Saturday, March 31, 2012

It's Rude To Rush Our Eternal God

Earlier this week, I had a blog post titled "Take Time To Be Holy", however, the old hymn by that title is still very strong on my heart. As we revisit the lyrics below, let's consider how very rude it is to rush our Eternal Holy God:

Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide;
And run not before Him, whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.

Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.

(Words: William Longstaff, 1882. Music: George Stebbins, 1890.)

Our Holy God Is Worthy Of Our Time.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Good Friday Preview

As we look forward to one week from today, Good Friday, let's preview the seven sayings of our Lord while being crucified.

(1) Luke 23:34-- "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."

(2) Luke 23:43 -- "I tell you the truth, today you will be with Me in paradise."

(3) John 19:26-27 -- "Dear woman, here is your son, here is your mother."

(4) Matthew 27:46/Mark 15:34 -- “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

(5) John 19:28 -- "I am thirsty."

(6) John 19:30 -- "It is finished!"

(7) Luke 23:46 -- "Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit."

Let us say to our Loving Lord, we will never forget You or Your words.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Policeman's Prayer

This morning at our community's yearly prayer breakfast, a policeman stood at the microphone and offered to Almighty God a powerful prayer of intercession. Yes, in full uniform, Officer Tristian Jackson represented the law enforcement agencies of our area by pleading before God these touching words:

Lord, give redemption to the offenders and healing to the victims.

While the words were simple, the word-picture of a man of the law offering this petition profoundly pierced my heart and brought tears to my eyes.

What is your simple yet profound prayer today?

In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Absence That Creates Presence

It is good to visit people who are sick, dying, shut in, handicapped, or lonely. But it is also important not to feel guilty when our visits have to be short or can only happen occasionally. Often we are so apologetic about our limitations that our apologies prevent us from really being with the other when we are there. A short time fully present to a sick person is much better than a long time with many explanations of why we are too busy to come more often.

If we are able to be fully present to our friends when we are with them, our absence too will bear many fruits. Our friends will say: "He visited me" or "She visited me," and discover in our absence the lasting grace of our presence.

-- Henri Nouwen

34“Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, my Father has blessed you! Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger, and you took me into your home. 36I needed clothes, and you gave me something to wear. I was sick, and you took care of me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
37“Then the people who have God’s approval will reply to him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you or see you thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you as a stranger and take you into our homes or see you in need of clothes and give you something to wear? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
40“The king will answer them, ‘I can guarantee this truth: Whatever you did for one of my brothers or sisters, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did for me.’
41“Then the king will say to those on his left, ‘Get away from me! God has cursed you! Go into everlasting fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels! 42I was hungry, and you gave me nothing to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me nothing to drink. 43I was a stranger, and you didn’t take me into your homes. I needed clothes, and you didn’t give me anything to wear. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t take care of me.’
44“They, too, will ask, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or as a stranger or in need of clothes or sick or in prison and didn’t help you?’
45“He will answer them, ‘I can guarantee this truth: Whatever you failed to do for one of my brothers or sisters, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you failed to do for me.’
46“These people will go away into eternal punishment, but those with God’s approval will go into eternal life.”
-- Matthew 25:34-46 (GWT)

Seeking God's Approval.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Whisper in the Wind

4“Teach me, O Lord, about the end of my life. Teach me about the number of days I have left so that I may know how temporary my life is. 5Indeed, You have made the length of my days only a few inches. My life span is nothing compared to Yours. Certainly, everyone alive is like a whisper in the wind. Selah. 6Each person who walks around is like a shadow. They are busy for no reason. They accumulate riches without knowing who will get them.”
-- Psalm 39:4-6 (GWT)

Lord, we thank you for the gift of Eternal Life because surely our earthly existence is merely here today and gone tomorrow. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Let us inhale and exhale the presence of our Eternal God,

Monday, March 26, 2012

Take On-Purpose Time Alone With God

It is impossible to take on-purpose time alone with God in prayer and not be changed.

Click here: Take Time To be Holy - YouTube

A Hymn Story -- Take Time to Be Holy

This hymn is a good example of the Lord making more of our work than we could have expected. The man who wrote the words to "Take Time to Be Holy" was neither a pastor nor a songwriter.  William Longstaff was an English businessman –– a Christian layman who took his faith seriously.

 Hearing a sermon on the text, "Be ye holy, for I am holy," Longstaff was inspired to write a poem, "Take Time to Be Holy." Being a good businessman, Longstaff had a practical mind. That is reflected in this hymn, which offers many practical suggestions for becoming holy. He says, "Take time to be holy," which reflects his understanding that holiness, like every virtue, requires time and attention to develop it.  He says, "Speak oft with the Lord," reflecting his personal experience that prayer deepens faith.  He says, "Take time to be holy, Be calm in your soul; Each thought and each motive, Beneath His control," telling us that we can face adversity calmly if we look to Christ for guidance.

Longstaff managed to get his poem published in a Christian newspaper, but that was the end of it –– or so it seemed. But as it turned out, George Stebbins, a Christian musician, had seen the poem and had clipped and filed it. Years later, needing a hymn on the subject of holy living, he remembered the poem and set it to music. It has been a favorite now for more than a century.

I don't know whether Longstaff ever knew that Stebbins had set his poem to music. I don't know that he ever heard it sung. I know only that he felt called to write the poem –– and that God did the rest. When we do something good –– something for God –– we might never know the full measure of good that we have accomplished. We can only know that God will take what we offer, great or small, and make of it a treasure.

Holiness unto The LORD!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Remember Me

On the night He was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took bread 24and spoke a prayer of thanksgiving. He broke the bread and said, “This is My body, which is given for you. Do this to remember Me.” 25When supper was over, He did the same with the cup. He said, “This cup is the new promise made with My blood. Every time you drink from it, do it to remember Me.” 26Every time you eat this bread and drink from this cup, you tell about the Lord’s death until He comes.
-- 1 Corinthians 11:23b-26 (GWT)

Click here: Mark Schultz - Remember Me - YouTube

Lord, You remembered us. Help us to never forget You! Amen.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

When Tested? Endure! Pass The Test!

Blessed are those who endure when they are tested. When they pass the test, they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.
-- James 1:12 (GWT)

Lord, let Your Holy Spirit within us be our strong endurance in the face of weak weariness. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Word Spoken At The Right Time

Actions may speak louder than words, however good words can go a long way, too.
-- Lucy Stiteler, age 91
(Recalled by her granddaughter, Tracy, at Lucy's funeral)

Like golden apples in silver settings,
so is a word spoken at the right time.
Proverbs 25:10-12 (GWT)


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Now is The Time. Now is The Day.

God says, “At the right time I heard you. On the day of salvation I helped you.” Listen, now is God’s acceptable time! Now is the day of salvation! -- 2 Corinthians 6;2 (GWT)

Lord, let us not squander the opportunity called NOW. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Try to Imitate or Trust in Intimacy

We can try to imitate Jesus, however, He wants us to trust Him in such intimacy that we become His sacred sanctuaries, yes the places where His holy presence dwells.

Lord, prepare me to be Your sanctuary. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Increased Intimacy with Immanuel is what I long for.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Never Live In The Dark!

If our God took the darkest six hours of human history, yes those six hours on Good Friday when His only Son hung on the cruel Cross at Calvary, and used that very dark time to turn the holy lights of Eternal Life on for our lost souls, can God not also now make something bright and beautiful out of our life's darkest times?

“I Am The Light of the World. Whoever follows Me will have a life filled with light and will never live in the dark.”
-- Words of Jesus in John 8:12 (GWT)

Click here: Here I am to Worship (video w/ lyrics) - YouTube

Let's Live In the Light And Never Live in the Dark!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Christ Your Life

Let us ask ourselves two important questions about our lives and let us answer with complete honesty:

Who's playing the lead role in my life's story?
Who's in the spotlight on the stage of my soul?

A: Me? B. Christ?

When Christ your life appears, then you, too, will appear with Him in glory. -- Colossians 3:4 (GWT)

Lord, help me to know that You are not interested in being a part of my life, #1 in my life, or even in being the center of my life, but You want to be my LIFE! In Your Name, I pray. Amen.

Jesus, be My King of Everything!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Expect a Fight

Do not expect to do right without a fight.
-- James Spruill

Fight the good fight for the Christian faith. Take hold of everlasting life to which you were called and about which you made a good testimony in front of many witnesses.
-- 1 Timothy 6:12 (GWT)

Let us not forget these words recorded in God's Word:

This is what the Lord says to you: Don’t be frightened or terrified...
...The battle isn’t yours. It’s God’.
-- From 2 Chronicles 20:15 (GWT)

Faith is the Victory!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Power of THE ONE is Moving!

In October of 2011, I was invited to lead prayer at a gathering for church leaders in Europe. What a humbling, yet holy experience for me. Leaders were there from many countries from both Europe, Asia, and beyond. While in one of the worship services a leader from India gave this testimony about the move of God in his homeland:
The power of THE ONE is moving HIS CHURCH with might.

At the gathering I also made a new friend who has become very dear. His name is Pastor Ajay and he too is from India. We share e-mails often and pray for one another. This is the pray I prayed for him last night. Receive it as encouragement because i also pray it over the readers of my blog:

Brother Ajay, you are being prayed for tonight. Yes, I am praying now Psalm 91:9-11 over you and your beloved ones and your local church family, too: (9) You, O Lord, are my refuge! You have made the Most High your home. (10) No harm will come to you. No sickness will come near your house. (11) He will put His angels in charge of you to protect you in all your ways.
-- Psalm 91:9-11 (GWT)

In the power of THE ONE on the move, I pray. Amen.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Busyness Brings Barrenness

Don't fall into the trap of being constantly on the go.
-- Sarah Young, Jesus Calling

Calm down, and learn that I am God!
-- Holy God, Psalm 46:10 (CEV)

Living a too busy life? Expect to inherit emptiness.

Let's let go of our busy schedules, and let God order our lives.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Gifts of Presence and Absence

When we claim for ourselves that we come to our friends in the Name of Jesus - that through us Jesus becomes present to them - we can trust that our leaving will also bring them the Spirit of Jesus. Thus, not only our presence but also our absence becomes a gift to others. -- Henri Nouwen

(5) “Now I’m going to the One Who sent Me. Yet, none of you asks Me where I’m going. (6) But because I’ve told you this, you’re filled with sadness. (7) However, I am telling you the truth: It’s good for you that I’m going away. If I don’t go away, the Helper won’t come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you."
-- Words of Jesus to His Disciples in John 16:5-7 (GWT)

Lord, let us not attempt to become so essential, so necessary in the lives of our family and friends, that they see no need for our leaving which allows The Spirit of Jesus to become more essential and more necessary in their lives. In Jesus' name. Amen.

God's Favor & Unity!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Weary Prisoners of Sin? Yield Now to Jesus!

If I am a slave to myself (my disposition of sin, my right to myself), I am to blame because at a point a way back I yielded to myself. If I obey God I do so because I have yielded myself to Him. Yielding to Jesus will break every form of slavery in human life.
-- Oswald Chambers

All who are weary prisoners of sin are invited to yield now to Jesus! Listen to the wonderful words of Jesus recorded in Matthew 11:28, yes, hear Him calling out to all who are burdened and in bondage: Come to Me, and I will give you rest!

Lord, help us to yield only to You, because whatever and whoever we yield to takes control of our lives. We want to be controlled only by Your holy, perfect love never by human, perverted lusts. Teach us to yield to You, embracing sanctification, lest we yield to sin when in temptation. Let us not become prisoners of anything except Your holy, perfect love. In Your Matchless Name, we pray. Amen.

Don’t you know that if you offer to be someone’s slave, you must obey that master? Either your master is sin, or your master is obedience. Letting sin be your master leads to death. Letting obedience be your master leads to God’s approval.

-- Romans 6:16 (GWT)

Holiness Unto The LORD!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Not Cheap, But Steep

Let's remember that the price paid for our sins was not a cheap price but a very steep price. -- Grayson Willis

Lord, we love You so much because You first loved us TOO MUCH!

Click here: Kristian Stanfill - Jesus Paid It All (Passion '06)

I hear the Savior say,
“Thy strength indeed is small;
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all.”

Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

For nothing good have I
Whereby Thy grace to claim;
I’ll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb.

And now complete in Him,
My robe, His righteousness,
Close sheltered ’neath His side,
I am divinely blest.

Lord, now indeed I find
Thy pow’r, and Thine alone,
Can change the leper’s spots
And melt the heart of stone.

When from my dying bed
My ransomed soul shall rise,
“Jesus died my soul to save,”
Shall rend the vaulted skies.

And when before the throne
I stand in Him complete,
I’ll lay my trophies down,
All down at Jesus’ feet.

-- Lyrics by Elvina M. Hall

Sold-Out To Jesus! Paid In Full!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Our Declaration: "It's Celebrate Jesus Day!"

How long has it been since we took a day just to celebrate the adundant life we have found in Jesus? Don't you think a Monday would be a great day to do such a thing. Well, today is a Monday. So what do you say? Let's declare our own holiday -- "Worldwide Celebrate Abundant Life In Jesus Day!" A Holy Day, indeed!

I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
-- Words of Jesus recorded in John 10:10b (KJV)

I came so that my sheep will have life and so that they will have everything they need.
-- Words of Jesus recorded in John 10:10b (GWT)

Click here: Celebrate Jesus Celebrate-Don Moen - YouTube

Let's Celebrate Jesus!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

"YES!" We Are The Light Of The World!

This morning in our worship services for the glory of Almighty God, I spoke from Isaiah 6:1-8. You know the passage? The passage where the prophet Isaiah saw and heard and said?
(1) ... saw Almighty God in His Greatness! Terrified.
(2) ... heard Almighty God in His Holiness! Purified.
(3) ... said "YES!" to Almighty God and His Call! Qualified.

It's true, God doesn't always call the qualified, but He always qualifies the called.

In verse Isaiah 6:8, we hear Isaiah's loud "YES!" to God's Call:
Here I am, Lord. Send me.!"

Our closing song of response was a Kari Jobe song simply titled "We Are." The lyrics are so lovely, and make the perfect response for those of us who will say "YES!" to be His witnesses of light in this too dark world.

Here's the song. Sing it in full surrender to the LORD Who still calls out: Who will go for us? Whom shall we send?

Click here: Kari Jobe - We Are (Lyrics) - YouTube

Yes, Lord Yes! We will BE LIGHT! GO SHINE!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Holiness Happens

Holiness happens when I give God control of my life and accept the consequences of a Christ-led life.
-- Pastor Paul Gillikin, my childhood friend of 45 years

Holiness Unto The LORD!

Friday, March 9, 2012

His Hope, His Holiness

God fills what is missing in us with HOPE!
-- Vern Ward, Global Mission Director Church of the Nazarene

His Hope is His Holiness and His Holiness has a Name -- JESUS!

Click here: Sandi Patty-- Hope In The Name Of The Lord - YouTube

Christ in you, THE HOPE of glory. (Colossians 1:27b)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Precious In His Sight

This morning my phone rang at 6:02 a.m. It was the voice of David, calling from the local hospital to say his precious wife of 56 years, Anna Mary, had just passed the line of worlds and was now in the full realized presence of the Lord. She had been sick for quite a while and this morning she drew her last breath on planet earth as her husband held her hand and one of her sons was also close by.

I arrived at the hospital about 15 minutes after the call. Once all five of the children arrived, I listened as the family praised God and cherished the life they had shared together as a family. The moments were very tender. One of my partners in ministry, Pastor Jim, also soon arrived. Before leaving, we all gathered in a circle around the hospital bed as he prayed a very comforting prayer.

I'm back at home now. One verse is so very strong on my mind:
Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of His faithful ones.
-- Psalm 116:15 (GWT)


We are precious in His sight, in life and in passing to life eternal.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Jude's Final Words

(20) Dear friends, use your most holy faith to grow. Pray with the Holy Spirit’s help. (21) Remain in God’s love as you look for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to give you eternal life. (22) Show mercy to those who have doubts. (23) Save others by snatching them from the fire of hell. Show mercy to others, even though you are afraid that you might be stained by their sinful lives. (24) To Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy— (25) to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. -- Jude 1:20-25 (NIV)

Click here: Michael W Smith - Majesty w/lyrics - YouTube

Holiness Unto The LORD!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

He Will Come To Us

Let us acknowledge the LORD;
let us press on to acknowledge Him.
As surely as the sun rises, He will appear;

He will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth.
-- Hosea 6:3 (NIV)

Anticipating His Arrival,

Monday, March 5, 2012

Our Great Hope

Holiness remains the hope of Africa -- our great hope and our great future. It is time for us to recommit our lives to God and to His Holiness.
-- Dr. Filimao Chambo
Regional Director, Church of the Nazarene in Africa

Holiness Unto The LORD!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Where The Lord Meets Us

The Lord meets us where we are, not where we pretend to be.

Read the wonderful story about Jesus meeting an outcast woman at the well in Samaria (John 4:1-42). It proves my encouraging statement above.

He knows. He cares. He comes. He saves. He loves.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

God Is In Tune With His Own!

It was early morning. I was sitting at home in my favorite Scripture-saturation-chair. I was desperately pleading with the Lord to help me organize His Holy Thoughts on "The Beauty of Holiness" in my human mind for the approaching Sunday morning message.

Within a few minutes I received this message from a devoted church member: Hello Pastor Kerry. Thinking about you and asking God to touch and renew you in a special way today! Amen.

I replied: I just asked of God basically what you just prayed. I am humbled by His faithfulness and yours. May He bless you for blessing me.

This response came back: Praise God for always letting us know He is with us. I'm humbled He used me to let you know.

I replied again: God is in tune with His own.

This God-ordained, early morning, communication exchange reminded me of these heart-warming words of comfort recorded in 2 Timothy 2:19 (GWT): The Lord knows those who belong to Him!

Click here: His Eye is on the Sparrow - YouTube

He is Ours and We are His!

Friday, March 2, 2012

In The Beauty Of Your Holiness

Seemingly all day yesterday this spiritual song written by Gary Sadler was playing on my mind bringing assurance to my own soul and passing through my lips as an offering of adoration to my Dear Lord:

Lord, I thirst for You
I long to be in Your presence
My soul will wait on You
Father, draw me nearer,
Draw me nearer
To the beauty of Your holiness

I will wait for You, Almighty God
In the beauty of Your holiness
I will worship You, Almighty God
In the beauty of Your holiness

Click here: Lord I Thirst for You/The Beauty of Your Holiness

Holiness Unto The LORD!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Good Evening! Bad News?

Why do the evening television news announcers always begin their newscasts by saying "Good evening" and then deliver mostly bad news? -- Rebecca Mongold

Remember, this blog is based on Romans Ten Fifteen:

How can people tell the Good News if no one sends them? As Scripture says, “How beautiful are the feet of the messengers who announce the Good News.”
-- Romans Ten Fifteen (GWT)

Lord, give us beautiful feet.