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"Let us reason together…" Isaiah 1:18

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Fully Engaged in Pursuit of God

Earnestly Pursuing God

Pursuit of a preferred future is part of health and longevity.

Consider the following article.

What will make you happy? What will make you feel fulfilled? What will help you live a longer, healthier life?

Good questions. 

Enter Lewis Terman with an answer.

Terman, a Stanford University psychologist, was a pioneer in I.Q. testing; his revisions of the Stanford-Binet test helped it become a widespread tool for measuring general intelligence.

Then in 1921 he identified 1,500 children who had scored 135 or higher on the test and began one of the longest longitudinal studies ever conducted. (The New York Times calls Terman and his study of “Termites,” as the kids called themselves, the grandfather of all lifespan research.) 

Terman’s study was guaranteed to outlive him, but that was the point: Analyzing large groups of people over many decades allows researchers to uncover connections between cause and effect that short-term studies naturally miss. (It’s really hard to know if what I did in my 20s actually made me happy in my 70s unless you catch me at both stages of life.)

So who tended to live the longest, most fulfilling lives? The people who actively pursued, and were highly engaged, in pursuing their goals.

In fact, many of those who worked the hardest turned out to live the longest.

According to the Longevity Project, actually achieving your lifelong dreams doesn’t matter. Pursuing those dreams is what counts:

We did not find that precisely living out your dreams matters much for your health. It was not the happiest or the most relaxed older participants who lived the longest. It was those who were most engaged in pursuing their goals.

Those who were the most successful were the ones least likely to die at any given age. In fact, those men who were carefree, undependable, and unambitious in childhood and very unsuccessful in their careers had a whopping increase in their mortality risk.

Of course “success” means — and definitely should mean — different things to different people.  That’s why determining what success means to you, and then actively working to achieve your definition of success, is the key. Living a laid-back, care-free, stress-free life may sound great — but, as the study shows, “happy-go-lucky” people don’t thrive.

Persistent, conscientious people thrive. 

Of course, other things matter as well. Other research shows good relationships make you happier and healthier. Terman’s study shows that kids who have greater willpower and perseverance tend to be more successful as adults, regardless of relative I.Q. 

It’s not easy to change the quality of your relationships overnight, though. Nor is it easy to develop greater willpower and determination (although there are certainly ways you can increase your ability to resist temptation, stay focused and determined, and remain resolute in pursuit of your goals.)

But what you can do, starting today, is actively work toward achieving one of your goals. Working toward a goal will make you happier. Working hard to achieve a goal will help you live longer. 

Actively pursuing a goal, even if you never quite achieve it, will make your life more fulfilling, both now and when you eventually look back on a life well-lived.

Because there’s only one longitudinal study that truly matters.

Yours.

Make sure you’re delighted with the results of that study.

PUBLISHED ON: JUN 11, 2018

https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/this-95-year-stanford-study-reveals-1-secret-to-living-a-longer-more-fulfilling-life.html

Psalm 63 is a perfect guide for life-long pursuit of God

 

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
when I remember you upon my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.

 

 

1.     Make God your God.

2.     Pursue God earnestly.

A.    Who? I.

·      My soul

·      My flesh

·      My eyes (looked upon you)

·      My lips

·      My hands

·      My memory

B.    How?

·      Seek

·      Thirst

·      Faints

·      Behold

·      Praise

·      Bless

·      Mediate

·      Sing

C.     Where?

·      In a dry and weary land

·      In the sanctuary

·      At table

·      In bed

·      In the shadow of your wings

D.    Why?

·      Steadfast love is better than life

·      My soul will be satisfied

·      You have been my help

3.     My soul chases and clings to your as your right hand upholds me.

Today is the best day to start your life-long pursuit of God with the power of full engagement.

Are you a former God chaser who has succumbed to the motionlessness of;

  • Disappointment with God or the Church or God’s children?
  • Being misunderstood?
  • Distractions of the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, the pride of life?
  • Vision and dream shrinkage?

Today, reignite your engines and EARNESTLY PURSUE GOD!

Posted on 17th June 2018 in Father's Day, Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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Signs and Wonders in the book of Acts with a review of Romans 15:17-21

Signs and Wonders in the Acts of the Apostles

Notice the importance of signs and wonders in Paul’s understanding of ministry.  Romans 15:17-21

17 In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God. 18 For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, 19 by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ; 20 and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, 21 but as it is written,

“Those who have never been told of him will see,
and those who have never heard will understand.”

Let’s take a look at this passage in the original language.

We pick up our tour of Signs and Wonders in the Acts of the Apostles in chapter 10.

The Holy Spirit Poured upon Gentiles            Acts 10:44-48

Prophecy of Coming Famine and Response   Acts 11:27-30

Angel’s Free Peter from Prison                       Acts 12:6-12

Herod Judged                                                  Acts 12:22-23

The Holy Spirit guides audibly                        Acts 13:1-3

Paul rebukes the Magician                             Acts 13:8-12

Unnamed Signs and Wonders                        Acts 14:3

Paul heals a lame man                                    Acts 14:8-10

Paul left for dead, lives                                   Acts 14:19-20

 

Posted on 13th June 2018 in Awaken the Wonder  •  Comments are off for this post
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The Beauty of Becoming: Blessed are those who mourn

Steven Pavek, today’s teaching pastor, invites us into the becomingness of mourning.

The Beauty of Becoming

Do we understand the beauty of mourning?

 

  • “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted” Mt 5:4

In order to adopt the attributes of this beatitude I’m challenging us to ask 3 questions.

A. Do we understand why God mourns over our sin?

  • Not Because…he is a cosmic kill joy
  • Not because he is just angry all the time

B. God’s mourning over our sin is derived from His deep love  for us!

  • Sin separates us from his good, pleasing and perfect will
    • Luke 19
    • John 11:35
    • The fact that we have a God that mourns is a terrific thing
    • God’s mourning is intense because the solution is so simple and available.

C. Are we mourning over ALL of OUR sin?

  • We become more like Jesus when our hearts are sensitized to the sin in our lives
  • Eph 4:18-19
  • Are our hearts in a position to mourn over sin that we haven’t been convicted of yet?

D. Are we mourning for those who don’t know that comfort is available?

  • Are we patient with those who are not mourning?
  • Romans 10:14
  • When we understand our brokenness it becomes easier to understand someone else’s
  • Does it bother us that people don’t know Jesus?
    1. Romans 9:1-3
    2. What if we asked God to show us how he feels about the people around us?
Posted on 9th June 2018 in Beauty, Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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The Beauty of Becoming: Romans 12:1, 2

My concept of beauty shapes my ideals.

My ideals contour my choices.

My choices mold my being.

 

 

Beauty and becoming influence each other in many ways.

Consider Romans 12:1-2 from the perspective of beauty and becoming.

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. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1, 2

  1. Christians highly value the human body.
  2. Who the Christian becomes in the human body is “by the mercies of God.”
  3. This becoming is the Christian’s “spiritual worship.”
  4. The “world” and the Christian have different ideals of beauty and becoming.
  5. The Christian resists being “conformed to this world.”
  6. The Christian renews their mind in order to be conformed to God’s ideals of beauty and becoming.
  7. In adopting God’s ideals as their own, the Christian is transformed.
  8. The Christian’s longing is for God’s will (what is good, acceptable, and perfect) and therefore the Christian tests (seeks to prove genuine) themselves to know that who they are becoming in the human body is pleasing to God.

Your MCA Hero Collage is designed to help you identify and appreciate ‘beatitudinal’ beauty and becoming in people you admire.

Since my concept of beauty shapes my ideals and my ideals contour my choices and my choices mold my being, how tremendous is it for me to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord?  Psalm 27:4

One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple.

 

Posted on 2nd June 2018 in Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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Awaken the Wonder: Signs and Wonders

Awaken the Wonder:  wonders above and signs on the earth below

Luke stylistically adjusts Joel’s wording as a framework for his outline of Acts.

We previously noticed the editorial adjustments in Acts 2:17.

Joel 2:30, 31                                                                Acts 2:19, 20

I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below,
Blood and fire and columns of smoke. Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;
The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood,
Before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. Before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day

With this editorial adjustment Luke informs us of Joel’s Old Testament knowledge and the influence the scriptures had upon his prophecy.

There are two key Old Testament narratives including the wonders and signs terminology and experience.

  1. God delivering the nation Israel from Pharaoh and Egypt.
    1. Exodus 7:3
    2. Deuteronomy 4:34
    3. Deuteronomy 6:22
    4. Deuteronomy 7:19
    5. Deuteronomy 26:8
    6. Deuteronomy 29:3
    7. Deuteronomy 34:11
    8. Nehemiah 9:10
    9. Psalm 135:9
    10. Jeremiah 32:20
    11. Jeremiah 32:21
  2. God delivering Daniel from the world’s kingdoms.
    1. Daniel 4:2
    2. Daniel 4:3
    3. Daniel 6:27

Luke reveals what God had done on behalf of the nation Israel and the prophet Daniel He does for His New Testament prophetic community.

Acts is written around key visions and strategic wonders and signs.

Notice immediately after quoting Joel, Luke stresses wonders and signs in and through Jesus as “attestation (to affirm to be true and genuine).”

“Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—” Acts 2:22

Nine of sixteen uses of “signs and wonders” are in Acts.  (Collocation – the joining of linguistic elements).

  1. Acts 2:43
  2. Acts 4:30
  3. Acts 5:12
  4. Acts 6:8
  5. Acts 7:36
  6. Acts 14:3
  7. Acts 15:12

Paul’s ministry as stated in Romans 15:18-21 beckons us to pursue similar ministry.

18 For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed19 by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ20 and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, 21 but as it is written,

“Those who have never been told of him will see,
and those who have never heard will understand.”

Posted on 30th May 2018 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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Resources for The Beauty of Becoming

The MCA Summer 2018 ministry season features “The Beauty of Becoming.”  To assist in your continued participation in the Spirit’s work, we have created the following resources.

  1. “The Beauty of Becoming” reading list.  https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/231361-kent?shelf=the-beauty-of-becoming-beatitudes
  2. The Beauty of Becoming Playlist.  https://itunes.apple.com/us/playlist/beatitudes-study/pl.u-Z6zGT0GdK7g
  3. I am creating “The Beauty of Becoming” Youtube Channel with short conversations to help in becoming who God invites us to be.

 

Posted on 27th May 2018 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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The Beauty of Becoming: The Beatitudes

Both of these sentences are true for those who have placed total trust in Jesus for salvation.

  1. I am
  2. I am becoming

Becoming, in the life of Jesus.

  1. Jesus was obedient, is obedient, and will always be obedient, yet in Philippians 2:8, “…he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death…”
  2. Jesus was the word, is the word, and will always be the word, yet in John 1:14, “The word became flesh…”

There is beauty in becoming.

The beatitudes of Jesus are His prophetic autobiography.

I am created in the image of God.  I am becoming the image of Jesus as revealed in the beatitudes.

In Jesus I have the Perfect Image of God pleasing becoming.

  • I know exactly what I am to become
  • I know exactly who I am to become
  • I know exactly how I am to become
  • I know exactly when I am to become
  • I know exactly where I am to become
  • I know exactly why I am to become

There is beauty in becoming.

God communicates with both words and images.  God’s verbal and visual revelations are numerous in the Bible.  Notice the verbal and visual in 1 Chronicles 29:29,

Now the acts of King David, from first to last, are written in the Chronicles of Samuel the seer, and in the Chronicles of Nathan the prophet, and in the Chronicles of Gad the seer,

Your ministry team has prepared a resource to assist you in releasing the verbal and visual in your Christian becoming.

Consider creating your own Hero Collage and Next Step Collage.

Listen – My Story

  • Name one of your heroes or heroines. Why are they meaningful to you?
  • What is one of the most beautiful sights you have seen? Did God speak to you through the beauty of that sight?

Learn – Digging Deeper

Read Matthew 5:1-12. Pastor Kent said, “The beatitudes are the prophetic autobiography of Jesus.  Please name a time in the life Jesus when he lived out each prophetic beatitude.

  • Blessed are the poor in spirit
  • Blessed are those who mourn
  • Blessed are the meek
  • Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
  • Blessed are the merciful
  • Blessed are the pure
  • Blessed are the peacemakers
  • Blessed are the persecuted

Please spend the rest of your available time creating your Hero Collage and Next Step Collage

Life – Taking it Home

  1. What is the Holy Spirit saying to you through this lesson?
  2. Where will you hang your Hero Collage?
  3. How can your Life Group help you apply this weeks’ teaching?

Lift – Prayer

  • Pray for God’s grace to continue becoming.
  • Pray for the upcoming Vacation Bible School and ask God to direct you to your place of involvement
  • Pray for your friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors to whom you are presenting the Gospel

 

Posted on 26th May 2018 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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Awaken the Wonder: Worship

Worship is giving a type of honor and respect reserved only for God.

“But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:23, 24

Let’s consider a homespun opposite.

“false worshipers worship forms and formalities in externals and denials, for the Father avoids such people claiming to worship him.”

True worship is always about Father God.

  • Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection provide to me the opportunity of adoption into God’s family. John 1:12
  • The Holy Spirit’s ministry of adoption makes me a child of God and brother of Jesus. Romans 8:15

True worship is always spirit to Spirit.

True worship is always about what is true of the Father and what is true of me.

What is true of Father God? In part, He is much more interested in:

  • the heart than the habit
  • the motives more than the manifestations
  • purity more than the place and the performance
  • the relationship more than the ritual

What is true of me?  Psalm 51:6

  • I want my kingdom and rule more than His kingdom and rule
  • My will more than His will
  • Self-sufficiency more than total dependence upon God
  • The activity of the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life reveal my belief that God is inadequate, and I must provide for myself.

Worship is the truthful response of the person poor in spirit to the Almighty God.

The Truth about God                                                  The Truth about Me

Creator Created
Self-Existent I exist only as sustained by God
Humble Proud
Aligns with His glory Fall short of His glory
Completely moral Total depravity
Full of grace, mercy, slow to anger I need grace and mercy and I anger quickly
He is love I struggle to love

I stand on holy ground when what is true about me intersects what is true about God.

  1. God draws near when I truthfully move toward Him. James 4:8, Psalm 65:4
  2. Truthful worship experiences the presence of God. Psalm 63:1-4
  3. The truthful worshiper experiences the interventions of God in the challenges of life. Acts 16:25, 26

MCA LIFE GROUP HOME WORK

Listen – My Story

  • What do you feel when someone approaches you without truthfulness?
  • Do you ever approach yourself without truthfulness (lie to yourself)?

Learn – Digging Deeper

  1. Read Isaiah 58:1-12
    1. Do you see a parallel between Jesus teaching true worship in John 4 and fasting in this passage?
    2. What verses stand out to you regarding “heart more than habit?”
  1. Why is it SUPER difficult for people to approach God honestly?
    1. Proverbs 16:18
    2. n what ways do you think the Psalmist “gazed upon the beauty of the Lord?”
    3. Do
  1. Read Genesis 3:8, 9.
    1. Are people still doing this today?
    2. Is God still asking this today?

Life – Taking it Home

  1. What is the Holy Spirit saying to you through this lesson?
  2. Can you name a particular area of your life in which God is urging you to be truthful?
  3. How can your Life Group help you apply this weeks’ teaching?

Lift – Prayer

  • Pray for God’s grace to approach Him with truthfulness
  • Pray for the continued discipleship of those who have recently trusted in Christ for salvation.
  • Pray for grace to invite your friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors to Mother’s Day services.
Posted on 5th May 2018 in Weekend Talks, Worship and the Arts  •  Comments are off for this post
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Start Your Impossible

Graduation Sunday:  Start Your Impossible

You will eventually find yourself in front of callings and challenges bigger than you are.  Without God’s help, these callings and challenges are impossible.

  • Like Moses you will face a Red Sea.
  • Like Esther you will face a Haman.
  • Like David you will face a Goliath.
  • Like Jesus you will face a cross.

 

Life’s callings and challenges become part of your identity.  You become known as the person who conguered your own personal Red Sea, Haman, Goliath, and cross.

 

“Phiona Mutesi is the ultimate underdog. To be African is to be an underdog in the world. To be Ugandan is to be an underdog in Africa. To be from Katwe is to be an underdog in Uganda. To be a girl is to be an underdog in Katwe.”  Tim Crothers, The Queen of Katwe: A Story of Life, Chess, and One Extraordinary Girl’s Dream of Becoming a Grandmaster.

 

There are many options one can chose when faced with starting their impossible:

 

  • Declare a lesser calling and challenge.
  • Live in denial of the dream.
  • Settle for the easier
  • Make excuses and rationalizations.

 

Successfully starting your impossible

 

  1. Receive and believe the promises of God. Genesis 15:6
  2. Live in the presence of God. Exodus 33:15, 16
  3. Release the power of God. Acts 3:1-6
  4. Embrace the provision of God. Philippians 4:19
  5. Endure. Matthew 24:13, James 1:12

 

Posted on 28th April 2018 in Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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The Consecration and Dedication of Hyatt Moore’s “The Beatitudes of Jesus.”

In Consecration and Dedication

“The Beatitudes”

Hyatt Moore, Artist

Call to Worship         Exodus 28:2, 40; Psalm 27:4

And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty.

For Aaron’s sons you shall make coats and sashes and caps. You shall make them for glory and beauty.

One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.

Invocation

Congregational worship in song

Have you ever seen the wonder
In the glimmer of first sight
As the eyes begin to open
And the blindness meets the light
If you have so say

I see the world in light
I see the world in wonder
I see the world in life
Bursting in living colour
I see the world your way
And I’m walking in the light

Have you ever seen the wonder
In the air of second life
Having come out of the waters
With the old one left behind
If you have so say

I see the world in light
I see the world in wonder
I see the world in life
Bursting in living colour
I see the world Your way
And I’m walking in the light

I see the world in grace
I see the world in gospel
I see the world Your way
And I’m walking in the light
I’m walking in the wonder
You’re the wonder in the wild
Turning wilderness to wonder

Congregational worship in tithes and offerings

Congregational worship in sharing God’s peace

Congregational worship in song

For the beauty of the earth,

For the beauty of the skies,

For the Love which from our birth

Over and around us lies:

Christ, our God, to Thee we raise

This our Sacrifice of Praise.

 

For the beauty of each hour

Of the day and of the night,

Hill and vale, and tree and flower,

Sun and moon and stars of light:

Christ, our God, to Thee we raise

This our Sacrifice of Praise.

 

For the joy of ear and eye,

For the heart and brain’s delight,

For the mystic harmony

Linking sense to sound and sight:

Christ, our God, to Thee we raise

This our Sacrifice of Praise.

 

For Thy Bride that evermore

Lifteth holy hands above,

Offering up on every shore

This Pure Sacrifice of Love:

Christ, our God, to Thee we raise

This our Sacrifice of Praise.

Introduction of artists Hyatt and Anne moore

Variations of Hymnological themes, The daughters Kress

The unveiling, hyatt moore

Consecration and dedication

Presentation of The Beatitudes

In the nine exquisite pieces of “The Beatitudes” Hyatt Moore experienced the anointed gifting of the Holy Spirit as seen in Exodus 35:30,

Then Moses said to the Israelites, “See, the Lord has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 31 and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— 32 to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, 33 to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic crafts.

In this work people of every tribe, kindred, and tongue are invited into the full spectrum of the Jesus life.  Experiencing “The Beatitudes” is a call to embrace the height, depth, and breadth of the invisible qualities of Christian interiority for in them the invisible becomes visible.

We present these nine artistic renderings of The Beatitudes to be consecrated and dedicated to the praise, honor, and worship of almighty God and for service in the preparation of God’s people in discipleship.

Act of consecration and dedication

Therefore, we the members of this congregation, with glad and grateful hearts, consecrate and dedicate “The Beatitudes” to the glory and in the name of the holy and triune God.

In grateful remembrance of all who have loved and served this church in the past and for those who will serve it in the future,

With sincere gratitude, we consecrate and dedicate “The Beatitudes,”

In reverent appreciation and respect for the Master Artist who brings order out of chaos, gives beauty and creativity to His people, and who draws all people to Himself,

We consecrate and dedicate Hyatt’s artistic rendering of “Jesus’ Beatitudes,”

Trusting God that each person who experiences the beauty in these pieces will fully develop the complete spectrum of the Jesus life.

We now consecrate and dedicate “The Beatitudes” as sacred worship of God and spiritual ministry to all people.  In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, AMEN.

Congregational worship in song

Your love oh God, displayed for us
As crimson covered over sinless hands
Your majesty, for all to see
In raging storms and quiet cloudless days

Beautiful Jesus, beautiful Savior
Nothing is greater, brilliant Creator
Friend of mine

You’re powerful, above this world
The universe is under your command
Your glory shines a holy light
That leads our hearts to praise
Your holy name is on our lips

Beautiful Jesus, beautiful Savior
Nothing is greater, brilliant Creator
Friend of mine

My lips will sing, my heart will bring
Praise to you, the holy king
My lips will sing, my heart will bring
Praise to you, the holy king

Beautiful Jesus, beautiful Savior
Nothing is greater, brilliant Creator
Friend of mine

Perfect in power, matchless in glory
Nothing is greater, brilliant Creator
Friend of mine

Benediction

Posted on 14th April 2018 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post