On this day a year ago I learned of the loss of a dear friend and brother in Christ, Keith Massey. He was a brother who gave his life to Christ and faithfully served in the church full-time in the music ministry. He always greeted you with a hug, greeted you as “bro”, and brought a smile to your face. Have you ever known anyone who refreshed your heart every time you saw them? That was Keith.
He’s the one wearing the Run DMC shirt in the photo below.
So this morning my heart was sad, for the flesh is weak. But our Lord’s humble and faithful servant has returned home to be face to face with Jesus Christ in heaven, and for that I am comforted and at peace. I know that I will see him again, and we will rock some faces off in heaven.
And I am so blessed and thankful for the hearts that were changed forever through our worship and music ministry. His legacy will have an eternal impact.
“Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.” – Philemon 1:7
As I read through today’s scripture, I could not help but think of my friend who truly refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people. His actions and faithfulness brought music and the God’s Word into the lives of thousands of people, refreshing them, providing healing, comfort, encouragement. Isn’t that the kind of life we all would be so blessed to lead?
A Holy Spirit-filled worship experience can open our hearts to the Lord. I have seen it countless times, week after week. I see the journey of someone struggling, being broken, surrendering, healing, and being built up and restored, renewed, and changed forever. This of course happens over time, and through regular church attendance. But the breakthrough occurs so often during the worship experience.
Let us not ever discount the value of inviting others to church and planting seeds of faith. God sees and appreciates every seed that we plant. We can have an impact helping others deal with whatever situation they are facing by getting them to church and more importantly one that pours their heart and soul into worship. Hearts can truly open to a deeper relationship with the Lord through worship and praise.
This is a great time to reflect on what we can do, and how our actions might be impacting others. Do we pour out our hearts to the Lord giving him our deepest gratitude, or are we too proud and worry about what others might think?
Do any of our friends or family members not know the Lord that we can invite to church, either for the first time or again and again? What talents has the Lord given us that we can show our gratitude for by serving in the church?
As I reflect on the life of my friend, I am inspired and encouraged to press forward and strive to finish the race that God has set forth before me. Keith’s early return home to be with our Lord is a sobering reminder that life is but a flash.
Make every day count. Cherish every moment. Make sure those you love know it. Count every blessing.
How long do we have on this earth? “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” – (Mark 13:32)
Let us be thankful today for our very breath, to walk in love, and to be obedient to the Lord’s calling in our lives. And let us continually be refreshed through God’s Word, that we too can refresh the hearts of the Lord’s people, and walk in the Presence of the Lord filled with the Holy Spirit and the power of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I call you blessed.
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your Word today. Bring us comfort and peace as we face this day with a very heavy heart. Help us to rejoice in the lives of those who have come before us and are now rejoicing with the Lord face to face in heaven. Help us to be strong and encouraged to press forward and live our lives in a way that is worthy of your sacrifice. We thank you for all that you have blessed us with in our lives, our time, our talents, and our earthly possessions. And we thank you for the gifts that you have placed in us that are unseen and yet to be revealed. You are so good Lord. We are humbled by your love and mercy. Let your Holy Spirit overflow in and through us. Continue to bless our pastors and all of our leaders in the faith. Help us to work together as one body of Christ, not neglecting the value of even one of your children. We give you all the honor and glory and praise, in Jesus mighty name. Amen.
Today’s full reading: Isaiah 6-7; 2 Chronicles 26,27; Philemon 1
Scripture References From Today’s Reflection:
- “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” – James 4:14
- “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire’.” – Hebrews 12:28-29
- “Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.” – Psalm 100:1
- “Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” – Psalm 100:2
- “For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” – Psalm 100:5
- “Sing to the LORD, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day.” – 1 Chronicles 16:23
- “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” – Romans 12:1
- “Do not conform 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.” – Romans 12:2
- “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God” – Romans 10:17
- “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” – Matthew 28:19
- “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” – Galatians 6:9
- “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he 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 sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” – Hebrews 12:1-3
- “Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.” – Romans 12:6-8
- “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: ‘They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.’ – 2 Corinthians 9:6-9
- “Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” – 2 Corinthians 9:10-11
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