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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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Bound for Glory: Song and Devotional

Bound For Glory

            Some consider this to be a folk song, while others claim that it is a gospel or spiritual song. I say that it is both. The concept of a train bringing us to glory isn’t a biblical one and would line up more with the side of folk music. However, the truth of God’s word teaches that those who are saved are indeed bound for glory.

            A train won’t bring us to glory, but Jesus clearly taught in John 14 that He would come and take us to the Father’s house one day. We also won’t follow train tracks to get there. Instead, Jesus told us, that He is the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Him. (John 14:6). Our only means to heaven is Jesus.

            Most trains also require a ticket to get on board. Some tickets are pretty pricy as well. But, praise be to God, our ticket to glory has already been bought and paid for with the blood of Jesus Christ. If you haven’t put your faith and trust in Jesus for eternal life in glory, you better not wait. To use the metaphor, don’t miss the train, for it (He) is the only one.

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2021 in Devotional, Music

 

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Blessed Assurance: Song and Devotional

Blessed Assurance

Blessed assurance Jesus is mine, oh what a foretaste of glory divine. What a glorious truth! No doubt, the assurance of salvation is one of the greatest truths in all of the Word of God. As a pastor and evangelist, one of the questions I am asked most often is if one can be sure of their salvation. My answer is always, absolutely.

I John 5:13 states, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” We have the testimony of the Word of God that tells us who the true Jesus is and what He did to secure salvation for us, and how we receive that salvation.

Salvation is made available to us through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus through His death, burial, and resurrection. This is the gospel. (I Corinthians 15:3-4). We receive salvation by merely placing our faith in Jesus and the work He did on the cross. (Ephesians 2:8-9.) When we do that, we have the assurance in the word of God that He saves us. Once we have received salvation by placing our faith in Jesus, the bible tells us that “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.” (Romans 8:16.) So, yes, we can, and we should have the absolute assurance of salvation. And it truly is a blessed assurance.

If you are unsure of your salvation, or you are confused about what salvation is, by all means, let me know. I would love to see you have this blessed assurance as well. More importantly, God wants you to know.

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2021 in Devotional, Music

 

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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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As the Deer

Sunday’s Song and Devotional: As the Deer

            Psalm 42:1 tells us, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God.” Some of my favorite praise songs come straight out of scripture. Psalm 42 describes a hurting soul that is desperately thirsting for God, longing for Him and His presence within his life. All of us, from time to time, become physically thirsty. God created our bodies to have a natural longing for water because our bodies will not survive without it.

            In the same way, God created us to have a spiritual thirst for Him. Unfortunately, we all too often try to quench that thirst for everything but God. The false spiritual thirst-quenchers come in many forms, but they will all in like manner leave us spiritually thirsty and spiritually frustrated. Nothing will truly satisfy us but God Himself. Jesus said in Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.” To hunger and thirst for righteousness is to hunger and thirst for God. Jesus said, “For they shall be satisfied.”

            If you are not spiritually thirsty today, it may be an indication that you are spiritually dead. If you are spiritually thirsty today, then the solution to your thirst is the same as the one who is spiritually dead-His name is Jesus. Jesus is the living water. Don’t try to replace Him with false spiritual thirst-quenchers that will only leave you spiritually dehydrated or dead. Seek Jesus and Jesus alone. Seek Him today.

            Just as this beautiful song reminds us of the truth of scripture, seek Jesus and Him alone.

As the deer panteth for the water
So my soul longeth after Thee
You are all that my heart desire
And I long to worship You

You alone my strength my shield
To you alone that my spirit yield
You alone that my heart desire
And I long to worship You

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2021 in Devotional, Music

 

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Noah’s Family

Noah’s Family

“We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.” I John 4:19-20

This week Ken Ham and the creation institute opened a life size exhibit of Noah’s Ark in northern Kentucky. I love the story of Noah and can’t wait to see this ark for myself. Most of the time when we think of the ark we think of God’s judgment on the wickedness of mankind. However, we often forget an important fact found within this biblical account. This fact is that one family, Noah’s family entered the Ark, and only one family, Noah’s family left the Ark, therefore, only one family, Noah’s family survived the worldwide flood. This means that one family, Noah’s family, repopulated the earth.

I know some believe this to be foolishness, however, I, as do many others, believe God’s Word is true. If we actually believe God’s Word is true then we are left to one conclusion; we are all direct decedents of Noah. That means, regardless of the color of our skin, we are all a part of one big family, Noah’s family-which is God’s family. If we genuinely believe God’s word to be true we should then live as though it is true?

Interestingly enough, the Geno-project that tested and compared peoples gene’s from all over the world scientifically proved this biblical fact to be true. Look it up. We don’t need science to prove that the bible is true. But the fact remains, science did prove the bible to be true. Therefore, we have the bible and science that proves we are all one big family. So, don’t you think it’s time we start putting our faith into action and live as though it is true? Moreover, remember, Romans 12:18 says, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2016 in Devotional, Uncategorized

 

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Know the Truth

Know the Truth

“If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:31-32 NASB

Adolf Hitler had a famous saying, “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.” As we first see in the Garden of Eden then throughout the rest of scripture this is a tactic used by Satan himself. Jesus called Satan “the father of lies.” (John 8:44) This reminds us of why it is so important to stay in God’s Word and question everyone. By everyone I mean your pastor, (including me if I am your pastor), your church, your denomination, (even if you are in the denomination of non-denominationalism), your friends and family, even your own mama. If they don’t line up with what the bible teaches, they are wrong. If you discover they are wrong, don’t walk away from their teachings-run.
Today many of the prominent preachers you see are dangerously practicing Hitler’s motto that originated from Stan himself and selling you a bill of lies that does not line up with the truth of God’s word. Along with the bad teachers and preachers out there today there are also many good ones, but, how do we know who’s who? The Word of God! Jesus said if you continue, or abide in His word you will know the truth. Don’t blindly follow people. Know the truth. Open your bible and read the word so you won’t be caught in a trap. Only the truth will set you free and the Word of God is our only source of truth.

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2016 in Devotional, Uncategorized

 

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