Thursday, June 28, 2012
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Read all of Psalm 46
This Psalm gives us a glimpse behind the scenes of time and history. Almost by definition we look at life and our place in it from the perspective of day to day life. Psalm 46 urges us to look higher. To see that God is exalted above all and fulfilling the purposes of His holy will.
Despite the fact that the earth and our lives in it can be hectic and hard... and even appear hopeless.... "though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea..."
We are told to remember that the LORD is God.... that our Refuge and Strength, our Fortress is with us. He provides comfort and hope for His People, His Church. These are ones that God loves and love God. An important consideration!
We're then told to be still... to be quiet... to be silent. And then we're exhorted to know (remember) that God is God. Ironic in a way... we're commanded to do what we should do by definition. He will vindicate Himself and His Name among the nations. He will be exalted in the earth.
Reminds me of Philippians 2:9-11
"Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father."
Friday, June 22, 2012
"What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?"
Read all of Mark 8
These semi-familiar words of Jesus strike at the heart of human existence. Almost everyone everywhere evaluates their success or importance by material wealth. To some extent this is probably true for each of us. Advertisers know well how easily we are led along. If only we had the next, new, better, shiny, even useful new thing, then we would be happy... or at least happier than we are right now. If you think about it you know this isn't really true. Material things and improved appearance won't make you happy...in fact they can't make you happy.
We are not random compilations of DNA. No, we are special creations of Almighty God. In fact, we were all created in the image of God Himself. To suppose that we could find the fullest expression of earthly happiness apart from God is to not be thinking too clearly. The Apostle Paul speaks of this inRomans 1:25, where he says unbelieving people "exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen."
So what does this have to do with Mark 8:36? Well, I'm just agreeing with Jesus. It does NOT profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul. Instead, all should humble themselves before God, confess their sins and pray to Him for grace and forgiveness through His Son, the only Savior Jesus Christ.
If you have questions, I know the One with the answers (and I'm sharing).
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge."
Read all of Psalm 19
The first few verses of Psalm 19 affirm what is called "general revelation," that God has revealed Himself in the very fabric of life and the world in which we live. Throughout the ages people have recognized their smallness and God's greatness, glory and power, when they look at the world around them (and via microscopes within them).
Yes, there are some who come to other conclusions, but "we have an app for that" (an explanation). God made mankind and the world very good. But our first parents, Adam and Eve under the instigation of the Devil, ate of the tree of which God said they should not (the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil). As a result they brought spiritual blindness and death upon themselves and their posterity.
So, from the viewpoint of the Bible, it is the fool who concludes that there is not God and those with clouded judgement who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. This is because they fail to fulfill their high and holy calling of living in fellowship with the God who made them.
That this is so is affirmed in Romans 1:21 "because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened."
I guess the question for us all is, "Are we thankful to God and glorifying Him as God?"
If not... why not?
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."
Read all of Ephesians 3
This out-of-place benediction is found in the middle of Ephesians 3. The Apostle Paul has been expounding the outworking of the God's redemptive plan. From the beginning He was planning to extend his transforming grace to people of every race, language and location around the world. For a time, the Nation of Israel (the offspring of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) were THE covenant people of God... but now through the Gospel of Christ, the People of God has been expanded to include believers from every race and place. Those of Hebrew descent are now just a part (albeit the root) of God's cosmopolitan global congregation, His Church.
This is the MYSTERY we read about at several points in the Book of Ephesians (1:9, 3:3, 3:4, and 3:9)... The Creator of all, is the Lord of all, and the God of all... and by His Sovereign grace calls them (and brings them) to Himself through His Son, the Savior Jesus Christ.
I don't know a better way to conclude that with the verses just preceding Today's Verse:
"For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;" Ephesians 3:14-17
This is my prayer for you too.
Saturday, June 2, 2012
Revelation 21: 2-4
"I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Read all of Revelation 21
I saw a quotation from John Piper this week that I've been thinking about about. He said one of the dangers of watching TV and movies is that we become accustomed to not thinking about God. These verses from Revelation 21 are also easily forgotten.
We're told of the remarkable deliverance and future that awaits the children of God... and what do we do? We loose sight of it. Instead we spend our time, our thoughts and energy on everything but these things.
These verses were part of the vision that was given to John for us all. We are the Bride of Christ. We are the Church He came to save... the ones purchased by His blood will dwell with Him forever. What is heaven going to be like? There will be no more pain, crying, tears, or death.
Seems to me we should be living and dressing the part now.