Bible]

 

The practical aspect of faith is a walk, a lifestyle:

Moment by moment, we walk by faith, not by what we see,

Knowing that this kind of faith propels us to victory.

Even though some may misunderstand and seek to revile,

The shield of faith counters fiery darts of the enemy’s thrust.

We trust God, despite all the hinderer might do or say.

Being fully persuaded, we learn to trust and obey.

We persist and press on: signs of our perpetual trust,

For faith directly reflects our relationship with the Lord.

Walking from victory to victory will not seem odd,

For whatever we desire according to the Word,

We shall have when we pray and put our trust in the Lord.

For true faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God.

Ever moving toward the dawning of a new day, the eighth,

We still trust and obey, knowing the just shall live by faith.

We close with a musical medley of trust:  “Trust and Obey” and “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.”

Back to the beginning

December 1, 2016

john-1-1-2

Revised and re-posted, the Verse of the Day for December 1, 2016 takes us all the way back to the beginning:

John 1:1-2, 14 (NKJV):

[The Eternal Word] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.

[ The Word Becomes Flesh ] And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Here is a scripture memory song based on John 1:1-2:

The familiar passage that opens the Gospel of John also brings to mind the opening scripture of the Bible, Genesis 1:1:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

This verse was among the first scripture memory songs that I was inspired to compose 14 years ago. I also used gestures to reinforce the message:

The index finger on the right hand was raised followed by the index finger on the left hand being raised to indicate “Genesis: 1:1.” Sweeping gestures were then used to reinforce the words “In the beginning” with hands that came together to represent an open Bible. The index finger on each hand would then be extended heavenward pointing to “God.” With the palms of the hand held outward with circular motions representing “God created,” followed by the index fingers pointing upward again on the words “the heavens.” With the hands pointing downward in a repeated criss-cross motion to represent “the Earth.” Genesis 1:1 would be repeated with the index fingers being raised on the right hand and the left hand.

Crosstown Kids offer their version of Genesis 1:1 as a scripture memory song

The video of the familiar hymn “Trust and Obey” opens with a reference to Genesis 1:1 and closes with a reference to John 1:1 in a magnificent manner:

When we go all the way back to beginning, guess who has always been there? God

Fellowship: With God and each other

July 20, 2015

1 John-1--7The Verse of the Day is taken from 1 John 1:7 (NLT):

But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.

The context for 1 John chapter 1 is fellowship with God and with fellow believers, as revealed in 1 John 1:3-10 (NLT):

We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy.

Living in the Light

This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.

If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

Verses 6-10 begin with the conditional clause “if we” followed by a verb: “If we proclaim…, if we are living…, if we claim…, if we confess…, if we claim….” These expressions establish the conditions which if met on our part, will result in a corresponding action on God’s part.

Verse 7 sets the condition: “If we are living in the light . . . we have fellowship with each other.” The King James Version states “If walk in the light . . . we have fellowship one with another.” Translated from the Greek word koinonia, fellowship involves communion or oneness, harmony. In the Book of Acts we find that the believers of the early Church were said to be “of one heart and one mind.” Having this close fellowship with God and with one another is God’s desire for His people expressed in 1 John.

Maranatha! Singers offer a country music version of “If We Walk in the Light” (1 John 1:7)

The passage from 1 John 1, especially verse 7, also brings to mind the opening lyrics to a familiar hymn: “Trust and Obey”:

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

In the beginning: Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1

December 1, 2014

John1_1The Verse of the Day for December 1, 2014 comes from John 1:1-2, 14 (KJV):

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The same was in the beginning with God.

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Here is a scripture memory song based on John 1:1-2:

The familiar passage that opens the Gospel of John also brings to mind the opening scripture of the Bible, Genesis 1:1

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

This verse was among the first scripture memory songs that I was inspired to compose more than 12 years ago. I also used gestures to reinforce the message

The index finger on the right hand was raised followed by the index finger on the left hand being raised to indicate “Genesis: 1:1.” Sweeping gestures were then used to reinforce the words “In the beginning” with hands that came together to represent an open Bible. The index finger on each hand would then be extended heavenward pointing to “God.” With the palms of the hand held outward with circular motions representing “God created,” followed by the index fingers pointing upward again on the words “the heavens.” With the hands pointing downward in a repeated criss-cross motion to represent “the Earth.” Genesis 1:1 would be repeated with the index fingers being raised on the right hand and the left hand.
Crosstown Kids offer their version of Genesis 1:1 as a scripture memory song

The video of the familiar hymn “Trust and Obey” opens with a reference to Genesis 1:1 and closes with a reference to John 1:1 in a magnificent manner:

Deuteronomy 13:4: From “gotta to gitta”

October 9, 2014

Deuteronomy_13-4

Deuteronomy 13:4: From “gotta to gitta”

The Verse of the Day for October 9, 2014 is taken from Deuteronomy 13:4 (KJV), and I am re-posting the blog entry from this day last year:

Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.

Verse 4 of Deuteronomy 13 incorporates the conjunction “and,” the most frequently used word in the King James Version of the Bible, being used 28,364 times. The figure of speech known as polysyndeton involves using “many ands” where is there is emphasis placed on each item listed in any series connected by the conjunction. This figure is particularly noteworthy in the Verse of the Day for October 9, 2013, where “and” is used five times, symbolic of God’s grace.

The Amplified Bible renders the Verse of the Day in this way:

You shall walk after the Lord your God

and [reverently] fear Him,

and keep His commandments

and obey His voice,

and you shall serve Him

and cling to Him

In reflecting upon the first three “ands” incorporated into the verse, “…walk …and fear…and keep…and obey…, “ I thought of the familiar hymn “Trust and Obey” which is magnificently displayed in the following video:

The fourth “and” indicates that we must also “serve” the Lord, the phrase which brings to mind the song of commitment by Carman, “I Will Serve the Lord,” illustrated so powerfully in this video:

The final “and” precedes the phrase “cling to Him” which is expressed in a contemporary song “Cling to the Lord” by K-hos who perform on the following video which is dedicated to David Garcia:

The Verse of Day provides great exhortation as to what believers must do each day. Our actions are distilled into these six verbs: “walk, fear, keep, obey, serve and cling.” In one sense, we could look upon this verse as indicating six actions on our daily “to do list,” actions that we have to do or “got to do.” I suggest, however, making an adjustment in how we think about essential things that we “got to do.” A number of years ago, a dear friend, Dr. Dale Sides , introduced the concept of changing our attitude from what we must do or “got to do” to thinking about what we have the privilege to do or “get to do.” I shared the concept of changing our thinking from “gotta” to “gitta” with a friend and fellow teacher, Yolanda Stewart, who suggested that I express that concept in a poem to show just how important making such an attitude adjustment can be. The poem seems ideally suited to the demands expressed in Deuteronomy 13:4

From “Gotta” to “Gitta“

For Yolanda Stewart

with gratitude to Dr. Dale Sides

who introduced the concept

 

Little biddy things can happen that don’t make sense.

Changing one little letter makes a big difference.

Subtle changes in the words we speak can change our mood:

From “gotta” to “gitta” shows a whole new attitude.

 

“I ‘gotta’ go to work and pass the time away”

Becomes “I ‘gitta’ go to work; I have a job today!”

“I ‘gotta’ take care of these kids—that’s another world”

Becomes “I ‘gitta’ nurture those who will someday change the world!”

 

Work heartily for the Lord whatever you do.

Remember in the end that He will reward you.

You may not agree with me, but it’s still so true,

Especially when you face tasks you don’t “wanna” do.

 

Some doors may close, but this key to life you will find:

Put off the old, put on the new–renew your mind.

“ ‘Gotta’ to ‘gitta’ ” is thinking of another kind.

Move ahead in faith, and you won’t be left behind.

 

We have to change in the midst of these changing times.

Standing on the mountain top is the one who climbs.

Changing how we think and what we say does make sense;

From “gotta” to “gitta” makes a really big difference.

 

The poem also brings to mind that October is “Positive Attitude Month,” an occasion that I discuss in an Examiner.com article.

Once again, the Verse of the Day was most stimulating in a number of ways.

If we walk in the light, we have fellowship

July 20, 2014

1 John-1--7

The Verse of the Day is taken from 1 John 1:7:

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

The context for 1 John chapter 1 is fellowship with God and with fellow believers, as verses three through ten reveal:

That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

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

10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Verses 6-10 begin 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.

Verse 7 sets the condition: “If we walk in the light. . .we have fellowship with one another. Translated from the Greek word koinonia, fellowship involves communion or oneness, harmony. In Acts the believers of the early Church were said to be “of one heart and one soul.” Having this close fellowship with God and with one another is God’s desire for His people expressed in 1 John.

Maranatha! Singers offer a country music version of “If We Walk in the Light” (1 John 1:7)

The passage from 1 John 1, especially verse 7, also brings to mind the opening lyrics to a familiar hymn “Trust and Obey”:

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Deuteronomy 13:4: From “gotta to gitta”

October 9, 2013

Deuteronomy_13-4

Verse 4 of Deuteronomy 13 incorporates the conjunction “and,” the most frequently used word in the King James Version of the Bible, being used 28,364 times.  The figure of speech known as polysyndeton involves using “many ands” where is there is emphasis placed on each item listed in any series connected by the conjunction. This figure is particularly noteworthy in the Verse of the Day for October 9, 2013, where “and” is used five times, symbolic of God’s grace.

The Amplified Bible renders the Verse of the Day in this way:

 You shall walk after the Lord your God

and [reverently] fear Him,

and keep His commandments

and obey His voice,

and you shall serve Him

and cling to Him

In reflecting upon the first three “ands” incorporated into the verse, “…walk …and fear…and keep…and obey…, “  I thought of the familiar hymn “Trust and Obey” which is magnificently displayed in the following video:

The fourth “and” indicates that we must “serve” the Lord, the phrase which brings to mind the song of commitment by Steve Green, “I Will Serve the Lord,” illustrated so powerfully in this video:

http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=92FCE1NU

The final “and” precedes the phrase “cling to Him” which is expressed in a contemporary song “Cling to the Lord” by K-hos who perform on the following video which is dedicated to David Garcia:

The Verse of Day provides great exhortation as to what believers must do each day. Our actions are distilled into six verbs: “walk, fear, keep, obey, serve and cling.” In one sense, we could look upon this verse as indicating six actions on our daily “to do list,” actions that we have to do or “got to do.”  I suggest, however, making an adjustment in how we think about essential things that we “got to do.”  A number of years ago, a dear friend, Dr. Dale Sides , introduced the concept of changing our attitude from what we must do or “got to do” to thinking about what we have the privilege to do or “get to do.”  I shared the concept of changing our thinking from “gotta” to “gitta” with a friend and fellow teacher, Yolanda Stewart, who suggested that I express that concept in a poem to show just how important making such an attitude adjustment can be.  The poem seems ideally suited to the demands expressed in Deuteronomy 13:4:

From “Gotta” to “Gitta“

For Yolanda Stewart

 with gratitude to Dr. Dale Sides

who introduced the concept

 

Little biddy things can happen that don’t make sense.

Changing one little letter makes a big difference.

Subtle changes in the words we speak can change our mood:

From “gotta” to “gitta” shows a whole new attitude.

 

“I ‘gotta’ go to work and pass the time away”

Becomes “I ‘gitta’ go to work; I have a job today!”

“I ‘gotta’ take care of these kids—that’s another world”

Becomes “I ‘gitta’ nurture those who will someday change the world!”

 

Work heartily for the Lord whatever you do.

Remember in the end that He will reward you.

You may not agree with me, but it’s still so true,

Especially when you face tasks you don’t “wanna” do.

Some doors may close, but this key to life you will find:

Put off the old, put on the new–renew your mind.

“ ‘Gotta’ to ‘gitta’ ” is thinking of another kind.

Move ahead in faith, and you won’t be left behind.

 

We have to change in the midst of these changing times.

Standing on the mountain top is the one who climbs.

Changing how we think and what we say does make sense;

From “gotta” to “gitta” makes a really big difference.

 

The poem also brings to mind that October is “Positive Attitude Month,” an occasion that I discuss in a recently posted Examiner.com article that readers can access with this link:

Positive Attitude Month: Being positive makes a difference

Once again, the Verse of the Day was most stimulating in a number of ways.