Hearing God’s music

by Max Lucado

Let’s imagine that you want to learn to dance. Being the rational, cerebral person you are, you go to a bookstore and buy a book on dancing. You take the book home and get to work.

Finally, you think you’ve got it, and you invite your wife to come in and watch. You hold the book open and follow the instructions step by step. You even read the words aloud so she’ll know that you’ve done your homework. “Lean with your right shoulder,” and so you lean. “Now step with your right foot,” and so you step. “Turn slowly to the left,” and so you do.

You continue to read, then dance, read, then dance, until the dance is completed. You plop exhausted on the couch, look at your wife, and proclaim, “I executed it perfectly.”

“You executed it, all right,” she sighs. “You killed it.”

“What?”

“You forgot the most important part. Where is the music?”

Music?

You never thought about music. You remembered the book. You learned the rules. You laid out the pattern. But you forgot the music.

“Do it again,” she says, putting in a CD. “This time don’t worry about the steps; just follow the music.”

She extends her hand and the music begins. The next thing you know, you are dancing—and you don’t even have the book.

We Christians are prone to follow the book while ignoring the music. We master the doctrine, outline the chapters, memorize the dispensations, debate the rules, and stiffly step down the dance floor of life with no music in our hearts. We measure each step, calibrate each turn, and flop into bed each night exhausted from another day of dancing by the book.

Dancing with no music is tough stuff.

“Let God have you, and let God love you—and don’t be surprised if your heart begins to hear music you’ve never heard and your feet learn to dance as never before.”
~ Max Lucado ~

YOU FEED THEM

“The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all they had done and taught. Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat. So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone. But many people recognized them and saw them leaving, and people from many towns ran ahead along the shore and got there ahead of them. Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things. Late in the afternoon his disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the nearby farms and villages and buy something to eat.” But Jesus said, “You feed them.” “With what?” they asked. “We’d have to work for months to earn enough money to buy food for all these people!””

Mark 6:30-37 NLT

what an instruction from the master, 5000 men an their families! How? What? Where? With what? Am sure are some of the questions going through the Apostle’s mind, why would Jesus ask this of them, was He trying them? Was He even thinking right? Even many months wages, if they had it, couldn’t feed this crowd, what were they to do?

Jesus words and actions later showed that He already knew what to do, so He Himself was not confused, He knew He would multiply the loaves and fishes but He wanted the disciples to be active participants and not onlookers to the miracle. They had just returned from a ministry tour, they had experienced success in doing the work of God, they had just seen that they had authority and dominion because they just reported to Jesus “all they had done and taught”

Today, the same words are spoken to you and I, you feed them! you heal them! You deliver them! You rescue them! The power and the ability is already in you, just use it, step out and do the miraculous, live that supernatural life, do the impossible!

YOU FEED THEM!

INTEGRITY IS OF THE HEART

“Then David invited him to dinner and got him drunk. But even then he couldn’t get Uriah to go home to his wife. Again he slept at the palace entrance with the king’s palace guard.”

2 Samuel 11:13 NLT

As I read the passage above this morning, something struck me and broke me down completely. Severally when we sin or make mistakes, we are quick to excuse our fallings, we are quick to find a loophole that justifies our actions, I was drunk we say, the devil made me do it we say, if so and so hadn’t done what they did we say, I was just reacting to so and so’s actions we say, but all these are baseless if our integrity was engrained in our hearts and not just in our heads. Uriah had all the excuses, all valid, all approved, all set for him to lean on and justify going home and sleeping with his wife, he even had the king’s permission, but he said no. He wouldn’t lean upon the crutch of ready made excuses no matter how valid, the integrity of his heart came to the fore when it was most needed. Even while drunk, he wouldn’t go home to his wife. I believe that he must have struggled with himself while sitting at the king’s gate, he must have had the discussion with himself justifying his going home, but because he has engrained integrity in his heart, he remained at the king’s gate.

If Uriah, who did not have 5he Holy Spirit on the inside could subdue his inner sinful desires and lusts, how much more we that are of the new covenant, with the in dwelling Holy Spirit!

Integrity is of the heart and at the heart of every child of God is the Holy Spirit our help in all situations! Let us trust Him and allow that which is on our inside come forth and change our lives, our home, our neighborhoods, our nation and our generation!

GREAT GRACE

Grace is a gift which implies the presence of the giver. The giver and gift are so involved that the gift cannot be handed over unless the giver is involved.

“But then Law came in, [only] to expand and increase the trespass [making it more apparent and exciting opposition]. But where sin increased and abounded, grace (God’s unmerited favor) has surpassed it and increased the more and superabounded, So that, [just] as sin has reigned in death, [so] grace (His unearned and undeserved favor) might reign also through righteousness (right standing with God) which issues in eternal life through Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) our Lord.” Romans‬ ‭5:20-21‬ ‭AMPC‬‬

“All that passing laws against sin did was produce more lawbreakers. But sin didn’t, and doesn’t, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. All sin can do is threaten us with death, and that’s the end of it. Grace, because God is putting everything together again through the Messiah, invites us into life—a life that goes on and on and on, world without end.” Romans‬ ‭5:20-21‬ ‭MSG‬‬

FAITHFULNESS

Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense? I can already hear one of you agreeing by saying, “Sounds good. You take care of the faith department, I’ll handle the works department.” Not so fast. You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove.
James 2:14‭-‬18 MSG
https://bible.com/bible/97/jas.2.14-18.MSG

From The Ministry of the Holy Spirit Devotional
“The Holy Spirit Produces Fruit: PEACE”
Peace (Galatians 5:22-23) is a contented state of heart produced by the Holy Spirit. It is a tranquility of being that is not dependent upon external circumstances. Peace embraces the very goodness of God in every situation and demonstrates a spirit of thankfulness and rest. Contrary to peace are anxiety, fear, envy, anger, and despair.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Galatians 5:22 NLT

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6‭-‬7 NLT

Loved with a Steadfast Love

by Max Lucado

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22–23 RSV

Jeremiah was depressed, as gloomy as a giraffe with a neck ache. Jerusalem was under siege, his nation under duress. His world collapsed like a sand castle in a typhoon. He faulted God for his horrible emotional distress. He also blamed God for his physical ailments. “He [God] has made my flesh and my skin waste away, and broken my bones” (Lam. 3:4 RSV). 

His body ached. His heart was sick. His faith was puny. . . . He realized how fast he was sinking, so he shifted his gaze. “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him’ ” (vv. 21–24 RSV).

“But this I call to mind…” Depressed, Jeremiah altered his thoughts, shifted his attention. He turned his eyes away from his stormy world and looked into the wonder of God. He quickly recited a quintet of promises. (I can envision him tapping these out on the five fingers of his hand.)

1. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. 

2. His mercies never come to an end. 

3. They are new every morning. 

4. Great is thy faithfulness. 

5. The Lord is my portion.

The storm didn’t cease, but his discouragement did.

—Fearless

Thank you precious Savior, that your love is steadfast. Thank you that your mercies are new every morning. Thank you for your great faithfulness, not only to me but to all your people from the first day of creation. When I am tempted to become depressed and distressed, may I choose to gaze on you. May I remember that you are my portion. May I hope in your