VIDEO Sunday Respite, ‘How Great Thou Art’

For this Sunday I chose one from the Piano Guys. This one is part two of their 7 piece collection they did of going around the world with some extraordinary locations. Have a wonderful day.

The Mission / How Great Thou Art – The Piano Guys (Wonder of The World 2 of 7)

https://bunkerville.wordpress.com/2017/03/19/sunday-respite-how-great-thou-art-2/

Running and Rest

[Jesus] said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31

The headline caught my eye: “Rest Days Important for Runners.” In Tommy Manning’s article, the former member of the U.S. Mountain Running Team emphasized a principle that dedicated athletes sometimes ignore—the body needs time to rest and rebuild after exercise. “Physiologically, the adaptations that occur as a result of training only happen during rest,” Manning wrote. “This means rest is as important as workouts.”

The same is true in our walk of faith and service. Regular times of rest are essential to avoid burnout and discouragement. Jesus sought spiritual balance during His life on Earth, even in the face of great demands. When His disciples returned from a strenuous time of teaching and healing others, “He said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest’” (Mark 6:31). But a large crowd followed them, so Jesus taught them and fed them with only five loaves and two fish (vv. 32–44). When everyone was gone, Jesus “went up on a mountainside to pray” (v. 46).

Jesus invites us to regularly join Him in a quiet place to pray and get some rest.

If our lives are defined by work, then what we do becomes less and less effective. Jesus invites us to regularly join Him in a quiet place to pray and get some rest.

Lord Jesus, thank You for Your example of prayer alone with Your Father. Give us wisdom and determination to make rest a priority as we follow You.

In our life of faith and service, rest is as important as work.

 

Blessed to Bless Others

2 Corinthians 9:6-15

God’s blessings to us are not meant to end with us. His desire is that they filter down to others. This principle applies in all areas of our life, including our finances. Did you know that our heavenly Father has plans for our money? God’s children generally want to discover what His will is for their life, but so often they fail to consult Him about His desires for their paycheck.

The Lord graciously supplies us with income so we can provide for our needs and even some of our desires. But He also wants us to use our money to achieve His purposes. And one of His goals is that we share our resources with others. If we decide in our heart to participate in His plans, He commits to provide all we need to live and to share.

Just look at His extravagant promise in 2 Corinthians 9:8: “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed” (emphasis added). This encouraging scripture is a good reminder that sharing blessings with others will never lead to deprivation. In fact, the Lord promises to increase the harvest of our righteousness and enrich us in everything in response to our generosity. We can never outgive God.

A hoarded blessing is never enjoyed as richly as a shared one. Using your gift to meet someone else’s need glorifies the Lord by demonstrating His grace at work in your life. Don’t allow His generous provisions to end with you. Pass them on to others and discover the joy of a never-ending cycle of blessings.

Statement of Christ’s Purpose

“For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.” (John 13:15)

Schools, businesses, and institutions are all well-advised to develop and live by a “statement of purpose” if they are to be successful, evaluating each activity by its effectiveness in fulfilling that purpose.

As Christians, we should also have a well-defined purpose. Each individual’s specific purpose will vary somewhat, depending on that person’s giftedness, background, and circumstances; but since Christ is our example, each Christian’s statement of purpose should reflect His priorities and values.

In many ways, Mark’s gospel provides the most vivid and explicit insight into the work of Jesus, and in this book we see Jesus often repeating His statement of purpose. “Jesus came . . . preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying . . . repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:14-15). Jesus Christ had come with the specific purpose of saving the lost, and everything He did pointed to that end. “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (2:17).

Christ not only preached to sinners, but He trained and sent out His followers to see that His mission was effectively carried out, even after He was gone. “And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth. . . . And they went out, and preached that men should repent” (6:7, 12). Regarding His approaching death, He explained: “The Son of man came . . . to give his life a ransom for many” (10:45). As He left them, He commanded, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (16:15).

Our priorities should be the same as His. If everything we do points toward this end, His mission will thereby be accomplished. “Whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it” (8:35). JDM

 

“The Lord hath redeemed Jacob.”

Exodus 12:21-36

Our last reading set forth the Lord’s command as to the passover, we shall now see it obeyed.

Exodus 12:21, 22

They must abide under the shelter of the blood or perish.

Exodus 12:23

Else had Israel died as well as Egypt. It was not character or position, but the sprinkled blood which made the difference. The sacrifice of Jesus is the true reason of our salvation.

Exodus 12:24

Whatever else we forget we must hold by the substitutionary atonement as long as time endures.

Exodus 12:25-27

The youngest ought to be instructed in the doctrine of atonement by blood: it is the most vital truth of our most holy faith.

Exodus 12:28-30

Death reigned where the blood was not sprinkled, and so must it be. Are we all marked with the blood of our Great Substitute?

Exodus 12:31, 32

Here was the overthrow of pride. The haughty tyrant surrenders, and becomes himself a suppliant. God’s sword can reach the heart of leviathan himself, though he thinks himself invulnerable and invincible.

Exodus 12:35

These were not borrowed as we understand the word, but asked for, and freely given, because the people honoured the Israelites, and were afraid to incur their anger.

Exodus 12:36

Their long and unpaid services were thus, in a measure, requited by the gifts of the Egyptians.

When souls are spiritually set free from sin, the Lord is pleased to adorn them with many precious things; for he is abundant in lovingkindness towards his people.

 

Paschal Lamb, by God appointed,

All our sins on Thee were laid:

By almighty love anointed,

Thou hast full atonement made:

All Thy people are forgiven

Through the virtue of Thy blood:

Open’d is the gate of heaven;

Peace is made ‘twixt man and God.

 

Refuse To Ever Let Go Of Your Dream!

Hebrews 10:23

What do you want God to accomplish through you in this life? What are the dreams you think about every night when your head hits the pillow, or every day when no one else is around? Do you daydream about what you’d like to become or do in the years that lie ahead? Have you considered the possibility that these daydreams may in fact be the will of God for your life—dreams He placed deep down inside your spirit that are starting to be awakened? Is it possible that this is the timing for God’s dream for your life to be ignited in your soul?

Dreams are powerful. They usually seem impossible at first, but those who dare to do the impossible are the ones who eventually see the impossible come to pass in their lives. Everything great starts as a dream. Consider the example of Thomas Edison, who worked so long and furiously to realize his dream of the light bulb. Although Edison failed literally thousands of times in the earliest pursuits of his dream, he learned from every failure and pushed forward. Finally, his dream came to pass, and it changed the course of human history.

What if this brilliant man had given up and given in to discouragement? I’m sure someone else along the way would have invented the light bulb, but Edison wouldn’t have had the great honor of being a part of it.

There are myriads of Bible examples of individuals who had a dream. For instance, let’s consider the dream God gave Abraham—called the father of our faith—regarding a new land and a new people. When God first spoke to him about the son He would give him, Abraham and his wife had long been infertile and unable to conceive a child. The thought of having a baby probably seemed like an unattainable fantasy to them. They could have asked themselves, Is this really the plan of God for our lives, or is this a hallucination?

God also promised Abraham a new land but didn’t tell him where it was located. In their efforts to find that land, Abraham and Sarah were stricken with colossal challenges, problematic circumstances, and horrible internal family problems. First, Abraham’s father died. Then they lost their nephew Lot to Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham also took Hagar as a second wife, producing a son that didn’t belong to Sarah and a great deal of jealousy and strife. In addition, Abraham and Sarah experienced a terrible famine in their promised territory that forced them to leave due to a lack of food. Traveling to Egypt in search for food, they soon found themselves evicted from that land as well.

At any moment, it would have been so easy for Abraham and Sarah to say, “Enough is enough! Pack it up—we’re going back home to the city of Ur!” But instead of giving in to defeat and discouragement, they held tightly to the dreams God had put in their hearts and kept pursuing those dreams until they had witnessed their fulfillment.

If you want to see the dream God has given you fulfilled in your life, it is imperative that you have this same attitude. As Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;).”

I want you to particularly notice the phrase “hold fast.” Abraham and Sarah “held fast” to their dream, and that is what you must do as well. The phrase “hold fast” is taken from the Greek word katecho, which is a compound of the two words kata and echo. The first word, kata, carries the idea of something that comes downward.

You could say the word kata carries the force of something that comes down so hard and so heavily, it is overpowering and dominating to the point of being subjugating. When this force arrives on the scene, it conquers, subdues, and immediately begins expressing its overwhelming, influencing power.

The second part of the word katecho is the word echo, which simply means I have and carries the notion of possession. This is the picture of someone who has sought and searched for one particular thing his entire life. After years of seeking and searching, he finally finds the object of his dreams. Joyfully he rushes forward to seize it and hold it tight. He wraps his arms around that object, making it his very own. Finally, he can say, “I have it! At long last it is mine!”

When kata and echo are compounded into the word katecho, it literally means to embrace something tightly. However, because of the word kata, we know that this is the image of someone who finds the object of his dreams and then holds it down—taking control of it, dominating iteven sitting on it so it doesn’t slip away!

The phrase “hold fast” is so strong that it can actually be translated to suppress. It is used this exact way in Romans 1:18, where Paul tells us about ungodly men “… who hold [or suppress] the truth in unrighteousness.” In other words, because these ungodly men don’t like the truth, they “sit on it” or “put a lid on it” in an effort to keep others from hearing the truth and getting set free. But in Hebrews 10:23, this same idea is used positively to describe you sitting on your word from God and refusing to let it slip out and get away from you!

This is the attitude you must have if you want to see your God-given dream come to pass. You have to wrap your arms around that word from God and never stop believing and pursuing your dream until it comes to pass. If you’ll katecho your dream, it won’t be able to get away from you, nor will anyone else be able to take it away from you!

 

The word katecho in Hebrews 10:23 could be interpreted this way:

“And let us hold fast to our confession, tightly wrapping our arms around it and embracing it with all our might, rejecting all attempts of anyone who tries to steal it from us….”

When you finally discover God’s will for your life—when His plan finally begins to awaken in your heart and you know exactly what you are to do—hold fast to that dream. Tightly embrace what God has shown you. Seize it—wrap your arms of faith around it. Hold it down, and hold it tight!

Whenever you are tempted to get discouraged, give up, and release your dream, remember Abraham and Sarah. Although it took them awhile to receive their dream of a son, and although they had to overcome titanic hurdles along the way, they refused to let go of that dream and eventually saw it come to pass. In the end, they discovered that their dream was not a hallucination; it really was a word from God!

If you’ll hold tight and refuse to let go of YOUR dream, it will just be a matter of time until you see it come to pass! Place all your weight on top of that dream so that NOTHING can steal it away from you!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I am well aware that events will occur in life that will tempt me to release the dream You put in my heart. So right now I ask You to fill me with the courage I need to refuse to let go of my dream. Even though my mind and the circumstances around me may send signals that the dream will never come to pass, I know that You are faithful to what You have promised. Help me wrap my arms of faith around Your promises and never let go until I see them come into manifestation!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I boldly declare that my word from God will come to pass! It may take a little while for it to happen, but I will firmly hang on to the promise God has given me. And because I refuse to let the dream slip from my heart, I stand by faith and declare that it is only a matter of time until I see the manifestation of what I’m believing God for!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. What can you learn about faith by looking at the lives of Abraham and Sarah?
  2. In what ways does your own walk of faith compare with Abraham and Sarah’s walk of faith?
  3. Can you think of a time in your past when you claimed a promise, hung on to it in the face of opposition, and later saw that promise come to pass? What was the blessing you received by faith?

 

Today, Many Of Us Are Plagued By A Malaise Deep Within Our Soul

Beneath the surface of our lives there lurks a subliminal sense of disquiet… a despondency; perhaps a lingering struggle with depression… even to the point of despair. Let me suggest four reasons as to why:

 

1. Primal Wounds of the Heart

Most of us enter adult life deeply wounded. So unless and until we assume responsibility for the past, and allow Jesus the Healer to bind up our wounds, thereby giving us the grace to forgive, forget, and move beyond the past, we will continue on as spiritual and emotional cripples.

 

Behold, how happy is the man whom God reproves, so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. For He inflicts pain, and gives relief; He wounds, and His hands also heal.” (Job 5:17, 18)

 

2. Cynicism of the Mind

Secretly, many of us live in two worlds. Intellectually we believe the Word of God to be true. However, when Jesus calls us to steps of faith demanding vulnerability, we often respond with, “I cant,” or “I wont.” And by our refusal, we demonstrate our spiritual cynicism that God really cannot be trusted.

 

But my righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrink back, my soul hath no pleasure in him.” (Hebrews 10:38 Phillips)

 

3. Paralysis of the Will

Many of us choose to continue to be victimized by our past, our circumstances, and our fears. Our motto is “I cant help it,” or “I cant do it.” So the freedom, the joy, and the victory available to us in Christ remain a distant illusion that recedes with each passing day.

 

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37)

 

4. Overcrowding of the Soul

We are exposed to too much noise, activity, information, and pressure. Too little time is taken for meditation, rest, contemplation and prayer. So the jostling encountered by today’s typical urban professional is usually unkind to the inner life of the soul.

 

And the work of righteousness will be peace, and the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever.” (Isaiah 32:17)

 

The enemy’s objective, to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10) the abundant life of Christ within us, is being realized if we fail to address these critical areas of life. Ultimately, the choice is ours.

 

 

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