October 31, 2017 “Responsibilities”


The Big “I”
Did you ever notice how many times the letter “i” is found in the word, responsibilities?—4 times!  Excessive, don’t you think?  No wonder we tend to think that fulfilling all our responsibilities depends on us.  Since we do not form theology on numbers and letters, it is good to sort out the relationship between us and the things for which we are responsible.

Responsibility vs. Power.
Many people seek power; others accept responsibility.  These are not the same thing.  Power is the partner of pride. Responsibility is the ally of humility.  There cannot be a wider gap between two attitudes.  The Jesus way is to accept responsibility; the devil’s way is to seek power.  The Scriptures make it clear:  God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble.

The sources of human power range from physical prowess, to political position, to financial force, to intellectual influence.  All this power is rooted in a fallen, but still able, human capacity to desire, plan, and produce.  Personal power is essentially selfish and self-sustaining using any means available.  Pragmatism, not principle, pushes the protagonist from deed to deed, drama to drama without concern those who get stepped on from scene to scene.

Responsibility only gets headlines when connected to crimes.  Indeed, the life of responsibility in the things of both time and eternity begins when one accepts responsibility for one’s sins.  We do not blame parents, or teachers, or culture; we accept the blame ourselves.  With godly sorrow comes repentance and then, amazingly, forgiveness from the Throne of God and of the Lamb.
Soon, this new creature, forgiven and filled with the Spirit of God, seeks not power, but responsibility.

Jesus, Use Me!
The old song said it well…

Jesus, use me.  And, oh, Lord don’t refuse me.
Surely there’s a work that I can do.
And even though it’s humble, Lord help my will to crumble,
Though the cost be great, I’ll work for you. (Jack Campbell)

Salvation brings a desire to serve.  All of life is redefined according to the teaching of Jesus:

  • The desire to come in first becomes the desire to put Jesus first.
  • The desire to be a star becomes the desire to be a servant.
  • The desire to lead becomes the desire to be led by the Spirit.
  • The desire to be in the driver’s seat becomes the joy of being a passenger, liberated from watching the road and seeing the world rush by the window while the sky lingers in the distance.

Taking Up Our Cross
Just as Jesus carried the cross, we shoulder the will of God for our lives, the set of responsibilities we are privileged to carry in the will of God for us.  Sometimes there is pain because we are sharing in the fellowship of His sufferings.  Sometimes there is breathtaking joy as we see the work of the Spirit of God being done in the arena of our calling.  All the time there are our responsibilities, not burdened with “I’s”, but joyfully blessed with His—His strength, His wisdom, His victory, and His approval.

James 4:6 NKJV
“God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
2 Corinthians 7:10-11 10 NKJV
For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.
Mark 8:34-38
… “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?
Mark 9:35
… Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
Mark 10:41-45
…Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Romans 8:12-17
Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation…(to live) by the Spirit … because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”  The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children… heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Matthew 25:21
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
Philippians 3:10-11
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Lord Jesus, I want my life to count for You—I want what I do in my time on earth to matter in eternity. . Help me follow Your example and shun power while welcoming responsibility. Help me be the kind of person others can depend upon. Give me broad shoulders so I can carry the load You want me to carry. Give me a careful mind so I can remember the right things and forget the things best forgotten. Give me a caring heart so that I can be sensitive to others and to Your Spirit. Defend me against distractions that would get me off the job You have given me to do. Keep me focused on You and the work of Your Kingdom today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Jesus, Use Me
Words and Music: Jack Campbell

Jesus, use me, o Lord, don’t refuse me,
Surely there’s a work that I can do.
Even tho’ it’s humble Lord help my will to crumble,
Tho’ the cost be great, I’ll work for You.

V. 1 Dear lord I’ll be a witness, if You will help my weakness.
I know that i’m not worthy, Lord, of You.
By eyes of faith I see You, on the cross of cal-v’ry,
Dear Lord, I cry, “let me Your servant be”


V.2 He’s the Lily of the ValleyThe Bright and Morning Star
He’s the Fairest of ten thousand to my soul’
He’s the beautiful Rose of Sharon, he’s all the world to me,
But best of all He is my coming King


Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

October 30, 2017: “Productivity”


Created to Produce
Just as peace is not passive, productivity is not optional; we were created to produce.  Adam and Eve were commissioned to be fruitful, to multiply, and to manage the life systems and resources of the earth.  When they fell into sin, God did not rescind this commission from Adam and Eve, and therefore, from us.  The result of sin was that the processes of productivity became work:

  • Women would become mothers through pain.
  • The earth would become fruitful by the sweat of the human brow.

The need to create and the drive to produce remain in the human heart, though the means of this productivity has become a thing of pain.

Spiritual Productivity
As necessary as productivity is to life, there is also a spiritual dimension to it.  Just as we are called to be productive in material things, we are intended to produce spiritual fruit.  “Bearing fruit” is the most common biblical image for personal productivity.  Jesus introduced the vivid metaphor of the Vine and the branches.  He said He was the Vine and we were the branches.  In order to bear much fruit we must remain connected to Him, just a branches must have a functioning connection to the vine if they are to bear fruit.  “Fruit” in this context means more than winning souls; it means producing what God made us to produce.  Writers write.  Teachers teach.  Builders build.  Designers design, and so on.

Facing this Week
You face this week of work with a deep desire to be productive and most likely, a pressing need to do well on the job.

  • Job assessments are a measure of the worker’s effectiveness, his/her productivity.
  • Fathers and mothers work hard to provide for their families by the value of their productivity.
  • The mechanized, computerized fields the modern worker plows still depend on the willingness of the worker to sweat—to do the work!
  • Visionaries bring new businesses into the world and the pangs of this kind of birth can last for years of 90 hour weeks before the business grows up and becomes profitable.

The good news is this:  We were made to be productive!
The same Lord who saved us from sin and hell stands ready to empower us to produce in our daily lives.  The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells within us, to give us the wisdom, the creativity and the grace we need to succeed.  When we begin to understand the theology of work as worship, we open ourselves to the continuing enablement of the Holy Spirit in every aspect of life.

More than an inborn need and a daily requirement, productivity is a spiritual responsibility.  The scriptures have wonderful things to say about productivity:

  • Each of us has a productive path to walk, one laid down for us by the Lord Himself long before the wondrous week of creation. (Eph 2:10)
  • Being fruitful brings glory to God. (John 15:1-8)
  • Each of us has been hand chosen and ordained by the Lord Jesus to bear much fruit and fruit that lasts. (John 10:15,16)

Hard work is still hard work.
Bringing new life into the world is still a thing of pain.  Wringing a harvest from the earth still demands the sweat of the brow.  Hard work is the order of the day for most of us   Yet, the one who believes in Jesus is not alone in the delivery room, behind the plow, or at the office or workstation.  Jesus holds us close in each new venture.  He guides the plow and helps us pull the load as His Spirit gives us strength and wisdom, rest and refreshment as we work.

Genesis 1:26-28 NKJV
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”…Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Genesis 3:17-19 NKJV
“Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life… In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.”
John 15:1-8
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener… Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing… This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
Colossians 1:10
And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God…
Ephesians 2:9-10
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
John 15:16-17
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit-fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other.

Lord Jesus, You are The True Vine and I am only a branch, but I am a branch that can bear much fruit. You have promised me this. As You said in John’s gospel, You have chosen me and ordained me that I should go and bear much fruit and that my fruit should remain. Without You I can do nothing but with You I can do much—great things! Extend Your Kingdom through the life I live each day. I want to tell Your story with my life and work. I want to share Your love with the whole world, starting with those I meet today. Thank You, Lord.

We’ve a Story to Tell to the Nations
Words and Music: H. Ernest Nichol

1 We’ve a story to tell to the nations,
that shall turn their hearts to the right,
a story of truth and mercy,
a story of peace and light,
a story of peace and light.

For the darkness shall turn to dawning,
and the dawning to noonday bright,
and Christ’s great kingdom shall come on earth,
the kingdom of love and light.

2 We’ve a song to be sung to the nations,
that shall lift their hearts to the Lord,
a song that shall conquer evil
and shatter the spear and sword,
and shatter the spear and sword.


3 We’ve a message to give to the nations,
that the Lord who reigneth above
has sent us His Son to save us,
and show us that God is love,
and show us that God is love.


4 We’ve a Savior to show to the nations,
who the path of sorrow has trod,
that all of the world’s great peoples
may come to the truth of God,
may come to the truth of God.


Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

October 29, 2017: “Gratitude”


If you want to go in, you have to find the gate.
There is a biblical way to approach Almighty God, a way He has commanded us to take.  Gratitude brings you before the King.

Psalm 100:4
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.

As we seek to gain entrance to the presence of the Lord today, a day that He has made, let us do so with the most profound gratitude we can generate.

  • Dire problems may weigh heavily upon our spirits; lay them down at the door.
  • Doubts may plague our minds; set them aside.
  • Divisions may exist among brothers and sisters; call a truce.
  • Dependencies of all sorts may inhibit our concentration; depend on the Holy Spirit.
  • Destitution may have driven every choice we made all week; choose gratitude today.

There is only one way in.
His Name is Jesus, forever the Door to the Kingdom of God.  He is the Gate of Thanksgiving.  When we can count nothing else in life as a blessing, we can always look to Him and find reason to give thanks.  The writer to the Hebrews said that Jesus opened up a “new and living way” by the destruction of His own earthly life and body.  In the face on this unspeakable sacrifice, the veil in the temple ripped from top to bottom and the way to the heart of God was declared “Open!”

Let us be thankful.
Because Jesus bore our sins far away, we can enter the presence of the Holy One without fear. Without the atonement of Christ, our sins would not only disqualify us to enter His presence, our guilt would consume us to our destruction.  Because of Jesus we can stand before God as if we had never sinned.  The indictment against us has been nailed to His cross.

Let us be thankful.
Through Jesus we were emptied of the guilt of sin.  Now we have been filled with the precious gift of His Spirit!  We are being regenerated to life new and unending.  Old things pass away as all things become new.  There is power in us now to defeat the old nature of sin, and even when we do not, the Lord Jesus is there to forgive us for all our sins as we confess them to Him.  By the Spirit we can hear the voice of God deep within us.  We can obey His instructions and we can watch His power work through our humanity to help heal the world.

Let us be thankful.
This is the day for it!  The joy and the power of the presence of the King are on the other side of the Gate of Thanksgiving.  As Isaiah said, “Go through the gates!”

Gratitude brings you before the King.

Psalm 100
Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Isaiah 62:10 NKJV
Go through, Go through the gates! Prepare the way for the people; Build up, Build up the highway! Take out the stones, Lift up a banner for the peoples!
Mark 15:37-39 NKJV
And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last. Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.
Hebrews 10:19-24
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
Romans 8:1-4
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,   because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

Lord Jesus, how else dare I come before You except with the most profound gratitude. You have done everything for me from saving me to filling me to healing me to calling me to loving me! Thank You, Lord! That gratitude is the gateway to presence is such a blessing. I know that if I praise You from my heart, You will hear me and will grant me the wondrous gift of Your manifest presence. Oh, I may not feel Your presence, but in a place deeper than feelings, I believe and I know You are with me! Thank You, Lord! Amen.

I Will Enter His Gates
Words and Music: Leona Von Brethorst

I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart.
I will enter His courts with praise.
I will say this is the day that the Lord has made.
I will rejoice for He has made me glad.

He has made me glad. He has made me glad.
I will rejoice for He has made me glad.
He has made me glad. He has made me glad.
I will rejoice for He has made me glad.

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

October 28, 2017: “Contemplation”


Stillness–a Way to Pray
It may be a walk in the quiet woods or a season by the sea or a session on a secluded mountaintop or a stillness in the secret place of prayer, but contemplation is an important way to pray.

Contemplation, also known as meditation, observation, or deep consideration, takes us to places in the heart of God we cannot reach with speed. Stillness is the requirement, stillness and solitude. We do not contemplate aloud; it is not a conversation with other people. Contemplation is an inner dialogue with our own heart, the heart of God, the marvels of His creation, and the wonders of His Word. In contemplation mysteries are not solved. Instead they are adored in anticipation of revelation someday. The tension between two opposite truths is not relaxed as we contemplate them. On the contrary, as we listen to the dissonance we hear two stirring tunes instead of one.

“To Know”
Another synonym for contemplation is the verb, “to know.” The knowledge gained from spiritual contemplation goes far beyond cognition, merely adding new volumes to our internal library. To “know” something by the force of contemplation is to experience it in spiritual sense. This contemplation is a process of revelation through which the Word of God is written in our hearts. This spiritual inscription by the hand of God is the first promise of the New Covenant.

Hebrews 8:10
This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord.
I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts.

How does this happen?

  • When we read the Bible, the hand of God writes it in our minds.
  • When we memorize verses, the hand of God writes them in our hearts.
  • When we contemplate scriptural themes and doctrines, the Holy Spirit writes them on the deepest pages in our book connecting verse with verse, truth with truth, and promise with expectation.

On this day of rest, take time to contemplate the

  • The sermons in the sky and sea,
  • The carols in all of creation,
  • The beauty of the Bright and Morning Star,
  • The calamity of the cross,
  • The reality of the resurrection, and
  • The King and His Kingdom.

Such time is time well spent, for when we are finally still, then we will finally know.

Habakkuk 2:20 NKJV
… the LORD is in His holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before Him.
Psalm 46:8-10
Come and see the works of the LORD…”Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalm 119:8-16 NKJV
Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You. Blessed are You, O LORD! Teach me Your statutes … I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.
Psalm 143:5-6
I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. I spread out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 NKJV
Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding (contemplating) as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Lord Jesus, I pause at the beginning of this day to contemplate Your goodness, to think deeply about Your mercy, and to remember Your faithfulness to me. Help me find a place of stillness so that I can know the things that only stillness reveals. Send Your enabling Spirit to quicken my mind to understand more about You and about Your lovingkindness. People today say terrible things about You, Lord: You are dead; You don’t exist; You don’t love us and other terrible lies. As I walk and run through everyday, I know You are really there, that You are alive and that You love all of us. Now, as I attempt stillness in order to contemplate You, take me deeper still. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Be Still and Know
Words and Music: Stephen Phifer

Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am God.
And I will be exalted, exalted among the nations.
Yes, I will be exalted in all the earth!
Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am God.
Be still.

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

October 27, 2017: “Destiny”


“Our Heavenly Father” is not a puppeteer.
We do not dangle from controlling strings attached to His manipulating fingers. The essence of the life we have received from God is choice; we choose our destiny.

This is not to say we control it for any day can bring things

  • which we did not foresee,
  • for which we did not plan and
  • with which we must deal.

Yet with each surprise, we have a choice to do the right thing or to do the wrong thing. That choice is one of destiny. When we choose to live in relationship with Almighty God through His Son Jesus Christ, we walk the path He has chosen for us—our destiny. The Bible calls this, “The Path of Life.”

A Light and a Lamp
For this pathway there is a light illuminating the way ahead. The Word of God is a headlight searching the way before us, revealing hazards, sharp turns, and dangerous ravines on either side of the path. The truth of this path is not a temporary, passing truth; it is a truth that has always been true and a Word that will never cease to be true—the substantial stuff of destiny.

As if this headlight were not enough, we carry a torch, a lamp for each step. We need never to stumble for every footfall is made in the footprints of Jesus, marked by the scars in His feet. He has walked this way before us showing us how to live. The steps we take today may not be the same we took yesterday and tomorrow’s steps may be different yet again. Each step we take in the will of God is a current truth, the application of an eternal Word for the present moment. He is the torch in our hands, the lamp for our feet. He is our choice, our destiny.

Within the Mind of God
We cannot imagine how the mind of God works, independent of time, unlimited by space. He is not playing some cosmic game of chess with each of us the inanimate pieces which only move when he moves us. This game of grace is like a chess game with each piece an independent agent with a mind of its own. We have a choice but He is still the master of the game.

When we choose our destiny—His will for us for life and for each passing moment—He works everything in our lives toward our good. He sets us on a path of blessing, power, and creativity full of good works, choices to make each day that He has laid our for us from eternity past. A puppeteer He is not and puppets we are not. He is master of all time and space and he holds a plan for each of us, a destiny we can choose today.

And so it was in the Garden called Gethsemane.
Jesus chose His destiny, the arrest, the trials, the torture, the cross, the tomb, and finally, the firstborn from among the dead. His chosen destiny opened up a new and living way for each of us, a destiny we can choose every day.

Psalm 16:11
You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Psalm 119:105
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
Ephesians 2:10
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Psalm 139:1-6; 13-16
O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. You hem me in–behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me…All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
John 8:12
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
1 John 1:5-7
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
John 15:16-17 NKJV
You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another.

Lord, I do not understand everything about my freewill and Your will for me. I know that You have made with a will of my own and You have always had a plan and purpose for my life. I am not a puppet but the greatest life I could ever live is the one I would live in the center of Your will. In a very real sense, we are a team, You and I. I am the junior partner for all the power is Yours. Still You have blessed me with human ability as well as human will and You wish to utilize my humanity to do the work of Your Kingdom. What a joy to find Your will and do it! Amen.

I Have Decided to Follow Jesus

1 I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
no turning back, no turning back.

2 Though none go with me, I still will follow;
though none go with me, I still will follow;
though none go with me, I still will follow;
no turning back, no turning back.

3 My cross I’ll carry, till I see Jesus;
my cross I’ll carry, till I see Jesus;
my cross I’ll carry, till I see Jesus;
no turning back, no turning back.

4 The world behind me, the cross before me;
the world behind me, the cross before me;
the world behind me, the cross before me;
no turning back, no turning back.

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

October 26, 2017: “Authenticity”


Authenticity cannot be faked.
That seems elemental but it needs to be said. We live in a world of images where what seems to be real, may not be real at all, and what is real may make so little noise that it is overlooked. In some organizations the truth gets handled rather than simply told. Theatrical gestures are used to signal some inner reality that may be completely missing. Great care and fuller resources are spent on the way a presentation looks and sounds rather than what is actually being said. This world is so image-mad that connoisseurs accept a well-done work of art regardless of the message it contains.

As we stand before the Lord this morning, it is impossible to fake Him out. He knows the deepest things about us. We hold no secrets from Him. As we pray, God looks deep into our hearts. What does He see?

God is never fooled.
In short, He sees what is there. Many wicked things can hide deep in the human heart, stealthy things that avoid the radar of our introspection. To others we can talk a good game. We have memorized our lines and we know how to present ourselves, not as we are, but as we wish to be. Because God is God, He cannot be successfully lied to. We can fool ourselves and our public appearance of spirituality may fool others, but God is never fooled. None of us has enough wool to pull over His eyes.

You cannot pray a lie.
Private prayer becomes a season of self-revelation as the Holy Spirit rejects lie and after lie as we try to pray them. This is a process called “The Refiner’s Fire,” from the words of the Prophet Malachi. Its purpose is to “purify the Sons of Levy” (NT believers) so we offer worship to God that is worthy—read that—“authentic.” The fires of His Holy Presence bring hidden things to light where we can deal with them.

Malachi 3:1-4
… I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the LORD Almighty. But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness … as in former years.
2 Corinthians 7:1
Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.
Matthew 6:6
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Luke 12:1 NKJV
For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.

Lord Jesus, You came to this earth as the authentic representation of who the Father is. You walked the same earth I walk, enduring the same types of temptations I face, yet without sin, the authentic human life. Now through Your death and resurrection and Your gift of the Holy Spirit, I can live an authentic human life. I am forgiven by faith in Your blood and I am empowered by Your Spirit, so let my life radiate with authenticity. My life will tell Your story and my works shall be works of praise. Search me, O God, and know my heart today! Amen.

Cleanse Me
Words: J. Edwin Orr Music: Maori melody

1. Search me, O God, and know my heart today,
Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts, I pray;
See if there be some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from every sin, and set me free.

2. I praise Thee, Lord, for cleansing me from sin;
Fulfill Thy word and make me pure within;
Fill me with fire, where once I burned with shame;
Grant my desire to magnify Thy name.

3. Lord, take my life, and make it wholly Thine;
Fill my poor heart with Thy great love divine;
Take all my will, my passion, self and pride;
I now surrender, Lord, in me abide.

4. O Holy Ghost, revival comes from Thee;
Send a revival, start the work in me;
Thy Word declares Thou wilt supply our need;
For blessings now, O Lord, I humbly plead.

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

October 25, 2017: “Holding”


Holding and hoarding are not the same. 
When we hold something, we treasure it, tend it, protect it, and let it perform its function.  To hoard something means to collect things compulsively and then neglect those things to their own destruction.  Things we hold, we can access readily when we, or others, need them.  Hoarded objects, emotions, or ideas pile up in random stacks, stuffed drawers, and messy cabinets so that specific things known to be in the “collection” can never be found when needed by us or anyone else.

As believers in Jesus, there are wonderful treasures filed neatly in our inner selves, things that we hold dear:

  • The Word of God,
  • The sweet presence of Jesus,
  • The abiding comfort of the Holy Spirit,
  • The divine embrace of the Father,
  • The spirit-deep assurance of salvation,
  • The confidence in the Covenant that is called, “faith,”
  • The call of God on our lives,
  • The two families we belong to, one of blood and name and the other of faith, and
  • The hope of the life to come.

When someone is rich in the wealth of the world, that wealth can be measured by adding up the holdings of that individual.  As Christ-followers, the list above is only a partial list of our holdings.

Tending our Holdings
The things we hold in our hearts are not all the same.  There are different ways we must tend to them.  Some things we hold on to as treasure while other things need to be thrown out with the trash.

May we never hoard things like these:

  • Wounds to the body, soul, or spirit.  These should be held long enough for Jesus to heal them.  Then we can let them go so completely that all that is left of them are memories.
  • Sins that lie hidden in our hearts.  These holdings spread death in the center of our life.  They must grow so abhorrent to us that we lay them before the Lord in repentance so that he can deliver us.  These holdings are fit only for the Savior since He has already borne their cost.
  • Ambitions that life has given us, selfish motives, and wicked dreams.  These things need to be replaced with the “dreams and visions” that come with the infilling of the Holy Spirit.  We need to let go of our own glory and seek to hold in our hearts the Glory of God.

Other holdings we possess are designed to flow through us to others:

  • We cling to the love of God, and as we do, His love flows through us to the people around us.  In this way we obey both of the top two commands: love God, love people.We hold truth dear and build our lives upon it.  As w
  • We live out the Jesus story, building our house upon the Rock, we are re-telling the Jesus story to anyone who is paying attention.  The truth of God flows through us even as we hold it fast in our hearts.
  • Praise and worship flow through us.  We treasure the presence of the Lord each day and then, like an Old Covenant priest carrying the Ark, we carry the Lord’s presence out into our world.  On the Lord’s day, we join our passion to that of the Holy-Royal Priesthood and the Glory of the Lord is revealed in public worship.

As this day begins, check your holdings. 
If you find unworthy things in your inventory, do not hoard them!  Cast them out and cast yourself on the mercies of God.  Treasure the eternal, beautiful things in your well-ordered heart.  From the abundance of your heart’s holdings, your life will speak eloquently of the Glory of the Lord.

Matthew 5:8
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
2 Corinthians 4:7-8 NKJV
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
Luke 6:43-45
“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.  Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.
Mark 12:29-31
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.   Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’   The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
1 John 4:20-21 NKJV
If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.
Matthew 7:24-27
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Philippians 3:12 NKJV
Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.

Lord Jesus, as Paul said, You have laid hold on me—thank You! This is my peace and security. Help me to lay hold of You and of all the treasures You have hidden in Your Word, in the church, and in all of creation. There are wonderful, beautiful things I can hold in my heart to regulate my emotions. There are equally splendid things I can hold in my mind to focus my thoughts. There are spiritual ideals I can live my life by to be a good and productive person. Because of Your Spirit within, these amazing things are within my grasp! Thank You, Lord! Amen.

Hold to God’s Unchanging Hand
Words: Jennie Wilson; Music: Franklin L. Eiland

1 Time is filled with swift transition,
Naught of earth unmoved can stand,
Build your hopes on things eternal,
Hold to God’s unchanging hand.

Hold to God’s unchanging hand,
Hold to God’s unchanging hand;
Build your hopes on things eternal,
Hold to God’s unchanging hand.

2 Trust in Him who will not leave you,
Whatsoever years may bring,
If by earthly friends forsaken
Still more closely to Him cling.


3 Covet not this world’s vain riches
That so rapidly decay,
Seek to gain the heav’nly treasures,
They will never pass away.


4 When your journey is completed,
If to God you have been true,
Fair and bright the home in glory
Your enraptured soul will view.


Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

October 24, 2017: “Experiment”


It is the duty of an infant human being to experiment.
They are at this duty constantly.  At first the world is a blur of colors, a din of noise, and a baptism of sensations.  Gradually, by constant experimentation with all these stimuli, the child begins to discover the order of things.  That lovely sound, a voice—mother’s voice!  That strange pain inside—hunger!  Cold and warmth and light and dark, quiet and rhythmic pounding are all put together into a world that starts to make sense.  What are those things?—Ah! Toes!  And these things?—fingers! And where do they go?—mouth!  The life of the infant is a constant process of experiment and discovery.

As the child grows, this voyage of experimentation and discovery continues as play—the duty of the child.  Coupled with the gift of imagination that is unbounded by the inconvenience of logic or material realities, the child experiments with activities and images, words and feelings, all the while learning and discovering.

The same is true for older children and teens.  Their experiments get more daring and even can be dangerous as they age, but true to the mission of a child, they continue as random scientists seeking to understand the world in which they find themselves.

Spiritual Experimentation
Of course, this is all a picture of the life of the believer.  We are challenged to experiment in the ways of the Spirit.
We must discover a method for private prayer.

  • When should we pray, morning or evening? Both?
  • How should we pray, talk to God? Pray the Scriptures? Pray in the Spirit? All of the above?
  • How many types of prayer are there?
  • What does it mean to pray without ceasing?

We experiment with the Bible to determine how we should best consume its nourishment.

  • Morning? Evening?
  • Old Testament/New Testament?
  • Gospels/Acts/Revelation? (The Jesus Story!)
  • Apostolic letters?
  • Should we memorize verses?
  • What is the difference between Bible reading and Bible study?
  •  Experience tells us not to read in sequence for we will bog down in Leviticus for sure.

There is much in daily living that requires experimentation and discovery.

  • How do we turn the other cheek? Go the second mile? Pray for our enemies?
  • How do we discover the will of God for a certain task, opportunity, or life-long vocation?
  • How can a husband love his wife as Christ loves the church?
  • How can a wife submit to her husband without losing herself?
  • How can parents raise children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?
  • How can children honor their fathers and mothers?
  • How do we learn what pleases God?

The Lab of Life
Life’s questions are many, but the Lord has them all covered.  He has given us a laboratory called “life” and an experimentation manual called “The Bible.”  Now He wants to enjoy watching us do our work, the work we were designed for from the beginning, the work of experimentation and discovery.

Life is a treasure field with riches buries within it; some close to the surface and many hidden way down deep.  It is the glory of God to conceal wonderful things and it is our glory to find these treasures.  So, get to the lab today.  Do the work.  Find the treasure and don’t forget to keep good records.

Matthew 13:44
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
Proverbs 25:2
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.
Ephesians 5:8-10
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)  and find out what pleases the Lord.
1 John 4:1-3 4:1
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
Be joyful always; pray continually;  give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.  May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.
2 Corinthians 13:5-6 NKJV
Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? — unless indeed you are disqualified. But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified.
Romans 12:1-2
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Lord Jesus, You are the God of mystery who has revealed Himself in the written Word (the Bible) and the Living Word (Jesus.) There are mysteries in You that call to me. Help me understand more of You as I prayerfully read Your Word. Your Spirit dwells within me to prompt me to explore, to experiment, to examine the things of life so that I might understand. Holy Spirit quicken my heart and strengthen my resolve to discover the wonders of You and Your creation. For Your Glory, Lord. Amen.

Show Me Your Ways
Words and Music: Russell Fragar

Show me Your ways That I may walk with You
Show me Your ways I put my hope in You
The cry of my heart Is to love You more
To live with the Touch of Your hand
Stronger each day Show me Your ways

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

October 23, 2017: “Dreaming”


When you go to work this morning, don’t leave your dreams at home. 
Take them with you. The work you will do today has direct impact on your dreams.  It may not seem so until you really think about it, but, as we walk the Path of Life, no moment is given without purpose.  Each day and each duty within the day has a dual purpose.

  • There is the immediate use of that block of time for the job at hand.  This is obvious and to keep your job, it is an absolute necessity.  We must keep our mind in the game, if we want to succeed.
  • There is also a long range use of our time today.  God is at work in unseen spiritual realms affecting the physical world we inhabit.  As we frame each day in morning and evening prayer, each day is sanctified for the Lord’s purposes.  If the events of the day go as planned; all is well.  If they do not; all is still well!

God’s covenantal promise is to make every day count for our eventual good because we have been called according to His purposes.

He reveals these long range purposes to us through our dreams, our inner, guiding vision.  God gives us a guiding vision of who He wants us to be and a divine revelation of what He wants us to do.  This revelation of tomorrow helps you take on the demands of the day.  When you take your phone and your computer with you out the door, don’t forget to bring your dreams along.

Dreams and Visions
For those whose work is less than fulfilling, the days can be long and tiring.  Don’t forget that the job you have but do not like is not your dream.  Husbands dream of providing for their wives.  Wives, at home or on the job, dream of a better home for their husbands, more time together, and a deeper love for each other.  Moms and dads go to work each day dreaming of a better life for each of their children

  • when they are little and their needs are so close by,
  • when they are teens and they are starting to pull away to form their own lives, and
  • when they are adults and have transformed into friends whose dreams you share.

All of these future provisions from the hand of God are tied to the work facing us this Monday morning.

For those whose daily work is what we always dreamed it would be, the days can still be long and tiring.  The challenge remains; make this day count!  Artists who are blessed to make a living with their creativity are always dreaming.  Most of these dreams will be years in the making.  Today’s work must count as another layer of preparation, another session of practice, another pre-production experiment and another step closer to the dream: the novel, the play, the screenplay, the song, the album, the exhibition, the concert, the ensemble, the role of a lifetime, and of course, “the body of work,” that grand collection of all you have created for the use of others.

There is an essential role for the Holy Spirit in our dreams.
He writes them, produces them, and projections them onto the screen of our minds.  Do not neglect the Spirit’s work in your heart.  Your dreams press meaning into your work today.  Without the guiding dream from God, you may do a terrible thing—you might waste this Monday.

When you go to work this morning, don’t leave your dreams at home.  Take them with you.

Jeremiah 29:11-14 11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Joel 2:28 / Acts 2:17
And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.
In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.
Proverbs 29:18 KJV / NIV
Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law.
Romans 8:28-30
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
Ephesians 5:8-17
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.  For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.  But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise,  making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Lord Jesus, You supplied me with an imagination. This means I can “see” things with my mind. I invite the Holy Spirit to heal me of wounds and evil words spoken over me that prompt any disparaging visions within me. Install in me a vision for my life that is based in Your Word and Your will. You have a plan for me; help me find it and walk in it. On the job today, show me realities that are helpful in my work. Give me vision and insight. Give me the courage to dream the dreams You have for me! Supply me with the courage to follow those dreams for Your glory. Amen.

Be Thou My Vision
Words Translated: Mary E. Byre; Music: Irish Folk Song

1 Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
be all else but naught to me, save that Thou art;
be Thou my best thought in the day and the night,
both waking and sleeping, Thy presence my light.

2 Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
be Thou ever with me, and I with Thee, Lord;
be Thou my great Father, and I Thy true son;
be Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

3 Be Thou my Breastplate, my Sword for the fight;
be Thou my whole Armor, be Thou my true Might;
be Thou my soul’s Shelter, be Thou my strong Tow’r,
O raise Thou me heav’nward, great Pow’r of my pow’r.

4 Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise;
be Thou mine inheritance, now and always;
be Thou and Thou only the first in my heart,
O high King of heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

5 High King of heaven, Thou heaven’s bright Sun,
O grant me its joys, after vict’ry is won;
Great Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
still be Thou my vision, O Ruler of all.

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

October 22, 2017 “Extol”


What is the difference between exalting the Lord and extolling the Lord? 
Since dictionaries tend to use “exalt” as a synonym for extol, finding the meaning can be confusing.  However, a comparison of how the words are used in the Psalms reveals the distinction:

  1. Extolling the Lord is the accumulated exaltation of the Lord.  The word “extol” (and its KJV equivalent “bless”) is usually given in the context of the corporate worship of the people of God.
  2. Individually, each of has the capacity exalt the Lord—to honor Him with the highest place in our hearts, to tell of His excellence, to sing of His grace and in many other ways acknowledge His greatness.
  3. When the people of God gather and we all begin to exalt Him, our praise accumulates as together we begin to extol.

OT:5549 calal (saw-lal’); a primitive root; to mound up (especially a turnpike); figurative, to exalt; KJV – cast up, exalt (self), extol, make plain, raise up.
OT:1288 barak (baw-rak’); a primitive root; to kneel; by implication to bless God (as an act of adoration),  KJV – X abundantly, X altogether, X at all, blaspheme, bless, congratulate, curse, X greatly, X indeed, kneel (down), praise, salute, X still, thank

Let us extol the Lord!
Today we will gather in the House of the Lord to mount up our praise, to exalt the Lord together!  The volume of sound in the room will mount up.  In the spirit realm, the value of the sacrifices of praise of the people of God will mount up to the heavens.  Just as the instrumentalists and the singers became “one, to make one sound” in praising and thanking the Lord, when King Solomon dedicated the Temple, the unity of personal exaltation of God becomes a corporate unison of bodies, souls, and spirits, as we join the hosts of heaven to extol the Lord.  Heaven and earth meet at His footstool to worship Him in Spirit and Truth.

This is one celebration we dare not miss!  This is a gathering in the Spirit.

  • Here we are seated together in heavenly realms for our exaltation has mounted up and the pleasing aroma of our collected sacrifices of praise has accumulated into a sweet smelling savor to God Himself.
  • Jacob’s ladder has been extended from eternity’s throne room into our moments and days.  Angels now ascend and descend with armloads of grace.
  • The Lord we extol presides over this gathering, His precious Spirit quickening yielded hearts and melting cold ones.
  • The focus is on the One Who Sits Upon the Throne, the Lamb, Slain Before the Foundation of the World who has formed for Himself a people out of every tribe and tongue and nation, a Kingdom of Priests and Priesthood of Kings to sing His praise.

And we have a place there. 
We have a verse to sing in the eternal song, a harmony to add, a grateful tear to shed, splashing at our feet, running together with all the grateful tears of the Redeemed and flowing together into the full tide of the River or Life.

How wonderful it is to join the throng, to sing the songs of time and eternity, to exalt God with all our might, and to see our sacrifice of praise mount up with all the others until it is high praise indeed.

Psalm 34:1-3
I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together.
Psalm 95:1-2
Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.
Psalm 109:30
With my mouth I will greatly extol the LORD; in the great throng I will praise him.
Psalm 111:1
Praise the LORD. I will extol the LORD with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly.
Psalm 145:9-12
All you have made will praise you, O LORD; your saints will extol you. They will tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all men may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Psalm 147:12-14
Extol the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise your God, O Zion, for he strengthens the bars of your gates and blesses your people within you. He grants peace to your borders and satisfies you with the finest of wheat.
Psalm 149:1-6 NKJV
Praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song, And His praise in the assembly of saints. Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; Let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. Let them praise His name with the dance; Let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp. For the LORD takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation. Let the saints be joyful in glory; Let them sing aloud on their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, And a two-edged sword in their hand …This honor have all His saints. Praise the LORD!
Hebrews 12:22-24
… you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

Lord Jesus, You are worthy of all praise. Help me add my song to the song of the multitudes around Your throne. Amazingly, my heart-song has a place in this symphony! You have called me out of darkness into Your marvelous light expressly so that I might praise You with the saints gathered in grace. This is no solo; this is the ensemble of the ages, the choir and orchestra of the Redeemed! Together, from steadfast hearts, we sing and make the music of praise and worship. This amalgamated song of heaven and earth rises above exaltation to status of High Sounding Praise as we extol You! Bless the Lord, O My soul! Amen.

O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing
Words: Charles Wesley; Music: Lowell Mason

1 O for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise,
the glories of my God and King, the triumphs of his grace!

2 My gracious Master and my God, assist me to proclaim,
to spread thro’ all the earth abroad the honors of your name.

3 Jesus! the name that charms our fears, that bids our sorrows cease,
’tis music in the sinner’s ears,’tis life and health and peace.

4 He breaks the power of cancelled sin, he sets the prisoner free;
his blood can make the foulest clean; his blood availed for me.

5 To God all glory, praise, and love be now and ever given
by saints below and saints above, the Church in earth and heaven.

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved