Friday, March 24, 2017

THE MYSTERY / Process Of Love


This is the 4th of 4 devotions with the theme

From 1 Corinthians 13:5
"Love Is Not Self Seeking”



THE MYSTERY
by
Rebecca Cooley

(Adapted from John 12:23-24; 1 Corinthians 13:5)

Crowds of people came to Jesus after Lazarus was raised from the dead. Many just wanted to get a glimpse of Lazarus. Jesus knew it was time to describe His death. Lazarus’ death and resurrection was a type of what was about to happen to Him. His words could have been:


You have seen a dead man raised to life. I know that many of you just want to see Lazarus with your own eyes and reach out and touch him and go home and talk about this miracle. I want to tell you that a greater miracle than Lazarus’ is about to happen. The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified and exalted. I will die and I will be raised from the dead just like Lazarus. I am like a grain of wheat. If the grain of wheat is not planted, it will remain just one grain, alone and not producing anything. If the grain is planted and decomposes in the ground, it will sprout and produce a rich harvest. My body will be given to death as a grain sown into the ground. My resurrection is compared to the blade springing up from the dead grain. Just like the grain that produces an abundance of fruit, my life will yield a rich harvest of souls.


It is a physical truth that the whole body of the grain dies, is converted into the earth and forms the first nourishment of the embryo plant. The only part of the seed that lives is the germ and the germ helps the new plant receive support from the surrounding soil. Though the body of the Lord died, there was still the germ, the quickening power of the Divinity, which revived His body and put a stamp of approval on the atonement. The merit value of the atonement sacrifice was multiplied. So through the death of that one person, the Son of the Living God, salvation was procured for the whole world. Never was an allegory more appropriate or an illustration more suitable to describe the mystery of life.


Jesus’ death on the cross was the greatest act of selflessness ever expressed. Selflessness and love are synonymous. The seed is alone but when it dies it produces many others. Jesus died alone but his death caused life for a multitude of others. When we die to ourselves and to selfishness, we are doing what is best for others rather than ourselves and it produces love that grows beyond what we could imagine.


Lord, I don’t understand how a tiny grain can be planted in the ground, watered and spring up into life. That is a mystery that You hold in Your hand. I am amazed that a tiny grain can reproduce itself and multiply hundreds of times of itself. I am amazed how it takes in water and becomes vegetation and assumes a form and consistency completely different than itself. I am amazed that it can become something that releases indescribable aromas and tastes so pleasant and pleasing. The wisest man on earth could not explain how a tiny seed becomes nourishment for an animal and assimilates to the very nature of the body that receives it and becomes flesh and blood and nerves and bones. The truth is that I believe this mystery even though I don’t understand it. And I believe in Your death, burial and resurrection even though I cannot explain it or comprehend it and I thank You for the miracle of it all.


© LoveWalkPublishing 
Authored by RebeccaCooley
All Rights Reserved





THE PROCESS OF LOVE
(Adapted from 1 Corinthians 13:5; John 12:23-24)
Verse :
The time has come for the Son of Man
To be glorified and exalted (repeat)
Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies
It remains just one grain
It never becomes more,
It lives alone, by itself
But if it dies it produces many others
If it dies it yields a rich harvest
If it dies it produces many others
If it dies it yields a rich harvest
Chorus 1:
I yield my life to selflessness
I yield my life to the process
I yield my life to the process of love
Chorus 2:
Lord I die to myself
I live to you
Lord I die to selfish ambition
I live to You
I yield my life to the process of love
I yield my life to the process of love

© LoveWalkMusic
WordsAndMusic by KentCliffordCooley
All Rights Reserved

Thursday, March 23, 2017

DEVELOPING SELFLESSNESS / I'm So Glad

This is the 3rd of 4 devotions with the theme

From 1 Corinthians 13:5
"Love Is Not Self Seeking”




DEVELOPING SELFLESSNESS
by 
Kent Cooley

(Adapted from 1 Cor. 13:5, 1 Timothy 6:17)

Spring has always been my favorite time of year, so much so that during my childhood and teen years, I would sometimes experience mild depression during the fall and winter months.  Instead of enjoying all the seasons, I just enjoyed spring and summer and despised fall and winter.  I took some delight in the beauty of the fall colors but knowing that the trees would soon be bare was depressing to me. 

It dawned on me one day as I was approaching my 20’s that it was not the will of God for me to be depressed about anything, especially something that is in His grand design such as the four distinct seasons.  So I made a choice and a quality decision to enjoy all four seasons.  I realized that my favorite season could still be Spring but I would now chose to enjoy the other seasons. 

I am older now and the Holy Spirit still continues to teach me to get rid of negative mindsets. The Father has given me all things to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17).  Also I am learning to get rid of selfish ways of thinking.  For instance, my favorite season may be Spring and my favorite music might be Southern Gospel.  What if my neighbor’s favorite season is winter and their favorite music is Contemporary Christian? They should not feel peer pressure from me nor should I feel peer pressure from them.  I should not attempt to create them in my image and attempt to make them like what I like. 

As a worship leader, I am learning the importance of developing selflessness by considering the kinds of music that the people in the audience might enjoy.  It is not at all about the kind of music I relate to but rather about the kinds of music that individuals in the audience relate to.   When I lead a congregation in praise worship, I will exhort them to develop selfless thinking by being considerate of one another.  We do not want to leave anybody out.  A hymn might lift the spirit of an older person while a new chorus might help a young adult to experience the presence of God.  It is an oxymoron for a worship leader or a worshiper to attempt to connect with God in a worship service with any sort of selfish thinking that would say “I do not care about what other people want or need.  I want my kind of music and I am not going to be considerate of what other people want or need.”

Father, You are love. I am learning that love and selflessness are synonymous and that love and selfishness are incompatible.    Thank you for teaching me to develop positive and selfless ways of thinking.  I chose to enjoy You.  I chose to enjoy all the seasons and I chose to enjoy all Your people and develop a servant’s heart, not for them to serve me but for me to serve them selflessly.         
© LoveWalkPublishing Authored by Kent Clifford Cooley





I’M SO GLAD

(Adapted from 1 Cor. 13:5, 1 Timothy 6:17)

Verse:
We enjoy the summer 
We enjoy the fall 
We enjoy the winter
But most of all

Chorus:
I’m so glad to see Spring here 
Flowers are bloomin’ 
Song birds are singin’
I’m so glad to see Spring here 
Everything is coming alive
Bridge:
The calendar has rolled around 
To the month of March
And we have been looking forward to Spring 
From the bottom of our hearts

© LoveWalkMusic WordsAndMusic by Kent Clifford Cooley



Wednesday, March 22, 2017

THE SEASONS OF OUR LIVES / It's Beginning To Feel Like Spring

This is the 2nd of four devotions with the theme
From 1 Corinthians 13:5
"Love Is Not Self Seeking”


THE SEASONS OF OUR LIVES
by
Kent Cooley

(Adapted from 1 Corinthians 13:5; 15:55; Psalms 116:15; 126:6)
Spring has always been my favorite time of the year. It is a time when new life springs forth from the earth. As the seasons unfold and spring turns to summer, and summer turns to fall, and fall changes to winter, it is a cycle created by the Almighty. Winter fades and the cycle starts all over again with the new life of spring. Because of the contrasts of the seasons, the beauty of each season is manifested in wonderful distinctions.

Then, there are the seasons of our lives. We are born and go through the seasons of our lives from birth to the grave. Growing old and eventually dying is a result of the fall. However, isn’t it just like our God to grace our lives in this grand design as a wonderful thing?

Precious in the sight of the Lord 
is the death of his saints
And
O death, where is your sting? 
O grave, where is your victory?

When a believer dies the cycle of life here ends, and a new life begins in heaven. Heaven is an eternal youth where we will never grow old.

The very last time Billy Graham spoke at the Mall of our Nation’s Capital, he pointed to the memorials and he said, “All of these great men that are memorialized here at the Nation’s Capital mall have one thing in common. They are all dead. And you are going to die too. In order for you to be prepared to die, you need Christ.” Billy Graham would always use the death factor to bring people to the rude awakening of their need for Christ.

DEATH FORCES ME INTO SELFLESSNESS! Death says someday you will be gone and you will not be able to take anything with you except souls that you have won to Christ.

Father, The reality of death reminds me that I am going to lay it all down and leave it for someone else forcing me into selflessness. Death reminds me that I need you and I must invest in others to leave a legacy behind me. Give me souls for my hire and I will come before you one day rejoicing as I present them as the only items I could bring with me, before you, into heaven.
© LoveWalkPublishing
Authored by KentCliffordCooley
Edited by RebeccaAnnCooley
AllRightsReserved



IT’S BEGINNING TO FEEL LIKE SPRING
(Adapted from 1 Corinthians 13:5; 15:55; Psalms 116:15; 126:6)
Chorus:
It’s beginning to feel like spring,
Beginning to feel like spring
I hear a lot of preachin’ and singin’
About the coming of a king
I don’t wonder why and I don’t have to try,
It’s very clear to me
I can almost smell the heavenly flowers
And it’s beginning to feel like spring
Verse 1:
People are beginning to put their winter cloths away,
Their putting on the garments of praise
The birds don’t stay here when the winter time is near
Sometime your gonna find me gone
But while I’m here I’ll bid you come along
Verse 2:
My great grandma on her dyeing bed
Was still happy as we could see
And though she wasn’t well in body,
She was close to eternity
She said, “Son it’s the middle of December
O but that don’t matter to me
I just felt a warm breeze from heaven
And it’s beginning to feel like spring
© LoveWalkMusic
WordsAndMusic by KentCliffordCooley 
AllRightsReserved

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A GLORIOUS AND BOUNTIFUL SPRING / New Life

This is the 1st of 4 devotions with the theme
From 1 Corinthians 13:5
"Love Is Not Self Seeking”


A GLORIOUS AND BOUNTIFUL SPRING
by
Kent Cooley

(Adapted from Zechariah 4:10;  Colossians 1:24-2:7)

Spring is my favorite time of the year.  I would like very much for it to be Spring all year round.  However, Spring would not be Spring if it were not for the other three seasons!

Even if you were to travel north close to the North Pole or south close to the South Pole, you would still see that the seasons exist even though they would not be very distinct.  The same is true concernineng areas near the equator where it would be summer like all year round but the seasons still manifest though not as distinctly.  In climates where each season is very distinct, spring is the most beautiful and bountiful time of the year.  The farmers in Illinois depend on heavy winter snows to provide certain nutrients to the soil for a bountiful end of the summer harvest.

Consider the distinctions of the seasons.  During the summer, it is hot and plant life is thriving and growing fast.  During the fall season trees go into a kind of hibernation.  The leaves lose their green pigment and we see the beautiful fall colors as the energy of the trees begin to focus on the root system.  During the winter months there is no visible demonstration of life but that is the time the energy in the root system of the tree thrives and the roots grow deep and strong. 

The same is true concerning the distinct seasons of our lives.  There are fall and winter-like seasons of our lives that God is working on our root system and there are spring and summer-like seasons of our lives when there is a visible manifestation of life and fruit.

I remember when Rebecca and I spent 3 ½ years developing our root system as we soaked in hours of teaching day and night.  During this time we felt an especially strong unction to fast and pray.  Our fall and winter season ended as we began to write devotions and songs and a "spring season" in our lives began to manifest.

When someone is attending Bible school, God is working on a root system in their life.  When the "school season" or "fall and winter season" of this time of their lives is over, the results of the root system manifest into a wonderful and bountiful "spring season." 

Father, I will not despise the day of small things.  I will not despise the season that you are working on my root system.  I prefer spring and summer but I will embrace fall and winter.  May my roots go deep to fully prepare me for a glorious and bountiful Spring.

©LoveWalkPublishing 
Devotion Authored by Kent Clifford Cooley
All Rights Reserved


NEW LIFE
(Adapted from Zechariah 4:10;  Colossians 1:24-2:7)
Verse 1:
How sweet the Spring, after the fall, 
After the winter when the snow thaws
How sweet the Spring, after the fall, 
After the winter when the snow thaws
Chorus:
New life spring forth (4X)
Verse 2:
The tree looks dead, oh but it’s not 
It is alive down deep inside
The winter’s when the roots flourish 
I n preparation of new spring growth 

©LoveWalkMusic 
WordsAndMusic by Kent Clifford Cooley

All Rights Reserved

Saturday, March 18, 2017

PRACTICING LOVE ON PURPOSE / Faith w/o Works

This is the sixth of six devotions and music videos 
with the theme from Galatians 5:22 
"The Fruit of the Spirit is Faith"


PRACTICING LOVE ON PURPOSE
by
Kent And Rebecca Cooley

(Adapted from John 5:29; James 2, Galatians 5:22)

Love is something we practice on purpose in obedience to the Word.  As we practice love, kindness and gentleness, we are taking the bucket of our works and plunging it down into the well of salvation and bringing up the very nature of Jesus.  We develop His love by practicing love on purpose and His very nature is extracted from us when we put His love into practice not by feeling but by faith.  Faith without works is dead. 

Lord, I want to put my faith into action and practice love on purpose.  How do you want to develop my love walk so that Your nature is extracted from me and extended to others?  How can my faith walk in the footsteps of Your love?

Child, if you love your neighbor as you love yourself, you will do well.  Speak and act as one who will be judged under My instructions of love.  Mercy and love exults victoriously over judgment.  Just speaking faith is not enough.    Faith is loveless and destitute of power unless it has deeds or actions of obedience to back it up.  Your good works of faith will illuminate love and love will prove your faith.  Your faith will cooperate with your works and together they will express My love.   Your works of obedience as well as your allegiance to Me are pronounced righteous through love.  
© LoveWalkPublishing Authored by KentAndRebeccaCooley


FAITH W/O WORKS
Devotion:  Practicing Love on Purpose
(Adapted from John 5:29; James 2)
Chorus:
Faith without works is dead
Show me your faith, I’ll show you your works
Faith without works is dead
Show me your works, I’ll show you your faith
Verse:
Love is something we practice 
On purpose in obedience to Your word
As we practice love, patience, kindness, gentleness
It is as if we are taking our bucket of works 
And plunging it down into the well of salvation
Drawing up waters of Your mercy
Drawing up waters of Your love
Drawing up Your divine nature

© LoveWalkMusic WordsAndMusic by KentCliffordCooley

Thursday, March 16, 2017

LAZARUS / I Believe

This is the fifth of seven devotions and music videos 

with the theme from Galatians 5:22 

"The Fruit of the Spirit is Faith"



LAZARUS
by Rebecca Cooley

(Adapted from John 11:1-44)

Lazarus was sick.  His sisters, Mary and Martha, were right by his side, attending to his every need.  The Scriptures do not record the events of the day Lazarus died.  Perhaps their last conversation was something like this:

“Lazarus, we have sent for the Lord.  He will come.  When He gets here, the Master will touch you and you will get well.  We believe He is from God.  He will heal you.”

“Yes, Martha, I believe He can heal me.  I am so weak.  I believe He will come.  But Mary, Martha, if he doesn’t come, I still believe. . . .”

Lazarus died. 

Mary and Martha believed that Jesus is the Messiah.  They had seen Him heal the sick.  They had seen His miracles.  They know in whom they have believed.  What they don’t know is that their faith is about to be deepened.  The Messiah is about to pull a clarity out of their faith that will shake the little village of Bethany and beyond.

When Jesus finally arrived in Bethany, Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days.  Mary ran out to meet Him as he entered the village.  “Master, if you have been here, my brother would not have died.”

“Your brother will rise again.”

“I know that he will rise in the resurrection on the last day.”

“Mary, I am the Resurrection and the Life.  Whoever believes in me will live, even after dying.  Everyone who believes in me will never die. Do you believe this Mary?”

“Yes, Lord.  I have always believed that you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”

“Where have you put him?”

“Lord, come and see.”

When they arrived at the tomb, Jesus said, “Roll the stone away.”

“But Lord, he has been dead for four days.  The smell will be terrible!”

“I told you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?  Lazarus, come forth!”
Lazarus walked out of the tomb, his hands and feet bound in grave clothes.

“Unwrap him and let him go!”

As Mary and Martha recovered from the awe of the moment, maybe they ran to Lazarus, pulled off his grave clothes, touched him, patted him, squeezed him, kissed him, hugged him and said, “Lazarus, you are alive!  Look at you!  You are not dead!  You were dead!  Now you are here!  It is you!  You walked out of that tomb!  We love you Lazarus!”

Holding onto his sisters, maybe Lazarus looked over right into the eyes of the Messiah and said, “I told you girls that I believe.”

Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God and I believe that You can raise the dead, heal the sick, open the eyes of the blind or anything else You choose to do.  I relinquish all doubt and unbelief that You will do these things in these days.  As You walked through the faith of Lazarus and his sisters, walk on the wings of my faith, Lord, and cause people to see Your glory in these days.  I believe You are the Resurrection and the Life.  I believe, Lord.”
© LoveWalkPublishing
Recitation authored by RebeccaAnnCooley
All Rights Reserved





I BELIEVE
(Adapted from John 11:1-44)
Verse:
Many believed on him that day
Because of the words they heard him say
Never a man spake like this man (3X)
How can he do these signs
These wonder working miracles unless
God is with him

Chorus:
I believe, I believe, I believe, I believe Thou art the Christ, 
The Messiah, The Son of the Living God

© LoveWalkMusic 
WordsAndMusic by KentCliffordCooley
All Rights Reserved