VIDEO In Control

May 11, 2017

“In Control” from our new album ‘let there be light’ recorded live at ‪Hillsong Conference in Sydney, Australia.

From Heaven You can hear
I know You’re drawing near
As I worship

Held within Your love
The wind and waves will come
But I will stay here

I lift my hands to Heaven
Here my heart surrendered
I tell my soul again
You are Lord of all
And though the seas are raging
You will speak and tame them
In You I find my rest
You are in control

Through valleys I will trust
Your spirit is enough, to keep me walking
You guide my every step
Speak life to me again
Lord I need You
Oh I need You

I lift my hands to Heaven
Here my heart surrendered
I tell my soul again
You are Lord of all
And though the seas are raging
You will speak and tame them
In You I find my rest
You are in control

I will trust in only You
No one can add to Your perfection
You’re the beginning and the end
More than I can comprehend
There is no one like You
No one

I will trust in only You
No one can add to Your perfection
You’re the beginning and the end
More than I can comprehend
There is no one like You
No one

I will trust in only You
No one can add to Your perfection
You’re the beginning and the end
More than I can comprehend
There is no one like You
Jesus

I lift my hands to Heaven
Here my heart surrendered
I tell my soul again
You are Lord of all
And though the seas are raging
You will speak and tame them
In You I find my rest
You are in control

I lift my hands to Heaven
Here my heart surrendered
I tell my soul again
You are Lord of all
And though the seas are raging
You will speak and tame them
In You I find my rest
You are in control

In You I find my rest
You are in control

Advertisements

Love of Another Kind

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. John 15:12

One of my favorite churches started several years ago as a ministry to ex-prisoners who were transitioning back into society. Now the church flourishes with people from all walks of life. I love that church because it reminds me of what I picture heaven will be like—filled with different kinds of people, all redeemed sinners, all bound together by the love of Jesus.

Sometimes, though, I wonder if church seems more like an exclusive club than a safe haven for forgiven sinners. As people naturally gravitate into groups of “a certain kind” and cluster around those they feel comfortable with, it leaves others feeling marginalized. But that’s not what Jesus had in mind when He told His disciples to “love each other as I have loved you” (John 15:12). His church was to be an extension of His love mutually shared with all.

Share Christ’s love with another.

If hurting, rejected people can find loving refuge, comfort, and forgiveness in Jesus, they should expect no less from the church. So let’s exhibit the love of Jesus to everyone we encounter—especially those who are not like us. All around us are people Jesus wants to love through us. What a joy it is when people unite to worship together in love—a slice of heaven we can enjoy here on earth!

Lord, remind me today that while I was a sinner You embraced me with Your deep and unconditional love and brought me into the fellowship of Your grace. Lead me to someone I can love as You loved me.

Share Christ’s love with another.

By Joe Stowell 

INSIGHT

Have you ever wondered how Jesus could command His disciples to love anyone? How can you force people of varying backgrounds and interests to care for one another?

Such instruction probably won’t make sense until we understand what kind of a king Jesus was—and what kind of relationship He had with His Father. He wasn’t saying, “I’ll love you if you love me.” That’s not the way His relationship with His Father worked. He knew His Father loved Him. When He loved and obeyed His Father’s commands, it was because Jesus knew and listened to His Father’s heart. In the Spirit of our God, we love our King—and one another—because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).

Mart DeHaan

The Wisdom of Right Relationships

Hebrews 10:23-24

The subject of positive relationships is near to my heart because the Lord has provided me with dependable friends. These are the people who challenge me to do more for God. My friends love me, but they certainly aren’t content to let me stay as I am! If they spot a sin in my life or see something I could do better, they say so.

Paul gave relationships a high priority, too. The apostle surrounded himself with people who could help him achieve two things: fulfillment of his God-given mission and conformity to Christlikeness. While Paul was pouring himself into the lives of others, he was being built up and strengthened by fellow believers. That, in brief, is the Lord’s plan for every one of His children.

What about you? Do you have certain relationships that motivate you to pursue God more fervently? It does matter whom we allow to influence our lives. The Father equips your brothers and sisters to invest in you—to encourage you, pray for you, and prod you toward a more complete faith—so you are prepared to devote yourself to serving others. Good relationships with people who build each other up can help believers fulfill God’s plan for their life.

The finest relationships are between people who want to see each other succeed in faith and therefore “spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Heb. 10:24 NIV). In other words, our best friends are those who love us as we are but never stop pointing us to the Lord and challenging us toward excellence.

His Unfailing Presence

“And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.” (Genesis 28:15)

This is the first of many promises of God’s unfailing presence with those who trust Him. The words of our text were spoken to Jacob on his flight from the unwarranted wrath of Esau. Those expositors who unjustifiably accuse Jacob of fraud when he secured the birthright promised to him by God before his birth (Genesis 25:23) should note that God never rebuked Jacob but instead promised His perpetual protecting presence.

Note also God’s promise to Joshua: “There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee” (Joshua 1:5).

There is also His promise to His chosen people, Israel: “For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people” (1 Samuel 12:22). There are many other such assurances in the Scriptures. One that especially reveals God’s heart is Isaiah 41:17: “When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them.”

The most precious of all, however, is the assurance to all New Testament believers that “I will never [literally ‘never, never, never’] leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). Paul teaches after an exhausting list of possibilities that nothing “shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39). “Lo, I am with you alway,” Jesus said, “even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20).

Now will I sing to my Well-beloved a song

Song of Songs 3:6-11

That the poetical nature of the Song of Solomon may be more clearly seen, we have now before us a passage in which the original form of the Canticle is preserved, and its meaning made more clear by an improved translation.

Song of Songs 3:6

The first speakers are the Daughters of Jerusalem.

Song of Songs 3:7-11

The Friends of the Bridegroom then reply.

Then follows a song of The King, in which he extols the beauty of his bride.

Song of Songs 4:1-7

Song of Songs 4:1-7

In the first song the king is seen in his travelling palanquin or chariot-bed, coming up from the wilderness. We may expound the picture as representing our Lord and King going up into his glory from this wilderness world. Mark the sweet odours of his merits, and the smoke of his sacrifice, observe also the attendant angels, as Milton calls them, “the helmed cherubim and the sworded seraphim,” who, having kept watch around him in the wilderness, now attend him to swell the pomp of his ascension. Thus will Jesus come a second time, and his church shall go forth and gaze upon him. That glorious chariot of love, whose purple canopy well sets forth the atoning blood, is his salvation in which the church rides and rests with her Lord. Happy those who are in it by faith.

The song in which the king extols his bride will be understood by those who know that the imputed righteousness of the Lord Jesus puts upon the saints a perfect comeliness, so that they are “all fair” in the sight of God. Every single line has its meaning, and spiritual minds will find great delight in reading the works of such writers as Gill, or Durham, or. Moody Stuart, upon this priceless book.

 

Turn Your Memories Around!

2 Corinthians 11:25

Sometimes people get the impression that they have to be absolutely perfect before they can step out in faith to do something new and adventuresome. But there is rarely a perfect or easy environment in which a step of faith needs to be taken! The reason we call it a “step of faith” is that it requires us to move out of our comfort zone or to do something that is challenging!

So rather than wait for a perfect situation before you step out in faith, listen to the Holy Spirit for His timing. If the Holy Spirit says to do something now, you need to do it now, even if the surrounding environment seems difficult or unfavorable at the moment. And when you step out in faith, don’t be surprised if you are met with obstacles and difficulties, at least at first.

Some people say, “I tried to step out in faith once, and I was met with all kinds of horrible circumstances! What happened to me is such a terrible memory that I don’t know if I have the courage to ever step out in faith again!”

That’s why I’m writing several Sparkling Gems to tell you about Paul’s experiences. I want you to know that everyone runs into obstacles and difficulties—even the apostle Paul with all his God-given revelation and anointing!

You see, the devil will do his best to hinder what God puts in your heart because he doesn’t want God’s will to be accomplished through your life. The enemy is terrified at the thought of you actually doing what God has told you to do. But like the apostle Paul, you have to determine that one way or another, you’re going to get the job done. Paul didn’t throw in the towel and quit just because he ran into obstacles along the road to his goal. He just found ways to get around the obstacles and keep going until his divine assignment was fulfilled!

I guarantee you that if you freeze every time the devil throws a roadblock in your path, you’ll spend most of your life frozen. Perfect circumstances are terrific if it’s possible to line them up, but don’t depend on it. Whether or not the circumstances are the way you’d like them to be, you have to decide to take hold of God’s power and move ahead. God will show you how to get around that impasse so you can finish the job He’s given you to do.

Thrice I Suffered Shipwreck

In Second Corinthians 11:25, Paul tells us about one roadblock the devil devised to hinder him. He writes, “… Thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep.”

This verse is a bit of a mystery. The book of Acts only records one shipwreck. Yet as we have already seen from this list, too many significant events occurred during Paul’s ministry for Luke to have included all of them in his written account in the book of Acts.

Traveling by sea was a perilous and risky undertaking. Ships were not always reliable. The routes often took them through waters cluttered with sharp rocks, reefs, and debris. Even if the vessel was guided by strong and skilled leadership, currents were so strong that even the best ships could be carried directly into rocks and other dangerous obstacles.

In Acts 27:14-44, we read that Paul was traveling aboard a ship that ran into rocks and broke into pieces in the midst of a great storm. In that moment of crisis, Paul became God’s man on board ship! He spoke the word of faith to the crew and passengers, and soon he was in charge of the entire situation.

In addition to this shipwreck, Paul testifies that he has been shipwrecked on two other occasions as well. What are the odds that one person would be on three different ships that shipwrecked? This would be the equivalent of one person surviving three different plane crashes!

I think you can see that the attacks that assailed Paul’s life were simply remarkable in their scope and nature. Satan tried to create all kinds of “impasses” to stop him and his work. These events were definitely inconvenient, but they were unable to permanently hinder him from getting to his destination.

A Night and a Day I Have Been in the Deep

The phrase “a night and a day” refers to a 24-hour time period. The word “deep” is the Greek word bathus, and it refers to the deepest parts of the sea. Because Paul mentions this event immediately following his recollection of shipwrecks, we may assume that this night and a day in the deep was the result of one of the other shipwrecks of which we have no knowledge.

It is impossible to make much comment on this, as we know only what Paul says in this verse. Whenever and however it occurred, it was a horrific event in Paul’s life. The Greek tense shows that the experience is still fresh and vivid in Paul’s mind as he writes about it. The language even suggests that this is a recent occurrence.

Paul spent a 24-hour period treading water in the deepest parts of the sea. Yet it didn’t scare him away from getting on the very next ship to continue his trip and go where God ordered him to go. It was just another impasse on the journey, but it didn’t stop his trip!

Likewise, you can’t let past bad experiences determine your future actions. Consider what would have happened if Paul had said, “That’s it! I’m never getting on another ship!” If he had taken this approach, the devil would have stopped Paul from traveling by sea to get to areas where he needed to go. But instead of letting fear grip his mind, Paul put away all thoughts of fear and boarded the next ship when that form of transportation was required in order to reach the destination where God was leading him to go.

Instead of thinking how horrific it was to go through that past experience, why don’t you turn that memory around and reflect on how faithful God was to you in the midst of it? You didn’t die! You survived! God’s mercy intervened, and you came out all right! Even though the devil would love to paint a horrible memory for you about that event, the truth is, God was faithful to bring you through that ordeal, or you wouldn’t be reading this Sparkling Gem today!

You’re not defeated! Other people dropped out of sight or didn’t survive after the devil assaulted them—but you are still here! So hold your head high, throw back your shoulders, and be proud of the fact that God’s power enabled you to overcome in the past. And He will continue enabling you to overcome in the future if you’ll make the decision to keep moving forward by faith!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I admit that I’ve allowed some bad memories to paralyze me and keep me from taking the step of faith I need to be taking right now. I forgot to consider how You saved me, delivered me, and rescued me from the events that caused those painful memories. I only reflected on the bad part, failing to recognize how faithful You were to help me in that situation. Today I am making the choice to turn my memories around. Holy Spirit, help me see my past bad experiences in the light of God’s goodness and faithfulness. Fill my mind with the good things God has done for me and the knowledge that He will continue to be faithful to deliver me, no matter what opposition comes my way!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that God is good! He has been faithful to me. He has never failed me. He will never fail me in the future. Even when bad things tried to come against me, God saved me, delivered me, and brought me out with no permanent harm. It is a miracle I survived everything that happened to me in the past. But from this moment on, I choose to turn my memories around and to reflect only on how good God has been to me through all of life’s events. I will trust in Him to show me how to get around every impasse so I can finish the job He’s given me to do!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. When you reflect on the bad things that have happened to you in the past, can you see God’s faithfulness to bring you through each difficult situation? Have you ever pondered those past events in your life from the perspective of how good God was to deliver you, or have you only meditated on how terrible those situations were to go through?
  2. I want to encourage you to take a sheet of paper and to write down the times God has delivered and rescued you in the past. As you do, stop to meditate on each instance and to thank God for His goodness before proceeding to write down the next instance when He preserved your life or rescued you from a bad situation.
  3. Do you know someone who has been paralyzed by some past event? Don’t you think you could encourage that person and help him turn his memories around by sharing how God has intervened and rescued you so magnificently on many occasions?

 

God’s Grace Overrides Satan’s Accusations

Andrew, a businessman in his early 30’s, is developing a relationship with Ann that may well lead to marriage. Both are deeply committed to Christ. When Andrew brought Ann in for counseling, I learned that four years ago she lost her virginity when a persuasive “friend” took advantage of her.

 

Since then, Satan — that great “accuser of our brothers… ” — has had a field day with Ann as she has suffered from unimaginable guilt, self-recrimination, and low self-esteem, (Revelation 12:10b). After listening to her story, I felt compelled to share the following principles and Scriptures with her:

 

1. When we confess and forsake our sins, God forgives and forgets:

 

He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercyI, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no moreIf you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.” (Proverbs 18:13; Isaiah 43:25; Psalm 130:3, 4) (See 1 John 1:9; 2:1, 2)

 

He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.” (Psalm 103:10-14)

 

2. God’s grace is not a license to continue in sin:

 

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! Youwere called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful natureJesusasked her, Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?‘ ‘No one, sir, she said. Then neither do I condemn you, Jesus declared. Go now and leave your life of sin.‘” (Romans 6:1, 2a; Galatians 5:13; John 8:10, 11)

 

After sharing the Scriptures, we prayed together, claiming and appropriating His forgiveness, healing and inner peace. The next day I received a call informing me that for the first time in years, Ann was free of guilt and was filled with joy.

 

QUESTION: Are you carrying around unnecessary guilt for your past sins? If so, accept His promised forgiveness, appropriate His grace, (which has already been given you), and experience His freedom. Today.

 

 

%d bloggers like this: