Joni sings "My Faith Looks Up To Thee" and encourages listeners to really examine God's Word to grow in 2009.
Welcome to Joni and Friends and take a minute to sing this beautiful old hymn with me, would you? It's called "My Faith Looks Up To Thee".
My faith looks up to Thee,
Thou Lamb of Calvary, Savior divine!
Now hear me while I pray, take all my guilt away,
O let me from this day be wholly Thine!
Do you sing that hymn often in your church? Maybe you might, although it's not as modern as some of the things they're singing these days. And I wish there were time to sing every single verse of this old hymn - you've just got to open a hymnal and read the rest of the verses for comfort and encouragement. But this particular verse - the first verse - for me is the most meaningful, especially with those five little words in the beginning: My faith looks up to Thee.
And, oh, what challenging days these are as we head deeper into 2009; here we are almost in February and God bids our faith to look up, look up today. Not down, but up. Look up for your redemption draweth nigh. These are also days to look long - look long and hard into the Word of God. Don't try to squeeze God's Word into the mold of the way you see things; instead, allow the Word to be the mold that shapes you.
Next, look inside. Sometimes God's Word brings to light, or brings to the surface certain sins - sins of worry, or anxiety, or fear. Come on, let's not have old, sinful habits or patterns or ways of thinking hijack this New Year, right. Look inside your heart to see if the Holy Spirit is telling you to change something or lay something at the foot of the cross. The Spirit knows what's inside - He lives inside your heart right next to all that stuff that needs to be confessed.
Next, look hard into God's Word. Because some things in the Bible might have a deeper meaning than what appears on the page. Look at the context, examine the background- don't rush as you read. Ok, we want to grow this year, it can't mean skating on the surface of the Bible. We've got look up, look long, look inside, look hard; and, finally, look deep. This year God may be calling you to spend time in His Word beyond what you had planned... look deep into the Bible and grow in 2009.
And if you're gonna do that, may I recommend you read my little booklet I put together called "God's Word, My Home"? Let God's Word have a dwelling place in your heart in 2009 as you look up to Jesus, look long at His goodness, look inside your heart, look hard for the true meaning, and then look deep... be serious about your study of God's Word this year, friend. And I want to help you do just that with "God's Word, My Home" which I will send to you today if you simply click on joniandfriendsradio.org and ask for your free copy. And while you're on our website, come on, browse around and see all the good things we've got going; see how God's Word is at work here at "Joni and Friends." Because you're family -- no more than that, this is Joni and Friends, that means you're my friend. And I want you to join me in making God's Word your home in this new year. So, visit me right now, would you? Just click on joniandfriendsradio.org.
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