Vast, Unmeasured, Boundless, Free

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I’ve heard it said before that more often than not we won’t remember the words to a sermon, but we WILL remember the words to a song.  I believe this is true and exactly why God told Moses and Joshua:

“I am going to give you the words to a new song. Write them down and teach the song to the Israelites.  If they learn it, they will KNOW what I want them to do…”   (Deuteronomy 31:19)

Because the truth of the song below is important and is something that God wants us to know, I’m sharing it in my blog post this week so that perhaps we will all learn it, remember it,  and know what God wants us to do…

(Click title to hear a beautiful rendition.)

O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!

Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, love of every love the best!
’Tis an ocean full of blessing, ’tis a haven giving rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ’tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee!

Words:  S. Trevor Francis, 1875

The Direction of His Presence

 

Order my steps in your word…

Steer me in the right direction.”

 

~ Ps. 119:133 (Paraphrase)

 

My prayer list right now is packed with the names of friends who desperately need God’s guidance and direction.  I am currently praying for the following serious prayer requests:

  • Seven people on my list need a job
  • Two friends need housing
  • Quite a few have severe Health issues
  • Others are dealing with aging parents
  • Marital and child custody issues
  • School related problems
  • And Guidance for Parenting Teenagers and Grown Children

If you’re in need of God’s guidance too, see below for three good pieces of advice…

1)    Don’t be afraid to ask for God’s guidance and direction.  James 5:1 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

2)   Then, as Proverbs 3:6 says, “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”

3)   Read the devotional below from My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers for what to do next…

“There is no thrill in walking; it is the test of all the stable qualities. To “walk and not faint” is the highest reach possible for strength. The word “walk” is used in the Bible to express the character “.  John looking on Jesus as He walked, said, Behold the Lamb of God!”  There is never anything abstract in the Bible, it is always vivid and real.  God does not say—Be spiritual, but—”Walk before Me.”

When we are in an unhealthy state physically or emotionally, we always want thrills.

  • In the physical domain this will lead to counterfeiting the Holy Ghost; in the emotional life it leads to inordinate affection and the destruction of morality;
  • and in the spiritual domain if we insist on getting thrills, on mounting up with wings, it will end in the destruction of spirituality.

The reality of God’s presence is not dependent on any place, but only dependent upon the determination to set the Lord always before us. Our problems come when we refuse to bank on the reality of His presence. The experience the Psalmist speaks of—”Therefore will we not fear, though…” will be ours when once we are based on Reality, not the consciousness of God’s presence but the reality of it—Why, He has been here all the time!

At critical moments it is necessary to ask guidance, but it ought to be unnecessary to be saying always—”O Lord, direct me here, and there.” Of course He will!  lf our common-sense decisions are not His order, He will press through them and check; then we must be quiet and wait for the direction of His presence.

“They that wait upon the Lord… shall walk and not faint.”

~ Isaiah 40:31

Act,— act in the living Present!

Maybe it’s because I am getting older, but I am so sad to take my Christmas tree down this year.  For 28 years I have taken our Christmas tree down on the day after Christmas.  Looked forward to it!  I was always ready to get my house back “in order”.  But this year the thought occurred to me, “What’s the hurry?  Why all the rush?”

So tonight, I sit in the dark bathing in the peace of the twinkling blue and white lights of my heavily adorned tree.  And I have decided to slow down, enjoy the glow, and leave my tree up until after New Year’s.

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       A PSALM OF LIFE

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

      WHAT THE HEART OF THE YOUNG MAN
SAID TO THE PSALMIST

    TELL me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream! —
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

    Life is real!  Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal ;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

    Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

    Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

    In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

    Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,— act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!

    Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;

    Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

    Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

“I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).”

~ John 10:10

 

I launch my bark on the unknown waters of this year

The prayer below was first brought to my attention by Melinda Mahand, a favorite teacher of both of my children.  The writer of the prayer, however,  is unknown.  Perhaps it’s better that way in order that we might make this prayer our own for the coming year….

God bless you dear reader for an epic 2013, and may you prosper in the coming New Year even as your soul prospers!

 

Prayer for the New Year

Length of days does not profit me except the days are passed in Thy presence, in Thy service to Thy glory.

Give me a grace that precedes, follows, guides, sustains,
sanctifies, aids every hour,
that I may not be one moment apart from Thee,
but may rely on Thy Spirit
to supply every thought,
speak every word,
direct every step,
prosper every work,
build up every mote of faith,
and give me a desire
to show forth Thy praise,
testify Thy love,
advance Thy kingdom.

I launch my bark on the unknown waters of this year,
with Thee, O Father, as my harbor,
with Thee, O Son, at my helm,
with Thee, O Holy Spirit, filling my sails.

Guide me to heaven with my loins girt,
my lamp burning,
my ear open to Thy calls,
my heart full of love, my soul free.

Give me Thy grace to sanctify me,
Thy comforts to cheer me,
Thy wisdom to teach,
Thy right hand to guide,
Thy counsel to instruct,
Thy law to judge,
Thy presence to stabilize.

May Thy fear be my awe, Thy triumphs my joy.

Amen.

 

Boat Ride on the Sea of Galilee