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Monday, August 13, 2018

I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad. Psalm 34:1-2 (esv)

A Rock Speaks

I had a world history class in my 10th grade year in high school. My teacher was an avowed atheist and was vocal in his atheism and especially in his scorn of Christians and Christianity. I remember him saying “The law says I have to give the views of Christianity so I have to briefly cover it.” It was very brief and he never mentioned it again unless it was in a negative context.

I don't remember much this man taught except for one day when he covered ancient Israel. As he went along I recall one of his statements on the subject that seemed ironic; he said, “The time of king David and his son Solomon were the golden years of the nation of Israel.” I remember thinking 'Yes, and if you read the Psalms you would know why.' Frankly, I was shocked that he even admitted it but eventually came to realize his statement only verified the historical accuracy of the Bible and testified of the blessing God poured out on Israel through the righteous life of David and the holy and sound impact of his psalms. Without realizing it he inadvertently gave glory to God's work, love, and grace in King David's life, a man after God's own heart (1st Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22).

David's life was less than pristine. Yet through all of his rebellious actions God still gave him the promise that a member of his family would always be seated on his throne and it would last forever. Jesus Christ was a descendant of David through His Father Joseph (Matthew 1:1-17) and His mother Mary (Luke 3:23-38). As God's only beloved Son (Matthew 3:17) He would be the One who would sit on his father David's  throne in an eternal reign (Luke 1:32).

There's no escaping God's plans even to a convinced atheist glorifying the works of God without knowing it. The age of David and Solomon was indeed blessed but the Golden Age will arrive at the Second Coming of Christ when He restores Israel and the Jewish people to their promised and honored place among the nations (Isaiah 10:20, Jeremiah 31:7, Micah 2:12, Zechariah 8:23). He will begin an eternal reign of righteous dominion of all things. The Bible says God is slow to anger and mighty in power (Nahum 1:3). He is merciful in His restraint to forebear punishing the wicked yet is marvelous in His power to accomplish His redemptive design for humanity, the Earth, and even the universe.

In His triumphal entry into Jerusalem His disciples went before Him praising God and Jesus as His Christ. The religious leaders were incensed and told Him to rebuke them. Christ replied, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out” (Luke 1940). For the Lord of Hosts has purposed, and who can thwart Him? His hand is outstretched, so who can turn it back? (Isaiah 14:27). God will not be silenced. He can proclaim His praise and glory in the most unusual places and ways. He can even do it from the lips of a rock-hearted atheist.


Monday, August 6, 2018

For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD! Psalm 117:2

God Is Still Working

I've shared the Gospel with several people in my life who told me they were completely convinced they could never receive forgiveness of their sins from God. Whether or not they were just saying that to put me off I can't say, but to verbalize such a thing revealed their ignorance of the power, grace, and redemptive love of God.

In 1st Kings 12 and 2nd Chronicles 10 we read that the nation of Israel split into two nations over a disagreement with the new king. Ten tribes of Israel created a northern kingdom while the tribes of Judah and Benjamin made up the southern kingdom. There were 19 kings that reigned in the southern kingdom and 19 that ruled in the northern kingdom. Of the 19 in the southern kingdom 8 did good in the eyes of the Lord. It wasn't so in the northern kingdom. All 19 kings did evil in the sight of the Lord.

But here's the incredible part; God continued to work His grace through the prophets He sent to Israel who boldly confronted the evil kings telling them to put away their idols and again follow the commandments of the LORD. Those kings never did, but despite their rebellion and the rebellion of the people God never gave up on them.

He will never give up on us no matter what kind of sin we've committed. To say God cannot forgive sin through Christ is to say Christ, as God (John 10:30, 33, Hebrews 1:8) is too weak or helpless to do so which totally goes against Scripture. One of the marvelous attributes of God is He is Omnipotent (all powerful). He can do anything and He never changes. He will work in our lives as He did in ancient Israel's times, regardless of what we've done.

The good news is if you have never believed on Christ for the forgiveness of your sins the Bible does not say you need to walk a church aisle or even speak a prayer. All you need to do is believe that Jesus Christ is God's perfect sacrifice for sin (Luke 23:42-43, Acts 16:31) and then do what He commands. He said "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments" (John 14:15). 

In that is a sureness in a world of uncertainty. The depth of His continuing love and grace when we fail Him never changes and that love and grace always remains truly amazing.


Monday, July 30, 2018

And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:8 (English Standard Version)

The Opt-Out

There is a word in our vocabulary we can use to get out of something. It's called the 'opt-out.' On the Internet it can be used to stop email newsletters and spam, in banking and insurance companies it can be used to stop your information from being sold to third parties, or it could be used to tell someone you don't want to be involved in their plans. It's an escape clause.

The Gospels teach of the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ. How on the cross He became God's Perfect sacrifice satisfying His wrath against sin. When we read the Gospel accounts of the arrest and crucifixion of Christ we seldom consider that in all He went through He had an opt-out. As He was being arrested Jesus told Peter He could appeal to His Father in Heaven and He would send twelve legions of angels to His aid (Matthew 26:53). The number of soldiers in an average Roman legion was 5,000. Multiplied x12 it equals 600,000 angels. It is interesting that we find in 2nd Kings 19:35 that one angel of the Lord, in one night, went through the camp of the Assyrian army, camped to attack the city of Jerusalem, and killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers. Imagine what twelve legions of angels could have done to the earth had Christ asked for them!

Jesus spoke to His disciples telling them He had authority from God Himself to lay down His life and to take it up again (John 10:17-18). Before His arrest He prayed to His Father that if possible the cross and His taking the sins of history upon Himself could be avoided then let it be so, but adding “Not My will but Yours be done (Luke 22:42).” It was God's will that Christ die for the sins of the world since before the earth was created (Revelation 13:8) and Isaiah wrote of the suffering Messiah that it pleased God to crush (sacrifice) Him (Isaiah 53:10) to complete His plan of human redemption from sin. And in obedience to His Father Jesus willingly accepted the will of God (John 14:31).

After His arrest and illegal trials, He allowed His enemies to humiliate Him, beat Him, whip Him half to death, and nail Him to a Roman cross. This was all done voluntarily on Jesus' part. Jesus held total control and could have opted to have gotten out of it and destroyed His tormentors and enemies. But He humbled Himself through it for the joy that was set before Him, enduring the cross, despising its shame and afterward being seated at the right hand of God. (Hebrews 12:2). Christ endured our punishment for sin, crushing the head of Satan (Genesis 3:15) and disarming the rulers and authorities making a show of them, triumphing over them by the cross (Colossians 2:15).

For those that believe on Him Jesus replaces their sin, guilt and shame with the righteousness of God (Romans 5:21). The good news is that God raised Jesus Christ from the grave on the third day after He voluntarily shed His blood and died, that whosoever believes on Him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). Christ could have chosen to opt-out of God's redemptive plan but He chose not to for our sake. That gives the phrase 'opt-out' a whole new meaning doesn't it?


Monday, July 23, 2018

For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God. Romans 2:28-29

A Matter of the Heart

In the Old testament circumcision was required for all Jewish males under the Law of Moses (Brit Milah, or Bris) on the eighth day after their birth. Even Jesus was circumcised on the eighth day after His birth (Luke 2:21). Circumcision can be done for health reasons, comfort or even appearance. God told Abraham to circumcise himself when he was 99 years old (Genesis 17:24), his household and his servants as an everlasting covenant in their flesh. This included all of Abraham's offspring (all Jewish males, even those yet to be born).

It is possible to harden one's heart through legalistic thinking and actions much as the Pharisees did in Jesus' time. There are times when Christians hearts become hardened through practicing sin, sinful inward attitudes that do not honor God, a tendency to constantly judge another brother or sister in Christ, letting your passion for God grow cold, spiritual pride and a myriad of rebellious feelings and attitudes against the commandments and precepts of the Lord.

There comes time when some of us need to spiritually circumcise our hearts, cutting away the things that cover the soul.  Christians can cling to irreligious customs and traditions, interpretations of Scripture taken out of context, unloving and severe attitudes put on other believers considered as all the truth there is, pastors “beating the sheep” with condemnation and disapproval, rejection of other believers from fellowship because they do not practice what the one that practices legalism preaches. There are so many more ways legalism can harden the heart. It can even flow over into the political side of thinking or be something as silly as not liking a brother or sister in Christ because they prefer contemporary Christian music over hymns. That's a hardening of the heart.

In the wilderness Moses told the children of Israel; “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn” (Deuteronomy 10:16). He was telling them to repent in their inward being so that they lined up with God's words. He commands us to make Him the focal point of our commitment, purpose, and actions.

Calcification is the slow but steady hardening of an object. That can happen to our hearts over time. It is good to keep watch over our thoughts (Psalm 19:14), and make a habit of a consistent time to read and study God's word and to practice a consistent prayer life. In doing so we seek to know God and have a personal relationship with Him. He is highly pleased with the feeblest attempt to do so. As the saying goes, “Nothing trumps prayer.”

These life disciplines bring joy, peace, and by the Holy Spirit a measurement of the tenderness of our hearts. A spirit tender and receptive to the Lord is what He desires. It comes down to a matter of the heart. It is what God desires when our spirits grow hard. To cut away the foreskin of the heart and be no longer stubborn. It is His will for all believers and will define our lives. When we do our praise will not be from men but from God.


Monday, July 16, 2018

And if you faithfully obey the voice of the LORD your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. (Deuteronomy 28:1)

God’s Provisions and Israel’s Failure
The Israelites witnessed great miracles from the hand of God in their deliverance from slavery in Egypt. But even with the mighty miracles seen with their own eyes they stubbornly resisted God's plan for their lives. There were conditions that would happen if they followed Him with a true and committed heart. In those blessings God would bless them in the city and the field. They would be blessed in child bearing, they would be blessed agriculturally, their herds of cattle and the young of the flock would increase. Their food would be increased and they would go out and come in blessed and without fear. The LORD would defeat their enemies. He would command the blessing of their barns and all they undertake. He would establish the Jewish people as a holy (set apart) people to Himself.

All the peoples of the earth would see they were called by the name of the LORD and be afraid of them. He would make the Jewish people abound in prosperity. He would send rain for their crops and bless all the work of their hands. They would lend to many nations but borrow from none. He promised if they served Him with a whole heart they would “be the head and not the tail.” He would do all these blessings for them if they faithfully served Him.

But if they rebelled there would be terrible consequences (curses). They would incur His anger at their rejection of Him, there would be famine, confusion, frustration, pestilence and wasting disease, fever, inflammation and fiery heat. There would be drought, blight and mildew. They would be defeated by their enemies, have boils, tumors and scabs and itch that would not heal, they would be oppressed and robbed continually with no one to help them. Their animals would be seized or slaughtered before their eyes. Their children would be taken and other nations they had not known would eat the fruit of their labor. What they would see would drive them mad. They would be carried off to other nations as slaves. For those left in the land their agriculture would not yield much and what grew would be devoured by locusts. They would be the tail and not the head (Deuteronomy chapter 28).

Unfortunately Israel chose to rebel against God and were scattered throughout the nations of the earth in God's judgment. However God in His compassion and mercy said even if they were at the ends of the earth He would bring them back to the land (Deuteronomy 30:4). He did so time and again during Israel's history especially regathering many of them after the Holocaust of World War II. The regathered Jews fought for their independence through 1947-1949, proclaiming itself as a sovereign nation again after nearly 1900 years of dispersion, on May 14, 1948. That same day Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia declared war on the new nation. The Israelis fought against all odds and won that conflict. As of this writing the nation of Israel has existed 70 years in the land, has fought four major wars against surrounding Arab nations (1947-1949, 1956, 1967, 1973) and have been victorious in everyone by the power of their Messiah Yeshua.

God's promise to Israel is that they will be brought back to their faith in Yahweh and their calling and mission in the future under their Messiah Yeshua. He will reign in Zion (Jerusalem) and restore the Jewish people to become a people set apart (holy). The whole earth will be redeemed during the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ (Jeremiah 23:3-8).

His promises to Israel and to all believers in Christ should excite and encourage us. There will be no more curses for Christ will rule the entire earth with a righteous rule (Revelation chapter 21). The Jewish people will be blessed above all nations. Yeshua's provision will overcome Israel's failure. What a promise. What a God. 


Monday, July 9, 2018

Set your affection on the things above, not on the things of the earth. Colossians 3:2
Sometimes circumstances bring emotional, physical, or spiritual pain. It is right to say these things should not be ignored. But sometimes it's easy putting our focus only on earthly measures instead of putting them on things above and trusting God to intervene in His own way and His own timing.
I laughed at a statement a pastor once made about how after people have exhausted every avenue to deal with a problem say, “Well, I guess we should pray” when that should have been the first thing they should have done.
Acquaint thyself with your God is a call to prioritize a life of intimate fellowship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Jesus made this promise; “If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit, apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). If we stay in Him, putting our trust and hope in Him alone, He will make our lives full of blessing, strength, peace of mind, encouragement and the promise that He is everywhere present. He is as close to us as the air we breathe knowing exactly what we are facing.
Job had that kind of faith. He was a very rich man who lost everything including all his children. On top of that his body became covered with boils. His wife, apparently in exasperation told her husband “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9) Job did not curse God of course and instead later made the amazing statement about Him, “Though He slay me yet will I hope in Him. I will argue my ways to His face” (Job 13:15). In all the terrible things that happened to him he kept his eyes on things above and his hope and trust in God.
Priority on keeping our mind on things above is of the essence if we are to have peace of mind in the times that try us or seem impossible to overcome. Who do we have in heaven except Jesus Christ who continually intercedes for us to God the Father (Hebrews 4:15)? Christ is above and above all things. He is our one and only priority.

Monday, July 2, 2018

When Samuel became old, he made his sons judges over Israel. The name of the firstborn was Joel, and the name of the second, Abijah; they were judges in Beer-sheba. Yet his sons did not walk in his ways but turned aside after gain. They took bribes and perverted justice. 1st Samuel 8:1-3

A Parent's Pain

There are some Christian parents who have provided for the physical and spiritual needs of their children, teaching them to love and serve one another, and to observe the commandments of the Lord. Some of these parents have found their sons and daughters have chosen not to live a life of obedience to God. That can be very painful to a godly parent. The prophet Samuel was a parent that experienced that kind of pain. He served the Lord from the time he was 13 years old to an estimated age of 110. His sons, appointed as judges over Israel chose to go after money and gain through taking bribes and corrupting justice.

I have found that members of my own immediate family have chosen to make morally acceptable choices yet have refused to allow God to be at the center of their lives. It has been a great source of personal grief and sorrow to my wife and I. My family certainly wasn't taught to resist loving the Lord with all their heart, soul, and mind yet that is how things have turned out for my children and grandchildren. Speaking to them about it, exhorting them to change, encouraging them to seek God in their lives have been met with opposition and at times open hostility.

What can a parent in this kind of pain do? Not giving up on God and loving their children where they are is a wise choice. And be ardent in prayer for them. I take time everyday to pray for my loved ones. I've been doing it for years without seeing change and I do get disheartened at times. But that doesn't mean the Holy Spirit isn't working in their lives. In my prayers for my loved ones I ask the Holy Spirit to intercede for me on their behalf (Romans 8:26) asking that He will deal with their minds and hearts according to His perfect will. I take solace in knowing the perfect will of God is being accomplished in their lives through Him.

The promises of God are true and steadfast. His Word tells us that the He fulfilled all the word He made to the children of Israel when He led them 40 years in the wilderness (Joshua 21:45). Other verses on God's faithfulness in keeping His promises you can refer to are Jeremiah 1:12, Ezekiel 12:28, Philippians 1:6 and Galatians 6:9 which tell us not to give up. While God cannot promise that our loved ones will definitely turn to Him He does exhort us to pray without ceasing (1st Thessalonians 5:17-18). 

A parent's pain for those choosing to walk outside the will and precepts of the Lord can be agonizing indeed but there can also be peace and rest as we remember just how faithful God is in His working in their lives. We can remember that He works every time we pray for them. He has given us all free will that works in our lives and the lives of our loved ones at times hindering godly decisions. But the Lord in His faithfulness not wanting anyone to perish (2nd Peter 3:9). 

He works through our prayers and He is faithful to His promises. His promises can also be a comfort to us and able to help relieve a parent's pain. If you are a parent in pain be encouraged in His fathomless Faithfulness. The wheel of God moves in His own timing but let us praise Him that it does move.


Monday, June 25, 2018

But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 4:29

Fulfilling Your Joy and Peace

It has been said, “The two most important days in your life is the day you were born and the day you find out why.” I've been a believer in Jesus since I was a child but I never experienced true joy and peace until the day I discovered why I was born. It was to worship and glorify God. True joy and peace came to me on that day.

I had been attending a men's church group when a video series called “Behold Your God” was presented to us. It was a twelve week series with a new video each week on rediscovering the attributes of God. An attribute can be defined as a quality, characteristic or distinctive property of being. Even though I felt I was a “Christian” for many years I had spent my life giving lip service to a God I did not fully trust and which I had made in my own poor and weak image. He was an idol. A weak God of my imagination. I had lost the connection to the God of the Bible; a God whose being and characteristics were mighty and beyond full comprehension.

I began to study the power and character of the One True and Living God and came to a new insight. I found a God who is eternal, holy, limitless, impassible (not governed or overcome by passions), all powerful, all knowing, everywhere present at the same time, full of love, capable of wrath to judge unrighteousness, full of grace, peace, and mercy, slow to anger yet mighty to save (Nahum 1:3), full of splendor and majesty. The list can go on and on.

I chanced to read two classics on the attributes and holiness of God, The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer and The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul. Tozer's answer to experiencing the awareness of God's attributes is simply “reacquaint thyself with your God.” Acquainting myself with my God in His true Being drove me to my knees in worship. And that's when true joy and peace came to me for the first time in my life.

I take time every day to read the Word of God. I start in the Old testament and read through the New Testament reading a chapter a day. I find it is helpful for me to read with a commentary although that isn't necessary. I find it helps me in my understanding of the Word. I pray through a written prayer list. But before I begin I have a printed list of God's attributes I go over, thanking, praising and worshiping God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit for the Their unity, power and strength. I practiced worship every day until it got easier and easier. God is pleased with the feeblest attempts to know Him and to seek Him. As we take each day to do this He leads us into a deeper and more satisfying walk and establishes peace, joy and righteousness in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). For myself I've found my worship time to be my most fruitful. God said if we seek Him with all our heart and soul He can be found. As you do He can meet you where you are and become your fulfilling joy and peace.


Monday, June 18, 2018

And He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” Mark 4:39-41

Immanence of the Holy

The attribute of immanence means God is fully active within creation. The Sea of Galilee is known for its sudden and terrifying storms. They can appear almost out of nowhere. Jesus had been ministering there to the multitudes. When evening had come He boarded a boat and told the disciples to go across the lake to the other side. He immediately lay down in the stern on a cushion and went soundly to sleep.

When they were in the middle of the lake a ferocious storm blew up. While Jesus slept waves were breaking over the sides. The disciples were doing everything in their power to keep their boat from going under. Finally they woke Him and said, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” You can hear the accusation of Him in their question. After all, what did they expect Jesus to do, be awake when the boat sank? They were terrified.

What happened next terrified them even more. After Christ calmed the storm they were filled with great fear because of His act. Why were they so afraid? The storm was over. They were filled with great fear because they were face-to-face with the immanent Holy.

The holiness of God thrills some and others are frightened by it. Never is the holiness of God so evidently revealed in all its power and glory than in the books of the Law of Moses (Exodus through Deuteronomy). God disclosed His character, will and boundaries of approach in the laws He prescribed to Moses, the Levitical priesthood, and the nation of Israel. But He defined Himself in His only begotten Son. How do we approach such awesome holiness and perfection? With reverence and Godly respect, to be sure, but also with the knowledge of how many times Christ said of Himself “Do not be afraid.” Through wind and wave we can resist His holiness or become part of it (2nd Corinthians 5:21). Standing with Him through the storm we can behold His immanent holiness and power knowing He is Lord of all. In His holiness He is not only immanent in His creation but He is also immutable. He does not change in His nature, being or dependability. While He is Lord of all have you resolved He is fully Lord of you?


Monday, June 11, 2018

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16)

Approaching the Holy

God is immanent. That means He is actively working within His creation. God is also Holy. He is set apart in His sanctity and is immortal, dwelling in unapproachable light (1st Timothy 6:16). He revealed His holy Person to the nation of Israel after He brought them out of their bondage of slavery by the Egyptians.

God's first revelation of His presence was to Moses in the burning bush. Overtime as God revealed more of Himself to Moses He displayed a holiness that was powerful and unapproachable. The holiness of God was shown in the design of the Tabernacle or Tent of Meeting. God's presence filled a section of the tent with His Holy presence in a room called the Holy of Holies. Even the high priest was not allowed to enter that room except once a year to atone for the sins of the nation of Israel.

The way and means of approaching God now are different than it was under the priestly sacrificial system. Now through Christ the Holy of Holies has been opened to us (Matthew 27:51) giving us 'instant access' to God the Father through prayer, praise and worship. But we must never forget He has not changed at all in His holiness and perfection and must be approached with respect, reverence and awe.

God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit communicate with believers through the 'quickening' of His Spirit to our spirits. God is still as real today in His love, interest, and interaction to us as He was to the children of Israel in Moses's day. The Law of Moses gave direction of how to approach a holy God through the offering of sacrifices for sins. It was a look forward to Christ being the complete and final sacrificial Lamb for sin and unrighteousness (Hebrews 10:1-18). For those of us who draw near to God through Christ we are sanctified and able to approach God instantly through the offering of His Son once for all perfecting for all time those who are being sanctified in Him. God has not changed in His power or holiness but is now approachable to all who come to Him in faith. In His holiness He gladly welcomes all who come to Him through His Son.


Monday, June 4, 2018

And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness (Exodus 16:2).

Talking About the Weather

Human nature never ceases to amaze me. We are never satisfied. During the winter we complain because it is too cold and during the summer we grumble because it is too hot.

I'm currently reading through the Book of Exodus. It is the epic story of grumbling. Moses and his brother Aaron were empowered by God to lead their kinsmen, the Hebrew people, out of 430 years of slavery to the Egyptians. Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, refused to let God's people go. God brought 10 plagues on Egypt, each one progressively worse until Pharaoh finally drove the Hebrews out of the land.

There were 600,000 Hebrew men counted in the Exodus, not counting women and children. Bible scholars estimate there were probably close to 2,000,000 persons. Also included were herds and flocks of animals. The logistics of managing all of this was an incredible Job for Moses and could only be accomplished by God's help and power.

God led the people into the wilderness where He miraculously saved the Jewish people from an attack from Pharaoh and his army, drowning them in the Red Sea (Exodus 14:28). The people rejoiced at the power and might of God. The LORD led them further into the wilderness where the people immediately forgot about the might and power He had shown in their deliverance from the land of Egypt, not to mention His stopping the pursuit of Pharaoh's army. They complained against Moses that there was no water to drink (Exodus Chapter 15) and that they were going to starve because there was nothing to eat. God supplied quail for their meat and manna for them to eat (Exodus 16:13). He continued to meet their needs during 40 years of wandering in the desert where they continued to grumble and rebel against God and Moses.

The amazing thing to me as I read about the sojourning of Israel in the wilderness is throughout all the grumbling God continued His work with His chosen people. He did not give up on them. He was almost provoked to do so at one point because of their disobedience but the intercession of Moses on their behalf halted Him from doing so (Exodus 32:11).

God does not change. His love and faithfulness do not change either. They are eternally strong and never lose their power. His promises and care are holy and therefore perfect, even when we, like the Israelites, tend to grumble at what God is doing in our lives. He knows all things and in His wisdom He knows which is the best choice to lead us in. He may not reveal Himself as He did with Moses and the children of Israel but His immutability means He never changes. He is mighty to save (Zephaniah 3:17). Whether we grumble about the weather or what is happening in our lives He is already a step ahead of us, knowing our need even before we ask or think it. So the next time you hear someone complaining about the weather, take a moment to think of Moses and the God that sustained him and a nation through all of the storm and that He remains the same to guide and weather us through any storm of life we encounter.


Monday, May 28, 2018

I said in my heart God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work. Ecclesiastes 3:17

A Lesson on Love

The Apostle John by the Spirit of God said God is love (1st John 4:8, 4:16). Some have taken his statement as the determinate view concerning this part of God's nature and attribute. This is an error I find many unbelievers (and some Christians) holding to.

While it is true one of God's attributes is love, comparing love as the totality of God does not take into account all His other attributes and is a great mistake. That train of thought and belief has created a vast following of unbiblical religious liberties and vain philosophies. If we say God alone is love we destroy His personality for it is made up of many facets. If we say God is love and only love His entire attributes are denied.

One of the major mistakes that many people make is to believe if God is love He won't judge them for their transgressions. That contradicts the attribute of God's justice which demands He judge and punish unrighteousness (Isaiah 13:11, Revelation 20:11-12).

Trusting in God's love by itself for justification instead of through faith in Christ discounts the attributes of God. He cannot let go of one attribute to use another. If He did He would not be God. God's word says that justification can only come through belief in the atoning and redemptive work accomplished through Christ (Colossians 1:20-22). That God came to us in the flesh was because of His love but it was not who He is. He is not totally love and nothing else. Turning back to the God of the Bible gives a picture of His fullness as He revealed Himself to us in His Word. God's love is vitally important and is the attribute that was poured out at the cross through the offering of His Son. Truer love has never yet been matched. It is part of His Majesty. He saves both through His love and powerful attributes. The Apostle Paul said “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love but the greatest of these is love” (1st Corinthians 13:13). Truly of all His amazing attributes, love being one of them, we can be thankful for that part of God's nature for His love never fails.


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!”