Lord, You Care

Toil

Thro’ this world of toil and snares,
   If I falter, Lord, who cares?
Who with me my burden shares?
   None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee.

Just a Closer Walk with Thee
By: Anonymous

Listen as you read.  This is a great gospel guitar version.

As we established in our Tunings on Tuesday (find it here), God cares for us, even when no-one else seems to.  Who can question this, especially when we are the source of the faltering, but even then the Lord cares for us.  Let’s think about this.

Toils and Snares

Immediately I think of the similar line from Amazing Grace which speaks about “dangers, toils and snares”.  We examined these challenges earlier this year in both a Tunings and a Thoughts.  You can find them at those links.

For our purposes here I want to look at this a little differently.  Or rather I want to look at one aspect we considered in the aforementioned Tunings a little deeper.  That aspect is the reality that all the things that tempt me to wander away from the Lord come from one of three sources.

  1. The World
  2. The Flesh
  3. The Devil

Within that context we acknowledge the toils and snares I face, whether of my own design or someone else’s, are sometimes avoidable and always able to be overcome.

Avoidable

Some of the toil we face is actually our own design.  Take the poor sap in the image above.  I imagine he feels like he needs to turn that gear, either out of some obligation to someone else, because it is his duty, or maybe for no good reason.  I also have to imagine that he probably resents it at some level because it appears futile.  There is no end in sight and no apparent benefit to all the work.

Resistible

I think I made up that word.  You get what I mean by it, right?  Though things sometimes seem irresistible, or unable to be resisted, nothing is truly irresistible.  That means everything is “resistible” or capable of being resisted.

Snare

It is possible to resist, but it is certainly not easy.  Say your are hungry and you come across a lovely piece of cheese laid out there for the taking.  Seems simple enough, grab it and go.  You reach out to take it and SNAP!, you are caught, if not broken it two.

Obviously, someone set that trap, and it must had been alluring.  But it was also avoidable and resistible.  I could have chosen to walk away.  Alas, there may very well be another one around the corner.  Unfortunately, it seems I can not escape them all, even with the utmost exercise of determination.

Now it is just painful.  And snares normally are that, as well as dangerous.  I mean look at that poor finger.  It is turning purple and blue.  My soul has turned purple and blue, and yours has too, even as you writhed to escape the snare.  Remember that feeling?  It is an awful feeling.  And it is compounded by the fact that it was all avoidable and resistible were it not for the world, the flesh and the Devil, particularly our flesh.

The world and the Devil usher in no shortage of toils and snares, but if were not for my flesh, they would be avoidable and resistible.  My flesh is the weak link here.  If we were on our own to face this predicament it would be pretty depressing.  But fortunately we are not.  More on that in a moment.

 If I Falter

Though the writer uses the the word “if” here to describe the possibility of my faltering, I know that a more accurate choice would have been to use not “if” but “when” to describe the certainty of my faltering.  Unless we learn to identify and then avoid or resist the toils and snares, we will end up in a lot of trouble and no shortage of pain.  Take heart there is some help available on that front.  More on that in a moment.

Falter

What makes our faltering even worse is that not only do we already feel foolish for not seeing the traps beforehand, but we sometimes find that others are scoffing at our failure to do so.  Adding insult to injury as the old adage goes, they not only failure to care to address the injury but do not mind adding insult to the pain.

You probably are very familiar with the emotion associated with the question asked here.  “If I falter, Lord, who cares?” Think of a time when you were painfully aware of that feeling.  That awareness creates a backdrop for your gratitude to blossom when you realize that even though there will be moments when no one else cares the Lord always does.  More on that in a moment.

We all falter, and truthfully far more often than we would like to admit.  But when we do, thankfully God does not join in the finger-pointing but rather reaches out a hand to help us.  That hand looks different based on the help the Lord is providing.

Sometimes it is a hand of compassion when we are hurting.  Sometimes it is a hand of correction when we have done wrong.  Sometimes a hand of direction when we have lost our way.  Always it is a hand of caring.  Unmistakeable caring.

Lord You Care

Lord You Care

We are often like little children who have simply lost our way in a dark and dangerous world.  Sometimes we are willful in our stumbling and bumbling, but children are too.  Fortunately for us, Jesus cares and is willing to meet us wherever we are, if we will simply reach out to Him.

This is a very powerful image.  It illustrates for us our predicament and Jesus’ solution.  He cares so He steps in our darkness and guides us toward the light.  His care in and of itself is a huge part that changes the situation, even before we go very far, just knowing He is with us and for us.

We are all tempted at times to honestly ask the question, “Lord who cares?”  But we must also be willing to be equally honest and confess the Lord has said He does over and over again, not to mention the many ways He has also demonstrated that in our lives.  Take this Scripture for instance.

Though the Lord is high above all, he cares for the lowly.
    Though he is in heaven above, he sees them on earth below.  Psalm 138:6 (NIRV)

Many times I have experienced the power of this promise.  Even when the cause of what drove me to the low place was of my own design, Jesus still saw me and cared for me.  He sees you too.

And how about this expression of His care.

 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
    and saves the crushed in spirit.  Psalm 34:18  (ESV)

He is near to us and He saves us.  Who can find a better expression of His care? Use the podcast below, available to everyone today, to spend a few more minutes thinking about this powerful truth and allowing it to resonate in your mind, even as you work to remove the things that might otherwise dampen it.

Jesus, thank You for Your consistent care, even in the face of my consistent faltering.  Teach me anew today that I can rest in your care for me.  Help me to acknowledge Your many expressions of it, so I may find my mind overwhelmed by the cacophony of care You sound into my life each day.  Make me resonant! In Jesus’ name.   Amen.

Careful Thinking!

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EVERYONE enjoy this podcast and the transcript below!

Podcast 7.2 Transcript

Welcome to Thursday Thoughts at Resonant 7, where we reflect on the reality of God and resolve to let it resound in our lives, repeatedly. Let’s think about this.

Thro’ this world of toil and snares,

Psalm 140:5 ESV

The arrogant have hidden a trap for me, and with cords they have spread a net; beside the way they have set snares for me.

Whether toil I choose to engage in, or snares others lay to catch me, this is a troublesome world.  There are dangers all around and we must be diligent to stay out of them. Ask Jesus to help you identify toils and snares and then help you to avoid them whenever you can.

  If I falter, Lord, who cares?

 Psalm 138:6 (NIRV)
Though the Lord is high above all, he cares for the lowly,
  Though he is in heaven above, he sees them on the earth below.

The Lord cares for us, even when no else seems to.  Though He is high He is not far off, but near. His perspective allows Him to see us and enables Him to act in a way that demonstrates His care.  Thank Jesus for caring for you, even at the times you did not know it.

Who with me my burden shares?

 Psalm 55:22(ESV)
Cast your burden on the Lord,
  and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
  the righteous to be moved. 

What burdens have you weighed down today?  Will you cast them on the Lord? Maybe you are weary of trying to sustain yourself.  Use that energy instead to actively give your concerns to God so you can know His sustaining power.  Ask Him to help you do that routinely.

  None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee.

Matthew 11:28-30(ESV)
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. 

What a gracious invitation, which at the same time is a beautiful reminder that the Lord cares for us.  If you want rest from your toils and snares, someone to faithfully share your burdens, then come and take a closer walk with Jesus.  Ask Him to help you stay one step behind Him.

Take a few moments to talk to Jesus about what has come to your mind, or just listen to what He is saying to you, then I will read our text once more.

Thro’ this world of toil and snares,
   If I falter, Lord, who cares?
Who with me my burden shares?
   None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee.

Take the mindfulness of God’s presence cultivated in these last few minutes into the next ones and beyond.  Until next time, be Resonant.

Image Attributions
Toil – https://pixabay.com/photos/a-human-evertebrat-side-view-3151524/
Snares – https://pixabay.com/photos/mistake-mouse-trap-foolish-hurt-2344150/
Falter – https://pixabay.com/photos/loser-failure-finger-suggest-board-3096225/
Lord You Care – https://pixabay.com/photos/jesus-christ-journey-forest-child-3618220/

Made Whole By Love From Above

Bathed My Heart in Love

I once was lost in sin but Jesus took me in
   And then a little light from heaven filled my soul
He bathed my heart in love and He wrote my name above
   And just a little talk with Jesus makes me whole

Just a Little Talk with Jesus
By: Cleavant Derricks (1909-1977)

Listen as you read.  This is an updated version of this old hymn.

On Tuesday we continued our walking and talking journey with Jesus by remembering how He took us in  and filled our souls with light when we were lost in sin.  It is so easy to move past that conversation with Jesus and forget how significant it was, but that talk leads to other ones. Let’s think about this.

Bathed in Love

God took the initiative in our redemption, and we responded.  He continues to take initiative and we continue to respond, or at least we should.  Jesus is always reaching out to us.  He wants to talk with us because He knows that a little talk with Him makes us whole.

When He took us in, He granted us access to the throne of grace.  He bathed our hearts in love so we would have confidence to approach Him whenever we have a need.  And we have need of Him always.

Think of a time when you called out to Jesus.  Often we cry out in desperation, sometimes because we have tried every other remedy and nothing else worked.  As a last resort we turn to Jesus.

What a difference it would make if we would instead choose to talk to Jesus first.  Unfortunately, we tend to talk to ourselves, or others before we go to the One who has the remedy.  Little talks with Jesus are exactly what we need, and precisely what He has offered to us.  His love ensures us that He is for us.  So let’s avail ourselves of that access and learn the blessing of talking to Jesus all the time.

Wrote My Name Above

What better expression of love could there be than having our names written in the Lamb’s book of life?  We have that access because we have been accepted on the merit of Christ.  The effect of Jesus taking us in, filling our souls with light, and bathing our hearts in love is that we are pardoned.

Wrote My Name Above

When was the last time you thought about this reality, that your name has been written in the book of life?  When was the last time you talked to Jesus about that?  Why not talk to Him right now?

Tell Him how if makes you feel to know you have been pardoned of all your sins and have an eternal home with Jesus.  Tell Him what you think about when you try to imagine what that existence will be like, forever in His presence.  Ask Him to help you spend little more time thinking about that, and a little less time thinking about all the things that normally consume your mental processes.

Hopefully that little talk just now oriented you a little differently toward all the things you are facing today.  Hopefully that little talk ushered in an awareness of the wholeness that is your eternal inheritance, beginning that moment you had that first little talk with Jesus.  Can you recall that?

Made Whole

Little Talk with Jesus

On Tuesday in the video log I rehearsed a bit of what that first conversation felt like for me.  If you missed it, and the moments of guided reflection with it, Subscribers and Free Members can see it here, and everyone else can read the transcript below the video.  Jesus met me there like the young man in this image.   He made Himself accessible and I have never been the same.

I am absolutely still a work in progress, but He made me whole.  In other words, I am still working out my experiential understanding of what took place in the first little talk with Jesus.  I often say I am not what I once was, nor am I yet what I will be.  Little talks with Jesus are a huge part of this ongoing transformation.

Have a little talk with Jesus today.  Have several.  And keep having them.  They will make you whole!

Jesus, thank You that I can talk with You.  Help me to make that my first resort, as opposed to some version of my last resort, until my initial inclination is to talk with you about everything.  Thank You bathing my soul in love.  May the knowledge that my name is written in the book of life cause it to happen again today, even as it is expressed daily in the wholeness that it makes mine  In Jesus’ name.   Amen.

Transformative Thinking!

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Subscribers enjoy this podcast and the transcript below!

Podcast 8.1 Transcript

Welcome to Thursday Thoughts at Resonant 7, where we reflect on the reality of God and resolve to let it resound in our lives, repeatedly. Let’s think about this.

I once was lost in sin but Jesus took me in

Romans 5:8 ESV 

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Every one of us was separated from God because of our sin, and we did not even know it until the Holy Spirit opened our eyes to God’s love, and our need for it.  Are you thankful Jesus took you in? Tell Him.

    And then a little light from heaven filled my soul

1 John 1:7 ESV

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

We were stumbling around lost in the darkness of sin when the light of heaven filled our souls.  Now we can walk in His light because He has cleansed us from sin. Ask Him to help you walk in that light today. 

He bathed my heart in love and He wrote my name above

Revelation 20:12 ESV

And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.

Not only do we get to walk in the light today, but every day for the rest of eternity because He wrote our names in the book of life.  Because Jesus took us in, we are judged according to what He has done. Give Him praise.

    And just a little talk with Jesus makes me whole

Hebrews 4:16 ESV

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

We were able to approach the throne of grace with confidence that first time, and every subsequent time, because Jesus has given us access.  Keep talking to Jesus every time you need mercy and grace. Tell Him your need today?

Take a few moments to talk to Jesus about what has come to your mind, or listen to what He is saying to you, then I will read our text once more.

I once was lost in sin but Jesus took me in
   And then a little light from heaven filled my soul
He bathed my heart in love and He wrote my name above
   And just a little talk with Jesus makes me whole

Take the mindfulness of God’s presence cultivated in these last few minutes into the next ones and beyond.  Until next time, be Resonant.

Image Attributions
Bathed My Heart in Love – https://pixabay.com/photos/faith-love-hope-hands-contact-3772000/
Wrote My Name Above – https://itabaza.org/ububiko-bwamabanga-yabatuye-isi-buri-mwijuru/book/
Little Talk with Jesus – https://www.pinterest.com/pin/420594052672016226/?lp=true

Satisfaction Guaranteed

Walking Closely

I am weak but Thou art strong;
  Jesus, keep me from all wrong;
I’ll be satisfied as long
  As I walk, let me walk close to Thee.

Just a Closer Walk with Thee
By: Anonymous

Listen as you read.  This is a great old dixie jazz version.  Don’t be startled when it picks up around 2:49.

On Tuesday we began our walking and talking journey with Jesus by acknowledging our weakness and His strength.  We need that  strength to be kept from all wrong.  We find it when we walk closely with Him, which also happens to be the place where we learn to be satisfied.  Let’s think about this.

Satisfied

We tend to get ourselves in trouble when we seek to be satisfied first, instead of seeking first to be close to Jesus.  That pursuit of satisfaction reveals our weakness by taking us down paths that lead to wrong.  When we choose from that same place of weakness to instead look to Jesus for the strength to do right satisfaction floods our minds and hearts.

Satisfied

So where are you looking for satisfaction, or where are tempted to look for it? It seems our traveler here has made the choice to come to God in His Word to find satisfaction.  Good thinking.

This is a true statement, “I’ll be satisfied as long as I walk, let me walk close to Thee.”  But it can not ring true if we do not choose to draw close to God.  One of the best ways we can do that is by spending time in His word.  It looks like our sojourner here has put a few miles on that Bible.  Can the same be said of one or more of the copies of God’s word which you possess?  If not, why not?   If so, how will you continue to seek after God as He reveals Himself in His word?

I like reading a bound copy of the Bible.  Love feeling it in my hands and flipping to my most recent place of revelation.  Yet, for the convenience of having several copies at my fingertips, I generally read it on my phone.  However you get into it, let it get into you.  It will point the way to the place of satisfaction and even become it as you are diligent to get it in front of your eyes.

Learning to walk closely with Jesus certainly includes learning how He walks, but reading His Word is only way of the ways to do this.  We also learn by watching others who do it well, and by learning to talk with Jesus so we can develop our ability to discern when our choices may be leading down a wrong path. Let’s think about these latter two.

Walking Closely

Because we can not see Jesus footprints in the sand like the photo above, we must figure out other ways to follow Him.  Fortunately, there have been many who have gone before us, and we can learn from their spiritual stride how to walk closely to Jesus.  Who comes to mind in your life that is following Jesus in such a way that you could improve the quality of your walk by emulating them?  Thank God for the people that just came to mind then think about how you could learn even more from them.

Lace Them Up

If you can not think of anyone, then you need to begin to pray that God will help you identify someone.  Once He has, ask them if you can walk along beside them awhile.  I would advise you to put your walking shoes on as you ask because I am exceedingly confident God will provide someone for you.

Even in those moments when there is not someone into whose footprints you may carefully learn to place your own, there is yet another way to learn how to walk closely with Jesus.  Ask Him to teach you.  That’s right.  Begin a dialogue with Jesus about where your feet are taking you, and begin to make changes as needed.

He wants you to walk closely.  When you mirror that desire the Holy Spirit will be right on your heels prompting you to make right steps.  Do not complicate the process.  Just get walking and talking to Jesus and very soon you will find yourself satisfied.

Jesus, help me to find satisfaction by learning to walk closely with You.  Bring people into my life who have learned that better than me, so I can copy them.  Teach me how to talk with You so I may discern when I need to change my direction, or at least my speed.  Let me walk close to You.  In Jesus’ name.   Amen.

Satisfied Thinking!

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Subscribers enjoy this podcast and the transcript below!

Podcast 7.1 Transcript

Welcome to Thursday Thoughts at Resonant 7, where we reflect on the reality of God and resolve to let it resound in our lives, repeatedly. Let’s think about this.

I am weak but Thou art strong;

Psalm 73:26 ESV

My flesh and my heart may fail,
   but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Though the psalmist’s focus here is on the certainty of the strength that God is for us, I have often wrestled with the word “may” referring to the failing of my flesh and heart.  My flesh and heart fail me routinely, but God never does. Thank Him for His strength.

Jesus, keep me from all wrong;

Jude 1:24 ESV

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy,

Our weakness is revealed when we pursue wrong things.  This pursuit causes us to stumble. Jesus is able to keep us from stumbling, to keep us from all wrong.  Ask Him to keep you from the counterfeits of wrong things by giving you a desire for right things which bring joy. 

I’ll be satisfied as long

Matthew 5:6 ESV

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

Our being kept from wrong hinges not on Jesus ability to keep us because that is set, but instead on our pursuit of righteousness, which we can only accomplish in His strength.  Ask Jesus to help you hunger and thirst for rightness, for that quest will bring you the satisfaction your soul truly craves.

  As I walk, let me walk close to Thee.

James 4:8 ESV

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

We need to walk closely to Jesus because only that will satisfy our longing.  We know this is true because we have all been disappointed by pursuing the wrong things which only satisfy for a time.  Ask Jesus to help you walk closely with Him today, and everyday.

Take a few moments to talk to Jesus about what has come to your mind, or listen to what He is saying to you, then I will read our text once more.

I am weak but Thou art strong;
  Jesus, keep me from all wrong;
I’ll be satisfied as long
  As I walk, let me walk close to Thee.

Take the mindfulness of God’s presence cultivated in these last few minutes into the next ones and beyond.  Until next time, be Resonant.

Image Attributions
Walking Closely – https://pixabay.com/photos/sand-beach-ocean-water-footprints-937387/
Satisfied – https://pixabay.com/photos/bag-book-fashion-man-pants-1868758/
Shoe Close-Up – https://pixabay.com/photos/shoe-style-men-wear-foot-close-up-819363/

Resolve to Rekindle

Holy Spirit Kindling

Podcast below accessible to EVERYONE!  Check it out for a sample of the additional media content available with EVERY BLOG! 

Teach me to love Thee as Thine angels love,
 One holy passion filling all my frame;
The kindling of the heav’n-descended Dove,
 My heart an altar, and Thy love the flame.

Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart
By: George Croly, 1780-1860

Listen as you read.  This is a very simple flute and harp version.

On Tuesday we considered the first two lines of this stanza, which contained a powerful and dynamic illustration of how to love God.  In these last two lines we will consider three more elements wrapped up into one final illustration of the Spirit’s work, consuming us with a passion to love God. Are you ready to catch fire?  Let’s think about this.

Kindling

Have you ever tried to start a fire with no kindling?  Those fire-starter bricks are really helpful but even with those some kindling gets the whole process going much more quickly.  So what exactly is kindling?

Small sticks and twigs that are easily combustible.  This is the role of the Holy Spirit when it comes to lighting a fire of love in our hearts for God.  There are moments when we draw near the flame of God’s love and can feel its radiant warmth.  When those moments pass however our lives cool far too quickly.  When need the kindling of the Holy Spirit to help keep that flame close to the logs of our lives.

It was like this at Pentecost when the Spirit came on the first disciples.  They were waiting as Jesus had instructed them.  They were ready.  God’s love was filling their hearts.  Then the heaven-descended Dove came upon them and provided the kindling they needed to get the fire going.

And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.  Acts 2:3-4 ESV 

In the imagery from the hymn the material that first kindles the blaze is the very presence of the Holy Spirit.  Are you ready to welcome Him to come and be that quickening fire-starter in you, as those first disciples did?  If you are, first ask Him to reveal anything in your life that would hinder His kindling work, confess that and then ask Him to come and kindle a love that flows from the throne of God into your heart.

My Heart an Altar

Altar

My heart.  This is where the Holy Spirit kindles the flame.  This is where God’s love burns.  This is the place.  And that is a very important thing.  But it is only the place.

I would contend that the Holy Spirit kindling helps to bring the flame of God’s love to a critical temperature upon the altar of my heart.  All the conditions are right for combustion, but the flame and the kindling not only need a place to burn, my heart, they need some material, my life, at least for the purposes of the this illustration.

Certainly, nothing can extinguish the flame of God’s love.  Period.  But if that flame is going to burn in me, even in my heart, it needs some substance to burn.  That substance is my life.  I must offer my life, on the the altar of my heart, so the kindling of the Holy Spirit can cause the flame of God’s love to ignite it.  For that reason, I implore you to offer your life to God.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  Romans 12:1 ESV

My life is combustible.  Think about it.  We burn with passions for all sorts of things.  Those passions consume us to the point that we sometimes have little left for other things or people that matter to us, including our loving and gracious God.  If we bring our lives too close to any of these other flames, they will catch fire and leave nothing in their wake but smoke and ashes.  

Maybe you are feeling the effects of having drawn too near to some other flame today.  That choice may have left you charred and smoldering.  You may even be wondering if there is anything left to offer God.

The good news is that there is.  God’s mercy is great and new every morning.  That does not mean we should just abuse it.  Rather we must receive it and then choose to respond to it by offering ourselves regularly to Him as an act of worship.  In this spiritual worship, the Holy Spirit comes as kindling to light our lives on fire on the altar of our hearts with flame of God’s love.

Thy Love the Flame

Flame

This would all be for naught, if it were not for the flame of God’s love.

I asked earlier if you had ever tried starting a fire without kindling.  Hard to do, but possible.  If you have no material to burn, you could scrounge around to find something to burn of less value than the resultant fire.  If you do not have a safe place to start the fire, you could start it somewhere else, but it is going to leave a mark at best.  But if you have no flame, all your other efforts are useless.

This is especially frustrating if you are cold, wet, hungry, or…all three!  A flame can warm the frigid, dry the soggy, and feed the famished.  This is important when it is your flesh that is being tended, but also when it is your soul.

The flame of God’s love warms the cold soul.  It dries the dampest and feeds the ravenous.  It can do so much more than that, if we will bring our lives as a sacrifice upon the altar of our hearts.

Will you bring your heart near the flame of God’s love?  Will you welcome the kindling of His Holy Spirit?  Invite the Spirit of God to come and do His work in you today.

Spirit, help me to see how much I need Your kindling work.  Remove any fear that may be keeping me at a distance.  Show me where I am cold, damp, and hungry and remind me that the flame of God’s love can change all that.  Do Your work in me today. In Jesus’ name.   Amen.

Incendiary Thinking!

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EVERYONE enjoy this podcast and the transcript below!

Podcast 6.5 Transcript

Welcome to Thursday Thoughts at Resonant 7, where we reflect on the reality of God and resolve to let it resound in our lives, repeatedly. Let’s think about this.

Teach me to love Thee as Thine angels love,

Revelation 5:11-12 ESV

…I heard around the throne…the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”

To love God with this kind of adoration we draw inspiration from His messengers who never cease to give Him the praises due His name.  They are undivided in their affections toward the living God. Ask the Spirit to help you mimic them.

  One holy passion filling all my frame;

Psalm 84:2 ESV

My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.

In this verse the Psalmist seems to be mimicking the angels love, his soul, heart and flesh longing to be in God’s presence and sing His praises.  Can you with sincerity say you long for God’s presence to the point of fainting? I can not, but I want to. Ask the Spirit to give you such a consuming passion.

The kindling of the heav’n-descended Dove,

Acts 2:3-4 ESV 

And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

And what a beautiful picture these last lines create.  Welcoming the flames of God’s consuming fire into our lives.  The Spirit is the kindling, the substance which makes getting the fire started much easier.  Ask Him to reveal anything in your life that would hinder His kindling work.

  My heart an altar, and Thy love the flame.

Romans 12:1 ESV

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

This confuses the imagery a bit making my life the sacrifice instead of my heart the altar, but it helps illustrate the point.  God’s love is what sets the kindling of the Spirit on fire, and this activity transpires on the altar of my heart. Ask the Spirit to light that fire in your heart today and every day!

Take a few moments to talk to Jesus about what has come to your mind, or just listen to what He is saying to you, then I will read our text once more.

Teach me to love Thee as Thine angels love,
 One holy passion filling all my frame;
The kindling of the heav’n-descended Dove,
 My heart an altar, and Thy love the flame.

Take the mindfulness of God’s presence cultivated in these last few minutes into the next ones and beyond.  Until next time, be Resonant.

Image Attributions
Holy Spirit Kindling – https://pixabay.com/photos/wood-kindling-lena-trunk-1073503/
My Heart An Altar – http://dee-lightfullmoments.blogspot.com/2015/08/the-fire-must-never-go-out.html
Thy Love the Flame – https://normansennema.com/archives/16397