Archive for January, 2013

Wash Over Me

Posted in Lyrics with tags , , , , on January 30, 2013 by Stephen Hare

I would know You, I will seek You

I would hear Lord, as You speak

I am thirsty, I would drink Lord,

Fill my cup, wash over me

Fill my cup, wash over me

I am longing for the greater

Things that You’ve prepared for me

But in the longing – there You meet me,

What greater thing, Lord, could there be?

Lord, wash away the stains

Of all my yesterdays

Give me grace to walk in all Your ways!

Make me purer than before, Lord

My light’s not so bright, …that much I can see

Make me holy, in Your sight Lord,

So that Your Spirit can live in me,

So that Your Spirit can live in me!

Lord, break away the chains

Of all my yesterdays

Give me grace to walk in all Your ways!

 

I would know You, I will seek You

I would hear Lord, as You speak

I am thirsty, I would drink Lord,

Fill my cup, wash over me

Fill my cup, wash over me

Written by: Stephen Hare

Copyright© 9/2005 All rights

Don’t Extinguish The Spirit’s Flame

Posted in Devotional Corner with tags , , , , , , on January 23, 2013 by Stephen Hare

flame 1

“And do not quench the Spirit.” 1 Thess 5:19

I awoke yesterday with this verse fresh in my mind. Seems to be a simple enough directive from the Lord, and certainly not out of reach.

The meaning is not obscure; “Do not extinguish the Spirit’s flame” would be the obvious rendering. Hebrews 12 describes the Lord as “a consuming fire.”, and Hebrews 1:7 says that He makes His ministers “a flame of fire”.

It stands to reason that if the Holy Spirit is represented by fire in Acts 2:3, and that “our God is a consuming fire”, if we are being conformed into His image and He makes us “a flame of fire” – then it would be unwise for us to do anything that hinders His work in and through us.

But, how many ways can we quench or stifle the Holy Spirit? Myriad. The works of the flesh are many according to the list Paul enumerates in Galatians 5, and the ways in which we can sin and grieve the Spirit of Grace are countless.

How many things do we do or say that we shouldn’t have? How many things have we not said or done that we should have? We all know experientially how easily we fall short in so many areas.

So how do we develop consistency in living at peace with God? With regard to our sanctification, is there any sense in which participation and cooperation are required on our part? And if not, what practical reason would there be for Jesus to state that it was necessary for Him to leave us so that He could send the Comforter, even the Spirit of truth, who would guide us into all truth?

If God The Spirit does not empower us to live in obedience to Him,  to aid us when we are tempted, what then  is the alternate purpose for which He was sent?

Is there no such thing as practical, experiential righteousness? – or is “positional” righteousness that has no bearing on how we live all that we can hope for? In other words, we are free from sin only in some theoretical, theological sense, but not in any real or actual sense. Not in reality.

The truth with regard to sanctification is this: Positional righteousness that has been appropriated by the one who has trusted Christ for salvation always results in experiential righteousness. If the imputed righteousness has been truly received, it will result in a life that is lived in a way that is incongruous with sin.

Well, I know that there are many who do believe otherwise, but I’m not one of them. I believe that when Paul says that even though we were once slaves of sin, having been set free from sin, we became slaves of righteousness, I think he actually meant it. I know he meant it.

Not exempt, but no longer subject to its power of influence in any sustained way. If the life does not reflect in conduct the holiness that the position “in Christ” produces, then the “position” was never realized to begin with. Let’s face it: – any of us can fall back into the grip of sin if we yield ourselves to it, but if, since our “conversion” there has been no actual separation from sin in an ongoing way, then according to God’s word, we are in trouble.Don’t be deceived, there has been no conversion.

There are many directions I could take here on this topic; but for now I will focus on one particular facet. There are things that we need to hear, and there are things we need to become deaf to.

“Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causes to go astray from the words of knowledge.”

Proverbs 19:27

Fact is, we are receiving instruction from one source or another. Proverbs 1 says the one is blessed who does not stand in the counsel of the ungodly. Does it mean that his ears have stopped working or ceased to function properly? No, not physically.

When Jesus said, “Having eyes they do not see, and having ears they do not hear” He was not speaking of physical inability, but of spiritual. There are voices that we need to be deaf to – that we cease to give any attention or consideration to.

In Mark 4:24 Jesus warns: “Take heed to what you hear.”  Today, are we welcoming teaching that gives us “grace” to sin? Are we resisting teaching that requires a life of holiness to live in communion with a holy God? Titus 2:11-15 tells us that “the grace of God that  brings (results in) salvation has appeared to all men; teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age…” .

We can’t afford to be deceived on this point.

And again, “Let him who has ears to hear, hear what the Spirit is saying…”  The clear implication being that not all have the ability to hear. (There is a whole teaching on “selective hearing” that I won’t divert to at this time…).

Paul said we are to consider ourselves “dead indeed unto sin, but alive with regard to righteousness.”, describing in yet another way what it means to “walk in the Spirit”. If we will do so, we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Quench the Spirit).

Translation: If we are native-born to the Spirit, we will naturally attune our ears to the Spirit’s voice, and “after another we will not go.” As we abide in Him, we will not extinguish the Spirit’s flame.

Prayer:

Holy One, please forgive all the times I have turned a deaf ear to Your Spirit, and grieved You away by my indifference to Your loving-kindness. Give me renewed faith and grace to walk in step with You today and everyday; forgetting those things that are behind, and pressing on toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Set my heart ablaze with the fire of Your presence, that I will represent You well and embody the life that You died to produce in me.

Help me from this day forward never to receive Your grace in vain lest I should promote in others the idea that there is something more than suffering on the cross that You need to do to set me (us) free from sin.

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation that others will know and believe that You are with Me.

Empower me to live each day only as a mirror to reflect Your radiance, that those who dwell in this present darkness will truly know and believe that You are the Light of the world. Amen.

A Prayer Worth Sharing

Posted in Devotional Corner with tags , , , on January 20, 2013 by Stephen Hare

First Day Evening- The Teacher

 

O God,

We bless thee,

our Creator, Preserver, Benefactor, Teacher, for opening to us the volume of nature where we may read and consider thy works. Thou

has this day spread before us the fuller pages of revelation, and in them we see what thou wouldest have us do, what thou requirerest of

us, what thou hast done for us, what thou hast promised to us, what thou hast given us in Jesus. We pray thee for a conscious

experience of this salvation, in our deliverence from sin, in our bearing his image, in our enjoying his presence, in our being upheld by

his free Spirit. Let us not live uncertain of what we are, of where we are going. Bear witness with our spirit that we are thy children; And

enable each one to say, “I know my Redeemer”. Bless us with a growing sense of this salvation. If already enlighteded in Christ, may we

see greater things; If quickened, may we have more abundant life; If renewed, let us go on from strength to strength. Give us closer

abiding in Jesus that we may bring forth more fruit, have a deeper sense of our obligations to him, that we may surrender all, have a

fuller joy, that we may serve him more completelyl And may our faith work by love towards him who died, towards our fellow-

believers, towards our fellow-men.

 

 

(Excerpt from “The Valley of Vision” devotional.)

 

 

 

Higher Ground

Posted in Lyrics with tags , , , , , on January 17, 2013 by Stephen Hare

Buena Vista, Co

I will come to You again

Your presence draws me near

where I am I cannot stay,

but I can’t go till I hear

I can’t go till I hear Your voice

until I hear Your voice

that calls me out, to be all I can be

who I am in You my Lord

and who You are in me

darkness returns quickly to fall

as the Son hides His face

when daylight’s veiled by shadows long

and it seems the night prevails

when things aren’t what they seem

it’s then I seek the higher ground

the Rock from which I came

The Voice that shook the mountains down

The Voice that calls my name!

 

When strangers to the light assail

by words that prove their state

to Your presence I will flee;

and in Your presence I’ll wait

until I hear Your voice

that calls me out, to be all I can be…

who I am in You my Lord

and who You are in me

 

I will come to You again

Your presence draws me near

 S. Hare

Copyright© 1992 All rights

COME TO THE WATERS

Posted in Lyrics with tags , , , , , on January 10, 2013 by Stephen Hare

"Come To the Waters"

How can I know Lord, when You are near?

How can I tell when You’re speaking…

When You are speaking?

Unless You reveal You’re presence to me –

Until You open my ears… to hear You?

Your word is the voice of Your Spirit to me

Your Spirit, the voice that I hear

Come to the waters, all you who thirst;

All who thirst may drink freely!”

By faith You have come Lord, to live in my heart

Now I know the mind of the Spirit, – of Your Spirit

By grace You have bought me, in grace I will stand

So others will know that You’re with me

Lord, You are with me…

Your word is the voice of Your Spirit to me

Your Spirit, the voice that I hear

Come to the waters, all you who thirst;

All who thirst may drink freely!”

So what is your story? – now tell me my friend,

Will it end in joy or in sadness…only sadness?

Life in the Spirit leads only to peace,

Life in the Spirit brings gladness, true gladness.

Your word is the voice of Your Spirit to me

Your Spirit, the voice that I hear

Come to the waters, all you who thirst;

All who thirst may drink freely!”

Written by: Stephen Hare

Copyright© 9/2005

The Hinge of Salvation

Posted in Devotional Corner with tags , , , , on January 6, 2013 by Stephen Hare

(Note: Due to illness, I have been “out of commission” for several days, but am trusting the Lord for a speedy recovery and will appreciate any and all prayers on my behalf to that end. The following article was written by my son Josh (in whom I am well pleased:) and posted here with his permission. I added the prayer at the bottom. )

The Hinge of Salvation

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed as it is written “The just shall live by faith” Rom 1:16-17

Faith In what? Faith In the Cross of Christ. Faith that what Christ did actually accomplished the death of sin for me personally, so that I can walk in newness of life with Him. That we can only be justified before God by what Christ did, not what we can do to gain merit with God. Apart from Him we can do nothing. John 15:5

Although our salvation is not a result of works that anyone should boast, but true faith in Christ can do nothing but result in righteousness and good fruit because of abiding in the True Vine by the Holy Spirit.
Faith in Christ must cause a life change and a manifestation of freedom; otherwise it’s no faith at all – and has no ability to save.

If we live in light of what Christ did, we can have Confidence as sons to pray and ask for forgiveness. Believing that Christ actually died on behalf of my sin that I can “die to sin and live to righteousness” will cause me to live in a way that is worthy of his death for me, by grace through faith in that message.

The only faith in Christ is Practical faith in Christ. So when confronted with sin, by faith I have the power to acknowledge that Christ died so I can be set free from sin and am in no obligation to obey evil desire, and I turn away because I’m set free. If I truly believe that I’m tempted to commit the very thing that crucified Christ, how can I continue on with that knowledge unless I really don’t believe.

Therefore all sin is a result of unbelief in the saving power of the cross. and I cannot be just if I don’t live by faith. Amen

Prayer: Lord, please help us by our conduct to acknowledge the effectiveness of Your immeasurable gift; the sacrifice of Your Son. That from this day forward we would not consider His blood as a common thing – possessing no practical power to deliver from the grip and dominion of sin. Help us never again to insult the Spirit of grace by which we were cleansed by suggesting that there is something more that You need to do for us to set us free. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit who dwells within us. Thank You that You will never allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able to bear, but will with every temptation make a way of escape. Amen.

 

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