Devotional | Forum

Topic location: Forum home » General » Faith
Philippa Hope-Hornsey

May 31, 2017
What’s Love Got to do With It?

Gwen Smith

Today’s Truth

I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. (Psalm 63:2-3)

Friend to Friend

Years ago I experienced a memorable God-moment when my flight had been delayed. On that particular warm June morning, I had gotten to the Philadelphia airport crazy early and was eager to get home to my young family after a beautiful weekend of ministry.  No lie when I saw that my flight was delayed, I was bummed. My initial disappointment, however, dissolved into gratefulness, as the extra airport time became an opportunity for me to have extended personal worship.  As I sat facing the flat runway, a fiery orange ball began to rise over the horizon that was simply breathtaking. I couldn’t help but to reflect on God’s goodness as He bragged on Himself with the glorious sunrise. I remember sensing His presence and His pleasure deep inside as I considered a few of the reasons that I loved our amazing LORD. And in the chaos of the loud, bustling terminal, I felt a peace and serenity that was profound.  Have you ever had one of those sweet, intensely personal moments with God that simply demanded a response?

Taking it all in, I sipped fresh-brewed coffee as my mind wandered to that classic poem “How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count The Ways,” written by the talented poet of the Victorian era, Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Her poem seemed the perfect backdrop for my worship, and that sweet moment of personal reflection birthed the lyric for a song titled Because that I recorded later that year:


by Gwen Smith and Randy Rothwell

Another flight delayed, sitting here I think of You
Sipping on a dark “Seattle’s Best”
As the sun is rising, I pause to give You praise
A solitary moment in a blur of busy days
Where should I begin?
There’s so much I could say
Why do I love you?
Let me count the ways…

Because You chased me
And then You caught me
Because You cherish me
Because You bought me
You change me deeply
You set my heart free
Because I’m never satisfied
Without Your presence right here by my side

People all around rushing by, just passing through
Carrying the baggage we all own
Desperate for true love, richer life and perfect peace
A chance for satisfaction with a prayer of belief
In Your presence there is serenity
Father of mercy, I love you endlessly...

Hear my heart in this noisy sanctuary as I sit here all alone
You are worthy of a song that’s never ending
I will sing until I’m safely home, safely home
Lord I love You, Oh I love You

Have you really savored our Savior lately?

Have you paused to adore Him today?

What about yesterday? 

This week?

In the midst of marriage, mothering and ministry, I constantly struggle with freeing up time to ‘just sit’ with God and worship to behold Him in His sanctuary yet this is what God desires most! Our affection. Our adoration.  Our love.  So today, I praise Him for missed flights that lead to worship. I praise Him for sunrises that demand a prayerful response. I praise Him for the peace He brings to my frazzled. For the calm His presence brings to my chaos.

Philippa Hope-Hornsey

May 30, 2017
You’ve Got the Gear for Great Things!

Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10 ESV).

Friend to Friend

Pretend with me for a moment. Let’s say you are on an island in the Pacific. Pick an island, any island, but make it a tropical, lush, and beautiful one. You walk out onto the porch and see some equipment laid out just for you. You know what it is, and you know what it’s for. You’re excited! You’ve always wanted to do this, but never had the right gear.  You slip into a black sleek wet suit, zip up the front closure, and most likely marvel at the way it holds everything in. Then you squeeze your feet into squeaky black flippers. I know they’re tight, but go ahead and wiggle your feet in. Next, you strap a heavy oxygen tank on your back. One arm. Now the other. Finally, you slip a facemask over you nose and eyes, and place a mouthpiece between your lips.  But rather than heading out to the ocean to explore the marvelous coral reef, vibrant fish, and swaying flora, you turn around, go back into the house, fill up the bathtub, and settle in.  What a silly picture. If I was there with you, I’d march right into that bathroom and say, “What are you doing in that tub? Get out there in the ocean where you belong!”

But then, I remember that I have done the very same silliness time and time again.  So many of us are equipped to live the abundant life in Christ but don’t even know it. We suit up, but settle in. We resign ourselves to living the mediocre faith, void of vibrancy, wonderment, and awe. Don’t head to the bathtub in your scuba equipment. Head out to the ocean of pre-ordained opportunity and experience all that God has for you. You’ve already got the gear. It’s just up to you to jump in.  Moses had everything he needed to accomplish the task God had pre-ordained for him to do. He was saved by the Pharaoh’s daughter, raised in the Pharaoh’s house, trained in the Egyptians’ ways, and taught the Egyptian language. He was “powerful in speech and action” (Acts 7:22).

But by the time he had failed in Egypt and bailed to the desert of Midian he had forgotten all that.  When God called Moses to a great adventure at the burning bush, Moses argued and told God all the reasons why He had the wrong man for the job. He was suited up for great things and didn’t even know it.  So here’s my question for you to ponder today: What will you say to God when He calls your name or taps you on the shoulder and says, “Now’s the time?” 

Perhaps today is that day.  If you’re ready leave a comment and say, “I'm ready!”