Let All The World in Every Corner Sing

Let all the world in every corner sing, my God and King!
The heavens are not too high, His praise may thither fly,
The earth is not too low, His praises there may grow.
Let all the world in every corner sing, my God and King!

(Arrangement by Paul Mealor includes other lyrics)

Let all the world in every corner sing, my God and King!
The church with psalms must shout, no door can keep them out;
But, above all, the heart must bear the longest part.
Let all the world in every corner sing, my God and King!

George Herbert 1633

Sheet Music:  Arrangement by Paul Mealor

Indebted To Love

OThough pilgrims in an alien land we still must depend on those offices and laws that are part of this land. We own property according the rules that govern. We have the privileges that enable us to freely go about our daily business; although some of the these are being threatened. According to the apostle Paul’s teaching in Romans 13:1-7 we must, while citizens here, live in respect and obedience, knowing that all is under the rule of our mighty God and King; and all things work for good to those are His. Many Christians have problems with paying taxes and respecting those who rule over us. If we look back to Matthew 17:24 and Mark 12:13-17 we get a clear picture from our Lord Jesus Christ of this duty to earthly authorities.

In Romans 13:8-19 we see the great debt that we owe. This debt is much greater than any physical debt that requires our respect and our money. The comparison takes us beyond the scale of even our nation’s debt. To owe nothing but to love each other seems a simple thing; and an easy thing to do. But, when we contemplate the true meaning of this debt we see that it is a debt that we cannot pay. We are not able, even as Christians, to love, as we ought. The first commandment, “to love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our soul, and all our strength” is the commandment that we all break.

As I meditated on these verses after hearing our pastor’s sermon on this passage there was a realization that the love that we owe is like money that we don’t have.  To love as we are commanded to love requires a source that beyond our own ability, is exhaustive, and one that supplies us every moment, every day. This only comes from a heavenly Father who loves, through His Son who came to give us this love, and His Holy Spirit who works this love through us supernaturally.

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New Love, True Love,
There is much in this world that is called love. The sons of God exhibit a different love that the world can never know except as they see it in us. We truly love, as we know this love, received by the power of the Holy Spirit. The new heart and new spirit (Ezekiel 36:26) are filled with this love.

In Christ this love is the expression of eternal life. It is the living water springing up within us to everlasting life. (John 4:10, 14)

By the birth of the Holy Spirit love is the flow of rivers of living water. (John 3:3; 7:38-39)

How can we not love, if we are recipients of God’s love?
The power of the gospel that Paul speaks of in Romans 1:16-17 is the power that saves us from the power of oppression, anger, and hate. The obedience of faith is the proof of God’s saving power ~ proof of our salvation ~ working in and through us. The righteousness that comes by faith expresses itself in all that we receive, beginning with the first fruit of the Spirit ~ Love.

The power of the gospel was first expressed in the omnipotent love that transcended the heavens and the earth; coming down in the form of God’s Son. Giving Him as our means of new life, through His righteous life and perfect obedience, we receive in faith the power of this love to love as He loved. It is not our own. We cannot pay what we do not have. “To love” begins with loving God and “loving each other.” He was writing to the Roman believers. Only believers can understand and express this love.

Resource
We must examine our resources. Many buy, in extravagance, things they do not have money to pay. We think, perhaps, that we have the resources of love that are commanded of us when in essence our hearts are bone dry, lacking the resources that we need.
It grieves my heart to think that those who claim the love of Christ, His suffering and His sacrifice show no sign of His love in their hearts and lives.

We are called to His Word to daily receive the abundance of love that is needed to live in this world. It is the resource that will lead us through this wilderness to the Paradise that is promised to those who are loved of God.

Do you know this love? Do you testify to it daily in your relationship to the heavenly Father? Does this love flow from a new and daily replenished heart and soul? Do you love freely in Christ; or do you hold resentments against others?

Paul in the latter part of this chapter points out the need to awaken; to cast off the works of darkness; to put on the armor of light. He lists the natural character of the citizens of this world, including quarreling and jealousy, which are the opposite of faith and love.

But, put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. (vs.14)

 There is a difference in the nature of the world and the kingdom of God. The love of Christ is the proof in us ~ Christ in you, the hope of glory ~ the witness of God’s love in us, that we are born of His kingdom. Love is His nature and practice in this world in preparation for the next. Both John 3:16 and 1 John 3:16 speak of this love.

 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,”

 “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us:
and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

 Dear Father, prove your love to us, in and through us. Make the light of your love the brightest, the greatest, and most powerful thing in each of us. This true love would light up this world. Thank you for the power of your love in us, through us, and to others. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

“O, The Deep, Deep, Love of Jesus”

Sheet Music

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Not Enough Time For Me

sand-clock_thumb[1]The original thought was, “There is not enough time for me to write all that I want to write about God’s love, His goodness, His mercy and His grace. Even if I lived to be a hundred, time would not be adequate.”

The words “not enough time for me” stood out, as a meaning beyond what I was originally thinking. And here’s the meaning. If I am to serve Him, and fulfill His purpose for my creation and redemption it will take all my time. There is no time left for me if He is to do all His will and complete His work in me.

Jesus, in response to Mary when she and Joseph found Him at the age of twelve, conversing with the religious leaders, said, “Did you not know that I must be about my father’s business?” (Luke 2:49) He knew His purpose for being here, in word and deed ~ “to proclaim and bring to reality the good news of the kingdom of God” (Luke 4:43).  He had only thirty-three years, yet every minute counted for our justification, sanctification and glorification.

Wasted Time
As I experience these last years and see how close I am to the end of this life there is a stark realization that a lot of my time has been wasted on me. But, the Lord has been gracious to fill my life with the needs of others, not leaving much time for me. Even in my weakness He is able to make life count for Him. Nothing is wasted, but He will bring all to His own glory, as we realize the true joy in service to Him and others.

He is continuing to teach me to be content with what He is doing in my life and the lives of others, though I wish I could do more. I am still learning what it means to lose my life and to have true life.   Anyone who has been born of His Spirit can witness that writing about Him, proclaiming His kingdom, praising Him and serving is never enough. We long to see Him, to serve Him, and worship Him without hindrance from anything in ourselves.  What a glorious day that will be.

“For whoever would save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.”

Mark 8:35

Heavenly Father, thank you that you will complete the work you have begun in each of us.  In Jesus’ name I thank you and praise you.  Amen.

Thy Word Is Like a Garden, Lord


Thy Word is like a garden, Lord,
With flowers bright and fair;
And every one who seeks may pluck
A lovely cluster there.
Thy Word is like a deep, deep mine;
And jewels rich and rare
Are hidden in its mighty depths
For every searcher there.

2 Thy Word is like a starry host:
A thousand rays of light
Are seen to guide the traveler,
And make his pathway bright.
Thy Word is like an armory,
Where soldiers may repair,
And find, for life’s long battle day,
All needful weapons there.

3 O may I love thy precious Word,
May I explore the mine,
May I its fragrant flowers glean,
May light upon me shine.
O may I find my armor there,
Thy Word my trusty sword;
I’ll learn to fight with every foe
The battle of the Lord.

Amen.

Thy Word is Like a Garden, Lord  ~ Sheet Music;  Alternate Tune

Glory Beyond Words ! ! ! !

In my personal communion this morning I seemed to be drawn closer to our heavenly Father to experience His presence in a greater way than ever before. All that I seemed to have was words that my English-speaking Bible provides. But the words “Almighty,” “holy,” “great,” “powerful,” “gracious,” “righteous,” and all the other words that we have—to think of Him, to call upon Him, to worship Him—did not seem to be enough. This inadequacy made me realize that GOD, in all His glory, is more than mere words can reveal.

ring-galaxyNo word is sufficient to describe Him, or to help us to know Him, worship Him, or to obey Him. When Jesus said that we must worship Him in Spirit and truth He was referring to the work that God must do in us. Words merely draw us to seek what is beyond the words, to the truth that God reveals about Himself. It is a supernatural revelation that His Spirit alone provides in those that He draws to Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Following the first experience something else came to mind: the reality that Jesus Christ is GOD. The more I have pondered this, on my way to worship on this Lord’s Day, this afternoon, and tonight, the more astounding is this fact; not that I haven’t known this before, but now, in a new way, a new light, a new revelation. Christ, as the living God, the “visible image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1: 15) “the brightness of His glory,” “the express image of the Father,” (Hebrews 1:3) is no less God than the Father.

How can we get our minds around this truth? How can our hearts absorb such as is revealed in these words? As many years as I have studied, and believed, the Father has brought me today to a new realization beyond any thoughts I have had before. Paul describes this in 2 Corinthians 3:18—we, beholding, “as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
To think that we can see Christ through mere words is to settle for our own distorted images of Christ and God. It is the work of His Spirit that reveals Jesus Christ as “very God.”

No wonder Jesus said, “No one comes to me except the Father draws him.” God, the Father is drawing us to Himself as He draws us to Christ. The words “The Father and I are one,” are but words, except as His Spirit makes them truth to us and in us.  To emphasize, “JESUS is God,” or “Jesus IS God,” or “Jesus is GOD,” does not convince me or anyone else of this truth.  Only the Holy Spirit can drive it home to our hearts and bring us to a steadfast commitment to Him.

Why is it so important then, to believe in Jesus Christ? Without this faith, wrought in us by His own Spirit, can we truly believe in the true GOD?

It is the Spirit that quickens, the flesh profits nothing; my words are Spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63) We can get lost in the labyrinth of words, but meditations on His words bring us beyond the words to the reality that is behind the words—the true meaning that only His Spirit can provide. These meditations, in time, bring us to the renewing of the mind; but further still, to that which is “hidden from the wise, but revealed to little children.”  “God’s Word which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments” (Shorter Catechism) are pregnant with truth and life, delivered to the humble heart, and the seeking soul.

I praise Him that I don’t “know it all,” that I haven’t “arrived,” that I am still seeking “His kingdom and His righteousness.” I will be eternally grateful for a Father’s love that continues to draw me to Christ and Himself, revealing the power of His grace, and His glory. How blessed we are to have a GOD that has planned an eternity to reveal all that He is to us.

And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” (John 17:5)

Father, please continue to reveal yourself, Christ, your Word, and the power of your Holy Spirit to us, your people.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

(Reblog from July 3, 2011)

Psalm 146 (Trinity Psalter) Scottish Festival Singers


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“To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty,
dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”
Jude 25

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The Double Curse and The Triple Blessing

As I am being absorbed in my meditations in Galatians there are some amazing things that are surfacing. These things are relative to what is going on in my own life, but are deeper even than I first observed them. This is what I call the miracle of meditation. The longer I remain in thought of a certain truth of God’s word the more it takes root, and the more it grows and reveals more than I knew before; and the more it affects my whole life.

Such is the subject of curses and blessings in the Bible. And I will speak of two main curses.

The first one was pronounced on all mankind in the garden when Adam and Eve rejected God’s word as truth. They disobeyed because the enemy convinced them that God was a liar. The curse of death came upon them and all their posterity; and since then all die.

The second curse came from Mt. Sinai in the Ten Commandments, which God gave Moses for a special people.   His law was given to those He had chosen to represent Him. But, just as His first image-bearers failed, so did the nation that He had chosen.

The law, instead of leading them to obedience, and therefore restoring mankind in a right relationship with God, became a curse to them and us. It was a law too strict, and impossible for them to obey, but as we continue in God’s Word we see that there was purpose in God giving man more than he could do.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Curses and oppressions are part of the same nature of man. The state of oppression is the natural state in which all men have lived, since the beginning of man’s unbelief and disobedience. The oppressive spirit is the natural spirit of men who live under a curse. The oppression began with the enemy, bringing man into his camp,  setting God’s creation against Him, and serving his purposes. The antithesis between Satan and God has been continual until this day.

But, God didn’t just leave us there, accepting the oppression against Himself. The curses upon us are His activity against us. So, from both directions we are oppressed. On both sides we are hemmed in, between Satan and God. We are prisoners in our individual oppressive spirit and state of being. When we experience the adversities of this life it is natural for this spirit to strike out against another or for us to remain aloof from relationships that God created as good. Such was the case with Cain and Abel. Such are relationships within families and nations today.

As long as there is life on earth these curses stand. All are born under these curses into this oppressive state. Only God, who pronounced the curses, can deliver us from them. The means is by reversal. Through disobedience the first curse came. Through disobedience the second curse remains in effect.

It is only through obedience that we are set free from these curses.
OBJECTION 1:  Death cannot be reversed.

That is correct, if all we mean is physical death. But God (who is Spirit) created man in the likeness of His own image to live eternally.   All will die physically, but every soul will live eternally. The removal of the curses assures us of eternal life with Him. Those who continue under the curses will experience an eternal death and oppressive state. We will not go into how God’s Word describes eternity for those who die under the curse of death and the law.

OBJECTION 2:  Only one man has been able to obey the Ten Commandments.

So we see that man is unable to deliver himself from these curses.

Promises of Deliverance
God set things in His own way and will, to deliver from the curses, as He had planned before the foundation of the world. Ephesians 1:2-6  The law shows how destitute we are and where we continue to fall.  He wants us to fall, on our knees before Him, in agreement of our sin and our inability to save ourselves; to come in our sin and repentance, believing His promises of salvation.

Let us meditate on His promises of deliverance. They are the promises of a “great salvation” revealed in His Word to us by His Holy Spirit.

Obedience, the requirement of the law, is possible only by faith. Faith is possible only by grace, as a gift, and not of our own work. Ephesians 1:8-10  Faith is as difficult as obedience.

His Spirit reveals God’s grace through His Word. This grace is revealed in and through God’s Son, Jesus Christ. He is the deliverer, the Savior of those who believe in Him; those the Father draws to Him with a new heart and a new spirit. (Ezekiel 36:26) This is a supernatural work by His Spirit. His Spirit uses the Word to convince and bring us with new hearts to Him.  When we reject His truth of His Son, Jesus Christ, for salvation, we are of the same nature of our first parents; in essence still calling God a liar. (1 John 5:10-12)
Some might even call this a third curse.

Paul explains this in Romans 7:24, and 8:1-2.

O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”

Paul’s greeting to the church in Galatia was, “Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,
Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
Galatians 1:3-5

“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us;” Galatians 3:13

“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Galatians 4:4-7

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1

“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
Galatians 5:13-14

“So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.” James 2:12

So how do we know if we are still under the curse; or if we are free. Read Galatians 6:7-8 ~ “be not deceived.”

The Triple Blessing
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:” Ephesians 1:3  0001iY

Dear Father, we need your blessings today as we desire to live by the obedience of faith that is ours in Christ Jesus and the power of your Holy Spirit.  Fill us with your love, the love that has set us free to love as you love.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Related Article:  Deliverance From Oppression