Tag Archives: Amy Grant

True or False

Then the leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too, for it was because of him that many of the people had deserted them and believed in Jesus.
John 12:10-11, NLT*

You’d think raising someone from the dead would be proof enough of Jesus’ power, even for the priests and Pharisees. The common people could see it clearly enough.

It’s easy for us to say these priests were protecting their own power and didn’t want to acknowledge the truth. That they felt threatened.

That’s likely the case, but these verses make me stop and think.

How often do we deny what’s true because we’re invested in something false? (click to tweet) A belief, a perspective, a plan? Something we’d have to set aside to do life God’s way?

  • I can’t make it to church because Sunday’s my only day to sleep in, to see my friends, it’s the best time to golf…
  • Forget tithing, I can’t give anything at all, because money is tight. Hey, do you want to go out to lunch after the service?
  • It’s okay to sleep with my boyfriend/girlfriend because morals have changed.
  • I’m not bound by the Bible’s words about homosexual behaviour because Jesus would want me to be happy.
  • I don’t need to read the Bible because it’s out of date and confusing.
  • No matter what my friends say, I can trust this particular person. If I have doubts, personally, then I’m not being very loyal.
  • Maybe I shouldn’t complain, but listen to what she/he did!
  • I don’t have to report that money I earned on the side. There’s no paper trail, and the government would only waste the extra tax.
  • And the list could go on for pages…

It doesn’t have to be a big thing. God often teaches us in the small. The point is, we need to be open to see – and to follow – God’s perspective instead of our own. (click to tweet) The best place to start is with reading the Bible and taking time in prayer. Regularly and consistently.

Father God, You see the past, the present and future. You know all things, and You alone are wise. Open our eyes, hearts and wills to what You reveal, and help us to let go of our own cherished perceptions, plans and desires, and to trust You. Because we know You are good and that You love us, we know that Your way is best.

Our song this week is “Thy Word,” sung by Amy Grant.

*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Listening? Or Drifting?

So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it.
Hebrews 2:1, NLT*

The writer of Hebrews has been refuting a false teaching that has crept into the church. It sounds like some form of angel-worship, but the warning applies just as well today and to a variety of falsehoods.

We can be led astray by error, or by lies. We need careful attention to the truth to keep us anchored.

One of the best ways to stay focused on the truth is to make Bible reading and prayer a daily part of our lives. Five minutes… fifty… God is more concerned with the quality of the time than its duration. And it doesn’t need to be one lump sum, either. Some people stop regularly throughout the day to say a quick prayer or to listen to His voice.

The point is to be intentional, and sincere. We don’t want to—don’t dare—drift away from the truth.

God who reveals Himself through His word and His Spirit, so many people don’t think there’s time to spend with You each day. They don’t see the need, or the danger, but You’ve warned us. Please stir each heart that believes in You, draw each one to desire You. Don’t let us drift from the truth we’ve received.

To keep us focused, here’s Amy Grant with “Thy Word“.

*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

When Our Role is to Pray and Wait

When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father…’
Luke 15:17-18a NLT*

Last week we talked about how if there’s something our loved ones need to learn or change in their thinking, we can trust God to make it plain to them. We were looking at how God works in the lives of believers (including our own lives!)

Today’s verse reminds me this principle also applies for those who don’t yet know Jesus. That’s a huge comfort as we pray for people who are outside of relationship with God. And it makes perfect sense. After all, it’s God who initiates the contact, who softens hearts and gives faith.

When the young man in the parable left home, his father’s only option was to pray. Jesus didn’t say he did, but I think it’s implied by how he was watching and waiting for his son’s return.

We don’t know how long he waited, either.

The father knew the trouble his son could get into, and he presumably prayed for physical and spiritual protection. I’m guessing he also prayed for God to change the young man’s heart and bring him home.

He may well have prayed in terms of love, light and freedom. [Please follow the link to read Ginny Jaques’ insightful article on praying for unsaved loved ones.]

God our Father, thank You for revealing Your love to us, shining Your light of truth on our lives, and giving us freedom to choose You. Help us as we pray for those we love who don’t yet trust You. Help us pray in love, power and confidence, and help us wait for Your perfect timing as You draw them to know You. You love them even more than we do, and in this we will rest.

Amy Grant‘s song, “I’ll Be Waiting,” captures some of the longing heart for a wayward loved one.

*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Help for a Monday

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.

Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.

Don’t assume that you know it all.

Proverbs 3:5-7a, MSG*

This was my devotional reading on Monday in the NIV**, but when I saw how The Message phrases it, with that “listen in everything/everywhere” that has been encouraging me lately, I knew that was the version to use here.

Monday… definitely one of those days I longed to crawl back into bed. I wasn’t sick, just painfully sluggish in body and mind.

It was also a day full of commitments.

These verses from Proverbs are old friends to me, and still verse 5 brought a new insight this time:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;

It brought back recent advice I’d heard to dwell on the positives: to say “I’m great, thanks” instead of “I’m so tired”. The idea was to talk oneself into a better outlook, not do deny serious trouble, to choose good over bad when both are present.

A question popped up in my spirit: Am I going to believe my mental groaning of “I can’t do this”—or am I going to believe God’s promise that His grace is enough to strengthen my weakness?

Denial is another form of lying, and trying to think things better because we want God to agree with us is shaky ground.

But for me, it’s more a case of settling for less, of listening to my own understanding of how I feel instead of trusting God to be enough to make a difference. Sure, I’m tired, but am I really as tired as I say I am? As I’ve come to believe?

Today’s Wednesday… how did Monday play out? I was slower than normal, but everything got done that needed doing. The biscuits I made to go with supper even turned out fine!

Father, You are faithful to Your promises and loving towards all You have made. Thank You for Your grace. Thanks for reminding me to trust Your perspective instead of mine. Thanks for times of weakness that remind us to trust Your strength.

I’m glad feeling weak can remind me of God’s strength. Here’s a vintage Amy Grant song (written by Gary Chapman & Michael W Smith) with a similar perspective: “I Love a Lonely Day”.

*The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson.

**New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.