Wednesday, August 23, 2023

He Lives!

He Lives!
by David Brenneman 

I serve a risen Savior
  He’s in the world today.
I know that He is living,
  Whatever men may say.
I see His hand of mercy;
  I hear His voice of cheer;
And just the time I need Him
  He’s always near.
  He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
    He lives within my heart.

In all the world around me
  I see His loving care,
And though my heart grows weary,
  I never will despair;
I know that He is leading,
  Through all the stormy blast;
The day of His appearing
  Will come at last.

Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian,
  Lift up your voice and sing
Eternal hallelujahs
  To Jesus Christ the King!
The Hope of all who seek Him,
  The Help of all who find,
None other is so loving,
  So good and kind.

Author: A. H. Ackley (1933) "I Serve a Risen Savior"

It's always good and interesting if you wake up in the middle of the night to have the Spirit put a song in your mind and heart.  This morning it was this one.  Wonderfully it just kept repeating.

How often do you lay aside the things of your today to remember the things that are in this song?

"Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God." Colossians 3:16.

"speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your hearts to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to our God and Father; and subject yourselves to one another in the fear of Christ." Ephesians 5:19-21.

In Heaven, the praise of God is carried on songs and hymns and spiritual songs.  Why wouldn't you want to begin in the here and now?

Dark cloudy days don't stand a chance when we're making melody in our hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ.  I admit I don't always grab this train and ride it when things happen, but am grateful that the Spirit sends me reminders. 

It's impossible to grumble and praise God from whom all blessings flow.  Yes, there's a hymn in that statement too.  The much known doxology of many denominations. 

Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise Him, all creatures here below
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

"But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison.  With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water?  Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh." James 3:8-12.

Really let that passage from James reach into your heart.  I have known many people who claim to be Christians, yet don't even try to tame their mouths.  Indeed cursing and swearing, just as James wrote, Indeed come from the same mouth.  I hear people talk about great things concerning what Jesus is doing, and moments later hear deep bitterness towards others in Christ from the same mouth. 

I hear people who claim to be Christians taking apart other's in order to lift themselves up.  In Proverbs it speaks specifically against sitting yourself at a kings table lest someone else more honored than you was invited. 

We also know of the passage that speaks to not thinking more highly of yourself than you ought to. 

Turn instead to the praise and worship of God.  Turn from what is threatening to drown your mind to that which can free it to worship Him.  

I know of many who subscribe to the thoughts that secular music doesn't harm anyone.  Some, perhaps, wouldn't.  But again, Proverbs, says not to think of things as not being that bad as a standard. If the lyrics aren't edifying, if they aren't lifting up Christ, why would you put it in your mind and heart?  It is a challenge. 

"Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips
Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips
Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips
Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips" from "Ever Be" Bethel Music.

We ought at all times be ready to praise God from whom all blessings flow.  We ought to be ready because in a heartbeat we could be in the presence of Jesus with all who have gone on before joining in with them.  

Is it really a bad thing to pour all the good and positive things into your mind and heart rather than feeding your mind stuff that cannot grow you in Christ Jesus?

As we read, you can't bless and curse at the same time.  So choose what Jesus would choose.  Quit focusing on self for a moment and focus on worshipping the One who gave His everything for you. Then, take another moment, and another.  Let it continue for as long as it can.  

Your mind can't be filled with doubts, with troubles, when it's occupied in the worship of Jesus Christ.  

Worry is a prayer with no direction. 
Prayer is a worry with a direction...up.

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. Lockman Foundation 

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