Some of us think of Isaac Newton as the guy who discovered how gravity works…you know, like the apple falling from the tree. But Newton did much more than just that. He was a brilliant mathematician and physicist, and many today recognize him as one of the greatest scientists of all time.
For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, with Him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. Isaiah 57:15
Baby boomers are retiring at a rate of 10,000 per day, and many of them can afford second homes. For some, it’s an investment, providing rental income or real estate value. Others enjoy the fun of living part time in a vacation-oriented area.
According to Isaiah 57, God has two addresses. He dwells in two places. His heavenly home is a high and holy place where He fills the highest heaven with His glory. His throne reigns supreme in the center of Zion, ruling over the physical and spiritual realms of His creation.
But He also lives in the hearts of His humble people; and when He dwells within us, He revives us. His presence restores our souls. His abiding Spirit within us radiates enthusiasm, peace, joy, gentleness, and the very character of Christ.
We cannot lift ourselves to heaven to draw God down, but He comes willingly, gladly, and in grace. He gladly moves into our hearts and makes us His temples.
The great God, who is big enough to fill His mighty universe, is small enough to live within my heart. I am the temple of God. He literally dwells in me. Hallelujah! Adrian Rogers
Abraham began walking with the Lord many years before he was asked to offer Isaac on the altar. His first step had been to leave his home and relatives and go to a land God pledged to show him. But now he was being told to give up the person he cherished most. Isaac was the son of promise, the one through whom God would bring forth a great nation and bless the entire world. Offering Isaac up was the biggest challenge Abraham had ever faced, yet he obeyed.
The Lord never allows us to rest on a spiritual plateau. That’s why He at times tests our commitment. These stretching opportunities are an expression of His love because He knows that standing still is not what’s best for us. The testing is designed to help us grow in faith, obedience, and spiritual maturity while increasing our dedication. That is the way we become valuable servants in His kingdom.
Abraham’s obedience to this crucial test was determined by his understanding of God. He believed that the Lord would keep His promise to give him descendants through Isaac, even if it required raising the boy from the dead (Heb. 11:17-19). That’s why Abraham confidently declared to his servants, “We will worship and return to you” (Gen. 22:5). He knew the Lord was faithful.
If you’re going through a time of testing, God is seeking to raise your commitment to a new level. He wants to prove to you that He’s faithful to His promises and will greatly bless you for your obedience. The stretching may be painful, but He will wrap you in His love and carry you to victory.
“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” (Psalm 8:3-4)
This question has been posed as a rhetorical question by many generations of skeptics, especially in our present generation when the tremendous size of the universe is often used to argue that God, if He exists, could not possibly be interested in such a small speck of dust as our own planet.
But, essentially, the same argument was used against Job by one of his three “miserable comforters” (Job 16:2) over 3,500 years ago. “How then can man be justified with God? . . . that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm?” (Job 25:4, 6).This dismal type of reasoning, however, is utterly fallacious. Significance is not a function of size, but of purposeful complexity, and the human brain is surely the most complex physical system in the entire universe, as acknowledged even by such an eminent atheistic scientist as Isaac Asimov. Rather than being insignificant nonentities, men and women have been created in the very image of God and are the objects of His redeeming love.
The most wonderful measure of man’s importance is the fact that God, Himself, became a man! “Christ Jesus . . . being in the form of God, . . . took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:5-7) to be able to take our death penalty upon Himself. Furthermore, God’s love for man is measured not only by His substitutionary death for our sins, but also by His eternal creative purpose for us. He has redeemed us so that “in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7). HMM
But our God is in the heavens: he lam done whatsoever he lam pleased. —Psalm 115:3
My faith does not rest on God’s promises. My faith rests upon God’s character….
Is this difficult to see? Why are we not stressing this in our evangelical circles? Why are we afraid to declare that people in our churches must come to know God Himself? Why do we not tell them that they must get beyond the point of making God a lifeboat for their rescue or a ladder to get them out of a burning building? How can we help our people get over the idea that God exists just to help run their businesses or fly their airplanes?
God is not a railway porter who carries your suitcase and serves you. God is God. He made heaven and earth. He holds the world in His hand. He measures the dust of the earth in the balance. He spreads the sky out like a mantle. He is the great God Almighty. He is not your servant. He is your Father, and you are His child. He sits in heaven, and you are on the earth.
Lord, forgive me for seeing You as a railroad porter who must respond to my beck and call. I fall on my face before the God who created the universe and who does whatever He pleases. Amen.
We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (2 Corinthians 6:1)
I believe there must be great throngs of men and women who keep on assuring themselves that they will “make it” into the kingdom of God by a kind of heavenly osmosis! They have a fond hope that there is a kind of unconscious “leaking through” of their personalities into the walls of the kingdom.
That is a vain hope. No one ever comes to God by an automatic or unconscious process; it does not happen that way at all!
The individual man or woman must make the choice—and on that point we must be dogmatic. We have the Book, the Word of God. We know that God has revealed Himself through the giving of Jesus Christ, the eternal Son. We know that the saving message is the gospel—the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ.
There is no way that God can come to us and forgive us and restore us to the position of son or daughter until we consciously let Him! This is an authentic experience of the grace and mercy of God—we have made our decision!
God neither chose us nor called us because we were holy, but he called us that we might be holy, and holiness is the beauty produced by his workmanship in us. The excellencies which we see in a believer are as much the work of God as the atonement itself. Thus is brought out very sweetly the fullness of the grace of God. Salvation must be of grace, because the Lord is the author of it. Salvation must be of grace, because the Lord works in such a manner that our righteousness is forever excluded. Such is the believer’s privilege—a present Salvation; such is the evidence that he is called to it—a holy life.