May 10 – Devotional
This morning we are going to start with a song. It is upbeat, catchy and fun, but most importantly it is a reminder of the daily joy of our salvation.
Let’s sing along with this YouTube video of Old Church Choir (sorry for any pop-up ads)
The artist behind this song is a musician by the name of Zach Williams. In an interview that he gave, he shared the following in explanation of the where the idea for this song came from.
“I had this idea for this song from experiences I had growing up and going to small churches in the country and following gospel quartets with my grandparents. Memories of that are how God got my attention and got me interested in music at an early age and those experiences and encounters I had with Him. I didn’t really know how to react or respond to that as I didn’t play music at the time. I’ve also loved music and my dad is a musician, and I feel like at an early age God put a song on my heart. For years of my life I ran from that and didn’t pursue God at all but He was constantly pursuing me and writing His story for my life that He wanted me to eventually tell.
Through that process God allowed me to live through a lot of things in my life that weren’t good but gave me this platform to share about it. The idea for this song is about an old church choir in my soul, and how I couldn’t contain anymore all the things that God has done in my life. I wanted to tell somebody about it and no matter what anybody said or did, nobody could take that away. That’s the idea for this song and I wanted it to have a church gospel choir sound to it and that’s how we wrote the song. We need to rejoice at all times.”
While he wrote the song using the style of music that was prevalent in his life as God pursued him, Williams is clear that the joy he is expressing is in response to the salvation that God gifted to him.
- Who or what did God use in your life to bring his salvation joy to you?
- Maybe you notice God using something in his pursuit of relationship with you, but haven’t responded. What is holding you back from receiving his free gift of forgiveness and eternal life through Jesus?
- What makes you confident in your salvation?
While there are many different ways that we can respond to that last question and they should point back to Jesus, I want to suggest that grace is what should give us confidence in our salvation.
Romans 3:20-24 says,
Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
It is God’s grace that freely justified me. I don’t need to worry about losing it because I never earned it. I responded to the sacrifice of Jesus and his inheritance became mine.
But, grace isn’t just about salvation to come but a realized salvation in the present…
II Corinthians 12:8-9 says,
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
We often associate this passage with Paul having an illness that God would not heal, but really it can be applied to any area of weakness in our lives. God’s grace is sufficient in our weakness, because as we surrender those weaknesses to him, his grace brings God’s power into our lives to overcome.
Let’s respond to this grace by singing along with this YouTube video of Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone).
May 10 Message – Pastor Dave
Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— 2 and all the brothers and sisters with me,
To the churches in Galatia:
3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!
“Himself” by A.B. Simpson
Once it was the blessing, Now it is the Lord;
Once it was the feeling, Now it is His Word.
Once His gifts I wanted, Now the Giver own;
Once I sought for healing, Now Himself alone.
Once ’twas painful trying, Now ’tis perfect trust;
Once a half salvation, Now the uttermost.
Once ’twas ceaseless holding, Now He holds me fast;
Once ’twas constant drifting, Now my anchor’s cast.
Once ’twas busy planning, Now ’tis trustful prayer;
Once ’twas anxious caring, Now He has the care.
Once ’twas what I wanted, Now what Jesus says;
Once ’twas constant asking, Now ’tis ceaseless praise.
Once it was my working, His it hence shall be;
Once I tried to use Him, Now He uses me.
Once the power I wanted, Now the Mighty One;
Once for self I labored, Now for Him alone.
Once I hoped in Jesus, Now I know He’s mine;
Once my lamps were dying, Now they brightly shine.
Once for death I waited, Now His coming hail;
And my hopes are anchored, Safe within the vail.
I touched on the idea of fear in the message and I want to end with a thought about fear. Fear is a powerful tool of the enemy because it steals our freedom, it steals our hope, it enslaves us to think that we have no power even though we are in Christ. This is a spirit of fear speaking in our ear, not God.
II Timothy 1:7 says, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”
As Paul challenges the Galatian churches to remember the gospel of grace that they have received in Jesus it is a reminder that he is sufficient. There is nothing more for us to do to earn his approval.
There is another fear that the scriptures speak of and it is the fear of the Lord
Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”This fear is not one that paralyzes us and makes us timid, rather it is a reverent fear that fills us with awe and compels us to respond to the grace God has shown us in Jesus. The fear of the Lord actually frees us from the bondage of our old ways as Christ lives in us.
Take a moment to pray about any fear that has you questioning your acceptance and standing before God. Ask God to replace it with the fear of the Lord that you would know his truths and ways and rest securely in him.
Let’s sing one last song
Before we close, I just want to share a few announcements:
Feel free to share this and other email communications with others. Some from the church are not on the email list and we have had a few that have not received it even though they are on the list. Please help us make sure that people are keeping connected.
Next Week Communion – Be sure to have something to participate with us.
I encourage you to do two things with your giving that may help a little.
- Do your giving each week as part of this devotional/worship time. I know it is not exactly the same thing, but it does help us view our giving as worship rather than simply a financial transaction
- Take time to pray as you give. Thank God for what he has given to you, acknowledge your trust in him for tomorrow, and tell him why you give to him and the work of his church.
- Best – E-Transfer (no fees)
- firstname.lastname@example.org is the email address you will need to make an e-transfer
- Please include your first and last name in the memo box
- If you know your envelope number please include it in the memo box (*Do not include the # sign as it will not accept that)
- Still good, but with fees – Canada Helps
- https://bayridgealliance.ca/give-with-canada-helps/ and click on the donate button to give
Thank you for honouring God by supporting the Church.
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’