Standing on the Promises of God: Faith and Love

img_0311A favorite gospel song of mine from my childhood is “Standing on the Promises of God” (see lyrics at the end of this post). In The Bible, God has given us so many great and precious promises (2 Peter 2:4) that await us, yet some of us never attain these promises because of a lack of faith. Because God is a loving father, He is patient with us and wants the best for His children. He says in His word that He will withhold no good thing from those who walk uprightly before Him (Psalm 84:11). Developing faith in Jesus and becoming like Him are the ultimate goals of serving Christ. Knowing that His word is true and acting upon this truth can take us places far and wide within our service to Christ. Faith is never achieved overnight. Looking like Him takes both commitment and endurance. They both require spending time in His word and in prayer. We must also make ourselves available for His use. Once we yield ourselves to Him, he begins painstaking surgery. God is the potter and we are the clay (Jeremiah 18). Seeing all of the lumps and the impurities in our lives, He desires to remove them so that we can resemble Him and have faith. By allowing vulnerability, the Holy Spirit can begin His work, the circumcision of our hearts, (Romans 2:29) so that we can have the mind of Christ and have faith in Him.

Firstly, God wants us to have a heart after His own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). That may be achieved by knowing that love, mercy, compassion, patience, and kindness are all contained within His heart. For some of us, these behaviors may not come easily. For some of us, they are extremely difficult. For us to have the heart of Christ, we must be willing to allow ourselves to be placed in situations that foster the development of Christ-like behaviors and attitudes. For example, we may have to work with people who are difficult to either like or love. We may even have family who have mistreated and hurt us terribly. In these situations, Psalm 121 says to “Look unto the hills from whence cometh [our] help, knowing that “our help cometh from the Lord.” Furthermore,”He will not slumber nor sleep.” He will be with us forever more. As we mature in Christ, the situations in which we find ourselves will grow in intensity because we are continually going through refinement so that we can look more like Him. God takes us from “glory to glory.” He wants us to look past the imperfections of others in the same manner as he continues to do for us. The Bible says that He will continue to perform the work that He started in us (Philippians 1:6). He is just looking for willing vessels.

Secondly, we have to learn total dependence on Christ. Many of us are either accustomed to depending on ourselves or on someone else. We rely on our regular paychecks. When we are in a grave situation, we ask our closest friends or family to help us. If we want the Lord to use us in an increasing manner, we have to learn to rely exclusively on Him. Maybe, the Lord will allow circumstances to develop so that faith and total dependency can be achieved. We may have unemployment, illness, or children living contrary to the teachings of Christ. Our Lord wants us to know that our deliverance comes from Him not from our own strength or power. It comes from the Spirit of the Lord (Zechariah 4:6).

Lastly, to have faith in Christ and to resemble Him, we must ask the Holy Spirit to help us trust Him more. Faith operates through trust. God asks us in Psalm 3:5 to “Trust in [Him] with all of our hearts and lean not to our own understanding, but in all [our] ways acknowledge Him and He will direct [our] paths.” We must keep an account of all the blessings of God that have been bestowed upon us. The Bible in James 1:17 says that “Every good and perfect gift is coming down from God our father.” We must never forget these blessings. If He has helped us once, He will help us again. Believe the report of the Lord (Isaiah 51:1)!

We are all in the process of refinement as pure gold. If we allow Him to work in our lives, we will have faith to move mountains (Matthew 27:21) and we will have love for one another (John 23:34). Let’s allow His living water to well up inside our hearts so that we can “Shout and sing/ Standing on the Promises of God.”

Lyrics:
Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
Through eternal ages let his praises ring;
Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
Standing on the promises of God.

Standing, standing,
Standing on the promises of God my Savior;
Standing, standing,
I’m standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises I cannot fall,
Listening every moment to the Spirit’s call,
Resting in my Savior as my all in all,
Standing on the promises of God.
[Refrain]

For Christian development read Hebrews 12. May God richly bless you in your service to Him.

Andraé Crouch’s Jesus is the Answer

Jesus is the Answer

by Andraé Crouch

Chorus

Jesus is the answer, for the world today,
Above Him there’s no other,
Jesus is the way.3x
Verse One:
If you have some questions
In the corners of your mind,
Traces of discouragement,
The peace you cannot find,
Reflections of your past,
Seem to face you everyday,
But this one thing I do know,
That Jesus is the way.

Verse Two:
I know you’ve got mountains,
That you think you cannot climb,
I know your skies are dark,
You think the sun won’t shine,
But in case you don’t know,
That the word of God is true,
Everything he’s promised,
He will do it for you.
Chorus:
Jesus is the Answer, for the world today,
Above Him there’s no other,
Jesus is the way.3x

********************************************************************

Once again, no words can express the horrific violence in our country. People are hurting deeply in so many ways. Families need our support. We as both educators and parents need to regularly take time out to have discussions with our children about race matters. If we do not teach our children to love, who will? Violence is never the answer. Jesus Christ is THE ANSWER. When I was a young child, “Jesus is the Answer” was one of my favorite songs. It still is today! I have it on my playlist and it ministers to my soul whenever I play it. Although Andraé Crouch is no longer with us, his music still lives in my heart. How can we let people know that JESUS is the answer? What are some scriptures that we can use to generate excitement about Christ? Many people get excited about sports, and about celebrities; why not encourage people to get excited about Christ! The Queen of Sheba can be our template for gauging excitement about Jesus, our King!

When the Queen of Sheba met Solomon, she questioned him thoroughly to see if everything she heard about him was true. Then, she exclaimed that everything that she heard about his wisdom and achievements was indeed true. She did not believe it until she saw his splendor and wisdom with her own eyes. Furthermore, she says that what she now sees is far above what she was told. Further opining, the Queen of Sheba says to Solomon that it is a privilege for his officials to listen to him daily. She then blessed him abundantly with gold, spices, and precious jewels. He in turn blessed her with gifts of greater value that what she had given him. Like the Queen of Sheba,  let’s talk about Jesus, the King of Kings, the way the Queen talked about King Solomon (2 Chronicles 9: 1-12). Let’s talk to others about the wisdom of God, His many blessings, and His acts of kindness. It is a privilege to sit at Jesus’ feet to learn from Him. Watch and see the blessings (in many forms) that will follow as a result of blessing Christ through sharing his word.  Moreover, let’s pray that we will have a fresh encounter with Jesus Christ, that He will open the eyes of our hearts ( Ephesians 1:18) so that we “Will know Him in the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of his suffering.”(Philippians 3:20).

Let’s Pray: Jesus we praise you for your boundless mercies, for we thank you that they are new every morning. We thank you for your faithfulness. You are the lily of our valleys, and we will praise you forevermore. Lord, please help us to develop an intimate relationship with you. Please help us to keep our minds stayed on you so that you will keep us in perfect peace. We need you now more than ever. We ask that you comfort the families that have lost loved ones. We ask that you heal their minds and their hearts, and that you bring us all together as one. There is nothing too hard for you. We know that you have a plan for all of our lives, a plan to give us a hope and a future. We cast ALL of our cares upon you because you care for us. We ask that we open our mouths to encourage people to believe in you. Open the eyes of our hearts so that we see the far exceeding riches of your glory. You are the answer for the world today. Above you there’s no other, for you are the way. We thank you and we praise you in advance for all the blessings to come. In Jesus’ name we pray with thanksgiving  always. Amen.

For reflection and encouragement, please read Matthew 6:19-34.

Do you have a favorite Christian song? Please share it. God bless you.

Here is a link to another favorite.

http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/a/andrae_crouch/take_me_back.html