Feb 6, 2013
The Sing Team
This song is taken from The Sing Team’s 2012 release Oh! Great Is Our God. As referenced in the song title the lyrics of this tune were inspired by the words of Psalm 42, all about our soul longing for more of God, of which we often are most aware of during the times we feel far from God. A truly beautiful song flooded with God’s word that speaks so directly to us.
I will give your life to you as a prize in all places, wherever you go. —Jeremiah 45:5
This is the firm and immovable secret of the Lord to those who trust Him– “I will give your life to you….” What more does a man want than his life? It is the essential thing. “…your life…as a prize…” means that wherever you may go, even if it is into hell, you will come out with your life and nothing can harm it. So many of us are caught up in exhibiting things for others to see, not showing off property and possessions, but our blessings. All these things that we so proudly show have to go. But there is something greater that can never go– the life that “is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3).
Are you prepared to let God take you into total oneness with Himself, paying no more attention to what you call the great things of life? Are you prepared to surrender totally and let go? The true test of abandonment or surrender is in refusing to say, “Well, what about this?” Beware of your own ideas and speculations. The moment you allow yourself to think, “What about this?” you show that you have not surrendered and that you do not really trust God. But once you do surrender, you will no longer think about what God is going to do. Abandonment means to refuse yourself the luxury of asking any questions. If you totally abandon yourself to God, He immediately says to you, “I will give your life to you as a prize….” The reason people are tired of life is that God has not given them anything— they have not been given their life “as a prize.” The way to get out of that condition is to abandon yourself to God. And once you do get to the point of total surrender to Him, you will be the most surprised and delighted person on earth. God will have you absolutely, without any limitations, and He will have given you your life. If you are not there, it is either because of disobedience in your life or your refusal to be simple enough.
We are in danger of being stern where God is tender, and of being tender where God is stern. The Love of God—The Message of Invincible Consolation, 673 L
1 Peter 2:9-10
Whenever feelings of low self-worth threaten us with discouragement, we need to rely on the truth of God’s Word rather than on our emotions. Today we are going to examine four phrases that describe how the Lord sees every believer.
1. A Chosen Race. God chose you and me to be part of His kingdom and family because He wanted us. No one who has been specially selected by almighty God is insignificant.
2. A Royal Priesthood. As believers, we are children of God and, therefore, part of a royal family. In other words, we are “heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ” (Rom. 8:17). Just as Jesus fulfilled the roles of both king and priest, so God has also entrusted us with priestly responsibilities of worship and intercession for others.
3. A Holy Nation. The church—or body of Christ—is a group of people who are holy, which means “set apart” for the purposes of God. Our lives are never meaningless, because living for the Lord is the greatest purpose one can have.
4. A People for God’s Own Possession. You and I are the heavenly Father’s personal possessions. (See Deut. 14:2; Titus 2:14; 1 Pet. 2:9.) Because He sees us as precious, He sent His Son to die on the cross in our place so we could belong to Him.
Each of these descriptions shows the high value God places on you. Satan may whisper lies of condemnation and criticism, but he can’t change who you really are. Begin today to demonstrate the truth of Scripture by remembering your real identity and living out your high calling from the Lord.
“Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God. For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?” (Romans 3:2-3)
This striking synonym for the Scriptures (“the oracles of God”) occurs just three times in the Bible. In our text, Paul is emphasizing the great privilege and responsibility that was committed to the Jews when God gave His “oracles” to them, a word implying “divinely inspired utterances.”
Then the author of Hebrews rebuked those Hebrew Christians who had still not learned the very “first principles of the oracles of God,” despite having been professing Christians for a long time (Hebrews 5:12). Finally, the apostle Peter urged his readers: “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God” (1 Peter 4:11). That is, anyone who presumes to speak for the Lord must “preach the word” (2 Timothy 4:2). It is not our words, but His words that are “quick, and powerful” (Hebrews 4:12). In fact, Stephen called them “the lively [or ‘living’] oracles” (Acts 7:38).
In all these references, it is clear that these “oracles of God”—that is, the Holy Scriptures—constitute the very utterances of the living God. They were given to and through believing Jews and are preserved for us now in our Bibles. They obviously should be believed, studied, obeyed, and proclaimed by all who consider themselves to be Christians.
The fact that many people reject the Bible, even claiming it is wrong in what it teaches, is irrelevant. Such claims merely display human arrogance. God’s Word has been “for ever . . . settled in heaven” and “is true from the beginning” (Psalm 119:89, 160). It will endure even after this present world has passed away (Matthew 24:35) and will finally be the criterion by which its detractors will be judged in the last day (Revelation 20:12; 22:18-19). HMM
But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded? —1 Kings 8:27
I want to explain briefly what omnipresence is and then show what it means in human experience. That God is omnipresent is of course believed by all churches who believe in the Bible. I am not introducing anything new. Omnipresence means that God is allpresent.
God is close to (for that is what the word means—”close to, near to, here”) everywhere. He is near to everything and everyone. He is here; He is next to you wherever you may be. And if you send up the furious question, “Oh God, where art Thou?” the answer comes back, “I am where you are; I am here; I am next to you; I am close to everywhere.” That’s what the Bible says….
We talk about God being close to us or about the problem of God being far away. We don’t think right because we think geographically or astronomically; we think in lightyears or meters or inches or miles or leagues. We’re thinking of Him as dwelling in space, which He does not. Rather He contains space so that space is in God. There is never any problem about God being anywhere, for the fact is, as the texts say, God is everywhere.
Lord, help me to take this truth out of the realm of theological concept and to realize the practical implication, today, of Your being right here with me. Amen.
Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist. (Matthew 11:11)
The Bible record is very plain when it assures us that John the Baptist was a man sent from God.
Our generation would probably decide that such a man ought to be downright proud of the fact that God had sent him. We would urge him to write a book. Seminary leaders would line up to schedule him as guest lecturer.
Actually, John the Baptist would never have fit into the contemporary religious scene in our day—never! He did not keep his suit pressed. He was not careful about choosing words that would not offend. He did not quote beautiful passages from the poets. The doctors of psychiatry would have quick advice for him: “John, you really need to get adjusted to the times and to society!”
“Adjust”—that is a modern word I have come to hate. It was never an expression used to speak about human beings until we forgot that man has a soul. Now we have weird guys with mental “screwdrivers” adjusting one person a little tighter and another a little looser. John needed no adjustment. He gladly stepped down, so that all eyes could turn to Jesus, the Lamb of God!
Remember, that in proportion to the fullness of thine heart will be the fullness of thy life. Be empty-hearted and thy life will be a meager skeleton existence. Be full-hearted and thy life will be full and strong, a thing that will tell upon the world. Keep, then, thy peace with God firm within thee. Keep thou close to this, that Jesus Christ hath made peace between thee and God. And keep thy conscience still; then shall thy heart be full and thy soul strong to do thy Master’s work. Keep thy peace with God. This will keep thy heart pure.