Mar 21, 2012
Hillsong United Live in Miami 2012, Album: Aftermath Live in Miami, Name: Bones
You can take my dry bones
Breathe life into this skin
You called me by name
Raised me to life again
You can calm the oceans
Speak peace into my soul
Take me as I am
Awaken my heart to beat again
Alive in me
You move in the unseen
You set the captives free
As I stand and sing
You’re breaking the chains off me
Breathe in me Your life
I can feel You are close now
I can never hide
You are here and You know me
All I need is You
And I love You
I love You
I love You
I love You
Breathe in me Your life
‘Til Your love overtakes me
Open up my eyes
Let me see You more clearly
Falling on my knees
‘Til I love like You love
Like You love me
I love You
Look to Me, and be saved… —Isaiah 45:22
Do we expect God to come to us with His blessings and save us? He says, “Look to Me, and be saved….” The greatest difficulty spiritually is to concentrate on God, and His blessings are what make it so difficult. Troubles almost always make us look to God, but His blessings tend to divert our attention elsewhere. The basic lesson of the Sermon on the Mount is to narrow all your interests until your mind, heart, and body are focused on Jesus Christ. “Look to Me….”
Many of us have a mental picture of what a Christian should be, and looking at this image in other Christians’ lives becomes a hindrance to our focusing on God. This is not salvation— it is not simple enough. He says, in effect, “Look to Me and you are saved,” not “You will be saved someday.” We will find what we are looking for if we will concentrate on Him. We get distracted from God and irritable with Him while He continues to say to us, “Look to Me, and be saved….” Our difficulties, our trials, and our worries about tomorrow all vanish when we look to God.
Wake yourself up and look to God. Build your hope on Him. No matter how many things seem to be pressing in on you, be determined to push them aside and look to Him. “Look to Me….” Salvation is yours the moment you look.
Grace is the unmerited love that God shows to sinful people. He expressed this love through the sacrificial death of His Son. It becomes ours when we confess that we are sinners and receive Jesus Christ as our Savior. Because of grace, we’re forgiven by God and adopted into His family.
Today’s passage describes our life before grace—we were dead in our trespasses and sins. This means that every person is born with a deadness to the things of God; we come into this world with no spiritual life. Our nature leans away from the Lord and toward ourselves. In addition, our thinking and behavior follow that of the world, which, according to Scripture, is under Satan’s control. His plan always opposes God’s and leads us to rebel against divine commands.
Before encountering grace, Paul was very religious but blind to the Lord’s perspective and plan. He actively opposed those who followed Christ (Acts 26:9-11). With a goal of destroying the church, he sought to eradicate the Christian faith, which he deemed false. Paul continued persecuting believers until he encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus (9:3-6). Only then did the future apostle surrender his will to God’s and become a true follower of Christ.
If you have not trusted in the Savior, then you are spiritually dead, separated from God, and under His judgment. Like Paul, you may be very religious and yet lack a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. God offers you salvation today through faith in Him. How will you respond
“For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.” (Romans 12:4-5)
All too frequently in today’s Christian circles, we place certain individuals and certain gifts on a pedestal, and all too often the resulting pride is devastating. Pride may be the favorite tool of Satan. Pride was the reason Satan rebelled and lost his exalted position (Isaiah 14:13-14). He appealed to Eve’s pride in the garden (Genesis 3:6), similarly tempted Christ in the wilderness (Luke 4:6), and uses it on us today. Be warned! “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble” (James 4:6): “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12).
Paul, through the Holy Spirit, chose to introduce his teaching on the use of spiritual gifts and unity of the entire body with a warning against pride, admonishing “every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith” (Romans 12:3). His discussion on the many-membered body which follows leaves no room for pride. Nor does the parallel passage in 1 Corinthians 12:12-31.
The apostle points out that each Christian forms an equally essential part of the whole. Since we are all equal in God’s eyes, and all mutually dependent upon one another, what room is there for pride? Likewise, Paul points out that each Christian possesses an equally vital connection with Christ. Who are we to tell Christ a part of His body is less valuable than the rest? He is concerned for each one equally. “For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory?” (1 Corinthians 4:7). JDM
The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation. —2 Samuel 22:47
God, be Thou exalted over my possessions. Nothing of earth’s treasures shall seem dear unto me if only Thou art glorified in my life. Be Thou exalted over my friendships. I am determined that Thou shalt be above all, though I must stand deserted and alone in the midst of the earth. Be Thou exalted above my comforts. Though it mean the loss of bodily comforts and the carrying of heavy crosses, I
shall keep my vow made this day before Thee. Be Thou exalted over my reputation. Make me ambitious to please Thee even if as a result I must sink into obscurity and my name be forgotten as a dream. Rise, O Lord, into Thy proper place of honor, above my ambitions, above my likes and dislikes, above my family, my health and even my life itself. Let me sink that Thou mayest rise above. Ride forth upon me as Thou didst ride into Jerusalem mounted upon the humble little beast, a colt, the foal of an ass, and let me hear the children cry to Thee, “Hosanna in the highest.”
Be Thou exalted in my life. Amen.
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
I think that we ought to be mature enough to confess that many have been converted to Christ and have come into the church without wrestling with that basic human desire for honor and praise. As a result, some have actually spent a lifetime in religious work doing little more than getting glory for themselves!
Brethren, the glory can belong only to God! If we take the glory, God is being frustrated in the church.
The work of the ministry which the saints are to do will bring about the edifying of the Body of Christ—and this is not just in reference to the ordained ministry as we know it. It is the ministry of all Christians to have some share in the building up of the Body of Christ until we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God unto a perfect man, with a measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
Surely in this sense God desires to use the Body of Christ for doing His final work—His eternal work.
But Christian believers and Christian congregations must be thoroughly consecrated to Christ’s glory alone!
This means absolutely turning our backs on the modern insistence for human glory and recognition.
Natural gifts and talents are not enough in God’s work. The mighty Spirit of God must have freedom to animate and quicken with His overtones of creativity and blessing.
You can write it down as a fact: no matter what a man does, no matter how successful he seems to be, if the Holy Spirit is not the chief energizer of his activity, it will all fall apart when he dies!
Bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. 2 CORINTHIANS 10:5
We can always trust the moving and the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives and experiences, but we cannot always trust our human leanings and our fleshly and carnal desires. That calls for another word of balance. We know that the emotional life is a proper and noble part of our total personality. But by its very nature, it is of secondary importance, for religion lies in the will, and so does righteousness.
God never intended that such a being as mankind should become the mere plaything of his or her feelings. The only good that God recognizes is the willed good. The only valid holiness is a willed holiness. That is why I am always a little suspicious of the overly bubbly Christian who talks too much about himself or herself—and not enough about Jesus. That is also why I am more than a little
concerned about the professing Christian whose experience does not seem to have resulted in a true inner longing to be more like Jesus every day in thought, word and deed!
Dear Lord, today I want to be more like You in everything I do—what I say to my family and colleagues, how I react in difficult situations, and what I think about in my free time.