August 25, “Sovereignty”

Sovereignty

Do you want to know the truth about True Worship?
By that I mean, “Worship in Spirit and in Truth.” This is the kind of worship Jesus said the Heavenly Father was looking for—people who will worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. But, does anyone know what it means to worship “in Spirit and Truth?” You can get as many definitions as you want from people.

It is no great mystery, really. The words mean what they say.

  • To worship in spirit means to worship from the whole of our selves—body, soul, and spirit and to do so in the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • In the same way, to worship in truth is to worship with our truth—total sincerity and according to the truth of God’s Word.

Jesus said the Heavenly Father was looking for people who worshiped this way. He called them “True Worshipers.”

What does the Father do when He finds True Worshipers?
He responds to us. Think of that—God responds to us! How does He respond? He responds with the dual gift of His presence and His sovereignty. Where is this in the Bible? Psalm 22:3

  • The King James Version translates it this way: “But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.”
  • The New King James Version and other modern translations read: “But You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel.”

Why are there two meanings? The original Hebrew means both to dwell in and to sit as a judge—to rule.

When we worship in Spirit and Truth we come into the Holy Presence of Jesus as we come before His Throne. He blesses us with His presence and His sovereignty. Jesus’ presence is His complete nearness and God’s Sovereignty is His absolute rule.

The biblical term for God’s dwelling and ruling place is Zion.
No wonder the Writer to the Hebrews says that when we worship we “come to Mt. Zion.”

What does this mean?

It means that today, when we worship in Spirit and in Truth—Jesus will be in the room—“God With Us!” He will be there to do wonderful things: (Luke 4; Isaiah 61)

  • Preach the Gospel to the Poor.
  • Bind up the brokenhearted,
  • Open blind eyes,
  • Release captives
  • Heal the oppressed.

How can He do these things as we worship Him?
Because not only is He “with us” inhabiting our worship, He is ruling in the room!

  • His power is greater than any trouble we could ever get into and any force that would ever bind us.
  • His love will break our hate.
  • His truth will clear our minds.
  • His peace will calm our troubled lives.

The old confession is true—He Is Lord!

So, give Him praise to be His dwelling place. Give Him worship to be His Throne. Listen to His voice. Seek His face. Feel His touch. Enter the Realm of the Splendor of His Sovereignty.

Scriptures:
Psalm 22:3 NAS
Yet Thou art holy, O Thou who art enthroned upon the praises of Israel.
John 4:24 NIV
God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
Hebrews 12:22-24 NIV
But 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.
Colossians 1:15-20 NIV
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I bow to You today. I will enter Your Gates with thanksgiving and I will extol Your glory in the Courts of Praise. I will pray to You and listen to Your Word all in the light and power of the Holy Spirit, that Golden Lampstand in the Holy Place. By Your grace I will pass through the Torn Veil into the Holy of Holies—that place where You live and reign. There, before Your sovereignty, I invite You to do whatever You want to do with me. I trust Your Sovereignty for You rule in love. Rule over me, Lord! Nothing could be greater. Take my praise to be Your home and my worship to be Your Holy Throne. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Song:
Jesus, We Crown You King
Words and Music: Stephen Phifer

1. Jesus, we crown You the King of all kings.
Jesus, we crown You the King of all kings.
You’re the joy of all creation, make the morning stars to sing!
Jesus, we crown You, Lord, we exalt You!
Jesus, we crown You the King of kings.

2. Jesus, we crown You the Lord of all lords.
Jesus, we crown You the Lord of all lords.
On a throne of greatest splendor You are worshiped and adored!
Jesus, we crown You, Lord we exalt You!
Jesus, we crown You the Lord of lords.

3. Jesus, we crown You the Prince of all peace.
Jesus, we crown You the Prince of all peace.
For You ride on every tempest, make the wildest storm to cease!
Jesus, we crown You, Lord, we exalt You.
Jesus, we crown You the Prince of peace.

Bridge:
King of kings! Lord of lords! Mighty God! Prince of Peace!
We crown You now as we sing!
Jesus, we crown You King of kings!

Ending:
You’re the joy of all creation, make the morning stars to sing!
Jesus, we crown You, Lord, we exalt You!
Jesus, we crown You the King of kings.
Prince of Peace, Lord of Lords, Mighty God—
King of kings!

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

August 13, 2017 “Adoration”

Adoration

“O Come, All Ye Faithful”
We sing it each Christmas season, sometimes fast when we do the whole carol, and sometimes slow when we just sing the refrain, “O come let us adore Him!”

In a short definition, the worship of God is the adoration of God. The adoration of God is one of a few universal themes of Christian worship. We do not worship out of fear but from a standpoint of faith, confidence in the character of God. God is known to us for He has revealed Himself through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Through Jesus we know and love God; we see His character in the words and works of Christ. His works convince us that He was God in the flesh; His words work mightily in us prompting our love for Him—our adoration.

The triune God we worship lives in an internal, never-ending cycle of love:

  • The Father loves the Son and the Spirit.
  • The Son loves the Father and the Spirit.
  • The Spirit loves Father and the Son.

That wheel of love never stops turning and it spills out to be the chief characteristic of the Throne Room of God. Angels never stop adoring the Lord. The saints who have gone before us are gathered before Him there to add the Song of the Redeemed as an eternal counterpoint to the songs of the angels.

Today, when we gather with our brothers and sisters, if we are true-hearted and whole-hearted in our praise and worship, we can join the adoration songs of heaven. We don’t need to create a worship atmosphere; we simply lift our hearts to the heavenly Throne. There is no need to work ourselves up to a certain feeling; we simply tune our hearts to heaven’s music and join in the worship that never stops.

The Poet prophesies,

“Let this be written for a Future Generation…”

Let us adore Him today

  • with words of gratitude,
  • with songs of joy,
  • with bold proclamations of His character and deeds,
  • with heart-deep expressions of our love for Him,
  • with repentance for our sins against Him, the things we have done and those we have left undone, and
  •  with renewed pledges of faithfulness to His call upon our lives.

This is His day to be adored and it is our joyful honor to adore Him.

“O, come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.”

Scriptures:
Psalm 100: 5
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 “The Lord is good and mercy endures forever.”
1 Peter 2:3
…you have tasted that the Lord is good.
Matthew 6:7-8
And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
Matthew 22:37-38 NKJV
Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.’ ()
1 Peter 2:1-5; 9
Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, the living Stone-rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him- you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
Psalm 31:23-24
Love the LORD, all his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful, but the proud he pays back in full. Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, You are adored by all of heaven—let me add my adoration to the voices of the Hosts of Heaven. I adore You for the things You have done and for who You are. I will never forget how You rescued me from my own self-destruction. As Your Spirit has revealed You to me, my adoration has grown so wide and deep it can scarcely be contained. I will stir my heart. I will lift my voice. I will honor You with my thoughts and deeds and with the sum total of my life. Nothing less makes sense. Amen.

Song:
Father, I Adore You
Words and Music: Matt Brouwer

Father, I adore You,
Lay my life before You.
How I love You.

Jesus, I adore You,
Lay my life before You.
How I love You.

Spirit, I adore You,
Lay my life before You.
How I love You.

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

July 13, 2017 “Vanities”

Vanities

In Children’s church we sang this:

Oh be careful little eyes what you see;
Be careful little eyes what you see.
There’s a Father up above and He’s looking down in love,
So be careful little eyes what you see.

We weren’t done. We went on to warn our little ears, hands, feet and mouths, convincing each of us of the extreme havoc we were capable of producing, little though we may have been.

Now, as adults, it is still good advice.

The Poet says it this way:

“Turn my eyes from looking at vanities; give me life in your ways.”

The Eyes Have It.
Of our five senses: smell, hearing, touch, taste, and sight, the eyes provide us with more information than any other ability. We even transfer the concept of sight to the recognition of invisible things—we “see” things in our minds. When we understand something we have heard we say, “Now, I see.”

  • We “see” math problems and their solution.
  • We “see” music on the page.
  • We “see” the ideal of freedom enough to treasure it and fight those who would take it away.
  • In worship, we “see” the Lord High and Lifted Up and we are changed even as we contemplate His glory.

The Power of Reflection
Everything that meets our eyes is a reflection of light. This is the process of vision: rays of light bounce off an object and speed to our eyes which pass the report on to the brain which interprets it at speeds faster than light. Like a camera, the brain records what we have seen for future reference.

Just as we can “see” in so many ways, there are many things to be seen. Many of them are wonderful things like those listed above plus the wonders of nature delivered in living color to our eyes every moment.

But many other things are what the Bible calls vanities.

How can we tell a vanity from a wonder of nature or a wonderful truth? It really isn’t difficult. The wonders of creation speak to us of the Creator. The high and wonderful things we “see” in our minds—faith, hope, love, peace, joy, truth—are reflections of the character and promises of God.

Just as objects reflect light, vanities are reflections of our own fallen humanity.
When we look deeply into vanities, deeper than the colors and shapes, the designs and delights, we see our own face, our own selfishness, ambitions, drives, and lusts. Even when the Blood of Jesus has cleansed us from these things, the contemplation of them—setting these vanities before our eyes—can reawaken them and lead us into temptation.

We must turn our eyes away from the world’s vanities to the truly beautiful things of the Kingdom of God. We must absorb the glory of the Glory reflecting all around us as well as the “invisible” things we see in the Word. As we do, His glory will do two essential things:

  • Cleanse our hearts like a holy flame to make us more like Him and
  • be reflected from us to others. When He shines in us, others can see Him!

This is important stuff—So, be careful little eyes what you see.

Scriptures:
Psalm 119
My soul clings to the dust; revive me according to your word.  When I told of my ways, you answered me; teach me your statutes.  Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works.  My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.  Put false ways far from me; and graciously teach me your law.  I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I set your ordinances before me. I cling to your decrees, O Lord; let me not be put to shame.  I run the way of your commandments, for you enlarge my understanding. Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes, and I will observe it to the end.  Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart.   Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it. Turn my heart to your decrees, and not to selfish gain.  Turn my eyes from looking at vanities; give me life in your ways.  Confirm to your servant your promise, which is for those who fear you.  Turn away the disgrace that I dread, for your ordinances are good.  …  I shall walk at liberty, for I have sought your precepts.  I will also speak of your decrees before kings, and shall not be put to shame; I find my delight in your commandments, because I love them.  I revere your commandments, which I love and I will meditate on your statutes.
Ecclesiastes 12:8-14 NKJV
“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “All is vanity.” And moreover, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yes, he pondered and sought out and set in order many proverbs. … Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.
Philippians 4:8 NIV
Finally, brothers, whatever is true … noble … right … pure… is lovely… admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.
Hebrews 12:2-3 NIV
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Mark 9:47-49 NIV
And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell…
Psalm 101:2-3 NIV
I will walk in my house with blameless heart. I will set before my eyes no vile thing.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, there is so much that You do for me but this is my responsibility. I will set no evil thing before my eyes to contemplate—to do so is to invite trouble and sin into my life. Help me be so caught up in You that I take no note whatsoever of the vanities of this world around me. Help me to do as the Bible says, to concentrate on the good things, the proven things of this life and the one to come. Help me hear the message of King Solomon: Life is full of vanities but the whole of being a human is to worship God and keep Your commandments! Thank You, Lord!

Song:
Be Careful Little Eyes
Traditional Children’s Song

O be careful little eyes what you see
O be careful little eyes what you see
There’s a Father up above
And He’s looking down in love
So, be careful little eyes what you see

O be careful little ears what you hear
O be careful little ears what you hear
There’s a Father up above
And He’s looking down in love
So, be careful little ears what you hear

O be careful little hands what you do
O be careful little hands what you do
There’s a Father up above
And He’s looking down in love
So, be careful little hands what you do

O be careful little feet where you go
O be careful little feet where you go
There’s a Father up above
And He’s looking down in love
So, be careful little feet where you go

O be careful little mouth what you say
O be careful little mouth what you say
There’s a Father up above
And He’s looking down in love
So, be careful little mouth what you say.

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

June 11, 2017 “Holiness”

Holiness

A single flame from a singular source—holiness.
Undimmed by time, unmoved by winds, unfaltering in its light, undiluted in any way, the holiness of God is the anchor of time and space, the master of gravity itself, standing in its own strength, in all, over all, and for all time.

Angels sing of it. Saints long for it. Those who reason, inquire of it. Those who feel, reach for it. Those with eyes, look and those with ears, listen for it. The faithless doubt it while the faithful expect it. It is the substance of heaven and the desire of earth.

“…holiness adorns your house for endless days, O Lord.”

The presence of God is a holy presence.

  • There is joy here but not frivolity;
  • peace but not lethargy;
  • authority without abuse;
  • truth without confusion,
  • love without dissimulation.

In the Holiness of God there is deity clothed in humanity made alive by Spirit:

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever, Amen.

There is narrative in this singular flame, a story older than age and truer than facts. A story begun before time and destined never to end, an eternal second act for its conclusion is always another beginning. It is also our story, wrapped in birth days and graduations and vows given and received and moving relentlessly to the ultimate graduation from this life to the one we have prepared.

Holiness now, God in us—

  • burning with a singular flame,
  • shining with a singular light,
  • steady when the world is shaking,
  • eloquent when the world is silent,
  • comforting when the world is at war—

will yield for us holiness then.

On the Lord’s day we do more than sing songs;

  • We process into the realms of the splendor of His Holiness.
  • We ascend the Hill of the Lord and stand in the Holy Place.
  • We pass through the torn veil of Jesus’ earthly life to enter the Most Holy Place.

It is a place of exchange:

  • Our guilt for His innocence,
  • Our weakness for His strength,
  • Our sickness for His health,
  • Our confusion for His truth,
  • Our fear for His promises,
  • Our tears for His joy,
  • Our apathy for His passion,
  • Our hate for His love.

There is no other flame, no other source for these things. Theses graces flow from heaven to earth through His Throne Room—the place we go when we worship.

If time has weakened our singular flame, if darkness threatens its light, if the shifting winds of culture are shaking it, we must come before the flame of the Holiness of God in repentance, praise, and worship. We will feel it, know it, see it, hear it—that singular flame of God’s presence.

We will sing with the angels and dance with the saints, for this is Zion, the dwelling and ruling place of God and healing holiness burns only here.

Scriptures:
Psalm 31
The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed in majesty and is armed with strength. The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved. Your throne was established long ago; you are from all eternity. The seas have lifted up, O Lord, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves. Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea — the Lord on high is mighty. Your statutes stand firm; holiness adorns your house for endless days, O Lord.
Psalm 24:3-6 NIV
Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. He will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God his Savior. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob.
Hebrews 10:19-25 NIV
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. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Hebrews 12:22-24 NIV
But 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.
2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding 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.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I come before You today, just as I am—a flawed human being under reconstruction. Any righteousness I might present to You would be woefully stained and useless—yet You have covered me with Your righteousness. The sorry story of my life recorded in Your books has been erased by Your blood and Your Holy Life inscribed in its place. All I can do is join the song of the angels…

Song:
Holy, Holy, Holy
Text: Reginald Heber; Music: John B. Dykes

1. Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

2. Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore thee,
casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.

3. Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee,
though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see,
only thou art holy; there is none beside thee,
perfect in power, in love and purity.

4. Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All thy works shall praise thy name, in earth and sky and sea.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity.

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

April 19, 2017

Perfection

We have a love-hate relationship with perfection.

  • The image of God in us longs for perfection, seeking symmetry in all things, seen and unseen, awestruck when we find it and perplexed when we expect it and don’t get it.
  • The fallen humanity part of us suspects the whole business of perfection, thinking it impossible in the first place and an illusion in the final analysis, a shimmering mirage of no material substance and no real use.

Despite our suspicions, we demonstrate a constant search for perfection. We want to

  • look at perfect faces,
  • hear the perfect music,
  • experience the ideal of any concept,
  • enjoy mutually fulfilling relationships all around, and
  • “Chamber of Commerce” weather every day.

Despite our expectations, we take what we can get from life and perfection is seldom in the hand we are dealt.

A Battle for Dominance
These two things, the inborn need and the acquired realistic outlook, battle for dominance in our thinking. In some things we accept the imperfect as the reality we can do nothing about. We pray with the alcoholic, “Lord help me accept the things I cannot change…” This is wise and it is the path of peace.

But it can be an uneasy peace, far from perfect. The unpleasant, unchanged things in life do not go away just because we are at peace with them. The deep conviction, born in the clay of Eden when God fashioned Adam and Eve by hand and breathed into them the breath of life, will sometimes fail to accept the imperfect. Something must be done, flaws identified, solutions found, and corrections made. There is a standard of excellence and a vision of perfection that form the true measure of greatness.

The Life of Adventure
A life crammed packed with the mediocre and mundane may be an efficient and peaceful one but we know there is more to life than comfort and predictability.

  • There is adventure and discovery and creativity and, dare I say it, perfection “out there” waiting for someone to make the journey and, “in here” waiting for someone to dig it out.
  • As we long for perfection, we cannot bear the perfectionist, the one who is never pleased, even with excellence. This one is a different kind of bore and an imperfect companion.

So where can we turn to slake our thirst for perfection?

The Psalmist gives us the obvious answer: Only God is perfect.

“From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth.”

Divine perfection is beyond our understanding and stubbornly refuses to yield to our logic. God’s perfect ways are “past finding out;” case closed. But the perfections we can see: stars and sky, sun and sea, mountain and mole hill,satisfy us and leave us speechless except for that angelic confession—“Holy, holy, holy.”

With this revelation of perfection, excited hearts can rest, inquiring minds can fall silent, and the spirit within each of us can find its home.

Scriptures:
Psalm 50:1 NIV
The Mighty One, God, the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets. From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth.
Deuteronomy 32:3-4 NIV
I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.
Psalm 18:30-32 NIV
As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.
James 1:17 NIV
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
Isaiah 26:3 NIV
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.
Romans 11:33; Isa 55:8-9 NKJV
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 6:3-4 Rev 4:8;
And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. Day and night they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.”

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, only in You does my soul come to rest. You are the end of all my quests, the answer to all my questions, the object of my artistic eye. Though centuries of sin have marred Your creation, I can see the perfection of “in the beginning.” Lord, once in a while You help me bring something new into this world. While my work is far from perfect, there is sometimes a glimmer or Your perfection there. After all, You made me in Your image. You put creativity in me as well as this deep appreciation of perfection. Help me take joy in my work but to always look to You for perfection—“Holy, holy, holy!” Amen.

Song:
Holy, Holy, Holy

Words: Reginald Heber, 1826; Music: John B. Dykes

1.Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity!

2.Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
Who was, and is, and evermore shall be.

3.Holy, holy, holy! though the darkness hide Thee,
Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see;
Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee,
Perfect in power, in love, and purity.

4.Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy Name,
in earth, and sky, and sea;
Holy, holy, holy; merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity!

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved