Deep & Wide

Deep As It Is WideAmy Grant, Eric Pasley and Sheryl Crow
perform “Deep As it Is Wide”

…the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ
which surpasses knowledge

Ephesians 3:18-19 NASB

“Deep As It Is Wide” written by Eric Paslay.
Performed by Amy Grant, Eric Paslay & Sheryl Crow
How Mercy Looks From Here album by Amy Grant.

By David Cook

When I was young I attended Vacation Bible School and sang a song called “Deep & Wide”.  The song was about a fountain flowing deep and wide.  I really didn’t comprehend what the song was about.  A water fountain?  Hard to say, but hey; I liked the song anyway.

We sang that we could plunge right in and lose your sin in the fountain that is flowing deep and wide.  As I grew older I began to comprehend more of what the song was really about.

In the sanctuary we sang a song in the Hymnal called “There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood.”  The fountain filled with blood flowed from Emmanuel’s veins; and us sinners can plunge beneath that flood to lose all our guilty stains.

God loved us so much that He sent His own Son Jesus to die on a cross for our sins. Jesus allowed His own blood to flow so that we could be redeemed by His blood.  God’s Son paid for the penalty of all of our sins with His own blood.  So now we can be completely forgiven of our sins and began a relationship with God our Father in heaven.

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.   Ephesians 3:14-19 NASB


“If I Stand” performed by Rich Mullins

Once in a while we hear something that deeply challenges the beliefs that we hold tightly about ourselves, others or even beliefs we hold about God.  Sometimes our beliefs are true, sometimes our beliefs are skewed.  Sometimes our beliefs are only slightly skewed other times we may well be holding onto false presuppositions.

Sometimes we need a shift in our thinking based on new light, based on the truth.   Sometimes we need a paradigm shift in our thinking.  Today may well be that day.

This talk by Brennan Manning on God’s unconditional love and mercy may well challenge some of your beliefs about yourself, others and God.  For some of you this talk will only reinforce the truth you already hold onto but it may well help you look at it in a fresh new way.

 “Be who you is,
cause if you ain’t who you is,
you is who you ain’t.”

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I Will Never Leave You

By David Cook

 “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Yeshua the Messiah, the Son of the living God

janis_joplin

JANIS JOPLIN

Have you ever felt useless?  Have you ever wondered why you are here on earth?  Have you ever asked the question; when will I find somebody to love, who will really love me?  When will I ever know someone on a deep level and be deeply known?

Have you ever wondered if the Lord Himself would leave you all alone?

Evidently, Janis Joplin could identify with some of those same questions since she recorded the song “Work Me, Lord” written by Nick Gravenities.  Janis closed out her performance at Woodstock in 1969 with this song.

Are you pushing, trying to move forward in life but you feel like something is moving you in the wrong direction; backwards?  Like something has a hold on you, that you just can’t shake?  Have you thought about what it would be like to be a new and different you, but mistakes from your past haunt you and then just repeat what has been?

larry_norman_only_visiting_this_planet

Larry Norman wrote about this inner struggle in his song;
Walking Backward Down The Stairs“.

Being loved and loving begins by beginning a relationship with God, who is the source of love.  Knowing the true and living God and being fully known by Him is where life begins.  Making peace with God through His Son Yeshua (Jesus) is the place to begin.  Finding forgiveness of all sins and being declared righteous by God is what the free gift of salvation is about!

21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Romans 3:21-26 ESV

Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say,

“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear;
what can man do to me?”

 Hebrews 13:4-6 ESV

 

For by Grace

New Zealand Beach

By David Cook

For by grace you have been saved through faith.
And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
  Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV

So many good things in this life come from human effort, hard work and the payoff from that effort and work.  It could be physical effort, intellectual work, creative effort or networking work and various related rewards.  But what about grace, divine grace that comes out of the blue?  When perhaps you don’t get what’s due; instead you are embraced by an avalanche of grace.  Perhaps you’ve never experienced it. Or perhaps you have, over and over again; like waves rolling in from the deep blue sea of God’s love.

523px-Celsius Library-DK

The Celsius library ruins in the ancient city of Ephesus.

The apostle Paul wrote to believers in Yeshua the Messiah who lived in the ancient city of Ephesus.  The city of Ephesus is near present-day Selçuk, Izmir Province, Turkey.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.  4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.    Ephesians 2:1-10 ESV

Paul wanted believers in Messiah Yeshua to understand their past spiritual condition, dead in our trespasses and sins and the amazing grace of God.  Because of the immeasurable riches of God’s grace, when a person puts his (or her) faith in Yeshua the Messiah; a spiritual new birth transpires and eternal life begins!  After a person has been born again transformation begins to take place in our thoughts and actions!!  We begin to understand our new identity in Messiah!  God has raised us up with Yeshua and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Messiah! So that in the coming ages God might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Messiah Yeshua.

For By Grace You have been Saved through Faith

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.   Ephesians 1:3-10 NIV

Know Jesus Know Love

Yeshua explained God’s love and the gospel; 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.  John 3:16-18 NIV

When you put your faith in Yeshua the Messiah, the Son of the living God you pass from God’s condemnation of your sin into God’s pardon of your sin and eternal life.  You are born again and you receive new life.  You become a child of God!

See what great love the Father has lavished on us,
that we should be called children of God!
And that is what we are!

1 John 3:1 NIV

Hillsong United, Lara Landon and other steller music artists and musicians are on VMN,

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