Friday Morning Prayer:)… December 29, 2017

December 28, 2017 - 10 minutes read
Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee,
Op’ning to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day!
All Thy works with joy surround Thee,
Earth and heav’n reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee,
Center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea,
Singing bird and flowing fountain
Call us to rejoice in Thee.[1]
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.[2]
O Lamb of God I come, just as I am Thou will receive.   I confess I am weak but Jesus you are strong.   Jesus keep me from all wrong.[3]  His blood can make the foulest clean.  His blood availed for me.  What can wash away my sin?  Nothing but the blood of Jesus! Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus![4]  Thou hast bought us, Thine we are!  Indeed!  Oh for a Thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise.  The glories of my God and King, the triumphs of his grace.  Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.  Everything to God in prayer.  O gentle Savior hear my humble cry.  Hear O hear us when we pray.   Just a closer walk with Thee.  Dear Lord, let it be. 
The longing for a closer walk with our gracious God.  I so much enjoy listening to and singing the old hymns.  I really enjoy the Spirit indwelling and empowering me to worship and sense the presence of God.  Genuine believers want to know God.  When the late RC Sproul said, “…what is wrong with you people?”  “…This is the problem with the Christian church today….  We do not know who God is and we do not know who we are!”[5] I thought how important that we get it right.  To get it right only brings joy and much thankfulness for mercy and abundant grace!  Moreover, there is a constant humble cry and awe with great reverence before our holy God.   You in Christ are genuinely transformed.  You had a heart of stone turned to flesh.  The result is an increasing desire to know God better.  If not, heed the inspired words of the Apostle Paul, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith: test yourselves.  Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?”[6]
The hymns are full of gospel truth.  We sing about the cleansing blood and triumphs of his grace.  The great hymns are based in Scripture.  We know God accurately through the living Word of God.  Therefore, sing joyfully!  Of course, any music and song lyrics that glorify God is perfect.  For me, nothing compares to the gospel hymns of old.  Be ye encouraged to meditate and diligently study the Scriptures.  Who is God?  Who am I?  By God’s grace and the power of the Holy Spirit, I pray for constant help to rightly discern the living Word and therein to know God intimately and accurately.  Moreover, to share the gospel and not be ashamed, hesitant, or inadequate when leaning on the Everlasting Arms.   Beloved, if you find you fail the self-examination test, you really do not hunger and thirst for righteousness or do not desire to know intimately our holy God, pray humbly and rely only on God’s mercy for your salvation.  Ask our gracious God for forgiveness and plead for his necessary help through the blood of the Lamb to ensure you are in the faith.
Our great salvation has an ongoing supernatural outcome.  John the Baptist said, “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”[7]  We know our new life in Christ is called to manifest love, joy, peace, patience, etc.  Daily I am called to take up my cross and die to my selfish ways.  Moreover, we rely on the Holy Spirit to lead us and help us work out this great salvation.  John also said, “…He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”[8]  How desperately I need the washing and refreshing that comes from the Spirit.  The idea of fire we know as judgment, refinement, and purification.  I need to look at the plank in my own eye daily.  I need to be refined constantly and purified from known and unknown sins regularly so I do not quench the Spirit indwelling in me.
Jesus explains what baptism in or with the Holy Spirit means for us even today.  “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.  For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”[9]  The disciples were concerned about the restoring the kingdom to Israel.  However, that was not the most important at the time.  What was important, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”[10]
Finally, we need the power of God to live and proclaim the gospel effectively and accurately!  My lack of repentance and failing to fight against the flesh, quench the Spirit of God.   No!  Help me Lord to live by the Spirit so I will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.  Paul said, “…be filled with the Spirit.”[11]   It does not depend on your denominational tradition or theological distinctive.  We need the power of the Holy Spirit in our individual lives and helping us, the body of Christ, through the church, to effectively live this supernatural life and reach the lost with the gospel.   This is a continuous replenishment, hence, “go on being filled.”[12]  As a result, there will be manifest love, joy, peace… toward one another.  The leading of the Spirit to speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.  Moreover, how joyful to sing and make music in your heart to the Lord![13]
Thou art giving and forgiving,
Ever blessing, ever blest,
Wellspring of the joy of living,
Ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our Brother,
All who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other,
Lift us to the joy divine.
Mortals, join the happy chorus,
Which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o’er us,
Brother love binds man to man.
Ever singing, march we onward,
Victors in the midst of strife,
Joyful music leads us Sunward
In the triumph song of life.
Sisters are meeting to pray and encourage one another.  First Baptist 1912 Arnold Way.  Alpine, 0900.
You are welcome to join sisters in Christ for a time of prayer and fellowship.  Gals from different churches gather week after week to pray for the body, one another, and for the power to do all that God has determined through manifest gifts, lots of love, and joy everlasting!
Brothers are meeting too!  Alpine Youth Center.  2135 Arnold Way.  Alpine.  0730
Truly a happy heart makes the face cheerful!  It is a joy to meet with brothers who recognize the necessity to pray continuously and depend on our gracious God for everything.  Join us if your schedule allows.  No pressure.  We meet for an hour to pray and encourage one another.  By the power of the Holy Spirit, always to the glory of God.

[2] Ephesians 4:15-16
[6] 2 Corinthians 13:5
[7] Luke 3:8
[8] Ibid 3:16b
[9] Acts 1:4-5
[10] Ibid 1:8
[11] Ephesians 5:18b
[12] The Expositor’s Bible Commentary. (1978).  Gaebelein, F. E. (ed). vol. 11
[13] Ephesians 5:19