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A Living Sacrifice - August 9 

Our hearts are on the altar 

A living sacrifice 

Laying down the iniquities 

Of passivity and pride 

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. 

At this point in the song, after hearing the words of Jesus, the people are having their "aha" moment.  They realize how much they have been deceived and are repenting of their sin. 

God wants us to have the same reaction.  Many times we are plodding along in everyday life and don't even realize how off the mark we have drifted.  God has called us to be His light to the world.  This is to be done in love and integrity.  If we let sin stay, especially in the church, we are condoning it and our light is being diminished. 

We need stand up for what is right, no matter the cost - rejection, humiliation, or isolation.  If God has told us to do it, He will give us the strength to stand. 

Today, let's lay our hearts on the altar surrendering to His will.  Being in the center of His will is the best place to be. 

Scriptures: 

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1) 

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.  (1 Peter 2:9) 

Prayer: 

Lord, we put the sins of pride and passivity on Your altar.  We realize that we have everything we need in You, and not in ourselves.   Help us to be Your shining light today no matter the cost.  Amen.

Holy Purifier - August 7 

Your eyes like blazing fire 

Pierce into our souls 

Holy Purifier, You lead us where we go 

The above lyrics are from a new song we are sharing today called "We Will Overcome", from our second EP titled If My People... 

A few years ago we had the awesome privilege 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. 

In the play, local musicians represented each of the seven churches by presenting a song about that church.  Our assignment was the church of Thyatira and we wrote an original song titled "We Will Overcome". 

The above lyrics show that the Lord Jesus Christ is speaking to the church in Thyatira.  The people loved the Lord and were doing good works for Him, but they were becoming tolerant of sexual immorality and idolatry seeping into their church by a false prophetess. 

Jesus' message was for the church to remain faithful to Him, and not to let themselves be deceived.  That same message is for us today. 

Scriptures: 

And you call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” And all the people answered, “It is well spoken.” (1 Kings 18:24) 

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  (1 John 1:19) 

Prayer: 

Lord, we thank You for purifying us of our sins.  Help us to depend completely on You as we seek to do Your will.  Amen.

Glory and Honor - July 10 

Click on scripture to view Adonai lyric video 

"All Glory.  All Honor belongs to Adonai." 

What does this mean?  According to Merriam-Webster, "glory is 1 a: praise, honor, or distinction extended by common consent: renown. b: worshipful praise, honor, and thanksgiving - giving glory to God." Honor is an attitude of respect, courtesy, and reverence that is demonstrated in the action of obedience.  Honor without such action is incomplete; it is lip service.  God the Father, for example, is honored when we do the things that please him. 

God receiving glory or honor, however, is not dependent on us.  It pleases Him, just as when our children show us honor.  Giving glory and honor to God is an act of worship, an act of love.  God created us to have a relationship with Him.  It is when we recognize Him for who He is that the relationship can grow deeper. 

God truly deserves all glory and honor because He gave up His own life so that we could have a relationship with Him.  After all, that was His purpose all along. 

Scriptures: 

Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. (Psalm 8:5) 

 To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever.   Amen. (1 Timothy 1:17) 

 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” (Revelation 4:11) 

Prayer:  Father, we give You all glory and honor, and recognize You as God of the universe who created us to be in fellowship with You.  Bless us and help us to do what pleases You.

Glory to the Holy One - July 8 

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. (Proverbs 9:10) 

Click on the picture to view Adonai lyric video 

The beginning line in our song, Adonai, is "Glory to the Son.  Glory to the Holy One.  Lord of all is He."  We do truly serve a mighty God.  He is our Lord and master.  We cannot tame Him, nor should we even try.  The Lord God Almighty is far greater than we think.  We need to worship Him in spirit and truth.  As we realize who we are in Christ, we can truly worship the Holy One and give Him the glory that is due Him. 

In the worship service today, we sang El Shaddai as a congregation.  The meaning of El Shaddai is Almighty God.  We also had the opportunity to share Adonai.  God, in His wisdom, is speaking to His church.  We need to recognize Him in His holiness.  He is Almighty God.  He is the One who deserves all the glory.  Worship Him today! 

We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign.  (Revelation 11:17) 

Jesus replied:  "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind."  (Matthew 22:37)

He is Lord - July 7 

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! 
You have set your glory above the heavens. (Psalm 8:1) 

 

Click on image to view Adonai lyric video 

Today we had the opportunity to share some of our music in the village where we live.  One of the songs, Adonai, was part of the set. 

To us, this song holds a very special meaning.  It is the first song we ever wrote together as a couple.  It was the beginning of serving the Lord together through music. 

One of God's names is Adonai.  Adonai means LORD, master, owner and was often used as a substitute for God's name "Yahweh" (these are interchangeable) in the Old Testament. 

Jesus is Lord of Lords and King of Kings.  If we are Christ followers, He is the One we listen to and obey.  Thankfully, God is not a harsh master or owner.  He is gracious and merciful. 

Take heart in knowing that the One who has redeemed (bought) you did so out of complete love and sacrifice.  Why wouldn't we want to serve and please our master? 

"Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign LORD comes escape from death." (Psalm 68:20) 

"For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done."  (Matthew 16:27)

The Doctor's Help - July 6 

Yesterday was a difficult day for me (Joan).  I suffered with a migraine and had to go to the doctor to get a shot to ease the pain.  This makes me think of how we are sometimes like this with our heavenly Father; we coast along doing just fine until we cannot handle our situation without His help. 

 As Christ followers, God is our expert.  We can call upon Him at any time to help us.  He even sends physical helpers to aid us.  In my case yesterday, it was my wonderful and patient husband, Brad.  Although he couldn't take away the pain, he took me to the doctor because he trusted the doctor to help me. 

Sometimes we need others to us get to The Doctor, our heavenly father.  As a country, we need God because we cannot fix our problems without Him.  He has given us the prescription:  to humble ourselves, pray, and turn away from wickedness.  And His medicine:  He will hear us, forgive and heal us. 

Prayer:  We humble ourselves before You and turn away from the wickedness in our lives.  We thank You for hearing our cry, forgiving us and healing us.  We pray for our country, that our leaders will seek You in the decisions that they make.  Thank You for loving us.  Please help us to be a shining beacon that reflects Your love. Amen 

Stay Connected to God - July 2 

Click on the scripture to view Be Exalted lyric video

We were at a local shop today and I noticed a couple across the room.  It was a husband and wife and they were having a drink to cool off.  Both were sitting at the table able to look across at each other, but they weren't.  Both of them were on their cell phones doing who knows what.  The whole time they were there, not a word was exchanged between them.  What does this have to do with today's devotion?  Disconnect.  They were in each other's presence, but they were disconnected from each other. 

I wonder had they not had their cell phones, if it had been different between them.  Our Lord, the Creator of the universe is always with us.  He promised He would never leave or forsake us. 

I wonder how He feels when we are not communicating with Him - sharing our dreams, giving our praise, or speaking words of love to Him.  Even more so, when we are not listening to His voice when He is trying to speak to us.  Communication is a two-way street. 

Let's put down our cell phones, or whatever it is that distracts us from the Lord. Let us sit at His feet and communicate with our Savior. 

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (I Corinthians 10:31) 

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16) 

To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12) 

Prayer:  Lord, You are a gracious and merciful God.  Forgive us when we choose to turn our ears from Your voice.  Help us to choose always to listen and commune with You.

Transformation - June 29 

 

Click on the picture to view the Glory to Glory lyric video 

What gives your heart delight?  Joan loves butterflies!  There is something so special about seeing the transformation in the life cycle of the butterfly.  God in His wisdom has given us tangible examples of how our lives can be changed by becoming believers in Jesus Christ.  As we become more like Christ we go through stages much like the butterfly:  from egg, to caterpillar, to cocoon and then finally, to butterfly. 

In the egg stage, we are completely vulnerable (like a baby) constantly relying on the nurture and protection of our Lord.  In the caterpillar stage, we are a little stronger and continually feast on the word of God to nourish and sustain us.  In the cocoon stage, we are waiting patiently and resting in His promises.  Lastly, we burst out of the cocoon, with difficulty and perseverance out into the sunlight and spread our beautiful wings to soar with Him to do the work He has for us to accomplish. 

Did you know there are over 28,000 species of butterflies?  Doesn't it make sense that the God who has created so many different types of butterflies, would take pleasure in the uniqueness of who you are? 

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2) 

May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance. (2 Thessalonians 3:5) 

I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. (1 Corinthians 1:10) 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

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)