Archive for April, 2014

Declared to be The Son of God With Power

Posted in Devotional Corner on April 20, 2014 by Stephen Hare

Empty Tomb

Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures,  concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh,  and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;

Romans 1:1-6a

The Holy Spirit who dwells in us even now continually testifies to the reality of the resurrection of Christ from the dead, and His ongoing presence in our lives.

As I was listening to the message today at church, I began to reflect on all the times and ways over the past 35 years that the Lord has proven Himself to be alive in my experience; whether through answered prayers (immediate, or eventual), through his word either spoken or written, for correction or instruction, by His presence or the perceived absence of it.

It is not what others have witnessed or testified to that has proved to be of greatest impact on my life, but what I have seen, heard and experienced of the Risen One personally that have been irrefutable evidences to me that He is truly alive and lives forevermore.

If you have encountered the living God, then you know exactly what I’m referring to. He speaks to us all and reveals Himself in a myriad of different ways, interacting and communicating to each of us in unique ways that are particular to us. He designed us to hear from and communicate with Him, but sin has introduced an insurmountable barrier…humanly speaking.

Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened,
That it cannot save;
Nor His ear heavy,
That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
And your sins have hidden His face from you,
So that He will not hear.

Is 59:1-2

The good news is that in His crucifixion, He took upon Himself the iniquities of us all and has removed the wall of partition that separated us from Him, and now “we have access through faith into this grace in which we stand..” Romans 5:2

So then, if what I’ve just described hasn’t been your experience until now, and you’re still a skeptic, I would challenge you to simply examine the claims of Jesus about himself that are detailed in the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and consider that throughout history many have risen who have attempted to disprove the veracity of the biblical record of His life, death and resurrection as well as accounts of events from Genesis to Revelation – and no one has ever been able to disprove anything in the bible.

History, archeology, astronomy and scientific study of our physical world only continue to verify the truth of the scriptures.

Please don’t think that I’m   trying to provoke an intellectual debate surrounding the reality of the resurrection. Many brilliant minds have gone to their graves and into eternity cleaving to their skepticism.

Rather, I’m inviting you to consider the claims of the living Christ who declared Himself to be “the Resurrection and the Life” who also  declared “whoever lives and believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”

Romans 10:10 says, “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

The question for you is not “Is God real?”  That has been proven countless times throughout all of human history, and the bible remains the most purchased and read book in the history of the world. If God’s account of Himself were a hoax, it would have been discounted long, long ago. The question is and remains, “Will you believe that Jesus Christ is who He claims to be?”

If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart (that is with all that you are) that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

He is Risen!!



An Unshakable Kingdom

Posted in Devotional Corner with tags , , on April 13, 2014 by Stephen Hare

Early yesterday morning as I was preparing for work, I found myself considering this passage from the end of Hebrews 12; “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us have grace by which we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.”


I wanted to share it, but had to be at work early, so only was able to share some of my thoughts briefly with my son Josh before heading out the door.


I find this passage to be very encouraging for a few reasons;


First, the writer is clear about the fact that we are presently receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken. When we consider all of the incredible earthquakes, hurricanes, historically adverse weather and other such things, we understand that all the kingdoms on earth can be shaken, and we then also understand and can be sure that the unshakable kingdom we’re receiving is not of this earth.


The kingdom we are receiving is God’s kingdom and He is the giver of it, and so we have the assurance that we will receive it – and that He counts us as worthy recipients…royalty. Hard to fathom, considering our beginnings…but therefore all the more glorious. In Jesus’ own words, “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32


In light of this, we are instructed to “have grace”. So, how do we acquire this grace then, what is it, and where do we find it? “grace and truth came by Jesus Christ”. We must possess it, but it’s nothing that we can produce on our own. It has been made available to us in the person of God’s own Son, and by way of His atoning sacrifice and His resurrection from the dead.


Romans 5:2 tells us that “we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand…”. By virtue of our relationship to Jesus, we have been granted access to the grace that enables and empowers us to live in a way that is pleasing to God “acceptably, with reverence and godly fear”, and we therefore have fellowship with Him, which is what this is all about – what He has desired all along.


It’s so good to know that He sees the end result. He sees the fruit, when we can see only the seed that He has planted; so in spite of our own human frailty, weakness and failings, we can put our trust in the One who makes all things new and is preparing a place for us in His kingdom.


So much to be said about this passage, but so little time. Have to get ready for work again…


Hope you find this as encouraging as I do….Have a great day!



Wash Over Me

Posted in Lyrics with tags , , , , on April 7, 2014 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?

What greater thing, Lord, could there be?

Lord break away the chains

of all my yesterdays

Oh 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 wash away the stains

of all my yesterdays

Lord, 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!

Lyrics and music by Stephen Hare © 2004

To What Does Your Soul Cling?

Posted in Devotional Corner with tags , , on April 5, 2014 by Stephen Hare

“My Soul clings to the dust; revive me according to Your word.” Ps 119:25

“And now why take the road to Egypt to drink the waters of Sior? Or why take the road to Assyria to drink the waters of the river?”

Jer 2:18

Isn’t it so? Our souls cling to the earth and the things of it, but our souls will languish for lack of nourishment if we are drinking from the waters of Egypt.

The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, but our hope is not in the earth, but in heaven. The things of heaven are tied up in God’s word, and it is His word that raises our souls out of the dust from which we came.

David says, “I will eagerly race the way of Your commandments, for You will enable me to do so.” Ps 119:32

This is for us the very picture of faith. It is absolute trust that if I will act in accordance with what God has set forth in His word – what He has told me to do, He will meet me there and enable me to do whatever it is.

It is Abraham going out into the unknown to embrace the unfamiliar because of God’s word to him.

It is David running to meet Goliath; or the priests carrying the ark into Jordan – before the waters parted

The question must become “Will I act according to what I have heard from Him?”

“Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way.” Ps 119:37

Revival in Gods’ way can be seen as a result of the turning of our affections as well as the catalyst. “I have restrained my feet from every evil way.”

It is the focus of the heart that determines our ability to see the kingdom of God – or not. Heavenly vision therefore, requires heavenly affections; and this is where faith and obedience mix.

Will we simply act in faith on what we have heard. We get to choose what we give our attention to, and in the ongoing sense, our affections are determined by the things we give our attention to, and that is what we will ultimately be conformed to; what we will become.

So many years later, and still I am not entirely captured by His brightness. It can’t be about the memory or “shadows” of an event, but the essence and reality of it which is eternal, and not passing.

Praying today the power of the Everlasting One will turn the focus of my affections heavenward, and in the turning, there I will find Him.

Nowhere do the scriptures present the crucified life as optional, but rather, as prerequisite to the risen life that is hidden with Christ in God.

By His grace and power today, we can resist the pull of the dust to which we too readily cling, and begin afresh with new affections for Him and the things of His kingdom.

May the Lord today direct our gaze to the wonders of Himself; that we would marvel and stand in awe of His transcendent life that He stooped so low to offer to us in its every dimension That He will enable not only our minds, but our hearts to “see” and reach again for the risen life that He has made available to us.

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we also have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1-2

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