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Monday, May 21, 2018

Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: I am the LORD, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by Myself. Isaiah 44:24

A New Calling

In my past devotional thoughts I have noted the great Attributes, Power and Might of God which in the past century the church has been lax in recognizing and applying to it's doctrine, teachings and actions.

Viewed from the perspective of eternity a most critical need of the church is to be brought back to the teaching of the attributes and might of God. For too long He has been marginalized in His Being. There needs to be a shift in our worship of God and a return to glorifying Him again for the reality of who He is.

The church is not a faceless body but it must be realized that whatever we do the church is doing. Indeed, the move to a new and holy outlook on the might and power of God must begin individually with a change of heart, teaching and thinking. There is no secret religious practice, custom or tradition that must be followed or adhered to. The answer is simple and as old as God's spoken word; “Acquaint yourself with your God.” He is not a God who brings success to the covetous or can be coaxed and blandished by everyone who wants a favor. The God we need to know is the Majesty in the Heavens who has no parts or flaws, is free from being obligated to anything or anyone. The God we need to know is awesome in His total and glorious being.

We ought to approach Him with the greatest awe and reverence. And with a heart that fears and trembles with wonder, astonishment and admiration as we come to Him through the might and power of Christ His Son. For it is through Christ's redeeming work that we can even approach Him in his holiness at all.

The concept of Majesty has all but disappeared from the American mind. Humanism has mostly replaced theology as the road to understanding life. To regain the idea of Majesty confession of sin must be first on the list of changes to be made then a return to learning His glorious attributes and our hearts and minds to genuine worship and obedience to His words and commandments.

In the coming week how will you worship God in the realization of His perfectly holy attributes? As A.W. Tozer so beautifully put it; We are left for a season among men; let us faithfully represent Him here.


Monday, May 14, 2018

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. 1st Chronicles 29:11

Your Majesty!

I've just finished reading The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer. It was written by the theologian in the mid-twentieth century and is a writing on how the church has reduced God down to 'manageable' terms, losing the complete power and glory of His Person, reducing Him to a place where we can use Him or at least know where He is when we need Him.

He goes on to list the many attributes of God's powerful and holy (flawless) Being and urges a return to seeing and worshiping the all powerful God that He represents Himself to be in the His Word to us (the Bible).

For the past century the church has more or less taken God for granted needing to know what He is like and reducing Him to the security of a pitifully weak God of our imaginations.

His attributes are stunning . When we read, study and meditate on these mighty facets of God's Being and Character it leads us to a new and better understanding of an all powerful, all knowing and everywhere present Holy God. It reminds us that He is to be approached with awe, reverence and worship. It should also bring to mind the Lord is mighty to act on our behalf with all authoritative power.

What are some of those attributes that set God's Majesty in a whole new and breathtaking light? He is Infinite (limitless), Personal (a self-conscious Being capable of thought, will and interaction with His creation). He is self-existent (has always existed), He is omnipresent (everywhere at once) Omnipotent (can do all things consistent with His character, all powerful), Omniscient (has all knowledge) He is Sovereign (created all things and everything is under His Sovereign control), He is Perfect, Holy, Timeless in nature, all Wise (omnisapient), capable of wrath with a Moral Character that leads Him to judgment and punishment against unrighteousness, He is Truth, Just, Free (not constrained by anything or anyone other than Himself) Good (is absolute perfection), Patient, (Nahum 1:3, He is slow to anger causing Him to bear with the wicked and forebear so long in punishing them), He is immanent (active in and with His creation), Completely full in Majesty, (Sovereign in power, authority, and dignity. Great in splendor and quality of Character).

Tozer says the answer to the dilemma of the church's weak view of God is Jesus Christ. God made complete and full disclosure of Himself through the incarnate Christ. He shows Himself not to reason but to faith and love. He came to us in the flesh; in atonement He reconciled us to Himself and by faith and love we enter into relationship with Him.

God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit can never exist in an imagination that reduces Him to human terms. His Might and Quality of Character will not allow it. Reading and studying the attributes of God's Might has put me on my knees in worship. Has your God been a God on human terms, small, weak and controllable? Take a look with an open heart at the great and mighty power, love and being of the One True and Living God. You too will drop to your knees and say “Your Majesty!”


Monday, May 7, 2018

Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; tremble before Him, all the earth. Psalm 96:9

He Alone is Worthy

There is excitement in praise and worship of God. When I praise and worship I've experienced in my own life a deep sense of a peace, release and relief that cannot be explained to a person not acquainted with Christ.

I include in my worship Jesus Christ. As the God/Man who is 100% Man and 100% God He is worthy of adoration, praise and worship. I worship Him for His obedience to His Father's will that led Him to became the perfect sacrifice for all sin. I worship Him for His death and resurrection. The first brought redemption from sin for the entire world and the second is the promise that all believers will be resurrected, either through translation or the grave (1st Thessalonians 4:16,17).

I worship the Holy Spirit who is also very God of very God. He was manifested in the early church as totally Divine. I worship Him for His powerful work in my life, bringing me growth and maturity in my daily life. He is the Comforter, He is always with me, He is my Protector, my Teacher, Intimate Friend, Confidant, Guide and Counselor.

All three Persons are One in essence and the only Ones worthy to be worshiped. No one and nothing else can ever be worthy to receive worship. God alone is worthy. We alone can give it. I cannot emphasize the exhilaration and joy there is in it. When worship is done with a willing heart it pleases God to the highest degree. When I worship I don't ask for anything I just quietly meditate my praise and adoration of the holiness, might and majesty of His powerful attributes. Most times I don't even speak but let my heart and mind go before God to honor and praise Him.

Giving praise, glory and worship to Him is the ultimate experience for believers. And it should be. It is a joy unparalleled in our life in Christ. When you worship Him begin by praising all He has done for you. Have you eaten today? Praise Him for supplying that need. Do you have shelter? Praise Him. Thank Him for His marvelous love and kindness. Worship Him. Meditate upon God's holy character, His power, majesty and His attributes. If you don't know what those attributes are do a search on the internet with 'attributes of God' in the browser. You'll be surprised at the many powerful facets of God's Person there are. It will astound and encourage you.

As you worship Him daily you will find God is so vast in His being that He is unsearchable yet totally fulfilling. Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. It is a beauty that is matchless. It is confirming, loving, sanctifying and complete. There is no other One like Him for only He is worthy to be worshiped. You can experience the beauty of God's holiness through worship. I encourage you to seek to do it. It will enrich you relationship with God Almighty and change your life.


Monday, April 30, 2018

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Holy One is insight. Proverbs 9:10

Putting Your Fears to Rest

I was teaching a group of Christians once when I mentioned the fear of the Lord. One man suddenly got angry and said “I don't like that word 'fear.' We shouldn't be afraid of God.” I knew what he meant but explained the word fear in the context of God does not mean being terrified of Him. It means a proper respect and reverence that leads to worship and obedience.

While God is mighty in His Being and attributes and is to be respected with awe and reverence He is also slow to anger and full of lovingkindness (Titus 3:4-6, Nehemiah 9:17, Psalm 145:8). His love has been shown to all people by giving His own Son as a sacrifice for our sins (1st John 4:10). And as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ God is the Father of all mercies and the God of all comfort (2nd Corinthians 1:3).

Perhaps we have a warped outlook of our heavenly Father through the conditional acceptance we received from a caregiver when we were young. It shaped our view of authority and left our sense of being able to be loved unconditionally deformed. While those kinds of experiences are unfortunate, God the Father tells us that He loves us with a love that is tender and never ending.

God is loving and gracious in His acceptance of those who have believed on His Son Christ Jesus. He desires for us to approach Him in a deeply loving relationship. Through His Son He sees us without blemish or defect. We may have a small view of ourselves and our frailties but God the Father sees us as His beloved children and since He is King of the entire universe in His eyes that makes us royalty and heirs.

As we embrace the reality of God's perfect love for us it can be a life changing experience. Merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love are just some of the ways He demonstrates His love for us. As we come to accept these beautiful aspects of God's unconditional love we can enter into a whole new era of love and understanding. It can bring us rest from fear and worry, strengthen our faith in Him and bring us a depth of peace of mind that we never imagined was possible. The fear (respect and reverence) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and an experience of warm trust and belonging. The fear of the Lord is something to be pursued. It is something that will put your fears to rest.


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.. Psalm 41:6

Finding Sanctuary in our Anxieties

There's a lot of talking about sanctuary on television today. You can hear it spoken of on practically every news cast. But are you aware how big a sanctuary and refuge our God is? Are you struggling today with something that seems too big to overcome? God's power to help us is magnified in the working of all three Persons of the Godhead, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

The Psalmist writes that our God is a very present help in the time of trouble. He in His all-knowing attribute doesn't miss one wit of what we are currently going through. But why does God seem to hesitate at times in answering our prayers? In the world there is an evil presence in open and savage rebellion against God in Satan and his angels. We are in a spiritual war, not battling physical beings and obstacles but waging war with unseen evil against the cosmic forces over this present darkness, spiritual dominions and principalities, the rulers, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12).

In the book of Daniel we read that as soon as Daniel prayed a prayer of petition, God immediately dispatched the answer. But Satanic forces fought for 21 days against letting the answer through (Daniel 10:12-13). Even though Satan's power was lessened when Jesus died and rose from the dead he still remains a powerful foe of the Christian believer.

How can one feel the peace of God when lust hits or there are bills to be paid and no money in the bank account or you're dealing with family troubles or problems that seem impossible to solve? Enlarging your view of God is a good first step. He is awesome in His might and completely powerful to do all He purposes to do. Remember He heard Daniel's prayer request and immediately dispatched an answer.

I trust in God's sanctification. That is the state of growing in divine grace. It is a daily maturity marked by a quiet and trusting spirit in God and the promises in His Word. I read God's word daily. If you are anxious or worried reading in the Psalms is a good place to start concerning God's love, power and promises that are available in His Son, Christ Jesus. We must remember too that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us (Roman 8:26). When we take sanctuary or refuge in God and rest in His ability to answer prayer we can rest in His perfect will for our lives. One of the biggest helps for me, outside of immersing myself daily in God's Word and prayer, is reaching out to other believers for prayer and support. The Bible tells us to bear one another's burdens and fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2). Many people praying together is powerful and knowing others know of your struggle and are praying for you can be a great comfort.

Taking sanctuary in the Living God brings consolation and hope. He has opened that door of rest and refuge for you. All you need do is walk through and lay your burdens in His hands trusting in His mercy and His awesome power. He knows what you need even before you ask (Matthew 6:8). You can lay all your burdens and anxieties on Him because He cares for you (1st Peter 5:7). May you be refreshed, encouraged and strengthened in Christ in your life today as you find sanctuary through the God of the impossible.


Monday, April 9, 2018

Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go I will send Him to you. John 16:7

The Forgotten God

Is the Holy Spirit some lone invisible apparition that you occasionally think about a few Sundays throughout the year? We often have such a small view of God and a large view of ourselves that it is very possible for us to think there is little or no need for the Holy Spirit at all. The Holy Spirit is part of the Godhead and completely and fully God (Acts 5:3-4). I sometimes believe many Christians don't think of or consider Him at all. He is to many the 'Forgotten God'.

He is fully the Almighty God who draws, moves on and in, gives spiritual gifts, and acts in full holy authoritative power and righteous judgment. Before Jesus went to heaven He breathed on His disciples and said “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22). Shortly after He left them and returned to His Father the Spirit fell on the disciples in Jerusalem in a marvelously powerful way (Acts 2: 1-4).

The Holy Spirit is the 'Major Agent' in the working of the Church and in the lives of Christian believers. In His purity and beauty He works to convict unbelievers of sin concerning righteousness and judgment (John 16:8). He regenerates us (John 3:5-8, Titus 3:5), guides us into all truth (John 16:13), glorifies and testifies of Christ (John 15:26, 16:13-14), leads us (Romans 8:14, Galatians 5:18, Matthew 4:1, Luke 4:1), sanctifies (2nd Thessalonians 2:13), empowers (Luke 4:14, 24:49, Romans 15:19, Acts 1:8) Brings us righteousness, peace and joy (Romans 14:17) and is our guarantee and deposit of the future resurrection (2nd Corinthians 1:22, 5:5) among many of His works.

How can we begin to acknowledge the Holy Spirit in our daily lives? I often pray directly to the Spirit for help during my prayer times when I don't know how to pray for someone or a situation. He intercedes perfectly to God on my behalf (Romans 8:26). I include the Holy Spirit in my praise and worship for as God He is worthy of all praise (1st Chronicles 16:25, 26-29, Psalms 29:1-2, 99:2-9, 100:1-5, Hebrews 12:28, Revelation 4:8-11). And I incorporate a bigger view of God, His Complete Holiness, Personal Identity, Attributes, Strengths, Magnitude and Magnificence are honored in my daily devotions. As God, the Holy Spirit is included in that. He is a divine Presence, a Power and a real Person.

Meditate on that and make Him a highly remembered part of the Godhead and of your daily adoration, worship, love and praise. He is to be revered and reverenced as God and considered worthy of all our worship and praise. It excites us spiritually when we have the joy of experiencing the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and as He exists in His Personal Being He will not be the Forgotten God. On the contrary, He will be remembered and recalled with awe and reverence. To God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit be all the glory forever and ever.


Monday, April 2, 2018

Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand? Job 26:14

Enlarging God

Have you ever gotten out of a city's light pollution and it is dark enough to see the heavens? To stand and view the stars of just our own galaxy is awe inspiring and humbling. God, who has created the entire universe, is indeed immense and powerful in His Being. The heavens cannot contain Him (2nd Chronicles 2:6, Psalms 113:5, 1st Kings 8:27).

There have been times in my past when my view of God has been small and I have made Him into a God of my imagination, feeling and thinking He is just like me and ignoring all of his Attributes and the qualities of His perfect and divine character. I've failed to understand that He in the fullness of His Spiritual Magnitude and Character displays omnipotence (completely and totally powerful), omnipresence (everywhere at the same time), and omniscience (knows everything). He is perfectly holy, self-existent, infinite, personal, endowed with perfect wisdom, the Creator of all things, self-sufficient, eternal, immutable (cannot be changed or will not change), perfect. He is truth, impassable-without passion and not overwhelmed by any emotion, sovereign, He is capable of wrath, which leads Him to judgment and punishment of unrighteousness, God is jealous, He will not share the idea that He has to share our passion and affection with anyone or anything else. Immanent in His creation (involved directly with it). This does not exhaust His attributes for His Character is so vast and expansive that it can never be fully explored or comprehended.

Enlarging God results in changing our view of looking to Him just to see what we can get from Him. He wants more from us than that. He wants us to seek Him and to know Him first for Who He is which can only be accomplished through His Son Jesus Christ, whom He loves (John 14:6, Matthew 3:17, 17:5, Mark 1:11). A.W. Tozer wrote How completely satisfying to turn from our limitations to a God who has none.

It is a believer's joy that we can turn to an infinite and holy Being where there can be no end to knowing Him. If your God is a limited God of your imagination you can enlarge Him by seeking Him first to create a fellowship with Him that is fulfilling and satisfying. At times He works with a whisper but when He thunders in His power who can understand? His perfections go on forever and He bids us to know Him so He can reveal Himself to us in so many personal and beautiful ways. That is His desire for you.

Is it time to enlarge your God?