Apr 21, 2010
Steve Fee’s Glory To God Forever!!!
Apr 21, 2010
Steve Fee’s Glory To God Forever!!!
If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. John 14:3
As we viewed my father-in-law’s body in his casket at the funeral home, one of his sons took his dad’s hammer and tucked it alongside his folded hands. Years later, when my mother-in-law died, one of the children slipped a set of knitting needles under her fingers. Those sweet gestures brought comfort to us as we remembered how often they had used those tools during their lives.
Of course, we knew that they wouldn’t actually need those items in eternity. We had no illusions, as the ancient Egyptians did, that tools or money or weapons buried with someone would better prepare them for the next life. You can’t take it with you! (Ps. 49:16–17; 1 Tim. 6:7).
Each of us must prepare our heart by accepting the gift of salvation.
But some preparation for eternity had been necessary for my in-laws. That preparation had come years before when they trusted Jesus as their Savior.
Planning for the life to come can’t begin at the time of our death. Each of us prepares our heart by accepting the gift of salvation made possible by Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross.
At the same time, God has made preparations as well: “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:3). He has promised to prepare a place for us to spend eternity with Him.
Father, we’re grateful that we will have a place with You one day. Thank You that you will fill us with joy in Your presence.
God gives us time—to prepare for eternity.
by Cindy Hess Kasper
Ignorance of the future is mankind’s frightening reality. Particularly in times of stress and uncertainty, the road ahead appears dark. But believers have a special gift that helps them face life’s unknowns. We possess spiritual eyes that are trainable for seeing the omniscient God who holds the future in His hand.
Moses challenged Egypt’s Pharaoh, led the children of Israel through the Red Sea, and endured turmoil and rebellion as a nomadic leader because he saw “Him who is unseen” (Heb. 11:27). Moses’ spiritual eyes were focused on God, and he trusted the Father completely.
Our daily existence may not be as dramatic as that of an Old Testament political rebel, but like Moses, we all have a purpose for which we are called to move forward without detailed instructions. And we share in the promised presence of God.
But it’s important to realize the Father reveals Himself only to clean-hearted believers. (See Matt. 5:8.) “Pure in heart” refers to holy thinking, which rejects incorrect ideas and replaces them with obedience. When a sinful thought occurs, pure-hearted believers confess and repent in order to move ahead in righteousness. In other words, the people who develop spiritual eyes to see God are those who are dedicated to knowing and serving Him. As we study Scripture to learn His commands, desires, and way of operating, we start to think as He does.
When believers’ hearts are clean, their spirit can sense the Father’s abiding presence. Consequently, we can face life’s unknowns hand in hand with Him.
“The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” (Proverbs 15:3)
The God who created and made all things is not only omnipotent, He is omnipresent. “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him” (2 Chronicles 16:9).
David’s insightful Psalm 139 is certainly one of the most striking affirmations of God’s omnipresence. “If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee” (Psalm 139:8-12).
God’s omnipresence, however, should not be understood in a pantheistic sense. Although He sees everyone and everything, that does not mean He is in everyone and everything. The creation did not create itself!
But since God is everywhere, He Himself cannot be seen anywhere. Jesus said concerning the Father, “Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape,” but He also said, “I am come in my Father’s name” (John 5:37, 43). “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9).
It is also a wonderful revelation that the Holy Spirit of God now indwells every Christian believer, so this is another way in which God is everywhere—that is, wherever there are true Christians, God is there. “Therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:20). HMM
But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. —1 Peter 1:15-16
You cannot study the Bible diligently and earnestly without being struck by an obvious fact—the whole matter of personal holiness is highly important to God!
Neither do you have to give long study to the attitudes of modern Christian believers to discern that by and large we consider the expression of true Christian holiness to be just a matter of personal option….
Personally, I am of the opinion that we who claim to be apostolic Christians do not have the privilege of ignoring such apostolic injunctions. I do not mean that a pastor can forbid or that a church can compel. I only mean that morally we dare not ignore this commandment, “Be ye holy”….
Brethren, we are still under the holy authority of the apostolic command. Men of God have reminded us in the Word that God does ask us and expect us to be holy men and women of God, because we are the children of God, who is holy. The doctrine of holiness may have been badly and often wounded—but the provision of God by His pure and gentle and loving Spirit is still the positive answer for those who hunger and thirst for a life and spirit well-pleasing to God.
Lord, may I no longer see the pursuit of holiness as optional. Rather, may I strive to fulfill Your expectations for my life. Amen.
Thou therefore endure hardness… if we suffer, we shall also reign with him. (2 Timothy 2:3, 12)
History reveals that times of suffering for the Christian Church have also been times of looking upward. Tribulation has always sobered God’s people and encouraged them to look for and yearn after the return of their Lord.
Our present preoccupation with the world may be a warning of bitter days to come. God will wean us from the earth some way—the easy way if possible, the hard way if necessary. It is up to us!
It is apparent that many now think Christianity is jolly good fun—another and higher form of entertainment; because Christ has done all the suffering. He has shed all the tears. He has carried all the crosses. So, we have but to enjoy the benefits of His heartbreak!
The “work of Christ” has been stressed until it has eclipsed the Person of Christ. We need to reexamine much of popular fundamentalist theology which emphasizes the utility of the cross, rather than the beauty of the One who died on that cross.
Jesus gave his blood for us; what shall we give to him? We are his, and all that we have, for he has purchased us into himself—can we act as if we were our own? Oh for more consecration! and to this end, oh for more love! Blessed Jesus, thou dost receive with favor the smallest sincere token of affection! Thou dost receive our poor forget-me-nots and love-tokens, as though they were intrinsically precious, though indeed they are but as the bunch of wild flowers which the child brings to its mother. We will give thee the first fruits of our increase, and pay thee tithes of all, and then we will confess “of thine own have we given thee.”