Thoughtful Thursday

On Tuesday we met with the pastor and deacons of First Baptist Colville to give our testimonies for consideration for church membership. I rewrote my testimony to share with the deacons.

Nestled close to  Kings Canyon National Park in California’s Sierra Nevada is the Youth Camp that I was able to attend in 1963, 1965 and 1967. I was 12, 14, and 16 during these wilderness adventures.

I was raised in a family who attended church regularly and often, very religious. The church I was raised in gave me the impression that because I was Russian and a member of their church that I had an exclusive connection with God. What I learned at Bible Camp was that the only exclusive connection I could have to God was through Jesus Christ and what He did for me on the cross. Being Russian and being a part of my father’s religion did not give me a direct link to God. In 1963 at Hume Lake while listening to a speaker talk about Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross to save sinners I was moved to step out and become a follower of Jesus. God’s plan of salvation was exclusively through his perfect son Jesus, who is fully God and came to earth to live a perfect life among us and be the perfect sacrifice for our sins. I knew I was one of those sinners and I needed a Savior. This decision began a journey of ups and downs, highs and lows, but a journey forward with my God and Savior. When I began my new life following Jesus I was clothed with His righteousness and reconciled to God. I continue on this walk, never perfectly but with God’s grace I carry on. He will be teaching me by His Holy Spirit all the days of my life. My God and Savior is and will be faithful to see me through all of my life on this earth and I look forward with the Hope of seeing Him face to face in heaven. During this same year, 1963, my father began his journey of following Jesus after hearing Billy Graham at the Los Angeles Coliseum share the truth of Jesus Christ and why He came to earth over 2000 years ago. 1963 was an epic year for me and my family. For my father and me we became part of God’s movement of love and grace through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My mother was a follower of Jesus when she married my father. My two older sisters had started following Jesus before my father and me.

I’ll share this verse that Billy Graham proclaims in every interview I’ve ever heard him give. John 14:6 (ESV) Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

High School scanned4HUME LAKE CHRISTIAN CAMP 1967

Fresh quotes from my reading this week and a quote from Dorothy Sayers that I read on Thistle Cove Farm blog:

“It is not the business of the church to adapt Christ to men, but men to Christ.” ~ Dorothy Sayers

Form Piper, Taste and See:

“We should continually look to the cross and the work of God in Christ because this is where God makes the light of the gospel shine. If we become excessively introspective and analyze our emotions too much, we will sink into hopeless doubts because the self-authenticating light shines not from within us, but from Christ in the gospel. We must look outside ourselves to Christ and his work if we hope to have assurance sustained inside ourselves.”

Second, we should continually pray for God to enlighten the eyes of our hearts.

Third, we should express our trust in Christ by loving each other.”

1 John 3:14 ~ We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren.”

Hope you have time to pause and consider what God has done for you on this Thoughtful Thursday.

The Light of the World is Jesus ~ Hymn

The Light of the World is Jesus

The whole world was lost
In the darkness of sin,
The Light of the world is Jesus!
Like sunshine at noonday,
His glory shone in.
The Light of the world is Jesus!

Refrain

Come to the light, ’tis shining for thee;
Sweetly the light has dawned upon me.
Once I was blind, but now I can see:
The Light of the world is Jesus!

No darkness have we
Who in Jesus abide;
The Light of the world is Jesus!
We walk in the light
When we follow our Guide!
The Light of the world is Jesus!

Refrain

Ye dwellers in darkness
With sin blinded eyes,
The Light of the world is Jesus!
Go, wash, at His bidding,
And light will arise.
The Light of the world is Jesus!

Refrain

No need of the sunlight
In Heaven we’re told;
The Light of the world is Jesus!
The Lamb is the Light
In the city of gold,
The Light of the world is Jesus!

Refrain

Words & Music: Philip P. Bliss

update: Christopher Tan left a link in the comments with him playing this hymn beautifully on piano. I wanted to leave the link here if anyone would like to listen to this hymn played on the piano. Just click here.

Encouragement ~

I Thessalonians 5:11 ~ “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”

I Thessalonians 5:14 ~ “And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.”

Romans 1:11,12 ~ “For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you – that is, that we may be mutually encouraged “by each others” faith, both yours and mine.”

Romans 15:5 ~ “May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Hebrews 3:13 ~ “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

Hebrews 10:25 ~ “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

So here’s what I heard yesterday in our church service (we went to the Saturday evening service) that I found encouraging and want to pass along to you. Our hope looks forward to our inheritance. When Jesus was resurrected and was seated at the right hand of the Father we became heirs with Him (Romans 8:17, Gal. 4:7).  Our inheritance is unfading, death proof, sin proof, time proof. We will have a new body (I Cor. 15:50-58), a new home (John 14: 1-3), a new world (2 Peter 3:13), a new job (Matt: 25:21-23), a new relationship with God (Rev. 21:3-4). The Holy Spirit is the pledge of our inheritance (Ephesians 1:13,14).

We need to keep looking to what Jesus has done for us and what we have to look forward to in Him in order to be grounded in our faith and anchored in this topsy turvy world. We don’t look at what is happening on the outside but what is happening in our inner man, daily renewal. We keep looking to what Jesus has accomplished for us. This is where our hope is, our living hope. We can’t focus on this life. I’m going to work on memorizing these next verses over the next couple of weeks. Do you want to join me? 🙂

2 Corinthians 4: 16-18 ~ “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

My hope is that this will be encouraging to you…

ht: Steve Larson, pastor E.V. Free Conejo Valley

Jesu, Our Hope, Our Heart’s Desire ~

 

Jesu, our Hope, our heart’s Desire,
Thy work of grace we sing;
Redeemer of the world art Thou,
Its Maker and its King.

How vast the mercy and the love,
Which laid our sins on Thee,
And led Thee to a cruel death,
To set Thy people free!

But now the bonds of death are burst;
The ransom has been paid;
And Thou art on Thy Father’s throne,
In glorious robes arrayed.

O may Thy mighty love prevail
Our sinful souls to spare!
O may we stand around Thy throne,
And see Thy glory there!

Jesu, our only Joy be Thou,
As Thou our Prize wilt be;
In Thee be all our glory now
And through eternity.

All praise to Thee Who art gone up
Triumphantly to Heav’n;
All praise to God the Father’s Name
And Holy Ghost be given.

Words: Un­known au­thor, 7th or 8th Cen­tu­ry (Je­su nos­tra re­demp­tio, Amor et de­sid­er­i­um); trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by John Chand­ler (Hymns of the Prim­i­tive Church, 1837) and the com­pil­ers of Hymns An­cient and Mo­dern, 1861.

ht: cyberhymnal

Thursday Thirteen ~ Hebrews

Last Thursday Leslie at Lux Venit had thirteen hard sayings of Jesus in the book of Mathew. I wanted to follow her lead this Thursday. I’m wrapping up my reading of the book of Hebrews so here are 13 or more reasons to keep our eyes on Jesus and follow Him closely.

 

Hebrews 1:3 ~ “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”

1 ~ God speaks to us through His Son.

2. ~ Jesus is the Heir of all things.

3. ~ Jesus is superior to all created beings.

4. ~ Jesus tasted death for everyone.

6. ~ Because Jesus has gone before us and prepared the way for us.

4. ~ So that we do not drift away.

7. ~ So that we do not become bitter.

8. ~ Jesus is the guarantee of a better covenant.

9. ~ Jesus always lives to intercede for those he saves completely.

10. ~ Jesus sacrificed himself for our sins.

11. ~ Through Jesus we can draw near to God.

12. ~ Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith.

13. ~ When we fix our eyes on Jesus we will not grow weary and lose heart.

There are so many more reasons. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.

This is a rich book that is filled with the supremacy and the completed work of Jesus. I pray that some of the deep truths in this book will stick in my heart and mind…

Jeremiah 31:33 ~ …”I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people.”

Who Am I ~ Casting Crowns

 

Casting Crowns – Who Am I Lyrics

Who am I?
That the Lord of all the earth,
Would care to know my name,
Would care to feel my hurt.
Who am I?
That the bright and morning star,
Would choose to light the way,
For my ever wondering heart.

Not because of who I am.
But because of what you’ve done.
Not because of what I’ve done.
But because of who you are.

Chorus:
I am a flower quickly fading,
Here today and gone tomorrow.
A wave tossed in the ocean,
A vapor in the wind.
Still you hear me when I’m calling,
Lord you catch me when I’m falling,
And you told me who I am.
I am yours.
I am yours.

Who am I?
That the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love
And watch me rise again
Who am I?
That the voice that calm the sea,
Would call out through the rain,
And calm the storm in me.

Not because of who I am.
But because what of youve done.
Not because of what I’ve done.
But because of who you are.

Chorus:

Whom shall I fear?
Whom shall I fear?
‘Cuz I am yours.
I am yours.