THE NEW LIFE :: BELOVED OF GOD

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DESIGNATED WEEK OF THE MONTH.

In THE NEW LIFE series we’re studying one of my favorite chapters in the Bible: Colossians 3:1-17. As you will see this is a rich chapter full of valuable life transforming lessons. Join me on the third Friday of each month in 2020 for this in-depth Bible study with real world applications.

Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. ~ Colossians 3:12-13

As God’s chosen and beloved people we must live in a way that honors our individual value and what Christ has done for us. After all this new life wouldn’t be possible without Christ’s death and resurrection.

Loving Virtues

With our new life wardrobe we are clothed with the virtues of mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, given to us through Jesus Christ. Wearing these virtues ables us to bear other’s burdens and forgive their flaws. This allows opportunities to truly show the love of Christ in our everyday life.

Our lives are called to be a response to God’s self-giving love. Every good thing we do in this life — love, forgive, serve — is merely an echo of the love of God. ~ James Bryan Smith

Forgiven to Forgive

When we accept God’s forgiveness we too must be willing to forgive others.  With those who are difficult to forgive we may need to meditate on the fact that because Christ has forgiven me completely, I must in turn forgive.

It’s important to stress here forgiveness doesn’t require continuing a relationship with someone who is toxic to be around. At this point we must forgive them, pray for and love them through Christ from a distance.

Beloved Chosen

Sometimes it’s easy to love and forgive others but somehow we can’t do the same for ourselves. For whatever reason we feel unworthy or not good enough to be called God’s beloved. No matter what we believe about ourselves God’s love for us is unstoppable!

YOU ARE THE BELOVED OF GOD!

 

There is nothing in our present or future circumstances that can weaken his love. There is no power above us or beneath us—no power that could ever be found in the universe that can distance us from God’s passionate love, which is lavished upon us through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One! ~ Romans 8:38-39

Take a few minutes and listen to this beautiful song by Jordan Feliz. Let the lyrics soak deep in your soul and realize how much God loves you!

THE SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES :: SERVICE

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DIFFERENT FRIDAY OF THE MONTH.

In The Spiritual Disciplines series we’re learning 12 disciplines that will guide us as we grow deeper in our walk with God. These columns post on the second Friday of each month in 2020.

Spiritual Disciplines are not a list of religious duties but rather habits that nurture and mature our spiritual growth. They are inward, spiritual attitudes walked out by behaviors and actions. These habits are critical for lasting spiritual growth and true life transformation.

SERVICE: Loving, thoughtful, active promotion of the good of others and the causes of God in our world, as we experience the many little deaths of going beyond ourselves.

God remembers the love you demonstrate as you continually serve his beloved ones for the glory of his name. ~ Hebrews 6:10

Some of us are gifted with service. But gifted or not, as Christians, we are all called to service as His followers. The Spiritual Discipline of service is a radical self-denial in humble service to others for Christ.

Relationship vs. Results

Service is more about our relationship with God than the results of the particular action we are performing. It’s not about working for God but rather working with God, allowing Him to work in and through us. Our service for God may not come packaged in some beautifully wrapped ideal of success. It may come as something as simple as helping an elderly neighbor with their groceries or trash.

Bloom Where You Are Planted

This is most important in the Spiritual Discipline of Service. We can serve God wherever He has put us. Instead of waiting for the next grand opportunity, serve God today with your whole heart, even in the simplest of tasks.

Much Is Given And Required

God uses our reaction to our life circumstances to fulfill His purposes. We will never be able to fully measure or know how God uses us because it’s His power not ours at work. We can’t measure our usefulness for God by what we’ve done for Him.  Rather He will measure us by how we’ve shown Christ’s love by humbly allowing Him to work through us for the benefit of others.

Spiritually, we cannot measure our life by success, but only by what God pours through us, and we cannot measure that at all.  Oswald Chambers

The Spiritual Discipline of Service is a lifestyle reflected often in hidden, modest tasks unseen by many. As we take our eyes off our selves and put them fully on Christ in service to others we will experience a full and meaningful life we’ve not known before.

Take a few minutes to reflect on your service to others for Christ with this lovely classic song by the Maranatha Singers.

THE LORD’S PRAYER :: DON’T LET US YIELD TO TEMPTATIONS

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DESIGNATED WEEK OF THE MONTH.

In The Lord’s Prayer Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray. He’s not just giving them a prayer to recite, but a model prayer for everyone of us. Join me on the first Friday of each month in 2020 as we study this beloved prayer phrase by phrase and bring fresh application to our lives today.

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. ~ Matthew 6: 9-13

God is always faithful. With every temptation He provides a way out. It’s up to us to look for the way. Let’s look to Jesus…

He Is The Way of Escape

We all experience times of testing, which is normal for every human being. But God will be faithful to you. He will screen and filter the severity, nature, and timing of every test or trial you face so that you can bear it. And each test is an opportunity to trust him more, for along with every trial God has provided for you a way of escape that will bring you out of it victoriously. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13 TPT

Jesus will always be our way out, over, through, and around all temptations the enemy may throw at us. There’s nothing we face that isn’t filtered through God’s loving hands. No matter what comes God will never fail us. He will take what the enemy means for harm and turn it to good in our life.

What temptation are you facing today?  

Look to Jesus.

See Your Victory!

Let’s praise God for the many victories He brings us with this wonderful worship song by Elevation Worship.

THE RED SEA RULES STUDY :: ENVISION GOD’S ENVELOPING PRESENCE

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DESIGNATED FRIDAY OF THE MONTH.

In THE RED SEA RULES series we’re using the wonderful book by Robert J. Morgan as our guideline for a deep study of Exodus 14. Join me on the fourth Friday of each month in 2020 as we apply Morgan’s “10 God-Given Strategies for Difficult Times” to our lives today.

RED SEA RULE 7: Envision God’s enveloping presence. 

The Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them. So it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel. Thus it was a cloud and darkness to the one, and it gave light by night to the other, so that the one did not come near the other all that night. ~ Exodus 14:19-20

This phenomenon of God’s Presence is a mystery we will likely not understand this side of Heaven. What’s most amazing to me is God’s Presence is shown throughout Scripture and has been experienced by many in different ways even today.

The pillar of fire and cloud that followed the Israelites through the wilderness was later seen as a cloud of glory in Solomons temple and again in the Upper Room on the day of Pentecost. This same Presence resides every moment in and  with all Christians.

It’s important to remind ourselves the Lord’s Presence is with us. We can practice the Presence of God daily by:

    • Affirming God’s nearness in our hearts

I will never leave you nor forsake you. ~ Hebrews 13:5

    • Visualize God’s Presence in our mind

The Lord stood with me and strengthened me. ~ 2 Timothy 4:17

    • Access God’s nearness through prayer

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. ~ James 4:8

    • Reflect God’s Presence in our behavior

Walk humbly in the company of your God. ~ Micah 6:8

If we knew Jesus was literally standing beside us today, how would we feel about our current Red Sea situation?

With this beautiful worship song by Jenn Johnson take a few minutes and contemplate the enveloping Presence of Jesus being with you right now.

THE NEW LIFE :: ONE IN CHRIST

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DESIGNATED WEEK OF THE MONTH.

In THE NEW LIFE series we’re studying one of my favorite chapters in the Bible: Colossians 3:1-17. As you will see in the coming months, this is a rich chapter full of valuable life transforming lessons. Join me on the third Friday of each month in 2020 for this in-depth Bible study with real world applications.

In this new creation life, your nationality makes no difference, or your ethnicity, education, or economic status—they matter nothing. For it is Christ that means everything as he lives in every one of us! ~ Colossians 3:11

Much like our world today, in Paul’s day there were very clear lines drawn that separated people on the basis of political ideas, gender race, religion, education and social class.

People are often fearful of those who are different and rarely cross these deep dividing lines. But when we become followers of Christ that all changes. We now share a bond that removes the cause for separation.

Without Christ the world can never arrive at such oneness. It took the incarnation, death and resurrection of Jesus to make it possible.

With Christ living in each of those who have accepted Him we are able to see each other beyond the things that separated us before.

In Christ we are all one. Regardless of our outer differences, our inner sameness gives us unity inner diversity, which is just as God designed us to be. ~ James Bryan Smith

Please join me in a favorite classic hymn from my youth as we contemplate the Oneness of Christ throughout the world.

 

favorite classic hymn

THE SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES :: SACRIFICE

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DIFFERENT FRIDAY OF THE MONTH.

In The Spiritual Disciplines series we’re learning 12 disciplines that will guide us as we grow deeper in our walk with God. These columns post on the second Friday of each month in 2020.

Spiritual Disciplines are not a list of religious duties but rather habits that nurture and mature our spiritual growth. They are inward, spiritual attitudes walked out by behaviors and actions. These habits are critical for lasting spiritual growth and true life transformation.

SACRIFICE: Deliberately forsaking the security of satisfying our needs with our own resources in the faith and hope that God will sustain us. ~ The Life With God Bible

I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. ~ Romans 12:1 NLT

The Spiritual Discipline of Sacrifice is nourishment to our faith. As we step out into the uncertainty of giving up something we need to help a more needy person, we can be sure God will step in and reward our efforts in surprising and unusual ways.

As we give sacrificially out of our own need to meet the needs of others we are putting our security in God’s hands and not our own. We’re showing Him that we trust He will provide for our needs even when we don’t know how.

Sacrificing our comforts to help others becomes an act of worship. It takes our relationship with God to a different level. Not only for the purpose of our salvation, we’re giving God a sacrificial trust for provision of our needs. Then the needs of others can be met through the blessings God has provided for us. Sacrificing our comforts to help others becomes an act of worship.

We can’t out give God. The more we give, the more He will give to us.

Give generously and generous gifts will be given back to you, shaken down to make room for more. Abundant gifts will pour out upon you with such an overflowing measure that it will run over the top! Your measurement of generosity becomes the measurement of your return. ~ Luke 6:38 TPT

Contemplate the level of sacrifice in your walk with God as you listen/watch this lovely song by Planetshakers.

THE LORD’S PRAYER :: WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DESIGNATED WEEK OF THE MONTH.

In The Lord’s Prayer Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray. He’s not just giving them a prayer to recite, but a model prayer for everyone of us. Join me on the first Friday of each month in 2020 as we study this beloved prayer phrase by phrase and bring fresh application to our lives today.

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. ~ Matthew 6: 9-13

In today’s phrase of The Lord’s Prayer Jesus is teaching His disciples a core spiritual principle. Unless we are able to forgive others, we cannot accept the forgiveness given to us by God.

The other side of that principle is:  Who are we to accept forgiveness from God and not grant it to others? By not forgiving others we are saying we better than God.  So much  that we don’t have to forgive others when they have done wrong!

If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. ~ Matthew 6:14-15

Without Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit it’s impossible to forgive those who have hurt us.  But unless and until we do we will be a prisoner in a bitter jail of our own making.

Has God graciously forgiven you? Then graciously forgive one another in the depths of Christ’s love. ~ Ephesians 4:32

Forgiving doesn’t mean we have to continue in a relationship with that person if it’s unsafe or unhealthy. However, by forgiving others we have truly given them over to God. Our heart is now free from the overarching bitterness and resentment we felt when we thought of them before. With God’s help if we did ever have to be in their presence we could behave in a God honoring manner toward them.

With this beautiful song by Matthew West let’s contemplate God’s forgiveness in our life. Are we passing that forgiveness on to others?

MUSIC REVIEW :: WE THE KINGDOM

in the months with five Fridays I post a review. FOR MY 2020 REVIEWS I’M CHOOSING CHRISTIAN PROJECTS or artists THAT HAVE TOUCHED MY SPIRIT DEEPLY.

Today I want to introduce you to one of the freshest sounds to come from contemporary Christian music in a long time.

We The Kingdom is a multi-generational family band consisting of brothers Ed Cash and Scott Cash, Ed’s daughter Franni, his son Martin and dear friend Andrew Bergthold.

Birthed from four decades of shared difficulties and influences We The Kingdom’s music intertwines worship and gospel with a retro-fresh folk/country/rock reminiscent of 70’s greats: Doobie Brothers, Lynard Skynard, The Allman Brothers, Loggins & Messina, Creedance Clearwater Revival and many more.

Having individually been behind the scenes on songs sung around the world, We The Kingdom band members came together to tell their own stories with lyrics that are vulnerable yet edgy. Their songs span the full spectrum of human emotions, embracing  brokenness, honesty, and the redemptive power of God’s love.

“The heart of We The Kingdom is to create music that candidly tells how God reached into the middle of our brokenness, and drew us into His story of redemption. Songs of testimony and worship have been a healing salve for us. We want to share our journey with others with the hope that God will use that as a catalyst for healing in others. Our heart’s desire is to see captives set free, relationships restored, and people brought to the Cross. We pray that God would sew the thread of His promises through the stories of each song we write, and weave together a tapestry that points straight to the great love of Jesus.” – We The Kingdom

WTK’s first EP Live at the Wheelhouse released in the fall of 2019. Their debut album: Holy Water is scheduled to release August 7, 2020.

Below are three of my favorite videos We The Kingdom has released: God So Loved, Child of Love and Holy Water. Each song /video stands on its own as a beautiful work of music and visual artistry with wonderful Christian messages.

I hope you will take time to soak in some truly great music that will tug at your heart strings while uplifting your spirit and soul. Enjoy!

I was introduced to We The Kingdom with this anointed church session video featuring Tasha Cobbs Leonard.

We The Kingdom dropped this single July 2, 2020. Filmed like an old home movie road trip with a 70’s retro-rock soundtrack this music video is my personal favorite today.

Another fav of mine. With exquisite scenery and a lovely representation of different nationalities of people, this video shows that God truly loves the whole world!

Check out We The Kingdom YouTube channel here for all their amazing music. Blessings…  

THE RED SEA RULES STUDY :: WHEN UNSURE, JUST TAKE THE NEXT LOGICAL STEP BY FAITH

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DESIGNATED FRIDAY OF THE MONTH.

In THE RED SEA RULES series we’re using the wonderful book by Robert J. Morgan as our guideline for a deep study of Exodus 14. Join me on the fourth Friday of each month in 2020 as we apply Morgan’s “10 God-Given Strategies for Difficult Times” to our lives today.

RED SEA RULE 6: When unsure, just take the next logical step by faith. 

The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward.” ~ Exodus 14:15

It’s not for us to know what lies ahead. Whether it’s good things coming or bad, God protects us from knowing too much in our future.

If we knew bad things were coming tomorrow, we might give up on God altogether and go down in a tailspin of anxiety and depression,

If we knew good things were coming tomorrow we would become prideful and we might decide we don’t even need God’s help at all.

“So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.”  ~ Matthew 6:34

God wants us to faithfully depend on Him every minute of every day. Looking for His perfect Light to shine on our path for guidance. Listening for His gentle whisper for direction.

“When you don’t know what to do next, cast out fear and seek light for the next step. Trust God for guidance in small increments; and if you can’t see what lies dimly in the distance, do what lies clearly at hand.” ~  Robert J. Morgan

Contemplate your walk of faith with this beautiful song by Jeremy Camp.

THE NEW LIFE :: A NEW WARDROBE

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DESIGNATED WEEK OF THE MONTH.

In THE NEW LIFE series we’re studying one of my favorite chapters in the Bible: Colossians 3:1-17. As you will see in the coming months, this is a rich chapter full of valuable life transforming lessons. Join me on the third Friday of each month in 2020 for this in-depth Bible study with real world applications.

“Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it.” ~ Colossians 3-10 MSG

Many jobs have a particular uniform, a specific wardrobe required to be worn while working that position. Airplane pilots, military personnel, chefs, doctors, nurses and police officers all wear a specific uniform while on duty. It’s much the same in new life position in Christ. We have taken on a new identity which requires new clothing.

A new wardrobe comes with our new life!

We have removed the old ragged clothes that were part of our past lifestyle and have received a new wardrobe made especially for us. A special benefit of our new wardrobe is that it is being renewed each day in the knowledge of its unique Creator. God refreshes our wardrobe everyday!

Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. ~ Colossians 3:10 NLT

It’s up to us to take off the old life and to intentionally put on the new life. We must make a decision to put on our new wardrobe each and every day so we won’t try to walk in this new life unprepared and unprotected.

Let’s lay every piece of our life down before the cross of Christ… Our thoughts, doubts, failures and mistakes; our hopes, dreams, desires and purpose. As we give them to Jesus He will take them and make them all new. He will make them all work into His perfect plan for our life.

Contemplate your new life and your new wardrobe with this beautiful worship song by G12 Worship.