Devotions

Rise from Life from Earth! 07-11-2016

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. ( John 14:3)
 
I recommend reading John 14.
 
Christians of every generation have longed for Christ to return in their lifetime. Augustine felt the Lord would return somewhere around the year 1000 A.D. John Wycliffe concluded the second coming of Christ would happen in the 1300s. John Calvin preached he would come immediately in the sixteenth century. Today his return seems closer than ever. The return of Christ has been the theme of hundreds of hymns through the ages. The hymn “What If It Were Today?” was written by Ohio homemaker, Lelia Morris. It is the most popular second coming song of the last hundred years. She also wrote the hymns, “Nearer, Still Nearer” and “Let Jesus Come into Your Heart.” John Newton also wrote the hymn “Day of Judgment! Day of Wonder!” on the second coming.
 
My prayer for the week: Dear Lord, thank you for awaking our souls. Your love forgives us for our sins when we ask You for forgiveness. You bring us to a new life of knowledge, fellowship and service with others. Praise God for opening our hearts to serving others. Amen


The Truth of our One-ness with Jesus

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither ca you, unless you abide in Me. John 15:4
 
I recommend reading John 15.
 
The hymn, “Jesus, I Am Resting, Resting” was a poem written by Jean Sophia Pigott, an Irish woman in 1876. The hymn was a favorite of the great missionary to China, Hudson Taylor. Hudson established China Inland Mission and was overwhelmed by worry, work and responsibility. Hudson’s eyes were opened when he read John 15 at the church service at the mission station. He noted “As I read, I say it all.”
 
Prayer for this week:
Dear God, the days, the hours and the minutes of our lives are guarded and observed by You. You are there to guide and lead us. You lift us. We are blessed because You abide with us at work each day. You are beside us as we tackle the mysteries of life. You are the strength in all of us. Praise the Lord. Amen


For the Love of Friends

For the Love of Friends

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. John 15:13
 
I recommend reading John 15 again.
 
Samuel Stennett, a Seventh Day Baptist wrote the hymn “Heaven Anticipated” in 1787. It later became known as “On Jordan’s Stormy Banks.” The sentiment in this hymn comforted a twenty-one-year old Civil War spy, Sam Davis. Sam was one of Coleman’s scouts. He was seized in Giles County Tennessee and jailed. His captors promised to spare his life if he would reveal the identity of the mysterious “Coleman.” Sam refused and was given the death sentence. Unknown to the Yankee soldiers, “Coleman” was Dr. H. B. Shaw, who was being held in the adjacent cell. Sam sang the hymn above the night before being put to death. There is a monument to Sam Davis at the Tennessee State Capitol with the above Bible verse underneath it.
 
My prayer for the week: Dear Lord we are blessed with Your love and the love of friends. How we perceive and value our friendships is the treasury of the Holy Spirit in each of us. Help each of us to cherish each of our friends and hold them in our hearts as we face challenges together. Praise God for the glory of the loving hearts of our friends. Amen


Music Lifts the Soul!

Music Lifts the Soul!

Therefore you now have sorrow; I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take form you. (John 16:22)
 
I recommend reading John 16.
 
Albert Brumley was born on a cotton farm near Spiro, Oklahoma. One hot day he was picking cotton and singing the sad ballad “If I Had the Wings Of An Angel.” He thought of flying away and began composing the hymn “I’ll Fly Away.” This hymn expressed Brumley’s personal hope of eternal life. In 1932 the hymn was published by Hartford Music Company. Shortly afterward he was hired by Hartford for $12.50 a month. He spent 34 years writing songs for Hartford and Stamps/Baxter companies before forming his own company. He wrote over 800 songs and became one of the most respected names in Southern gospel music in the twentieth century.
 
My prayer for the week:
Dear Lord, thank you for the special music that moves our souls to serve You. Special music highlights Your love for each of us. Gospel music gives us hope and helps us face our daily challenges. Praise God for Your son Jesus. Alleluia! Amen


Peace! Joy!

Peace! Joy!

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. John 15:7
 
I recommend reading John 15.
 
Henry Lyte was a vicar. He lived in the fishing village of Lower Brixham, England. He and his wife, Anne were a humble couple. They lived in an elegant estate, Berry Head, provided by King William IV. Its coastal views were among the most beautiful in the British Isles. Henry wrote his sermons, poems and hymns. Henry had a serious lung condition. On September 4, 1847, at 54, he preached what was his last sermon. He had planned a therapeutic holiday to Italy. That afternoon as he walked the coast, he penned the prayer “Abide with Me.” While traveling he revised the prayer. He passed away in Nice. The hymn “Abide with Me” was sung at his memorial service.
 
Prayer for this week:
 
Dear Lord, You have strengthened us through our prayers in the evening. The Holy Spirit speaks to us in our sleep when our intellect and intuition are tuned in. Your love enfolds us and when we awaken in the morning and we share are prayers of peace and joy. You are our guide for the new day. Thank you, God, for always being at our side during day and night. Amen.