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Farther Along: Song and Devotional

Farther Along

            This beautiful hymn reminds us of the sovereignty of God. It also reminds us of how limited and frail we are. God is unlimited in every way, while we are limited in every way. God knows the beginning from the end. He knows every future ripple and every effect that wave will cause. Whether we will admit it or not, oftentimes, if not most times, we don’t even know what’s going on in the present.

            When times of trouble come our way, we will question, why am I going through this, where is God, did I do something wrong, is this God’s will? Truth be told, though the bible fills us in on what we need to know, we don’t have all of the answers right now. For this reason, the Christian lives by faith.

            We are to live by faith with Christ as our central focus. Just after we are told of many with great faith in Hebrews 11, we are told, “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

            Those in Hebrews 11 didn’t know what all God had in store for them, but they knew that God had it all worked out. By faith, they stood on God’s promises and knew that God would work all things out. Romans 4 reminds us that though Abraham and Sarah were well advanced in years and had no children yet, Abraham believed God that he would be the father of many nations.

            When facing trials today, we to are called to live in faith, knowing that God will work it all out. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2021 in Devotional, Music, Uncategorized

 

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Down by the Riverside Song and Devotional

Down by the Riverside

            Here is another song that crosses the line between folk and spiritual. Metaphorically, it is talking about coming to Jesus and laying down your burdens. The Word of God tells us to cast our cares upon Jesus because He cares for us. (I Peter 5:7). What a great comfort it is to know first that Jesus cares for us, second that we can cast our cares upon Him, and third the fact that He is strong enough to handle them.

            The chorus of this wonderful song says I ain’t gonna study war no more. To study something is to focus on it and continually think about it. If we are still focused on our burdens and continually focused on them after we cast them on Jesus, did we truly give them to Him? By faith, we can, and should, cast every care on Jesus. And, by faith, we should stay focused on Jesus and not those burdens. If our burdens are big, He is almighty God, so He is more than able. If our burdens are small, He cares for us and still desires to take them. So, by faith, lay down that heavy load knowing that Jesus is there and that Jesus has this.

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2021 in Devotional, Music, Uncategorized

 

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Will The Circle Be Unbroken: Song and Devotion

Will the Circle Be Unbroken

            On the one hand, this is a sorrowful song. It is about the death of a mother and describes the pain of seeing the undertaker take their mother away. On the other hand, this is a song worth rejoicing over. Why? Because of Jesus! Because of His death, burial, and His resurrection. Because of Jesus, the circle won’t be broken. In other words, those who place their faith in Jesus for salvation won’t stop living when their bodies die. Instead, they enter into eternal life.

            In the 11th chapter of John’s Gospel, we find two sisters who are very worried about their brother Lazarus who is deathly ill. They send for Jesus, but by the time Jesus arrives, he had already died. In fact, he had been in the tomb for four days. In other words, Lazarus was dead dead. Though he was dead dead, Jesus called him back to life.

Jesus told Lazarus’s sister, Martha, who just expressed her faith in Him, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies” (John 11:25). Though we or our loved ones may die physically, they will live eternally if their faith is in Jesus. Jesus didn’t defeat death by rising from the grave for Himself. He defeated death for the whosoever will call on the name of the Lord. Is your faith in Jesus today?

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2021 in Devotional, Music, Uncategorized

 

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Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing: Song and Devotional

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

            Every guitarist knows that one of the most important things they need to do is make sure their guitar is in tune. An out of tune guitar will make the greatest guitarist sound awful. The second line of this beautiful hymn states, tune my heart to sing thy grace. Just as a guitar out of tune will sound poorly, a heart out of tune with the Lord will walk and live poorly.

            The following two lines state, streams of mercy never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise. The more we know of the grace of God, the more likely we will be to sing His praise. The heart that is in tune with God is a heart that understands His grace and mercy. Because of His grace and mercy, they not only willingly, but joyfully live for the Lord.

            The grace and mercy of God are indeed a fount of blessing. God’s streams of mercy are truly never ceasing. Apart from God’s grace and mercy, we would be helpless and hopeless. (Romans 5:6). The fact is, we are all out of tune. Fortunately for us, God loves us anyway and bestowed on us grace and mercy. The more, by faith, we respond to His grace and mercy, the more in tune with Him we will be. And when we all get to glory, because of His grace and mercy, we will be a perfectly tuned symphony singing His praise forevermore!

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

What a Friend We Have in Jesus: Song and Devotion

What a Friend We Have in Jesus

In 1845, just after the tragic death of Joseph Scriven’s fiancé, he moved to Ontario, Canada, from Dublin, Ireland. The death of the love of his life devastated him, and everything in Ireland reminded him of her. So, he packed his bags to start over again, far away from the pain he left behind.

            Shortly after moving to Ontario, Joseph became a Christian. He was well known as a devout Christian who eagerly shared his faith with all and was the first to be there for the needy. His love for Jesus was obvious and evident to everyone that knew him.

            Eventually, he found a new love and once again was engaged to be wed. Unfortunately, just weeks before his wedding, his fiancé died from pneumonia. Though the grief was just as bad as it was with his first fiancé Joseph now had a friend who was there with him to walk through it and give him peace and comfort.

            He wrote a letter to his mother, who was still in Ireland, to tell her of the tragic news. In this letter, he included a poem that he wrote, hoping it would comfort her and be a witness. The poem stated:

            What a friend we have in Jesus all our sins and grief’s to bear
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer

Oh, what peace we often forfeit Oh, what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.

            The hymn did bring Joseph’s mother great comfort. She loved it so much that, with his permission, she had it published. It immediately became a very popular poem. Many years later, after Joseph Scriven’s death, an unknown musician composed an Irish tune to go along with the poem transforming it into one of the most beloved hymns of our day.

            Isn’t it wonderful to know that Jesus is our friend? (John 15:15). Isn’t it wonderful to know that He will always be there for us regardless of what we face in life? If you are facing trials today, take it to the Lord in prayer.

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

Because He Lives

Because He Lives

God sent His Son They called Him Jesus

He Came to love, heal and forgive    

He lived and died to buy my pardon

An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.

            Can you think of a better opening verse to any song? This is the gospel. The Bible tells us that the gospel is of first importance. (I Corinthians 15:3). Apart from the gospel, we have no hope. But, as the chorus in this beautiful hymn reminds us, because He, Jesus, lives, I can face tomorrow. In every area of life, regardless of what life has in store, from birth all the way to death, I can face tomorrow because He lives.

            As I Corinthians 15 clearly teaches, the gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. We are separated from God, bound for hell, and utterly hopeless and helpless because of our sin. But praise be to God, He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross as the penalty of our sin so whoever places their faith in Jesus is saved from their sins, put in right relationship with God, and will therefore spend eternity with Him forever in the glories of heaven.

            But know this, God didn’t save you from your sin to just one day bring you to heaven when you die. A significant part of the good news of the gospel is that the moment you believe on Jesus for salvation and are saved, Jesus comes to live in you, and you are in Him. And, He has promised never to leave us nor forsake us, for He is Faithful and True.

He is with us through the good times and the bad. He is with us to comfort, strengthen, encourage, teach, lead, motivate, empower, and give to us whatever we need to live out our lives for Him and through Him. You most certainly do not want to die without knowing Jesus as Lord and as Savior. But if you were to live a hundred years after your salvation, you don’t want to live even a second without Jesus. Indeed, because He lives, I can face tomorrow.

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2021 in Devotional, Music, Uncategorized

 

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Be Thou My Vision Song and Devotional

Be Thou My Vision

Be Thou My Vision is a beautiful old Irish hymn that is rich in worship and meaning. The hymn starts with a request of God, “Be thou my vision, oh Lord of my heart.” The appeal to God is for God Himself to be their vision. When we think of vision, we most often think of the vision we have through our eyes to see things in the physical realm. The vision the hymn writer is speaking of here is clearly a more profound vision, as seen by the last line of the first verse, which states, “Waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.”

            The desire here is that God Himself is their vision. The Lord of their heart is their desired vision. The hymnist has the heart to see only God. He is the desire, and He is the beautifully desired view. The hymnist wants to see God but also desires to see all things through Him. This is evident in the first line of the second verse, which states, “Be thou my wisdom, and Thou my true word.” By allowing God to be your wisdom and viewing all through His Word, you see things through the eyes of God, which is the way He intends for all of His children to view all things.

            People will travel great distances and go to great lengths to see breathtaking scenery. As all things are created by God, that in and of itself should be a worship experience. However, our most desired view should be that of God Himself. Praise the Lord for those who know Him will see Him one day, and for eternity, in all of His beauty and splendor. And praise the Lord, for those who know Him, today they can worship Him in spirit and in truth.

            Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” Are you seeking Him today? We seek Him by faith, and when we find Him, He rewards us with Himself. Let’s seek the Lord while He may be found. (Isaiah 55:6).  

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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Preparing for Revival

Preparing for Revival

“In all labor there is profit,
But mere talk leads only to poverty”

Proverbs 14:23

Over the next few weeks, I am going to share a series of blogs on how to prepare for revival. I will post them on Wednesday mornings. Let me be clear that when I speak of revival, I am speaking of a time of scheduled revival meetings, not the actual act of spiritual revival. The actual act of spiritual revival is an act of God, and God alone. Man cannot bring forth revival. However, we can prepare ourselves for it, pray for it, and seek God for it with the faith and heart of seeing God pour out revival upon us. That is one of the main purposes of having revival meetings. Therefore, when I am referring to revival, I am referring to revival meetings. However, I am not interested in having revival meetings for the sake of having revival meetings but having revival meetings for the purpose of seeking God for genuine revival. In this blog, I will share both practical and spiritual ways that we need to prepare for these revival meetings.

Unfortunately, many churches are no longer having revival meetings. One of the main reasons they do not have them is because they claim they are no longer effective. Statistics prove this to be false. Churches that have annual revival meetings and use a God called, and gifted evangelist statistically has more baptisms and church growth than churches that do not have annual revival meetings. I will agree that churches and pastors who look at revival as just another scheduled event on the calendar and therefore put forth little to no effort will most likely have an ineffective revival.

The truth is, planning a successful revival is time-consuming work; at least it should be. Most churches plan for months in advance for their VBS, and so they should. The same labor-intensive work that a church invests into VBS should also be invested in a revival meeting. VBS is often called the greatest evangelistic outreach of a church. A well planned VBS should reach a great harvest of souls, and they very often do. At the same time, thousands of people, from young to old, are saved in revival meetings every year. As an evangelist, I am friends with many other evangelists. I can’t tell you what a thrill it is to hear from them of the great harvests that are being reached in their revival meetings from week to week.

The planning and preparing of a VBS is often very difficult and time-consuming. Though that is true, I have seldom seen or heard of churches looking at it as a tedious task. Rather, they enjoy the labor because they are full of expectation of what it will produce-souls saved. With that same joyful expectation, churches should excitedly labor in their preparation for revival. With that same joyful expectation, churches shouldn’t allow anything to stop them from having revival meetings. Most churches that regularly have VBS would be appalled at the idea of not having one-and rightly so. In the same way, they should be appalled at the idea of not having a revival.

Prior to accepting the call of an evangelist, I was a pastor for eighteen years. I know that pastors are busy and church calendars get full fast. But we are talking about revival. We are talking about the saved being kindled afresh, and the lost being snatched out of the domain of darkness and brought into God’s marvelous light. Isn’t that worthy of proper planning and preparation? Isn’t that worthy of any tedious and time-consuming labor we will endure? Hebrews 12:2 tells us that with the joy set before Him, Jesus endured the cross. By no means was the cross joy. The joy was on the other side of the cross. Jesus had to endure the cross to reach that joy and make that joy available to us today. Anything worth having is worth working for. Let us labor for revival. Let us labor for lost souls. Let us labor for a mighty outpouring of the Spirit of God. Let us labor in preparing ourselves to be usable vessels.

 
 

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Exciting News!

Exciting News!

My newest book, Resurrecting a Dead Church, is now finished and available on Amazon for the paperback, or Kindle for the electronic version. It was written for the purpose of revival, both within the church and our church members. Pray that God will use it for this purpose, and pray that God will open doors of opportunities for me to preach these messages within our churches in revivals and harvest days.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy you can go to the Amazon page here, and the Kindle page here. Starting next week I will begin promoting it, so please pray for its success. Feel free to share it with others as well. If you choose to purchase a copy, please leave a review. That helps others see it. Next week, in my newsletter, I will share the idea of the next book I will write. Please pray for that journey as well.

Rusty Kuhn

Rusty Kuhn Ministries

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

An Excerpt from my Newest Book

An Excerpt from my Newest Book

Here is an excerpt from my newest book, Resurrecting a Dead Church, which should be available soon:

Most of us are familiar with the story of the tortoise and the hare. The tortoise and the hare decided to race. This seems like a foolish race for the tortoise since the hare was extraordinarily fast and the tortoise was extraordinarily slow. Once the race started the hare bolted from the starting line like a flash of lightning jumping way ahead of the tortoise. The hare eventually darted so far ahead of the tortoise that he decided to stop for a while and take a nap. The tortoise, however, kept pressing on and eventually won the race because the hare stayed in his slumber far too long. This story sounds a lot like the church of Sardis, doesn’t it?

Just after Jesus counseled the church of Sardis to, “Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die,” He rebuked them stating, “For I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God.” They had a task to complete. It was time for them to awake from their slumber and finish the race. If they didn’t wake up soon the things that remained would die, and they, like the hare, would lose.

Not only are many churches failing to have a Gospel ministry, and strengthen it, they are failing to equip the church to share the Gospel as well. By failing in this, they are failing to complete the deeds God has called them to. Remember, the purpose of God’s called is, “For the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:13).

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2019 in Book, Devotional, Kindle, Uncategorized

 

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