Mar 10, 2010
Our God is Greater – Chris Tomlin
Harold Mars III wrote via Google+
Re-Centering on a Sunday Night
The one and only Living God is deserving of my worship … He is more than I am and more than I think. He is greater, stronger and higher than any other. In my embracing of that unique awesomeness, I can have confidence that He is for me … what or whom can really stand against me?
“To worship God is to awaken our consciences to His holiness [His absolute purity and otherness], to feed our minds with His truth, to open our hearts to His love, and to devote our wills to His plans and purposes.”
– Charles Stanley
“I’m not like you, Mack … I am God, I am who I am … Mackenzie, I am what some would say ‘holy, and wholly other than you.’ The problem is that many folks try to grasp some sense of who I am by taking the best version of themselves, projecting that to the nth degree, factoring in all the goodness they can perceive, which often isn’t much, and then call that God. And while it may seem like a noble effort, the truth is that it falls pitifully short of who I really am. I’m not merely the best version of you that you can think of, I am far more than that, above and beyond all that you can ask or think.” – from +Wm Paul Young ‘s “The Shack”
“I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work.” GOD’s Decree. For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think.”
– from Isaiah’s love letter to his countrymen (55:8, MSG)
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them … What can we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can every be against us?”
– from the apostle Paul’s love letter to the Romans (8:28,31 MSG)
Behold, He is coming with clouds . . . —Revelation 1:7
In the Bible clouds are always associated with God. Clouds are the sorrows, sufferings, or providential circumstances, within or without our personal lives, which actually seem to contradict the sovereignty of God. Yet it is through these very clouds that the Spirit of God is teaching us how to walk by faith. If there were never any clouds in our lives, we would have no faith. “The clouds are the dust of His feet” (Nahum 1:3). They are a sign that God is there. What a revelation it is to know that sorrow, bereavement, and suffering are actually the clouds that come along with God! God cannot come near us without clouds— He does not come in clear-shining brightness.
It is not true to say that God wants to teach us something in our trials. Through every cloud He brings our way, He wants us to unlearn something. His purpose in using the cloud is to simplify our beliefs until our relationship with Him is exactly like that of a child— a relationship simply between God and our own souls, and where other people are but shadows. Until other people become shadows to us, clouds and darkness will be ours every once in a while. Is our relationship with God becoming more simple than it has ever been?
There is a connection between the strange providential circumstances allowed by God and what we know of Him, and we have to learn to interpret the mysteries of life in the light of our knowledge of God. Until we can come face to face with the deepest, darkest fact of life without damaging our view of God’s character, we do not yet know Him.
“. . . they were fearful as they entered the cloud” (Luke 9:34). Is there anyone except Jesus in your cloud? If so, it will only get darker until you get to the place where there is “no one anymore, but only Jesus . . .” (Mark 9:8 ; also see Mark 2:7).
by Oswald Chambers
“Dear?” The only response this elicits is a distracted “Hmm,” accompanied by the rustle of a newspaper. “Could I talk to you?” Again a reply of “Hmmm,” followed by silence. Then footsteps are heard walking away. Have you ever experienced something similar?
We’ve all been guilty of inattention to those we love. So much clamors for our attention that we at times dodge effort instead of investing in a relationship. Unfortunately, we can do the same thing with God. But we don’t want that, do we?
Biblical fasting is one way to help us regain focus concerning our relationship with the Lord and what matters to Him. Fasting readies us to concentrate on our Father. It is an opportunity to set aside other things in order to seek His face and hear His voice. It is a time of preparation that leads us to fix our attention on God’s purposes and will for us.
Many of us have not tried fasting because it seems too foreign. We don’t know how to begin or when to find the time. But if we see it for what it is—a faith experience that sharpens our spiritual vision, intensifies our desire for God, and leads us to better understand His direction—then we will want to try it for ourselves.
Have you been crying out to the Father for more of Him? Do you need to know God’s will for a particular area of your life? Biblical fasting is a spiritual discipline that will bring you to the place where your hearing is sharper, your mind is clearer, and your eyes are more firmly fixed on the Lord and His plans. Why not discover this for yourself?
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.” (Matthew 23:29-30)
This final “woe” in Matthew 23 is the most awful of all eight of them. Although this builds from verse 25, the conclusion demonstrates the result of such duplicitous behavior—ultimate and eternal separation from the Creator God and His holiness. “Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” (Matthew 23:31-33).
Here is the principle: “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matthew 12:37). This is no small issue. Our speech is a direct reflection of what is important to us. So much so that we will be held accountable, for “every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (Matthew 12:36).
Those passages ought to give all of us pause. Just what is it that consumes our conversation throughout the day? Is it sports, movies, shopping, gossip, slander, or sowing “discord among brethren” (Proverbs 6:19)? Or is it “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report” (Philippians 4:8).
Our mouths are connected to our hearts (Matthew 15:18). What we talk about most of the time is a definite indicator of where our hearts are. Perhaps we should listen to ourselves. That is a pretty good marker of what we love most. “Stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh” (James 5:8). HMM III
I have made the earth, and created man upon it; I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded. I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways.—Isaiah 45:12, 13.
HE who suns and worlds upholdeth
Lends us His upholding hand,
He the ages who unfoldeth
Doth our times and ways command.
God is for us,
In His strength and stay we stand.
THOMAS H. GILL.
YOU have trusted Him in a few things, and He has not failed you. Trust Him now for everything, and see if He does not do for you exceeding abundantly above all that you could ever have asked or thought, not according to your power or capacity, but according to His own mighty power, that will work in you all the good pleasure of His most blessed will. You find no difficulty in trusting the Lord with the management of the universe and all the outward creation, and can your case be any more complex or difficult than these, that you need to be anxious or troubled about His management of it? HANNAH WHITALL SMITH.
Thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name. Psalm 61:5
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD. — The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing. — The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.
Unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings: and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. — He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Isaiah 54:17. Psalm 34:7-10. Psalm 16:6. Malachi 4:2. Romans 8:32.
Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down. Isaiah 64:1
Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices. — We ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. — Bow thy heavens, O LORD, and come down: touch the mountains, and they shall smoke.
This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. — Unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. — It shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. — That blessed hope … the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. —Our conversation is in heaven.
Song of Songs 8:14. Romans 8:23. Psalm 144:5. Acts 1:11. Hebrews 9:28. Isaiah 25:9. Revelation 22:20. Titus 2:13. Philippians 3:20.