Our Spiritual Journey

Thursday, June 15, 2017, 5:16 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Amazing Grace.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Luke 15:11-32 (NASB).

Two Sons (vv. 11-16)

And He said, “A man had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his wealth between them. And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living. Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him.

Life is a journey, is it not? Every day, hopefully, we wake up, we get out of bed, if we have a bed to sleep on, that is, and we start a new day. Either we do so with purpose and direction, or else we wander aimlessly, going here and there trying to find satisfaction for life, but always coming up empty. Either we are on a straight (righteous, holy) path, because we are trusting God/Jesus Christ with our lives, or else we are on a winding path or life course with no particular destination in mind other than self-pleasure. Yet, it is possible to be somewhere in the middle between these two paths, I believe, for someone could be on the straight path, but they have gotten off course, at least in some respects, and so they need to get back on course.

I believe there are four types of people in this world (four types of soil). The first type is the one who has not ever made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. The second is the one who makes a profession of faith, but it is surface level only (no root), probably because he was taught a false grace gospel which told him that God does not require repentance or obedience, so when things get rough, he yields to pressure, and he abandons the faith altogether. Neither of these have truly believed in Jesus as Savior. And, then there is the one who has believed in Jesus, who was crucified with Christ in death to sin, and risen with Christ to newness of life, but over time the temptations of this world entrapped him again, and so he got off course. And, he needs to return to God and forsake his idols. And, the fourth type is the individual who is walking by faith, is following his Lord in obedience, and who is bearing fruit for God’s kingdom, in keeping with repentance.

God is our creator, which means he gave life to all people, so God is the true father here. So, the two sons could represent the saved and the unsaved. As well, for believers in Jesus Christ, God is our Father and we are his children, so the two sons could also represent the faithful believer in Jesus, though certainly not perfect, and the believer who has gotten off course and has been entrapped by the sinful pleasures of the world once more. The bottom line, though, is that they represent one in fellowship with the Father, who is serving God with his life, who is walking in obedience to the Lord’s commands, and one who has abandoned God, is going his own way, and is living in sensual pleasure and self-indulgence. Yet, even the one in fellowship with the Father has some maturing to do in some areas.

He Came to His Senses (vv. 17-24)

But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.”’ So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.

Oftentimes, sadly enough, it takes some type of a tragedy or difficult situation in life to get people to come to their senses, and to escape the trap of the devil. When sin gets a grip on people, they can do senseless things, even dangerous things, and stuff which might even get them in trouble with the law, or which might ruin their marriages, etc. And, yet, they go headlong right into what they know is wrong, and what they know is destroying their lives and relationships, even their relationship with God, because their desire is greater for the sin than it is for anything else. They don’t want to let go of the sin, because the sin gives them a false sense of security, or because they are angry with God, and so they feel justified in continuing in the sin, or because they have a sense of entitlement, and so they believe God’s grace gives allowance for their sin, and that God requires nothing of them at all.

When things are going well for us, and we are healthy, and all our physical needs are being met, there may be a temptation to rely on ourselves more than we rely on God. We may become complacent regarding fellowship with our Lord and walking in his Spirit, and the trappings of the world may begin to consume us, our time, thoughts, energies, passion and desires. We may give God a back seat in our lives, and even our devotional lives may begin to ebb away. We don’t necessarily have to even get to the point of gross sin and rebellion to be a prodigal son, but we may just neglect our relationship with Jesus Christ, and what we want and desire may, thus, take first place.

So, God may bring into our lives, or may allow in our lives, some difficult trial, tragedy, sorrow, pain or sickness in order to get our attention, and for the purpose to bring us to our senses. This is not to say that those who are living righteously will not also face such troubled times. They will, and it will be for the purpose to mature them, and so they share in God’s holiness, and so they bear the fruit of God’s righteousness. But, he also disciplines his wandering saints in order to bring them back to himself in humility, repentance and obedience. Sometimes we can be so stupid, so strong-headed, and so bent on our own ways, even though we know better, and so it will take being hit over the head by a two-by-four (not literally) to bring us to our senses. And, even this is God’s grace to us, in order to free us, because he has compassion for us. And, when we do return, he revives and restores us to fellowship with him, and he welcomes us back home.

The Curse of Jealousy (vv. 25-32)

“Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.’ But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him. But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.’ And he said to him, ‘Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.’”

Like I said, even those who are walking righteously are not yet perfect (without fault). We are maturing in our walks of faith day-by-day. Daily we are putting to death sinful deeds, by the Spirit, and we are responding to the Spirit’s still small voice in convicting us when we falter, or we should be. And, sometimes our Lord will put a finger on an area of our lives where we need to yield control to our Lord and not do it ourselves. And, we need to respond to his voice by submitting to his will, and by walking in his way.

The one who stayed in communion with the Father ended up being jealous of the one who repented of his evil ways, and who returned, because the Father received him with open arms and he celebrated the son’s return. He felt that the father treated the wandering son, who then later repented, greater than he treated him who had remained with the father. And, that can happen to us, too, if we allow self-righteousness to settle in, and if we forget that our righteousness is as filthy rags in God’s sight, and it is only his righteousness granted to us, to be lived out through us in his power, that amounts to anything. We were once lost, too, and God found us and saved us by his grace, so we have nothing to boast about or to feel self-righteous about, because it is only by God’s grace that we are not still in the gutter.

Yet, I find another jealousy existing among those who profess faith in Jesus Christ, which is equally as bad. Sometimes, when a wandering saint does return to the Lord, and is restored to fellowship with God, and is now walking in the Spirit, and is not gratifying the sinful flesh any longer, those who are still giving way to the flesh, who have not yet repented of their sins, will be jealous and resentful of the relationship the faithful believer has with the Lord. And, that may drive the unrepentant even further into sin and rebellion because of their anger with God and with the repentant. Yet, all of us need to have the perspective that it is only by God’s grace that any of us can be restored to God and have communion with him, and that all of us have the opportunity to walk in faithfulness, if we so choose to do so.

Amazing Grace / John Newton

Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas Grace that taught my heart to fear,
And Grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils, and snares
I have already come.
‘Tis Grace hath brought me safe thus far
And Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His Word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.

And when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease;
I shall possess within the veil
A life of joy and peace.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.

Put to The Test

Monday, May 15, 2017, 7:33 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Total Praise.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read James 1 (Select vv. ESV).

Joy (vv. 2-4)

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Depending upon the type of trial, and the severity of it, we may find it harder, at times, to count it all joy when we face life’s trials and tribulations. And, yet, joy is the antidote to the mental and emotional distress involved in suffering. It never fails to lift my spirits when I sing songs of praise to my Lord whenever I am going through a time of great difficulty, or even in the midst of the small tests of faith and of perseverance. Our praise to God gets our focus off our trials and on to the Lord; off the emotions of discouragement and on to hope, faith and love. Praising our Lord in difficult times also lets the enemy of our souls know he is not going to defeat us, but that greater is HE who is within us than he who is in the world. Allowing the joy of the Lord to fill our hearts, instead of being brought low by our circumstances, will always result in spiritual blessings from above.

In America, especially, it appears the vast majority are resistant to pain and suffering, and so Americans tend to medicate and escape suffering rather than face it head on and conquer fears, resist Satan, flee sinful passions, learn steadfastness, and grow in maturity through our difficult times. It seems there is a pill for just about everything these days, and they all have side effects, so many people take multiple pills just to counter the side effects of the other pills. And, yet medicating, in its various forms (not just with pills), rarely teaches us reliance upon the Holy Spirit, trust in God, perseverance in faith, or steadfastness in spirit. We sometimes get this idea that suffering is always a bad thing, but God uses suffering in our lives for our good and for his purposes, to train us to be godly, that we might share in his holiness, and that we might produce the fruit of his righteousness.

Wisdom (vv. 5-8)

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

So, when we are faced with life’s difficulties, we should pray for wisdom from above rather than respond in our flesh. If we pray for wisdom, and we are given wisdom, then we should trust what God shows us and not doubt his counsel. But, we should make certain that the counsel we hear in our heads is indeed biblical, and of God, and not of our own thinking. And, if we pray for wisdom, and we are given counsel from our Lord, then we should follow what we have been shown and not take matters into our own hands.

If we make it our practice to pray for counsel from above, but it is also our practice to not heed the counsel given, but to still go our own way, what good is it then to pray? It is to no avail, because we didn’t do what we were instructed to do. If we do this consistently, we lack godly wisdom, we are driven by our flesh, and we are like on a see-saw going back and forth (or up and down) between opinion, and thus we are not steadfast in spirit, but are more like the waves of the sea tossed here and there by the wind. We are double-minded and unstable in all we do because we have no solid footing, because we just go where the wind blows us. And, thus, we should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.

Steadfastness (vv. 12-15)

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

So, what does it look like when we remain steadfast under trial? It means we are unwavering, resolute, persistent and firm in our faith and in our commitments to Christ, that we stand on the Word of Truth, and that we are not easily swayed by opinions of humans, so that we go back and forth in belief and in practice depending upon who we are with at the time. If we change like shifting shadows, depending on the people we are with, or depending on our circumstances, our faith is not much good, is it? If we back down on what we say we believe just because we are going through difficult times, our faith will not stand up under the test, will it? We need to be the same (consistent, without wavering) no matter the company, or no matter the circumstances. This is what it means to be steadfast.

What does it mean to be tempted? It means that something is attracting, arousing or seducing us to sin against God in our minds, in our hearts and/or in our actions. And, what is sin? It is failure, missing the mark, sinful deed, not of God, not of faith (source: biblehub.com). It is wickedness, evil, immorality, and wrongdoing, etc. So, at what point does temptation turn to sin? It becomes sin when we act upon the temptation and we do, even in our minds, what we are being tempted to do. For instance, Jesus said that if a man looks at a woman lustfully he has committed adultery with her in his heart. This goes for women lusting after men, and same sex attractions, as well. If we are tempted to lie, and then we lie, we have sinned. If we are tempted to gossip, and then we gossip, even if we stop half-way and confess the wrongdoing, it is still sin, i.e. the part we did before we stopped.

It is good if we stop, but then we have to acknowledge the sin and turn from it to follow our Lord in obedience. If we make a practice of sinning against God, though, the Bible says we don’t really know God, and we don’t have the hope of eternal life with God (See: Lu. 9:23-25; Ro. 8:1-14; 1 Jn. 1:6).

Total Praise / Richard Smallwood

You are the source of my strength
You are the strength of my life
I lift my hands in total praise to You.

Do We Love Him?

Wednesday, May 3, 2017, 7:41 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “My Jesus, I Love Thee.” Lately, the Lord has not been having me read book by book, and chapter by chapter, as usual, so I asked him where he wanted me to read this morning. Then, I sensed he would have me look at what it means to truly love him. Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read various scriptures (in the ESV) on the subject of love for God (for Jesus).

More Than These (Jn. 21:15)

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”

Jesus didn’t say what the “these” were, but Peter had gone fishing, and some of the other disciples had gone with him, so Jesus could have been referring to literal fish, or to fishing, or to his friends (the other disciples). The point of what he said, though, is that Jesus was to be loved more. So, the question for us is, “Do we love him more than anything else?” Do we love him more than our possessions, food, friends, hobbies, our time, retirement, social media, TV, sports, etc.? Love for Jesus means to love him above all else, not just to say that we do, but to truly put him first and foremost in our daily lives. Is he truly Lord (owner-master) of our lives?

Peter affirmed that he loved Jesus, so Jesus told him to “Feed my lambs.” Now, he was not speaking of literal sheep, but of Jesus’ followers. And, he was not asking him to give them literal food, though that certainly could have been part of it, but to feed them spiritually with God’s Words, i.e. with what Jesus had taught him. And, our Lord is saying the same thing to us today. If we love him truly, we are to care for, minister to, and share the Word of God with other believers in Jesus Christ for their encouragement, strengthening, and maturity in Christ (See: Rom. 12; 1 Co. 12-13; Eph. 4).

No Love for World (1 Jn. 2:15)

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

If we truly love Jesus, we will not love the world. Now, this word for “love” in the Greek is “agape,” which means: “wish well to, take pleasure in, long for; denotes the love of reason, to prefer, esteem” (biblehub.com). And, to esteem means: reverence, honor, approve, respect, value and admire, etc.

As well, the phrase “the world” is not speaking of human beings, who we are to love, but rather of the things (stuff, possessions), attitudes, values, principles, culture, behaviors and philosophies of the world of sin. These we are NOT to love – prefer, esteem, wish well to, take pleasure in and long for, like we are supposed to do for our Lord. We are to prefer him above all else, “choosing his choices and obeying them through his power; actively doing what the Lord prefers, by his power and direction” (biblehub.com).

Practice Righteousness (1 Jn. 3:10)

“By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.”

If we truly love our Lord, we will practice righteousness, i.e. what is approved in the eyes of the Lord. Some people will say that we are made righteous, i.e. that Christ’s righteousness is credited to our accounts when we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. This is true! But, these same people often think that is all that is required, but God’s Word teaches us we must put righteousness – morality, decency, uprightness, honesty – into practice in our daily lives, or we are not of God. We not only have to be made righteous in God’s eyes through faith in Jesus Christ, but he also requires that we live righteously. Peter said that Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24).

We are also not of God if we do not love our fellow humans. And, this is also agape love, which prefers what God prefers, and which esteems, takes pleasure in and longs for God/Jesus Christ. It means to love others as God loves us, and according to his divine will and purpose. Since this love prefers what God prefers, it is not going to include anything that is against God and against his Word. In other words, we don’t love people by telling them lies to make them feel good, or so that they will like us. We speak the truth in love. We don’t take advantage of them or do harm to them. We don’t lead them into sin, either, by trying to persuade them to do something that is wrong. Loving others in this way will always be centered in God and in his will.

In Deed and Truth (1 Jn. 3:18)

“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”

Words can be cheap if they are not followed up with action. If we say that we love Jesus, but we do not honor, value, respect, esteem and reverence him in what we do, and if we do not prefer what he prefers, and live our lives accordingly, then we don’t really love him. It is just words.

Obey His Commands (1 Jn. 5:2-3; 2 Jn. 1:6; cf. Jn. 14:15, 21, 23-24)

“By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.”

“And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.”

Jesus said that if we love him, we will obey (guard, preserve) his commands (Jn. 14:15). John reiterated Jesus’ words when he said here that to love God is to keep (obey, observe) his commands. So, what are his commands? They are everything Jesus taught his disciples, which are recorded in scripture, which were NOT specific to one particular situation, or to one specific period of time, or to one particular person or persons. But, they are commands that were intended for his disciples at all times, and in all situations, as general rules of practice. They are also the teachings of the NT apostles with regard to the church, as a whole, present and future, which, again, are to be regarded as general rules of practice for all, and for our daily living.

Yet, this is not absolutely black and white. What I mean by this is that there is not a hammer hanging over our heads which says we must obey 100% or we are not saved. Even though we have been delivered from slavery to sin and from the power Satan had over our lives, at one time, it does not mean we will never sin again (See: 1 Jn. 2:1-2). If we could have obeyed with 100%, Jesus would not have had to die for our sins. But, what the law was powerless to do, in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son to die on a cross for our sin, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit (See: Ro. 8:1-14).

So, God’s grace does not demand sinless perfection, yet it does demand that we walk (in lifestyle) no longer according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. This means that we don’t make excuses for willful sin against God, or excuse away sin on the basis of God’s grace to us. His grace is not a free license to continue in sin. His grace, which brings salvation, teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return (Tit. 2:11-14).

My Jesus, I Love Thee
William R. Featherstone / Adoniram J. Gordon

My Jesus, I love thee, I know thou art mine;
For thee all the follies of sin I resign.
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art thou;
If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I love thee because thou hast first loved me,
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree;
I love thee for wearing the thorns on thy brow;
If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say, when the death-dew lies cold on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ‘tis now.

In mansions of glory and endless delight;
I’ll ever adore thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow;
If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

For the Mature

Tuesday, February 14, 2017, 6:53 p.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Seek the Lord.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Hebrews 5:11-6:12 (NASB).

Marks of Immaturity (5:11-14)

Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

Concerning Jesus Christ, we have much to say. Although he is God, the second person of our triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – he left his home in heaven, came to earth, took on human flesh, suffered like we suffer, and was tempted in like manner as we are also tempted, yet without sin. He healed the sick and afflicted, raised the dead, comforted the sorrowful, encouraged the timid, delivered people from demons, and performed many miracles when he walked the face of this earth. He spoke many encouraging and comforting words, as well as he told the people the truth about their sin, about their eternal destiny, and concerning the cost of following him as their Lord and Savior (See: Lu. 9:23-25). And, he gave messages of hope and healing to all who would put their trust in Him.

Jesus came to the earth with one main mission in mind – to die on a cross for our sins. When he died our sins died with him and were buried with him, and when he was resurrected from the dead, he rose victorious over hell, sin, Satan and death on our behalf. He died to take the punishment of our sins for us so that we could be delivered from condemnation. He also died to give us eternal life with him, for those believing in him, beginning at the moment we believe, throughout our lives on this earth, and into our future home of heaven when we leave this earth. Yet, that is not all. He also died that we might die with him to sin and live with him to his righteousness. He died to deliver us out of slavery to sin so that we could become bond-servants of him and of his righteousness. He died to turn us from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that we could receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those sanctified by faith in him.

Yet, many who have believed in Jesus Christ have not moved past the elementary truths concerning our salvation and on to maturity in Christ, and one of the reasons appears to be that they have become dull of hearing, i.e. they don’t want to know anything beyond just their initial salvation from sin. They are content remaining spiritual infants. And, so they are not really growing in their relationship with Christ, and in his Word, so that they can have their senses trained to discern good from evil. I am sure they do know that lying, cheating, stealing, etc. is wrong, but their consciences can be seared or they can become desensitized to evil if they do not mature in their walks of faith, and if they are greatly exposed to the things, philosophies, values and practices of this sinful world, primarily via TV and the internet.

Fallen Away (6:1-8)

Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. And this we will do, if God permits. For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame. For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned.

So, what’s the big deal if someone decides to remain a spiritual infant and not move on to maturity? They still get to go to heaven when they die, right? Or not. There are so many scriptures that teach us that choosing to receive Christ as Savior of our lives is not a done deal, i.e. it is not a guarantee of heaven and eternal life with God. Why isn’t it? Because Jesus didn’t die just so we could escape hell and go to heaven when we die. He died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. His purpose in saving us from our sins was not merely to take the punishment for our sin, but to deliver us out of slavery to sin and that we might be resurrected to new lives in Christ Jesus, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” He didn’t call us just so we could go to heaven when we die. He called us to be a holy people for him while we still live on the earth.

So, his goal is for us to mature in him. His goal is to conform us into the image of Christ. So, what is the danger if we don’t mature? I believe it is that we could fall away from grace, and that we could turn away from our God, and reject what he did for us on the cross, and for our belief to turn to unbelief. What this passage describes here is not someone who just professes to know Christ. This is someone who was a partaker of the Holy Spirit. We can’t partake of the Holy Spirit if we did not genuinely believe in him. This is saying, and many other passages like it are saying that it is possible for us, if we do not continue in the faith we had at the beginning, to fall away never to return to our Lord, and we need to take this seriously.

Faith and Patience (6:9-12)

But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way. For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Our decision to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives is not a one-time experience, then we live life how we want it, and then we go to heaven when we die. There are things which must accompany our salvation, such as repentance, obedience and submission to Christ and to his cross. But, these are not things we do in our own flesh. Even the faith to believe in Jesus Christ is a gift from God, i.e. a divine persuasion of his will. He even grants us repentance, and gives us the ability to obey him. We just have to yield control of our lives over to him, and cooperate with the Spirit’s work of grace in our lives. And, our Lord will give us all we need to live godly, holy lives pleasing to him.

There are many, many scriptures which teach what this passage teaches regarding our salvation. This is yet another scripture which encourages us or which instructs us to show the same diligence we had at the beginning until the end. This also warns us that if we don’t, we are in danger of becoming sluggish in our relationships with our Lord. And, yet there is encouragement (exhortation) that we become imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. And, if we do follow our Lord in obedience, in surrender to his will for our lives, and we become his ministers (his servants) in showing his love and grace to others, and in sharing the gospel of our salvation so that others can come to know him, too, our work will be rewarded. We may not always see how God is using us now, but we can be assured that if we are following him, he has a plan and a purpose for what he has called us to do, and his Word will accomplish what he desires.

Seek the Lord / An Original Work / July 20, 2012

Based off Isaiah 55

“Come to Me all you who thirst; come to waters.
Listen to Me, and eat what’s good today,
And your soul will delight in richest of fare.
Give ear to Me, and you will live.
I have made an eternal covenant with you.
Wash in the blood of the Lamb.”

Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him.
Let the wicked forsake his way, in truth.
Let him turn to the Lord, and he will receive mercy.
Freely, God pardons him.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,”
declares the Lord, our God.

“My word that goes out of My mouth is truthful.
It will not return to Me unfulfilled.
My word will accomplish all that I desire,
And achieve the goal I intend.
You will go in joy, and be led forth in peace.
The mountains will burst into song… before you,
And all of the trees clap their hands.”

Unrepentant Sin

Saturday, January 14, 2017, 11:00 p.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “My Very Best Friend.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read 2 Corinthians 13 (NASB).

The Power of God (vv. 1-4)

This is the third time I am coming to you. Every fact is to be confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses. I have previously said when present the second time, and though now absent I say in advance to those who have sinned in the past and to all the rest as well, that if I come again I will not spare anyone, since you are seeking for proof of the Christ who speaks in me, and who is not weak toward you, but mighty in you. For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we will live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you.

In a previous chapter we read that Paul was jealous for the Corinthian believers with a godly jealousy, because he had promised them to one husband, Jesus Christ, yet he feared that they might be led astray from their sincere and pure devotion to Jesus Christ. What was the basis of his concern, then? It appears that, at least some of the Corinthian believers were being tolerant of false christs, false spirits, and false gospels. They put up with these far too easily, he said. Thus, it may be that they knew what was being presented was false, and they just did nothing about it. Or, it could be that they just didn’t bother testing what they heard against the Word of Truth, and/or in prayer, and in the power and knowledge of the Spirit within them, in order to know whether or not what they were allowing and/or receiving was truth or deception cleverly disguised as truth.

All this time you have been thinking that we are defending ourselves to you. Actually, it is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ; and all for your upbuilding, beloved. For I am afraid that perhaps when I come I may find you to be not what I wish and may be found by you to be not what you wish; that perhaps there will be strife, jealousy, angry tempers, disputes, slanders, gossip, arrogance, disturbances; I am afraid that when I come again my God may humiliate me before you, and I may mourn over many of those who have sinned in the past and not repented of the impurity, immorality and sensuality which they have practiced (2 Co. 12: 19-21).

Paul was concerned that there was unrepentant sin being allowed to continue within the church, and that there was false teaching being tolerated, too, and perhaps that the two of them went hand-in-hand. And, he was also concerned that some of them did not respect his God-given (appointed) authority to do anything about it, which is one of the reasons it was allowed to continue and nothing was being done to stop it. So, his intention was that, upon this next visit, he would come in the power of God and he would exercise divine discipline in correcting the wrong, yet not because he wanted to punish them. He did not. But, because he loved them with a godly love, and he wanted to see them walking in truth and in freedom from the control of sin over their lives.

And, so it is today, at least here in America. Sin is barely even mentioned in the vast majority of church congregations today, at least not in the modern church gatherings where they are marketing the “church” to the world, and thus they are more focused on entertaining the world rather than on bringing the world to genuine faith in Jesus Christ. All kinds of false teaching are permeating today’s modern church, as well as a Jesus is being presented which is not consistent with the Jesus of the Bible, i.e. the Son of God. Feel-good messages which tickle itching ears are replacing Spirit-led messages which convict hearts of sin, and which call for repentance. And, Bible studies are often not more than studies of books written by modern authors, some of which are not only inconsistent with scripture, but are even that which teach what is clearly false, and which promote middle eastern religion.

Test Yourselves (vv. 5-10)

Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test? But I trust that you will realize that we ourselves do not fail the test. Now we pray to God that you do no wrong; not that we ourselves may appear approved, but that you may do what is right, even though we may appear unapproved. For we can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth. For we rejoice when we ourselves are weak but you are strong; this we also pray for, that you be made complete. For this reason I am writing these things while absent, so that when present I need not use severity, in accordance with the authority which the Lord gave me for building up and not for tearing down.

A false grace gospel is being taught widely, as well, which teaches that a prayer repeated after someone else inviting Jesus to be your Savior is sufficient for salvation, and a guarantee of heaven when you die. As well, they say that God is pleased with you no matter what you do, and that he requires nothing of you – no submission to the cross, no repentance and no obedience to Christ and to his commands. This false grace gospel, thus, is free license to continue in willful sin against God absent of remorse and without guilt. It gives the impression that once you pray the prayer, and you have heaven guaranteed, that God is no longer concerned about your sin, for his grace covers it all. Thus, the freedom they teach is no freedom at all, for it leaves its adherents still dead in their sins without hope.

So, what is the truth? Well, it is that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who knew no sin, became sin for us when he died on a cross. Thus, when he died our sins died with him, and were buried with him. And, when he was resurrected from the dead, he rose victorious over sin, Satan, hell and death. Yet, not all are saved from sin. We must put our trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives in order for us to have the hope of salvation from sin. So, what does this look like? Well, it means that the Spirit of God opens our blinded eyes and we are turned from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God that we might receive forgiveness of sins, and a place among those who are sanctified (made holy) by faith in Jesus Christ.

The truth is that Jesus died, not just so we could escape hell and go to heaven when we die, but he died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us. And, he died that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us who walk not after the flesh, but who conduct our lives according to the Spirit. For, if we walk after the flesh, we will die (in our sin), but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live (with Christ for eternity). The truth is, too, that God’s grace is not free license to continue in sin, for his grace teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for his return (See: 1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Co. 5:15; Ro. 8:1-14; Tit. 2:11-14; cf. Ro. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24; Lu. 9:23-25).

So, for us to examine ourselves to see if truly we are in the faith, we need to do so against all the scriptures which speak of our salvation and eternal security in Christ, and not just hand-select the scriptures which say what our itching ears want to hear. For instance, we have to read Romans 10:9-10 in the context of the whole of Romans (esp. chaps. 6 & 8), and in the context of the whole of the New Testament, and we have to not build an entire doctrine of salvation around just those two verses, which is what many are doing. Jesus said that if we want to come after him we must deny self and take up our cross daily and follow him, for if we hold on to our lives (of living for sin and self), we will lose them for eternity, but if we lose our lives (die with Christ to sin), we will gain eternal life. If we say we have fellowship with God, but we walk in darkness, we are liars (Lu. 9:23-25; 1 Jn. 1:6).

Live in Peace (vv. 11-14)

Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.

So, instead of living in unrepentant sin, while claiming heaven as our eternal home, and instead of following a false grace gospel, or a man-made Jesus, or the teachings of mere humans, we need to be like-minded with Christ concerning the truths he taught, and that his NT apostles taught, and we need to repent of our sins and walk in obedience to that truth. Then we can mature in Christ, be comforted by his love, be like-minded with other Spirit-filled believers, and live in peace with God and with others, as much as it depends on us. Then we will truly know the Jesus of the Bible, and we will be able to experience close fellowship with him as daily we talk with him, read his Word, and then as we walk in obedience to him and to his Word. In fact, we will come to know him to be our very best friend.

My Very Best Friend
Ron Hamilton – Patch the Pirate

Jesus is closer than a brother.
Every moment he is near.
I know he never will forsake me.
He has conquered all my fear.
Jesus is closer than a brother.
On his love I can depend.
King of kings, Lord of lords,
Conquering Son, oh, all of these,
He’s my very best friend.

Closer Than a Brother

Friday, January 6, 2017, 10:10 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “My Very Best Friend.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read 2 Corinthians 1:1-11 (NIV).

Grace and Peace (vv. 1-2)

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

To the church of God in Corinth, together with all his holy people throughout Achaia:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

To all God’s holy people, his church, his saints, i.e. to all those who love God and who are called according to his purpose be grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

This word “grace” literally means “extension towards.” It has to do with God extending (putting forth; reaching; leaning) himself towards people to give himself to them (source: biblehub.com). For instance, it is mentioned in Romans 1 that God revealed himself (his divine qualities or attributes) to all humankind through all his created works. Then, we read in John 6:44 that no one can come to Jesus unless the Father draws him. So, here we see God extending himself toward humankind by drawing people to faith in Jesus Christ. Then, of course, we have God extending himself towards us by sending his Son, Jesus Christ, to die on a cross for our sins so that we might be delivered out of slavery to sin and become slaves of his righteousness. And, we have him daily extending himself towards us who believe in Jesus via his many acts of love, compassion, kindness and mercy towards us.

The word “peace” literally means “wholeness,” “welfare,” and “peace of mind.” It has to do with “all essential parts joined together” (source: biblehub.com). This is not about absence of conflict, trouble or hardships, but rather speaks of an inner peace of heart and mind because one trusts in God and rests in his love, in his Word, in his sovereignty, and in his grace towards us. First of all, we are made to be at peace with God through faith in Jesus Christ, because of what he did for us in dying for our sins. And, then he fills us with his peace within our inner beings because we trust in him. We have no reason to ever be anxious about anything in this life, because our lives are now completely in his hands and under his divine control.

The God of Comfort (vv. 3-7)

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

The word “comfort” in our English language means “ease, relief, cheer, security, reassurance or pacify” (soothe), etc. We think of it often in terms as someone coming alongside us during difficult times and making us feel better emotionally or mentally. Yet, the Greek word translated as “comfort” means “exhortation, entreaty, encouragement, comfort and summons.” It is a “’holy urging’ used of the Lord directly motivating and inspiring believers to carry out His plan, delivering His particular message to someone else. The core-meaning of 3874 /paráklēsis (‘personal urging’) is shaped by the individual context, so it can refer to: exhortation, warning, encouragement (comfort), etc.” – http://biblehub.com/greek/3874.htm

I believe this understanding of the word “comfort” fits very well with this passage of scripture in 2 Corinthians 1, also. First of all, we are not comforted by God merely for our own solace, but it is so that we can comfort others with the same encouragement (reassurance or urging) we received from God. So, how do I know this is speaking of more than just merely giving one another a pat on the back or a word of cheer to make us feel better emotionally? It is because this comfort produces in us patient endurance of the same sufferings others have had. If all we do is pat someone on the back and tell them “everything is going to be ok,” or we merely try to cheer them up so they feel better inside, temporarily, it is not going to produce in them patient endurance in suffering. They will want relief from suffering, instead, and thus the “comfort” won’t last.

Each and every situation will call for what type of comfort is needed, but if the end result is to be that we patiently endure suffering of the kind Jesus and the apostles suffered, then we need more than just cheering up. We need to be reassured of God’s love, grace, mercy, compassion, forgiveness and sovereignty over our lives, as well as of his calling and purpose for our lives.

We need that “holy urging” used of the Lord in motivating and inspiring us to carry out his plan. We need to be reminded that we are not in this world for ourselves or for our own ease, coziness or relief from suffering. In fact, the Bible teaches us that we are destined for suffering and that just as Jesus was hated and persecuted, so we would be also if we are truly to be his followers. We need to be exhorted (urged, pressed or incited) on toward greater faith, perseverance, fuller commitment to Christ, and holy living. In fact, one of the reasons for our suffering is that God is making us holy, he is purifying us, and he is conforming us into the image of his Son, i.e. he is pruning us so that we will be even more fruitful (Jn. 15:2).

Great Pressure (vv. 8-11)

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

When we believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, God does not promise us that it will be one big party for us from this point on, even though today’s modern institutional church often leaves us with that impression. Faith in Jesus Christ is not about our personal comfort (ease) and enjoyment (entertainment, fun). It is about dying with Christ to sin and self, and being resurrected with him to newness of life, created to be like him in true righteousness and holiness (Ro. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24). Does this mean we go around with frowns on our faces and it is all doom and gloom? No, certainly not! We should have way more reason to smile and to be joyful because of what Jesus did for us in giving us new lives free from the control of sin over our lives. And, we should be at total peace inside!

But, God does promise us that suffering is part of the Christian life, and that it serves a valuable purpose in our lives in training us in godliness, and in making us holy, and in purifying our hearts, and in teaching us patience and perseverance, etc. Paul said it is also so that we learn to not rely on ourselves but on God. Amen! I can attest to that! We can so easily get proud or self-sufficient when things are going well for us, but when we suffer, especially for the sake of the name of Jesus and his gospel, it does humble us and it teaches us that we must be totally dependent on our Lord in all things just to make it through each day. It gets us to lean on him. This is part of this “holy urging” we spoke about at the beginning of this writing. Suffering is often for the purpose to teach us what we need to learn.

Also, when we go through trials, difficulties and times of great suffering, it draws us to get closer to our Lord and it teaches us to lean on him, so this is also part of his grace to us, i.e. this is part of God’s extending himself towards us to give himself to us. He knows that, since we live in these flesh bodies, i.e. since we are but clay, that we need suffering to prune away the flesh so that we can mature in our walks of faith and can be more and more under the control (guidance, leadership) of the Spirit in our lives, because this is what is best for us. It is also his way of getting our attention when we get our eyes off him and on to ourselves or on to our circumstances. And, it is his way of extending himself towards us to show us his mercy, his compassion, and his grace that is always there for us to rest in, to find assurance in, and through which to experience renewed hope and purpose.

My Very Best Friend / Ron Hamilton – Patch the Pirate

Jesus is closer than a brother.
Every moment he is near.
I know he never will forsake me.
He has conquered all my fear.
Jesus is closer than a brother.
On his love I can depend.
King of kings, Lord of lords,
Conquering Son, oh, all of these,
He’s my very best friend.

Who Am I?

Friday, November 18, 2016, 6:11 p.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Have Thine Own Way, Lord.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Acts 6:1-7 (ESV).

His Purpose and Grace

We read in Psalm 139 that God created our inmost being. He knit us together in the wombs of our mothers. All the days ordained for us were written in God’s book before one of them came to be. We read in Jeremiah 1 that God knew Jeremiah before he formed him in the womb of his mother. Before he was born, God set him apart to be a prophet to the nations.

We read in 2 Timothy 1:8-9: “Therefore, do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began.”

And, in Ephesians 1:3-4 we read: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.”

In Romans 12:4-8 we read: “For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.”

And, in 1 Corinthians 12:11, 18: “All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.” “But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.”

As well, we read in Ephesians 4:15-16: “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”

It’s Not Right (Ac. 6:1-4)

Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”

You have probably heard the saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none.” This figure of speech is “used in reference to a person that is competent with many skills, but no particular one” (Wikipedia). This can be good if you are a handyman, i.e. if your job is to do maintenance work in a building, and therefore you need to have multiple and/or overlapping skills. As Christ’s ministers, though, it is possible that this could be a detriment if we stretch ourselves over too many ministry areas and thus we neglect the one prominent area of ministry to which God called us even before the creation of the world, and before we were even formed in the wombs of our mothers.

Many pastors, for instance, are expected to do all the preaching of the Word, all the hospital and shut-in visitations, all the counseling, and all the planning and implementation of “church” programs, etc. In addition to this, in today’s modern institutional church, they are expected to be business men with marketing skills, and entertainers and actors who must keep the “customers” coming back for more. Thus, they feel they have to focus more on doing what appeals to human flesh, rather than on spending the necessary time and heart with God in prayer and in his Word so that they are able to lead their flocks to follow the Lord Jesus Christ in obedience.

Yet, this passage of scripture should not be taken as only applying to those who are professional ministers with congregations under their authority. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are all his ministers. God has called each and every one of us to something that we alone are to do. It doesn’t mean other people don’t have the same gifts or similar functions, but that God has a unique assignment for each of us. In other words, not one of the apostles was exactly the same as the other, although they were all apostles.

So, we need to focus our attention on who God created us to be, on why we are here, and on what he has called us to do. We need to spend time with God in prayer, and in his Word, and we need to seek his face concerning what part of the body he wants us to be, and then we need to dedicate ourselves to being that part, and to not trying to spread ourselves thin. Then, the body can grow, because every part is doing its assigned work.

Full of Faith (Ac. 6:5-7)

And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them.

And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.

If we don’t have faith in Jesus Christ, God does not have an assignment for us, at least not Holy Spirit empowered for the building up of the body of Christ. So, first of all, we need to examine ourselves to see if we are truly in the faith. Belief in Jesus Christ is not mere words we recite after someone else, or a one-time emotional or intellectual experience we go through. When we believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior of our lives, we die with Christ to sin so we can live with him to righteousness. We are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are resurrected with Christ in newness of life, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24). If we say we have fellowship with God, but we conduct our lives according to a sinful lifestyle, then we are liars, and the truth is not in us (1 Jn. 1:6).

Once we are sure we have true faith in Jesus Christ, then we need to spend quality and quantity time with him each day in prayer (talking to God), in the study of His Word, listening to him speak his truths to our hearts, and then in obedience to what his Word teaches us we must do. God will guide our hearts into his truth, and he will show us the way we should go. As we follow him where he leads us, and we get to know him and his heart, we begin to see what gifts he has given to us and how he wants us to use them in the body, and for his glory. And, then we need to say “Yes” to his leading, and do what he asks us to do. We should then care more about pleasing him than we care about the acceptance of humans. He is likely to call us to do something which will get us rejected by other humans, and so we need to be willing to be hated, persecuted and even killed for obeying our Lord.

We may not always see immediate fruit for our labors, though. Some people are called to plant, while others will reap, so even if you can’t see all the produce now for the sowing you are doing in other people’s hearts, trust God, follow his lead, do what he says, and leave the results to him.

Let him have his way in your heart and life, and let him use you in the way in which he called you even before you were born. We won’t always know all the impact we have on other people’s lives. But, God will use our obedience for good, for the salvation of human lives, for the encouragement of the saints, and for the building up of his body if we surrender to him and let him mold us into the people of God he designed us to be. I surrender all!

Have Thine Own Way, Lord / Adelaide A. Pollard / George C. Stebbins

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Search me and try me, Master, today!
Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
As in Thy presence humbly I bow.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Wounded and weary, help me I pray!
Power, all power, surely is Thine!
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine!

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Hold o’er my being absolute sway.
Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me!