God’s Mighty Hand

Through his power all things were made—things in heaven and on earth, things seen and unseen. COLOSSIANS 1:16

With one decision, history began. Existence became measurable.

Out of nothing came light.

Out of light came day.

Then came sky … and earth.

And on this earth? A mighty hand went to work.

Canyons were carved. Oceans were dug. Mountains erupted out of flatlands. Stars were flung. A universe
sparkled.

Look to the canyons to see the Creator’s splendor. Touch the flowers and see his delicacy. Listen to the thunder and hear his power.…

Today you will encounter God’s creation. When you see the beauty around you, let each detail remind you to lift your head in praise. Express your appreciation for God’s creation. Encourage others to see the beauty of his creation.

In the Eye of the Storm

LOOKING UP

“Lord, show us the Father. That is all we need.” JOHN 14:8

Biographies of bold disciples begin with chapters of honest terror. Fear of death. Fear of failure. Fear of loneliness. Fear of a wasted life. Fear of failing to know God. Faith begins when you see God on the mountain and you are in the valley and you know that you’re too weak to make the climb. You see what you need … you see what you have … and what you have isn’t enough to accomplish anything …

Moses had a sea in front and an enemy behind. The Israelites could swim or they could fight. But neither option was enough …

Paul had mastered the Law. He had mastered the system. But one glimpse of God convinced him that sacrifice and symbols were not enough …

Faith that begins with fear will end up nearer the Father.

from IN THE EYE OF THE STORM

Fellowship with the Father

“. . .and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:3)

One marvelous reason for which God has adopted us (Ephesians 1:5), indeed part of the very “calling” to become God’s children, is to fellowship (1 Corinthians 1:9) with the great God of creation!

Jesus prayed (John 17) that we, His chosen disciples, might have the same kind of relationship with the Heavenly Father that Jesus Himself had throughout eternity. Our minds may not totally grasp that wonder down here—except as we try to understand something of the key of walking “in the light” (1 John 1:7).

The nature of light in our universe gives us clues:

Light is unchangeable; one cannot make light dark.
Light exposes everything (reveals and brings clarity).
Light is the sustainer of all life as we know it.

The nature of darkness is also very instructive:

Darkness is driven away by the smallest spark.
Darkness covers everything (hides and obscures).
Darkness will kill all life as we know it.

“The path of the just is as the shining light. . . . The way of the wicked is as darkness” (Proverbs 4:18-19). The promise of fellowship with God is that He “will lead them in paths that they have not known” and that He “will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight” (Isaiah 42:16).

Therefore, “let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation” (1 Thessalonians 5:8). Since we were “sometimes darkness” (Ephesians 5:8) but have been delivered from “the power of darkness” (Colossians 1:13), we should no longer “fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11). HMM III

Keep on praying and waiting upon the Lord

“Make thy petition deep.” (Isa. 7:11)
Make thy petition deep, O heart of mine,
Thy God can do much more
Than thou canst ask;
Launch out on the Divine,
Draw from His love-filled store.
Trust Him with everything;
Begin today,
And find the joy that comes
When Jesus has His way!
—Selected.

WE must keep on praying and waiting upon the Lord, until the sound of a mighty rain is heard. There is no reason why we should not ask for large things; and without doubt we shall get large things if we ask in faith, and have the courage to wait with patient perservance upon Him, meantime doing those things which lie within our power to do.

We cannot create the wind or set it in motion, but we can set our sails to catch it when it comes; we cannot make the electricity, but we can stretch the wire along upon which it is to run and do its work; we cannot, in a word, control the Spirit, but we can so place ourselves before the Lord, and so do the things He has bidden us do, that we will come under the influence and power of His mighty breath.—Selected.

“Cannot the same wonders be done now as of old? Where is the God of Elijah. He is waiting for Elijah to call on Him.”

The greatest saints who ever lived, whether under the Old or New Dispensation, are on a level which is quite within our reach. The same forces of the spiritual world which were at their command, and the exertion of which made them such spiritual heroes, are open to us also. If we had the same faith, the same hope, the same love which they exhibited, we would achieve marvels as great as those which they achieved. A word of prayer in our mouths would be as potent to call down the gracious dews and melting fires of God’s Spirit, as it was in Elijah’s mouth to call down literal rain and fire, if we could only speak the word with that full assurance of faith wherewith he said it.—Dr. Goulburn, Dean of Norwich.

He that loveth not knoweth not God

“He that loveth not knoweth not God.” 1 John 4:8

The distinguishing mark of a Christian is his confidence in the love of Christ, and the yielding of his affections to Christ in return. First, faith sets her seal upon the man by enabling the soul to say with the apostle, “Christ loved me and gave Himself for me.” Then love gives the countersign, and stamps upon the heart gratitude and love to Jesus in return. “We love Him because He first loved us.” In those grand old ages, which are the heroic period of the Christian religion, this double mark was clearly to be seen in all believers in Jesus; they were men who knew the love of Christ, and rested upon it as a man leaneth upon a staff whose trustiness he has tried.

The love which they felt towards the Lord was not a quiet emotion which they hid within themselves in the secret chamber of their souls, and which they only spake of in their private assemblies when they met on the first day of the week, and sang hymns in honour of Christ Jesus the crucified, but it was a passion with them of such a vehement and all-consuming energy, that it was visible in all their actions, spoke in
their common talk, and looked out of their eyes even in their commonest glances. Love to Jesus was a flame which fed upon the core and heart of their being; and, therefore, from its own force burned its way into the outer man, and shone there. Zeal for the glory of King Jesus was the seal and mark of all genuine Christians.

Because of their dependence upon Christ’s love they dared much, and because of their love to Christ they did much, and it is the same now. The children of God are ruled in their inmost powers by love—the love of Christ constraineth them; they rejoice that divine love is set upon them, they feel it shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto them, and then by force of gratitude they love the Saviour with a pure heart, fervently. My reader, do you love Him? Ere you sleep give an honest answer to a weighty question!

The Lord shut him in

“The Lord shut him in.” Genesis 7:16

Noah was shut in away from all the world by the hand of divine love. The door of electing purpose interposes between us and the world which lieth in the wicked one. We are not of the world even as our Lord Jesus was not of the world. Into the sin, the gaiety, the pursuits of the multitude we cannot enter; we cannot play in the streets of Vanity Fair with the children of darkness, for our heavenly Father has shut us in.

Noah was shut in with his God. “Come thou into the ark,” was the Lord’s invitation, by which He clearly showed that He Himself intended to dwell in the ark with His servant and his family. Thus all the chosen dwell in God and God in them. Happy people to be enclosed in the same circle which contains God in the Trinity of His persons, Father, Son, and Spirit. Let us never be inattentive to that gracious call, “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee, and hide thyself as it were for a little moment until the indignation be overpast.” Noah was so shut in that no evil could reach him. Floods did but lift him heavenward, and winds did but waft him on his way.

Outside of the ark all was ruin, but inside all was rest and peace. Without Christ we perish, but in Christ Jesus there is perfect safety. Noah was so shut in that he could not even desire to come out, and those who are in Christ Jesus are in Him for ever. They shall go no more out for ever, for eternal faithfulness has shut them in, and infernal malice cannot drag them out. The Prince of the house of David shutteth and no man openeth; and when once in the last days as Master of the house He shall rise up and shut the door, it will be in vain for mere professors to knock, and cry Lord, Lord open unto us, for that same door which shuts in the wise virgins will shut out the foolish for ever. Lord, shut me in by Thy grace.