King Of My Heart

King of My Heart was written by Sarah McMillan and speaks of the place the Lord has in our life, and repeats some wonderful truths about Him.

Let the King of my heart
Be the mountain where I run

God’s Word tells us that He is the King of Kings (Revelation 17.14), a strong tower of refuge for those who run to Him (Genesis 15.1, Psalm 3.3, 5.11, Proverbs 30.5, 2 Thessalonians 3.3, and many more!). 

The fountain I drink from
Oh, He is my song

Jesus Himself said that He is the fountain of living water (John 4.10, 7.37-39).

Let the King of my heart
Be the shadow where I hide

Psalm 91.1 tells us of the shadow where we hide,

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

The ransom for my life
Oh, He is my song

God’s Word tells us that Jesus was not only the ransom for our life, but for the lives of the entire world (1 John 2.2). He died to pay the price for your sin, and through faith in Him you are forgiven (John 3.16).

The chorus then repeats a wonderful truth – that God is good (1 Chronicles 16.34, Psalm 31.19-20, Nahum 1.7, Matthew 19.7).

You are good, good, ohh

Finally, what a wonderful truth this is to take into today,

You’re never gonna let
Never gonna let me down

God will never let us down, He has provided all we need for a life of fulfilment and Godliness (2 Peter 1.3), and He always fulfils His promises to us (2 Peter 3.9, John 17.17). 

Enjoy singing the praises of our great and good God today!

I Have Decided

Full disclosure – this is a sad story…

Last week I was invited to teach at a conference for pastors and Bible college students in South Asia.

Right before my session, the worship leader stood up and told this story…

About 150 years ago, there was a great revival in Wales. As a result of this, many missionaries came to north-east India to spread the Gospel. The region known as Assam was comprised of hundreds of tribes who were primitive and aggressive head-hunters

Into these hostile and aggressive communities, came a group of missionaries from the American Baptist Missions spreading the message of love, peace and hope in Jesus Christ. Naturally, they were not welcomed. One missionary succeeded in converting a man, his wife, and two children. This man’s faith proved contagious and many villagers began to accept Christianity. 

Angry, the village chief summoned all the villagers. He then called the family who had first converted to renounce their faith in public or face execution. Moved by the Holy Spirit, the man instantly composed a song which became famous down the years. He sang:

“I have decided to follow Jesus.

I have decided to follow Jesus.

I have decided to follow Jesus.

No turning back, no turning back.”

Enraged at the refusal of the man, the chief ordered his archers to arrow down the two children. As both boys lay twitching on the floor, the chief asked, “Will you deny your faith? You have lost both your children. You will lose your wife too.”

But the man sang these words in reply:

“Though no one joins me, still I will follow.

Though no one joins me, still I will follow.

Though no one joins me, still I will follow.

No turning back, no turning back.”

The chief was beside himself with fury and ordered his wife to be arrowed down. In a moment she joined her two children in death. Now he asked for the last time, “I will give you one more opportunity to deny your faith and live.”In the face of death the man sang the final memorable lines:

“The cross before me, the world behind me.

The cross before me, the world behind me.

The cross before me, the world behind me.

No turning back, no turning back.”

He was shot dead like the rest of his family. But with their deaths, a miracle took place. The chief who had ordered the killings was moved by the faith of the man. He wondered, “Why should this man, his wife and two children die for a Man who lived in a far-away land on another continent some 2,000 years ago? There must be some remarkable power behind the family’s faith, and I too want to taste that faith.”

In a spontaneous confession of faith, he declared, “I too belong to Jesus Christ!” When the crowd heard this from the mouth of their chief, the whole village accepted Christ as their Lord and Saviour.

The song is based on the last words of Nokseng, a man from Garo tribe of Assam (now Meghalaya and some in Assam), India. It is today the song of the Garo people.

Source: Dr. P.P. Job in ‘Why God Why’


There was a stunned silence in the room.

Everybody knew this song, but very few people know the story to it.

The worship team then led us all in this song, and it was hauntingly beautiful. For us to be in the region where this took place, and having all made that same confession, was so powerful. There was barely a dry eye in the house.

Today there is no need for a challenging personal question, or a point to ponder, or a prayer of confession. Just read that story again, and listen to this song…

Psalm 121 – Moving Forwards – 7

7 The Lord will keep you from all evil;

    he will keep your life.

8 The Lord will keep

    your going out and your coming in

    from this time forth and forevermore.

This is so comprehensive, this is total, isn’t it, this is not half a job, 

7 The Lord will keep you from all evil;

    he will keep your life.

8 The Lord will keep

    your going out and your coming in

    from this time forth and forevermore.


So, where can we look to draw hope and strength for the future as we move forwards?


We look to God, the maker of heaven and earth, a very present help, no sleeping or slumbering, keeping us from all evil. We need to know this, and we need to trust this, completely.

Trust me also when I say that this will totally and completely change how you view your life, everything that happens to you, or involving you, this will bring a total change in worldview.


A number of years ago Captain D. commanded a vessel sailing from Liverpool to New York, and on one voyage he had all his family with him on board the ship.
One night, when all were quietly asleep, there arose a sudden squall of wind, which came sweeping over the waters until it struck the vessel, and instantly threw her on her side, tumbling and crashing everything that was moveable, and awakening the passengers to a consciousness that they were in imminent peril.
Everyone on board was alarmed and uneasy, and some sprang from their berths and began to dress, that they might be ready for the worst.
Captain D. had a little girl on board, just eight years old, who, of course, awoke with the rest.
“What’s the matter?” said the frightened child.
They told her a squall had struck the ship.
“Is father on deck?” said she.
“Yes; father’s on deck.”
The little thing dropped herself on her pillow again without a fear, and in a few moments was sleeping sweetly in spite of winds or waves.

She knew that her Father was always watching, keeping her safe, not slumbering nor sleeping, and that he would keep her life safe.

For us then, we look ahead and move forwards to what is coming in the future, look ahead to what is coming in the new year and push on to it, safe in the knowledge that our help comes from the God who made and sustains heaven and earth, always watching, never sleeping, now and forever more.

I lift up my eyes to the hills.

    From where does my help come?

2 My help comes from the Lord,

    who made heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot be moved;

    he who keeps you will not slumber.

4 Behold, he who keeps Israel

    will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord is your keeper;

    the Lord is your shade on your right hand.

6 The sun shall not strike you by day,

    nor the moon by night.

7 The Lord will keep you from all evil;

    he will keep your life.

8 The Lord will keep

    your going out and your coming in

    from this time forth and forevermore.

Spiritual Depression – Men As Trees, Walking – Mark 8

22 And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. 23 And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?” 24 And he looked up and said, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.” 25 Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.26 And he sent him to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.”

D.Martin Lloyd-Jones has said multiple times so far in our mini-series that ‘it is sad and tragic that a Christian should ever be miserable‘, and he stated that some are miserable because they do not know they are justified before God purely by faith, requiring nothing but belief on their part. Today he offers up problems and remedies for two groups of people.

The first is the person who unhappy with who they are. They are unhappy with the world, themselves, themselves in the world, and often despair over the ‘hand life dealt them‘, as they may say. They have seen the problem with the world, but not the hope of believing in Jesus. They have asked no-one for help, and are not likely to.

Others see the ‘excellencies of the Christian life‘, and wholeheartedly exhort others to live the kind of life that Jesus taught on the Sermon on the Mount. They know they cannot save themselves from the consequences of sin, but have not yet fully understood justification by faith, and this tension is difficult for them. They have asked to be healed of their blindness (vv.22-23), but have not yet said that things are not all that clear right now (v.24).

Lloyd-Jones offers the remedy in simple form;

  1. Learn and understand the principles and doctrines of the matter at hand.
  2. Fully engage the heart and mind to the matter at hand.
  3. Commit your will to the matter at hand.

The teaching of the full counsel of God’s Word, properly understood, taken to heart, and allowed to influence our will, over time, will remedy both the hopeless and the tense.

Seeing ourselves for who we truly are and seeing Jesus for who He truly is, seeing what we can and can’t do and seeing what Jesus has done, and understanding the teaching of Scripture on how we are saved will take away the hopelessness from the hopeless, and will take away the tension from the tense.

If we don’t understand the teachings and the doctrines instantly, that’s ok, but find someone in your life that you trust to walk you through it all, reach out to them, and ask.

We don’t want to see a world full of trees walking around, we want to live our lives with the clarity that comes from being honest with ourselves, with the Lord, with those around us, and asking for more.

Lloyd-Jones writes this,

Do you believe that the Son of God came from heaven and lived and did all He did on earth, that He died on a cross and was buried and rose again, that He ascended into heaven and sent the Holy Spirit, in order to leave us in a state of confusion? It is impossible. He came that we might see clearly, that we might know God…

…If you are unhappy about yourself as a result [of being honest with yourself], come to Him, come to His Word, wait upon Him, plead with Him, hold on to Him, ask Him…and He will do it, and you will no longer be an uncertain Christian seeing and not seeing.

1 Timothy 1.18-20 – Fight the Good Fight

Paul wraps up chapter one much the same as he started it in 1.3urging and charging.

18 This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith, 20 among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.

Where we read charge, this is a military word so Paul is being serious, and this takes us back to v.3, 

As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith.

Paul is also being loving as he writes Timothy, my child, but overall the message is clear – you need to make sure that what is being taught and accepted as right and proper is, in fact, right and proper.

The tools needed, the weapons needed to wage the good warfare are, we read, faith and a good conscience. They’re pretty essential to our Christian life, aren’t they, faith and a good conscienceWe see the consequence of rejecting these fundamentals (v.20), but where does the focus of both lead us?

Faith and a good conscience both lead us to Jesus.

It is through faith in Him that we are saved unto eternal life (Ephesians 2.8-9), and it is through His shed blood for us that our consciences are made good (Hebrews 9.13-14). 


So, how do we fight the good fight? With faith and a good conscience

Where do they lead us? To Jesus. 


 

Never Been A Moment

This week I’ve been thinking about the line between feelings and faith, and how this influences who we are and how we are.

During our Spiritual Depression Miniseries we said that we ought to interpret our lives based on the Bible, not interpret the Bible based on our lives. The problem with the latter is that our lives then become the ultimate test and truth of reality, rather than the Word of God. When this is the case, our lives can change, our feelings can change, and we end up being blown here and there by every wind of change, often multiple times a day. This then has the potential to change who we are, and how we are. 

Think of the person interpreting their life independently, all alone, not in relation to something that never changes.

What happens when they feel abandoned and their circumstances seem to support that feeling?

What happens when they feel lost and their circumstances seem to support that feeling?

What happens when they deal with loss?

What happens when they deal with tragedy?

If we rely on feelings over faith, it’s only a matter of time before we end up in a dark place.

There’s a part of this song that speaks to this so well,

There’s never been a moment
I was not held inside Your arms
There’s never been a day when You were not who You say You are

Despite what is going on around us, God never changes (Malachi 3.6, Hebrews 13.8). Because God never changes, His Word to us is solid, true, and lasting (Luke 21.33). So, when we might feel abandoned, lost, alone, or down, we can turn to the Word of God and know, for sure, that He is always there, always true, and always ready with an all consuming, heart pursuing, grace extending, never ending love.

This should define who we are, and how we are. 

Spiritual Depression – The True Foundation – Romans 3.28

…For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law…

Romans 3.28

The main take-home point last time was that we must turn to the Word of God when we feel down, when we doubt, or when we feel abandoned. If we rely on our own feelings, these change like the weather and will leave us open to every wind of change that blows past us.

Today, the true foundation, what are we built on? 

Lloyd-Jones writes about Christians who are very interested in Christian things, but don’t seem to be like the believers of the Bible; vibrant, excited, joyful, positive, and hopeful. He calls this group ‘miserable Christians‘.

Understanding what Christianity is all about and (for the majority) agreeing with it, the miserable Christian simply assumes that this is enough; to know, to understand, to outwardly agree with the major tenets of the faith. If there are some things you think you have a better handle on than the Bible, then, well, you can just keep quiet about that because you’re doing your own thing anyway…

What is missing for the miserable Christian is an insight into self in light of a relationship with Jesus. 

When we see who He truly is, how He truly is, where He truly is, we cannot help but see ourselves in the cold light of day…and it’s not pretty is it. The miserable Christian doesn’t really see the need for having a Saviour because they think they are not that bad, but, Christianity makes sense to them so they go along with it. 

The believer who has seen himself or herself for who they truly are, a sinner who has fallen short of the glory of God, sees the need for a Saviour.

The believer who knows the truth about themselves is aware of their sinfulness and is convicted of their sinfulness. 

The miserable Christian has heard Christ preached and appreciated what was on offer.

The believer has heard Christ preached and has been brought to a point of knowing that this is an absolute necessity for them in their life. 

The believer then sees verses like Romans 3.28 wherein we are reminded that we are seen as right and just and holy by God purely through faith in Jesus and by nothing we have done, are doing, or can ever do. The believer who knows their own sinfulness then responds to this with vibrancy in their life, with excitement, with joy, with positivity, and with a sure and steadfast hope for the future.

Lloyd-Jones writes,

Would you like to be rid of this spiritual depression? The first thing you have to do is say farewell now once and for ever to your past. Realise that it has been covered and blotted out in Christ. Never look back at your sins again.

Say “It is finished, it is covered by the Blood of Christ”.

It is only then that true happiness and joy are possible for you.

Take that first step and you will find that immediately you will begin to experience joy and a release that you have never known in your life before.

The true foundation for the life that we all so deeply desire is faith in something sure, steadfast, supreme, and sufficient. 

The true foundation is faith in Jesus.