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You Are What I'm Yearning For - August 20 

Being in Your presence, O Lord 

Is what I'm yearning for 

Today we continue sharing lyrics to one of our songs, "Being in Your Presence."  We pray God speaks to you in this time of reflection. 

There’s nothing more important to our lives than longing for Jesus Christ.  And the beauty of it is that when we seek God, we discover that he was already seeking us!  That’s the Gospel!  As soon as we focus our heart’s intention on Christ, we enter into his presence and step onto the path of life with him. 

Here is a quote from A.W. Tozer’s little book, The Pursuit of God, that discusses the importance of yearning for God: 

"I want deliberately to encourage this mighty longing after God.  The lack of it has brought us to our present low estate.  The stiff and wooden quality about our religious lives is a result of our lack of holy desire.  Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth.  Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people.  He waits to be wanted (p. 17)." 

Our desire, our yearning, will shape our choices in life, and the choices we make will determine the sort of person we become. 

How might your relationship with God change if you were to recognize that all that you desire is rooted in a deep longing that only God can fulfill?  Imagine prayer undertaken not out of a sense of duty or obligation, but as a response to the deep longing that God expresses for us.  How would it be to pray to God as lover rather than as Creator or Ruler? 

“We become what we yearn after,” Gandhi said.  What might we become if we yearned after God with our whole hearts, if we desired God with our whole selves – body, mind and spirit? 

Scriptures: 

"As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for You, O God." (Psalm 42:1) 

“O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.  I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.  Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.  I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.  My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.  On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night.  Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.  My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.” (Psalm 63:1-8) 

Prayer: 

Lord, our hearts yearn for You.  We realize that apart from You we are nothing.  You complete us.  May we never become satisfied with anything or anyone else, except You.  Amen.

You Are All I Need - August 19 

Being in Your presence, O Lord 

Is all I need 

Today we continue sharing lyrics to one of our songs, "Being in Your Presence."   We pray God speaks to you in this time of reflection. 

God is all we need.  We are complete in Him.  There is nothing or no one who can add to what God has already given to us - His priceless gift of salvation. 

Jesus gives a purpose for life.  Without Him there is no reality and no meaning.  Everything is about Christ.  Without Christ we are dead. 

He knows what we need.  In fact, He makes it clear throughout His Word that He is fully capable of meeting our every need. 

Take a moment and reflect on His goodness: 

He is the Lover of your soul. 
He is the friend who sticks closer than a brother. 
He is our present help in times of trouble. 
He is our salvation. 
He is our peace that passes all of our understanding. 
He is our Creator. 
He is the Truth. 
He is our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, the King of all kings, our Great Redeemer. 
He is the name above every name! 

Scriptures: 

 You, Lord, are all I have, and you give me all I need; my future is in your hands. (Psalm 16:5) 

John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. The one who abides in me while I abide in him produces much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.” (Psalm 15:5) 

Prayer: 

Lord, we are in awe of You.  Thank You for not only giving us the desire of our hearts, but also meeting our every need.  We don't deserve Your love, but we are so very grateful to have it.  It makes all the difference in our lives.  Amen.

Being In Your Presence - August 18 

Being in Your presence, O Lord 

Is my heart's desire 

Today we bring a new song to share in our daily devotion.  This is a very special song to us, and we hope the Lord speaks to you.  "Being in Your Presence," is a song that draws us into place where the cares of the day are diminished by seeking the face of the Lord. 

The first line of the song strips away our wants and needs and puts the focus purely on God who has won our hearts. 

What is desire?  It is what we long for in our heart of hearts.  It is our greatest treasure.  God created us to have desire in order to give us the ability to have hopes and dreams.  It is in our DNA - He wired us to want "more." 

We fall into sin when the desires we have become selfish and prideful.  God pulls on our heart strings so strongly because He knows how weak we are.  When we desire to want what He wants, our motives become pure and our relationship with Him goes deeper. 

God knows the desire of your heart.  Today, rest, wait and reflect on the fact that He loves you more than you love yourself. 

Scriptures: 

(Matthew 6:21 NKJV) “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 

(Psalms 38:9 NKJV) Lord, all my desire is before You; And my sighing is not hidden from You. 

Prayer: 

Lord, being in Your presence is the desire of our hearts.  Mold us and make us into who You created us to be.  Help us draw closer to You so that our desires are Your desires.  Amen.

And Give You Peace - August 17 

And give you peace 

Today is the last day we are sharing lyrics from our song called "The Blessing," from our second EP titled If My People... 

We have our own musical arrangement of the Aaronic blessing in Numbers 6:24-26.  Today, we finish looking at the blessing.  In order to bring it to life, we will refer to the Hebrew aspects of the blessing. 

"Shalom" is probably the most familiar Hebrew word to us, but there is so much more to the meaning than we realize.  It’s deeper than just peace or a greeting. “Completeness, wholeness, harmony, fulfillment are closer to the meaning” of "shalom" than our English word “peace.”  True "shalom" always has its source in God. 

When we are feeling anxious about things happening in our lives we can have the peace that passes all understanding because of the relationship that we have with the Prince of Peace.  We can share our deepest darkest times, as well as those that are overwhelmingly joyful.  He always listens, He, unlike so many that we call friends upon this earth, always genuinely cares.  Through Him we can truly have "shalom." 

Scriptures: 

God be merciful to us and bless us, 
And cause His face to shine upon us, Selah. (Psalm 67:1) 

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, 
And to present you faultless 
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, 
To God our Savior, 
Who alone is wise, 
Be glory and majesty, 
Dominion and power, 
Both now and forever. 
Amen. 

(Jude 24-25) 

Prayer: 

Lord, what a blessing and an honor it is be able to call You our Father.  We don't deserve Your love, yet You give us everything we need and more.  Thank you for your peace that passes all understanding.  In You, we are truly complete.

The Lord Lift Up His Countenance Upon You - August 16 

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you 

Today we continue sharing lyrics from one of our songs called "The Blessing," from our second EP titled If My People... 

We have our own musical arrangement of the Aaronic blessing in Numbers 6:24-26.  Today, we continue to break down the blessing phrase by phrase.  In order to bring it to life, we will refer to the Hebrew aspects of the blessing. 

In this phrase the word “countenance” is translated from the Hebrew word "paniym." It’s the same word as “face” in the previous verse. “Lift up” comes from the Hebrew word "nasa." It has three main meanings: to lift up anything, to bear or carry (especially guilt for sin), and to take away (often of removing sin). 

This phrase, “lift up His countenance upon you” involves God taking us into His presence to see His face.  Though we can’t actually see God in His glory now as human beings, He’s offering the great blessing of coming into His presence.  This carries even more meaning under the New Covenant now that Jesus’ actions in taking away our sins (which is one meaning of "nasa") have removed the separation between God and His people. 

This phrase is a picture of a father smiling and taking pleasure in his child.  When the Lord lifts His countenance upon us, it shows that He is looking on us for our good.  God wants to bless us.  He wants to protect us.  He wants to make His face to shine upon us and be gracious to us, and give us peace.  Here in the Blessing, the most obvious meaning for this phrase is that God accepts us. 

Know today that God is smiling upon you for the simple and yet profound fact that you are His beloved child. 

Scriptures: 

Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!” (Psalm 4:6) 

How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! O LORD, they walk in the light of Your countenance. (Psalm 89:15) 

Prayer: 

Lord, we thank You that we can come into Your presence with boldness.  It is the desire of our hearts that we bring a smile to Your face.  We love You.  Amen.

And Be Gracious To You - August 15 

And be gracious to you 

Today we continue sharing lyrics from one of our songs called "The Blessing," from our second EP titled If My People... 

We have our own musical arrangement of the Aaronic blessing in Numbers 6:24-26.  For the next few days, we continue to break down the blessing phrase by phrase.  In order to bring it to life, we will refer to the Hebrew aspects of the blessing. 

The Hebrew word for grace is "hanan."  It means "a heartfelt response by someone who has something to give to those in need."  The giver of the gift is God, and we are the receivers in need of His gift.  His gift is not given because of anything that we have earned or negotiated for, but purely out of His generous mercy.  It is His unmerited and unlimited love for us who are called his children.  God willingly favors us with his love, mercy, grace, presence, and other blessings entirely because he chooses to pour his mercy upon us! 

None of us deserves God’s favor, or to be called His children, and yet He loves us and cares for us so much that He wants us to live forever with Him.  When God is gracious to us, He’s showing us unmerited favor.   Our response is to receive it with gladness and gratefulness. 

Open the gift of His grace to you today. 

Scriptures: 

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.  (Ephesians 2:8-9) 

Let us have confidence, then, and approach God’s throne, where there is grace.  There we will receive mercy and find grace to help us just when we need it. (Hebrews 4:16) 

Prayer: 

Lord, Your grace is amazing.  What a wonderful gift You have given to us.  We are forever grateful for the undeserved favor that you have bestowed upon us to be called Your children.  Amen.

The Lord Make His Face Shine Upon You - August 14 

The Lord make His face shine upon you 

Today we continue sharing lyrics from one of our songs called "The Blessing", from our second EP titled If My People... 

We have our own musical arrangement of the Aaronic blessing in Numbers 6:24.  For the next few days, we continue to break down the blessing phrase by phrase.  In order to bring it to life, we will refer to the Hebrew aspects of the blessing. 

This blessing is an appeal to God to look favorably upon His people and to grant His presence, blessing, guidance, and grace. 

The word "shine" (Hebrew "or") means, "to shed light" or "illuminate."  God's light shines on us with His love, mercy, grace and salvation. 

God's face is a metaphor for his loving presence. When God's face shines, blessing and deliverance occur.   When God shines His face upon us, His light infuses our hearts and minds with the knowledge that we are His precious children.  His pure love radiates in and through us. 

May you feel the warmth of His light and favor shining upon you today. 

Scriptures: 

Make Your face shine upon Your servant; save me for Your mercies’ sake. (Ps. 31:16) 

Many, LORD, are asking, "Who will bring us prosperity?" Let the light of your face shine on us. (Psalm 4:6) 

Prayer: 

Father, we ask for Your face to shine upon us today, so that we can reflect Your light to others.  Thank You for Your love.  Amen.

The Lord Bless You and Keep You 

The Lord bless you 

and keep you 

Today we begin sharing lyrics from one of our songs called "The Blessing", from our second EP titled If My People... 

We have our own musical arrangement of the Aaronic blessing in Numbers 6:24.  For the next few days, we will break down the blessing phrase by phrase.  In order to bring it to life, we will refer to the Hebrew aspects of the blessing. 

The word "bless" in Hebrew is "barak."  It means, "to bless, kneel, salute, or greet".  It can also mean to praise or adore.  We give honor and respect to God when we kneel before Him.  In other studies of the Aaronic blessing, one author related how God might kneel in a way a parent does in order to get eye-to-eye with their child.  It is such an intimate picture of an adoring and loving father bestowing love freely. 

The word "keep" in Hebrew is "shamar."  It means, "to guard or protect".  It’s also the word used when the Bible talks about shepherds keeping a flock.  God will guard us and protect us because we are His children.  Even though we are not necessarily spared from the evils of this world,God has also promised that nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. 

God desires to bless us because He loves us as a good father loves a child, and He guards us because we are like lambs in a flock. 

Receive His blessing to you today. 

Scriptures: 

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8) 

"I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep." (John 10:11) 

Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one ..." (John 17:11-12). 

Prayer: 

Father, thank you for your great love and blessing over our lives. Thank you that your favor has no end, but it lasts for our entire lifetime.  Forgive us for sometimes forgetting that you are intimately acquainted with all of our ways, that you know what concerns us, and that you cover us with a shield.  We thank You that we walk in your blessing and with Your goodness.  Amen.

Blessing and Glory - August 12 

Blessing and Glory 

Honor and Power 

To the King 

Today is our last day studying the lyrics to our original song, "We Will Overcome", from our second EP titled If My People... 

This song that came about as a result of being part of a play written by Mark Eulo called the Unveiling the Son of Man:  The Revelation of Jesus Christ - Part 1 based on the first five chapters of Revelation. 

Yesterday, we discussed how the Lord gives us the strength to be overcomers because of His shed blood for us. 

Today is all about worship.  When you love someone, you want to tell them.  You want to show them through acts of love and words of affection.  You want them to know how special they are to you. 

Our act of worship to the Lord is telling Him how wonderful He is, not because He needs to feel good about Himself.  When we worship the Lord with the words "blessing and glory, honor and power," we are 

expressing our love to Him and thanking Him for His love. 

God does not need us.  He created us for the sole intent of being in relationship with Him.  His simply loves us.  He gave everything so that we might live with Him in eternity.  Our response is to receive that love and reciprocate. 

Today, let your worship to the Lord be expressed in gratitude and love. 

Scriptures: 

And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, 

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb 
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13) 

Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, You are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty.  (Psalm 104:1) 

Prayer: 

Lord, You are great and greatly to be praised.  You deserve all blessing, glory, honor and power.  We thank You for Your love and we express our love to You.  Amen.

We Will Overcome - August 11 

We will overcome 

By the blood 

Of the Lamb 

Who was slain 

We continue looking at lyrics to our original song, "We Will Overcome",from our second EP titled If My People... 

This song that came about as a result of being part of a play written by Mark Eulo called the Unveiling the Son of Man:  The Revelation of Jesus Christ - Part 1 based on the first five chapters of Revelation. 

How do you overcome adversity?  By the blood of the Lamb.  When we are placed in tough situations that we cannot get our way out of, especially defending our faith, the only hope we have is in Jesus Christ. 

We have various forms of adversity everyday - some small and some overwhelming.  In all things we are to come to the Lord and press into His strength, which is never ending.   We do not have the answers to every problem and sometimes we get in our own way and cause more angst for ourselves. 

"We will overcome" is a statement of intent.  It is not a matter of "if" or "maybe," but a definite "yes".  We don't overcome because we are so wonderful.  We overcome "by the blood of the Lamb who was slain".  He is the One who gives us the victory. 

When facing difficulty today, remember you are an overcomer. 

Scriptures: 

"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33) 

"And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. (Revelation 12:11) 

Prayer: 

Lord, help us to remember that our strength and hope is in You.  Thank you for Your sacrifice so that we can be overcomers through You.  Amen.