Archives For Love

I love listening and singing music from Bob Kauflin & Sovereign Grace Music. They have been writing God-exalting songs for over 30 years that the church enjoys singing.

Bob Kauflin is the director of Sovereign Grace Music and has been writing music for most of his life. He spent several years touring with the group GLAD. He has also written several books entitled Worship Matters & True Worshippers.

One particular song that Bob has written is entitled “O Great God”. It is a beautiful ballad of worship to God. This song was birthed from the prayer “Regeneration”. The words to this prayer go like this:

Occupy the throne of my heart, take full possession and reign supreme,
lay low every rebel lust, let no vile passion resist they holy war;
manifest thy mighty power, and make me thine for ever.
Thou art worthy to be praised with my every breath,
loved with my every faculty of soul served with my every act of life.

Bob wanted to set this prayer to music because of how often he asked God to do whatever he needed to do to make him love and glorify God more.

This is a great song for all of us to sing that would help remind us to love and glorify HIM more. Take a look at the words and then click on the link at the bottom to watch and listen to the song. I am excited to introduce this to my church!

O great God of highest heaven
Occupy my lowly heart
Own it all and reign supreme
Conquer every rebel power
Let no vice or sin remain
That resists Your holy war
You have loved and purchased me
Make me Yours forevermore

I was blinded by my sin
Had no ears to hear Your voice
Did not know Your love within
Had no taste for heaven’s joys
Then Your Spirit gave me life
Opened up Your Word to me
Through the gospel of Your Son
Gave me endless hope and peace

Help me now to live a life
That’s dependent on Your grace
Keep my heart and guard my soul
From the evils that I face
You are worthy to be praised
With my every thought and deed
O great God of highest heaven
Glorify Your Name through me

Lord, let this be my prayer – that I would love and glorify You more and more each day!

Points To Ponder

3 Practical Steps to Forgiving Yourself

by Lifeway Men

Over the years, helping men deal with anger, grudges, bitterness, rage, and hatred has always been an amazing experience, watching the Holy Spirit address past issues and lead guys to new freedom. Watching men forgive fathers, mothers, siblings, wives, ex-wives, children, bosses, and so on breaks the bondage of them “holding someone hostage” in their hearts.

But the one person that all of us men struggle the most to forgive, and often can’t, is ourselves. Letting go of the past, getting rid of regrets, and stopping the beating and bleeding from “the condemnation club” often feels impossible to do.

Read more…

When God Doesn’t Listen

By Drew Tankersley

Perhaps one of the most frustrating phenomena of parenting younger children is their inability to listen.  As a parent of an 11-year-old and a 7-year-old, I know all to well the irritation of a child who is completely distracted and patently oblivious to the requests of their parental unit.  Technology is the greatest culprit of distraction in our house. 

Read more…

3 Ways to Teach Your Kids to Pray for the Persecuted Church

By Ruth Ripkin (International Mission Board)

Stories of the persecuted church around the world have grown in number of late. This one regarding Christian arrests in Iran ran just last week. An article that appeared on CNN earlier this year claimed that 2015 held the distinct honor of producing the highest rate of Christian persecution in history. Of course, the case of Iranian American Pastor Saeed Abedini has topped news cycles for the last three years. 

These stories aren’t going to go away; Jesus informed his followers that persecution would come (John 15:18–25). It’s not a new thing—just ask the early church—but many within the rather insulated West have been unaware of its existence for a while. As we continue to awaken to this reality, we need to think about how to understand persecution. More importantly, we need to learn how to persevere through it and pray for those who face it around the world. 

Read more…

Americans Love God and the Bible, Are Fuzzy on the Details

By Bob Smietana (Lifeway Research)

Americans don’t know much about theology. Most say God wrote the Bible. But they’re not sure everything in it is true.

Six in 10 say everyone eventually goes to heaven, but half say only those who believe in Jesus will be saved. And while 7 in 10 say there’s only one true God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—two-thirds say God accepts worship of all faiths.

Those are among the findings of a new survey of American views on Christian theology from Nashville-based LifeWay Research.

Read more…


success

How do you define success?

Webster’s Dictionary defines success as the following:

  • the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame

  • the correct or desired result of an attempt

  • someone or something that is successful : a person or thing that succeeds

As we continue in this series of post about the book “Raising Kids for True Greatness”, we need to understand how the world defines success. Dr. Kimmel writes,

We live in a day when success is defined by looks, IQ, strategic alliances, titles, and world records. Success is supposed to attract people’s attention and put you in a superior position in the human pecking order. And it is the natural desire average parents have for their children.

It’s easy to see that parenting can become preoccupied with crowding a child’s academic, athletic, and social resume with the accolades that count most in our culture but don’t have any bearing on eternity.

This world has said that our children have to be the…smartest, fastest, prettiest, best connected, most popular, best outfitted, best rewarded and most confident.

Everywhere we turn and just about everything we hear people say reminds us that we should be raising kids who primary goal is to post high marks and great statistic. To them, life is about success that can be quantified in degrees or dollar signs.

Dr. Kimmel goes on to talk about 5 “anchor tenets” of the success illusion:

Fame

Without even trying, parents can unwittingly format their children to need the empty praise of fame by orchestrating their lives so that they can become popular among their young peer groups. There’s a fine line between encouraging our children to excel and pushing them to achieve the public’s attention in the process

Power

True greatness does not have power as its goal, but it often gains power by default.

Health & Beauty

The problem comes when we deify and worship health and beauty. This happens when our view of ourselves doesn’t come from our relationship with God but from the way we fit into our clothes and the images looking back at us in the mirror each morning.

Wealth

Money is so important to many parents that it is not uncommon for a mom or dad to push a child to pursue a certain vocation simply because of its income potential. Whether the child has an aptitude for it, or even enjoys it, is irrelevant. The important thing is that he spends his adult life doing something that pays well.

We must be careful to avoid equating wealth with greatness. They are NOT the same!

Parents, let strive to raise our children with a passionate love for God that demonstrates itself in an unquenchable love and concern for others. Let’s not let the world determine what is success in the lives of our children. Let’s look to God’s Word for guidance and direction for their lives.

Matthew 20:25-28 – “Whoever wants to become great among you must serve the rest of you like a servant. Whoever wants to become first among you must serve the rest of you like a slave. In the same way, the Son of Man did not come to be served. He came to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many people”

Quotes from my readings banner

I have begun reading a book entitled “Rhythms of Grace” by Mike Cosper. Mike is one of the founding pastors of Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, Kentucky, where he serves as the pastor of worship & arts. He is also the founder of Sojourn Music and contributes regularly to the Gospel Coalition blog.

Mike’s purpose of writing this book is to “show the gospel is all about worship and worship is all about the gospel”.

In the first few chapters, Mike takes us back to the very beginning of time to start this journey. He explains how worship existed between a Triune God even before God spoke and the earth was formed. He takes us into the Garden of Eden and ultimately into the exile of the Garden and into the wilderness.

One of the overall themes that has been prevalent in the first few chapters is the story of worship: God creates, sin corrupts, but Christ redeems.

Mike goes on to talk about the holiness of God and makes the following statement:

God is holy, and Israel was not. They needed to shed blood for sins both great and small so that God could dwell in their midst. Sin demands death, and Israel couldn’t love in community with God without a clear, violent, and ever-present reminder of the cost of their sins.

He goes on to say,

Nothing required God to provide a way for redeeming fallen man. He had every right to simply allow us to suffer the deadly consequences of our actions, but He didn’t. He never abandoned us. He stepped into our world and made a way for us to know Him.

Mike points out in this chapter that in today’s world we have a tainted view of the holiness of God.

The boiling, fiery, deadly presence of God is the natural reaction of holiness in the presence of sin. We misunderstand the wrath of God if we think it’s only emotional rage, like an angry, frustrated parent. It’s not; it’s a rage made of a pure, perfect, and holy hatred of sin and evil. On the flip side, it’s a rage built upon the deepest love of what is good, pure and perfect.

Mike points out that just as we underestimate God’s holiness, we underestimate how deeply sinful we are. He says,

We think of ourselves as good enough, smart enough, and likeable enough to deserve forgiveness from God.

God redeemed us because He loves us – “For God so LOVED the world…”. When we think of how holy God is and the price that was paid for our sins, our response to Him should be nothing short of worship!

Points to Ponder:

  1. Do you realize how much God loves you?
  2. Do you see just how holy God is and just how much we need a Savior?