Archive for Christian

Mirrors

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , on September 5, 2017 by Stephen Hare

Transcendent Life without end

sent to free us from our sin

that those beneath might live above

with Him who offers boundless love

 

Salvation’s Light in darkness shined

that those who “see” might be made blind

The blind thereby receive their sight

native-born now to the Light

 

Light of truth broke chains that held

by lies enslaved; in darkness dwelled

now image bearers of the Son;

now mirrors of the Risen One

 

Stephen Hare © 12-9-2012

 

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Heaven’s Tear

Posted in Poetry with tags , , on August 20, 2014 by Stephen Hare

The sword can never still the cry
that from the ground sought God’s ear
the blood of righteous Abel found
grace in the form of heaven’s tear

The blood of the martyrs finds its way
down into the sands that hold
the voice that time will never erase
recorded in the heart of God

Will then His judgment forever wait…
and what will heaven’s answer be?
While there is time, guilty come
with empty hands on bended knee.

Author: Stephen Hare
copyright © 8-19-2014

Author’s note: “Written with prayers for our brothers and sisters who are suffering and dying in Iraq for their faith in our Lord and their testimony written in blood.”

The Sunshine of His Love

Posted in Devotional Corner with tags , , , on July 8, 2014 by Stephen Hare

This morning I woke with the early 70’s song, “Sunshine of Your Love” by Eric Clapton playing in my head.Really strange since I can’t remember the last time I heard the song. Of course, it was a great song when I was caught up in the “Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll” scene during my misspent and wayward youth, but the song really doesn’t hold any present value for me musically or in any other respect – nor do I want it playing in my head.

Fortunately, there is a redemptive “note” to this. It has caused me to reflect on what it might mean to be “in the sunshine of His love”, or in the “light of His (God’s) countenance.” As I consider the amazing grace, kindness and favor that was extended to me to draw me to Himself and that has been bestowed upon me, my thoughts are presently silenced, and my heart is full of praise and gratitude for the love of God toward me in Christ.

Further, what does it mean to be the “sunshine of His love”?

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. “Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

2 Cor 2:14-15 says this, “Now thanks be to God who always causes us to triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” “For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.” So then, we are “the sunshine of His love”, His “felt” presence in every place.

Prayer:

Lord, please allow me to be so connected with you and in-step with Your Holy Spirit, that I will truly be to You a fragrance of Christ, diffusing the knowledge of Your presence in every place.

Help me to live in the sunshine of Your amazing love forever. Amen.

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!

 

 

Be At Peace

Posted in Devotional Corner with tags , , on February 23, 2014 by Stephen Hare

“Now acquaint yourself with Him, and be at peace; Thereby good will come to you. Receive, please, instruction from His mouth, and lay up His words in your heart. If you return to the Almighty, you will be built up; You will remove iniquity far from your tents. Then you will lay your gold in the dust, and the gold of Ophir among the stones of the brooks. Yes, the Almighty will be your gold and your precious silver; For then you will have your delight in the Almighty, and lift u…p your face to God. You will make your prayer to him, and He will hear you, and you will pay your vows. You will also declare a thing, and it will be established for you; So light will shine on your ways. When they cast you down, and you say, “Exaltation will come!” Then He will save the humble person. He will even deliver one who is not innocent; Yes, he will be delivered by the purity of your hands.” Job 22:21-30

For thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall you be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: but you would not. Is 30:15

This passage from Job should inspire hope and confidence in the finished work of God’s redemption.  We are told first to acquaint ourselves with Him and the result will be peace. So how do we find Him who is unseen? Where do we go? We go to the scriptures where we find the record of God, given by His mouth to holy men of His choosing to reveal His nature, character and purpose for all mankind in time and eternity.

John 5:39 says, “…you search the scriptures thinking that in them you will have life, but these are they that testify of Me.”

Verse 22 tells us to receive instruction from His mouth. We are familiar with the passage that says, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

This passage shows us what returning to the Lord looks like and what the result will be.

“Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the LORD, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.”  Isaiah 55:7

Song Of Thanksgiving

Posted in Lyrics with tags , , , on November 29, 2013 by Stephen Hare

We have come again today,

to give to You our thanks, O Lord

For all You’ve done we honor You –

to You we bring our praise

We thank You for Your peace, O God

and the joy that comes from knowing You

We thank You for our family

and all You’ve brought us through

Lord, You’ve brought us through

But most of all Your sacrifice;

You suffered all to set us free

from sins’ dominion in our lives

we give all thanks to Thee (x3)

We sanctify ourselves today,

our bodies and souls now the Lord’s

By grace through faith we will obey

so the world will know we’re Yours

The world will know we’re Yours…

But most of all Your sacrifice;

You suffered all to set us free

from sins’ dominion in our lives

We give all thanks to Thee

Gratefully received by: Stephen Hare

©Thanksgiving day 2008

Will You Return to Innocence?

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

“I will set nothing wicked before my eyes. I hate the work of those who fall away. It shall not cling to me. A perverse heart shall depart from me. I will not know wickedness.”  Psalm 101:2-4  This is a decision of the will. “I will not know wickedness.” Whatever it is; that is, whatever form it may take, I will not know it, because I will avoid it at any cost; I will not have any intimate knowledge of it.  Similarly, I will know God. Because I will shun, I will avoid even the appearance of evil and will behave wisely in a perfect way. I will become intimately acquainted with the God who hates evil, and because of my relationship with Him, will learn to hate evil as he does.  “Oh when will you come to me?  I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.”  “A perverse heart shall depart from me.”  How can David declare this with such confidence?  Because a perverse heart is in conflict with the heart that is set on pleasing God. Jesus said, “A good man, out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things.”Luke 6:45  We hear much talk among believers today about the heart being “deceitful and wicked above all things”, but we don’t hear near as much about the heart of the new creation, though in Colossians 3:10 we are instructed to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.  But really, what does it mean to “put on” the new self? Is is as easy as putting on a shirt or a pair of pants? What it really amounts to is humbling our fleshly minds and hearts before the word of God. If God says that I am holy – then I am!  Colossians says to “put on the new man who according to the image of God are created in righteousness and true holiness.” Eph 4:24  This is a repeat of what Paul teaches in Romans chapter 6, same content and meaning, just worded a little differently with different illustrative verbage; “How shall those of us who are dead to sin live any longer in it? Don’t you know that as many of us as are baptized into Jesus Christ are baptized into his death? Therefore, we are buried with Him by baptism into death that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with Him in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.”  (Romans 6:3-5). Consider yourselves to be therefore dead indeed unto sin but alive with regard to righteousness”.    With regard to our sanctification, we do not have to try to do what God has already done. We can’t cleanse away the guilt and stain of our sin, nor can we change our own nature; that is the work and miracle of God.   God neither asks nor expects us to do what only He can do.  This is the thing; once we have sinned, we are guilty and nothing we can do in ourselves can change that reality. We have no ability to remove our own sin or the guilt of it. But once God has cleansed us from our sin and acquitted us of our guilt, we are justified in His sight.  Once we have received forgiveness for our sins, we are made new “by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.  “He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.”  Titus 3:5(ESV) However, once we have been made new by faith in the redemption through the out working of the cross, God does expect us to begin to live accordingly. “Once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord, walk as children of light”.  This is what it means to walk “worthy” of the gospel. “Only conduct yourselves in a manner that is worthy of the gospel of Christ.” Phillipians 1:27 I can paraphrase it this way; “Live in a way that is consistent with the reality of the transformation that was brought about by the redemptive work of the cross and the out working of the power of the resurrection.  “The Lord detests those who are perverse in heart, but the blameless in their ways are His delight.” Proverbs 11:20  This is what it means to return to innocence before God. This is the reality of righteousness. Will you return to innocence?

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