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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.

Forgive Us Our Debts - July 17 

In our study of the Lord's Prayer, so far we have come to see God as our Heavenly Father, who is Holy and deserves our worship.  We also recognize that we are part of the Kingdom of God and we choose to do His will and trust Him to take care of us.  Today, we look at forgiveness. 

“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”   Whenever we pray this line, we are asking God to forgive us exactly in the same way as we forgive those who hurt us.  In other words, if we are harboring un-forgiveness in our hearts as we say this prayer, we are calling a curse down upon ourselves. 

The more someone has hurt us, the harder it is to forgive.  Yet forgiveness also brings great joy, not only to the forgiven, but especially to the forgiver.  The Greek term for “forgiveness” (aphiemi) comes from a word that means “to let go.”  Forgiveness is a release, a letting go of self-destructive feelings like anger, bitterness, and revenge. 

Those who are truly forgiven, truly forgive. 

Click HERE to view The Lord's Prayer lyric video 

Scriptures: 
“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:14) 

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:13) 

Prayer: 

Our Father in heaven, 
Hallowed be Your name. 
Your kingdom come. 
Your will be done 
On earth as it is in heaven. 
Give us this day our daily bread. 
And forgive us our debts, 
As we forgive our debtors. 
And do not lead us into temptation, 
But deliver us from the evil one. 
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

Change Me - June 28 

2 Corinthians 3:18  (NKJV) 

18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as [a]by the Spirit of the Lord. 

Click on picture to view Glory to Glory lyric video

As we are writing this devotion, the song Change My Heart, O God comes to mind.  God is indeed the potter and we are the clay.  So why does change cause us to be anxious?  Change is a guaranteed part of life.  It's the feeling of loss of control.  Control is a false sense of security.  Each day we plan the agenda of events as if we have control over time.  The fact of the matter is that something can happen in an instant that bypasses all the plans.  There is nothing wrong in planning to prepare for our future, but we should always treat each day as a gift form God and have a clear conscience at the end of the day. 

Why do we want God to change us?  If we belong to Him, we know how desperately wicked our hearts are without Him.  When you love someone, you want to do everything to please them.  In the life of a believer, it is to have a pure heart because we want to give Him true worship.  If we trust in God and allow the change to grow us to become more like Jesus Christ in how we respond and act, then we are promised that all things will work together for good for those who love Him and keep His commandments!  We are indeed blessed, but more importantly, we become a blessing to others by shining His light ever so brightly. 

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28) 

"Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  (Ezekiel 36:26) 

Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.  (Psalm 51:10) 

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.  (Hebrews 10:22)

Glory to Glory - June 27 

2 Corinthians 3:18 New King James Version (NKJV) 

18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as [a]by the Spirit of the Lord. 

This scripture has a very special meaning to us.  Out of it came a song that was written to highlight the importance of how God transforms us into His image.  Our song Glory to Glory was actually played on our wedding day as we exchanged vows in the middle of the York River.  Well, we were actually in a schooner, the Alliance (not quite walking on water yet).  The song and scripture are about change and transformation.  As a new couple coming together in marriage, we would change from being two individuals, to becoming one as man and wife.  We are becoming transformed each day as we allow God to make the changes in us as we continue to grow as a couple. 

As believers, we are always running toward the goal of being transformed into the image of God.  As we change to become more like Him, our walk with the Lord deepens.  Even better, others see the change as well and are drawn to the Lord in us because we are being changed into His image:  They don't see us, but they see Him in us. 

One thing to keep in mind is that we don't do the changing or transforming.  It is the supernatural power of a loving God who loves us where are, but loves us too much to let us stay there.  Our part is to surrender to His work. What a privilege it is to know that the Creator of the universe loves us so much that He, by His Spirit, is transforming us into the image of his own Son! 

So the next time you look in the mirror, know that the image you see is Christ in you. 

"Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. (Isaiah 60:1) 

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 

and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. (Romans 8: 16-17) 

When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. (Colossians 3:4) 

"The glory which You have given me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as we are one; (John 17:22)

Love the Lord 

What is love?  The Bible tells us that God is love.  Love is a noun and a verb.  Love is what keeps us on the right path.  Love never fails.  At the very core of who we are, we need to know that we are loved.  God created us this way - to be in relationship with Him.  The funny thing about love is we experience it more when we show it to others, especially God!  So today let your heart, soul, mind, and strength LOVE THE LORD.  After all, He is our Everything!  Blessings!