Thoughts from my tent..

I just got back from another week of camping. These are thoughts I wrote while I was there…

So I’m back in a tent for another week of worshipping Jesus with many others and sharing about what He is doing across the seas in Asia. And, again, it has made me think.

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There is something so, so good in lifting up our eyes and remembering the glory of the One Who reigns above all: about realising that it’s really all about Him. True, lasting joy is found not in the blessings of this world, but in revelling in Who He is and what it means to know Him. And it’s so good to lift up our eyes and know that God reigns. Beyond the suffering, beyond the trials, beyond the tears, the Lord is on the throne, and He is worth it all. There is no joy like worshipping Him.

There is something so precious about worshipping Him together: about forgetting for a few moments the tough, narrow road to Glory and remembering why it’s worth it to follow Him: remembering where we’re headed: remembering Who He is.

Because there really is a living, loving God, and He really is on the throne. He remains supreme and He is stunningly, astoundingly good. At the cross, He made an intimate, tender, crazily beautiful way for us to know Him as Father. And, for those who trust in Christ and follow Him, the ultimate reality is stunning and astounding and unbelievably good: the satisfaction of the deepest, yearning longings of our hearts: the marriage of Christ and His people for eternity.

This is a broken world. It’s not how it was meant to be, and sometimes it’s very, very tough. But there is a plan… An ultimate, eternal plan of everlasting, glorious Hope with God forever…With the One Who reigns and rules and loves… and Who saves all who come to Him through Christ.

We stood last night, rejoicing in a big tent, singing together in different languages to celebrate our unity across the nations in Christ. We sang about our eternal Hope. We sang it passionately, full of joy, anticipating our eternal future with Him.

One day, not too far away, God’s people be with Him forever, where there are no tears or pain, and He will wipe our tears away… And we will realise more than ever that all our hearts have ever really longed for is Him.

‘And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”’ Revelation 21:3-4

He is the ultimate Reality. He is on the throne. And He is the One Who really satisfies, and is worth it all.

‘You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.’ Psalm 16:11

It’s so good to lift up our eyes and worship and celebrate in revel in that.

If you know Jesus, the Reality is so, so, wonderfully, freeingly, eternally GOOD!!

(And if you don’t know Jesus yet as your Saviour and Lord, you really, really need to get to know Him before you meet Him as your Judge. He is waiting for you with open arms).

 

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Do you ever wonder where the time has gone?

This life is so, so short. Why do I forget that?

Any moment now, I could be in eternity.

And, yes, my future is secure. Yes, trusting in Jesus, my sins are forgiven. Yes, in Christ, I have eternal hope (and, if you don’t, believe me, you need it- the stakes are too high to mess around! Judgement is coming, anytime, and there’s only one way to be safe, and it’s by turning from rebellion and putting all your trust in what Jesus did for you on the cross).

No, my salvation is not dependent on what I do. Yes, I have sure and certain eternal hope because my trust is in Jesus. But… this life is so, so short, and I don’t want to waste it! So soon, I will stand before my King in eternity.

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We live in a strange, strange world. Much of what we spend our time on is empty: meaningless in the light of what really counts… while over 2 billion still wait to hear His Name even once in their lifetime. At the end of the day, what really matters is Christ: knowing Him, trusting in Him, living every part of life as worship to Him… and helping others to know Him, too.

Time is a vapour. It passes so fast! It feels like only a few moments ago that I was still a teenager. Now my thirtieth birthday looms right around the corner. And I’m more and more conscious that I cannot waste this brief span of life that I have been given.

I wrote this poem a few years ago. It feels like moments ago, but actually it was years. I feel like I could step back to those days… only I can’t. They are gone. And the meaning is more profound with every passing day. Oh, Lord, let us not waste this one precious life You have given!

“Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14 (KJV)

In This Brief Hour

In this brief hour before eternity,

Let me strain every nerve,

For time is fast passing and soon will be over;

The moments are passing on earth.

 

In this quick half-life of heart-lusts and lies,

Oh, let me have only one goal:

To know and pursue the great God of my life

To live with the Lord as my All.

 

In the short sprint of this passing day,

Let me not be weighed down with stuff,

But walk in the weighty and run in the lasting,

And live for the Prize of my Love.

 

In this breath fleeting, with lies so seductive,

So common, may I walk in grace;

Be holding life lightly, pursuing the joy

Of His gaze when I look on His face.

 

In this quick moment, when souls are still waiting,

May I never fear sacrifice,

But love with a passion that lays down my lifeblood

To bring the lost millions to Christ.

 

In this brief illusion when all is deceptive

And fleeting, may I walk by faith,

And live in the shade of the Shadow Almighty

And walk in the power of grace.

 

In this fast passage, when idols are calling,

May I only seek for my Love;

To gaze ever upwards and live in His presence

And live for my Treasure above.

 

And when, in the morning, I meet my Beloved,

May I never wish I’d done more

But live for the moment when, oh! His voice welcome!

‘Well done, faithful servant. Well done’.

 

Scripture quotations from The Authorized (King James) Version. Rights in the Authorized Version in the United Kingdom are vested in the Crown. Reproduced by permission of the Crown’s patentee, Cambridge University Press

It’s all about Him

It’s all about Him. It’s all about knowing Him; about bringing Him glory. In our crazy, craving, restless world, how quickly we look to other things: how quickly we search in other places. But it’s all about Him. It’s all about Christ.

Everything was “created by him, and for him” (from Col 1:16c, KJV).

He is the centre of the universe.

And He is the only way to find true peace…to find joy!

Paul put it so well: everything else is worthless compared to knowing Him.

“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ” Phil 4:8 (KJV).

And he was right.

“O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is” Ps 63:1 (KJV).

He is the One Who satisfies. And, really, it’s all about Him.

Oh, Lord, give us Yourself!

 

Scripture quotations from The Authorized (King James) Version. Rights in the Authorized Version in the United Kingdom are vested in the Crown. Reproduced by permission of the Crown’s patentee, Cambridge University Press.