Good News

Moment by Moment

Moment by moment I live by Your mercy.
Moment by moment, by what I have heard.
Moment by moment I live by Your grace.
I live by Your spoken Word.

CHORUS:
I wait for You every dim evening
I wait for You all the night long.
I wait for You early each morning
I wait each day with a song!

Moment by moment I live by Your Truth.
Moment by moment I will understand.
Moment by moment I live by Your love,
Live by Your upholding hand.

Moment by moment I live by Your life.
Moment by moment I live by Your bread.
Moment by moment I live by Your blood.
By Jesus our risen Head.

Moment by moment I face You as Judge.
Moment by moment I live in Your court.
Moment by moment I face You as King.
Walk with You, Sovereign Lord.

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Redeeming Clothes: Putting off Sin; Putting on Christ

It is no exaggeration to say that one can trace the whole outline of Biblical theology and salvation history through the motif of clothing. — “Garments,” Dictionary of Biblical Imagery. Downers Grove: IVP, 1998, p 318.

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More Than Dreams

http://morethandreams.org/

The Video series More than Dreams describes the lives of several people who dreamed dreams that evidently came from the Creator and altered their lives. If you wish to learn how God speaks to people today, visit the sight and watch as 5 people have their lives transformed by Truth.

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Some years ago, I also had a dream that altered my life permanently. I suppose some would attend to my description of seeing Jesus risen from the grave and take this as evidence, but I prefer to boast of how the vision of the Lord who Loves has changed my life.

There have been days when I have been kicked and spat at. Still, I chose to love those who would want to be my enemies.

There have been days when I had no money and needed money for rent. Still, I chose to thank God for His provision.

There have been days when I was sick and alone in the hospital, despised and rejected. Still, I chose to encourage my neighbor because I had hope in the one who raises the dead.

There have been days when I was accused of violating social norms. Still, I chose to share the word of Christ and live in light of eternity, rather than just live for today.

There have been days when I labored all day and did not receive any short term gain. Still, I looked to the Lord of Heaven and He rewarded me and provided for my daily bread.

There have been days I have had to go hungry for long periods and days when I have politely eaten more than enough. Still, I have learned to be content in the Messiah as my meat and my mind's fullness.

There have been days when no one wanted to talk to me. Still, I listened to the hurting and crying and cried out to God on behalf of the nations.

There have been days when I could not get out of bed or have been run through extreme tests in the labs. Still, I remember my brothers and sisters who are persecuted for righteousness sake.

There have been days when I wondered when my hopes and goals would be fulfilled. Still, I labored on and journeyed on towards my goal.
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How are we able to persevere despite much difficulty and opposition and labor?
Only by grace.

Grace is essentially the presence of Jesus in our lives. He never leaves us and never forsakes us and never abandons us. Jesus walks with us to the end; by faith we walk with Him if we keep in step with the Spirit.

Perhaps my favorite verse in all the Bible that sustains me in hard times is that Grace is enough for you for power is perfected in weakness.

Yes, I have had visions. I have seen mighty and powerful answers to prayer that shook the heavens. I have seen provision come in amazing ways. I have talked to many people and traveled to places that are only dots on the map to most people. But it is grace, God's rich grace, that sustains me.

The Lord continually nourishes me with His Word. Do you have this assurance that speaks to you in the watches of the night and in the heat of the day? Do you tune into the Truth 24/7 or do you tune into the world's channels? Do you listen to the voice of the Lord or are you distracted by the world's voices? Does the devil drive you like a goatherd or are you moved by the Spirit of the Living God?

"Jesus, speak to me today, tonight, tomorrow, and to eternity. Let me see Your glorious and gracious face that I might be changed to be more and more like you. You, Lord, are my friend. Since you are the Friend of Sinners, I must confess that I am a sinner. I trust that You not only died for my sins, but that You rose to grant me new life. You have seen my adultery, my hastiness, my wastefulness, my adulteries, my lies, my theft, my pride, and my impatience. I look to You, Lord Jesus to remove all those and grant me a perfect integrity that comes from You alone. Father in Heaven, we praise Your name for Your faithful mercy, which is renewed daily. In the name of the Prince of peace, Who is our Comfort and Who has sent us the Comforting Holy Spirit we pray. Amen."

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Inheritance

(Based on reflections on our inheritance in Christ which is mentioned in Paul’s letters and the gospels and my own yearning for “something more.”)

I long for an infinite treasure
I can’t even start to measure.
Something yet to dawn and come,
More sure than death has ever won
Against our mortal, human flesh.
Eternal life will never mesh
with gaining stuff when others lose.
I want to rest, but cannot snooze
when I worry about lost love.
My hands now shake, though I wear gloves,
And it is warm around about.
My heart’s soul cries, I want to shout:
with many friends, I remain alone.
So inwardly, I start to groan,
and I am burdened with heartfelt pain.
In my global quest, what have I gained?
“Lord, hear me as I sob and cry!
And if You answer, here am I.
Provide fresh joy and hope and grace
that I might know and see your face.”
God’s Comfort comes despite my self,
And thus I’ve found that treasured wealth.
A peace the world never knew
I have God’s Love: the Lord is True.
This Gift is not for only me:
God gives to all who ask, He’s Free!
I hope these words expand your view:
Christ Jesus came for me and you.

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Divided Loves: Marital Love

We must consider God: He was not bored

when He created Man and Adam’s wife;

The Maker made His image. In fair Eve,

our King’s intent: the gift of holy life.

The two He joins, our lives God gently weaves:

Our souls, His saints; Himself our Sovereign Lord.

Love intertwined: the Church and Jesus Christ.

His Word dives our soul from spirit. Sword

of God now making what went wrong alright

through perfect grace. He clothes with more than leaves

and what was torn, in Christ is now restored.

The pains of ancient times, our Lord relieves.

Our Father gives the Spirit as our Seal,

and thus our Husband Jesus truly heals.

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My Darkest Night: A Confession

My darkest night and day, inside was pain, my soul bound up in chains.

I looked confounded, looked uncertain, certainly looked confused.
I tried rejection, I tried inspection, and I tried just to refuse.
My soul was heavy, my mind a mess, my heart got torn in shreds.
I was left alone, adrift, and nearly left for dead.
This is what I almost, nearly, and completely would have done.

Looking out, looking up, looking all around.
Feeling lost, feeling forward, feeling like I might be found.
I hear a cry, I cry for help, I cannot help but cry.
I wonder how, I wonder where, I mostly wonder whom and why?
What could I, should I, would I do?

I look away, I look inside, yet I seem to only stare.
My hands hang limp, brain disconnected, yet I truly care.
I am not wise, I’m at a loss, I am not self-improved.
I want to hide, I want to run, yet inside I am moved.
What can I, shall I, will I do?

I look behind, I look within, and then look far beyond.
I have no power, no potion, and no magic wand.
A little truth, a little prayer, and lots of simple mercy:
For my family, for my friends, and for my foes quite early.
This is what I could have, should have, and will have done.

For, Yes! Redemption came, my mind was changed, and I rose up not the same.

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In Sin vs. In Christ

In our flesh, we were wicked and perverse. In Christ, we are holy and perfected as He is.
In sin, we ran from the bad news. In Christ, we run with the Good News.
In sin, we were lost. In Christ, we are found.
In sin, we sank in the miry clay. In Christ, we have been raised to sit in the heavenly places.
In the flesh, we were lame and paralyzed. In Christ, we dance in praise and march in triumph.
In our flesh, we were deaf. In Christ, we hear the voice of the good Shepherd and obey.
In our flesh, we were mute. In Christ, we praise the Lord with every breath for His majesty.
In our flesh, we were blind. In Christ, we see God’s glory in the face of Jesus.
In sin, we were broken and divided. In Christ, we are one and whole.
In our flesh, there was no good thing. In Christ we are made new made new and made a heritage.
In sin, we fall short of God’s glory. In Christ, we are the righteousness of God.
In sin, we were tormented beggars and debtors. In Christ, we are forgiven and redeemed with treasure.
In our flesh, we were in bondage and slavery. In Christ, we are liberated and adopted as children of God.
In the world, we were outside the gate. In Christ, we are welcomed into the Father’s house.
In sin, we were forgotten. In Christ, we are remembered before the throne of grace.
In haste, we had sold our birthright. In Christ, we have every blessing in heavenly places.
In sin, we were defiled and dirty. In Christ, we are cleansed by his blood and sanctified by His Spirit.
In sin we were abandoned and forsaken. In Christ, we have been loved with an everlasting love.
In our sin, we were ignorant. In Christ, we know the truth, are freed, and worship in the Spirit & Truth.
In the world, we were distressed and dispirited. In Christ, we have peace in the Holy Spirit.
In sin, we were open to satan’s attack. In Christ, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit.
In the flesh, we were bare and unprotected. In Christ, we have been clothed with garments of salvation.
In violations, we were dead. In Christ, we are made alive.
In the world, we were without hope and without God. In Christ, God has given us an enduring hope

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Fear Not

Fear not, o child, be not afraid.
Though parents one another chided,
Though brother falls upon your flesh in rages,
Though rest bares his drunken chest,
Fear not, o child, be not afraid.
Though cousin tongues and tribes are divided,
Though your heirs shall stuck in foreign cages,
Though father gives you up as his very best,
Fear not, o child, be not afraid–
You shall yet see the light of day.

Fear not, bold lamb, be not afraid.
When you go out to roam in fields,
When you drift from the gathered fold,
When the hirelings take their pay and run,
Fear not, bold lamb, be not afraid.
When you are taken for your woolen yields,
When you face the wolf or bear and go in shock,
When at last the Lion roars, the Shepherd’s won.
Fear not, bold lamb, be not afraid–
God will yet guide your wayward way.

Fear not, sent one, be not afraid.
While your learn to bed and ask and pray,
While you are sent to distant, hostile towns,
While you cast out demons and heal the sick,
Fear not, sent one, be not afraid.
While you hear what governors and kings might say,
While you walk among crucifying crowds,
While you face a grave stone, however thick,
Fear not, sent one, be not afraid–
I’ll return, just as you heard Me say.

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No God But One: Book Review

(Disclaimer: I was given an advance copy of this book for review.)

One thing that struck me as I read this book was the compassion and profound insight simply stated. The whole discussion of the book is framed as one would expect to occur between friends who care deeply about each other. Since much of the book reflects the conclusion of faith that Nabeel Qureshi came to as a result of an ongoing dialogue with his debate partner, it should not surprise the reader that the format is somewhat similar to a debate where a question and counter question is posed in each of the dialogues on various topics related to Islam, such as the difference between Islamic law (Sharia) and the grace of God found in the Gospel of Christ.

While this may sound old hat to someone who grew up in the church, when a person discovers that the reality that God is love and all of the diverse implications of this, whether in the arena of theology proper (including the meaning of the trinity and how the doctrine of the trinity is the way of describing God that most honors the Creator) or in the area of an understanding of violence in the history of Islam and the Christian Church (When did Christians start fighting wars? years after they were first called Christians and the empire was converted en masse.)

It becomes very clear through the reading of this book that not only does Nabeel have a clear knowledge of the basic issues related to Islam and Christianity, their similarities and differences, but he also loves both Muslims and Christians. Even though some Muslims may misunderstand the motives for why a truth seeker would embrace Jesus and the church and even though some who grew up with Christian traditions may question whether this is truly possible, Nabeel manifests an irenic spirit throughout, and confesses that he has not always behaved as the best example of Christianity after having chosen to identify with the Lord Jesus.

People need to hear these sorts of questions: questions that are centered not so much on the historic truths of the Gospel, and the verifiable & life transforming factual truths of the crucifixion, the resurrection and Jesus’ claim to deity; rather Questions that are centered on the sincerity and depth of our understanding & obedience to those truths.

Are we willing to seek to truly understand the truth?
Are we willing to suffer for what is true?
How much are we willing to suffer?

The good news is a life and death issue. The Gospel cost Jesus’ His life and frees us from our deadness. When we see the extreme love of God, we will be awakened to delight in our Creator, as a maiden delights in her groom when she realizes that not only is He a noble person, but that he truly does delight in her.

May you be awakened to the First, the Ultimate, the Supreme Love of the Author of Life.

#NoGodButOne

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The Process of Salvation

Jesus is Jesus, for the Lord is our Salvation.
Jesus is predicted throughout the Scriptures, for He our Predestination.
Jesus was conceived in the virgin Mary, for He is our New Creation.
Jesus was greeted by John in the womb, for He is the Father’s Salutation.
Jesus was born in Bethlehem, for He would bring Regeneration.
Jesus and Mary were cared for by Joseph because He is our Adoption by our Father in Heaven.
Jesus was circumcised and later dedicated in the temple, for He is our Sanctification.
Jesus was worshipped by the Magi, for He is the Focus of our Adoration.

Jesus was immersed in water, so we would know Him as our Initiation.
Jesus overcame the temptations of the devil, He brought our Liberation.
Jesus called people to turn from sin, for He is our Correction.
Jesus announced the Kingdom of God, for He is the Lord of all hosts and our Invitation.
Jesus invites us to humble ourselves under His yoke so He can grant us honor, for He is our Instruction.
Jesus showed people the pattern of service before success, for He is our Vocation.
Jesus sent out the disciples on mission trips as He brought Redemption.
When Jesus led groups of His disciples up the mountain, we became His Congregation.
When Jesus raised the dead in Israel, He proved to be our Resurrection.

As Jesus had his last Passover, He offered Himself as our Libation.
When Jesus laid down His Life on the cross, He became our Sure Foundation.
When the sun was darkened, the earth shook & the veil was torn, Jesus proved to be God’s Revelation.
Jesus’s body was laid in the tomb over the Sabbath, for He is our Restoration.
Jesus rose from the grave, for He is our Justification.
Jesus appeared to the missionaries, so He became our Proclamation.
Jesus ascended on high to sit at the right hand of the Father, He for is our Intercession.

When Jesus baptized the Church with the Spirit so we could preach with power from on High, thus He is our Vindication.
When Jesus joined foreigners to the family of Abraham, both Jew & Gentile,
we became a new and true and holy nation.
He will come again to judge the living at the dead, for the Lord is the Source of our ultimate Glorification.

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