VIDEO I am His and He is Mine

Oct 16, 2014

by Amy Shreve

Lyrics:

Loved with everlasting love,
Led by grace that love to know;
Gracious Spirit from above,
Thou hast taught me it is so!
Oh, this full and perfect peace!
Oh, this transport all divine!
In a love which cannot cease,
I am His, and He is mine.

Heav’n above is softer blue,
Earth around is sweeter green!
Something lives in ev’ry hue
Christ-less eyes have never seen;
Birds with gladder songs o’erflow,
Flowers with deeper beauties shine,
Since I know, as now I know,
I am His, and He is mine.

His forever, only His!
Who the Lord and me shall part?
Ah, with what a rest of bliss
Christ can fill the loving heart!
Heav’n and earth may fade and flee,
Firstborn light in gloom decline;
But while God and I shall be,
I am His, and He is mine.

But while God and I shall be,
I am His, and He is mine.

Unexpected Encounter

church chior
The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel. —Ruth 2:12

Drew, young and enthusiastic, was leading the singing for the first time in a large church. Lois, a long-time attender, wanted to encourage him, but she thought it would be too difficult to get to the front of the church before he left. But then she saw a way to snake through the crowd. Lois told Drew, “I appreciate your enthusiasm in worship. Keep serving Him!”

As Lois walked away, she ran into Sharon, who she hadn’t seen in months. After a short conversation, Sharon said, “Thank you for what you do for the Lord. Keep serving Him!” Because Lois had gone out of her way to give encouragement, she was now in the right place to receive unexpected encouragement.

After Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi, left Moab and returned to Israel, they received an unexpected blessing. They were both widows with no one to provide for them, so Ruth went to glean grain from a field (Ruth 2:2-3). The field happened to be owned by Boaz, a distant relative of Naomi’s. He noticed Ruth, provided for her needs, and later became her husband (2:20; 4:13). Ruth received a blessing because she was in the right place at the right time (2:11-23).

Sometimes God uses unexpected encounters to bring unexpected blessings.

Dear Lord, help me to go out of my way to encourage others—whether or not I receive anything in return. My heart’s desire is to help others along the way to know You. May I be Your hands and feet.

When it comes to helping others, don’t stop at nothing.

By Anne Cetas

How to Light the Fire Again

Matthew 22:36-38

Let’s continue looking at the Lord’s warning to the church at Ephesus (Rev. 2:4) The Ephesians are a model of cooled-down faith. Their fervor is gone, though they’re still going through the motions of serving God and even defending the faith.

Christ’s warning to the church at Ephesus applies to modern-day believers whose hearts have grown cold. He looks at distracted and complacent Christians who are laboring for every reason but the right one, and He exclaims, “What I want is not your empty service; I want you!”

The heart cools gradually as a person gives higher priority to other relationships and activities than to the Lord. Through our definition of idol as “false god,” Satan has subtly limited how we perceive the word. The truth is, anything that distracts from God qualifies as an idol. For example, a god of this age is sports. Many believers know more about stats than Scripture and show more passion in the stands than in a worship service.

Returning to a life of passionate service for God begins with repentance. We must assume responsibility for drifting away from our first love. Then, we’re to put Jesus Christ back on the throne of our heart and reconnect with Him through regular prayer and meditation on Scripture.

God desires an intimate relationship with every believer. So let me ask you a question: Are you excited about Jesus? Our best and purest devotion will be to whatever or whomever we prioritize. If that is not Jesus, repent and let Him rekindle the flame of your first love.

Appreciating God’s Creation

“And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food.” (Genesis 2:8-9)

Everything in the garden of Eden was prepared for man’s enjoyment. In the time between creation and the curse, Adam and Eve no doubt fully enjoyed the vegetation (Genesis 2:5, 9, 15-16), the animals (vv. 19-20), the atmosphere and the weather (vv. 5-6), the rivers and the raw materials (vv. 10-14), each other (vv. 18, 21-25), and fellowship with God (3:8). But soon they rebelled and were driven from the beautiful garden (3:24), and ever since, mankind’s ability to enjoy creation has been shackled somewhat, for creation was distorted by sin, and the eyes of each one of us have become dull. The second verse of the well-loved hymn “I Am His, and He Is Mine” describes a partial reopening of the eyes of a believer upon salvation, as a love gift from our Lord.

Heav’n above is softer blue, Earth around is sweeter green;
Something lives in ev’ry hue Christless eyes have never seen!
Birds with gladder songs o’erflow, Flowers with deeper beauties shine,
Since I know, as now I know, I am His and He is mine.

In His abundant love for His children, our Lord promises to supply all our needs once again. “Why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these” (Matthew 6:28-29). Creation’s beauty waits to thrill us and instruct us. Our loving Father wills it so. But creation will be fully restored soon, and “the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing” (Isaiah 35:1-2). He beckons us to join Him in His kingdom. JDM

Fencing with Masters

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. —2 Timothy 4:3-4

Everyone who has come to the years of responsibility seems to have gone on the defensive. Even some of you who have known me for years are surely on the defensive—you have your guard up all the time!

I know that you are not afraid of me, but you are afraid, nevertheless, of what I am going to say. Probably every faithful preacher today is fencing with masters as he faces his congregation. The guard is always up. The quick parry is always ready.

It is very hard for me to accept the fact that it is now very rare for anyone to come into the house of God with guard completely down, head bowed and with the silent confession: “Dear Lord, I am ready and willing to hear what You will speak to my heart today!”

We have become so learned and so worldly and so sophisticated and so blasé and so bored and so religiously tired that the clouds of glory seem to have gone from us.

Lord, quiet my own heart before You and give me that humble spirit of listening. Whenever I come before You may I be “ready and willing to hear what You will speak to my heart today.” Amen.

Effective Prayer: Letting All Our Pretenses Go

Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Matthew 23:28

The basic artificiality of civilized human beings is hard to shake off. It gets into our very blood and conditions our thoughts, attitudes and relationships much more seriously than we imagine.

The desire to make a good impression has become one of the most powerful of all the factors determining human conduct. That gracious (and scriptural) social lubricant called courtesy has in our times degenerated into a completely false and phony etiquette that hides the true man under a shimmery surface as thin as the oil slick on a quiet pond. The only times some persons expose their real self is when they get mad.

With this perverted courtesy determining almost everything men and women say and do in human society, it is not surprising that it should be hard to be completely honest in our relations with God. It carries over as a kind of mental reflex and is present without our being aware of it.

Nevertheless, it is an attitude extremely hateful to God. Christ detested it and condemned it without mercy when He found it among the Pharisees. The artless little child is still the divine model for all of us. Prayer will increase in power and reality as we repudiate all pretense and learn to be utterly honest before God as well as before men!

Normal—or Nominal?

Where your treasure is, there willy our heart be also. LUKE 12:34

Is the Lord Jesus Christ your most precious treasure in the whole world? If so, count yourself among “normal” Christians, rather than among “nominal” Christians!

My old dictionary gives this definition as the meaning of nominal: Existing in name only, not real or actual; hence so small, slight, as to be hardly worth the name.

With that as a definition, those who know they are Christians “in name only” should never make the pretense of being normal Christians. Thankfully those who are “normal” are constantly being drawn to praise and worship, charmed by the moral beauty which is found only in Jesus.

I cannot understand how anyone can profess to be a follower and a disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ and not be overwhelmed by His attributes. Those divine attributes faithfully attest that He is indeed Lord of all, completely worthy of our worship and praise!

Heavenly Father, You are the Creator of heaven and earth. You are holy and righteous in all Your ways. You are my Treasure today and every day.