Tag Archives: Kathryn Scott

Love Obeys God

I reflect at night on who you are, O Lord;
therefore, I obey your instructions.
Psalm 119:55, NLT*

You can’t read Psalm 119 without sensing the devotion the psalmist has for God’s instructions. It’s not a dry list of rules that he loves, but the precepts and teaching of how God says he – and we – should live.

Why are these regulations so important? Because they teach us the way of true, abundant life. They keep us from straying away from God or allowing sin or self to distance us from Him.

The Pharisees claimed to love God’s laws too, and the negative examples of their behaviour toward Jesus and the common people may taint our view of this beautiful psalm.

The difference is, they were following their own understanding of the laws, while missing the heart of God. They saw the rules as the goal, not as the way to live with Him.

Today’s verse gives us the key: it’s knowing God’s character and His ways, responding to His love and mercy, that motivates us to obey Him (click to tweet). The more we discover of who He is and of how much we need Him, the more we’ll value the instructions and principles by which He calls us to live.

Whole-hearted obedience is a love response. Not an attempt to earn points or avoid punishment.

Holy and loving God, in wisdom You have set boundaries for us, and in great mercy You have sent Your Son to ransom us from the power of sin and death. You are faithful to forgive when we ask, and to teach us Your ways. The instructions You give are for our good and for Your glory. You alone are worthy of worship and adoration. Please draw us to know You better, and teach us to rely on Your Spirit’s power at work within us.

Loving God will draw us into obedience to Him. Let Kathryn Scott’s song, “Presence,” bless us today.

*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

To Hear and Obey

…and the whole remnant of God’s people began to obey the message from the Lord their God. When they heard the words of the prophet Haggai, whom the Lord their God had sent, the people feared the Lord.
Haggai 1:12b, NLT*

What was the Lord’s message that the people obeyed?

A remnant of Israel had returned to Jerusalem, but in the busyness of rebuilding the city and their homes, they’d neglected to finish rebuilding the Temple.

God asked, “Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins?” (Haggai 1:4, NLT*) He said that was why the people were working so hard for meagre results. They weren’t honouring Him.

Prophetic messages were often rejected, but not this time. These people listened. They chose to obey.

We can be like them, getting off-track or drifting away from what the Lord would have us do. He may let us wander for a while and miss the best He wants to give us, but isn’t it wonderful that He will call us back?

Let’s be quick to listen and to respond.

Good and merciful God, You know we’re prone to distraction. Please guard and direct us, and make us responsive to Your correction. Give us ears, hearts, and spirits attuned to You, for Your glory and our own wellbeing.

A good song to pray regularly is “Search Me, Know Me,” by Kathryn Scott.

*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Without Proof: the Playlist

Each of the Redemption’s Edge novels has an associated soundtrack in my head. For Secrets and Lies, it may have leaked into readers’ heads, too, because the novel is full of references to songs. For Heaven’s Prey and Without Proof, the music isn’t mentioned by name, but my imagination links certain songs with certain characters or situations.

Here’s my playlist for Without Proof: music that complements the characters and theme. Below the YouTube screen, I’ve listed each title and artist. Most connect with Amy’s identity struggles, but there’s also Michael’s song for Amy and what I think of as Michael’s and Gilles’ song from back in the day. Scroll down and have a look 🙂

Without Proof playlist:
Come as You Are” by Crowder
Always” by the Newsboys
Say You Need Love” by the Newsboys
What Are You Waiting For?” by Nickelback
Let it All Come Out” by the Newsboys
The Letter” by the Newsboys
I Belong” by Kathryn Scott
“My New Name” by Todd Agnew (not in the YouTube mix… I couldn’t find it there)
Child of God” by Kathryn Scott
Yours to Hold” by Skillet (Michael’s song for Amy)
A Friend Like You” by Geoff Moore and The Distance (Michael’s and Gilles’ song)

Responding to God

In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises.
2 Peter 1:5a, NLT*

“In view of all this” refers to what Peter says in verses 3 and 4 about the abundance of what God has given to those who have received Him. God’s promises are “great and precious” and they’re what enable us to draw nearer to God and to escape the corruption around us (v. 4).

How do we respond to God’s promises? And do we truly “make every effort”?

I think part of responding is discovering and relying on His promises. Believing them. Each of those actions require work, but Peter assures us in verse 4 that we’ll benefit from this work.

Verses 5b – 7 give practical life advice that we can only obey if we’re relying on God’s promises to be all we need. We certainly can’t do this in our own strength.

Why does it matter?

We’ll grow, and be productive and useful (v.8). We won’t forget what God has done for us (v.9). We’ll prove our faith is real, and staying focused will keep us from drifting from God (v.10). There will be a reward (v.11).

I think just growing deeper into the abundant life God gives will be reward enough.

God our Deliverer and Redeemer, on our own we can’t stay spiritually focused to remember You and Your promises, but this is the sort of prayer we can be confident You want to answer: Give us the desire to grow in relationship with You, give us hearts willing to make every effort to respond to Your promises. Remind us when we forget, and help us to begin again, as often as needed. Your patience is great, and Your mercies are new every morning.

When we think of all that God has done for us, it’s natural to join Kathryn Scott in singing “How Can I Ever Say Thank You?

*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.

Saying Thank You

One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!”
Luke 17:15, NLT*

Ten lepers – contagious, shunned and ritually unclean – had called to Jesus from a respectful distance, begging to be healed. Their faith must have been strong, because Jesus didn’t invite them nearer, touch them, or tell them to do anything particular to be healed (like wash in a specific place – see John 9:7).

He simply told them to go and present themselves to the priests. That was the step for after they were healed, so the priests could confirm it and permit them back into the community.

Luke says that “as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy.” (Luke 17:14b, NLT*) Their act of obedient faith allowed them to receive what they’d pleaded for.

Only one came back to say thank you. And he was a Samaritan. Not that a Samaritan shouldn’t have come back, but where were the Jews that Jesus had just healed?

Jesus made a point of showing that those who’d had the most exposure to Him, the most benefit from His teaching, responded with less gratitude than the man from outside Jesus’ main teaching focus. There are a few other examples of this throughout the gospels, and it’s not to put down the Jews. It’s to show Jesus’ wider focus, and to call us who have been blessed with hearing Him to not take Him for granted.

What have you asked Jesus for today? Or what have you seen Him do? Remember to say thank You. (click to tweet this)

God who saves us and restores us to Yourself, if You did nothing else for us we could still never thank You enough for the gift of salvation. But You do so many other things for us as well. Open our eyes to see Your hand in our lives, and give us sensitive spirits to respond with heart-felt gratitude and praise. Thank You for all You do, and for who You are.

Our song for today is Kathryn Scott‘s “How Could I Ever Say Thank You?

*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.

Gratitude. And Hope.

I’ll make a list of God’s gracious dealings,
all the things God has done that need praising.
Isaiah 63:7a, MSG*

I confess I’ve lost track of counting God’s blessings. Even if I hadn’t, it would only touch a small sample of what He does and has done.

My gratitude journal has mostly entries of things that blessed me personally, like seeing a pheasant or a sparkly ceiling. Or bubbles. Small gifts from God to make me smile.

He gives so much more.

He gave His Son to save us. He gave us life and breath. He designed this beautiful planet and the cosmos. Gave us imagination. Invited us to work with Him in growing His Kingdom.

He draws us into relationship with Him, to worship and to flourish.

These days, world and local news makes it look like God is silent. Or absent. I think He’s waiting. Which means my job is to wait with Him, but to wait in trust. That can only happen when I remind myself of His ways and His unchanging nature.

I need to pick up that journal again. Record those evidences of His care. I need to keep reading the Bible. See the evidences of His intervention in the lives of His people. Remind myself that He’s got this.

Sovereign Lord of creation, we see so much pain and devastation. We confess that human choice has caused much of it. We confess how easily we can get discouraged or frightened by the circumstances. Remind us of Your love and power. Of Your justice. Help our unbelief, and help us to anchor our spirits in who You are. Open our eyes and help us to see what You have done and what You’re doing now. Help us trust what You’ll do in the future.

Our song is from worship leader Kathryn Scott: “How Could I Ever Say Thank You?

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

God Isn’t Finished With Us Yet

Listen! The Lord’s arm is not too weak to save you,
nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call.
Isaiah 59:1, NLT*

Last week I posted about the need to draw apart for quiet moments with God. As sometimes happens, God was speaking to my friend Ginny Jaques about the same thing: see her post, Meeting God Under the Fig Tree.

Where my need was to sit with God and be still with Him, remembering our relationship and His power, Ginny needed a “fireside chat” with Him to pour out her concerns for our culture, our world, and where it looks like it’s heading. (Do take time to read her post from the link above. It will encourage you.)

I carry the same concerns, about our God-ignoring culture and about the way even Christians don’t seem awake to the importance of living God’s way. We don’t dare go back to legalism, but often we as God’s people don’t look much different in our attitudes and behaviours than the people who don’t know Him. As if God’s call to holy living was only a suggestion, or His definitions have changed over time.

We need to live by God’s standards while being genuine and approachable. For some of us, that means remembering that Jesus is rightfully Lord of our lives and has a claim on our behaviour. For others, it means risking transparency so our non-Christian friends can see we’re different. For all of us, it means guarding our relationship with God and growing deeper in relationship with Him.

I love how creative God is in communicating. He used Ginny’s post to stir my thoughts about this and to bring me to a prayer of repentance for myself and for much of the North American church. Then He reminded me of today’s verse. It’s not over, and it’s not hopeless. In the long history of God and humans, this has happened many times. God can bring us back to where we need to be. He’s done it before, and His strength has not weakened over time.

God’s arm is still strong to save, and what is our proof? Our hope-anchor? Once He realigned my perspective through the verse, He brought me a song, “Thank You for the Cross.” It doesn’t end with us and our efforts. This is God’s work, and our weakness isn’t enough to eclipse His strength.

Mighty and holy God, it’s a good thing You know our weaknesses—and an even better thing that You are mighty to save and loving, to forgive. Speak to each one of us. Reveal anything that needs to change. We are very much works in progress, and we need Your help. Restore, revive, renew us and make us useful to Your Kingdom. Though we fail, let none be lost because of it. Have mercy on the hurting, and draw them to Yourself. Thank You for Your plan as revealed through the Cross, and for what You will do.

Here’s Kathryn Scott with “Thank You for the Cross.”

*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.


If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body.
1 Corinthians 12:15, NLT*

One of the lies the enemy of our souls has baited me with over the years is “You don’t belong.”

Someone hurts my feelings. Or I don’t get a joke, or everyone else seems to have it all together. I notice I’m different. The lie slides right into my thoughts and I cuddle up with it, nodding agreement. “That proves it. I really don’t belong.”

I used to think Paul’s words about the foot and the ear saying they weren’t part of the body meant we should use the gifts God gave us and not compare ourselves with others. We shouldn’t sulk and refuse to serve if someone else got the talent we wanted.

That’s really what it’s about, but today I see something else. If I—or you—fall for “I don’t belong,” then part of the body will be handicapped because we’re disqualifying ourselves.

Of course I’m different. We all are, even if some of us look the same on the outside. Different is good; I know that, and I don’t want to be a clone. But I guess the deceiver’s words resonate with a fear of rejection, and maybe it’s easier to tell myself I don’t belong than to wait for someone else to say it.

This is one of the things God’s been talking to me about lately. I risk sharing it because maybe He’s been saying something similar to you, whether it’s about belonging or about another of our enemy’s lies.

Creator God, Your Word says we’re each “fearfully and wonderfully made,” and that You love us. How many ways do You have to say it before we can believe it? You also warn us we’re in a spiritual battle and we need to use the weapons You’ve given us so we can stand. Help us be vigilant. Help us take every thought captive to Christ and speak Your truth to defeat the lies. We can’t do this on our own, but Your Spirit within us can. Help us rely on You.

Let Kathryn Scott’s “I Belong” reassure our spirits today. We belong to God.

*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.

What’s On Your Mind?

May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to you,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
Psalm 19:14, NLT*

This is a familiar passage often prayed before meetings or in other gatherings where we desire God to be honoured. I always took it to mean “what we discuss and decide or plan here”

But what about all the other things in our hearts when we’re alone?

Isn’t that what meditation means, to focus on or rehearse? To dwell on? To, perhaps, stew over?

How many times do we let our thoughts swim with negatives and complaints? We wish a conversation could have gone differently, we pick at what we didn’t like about Sunday service, we fret over grievances.

Not exactly the “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” that we’re called to do.

Holy and good God, who searches our thoughts and knows our hearts, forgive our sins and retrain us in Your ways. May the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts be pleasing to You. And when they’re not, please get our attention and bring us back on track. Don’t let anything pull us away from nearness to You.

Let Kathryn Scott’s song, “Search Me, Know Me,” be our prayer today:

*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.

What Does Victory Mean?

But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians  15:57, NLT*

Jesus won the ultimate victory, and if we trust Him, we’ll spend eternity with Him when we die. But in the here and now, what are some of the ways we have victory in Him?

In Christ, I

  • can replace the devil’s lies with truth
  • can learn to see with His perspective instead of my own
  • don’t have to feel sorry for myself
  • find strength beyond my own
  • am forgiven when I sin
  • am freed from the tyranny of sin
  • can love when it doesn’t come naturally
  • can give grace, instead of retaliating
  • can be secure in His acceptance, instead of fearing rejection or failure
  • have access to the God of the universe, who loves me
  • belong.

Merciful and holy God, thank You for rescuing us and for promising to never leave us nor reject us. Forgive us when we forget the benefits of being Your children, and help us learn to live secure in Your victory.

Our victory song this week is Kathryn Scott’s “I Belong.”

*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.