Jun 8, 2010
How Great Thou Art video from iWorship
Jun 8, 2010
How Great Thou Art video from iWorship
Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name. —Psalm 29:2
One day, my 3-year-old granddaughter Katie surprised her mom and dad with a bit of theological expertise. She said to them, “You both had sisters who died. Then God took them up to heaven to be with Him. Isn’t God powerful!”
God’s immense power is a mystery, yet it is simple enough for a child to understand. In Katie’s young way of thinking, she knew that for God to do something so miraculous, it would mean that He is powerful. Without understanding all the details, she knew that God did something wonderful by taking her two aunts to heaven.
How often do we sit back in our more sophisticated world and marvel: “Isn’t God powerful”? Probably not often enough. We can’t know how God spun the worlds into existence with His voice (Job 38–39; Ps. 33:9; Heb. 11:3), nor can we know how He maintains control of them (Neh. 9:6). We can’t know how He planned and fulfilled the incarnation of Jesus, nor can we understand how He can make Christ’s sacrifice sufficient for our salvation. But we know these things are true.
The power of God: immeasurable in its wonder yet clear enough for us to understand. It’s yet another reason to praise Him. By Dave Branon
Everything God does is marked with simplicity and power. —Tertullian
We all know that Jesus walked the road to Calvary, but did you know that believers also journey to the cross? We’ve all been positionally crucified with Christ, but those who hunger for Him participate in a deeper experience of this reality. Jesus lovingly takes their hand and leads them to the cross. Even though this is the last place anyone wants to go, it’s the only way to partake of God’s best for our lives.
The trip to the cross is not one you take with family and friends. It’s a lonely journey with just you and Jesus. He strips away everyone and everything you’ve depended on so that you’ll learn to rely only on Him. While we’re at the cross, He uncovers layer after layer of self-deception until we begin to see ourselves as He does. Soon our self-centeredness, inadequacy, and failures are laid bare.
The cross is a place of brokenness, but it’s necessary because there’s no other way we’ll ever bear fruit. If we hang onto our lives and refuse to take this journey, we’ll be like a grain of wheat that is never planted and never grows. But those who willingly die to themselves will produce an abundance of spiritual fruit. The only way Christ can live His life through us is if we’ve allowed ourselves to be crucified.
God doesn’t want you to be content with just your salvation. There’s so much more He desires to give you and achieve through you. Are you willing to take the road to the cross with Him? Yes, it’s painful, but the rewards in this life and in eternity far outweigh any suffering you will experience.
“Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.” (Jude 1:11)
Jude compares the awful examples of three Old Testament characters to leaders in the New Testament church who have used their influence for evil. Cain was the first child of Adam and Eve and had every opportunity to excel. Yet he chose a “way” that not only ended in the horrible murder of his brother but also resulted in an entire culture in rebellion against God.
The murder was preceded by a flagrant disobedience that was expressed when the family came to offer their sacrifices to the Creator. Cain brought an offering of the “fruit” of his own labor from tilling the ground. Abel’s offering was a “firstling” from the flock that he kept (Genesis 4:3-5). Why did God “respect” Abel’s offering and not Cain’s?
God’s commentary on this event (Hebrews 11:4) tells us that Abel “obtained witness” that his sacrifice was a righteous action that testified of his obedience. The Genesis account does not give much information, but it is clear that the first family were following instructions—likely emulating the sacrifice that God made to clothe Adam and Eve after they sinned (Genesis 3:21).
Cain began a “way” many years before (a lifestyle, a broad road) that turned his heart away from simple obedience to God’s instructions. Cain’s occupation (farmer) was certainly OK. He provided food for the growing world population. But when the regular sacrifice came due, Cain decided that he would “show” God his own works rather than follow God’s requirement of bringing an innocent life in sacrifice.
That way, of course, is the way “which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12). HMM III
In Thy name shall they rejoice all the day.—Psalm 89:16.
NOW first to souls who thus awake
Seems earth a fatherland:
A new and endless life they take
With rapture from His hand.
The fears of death and of the grave
Are whelmed beneath the sea,
And every heart, now light and brave,
May face the things to be.
FRIEDRICH VON HARDENBERG.
HAPPINESS, let us understand this well, is as truly our portion here as above; it cannot fail to fall within the lot of those who have chosen for their portion Him whose nature is one with infinite, unalienable Joy. God, in communicating
Himself to the soul, of necessity communicates happiness; and all souls in union with Him have returned to their central rest, and are happy, in exact proportion to the closeness and fullness of their union,—happy, in other words, by so much as they have within them of God. DORA GREENWELL.
Happiness, Heaven itself, is nothing else but a perfect conformity, a cheerful and eternal compliance of all the powers of the soul with the Will of God. SAMUEL SHAW. 1669.
Teach me thy way, O Lord. Psalm 27:11
I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. — Good and upright is the Lord: therefore will he teach sinners in the way. The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.
I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. — Having … boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.
Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD. — All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.
Psalm 32:8. Psalm 25:8,9. John 10:9. John 14:6. Hebrews 10:19-22. Hosea 6:3. Psalm 25:10.
In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise. Proverbs 10:19
My beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. —He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty: and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city. — If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able to bridle the whole body. — By thy words thou shalt be justified and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. —Set a watch, LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.
Christ … suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously. — Consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
In their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
James 1:19. Proverbs 16:32. James 3:2. Matthew 12:37. Psalm 141:3. 1 Peter 2:21-23. Hebrews 12:3. Revelation 14:5.