Standing Still for You

My Song Lyrics

Let all the world turn and stare
Right at me
‘Cause I won’t rush around like crazy
I don’t care
They’re never getting anywhere
Not happy
But they won’t let themselves see
They don’t dare
And the one thing they can’t sacrifice is time

‘Cause it’s go, go, go
In this fast-paced world we live in
But I won’t be giving in, no, no
‘Cause it’s so, so, so
Empty when it’s You we’re missing
But I won’t be living that way, no
I’m standing still for You

Let all the world stop and hear
Listen to me
To stop pretending they’re free
Enslaved by fear
They’ve lost all they hold dear
Hearts empty
I pray someday they will see
Oh, so clearly
That love has become the sacrifice for time

‘Cause it’s go, go, go
In this fast-paced world we live in
But I won’t be giving in, no, no
‘Cause it’s so, so, so
Empty when it’s You we’re missing
But I won’t be living that way, no
I’m standing still for You

In the quiet I hear Your voice, my God
I can feel You whisper peace to my soul
In my solitude, You’re with me, my Lord
I won’t be afraid, You are in control

Well it’s go, go, go
In this fast-paced world we live in
But I won’t be giving in, no, no
‘Cause it’s so, so, so
Empty when it’s You we’re missing
But I won’t be living that way, no
I’m standing still for You

Love – 1st Corinthians 13:4-7

Mini Sermon

1st Corinthians 13:4-7 – “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It in not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

Love is…

Love is the most powerful force in the world. It is always love (in a sense) that drives us. Even the vices that motivate us are at bottom moved by love, a love that has been twisted because it is set on the wrong object – love of money (greed), love of power, love of attention, love of self alone. The only proper object of love is God as Scripture says, “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. (Mark 12:30)”. When we love God first and foremost, everything else falls into place and we begin to live in genuine love like we should. As Scripture says, “…whatever other commandments there may be are summed up in this one command ‘Love you neighbor as yourself’. Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. (Romans 13:9-10)”. This description of love in 1st Corinthians must begin to be a description of who we are in Christ – for God lives in us and “God is love” (1 John 4:8). Do you want to know who God is? Do you want to know how to love like He does? Then let’s take a closer look at certain portions of this passage.

Love is patient (long-suffering) – it endures rejection and indifference without wavering and without retaliation. Love is kind (compassionate) – it does what is in the best interests of the other person whether the other person sees it that way or not. It does not envy, boast, or act proudly – it is happy for others to have good things and does not try to look better than everyone else. It is not easily angered, but there are times when anger is appropriate and necessary. It keeps no record of wrongs though in His justice God keeps a record of all that we do, yet, for those who have accepted His gift of forgiveness through Christ our sins are removed, “as far as the east is from the west” (Psalms 103:12) and God remembers them no more (Jeremiah 31:34) and so we are to forgive. It always hopes – it maintains a confident expectation that what God has ordained shall come to pass. Even God hopes in this way. As Scripture says, “creation was subjected to frustration not by its own choice but by the will of the One who subjected it (that would be God) in the hope (confident expectation) that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. (Romans 8:20-21)”. It always perseveres – love never gives up… no matter what.

Point to Ponder

So how do you measure up? Thy this; where it says “love is…” insert your name or say, “I am…” and see how far you get before you feel like a liar. But there is hope, for if you belong to Christ and the Holy Spirit lives in you then you have all you need to be able to live this kind of love. One more thing – it does not say that love is a feeling, a “warm fuzzy”, but in the end love is action and love is everything.

Let’s pray, “Oh great and wonderful God, thank You for who You are, for revealing Yourself to us, and for making us Yours. All praise, glory, honor, and love be to You – God alone worthy. Lord, help us to love and live for You with all our body, heart, mind, and soul. May we serve You with our lives to bring glory to Your name and joy to Your heart. Help us now, according to Your Word and by the power of Your Holy Spirit – help us to love like You love. Help us to love others as You have loved us and help us to love You with all that we are. May the world know us by our love and so somehow see You in us. We ask this for the sake of Your name, Your kingdom, and Your glory. Amen.”

The One

My Song Lyrics

What was my life before You
But loneliness and endless tears
How could I not adore You
Who fills my heart and calms my fears
You rescued me and You brought me to Your side
And now You’re with me all the time
Lord, You are my…

One love
The reason my heart’s beating
One life
The air that I’ve been breathing
One God
You give the whole thing meaning
You are, You are…
The One

I lay my life before You
My every day, not just my years
All I want is more of You
It’s Your voice alone my soul hears
You ransomed me, removed the sin I could not hide
And through Your death I’m made alive
Lord, You are my…

One love
The reason my heart’s beating
One life
The air that I’ve been breathing
One God
You give the whole thing meaning
You are, You are…
The One

I have to know You more
You’re my God, Jesus Christ
It’s what I’m striving for
With all the strength You provide
Lord, You are my…

One love
The reason my heart’s beating
One life
The air that I’ve been breathing
One God
You give the whole thing meaning
You are, You are…
The One

Seek God – Jeremiah 29:12-14a

Mini Sermon

Jeremiah 29:12-14a – “Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will hear You. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you.” Declares the Lord…

Seek God

To search for something “with all your heart” means first and foremost that you want it more than anything. Oh, if we all would want God more than anything, more than any object, but also, more than our comfort or our entertainment. We understand that something’s wrong when we pursue material things instead of pursuing God, but why do we think that it’s ok to spend hours comfortably entertained (with TV, Nintendo, movies, etc.) instead of on our knees seeking God. Not that you can be seeking God 24/7 but we are all guilty of tuning Him out on one level or another. You will never find what you don’t search for. As much as God pursues us, yet He wants to be pursued by us. There is something in the seeking, the pursuing, that makes the finding and the having mean more. But seeking God is more than finding, for no matter what we find, there is still more of Him to be found. Our knowledge of Him should always be growing.

One of the best parts of this passage is His promise “I will be found by you.” It’s the thrill of the chase without the anxiety of never catching anything. God has promised that we will find Him. Jesus said, “for whoever asks receives, whoever seeks finds, and to the one who knocks the door will be opened. (Luke 11:9&10, Matt.7:7-9)” Sometimes it may take longer and require more effort, but God has promised us that it will not be in vain. For whatever amount of time and effort we must spend in our search for God, surely He will make it worth our while. Finding God is always worth whatever it takes in the searching.

The question now is; how do we go about seeking God? First, we must spend time in the scriptures reading, thinking over, memorizing, and practicing God’s word – hide His word in your heart (Psalm 119:11). Second, spend time in prayer asking God to reveal Himself to you and to help you to pursue Him – don’t be afraid to ask Him for help. Over and above and surrounding and permeating these two things must be the simple desire to know God, to grow in relationship with Him and in Christ likeness – for God looks upon the heart (1 Samuel 16:7) and if we are to be truly seeking God, we must be pursuing Him in our hearts. This is something that we really must ask for; we all know how fickle our hearts can be.

Let this be our prayer, “Our great and mighty God, we come before you now with a desire to know You and a hunger to find You. Lord, help us to search for You with all our hearts. Set our hearts on fire with a love and desire for You, help us to abandon whatever we must so that we can chase after You. Work in us so that we would be a people who seek You and Your kingdom above all else (Matt. 6:33, Luke 12:31). You have called us out of the world and we no longer belong to the world, but we still live in it and it pulls at us. Strengthen us so that we may withstand the world’s influence and stay true to Your word. Lord, we thank You for the promise that You hear us and will answer us (1 John 5:14&15), and for Your promise that if we seek You we will find You (Luke 11:9&10, Matt.7:7-9, Jeremiah 29:12-14). We rest upon Your promise in confidence of Your faithfulness. Thank You for what You have done and what You will do in us and through us. For the sake of Your name we pray. Amen!

Yes and Amen – 2nd Corinthians 1:20

Mini Sermon

“For no matter how many promises God had made, they are “yes” in Christ. And so through Him the “amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.” – 2nd Corinthians 1:20

Scripture is filled with promises from God. Too often we think that He is resistant to us and hesitant to answer us, but many of the things we ask for He has already promised. Provision and blessing and healing are all promised to us in His Word – and will He promise and not fulfill (Numbers 23:19)? The very first promise God made was just after the fall when God said to the serpent, “(one of her descendants) will crush your head and you will bruise his heel. (Genesis 3:15)”. In saying this, God declared for us victory over the enemy which we now have in Christ. For Jesus is the one, born of a virgin, who was bruised by the enemy yet He has crushed his head and triumphed over him (Colossians 2:15). So anyone who is in Christ has victory over the devil, the world, and the sin-nature through Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57). In Jesus were fulfilled God’s many promises of victory, forgiveness, redemption, restoration, salvation, and the new creation. He is the fulfillment of the promise made to Abraham “through you I will bless all nations. (Genesis 12:3)”. For Jesus was born to Israel as a descendant of Abraham.

We say “amen” to God’s promise of victory when we receive salvation and forgiveness through the cross of Christ and by receiving the promised Holy Spirit who enables us to walk in victory and daily conformity to Christ. All other promises are “yes” in Christ as He gives us His righteousness – which is right relationship with God and right standing in regard to the law, for Jesus was perfect and fulfilled all the law. So through Christ we now can live under an open heaven because He has removed our sins and enabled us to obey the Father. To God’s many promises we say “amen” through the empowering of the Holy Spirit who enables us to meet any necessary conditions attached to any promise, for through the Holy Spirit we are able to do everything commanded of us in God’s Word (Romans 3:31) and so receive all the gifts and blessings which God longs to give to His people.

Point to Ponder

Are you experiencing the blessings of God? If not, have you said, “amen” to His first and most important promise – the gift of salvation, redemption, and victory? Next, are you walking in the power of the Holy Spirit and therefore living in conformity to God’s Word? Remember; you will not receive God’s conditional promises if you don’t meet the conditions. God wants to bless you in every way, for it is to His glory that He has enabled you to receive His blessings though Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit.

Let’s pray, “Father, we thank You for Your Word and all the promises You have given to us through Your Word. Thank You for the promise and provision of salvation, redemption, and eternal life through Your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank You for provision, help, and healing. Father, right now we want to say, “amen” and receive the fulfillment of Your promises to us. We receive the atoning work of Jesus on our behalf and believe that He died and rose again to pay for our sins and to free us from the law of sin and death. We receive Your promised Holy Spirit through whom we are now empowered to live in a way that pleases You. We purpose this day to walk in the fullness of Your grace, submitted to You and seeking after You. Help us to live with open hands and open hearts to receive and give all that You would give to and through us. In the name of Jesus – through whom every promise is “yes” and by whom we say “amen” to Your glory – we pray. Amen.”

Captivate Your Heart

My Song Lyrics

God, I know that Your mercy
Comes all undeserving
That You choose to pick me up when I fall
God, I still don’t understand
Why You reach out Your hand
When sometimes there’s nothing good in me at all
Oh, how can this be
My God, I wonder why You love me

It must have been
The lost look in my eyes
It must have been
All the tears that I cried
It must have been
All the years that I tried
To live life alone
But You’ve called me Your own
And maybe that’s just who You are
That my need of You would captivate Your heart

God, You pour out Your mercy
Though I’m unworthy
And You choose to answer me when I call
Though I may not understand
Somehow You became man
Died to take my sin, not just one, but them all
Oh, how can this be
It’s such a wonder that You love me

It must have been
The lost look in my eyes
It must have been
All the tears that I cried
It must have been
All the years that I tried
To live life alone
But You’ve called me Your own
And maybe that’s just who You are
That my need of You would captivate Your heart

It must have been the way that every day
I knew something was missing
It must have been the times I was so surprised
To find that You were listening

It must have been
The lost look in my eyes
It must have been
All the tears that I cried
It must have been
All the years that I tried
To live life alone
But You’ve called me Your own
And maybe that’s just who You are
That my need of You would captivate Your heart

Where You Are

My Song Lyrics

Every morning I wonder why I’m still here
How can my heart beat when it’s breaking
I know You have a purpose for my life
But knowing that doesn’t stop this aching
Even in those moments when I feel You close
I know it can’t compare to seeing Your face
And even though I know You’ve set me here
In my heart I still feel so out of place

Let me be where You are
It’s the only place I want to be
Let me know Your heart
It’s the only home for me
And I pray come with everything I have
Establish Your kingdom in this land
Make everything new, like You said You would do
Come, Lord Jesus, I’m waiting on You

Every moment this longing gets stronger
And every moment I spend with You
Only makes me want to know You better
And serve You in everything I do
There’s a veil that covers my eyes
I know You’ll tear it away
When I leave this life behind
I can’t wait for that day

Let me be where You are
It’s the only place that I want to be
Let me know Your heart
It’s the only home for me
And I pray come with everything I have
Establish Your kingdom in this land
Make everything new, like You said You would do
Come, Lord Jesus, I’m waiting on You

There is nothing in this world that satisfies me
I’m longing for the day when I finally can see
You have never left me here no matter how I feel
When this faith becomes a sight so real
Words cannot express this cry of my heart
Let there be nothing to keep us apart

Let me be where You are
It’s the only place that I want to be
Let me know Your heart
It’s the only home for me
And I pray come with everything I have
Establish Your kingdom in this land
Make everything new, like You said You would do
Come, Lord Jesus, I’m waiting on You

To Seek and Save the Lost – Luke 19:10

Mini Sermon

Luke 19:10 – “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Jesus was often seen “eating and drinking with sinners”. That is; He spent time and kept company with the religious outcasts of that day – prostitutes, tax collectors, and anyone who frequently and knowingly broke religious law. The Pharisees were always criticizing Jesus for this. The Pharisees were the most religious, ritualistic, and legalistic people of in that religion and time period. Not only did they (outwardly) follow all the laws of their religion (the old testament law), but they also added quite a few of their own rules and rituals. They were exceptionally righteous in their own eyes and so they particularly disdained those who couldn’t seem to keep even the most basic commandments. The Pharisees are the truest example of the “holier than thou” attitude. It was this attitude that Jesus constantly spoke against and which He was answering when He said that He had “come to seek and to save that which was lost.” There is a certain sense in which He did not come to save those Pharisees since they didn’t think that they needed saving. Jesus came for everyone who would admit that they need saving. He came for everyone who would admit to being lost and would accept His help to be found and rescued. Scripture says, “we all like sheep have gone astray. (Isaiah 53:6)”. We have all gotten off course from God’s perfect plan for us and we have gotten confused about our purpose in this life and we have lost the relationship we were made for.

Without God in our lives, we are ultimately alone in our own skin no matter how many other people we surround ourselves with. But the good news is that Jesus (God in human flesh) came to find us – not that He did not know where we were, but He came seeking us so that He might reclaim us. It is from our perspective that we are found; for in a sense, it is we who have lost ourselves – lost who we were meant to be and still can be. Jesus came not only so that we can see that we are truly lost, but He came to save us. He came to regain, reclaim, and recover us – to make us His again, this time forever. He came to rescue us from the road of death that we were on – to save us from sin and hell (which is eternal death) and from Satan and ourselves. He came to restore us to relationship with Him by paying the just penalty for our sin, so that we may no longer be alone for He lives in us by His Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus, and we can live forever saturated by God’s love.

Point to ponder

Have you admitted to God that you are lost? Or are you still trying to find your own way? Have you admitted to God that you are a sinner? Or do you think that you’re “a good person”? Jesus said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” (Mark 2:17)”. Lest anyone think that they are actually righteous on their own Scripture says, “all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glorious standard. (Romans 3:23)”. That standard is perfection. So, are you ready to be found? Are you ready to be rescued from the road of death you’re on and to be restored to a right relationship with God?

Come and pray, “Oh God in heaven, everlasting God, holy and exalted; we are so glad that You sent Your Son, Jesus, to come and save us by dying on the cross for our sin and rising again that we too may have new life. We admit right now that on our own we have wandered away from You and that we cannot get back by ourselves. Please come and get us and lead us back to where we belong. We also admit that we are sinners who have fallen short in many ways, who deserve Your punishment, but to whom You have shown mercy and love. We call upon Your mercy now, Lord, forgive us of our sin and cleanse us, restore us. Rescue us from where we have fallen and put our feet on the solid ground of Your word. Now, according to Your promise, fill us with Your Holy Spirit, that we would no longer be alone, abandoned, and powerless; but be Thou our comfort, direction, and peace. We pray this in the name of the One who came to save us – Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

A Call to be Brave – Hebrews 11:8

Mini Sermon

Hebrews 11:8 – “It was by faith the Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going.”

There’s no telling just how clearly God really spoke to Abraham when He told him to go. Genesis 12:1 reads, “The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land I will show you.” Most of us like to think that if we audibly heard God tell us to do something, we would do it no matter how crazy it sounded. Like the way that Joshua and the other Israelites marched around Jericho and blew trumpets because the Lord told him to do it that way (See Joshua chapter 6). The walls fell down because he obeyed and trusted God. But how many of us would have done the same? Even if we spoke with God face to face, would we really do what He told us to if it didn’t make sense to us? Or especially if it seemed risky to us? If we are honest with ourselves, we can’t quite be sure that we wouldn’t shrug it off as some crazy dream we had which was caused by indigestion. We would explain it all away and still complain that God never gives us any direction. For though we claim to want to know God’s will, what we really want is His blessing on the plans that we have made. We’re never completely sure that we can trust God’s plans. Even though Scripture says, “I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)”.

There is deep inside of us the sneaking suspicion that God’s plans are bigger and harder than our own. We like to get caught up in our “safe” adventure stories and we wish that life could be like that – a wild ride and a happy ending. But ask us to risk anything and most of us shrink back because we prefer to play it safe. We lock ourselves in cages of routine and security while God calls us out to adventure beyond our imagining. In our hearts, we long to respond to God’s call to adventure because we know that we were made for it, yet we stay where we are because we’re scared. This is real life after all and real life rarely ever has a happy ending. Or does it? If we really believe the Bible and what God has said, then we already know the ending of the greatest story that we are all in (Hint: it’s better than you can imagine (1 Corinthians 2:9). The set backs and failures that we face are nothing more than stepping stones and opportunities to grow because in the end – God wins. If we believe that God works everything for our good (Romans 8:28), then it doesn’t matter if everything goes the way that we want it to. It will go the way that God wants it to and that’s even better.
Point to Ponder

What has God been calling you to do that you’ve put off or explained away because you’re scared that it’s too hard and that He might not come through for you and take care of you? You’ll never move forward until you learn to trust Him in all things. So, are you ready for an adventure? It’s time to be brave.

If you’re ready to step out then pray, “Oh, God, help me to be brave. I have decided here and now that where You lead me I will follow, where You call me I will go, where You plant me I will grow. I admit that even in this moment, I am scared – scared of where You’ll lead me, but I know that You are with me. I know that at the end of this road is home with You and joy in Your presence (Psalm 16:11). So may I come to seek Your will with this resolve that I will do what You tell me to by Your grace and through Your strength. I am tired of sitting in this boat. Call me to come to You on the water for though I may take my eyes off of You and start to sink I know that You will not let me drown (Matthew 14:27-33). You have saved me, rescued me, ransomed me and the end of it all is glory no matter what happens in the meantime. I know that You are faithful and will see me through to the end (1 Thessalonians 5:24). Thank You for hearing me and answering me. May this be the first day of a life of real adventure with You. Amen.”

Love that Obeys – John 14:21 & 23

Mini Sermon

John 14:21&23 – “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and reveal myself to him… If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”

Real Love Obeys God

Too many times we try to separate from each other various aspects of Christianity. We emphasize some and deemphasize others according to or reacting against the way we were raised. But doing that kind of thing only hurts us and skews our understanding of the faith. We must let Scripture emphasize what it will and live accordingly. In this passage, Jesus clearly emphasizes two things that should never be separated; love and obedience. God has ever demanded that we be love and obey Him. The first and greatest command is this, “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. (Mark 12:30)”. The kind of love that God wants is not merely some soft emotional thing, but a committed and sacrificial love not unlike the original idea of marriage. It is this kind of love that Jesus displayed on the cross. He showed not only His love for us, but He also demonstrated His love as the Son for the Father by being obedient even unto death (Philippians 2:8). Emotions ebb and flow from one moment to the next and cannot be the basis of our relationship with God. Real love is a decision and a commitment and you cannot commit to God without obeying Him. Anyone who says, “I love God,” and yet never obeys Him is a liar and is self-deceived. Real love will always manifest itself in obedience to God. For this saying is true, “Actions speak louder than words.”

Conversely, Scripture never advocates action and obedience without love. Indeed, Paul says, “…if I give myself over to the flames and have not love it profits me nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:3)”. Jesus Himself said to the church of Ephesus, “…I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance… yet I hold this against you; you have forsaken your first love… repent and do the things you did at first… (Revelation 2:2&4-5)”. Love must be the motivation for everything we do – not necessarily always loving feelings, but a commitment to follow Christ no matter what. Anything else is legalism, and that is the last things that God wants. For God cries out about Israel, “these people honor Me with their lips but their hearts are far from Me. (Isaiah 29:13)”. He wants our love in every sense; emotion, commitment, and obedience; “heart, soul, mind, and strength.”

Jesus promised to those who truly love Him, “I too will love (you) and reveal Myself to (you).” While it is true that God loves us all, there is a certain sense in which He loves those who wholeheartedly follow Him. Elsewhere, Scripture calls it delight, “the Lord’s delight is in those who fear Him and hope in His unfailing love. (Psalm 147:11)”. God has a special love for those who truly follow and obey Him and to them He has promised to reveal Himself – to make Himself known to them and to manifest His power, presence, love, and faithfulness in their lives.

Point to Ponder

Do you tend to think that you can love God without obeying Him? Can you see what a shallow idea of love that really is? Jesus is as clear as possible when He says, “the one who loves Me will obey…”. Or do you labor under the opposite error, that of legalism? Are you trying to obey God while keeping your heart from Him? Remember, we are commanded to love Him with our whole heart along with everything else.

Let us pray, “Lord Jesus, thank You for coming down to us to show and be for us the way, truth, and life (John 14:6). We know that every word You say is true, and so may we take Your words to heart right now. God, forgive us for the times when we thought that we could love You and not obey You – times when we have used Your grace as an excuse to sin. Help us to remember that we have died to sin (Romans 6:1-3). Father, forgive us also for the times that we have though that we could honor You through rituals and laws but still keep our hearts from You. Help us to love and obey You as we should, for You alone deserve it. In determining to love and obey You as we should, we claim Your promise that You will reveal Yourself to us and make Your home with us. Lord, manifest Your presence in our lives and to our hearts. Help us to know You that we may be like You. In the name of Jesus our Lord we pray. Amen.”