Never Be Thirsty Again

from the book, ONE WITH OUR FATHER 

John 7:37-39

Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (John 7:37-39, NASB)

As our bodies thirst for water,
our spirits thirst for God.
We drink from other streams,
other wells,
other cisterns
but always go away unsatisfied.

God satisfies our spirit
with Himself.
We need never be thirsty again.
He becomes a spring of Living Water
always within us,
always fresh, and
always flowing.

God gives Himself freely to anyone who will
come,
ask, and
trust.

Father, Your Word to us is a
treasure of life and blessing.
And You have given us Your own Spirit to
make it a reality in our lives.
We frail, blind, and wayward creatures
can know and live the truth
as Christ lived the truth.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: In Your Spirit
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Please Yourself, Lord

My Lord Jesus,
I am amazed at
how much life You have breathed into my deadness,
how much loving wisdom into my selfish ignorance,
how much consistency,
how much holiness,
how much of Yourself You have grown in me.

Loving Lord,
Almighty God,
Merciful Friend,
this is my prayer today:

Please Yourself in me.
Wrap Yourself around my thoughts,
permeate my feelings,
seize my heart,
energize all You have made me.
Fulfill in me
all that Your wisdom has planned and
all that Your love has dreamed.

Lord, please Yourself fully in me today.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Beyond Imagination
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Rejoice in Your Destiny

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us,
so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
(2 Corinthians 5:21, NIV)

The Christmas story is so simple that a child can enjoy it, yet so broad and deep that no human mind can grasp it all. A Being so magnificent that He spoke the universe into existence from nothing—He merely expressed His will and it appeared—this Being became entirely human and lived among us.

We could see and touch the One who transcends all matter. What we saw, what we touched was love—pure, complete, compassionate love, in a world soaked with fear and selfishness.

This Being became humble. How could the sovereign source of all be humble? The immense God became small for us. Perfect wisdom, perfect peace, perfect love became small and simple enough for us.

In this One, our mortality took on immortality. The human has become divine. Humility glows with Majesty. Weakness is now strength. Our darkness now shines with the splendor of Almighty God.

Look at Jesus Christ. He has become what we can be:

  • a creature one with our Creator;
  • a child of man and a child of God;
  • thoroughly human, yet holy and divine.

Look at Jesus Christ and rejoice in your destiny.

O God, for me make
the waiting and hoping of Advent
no longer just a season,
but a constant hunger for You.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: The Lord Has Come!
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CHRISTMAS JOY Devotional Tapestry

CHRISTMAS JOY Devotional Tapestry

Devotional Tapestries are short recordings designed to draw your heart and mind to the Living God. Each includes a devotional reading over instrumental music, leading into a hymn.

Listen to CHRISTMAS JOY Devotional Tapestry.

Printed devotional & hymn

More Devotional Tapestries

 

Peace

Christmas brings a promise of peace. Hear the prophecy of Isaiah:

“The wolf will live with the lamb…
The infant will play near the hole of the cobra…
They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:6, 8-9, NIV)

At the birth, hear the words of the angels:

“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace.” (Luke 2:14, NIV)

Peace is an absence of all conflict. But peace is not just an absence, it is a presence. Peace is harmony. Peace is complete well-being. It is wholeness and rightness. Peace is the reign of love.

Peace is Jesus.

He himself is our peace. (Ephesians 2:14, NIV)

He will be called…Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his…peace there will be no end. (Isaiah 9:6-7, NIV)

The fruit of His presence is peace (Galatians 5:22). He brings peace to relationships. He brings peace with God our Father. He brings peace in the midst of all the pressures and troubles of this world.

Do not be anxious about anything, but…present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7, NIV)

Trusting Jesus brings peace. Seeking Him alone brings peace. This Christmas, receive the peace of Jesus.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Sweet Peace
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You Come

God, so eager to give,
You came to us.
You gave Yourself completely,
birth to death.
You became like us,
weak,
humble,
suffering,
dying,
so that we might become like You.

Holy God,
breath of love,
unbounded Spirit,
You come to us.
As we trust You,
though imperfectly,
You give Yourself to us.
You live and breathe as
Christ in us,
eagerly sharing Yourself with us.

God of unfailing promises,
You will come to us again.
At the perfect moment You will come
as a bridegroom comes,
eager to sweep away His bride on their long-awaited day.
All the universe will celebrate with us.

You came once,
in love.
Come again, Lord Jesus.
We are waiting.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Our God Came to Visit
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The Banquet

from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD

Read Isaiah 24:1-3, 19-23; 25:1-10a

Are you ready for a sobering view of the future? Read Isaiah 24. It tells about the day when God judges the entire earth. As He has promised, He will cleanse this world of all evil in every form. He will remove everything that is not absolute truth, everything that is not love, everything that is not of Himself. Injustice, greed, lies, selfish lust – it will all be burned away. Imagine the devastation to the current world order! The entire earth will be shaken to its very core before the Unshakable Kingdom becomes reality:

Then the moon will be abashed and the sun ashamed,
For the Lord of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem.
(Isaiah 24:23, NASB)

Or, in the words of Revelation 11:15:

The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever. (NASB)

Isaiah 25:1-5 is then a hymn of praise to the Almighty King who brought about such judgment and salvation.

But notice especially the verses that follow, Isaiah 25:6-10a. Now that the Holy and Sovereign Lord of the Universe has re-asserted His rule, He celebrates by throwing a lavish banquet.

Of course, He will spread out all the very best nourishment for all His people. But pause and imagine what He promises in verses 7-8:

  • God will finally “swallow up the covering which is over all peoples, even the veil which is stretched over all nations. He will swallow up death for all time” (v.7-8a, NASB). Wow! And this was written many centuries before Christ.
  • “The Lord God will wipe tears away from all faces” (v.8b, NASB).
  • All the cursed fruit of all our sin – all our suffering, all our disgrace, all the shame that has engulfed our entire race – will be removed forever. He has spoken, and He Himself will do it (v.8c).

After all God’s people have gone through, imagine them crying this together, with all their hearts:

“Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us.
This is the Lord for whom we have waited.
Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.” (v.9, NASB)

All that our hearts have longed for is coming. It will be full reality. Wait patiently.

Patient with Differences

Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. (Romans 12:15-16, NASB)

Here in the Amazon section of the zoo, in a single cage I’m watching the squirrel monkeys nimbly leaping around in incessant motion. Meanwhile, slow-moving animals graze on the ground, and a two-toed sloth just hangs there.

God designs us so differently. We share the same space and time. But our metabolisms, bodies, experiences, and specific needs are so varied. We each perceive reality through our individual eyes.

Lord, I am a limited creature. Keep me humble. Help me always be patient with my fellow creatures, always kind to them, always anxious to learn from them.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Praise to You, Giver of Life!
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My Holy and Human Brother

Lord Jesus, You bring God within my reach.
You are flesh and blood like me.
You experienced life here as I experience it, in all its
weakness,
pain,
struggle, and
imperfection.
Yet in You I see the transcendent God,
and in a form I can
understand and
trust.
Almighty, sovereign God is real to me in You.
I can begin to relate to Him in You.

Holiness is also real to me in You.
I would never conceive of holy living,
never dream of it or
desire it
until I saw it
so beautiful and
desirable
in You.
And as I trust You,
You bring holiness into my
innermost heart and
outermost living.
You make me holy!
I can hardly even imagine it, and
yet it is true.

You prove to me that I can be both
human and
holy.
You prove to me that I can be a true child of God
here and now,
in this present, evil world.
You prove it by Your living example.
You prove it by giving me Your own Holy Spirit
to live and breathe and desire within me.
And You promise that
what You have begun,
You will finish, beautifully and completely.

Praise to You, Jesus,
my holy and human Brother!

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Holy, Human Jesus Christ
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Look to Your Father

from the book, ONE WITH OUR FATHER 

John 6:26-40

We long for consistency in our lives,
especially in our relationship with our Father.
We sense moments of oneness with Him,
but soon our thoughts are pulled this way and that.

We long for Jesus’ relationship with His Father.
No matter how busy or pressured His life became,
He always seemed one with Him,
constantly focused on Him,
depending on Him,
open to Him.

Most of us fall far short of that relationship with our Father.
But as we look to Him more and more,
as simple prayer weaves itself
into the fabric of our moments,
we grow into Him.
The prayer that Jesus taught us becomes more and more
the constant cry of our hearts:

Our Father in heaven,
may Your name be glorified,
may Your Kingdom come,
may Your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:9-10, paraphrase)

Even when our conscious thoughts wander and
we seem to forget Him for a time,
our hearts remain focused on Him.
Increasingly we want only what He wants.
We love Him,
depend on Him, and
crave unbroken fellowship with Him.
This is the gracious Spirit of Christ,
putting down deeper roots in us,
growing and spreading in the garden of our hearts.

Father, Your purpose is to
bless me abundantly and
make me into the image of Christ,
with You as my true Father.
That is what I want as well.
Work Your will, whatever it is, and
help me trust You.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: The Father’s Face
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