Dec 3, 2014
When darkness covered the earth, God said, “Let their be light.”
Dec 3, 2014
When darkness covered the earth, God said, “Let their be light.”
By You I have been upheld from birth. —Psalm 71:6
Our heart beats about 100,000 times every day, pumping blood to every cell in our bodies. This adds up to about 35 million beats a year and 2.5 billion beats in an average lifetime. Medical science tells us that every contraction is similar to the effort it would take for us to hold a tennis ball in our palm and give it a good hard squeeze.
Yet as amazing as our heart is, it is only one example of a natural world that is designed to tell us something about our Creator. This is the idea behind the story of a man named Job.
Broken by a series of mounting troubles, Job felt abandoned. When God finally spoke, He didn’t tell Job why he was suffering. Nor did the Creator tell him that someday He would suffer for Job. Instead, He drew Job’s attention to a series of natural wonders that are always whispering to us—and sometimes shouting—about a wisdom and power far greater than our own (Job 38:1-11).
So what can we learn from the complexity of this hardworking muscle, the heart? The message may be similar to the sound of waves coming to shore and stars quietly shining in the night sky. The power and wisdom of our Creator give us reason to trust Him. By Mart De Haan
Lord, we are Yours, You are our God;
We have been made so wondrously;
This human frame in every part
Your wisdom, power, and love we see. —Anon.
When we reflect on the power of God’s creation, we see the power of His care for us.
The term Lord should not be used casually. When that word appears in relation to Jesus Christ, it refers to the God who is sovereign over life and all creation. In the Greek, this title for Jesus is kurios—one who rules the lives of others for their good.
I remember lying in a hospital bed years ago and coming to the realization that I was there because Jesus wasn’t the Lord of my life. If anyone happened to be observing my life back then, it probably appeared that I was serving Him with every ounce of my being. I was overloaded with projects and plans for good kingdom work. But that was actually the problem. When God told me to stop, slow down, or do something different than I had planned, I kept right on going. Flat on my back in the hospital, I finally remained still long enough for the Lord to remind me that only He could direct my path (Jer. 10:23).
We use the term Lord in conversation and in our prayers but then contradict its meaning by defying His will and His work in our lives. Our resistance is oftentimes subtle. For example, a believer might qualify his obedience by saying, “I’ll follow the Lord if . . .” or “I want to do what is right, but . . .”
Jesus’ question to His followers in Luke 6:46 must have stung their spirits: “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” When we entreat the Lord, we must be prepared to obey Him without resistance or pretense. He is the One who rules over us for our good.
“Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.” (Malachi 3:16-17)
This precious promise occurs at the end of the Old Testament, a time of wholesale apostasy on the part of the people of Israel. But there was a believing remnant. Today, Christians again are in a minority (as always), and it does us well to study the former situations, paying attention to the nature of the remnant as well as God’s response to them.
Notice first the attitude of these believers toward God. We see that they “feared” God when they “thought upon his name.” Who could help but do the same as the work and character of God are pondered? Further, a proper attitude and walk with God lead to true fellowship. They “spake often one to another.” Too often it seems that mere friendship replaces true Christian fellowship as entertainment of guests replaces true hospitality. Human relationships can never attain the fullness possible unless they center around the Lord.
Next, note God’s response to the dear saints in our text. He hearkens and hears, evidently paying special attention to the attitudes (“feared the LORD”) and the words (“spake”) of the saints. Then He registers their history in a special “book of remembrance.” We will all give an account one day, but we may be assured that the good will be remembered, for it is in God’s special book of remembrance.
Likewise, we are assured of salvation: “They shall be mine,” He says. We will be spared while others are being judged. The mighty Lord of hosts holds us as dear to Him as “jewels.” JDM
That we… may grow up in all things into Him, which is the head, even Christ; from whom all the body fitly framed and knit together through that which every joint supplieth, according to the working in due measure of each several part maketh the increase of the body unto the building up of itself in love.—Ephesians 4:14-16 (R, V,).
WE become the living means to a great end; and all our inner salvation—our finding of Jesus—is seen, not to centre in ourselves, in our own gain, our own rescue, our own peace; but to lead out beyond itself; to have been our qualification for use and office, without which we could not be taken up, as workers with God, into that eternal husbandry whereby He sets Himself to win over the stubborn and thorny field of the world. Our eyes are taken off ourselves; we are not absorbed in rehearsing our own experiences, however blessed. We are caught up into the counsels; we serve to widen the frontiers of the Kingdom; through us, correlated as we are, by joints and bands, into the articulated body, the Spirit of Christ can get abroad, can take a fresh step forward. We are become its vantage-ground from which it can again advance. Oh, that we were more quick to His touch, more ready for His needs, more serviceable in His ministry!
HENRY SCOTT HOLLAND.
The perfect law of liberty. James 1:25
Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. — Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. — For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as
he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. —I will walk at liberty, for I seek thy precepts.
John 8:32-34, 36. Galatians 5:1, 13, 14. Romans 6:18. Romans 7:2. Romans 8:2. Psalm 119:45.
No man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. John 10:29
I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. — The Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom. — We are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. — Your life is hid with Christ in God.
Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
Our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.
2 Timothy 1:12. 2 Timothy 4:18. Romans 8:37-39. Colossians 3:3. James 2:5. 2 Thessalonians 2:16,17.