Here, I share the first steps in studying your bible.
Here, I share the first steps in studying your bible.
God’s Balance is Just. Your Daily Dose of Wisdom. Proverbs 16:11. A daily devotional from The Book of Wisdom, Proverbs, with Pastor Rusty Kuhn.
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Changing the Hearts of Our Leaders. Your Daily Dose of Wisdom. Proverbs 16:10. A daily devotional from The Book of Wisdom, Proverbs, with Pastor Rusty Kuhn.
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I’ll Fly Away
No doubt, the wonderful hymn I’ll Fly Away is a song of jubilation that is usually sung with great enthusiasm and excitement. But, what is the song about? It’s about death. So, I’ll Fly Away is a song about death that people usually sing with great joy and excitement? Absolutely!
Most times, when people think about death, they think of it as sad and somber. Death is something most people dread, and few want to talk about it. However, those who are in Christ know that physical death isn’t an end; instead, it’s a beginning. Death is the beginning of everlasting life in eternal bliss and joy that we cannot yet comprehend. Jesus told the thief on the cross who was about to die, “Today, you will be with me in paradise.” Now that’s something to get excited about.
This life is full of sorrows and pains. It’s full of trials and heartache. It’s full of disappointments, failures, and setbacks. Yet, for those who are in Christ, we know that this life is only temporary and that an eternal life of great joy awaits us. Romans 8:18 tells us, “The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
However, this promise is only for those who have trusted in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. For those who have not trusted in Jesus, the opposite of paradise awaits; hell and damnation await. But for those who are in Christ, they can say with great assurance, when I die hallelujah by and by, I’ll fly away!
I Need Thee Every Hour
Most Christians that are in a right relationship with their Lord will admit that they need to attend church at least weekly. They know that the Bible commands them not to forsake the assembling of one another. Whether they practice it or not, most Christians will also agree that they need to spend daily time in their Bibles along with daily time in prayer.
These are things the Bible clearly commands every Christian to practice. However, they are not simply ritualistic routines that we go through to complete our daily religious deeds. We don’t do them for the sake of just doing them because God said so. The fact that God said so is a good enough reason, but we do these things because we need Him. God instructs us to do these things because He knows what’s best for us, and what’s best for us is Him.
And, we don’t need God once a week, or once a day, or even just a few times a day. I need thee every hour. In fact, we need God for every breath we take. We can never fully comprehend how desperately we need Him. Fortunately, He is there for His children even when they are not seeking Him. But, how much more is He there for us when we do. Seek Him today. He’s there for you!
“Bow down thine ear, O Lord, hear me: for I am poor and needy.” Psalm 86:1
How Great Thou Art
Jeremiah 10:6 says, “Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O Lord; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.” With this scripture in mind, what greater title or theme to a song could there be than how great thou art? Everything about God is great, and He deserves praise, honor, and glory for His greatness. Psalm 8 opens with the praise stating, “O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth” and ends with the conclusion, “O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!”
The more you know of Him, the more you know the reality of His majesty and the more you desire to sing His praise. However, simple words are not good enough. The author of How Great Thou Art understood this. For this reason, he began the chorus with the phrase, “Then sings my soul.” The words of praise should simply be a byproduct of the heart that is overflowing with praise.
Unfortunately, so many are too consumed with themselves and the affairs of the world to see the greatness of God. For this reason, they don’t bother to take the time to worship Him. They are more concerned about themselves than about God. Naturally, they would never allow themselves to be deprived of any pleasures or blessings, yet they have no problem forsaking God. Whether they will admit it or not, it’s because they have convinced themselves that they are great and God is not. This type of ignorance of self and of God is what most often causes people to forsake God. However, the more we realize how great God truly is, the more our soul will be willing to sing His praise.
Will you worship Him today? For He is worthy. “Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee. How great thou art, how great thou art!”
Fill My Cup Lord
The Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 3:14-19, “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.”
Paul’s heart was that the Christians in Ephesus knew the love of Christ to such an extent that they would be filled up to all the fullness of God. In other words, Paul wanted them to be so full of Christ they couldn’t contain even a vapor more of His love. More importantly than Paul, that is God’s desire for His children. And, the good news is, God makes Himself readily available to us.
However, being full of Jesus doesn’t happen by accident. If we are going to be full of Jesus, it absolutely must be all on purpose. Just as Paul prayed for the church, we should pray not only for the church but also for ourselves. We should pray that we will be filled up to all the fullness of God. In reality, that’s what this beautiful hymn is; it is a prayer in song.
The chorus reads:
Fill my cup, Lord
I lift it up, Lord
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul
Bread of Heaven, feed me ’til I want no more
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole
If that is the desire of your heart, it should be the prayer of your heart. If that isn’t your heart’s desire, your prayer should be for God to remove whatever is hindering you from seeking God in His fullness.
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
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.
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?