VIDEO Are You Washed In The Blood, Fly Away

Mar 29, 2010

Alan Jackson’s official music video for ‘Are You Washed In The Blood / I’ll Fly Away

Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Are you washed in the blood,
In the soul-cleansing blood of the Lamb?
Are your garments spotless are they white as snow?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Some glad morning when this life is o’er,
I’ll fly away,
To a home on God’s celestial shore,
I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away).

I’ll fly away, Oh Glory
I’ll fly away,
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by,
I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away).

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Me, Myself & I

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13

If only I were less like this or more like this… The effect of such thinking is more than just low self-esteem. Not only are we placing ourselves at odds with who we are with those thoughts, we are placing ourselves in conflict with God. We forget that we were thought of and chosen. Just as an artist conceives an idea before it is translated into being, God thought of you and desired a (insert your name) in the world before you existed. He gave your soul its shape.

If you’re feeling stuck with a poor self-image, begin with asking God, “How do You see me?” He had a specific plan in mind when He created you. As you come to realize how much God loves and delights in you, your own ability to love and receive love will grow. Each day we should pray that our eyes are opened to the great gifts God has bestowed on all of us. We are desired, loved, and invited to connect with God on a daily basis.

I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most glorious creature that I could think of; for to have been thought about, born in God’s thought, and then made by God, is the dearest, grandest and most precious thing in all thinking.  George MacDonald

Abraham’s Lesson on Obedience

 

Genesis 16:1-16

The Old Testament gives us the account of Abraham’s life. While the patriarch had a special relationship with God, his faith was not perfect. Over the years, he came to understand the importance of obedience—and how costly it can be to rebel.

Abraham learned the hard way that manipulating circumstances to gain a desired result can bring heartache. God had promised him and Sarah a child, but they were still waiting for that blessing when they were elderly. Already in her 70s, Sarah suggested that Abraham get an heir by having a child with her servant Hagar. The result was jealousy, family strife, and a bloody conflict that still rages today between the descendants of Hagar’s son Ishmael and Sarah’s son Isaac.

Obedience will bring the Lord’s best, but it requires waiting on Him. Abraham was already an old man when God promised him descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky (Gen. 15:5). This would not be fulfilled until he was 100 and Sarah was well past her child-bearing years, which meant that all the glory for Isaac’s miraculous conception and birth went to the Lord (Gen. 21:1-7). Jumping ahead of God had harsh, long-term consequences. But the good news is that the couple’s mistakes could not prevent Him from carrying out His plan.

The Lord has given us His Word so we might learn from the saints of old. The story of Abraham’s life teaches us that obedience is essential. When we place our trust in a sovereign God and wait upon His timing, He will always prove faithful.

We Soon Fly Away

“For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.” (Psalm 90:4)

In this unique psalm, Moses is stressing the brevity of even the longest human life with the everlasting nature of God. In the pre-Flood world, men were able to live many hundreds of years, but no one ever lived as long as 1,000 years. By Moses’ time, the typical lifespan was 70 or 80 years (v. 10), much the same as today. Moses lived to age 120, but he was twice as old as most of his contemporaries when he finally died (note Numbers 14:29, 34; Deuteronomy 34:7).

Moses, therefore, was profoundly impressed with the ephemeral nature of a person’s time on Earth. Even if someone had lived a thousand years, this was only a little while in God’s sight, and his life would soon “fly away” (Psalm 90:10) and be forgotten.

There is nothing in this passage, incidentally, or in 2 Peter 3:8 (“one day is with the Lord as a thousand years”) to justify the misinterpretation that attributes billions of years to God’s creation week. In context (and one must always be sensitive to the context if he wants to understand any passage of Scripture), neither Moses nor Peter were referring to the creation week at all. Moses was stressing the brevity of human life, even that of the antediluvians, while Peter was rebuking the latter-day uniformitarians who would come denying the catastrophic effects of the great Flood. It is too bad that so many Christians are willing to distort Scripture like this in order to accommodate the imaginary ages of evolution.

The message we should really get from this Mosaic observation is the application He Himself makes. “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Psalm 90:12)! HMM

“We are the children of promise.”

 

Galatians 4:21-31

Paul teaches us how to gather instruction from the ancient story of Ishmael and Isaac. Writing to those who were anxious to introduce Jewish ceremonialism into the Christian church, he says in—Galatians 4:21-31.

Galatians 4:21

Are ye not able to see a meaning in the incidents it records? Will ye only learn one part of its teaching, and shut your ears to the rest?

Galatians 4:28

We were not made sons of God by the energy of nature, but by the power of divine grace.

Galatians 4:29

Pharisees and self-righteous persons display great enmity towards those who depend upon the grace of God in Christ Jesus. They call them presumptuous, and revile their doctrine as tending to licentiousness.

Galatians 4:30

The system of salvation by works must be banished if grace is to reign; you cannot mix the two systems. The power and energy of self must also be no longer our trust if we desire to be saved through the promise. Human merit, the child of the flesh, will never agree with faith, the offspring of the promise.

Galatians 5:1-6

Galatians 5:1

Do not go back to legal hopes, and ceremonial observances. You are freeborn; do not submit to the yoke of bondage.

Galatians 5:4

If a man could be justified by the law he would have left the system of grace altogether, for the two are diametrically opposed. Thanks be to God, we dare not even hope for a legal righteousness, and if we never fall from grace till we have become justified by the law, that evil will never befall us.

Galatians 5:5

Our confidence is in the promise and grace of God; thus we are true Isaacs, born of the promise of God.

Galatians 5:6

The outward is disregarded and the inward becomes all-important. The flesh, like Ishmael, is sent away, and the newborn nature abides with the father, and inherits the covenant promises. All believers understand this riddle: can all of us in this household interpret it?

 

Once all my servile works were done

A righteousness to raise;

Now, freely chosen in the Son,

I freely choose his ways.

 

“What shall I do,” was then the word,

“That I may worthier grow?”

“What shall I render to the Lord?”

Is my enquiry now.

 

Does God’s Word Feel at Home in Your Life?

 

Colossians 3:16

Many years ago when I was speaking in a particular church, the pastor informed me that because the church couldn’t afford a hotel for me, I’d be staying that week with a family from his church. When I arrived at this family’s home, the host met me at the front door, showed me my bedroom, and pointed out the bathroom and kitchen. Then the entire family ignored me for the rest of the week!

If I asked the family members a question, they pretended not to hear me. When it was time to eat, they informed me that it wasn’t their responsibility to feed me and that I could just take care of myself because they weren’t there to nurse me.

Words cannot describe how uncomfortable I was in that home! Everything that family did let me know that they wished I wasn’t there. When that week concluded, I was so happy to move out of that miserable predicament! I pledged that I would never let myself be put in that kind of situation again.

How about you? Have you ever stayed as a guest in a home where the people made you feel very unwelcome and unwanted?

I remember that when this happened, I was studying Colossians 3:16, where it says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…” The chilly reception I felt in that home caused me to look at my own heart and ask, What kind of reception have I given the Word of God in my life? I wanted to know:

  • Have I given God’s Word the kind of reception it deserves, or have I ignored it and given it the “cold shoulder”?
  • Does God’s Word feel at home in my life, or does it feel unwanted?
  • Have I rolled out the red carpet and given God’s Word a grand reception, making it clear that I love the Word and am privileged to have it dwelling in my heart?

In Colossians 3:16, Paul tells us that the word of Christ should “dwell” in us richly. I decided to go get my Greek New Testament and study the word “dwell” so I could determine what kind of reception I had given God’s Word in my own life.

I found that the word “dwell” is taken from the word enoikeo. The word enoikeo is a compound of the words en and oikos. The word en means in, and the word oikos is the Greek word for a house. When the two words are compounded together, they form the word enoikeo, which means to dwell in a house. This is the same Greek word used in both New Testament literature and secular literature to signify someone who takes up permanent residency in a home. The person is so at home and contented in this new location that he has chosen to make it his permanent dwelling place for the rest of his life.

So when Paul tells us to let the word of Christ “dwell” in us, he is beseeching us to give God’s Word such a grand, welcoming reception that it literally feels at home in us and therefore comes to take up permanent residency!

Does the Word have this kind of place in your life? Does it really “dwell” in you richly? Does it feel at home and comfortable in your life? Or is the Word of God treated like a stranger that is occasionally welcomed into your life as a visitor? Be honest!

Why not make today the day that the Word of God comes to take up permanent residency in your life? Throw the door open, roll out the red carpet, and welcome the Word of God as a new, permanent resident in your heart!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, how can I ever thank You enough for the power of Your Word? I am so honored that You would place such a gift in my life. Help me to appreciate it, value it, and give it the kind of reception it deserves. I want to make Your Word a top priority in my life; I want it to feel welcomed, wanted, and deeply loved. Starting today, I open my heart wider than ever before and ask that Your Word come to richly dwell inside me!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that the Word of God dwells richly in me. It has such a grand reception in my life that it literally feels at home in me. Because I give it this place of prominence in my life, it produces phenomenal amounts of spiritual wealth in my life. I have so many spiritual riches inside me that they continually flow forth to enrich those around me.

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. Is God’s Word a priority in your life or just a sideline issue?
  2. How can you better give God’s Word a grand, welcoming reception in your life?
  3. What steps can you take to make God’s Word feel so at home in your life that it takes up permanent residency?

When Paul tells us to let the word of Christ “dwell” in us, he is beseeching us to give God’s Word such a grand, welcoming reception that it literally feels at home in us and therefore comes to take up permanent residency! Does the Word have this kind of place in your life? Or is the Word of God treated like a stranger that is occasionally welcomed into your life as a visitor? Be honest!

 

Question: Is It Possible To Grow Old Graciously?

  • Will your children want you around when you are in your 70’s or 80’s?
  • What attitudes present in your life today have the potential of ossifying into unattractive — even repulsive behavior in your old age?

Often, in my exposure to older Christians… even “saints,” so-called, I come away disappointed.

 

Why is it that up close so many come off as self-centered, narrow and rigid… Prima donnas?

 

This is not God’s idea of righteous older people. Listen to Psalm 92:12-14:

 

The righteous man will flourish like a palm tree, He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still yield fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap and very green.

 

Here the psalmist paints a picture of flexibility… of reaching out… of growth. Of life!

 

In your social interaction with others:

  • Do you make an effort to focus the attention on yourself, or on them?
  • Is it your intent to minister, or to impress?
  • Do you decide the perimeters and direction of the conversation, or do you choose to serve by letting them make that determination?

Given your present social patterns, what will your attitude be like in 5, 10, or 20 years: Supple, magnanimous and giving? Or inflexible, censoring and distant?

 

The attitudes you entertain today indicate what you are in the process of becoming tomorrow… and in old age.

 

In the future, your children and friends may well have to live with the blessing or brunt of what you are becoming. Are you happy with that prospect?