Infinite Love

What is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him? (Psalm 8:4, NIV)

The Creator of this vast universe deeply, personally loves us tiny, troublesome human beings. How can that make sense?

Look at the universe and see God’s power. It reaches to the farthest corners of physical reality and to every microscopic detail. His power reaches to infinity in both directions, to galaxies and to water-drop worlds. Some are too vast and some too tiny for us to trace with our senses. But everything is created and controlled by His will.

His wisdom and knowledge reach everywhere His power goes. We marvel that He can know everything all the time. But is it so unbelievable that the One able to create all this can also stay in constant contact with it, that He can always know it completely?

What’s more, His love is as deep, rich, creative, and complete as His power and knowledge. He not only created all that is and knows all that is, but He cares for it all, constantly and completely. Like His power and understanding, His love enfolds all He has made.

His love enfolds each of us, every moment and forever. His love is enabled by infinite ability and is guided by infinite wisdom. His love for you is unlimited and unfailing. You can trust Him. You can trust Him with every concern, no matter how far-flung or how trivial, for in every detail His love knows and controls and cares.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Look! His Goodness Fills the Morning
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Through Silence and Trumpets

A prayer response to Revelation 8:1-2,
the opening of the seventh seal 

The Lord is in His holy temple.
Let all the earth be silent before Him. (Habakkuk 2:20, NASB)

In the silence,
You are Lord.
In the waiting,
You are Lord.
As we scramble through crises or
trudge through the endless ordinary,
You are Lord.

When events start to trumpet that Your Day is near,
when justice begins to thunder through all creation,
and then,
when that last trumpet sounds,
You will be holy, high and lifted up.
You will be glorious, right, and good.
You will be peace and light and love.
We will see You and worship You for
all You are and
all You have always been:
Sovereign Lord.

Through the noise and
through the silence, O God,
we look to You alone.
Come, Lord Jesus.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: The Trumpet Will Sound
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Content in You

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Weak or strong, in need or plenty,
In the dark of deepest grief,
Rich or poor, in health or sickness,
When my pain finds no relief,
As I pray, You prove it true:
I can rest content in You.

Perfect wisdom, perfect power,
Perfect goodness, perfect love,
Father, Savior, Friend, and Healer,
O so near and all above,
You are joy each moment new!
Here I rest content in You.

Father, patient through my struggles,
Always strong when I am frail,
True to each and every promise,
So forgiving when I fail,
You are good in all You do!
I rejoice, content in You.

Money, fame, and pleasures call me.
Worries threaten every day.
All their hopes and fears are empty,
Quickly come, then fade away.
Other joys are false and few.
Lord, I rest content in You.

Necessary and Easy

I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with loving-kindness. (Jeremiah 31:3, NIV) 

Practicing the presence of God is for everyone.
It is both necessary and easy.

Talking with God is
the most holy,
the most universal, and
the most necessary practice in the spiritual life.
We can speak humbly and lovingly to Him
at all times,
wherever we are.
There are no rules or procedures to follow.
Just talk to Him honestly and
believe that He hears you.

Though church is important,
you don’t have to be in church to talk to Him.
Make your heart a chapel where
you may escape from time to time
to talk with Him.

Everyone can live in
close,
constant fellowship
with the Living God.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Looking to Jesus
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by Brother Lawrence and Ken Bible

The People of the Living God

A reflection on Revelation 7:9-17,
the vision of the heavenly multitude

We are the people of the Living God.

Embattled,
rejected, and
sharing the suffering of our crucified Lord,
we are the people of the Living God.

Human but holy,
flawed but forgiven,
immature but growing daily in Christ,
we are the people of the Living God.

Chosen,
adopted,
redeemed,
sanctified, and
sealed as His very own,
we are the people of the Living God.

We are His Body,
His temple,
His treasured possession,
His precious children.

And soon, we will be His
holy,
glorious,
stunningly beautiful Bride,
aglow with the perfection of our Beloved.

We are the people of the Living God.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Chosen in Jesus
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Come, My Friends!

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Come to Me! Don’t be a stranger!
Come, My friends from near and far!
I’m at home in lowly mangers.
Come and rest your weary hearts.
You can come just as you are!

All you troubled, tired, and broken,
Come and find the rest you seek!
I can feel your hurts unspoken.
I will heal and set you free.
I am gentle. Come to Me!

Come to Me! The door is open.
Learn of Me, and lose your fear.
Come and live where love is spoken!
Peace will grow from year to year.
Come, My friends, for life is here!

Satisfied in You

My thoughts gravitate to
familiar concerns.
I start thumbing through the list.
But, Lord,
I will be satisfied in You.
My concerns are legitimate,
but I will be satisfied in You.
When days appear good
or appear contrary,
when I seem successful
or lacking,
You will be my happiness,
my peace,
my rightness.

Life is not some great achievement
plus You
or some wonderful gift
from You.
Life is You, my Lord,
and You are wonderful.
You are happiness.
You are the fullness of all that is beautiful.
You are heaven
then and now.

Lord, in this moment
and forever,
I will be satisfied in You. 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: A Life of Thanksgiving
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I Am Yours

A prayer response to Revelation 7:1-8,
the sealing of the 144,000

In sickness and
in struggle, Father,
I am Yours.
Through ordinary days and
when all the world is crumbling around me,
I am Yours.
In pain and
in grief,
when completely enveloped in darkness,
I am Yours.
When I am weak,
helpless,
sorrowful,
confused,
inconsistent,
ignorant, and
deeply, incurably needy,
I am Yours.

You have sealed me as Your very own.
No enemy can threaten me.
No authority can accuse me.
No judge can condemn me.
No power can separate me from the embrace of Your eternal love.

Father, now and forever,
I am Yours.

Can a woman forget her nursing child
And have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.
Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands.
(Isaiah 49:15-16, NASB)

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Be Still, My Child
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Today’s Focus

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1b-3, NASB)

Today, fix your eyes on Jesus.

His beautiful life is your example
of faith in the Father,
of deep, unshakable joy,
of generous, self-giving love.

His death is your deliverance
from the strangle-hold of sin and
from slavery to your own weakness.

His resurrected life is
your strength for today and
your destiny for all eternity.

Today, fix your eyes on Jesus.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: We Fix Our Eyes on Jesus Christ
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Parenting

Without God’s help, the demands of parenting could overwhelm us. At times being a parent requires more wisdom and patience than we have to give. But remember:

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness. (2 Peter 1:3, NIV)

As a parent, be confident in God’s gifts to you.

God offers us His wisdom. Here’s a promise that every parent should write on their bathroom mirror and engrave on their heart:

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously without finding fault, and it will be given to him. (James 1:5, NIV)

God gives us His Spirit. We have the presence, the love, the inner strength, the unshakable peace of God Himself. Just trust Him.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23, NIV)

God is the Father of each and every one of us. He is your Father, and He is the Father of your children. The wisdom, the love, the strength, and the ultimate responsibility are all His. You are only His steward for awhile.

Realize that of all His names and titles, God cherishes “Father” the most. “Father” is what He wants us to call Him. And in His love for you, He has graciously given you a part in His most treasured role: parenting new human lives, lives that will last forever. Parent your children in His love, His strength, and His wisdom. Parent them in simple, daily confidence in God, not yourself.

He is always, always with you — just remember to depend on Him.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: A Father’s Prayer
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