“Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling place.” 1 Chronicles 16:27
Blessings today! It is Wisdom Wednesday and I am excited to look away from the rhetoric of the world and behold the beauty and grace of the Lord! I pray His blessings upon you as you do the same. Please leave a comment if the Lord so inspires your heart!
“The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed in majesty and armed with strength; indeed, the world is established, firm and secure.” Psalm 93:1
To the Only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore. Jude 1:25
“The skies proclaim the work of His hands.” Psalm 19:1
“O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!” Psalm 8:9
“The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic.” Psalm 29:4
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10
It’s Sunday afternoon, and I’m sitting in the garden of our home, which is near the church where my husband is the minister. I hear wafts of praise and worship music floating through the air in the Farsi language. Our church in London hosts a vibrant Iranian congregation, and we feel humbled by their passion for Christ as they share some of their stories of persecution and tell of those, such as the senior pastor’s brother, who have been martyred for their faith. These faithful believers are following in the footsteps of the first Christian martyr, Stephen.
Stephen, one of the first appointed leaders in the early church, garnered attention in Jerusalem when he performed “great wonders and signs” (Acts 6:8) and was brought before the Jewish authorities to defend his actions. He gave an impassioned defense of the faith before describing the hard-heartedness of his accusers. But instead of repenting, they were “furious and gnashed their teeth at him” (7:54). They dragged him from the city and stoned him to death—even as he prayed for their forgiveness.
May we find grace to be found faithful to the One who suffered so much more for us.
The stories of Stephen and modern martyrs remind us that the message of Christ can be met with brutality. If we have never faced persecution for our faith, let’s pray for the persecuted church around the world. And may we, if and when tested, find grace to be found faithful to the One who suffered so much more for us.
Lord God, we believe You weep at the pain and anguish some of Your children experience because they love You. We pray that You will strengthen them in the midst of their suffering and send them Your grace.
The Bible should be the main course in our literary diet. If we spent as much time in the Word as we do at the dinner table, our spirit and character would be strong and thriving. And no matter what our circumstances happened to be, we would experience an inner joy. The satisfaction that comes from living an obedient life is not possible apart from Scripture.
It is in God’s Word that we find out how He thinks and what He does. In those pages, we also discover the guiding principles for a successful life. After all, how can we trust our heavenly Father unless we know Him? And how can we become like Jesus unless we practice the habits He displays in Scripture?
Proverbs 4:25-27 says, “Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you … Do not turn to the right nor to the left.” What this means in practical terms is that every time we must make a decision, we’re to sift it through what we know of the Lord from Scripture. When we face a crisis, we dig into the Bible to answer the question, What would the Lord have me do? We do not live by reason, the opinion of others, or our own wisdom. Rather, we conform our mind, heart, and will to the biblical standard.
Bread will keep the stomach full, but life will be empty without a daily meal that includes reading and meditation. Learn to recognize spiritual hunger pains, such as vague discontent or animosity toward the things of God—and quickly begin to feast on the Word.
“For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written. That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.” (Romans 3:3-4)
Many Christians are so intimidated by the arrogant unbelief of the supposed intellectuals of the world that they either reject or compromise or ignore the difficult teachings of Scripture. This is a grievous mistake, for all of God’s “sayings” are “justified” and He will surely “overcome” all those who presume to “judge” Him and His Word.
The only reason to believe in evolution, for example, is the fact that most such intellectuals believe it. There is no real evidence, either in the Bible or in science, for evolution or any other form of unbelief, yet many professed believers in Christ seem to have “loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:43). Therefore they assume that God does not really mean what He says in His Word, thereby making faith in His Word “without effect.”
God’s truth is not determined, however, by taking a vote, or by the opinions of skeptics, or by metaphysical speculation. It is determined by God Himself, and none other, “for the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth” (Psalm 33:4).
Therefore, as our text commands: “Let God be true, but every man a liar.” The very criterion of truth is the Word of God. It is good to explain God’s Word to those open to its truth, but never to explain it away, by some compromising accommodation to current scientism. “Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever” (Psalm 119:160). The Lord Jesus confessed, unreservedly, “Thy word is truth” (John 17:17), and so should we. HMM
And the captain of the LORD’S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so. —Joshua 5:15
Do you quietly bow your head in reverence when you step into the average gospel church? I am not surprised if your answer is no.
There is grief in my spirit when I go into the average church, for we have become a generation rapidly losing all sense of divine sacredness in our worship. Many whom we have raised in our churches no longer think in terms of reverence—which seems to indicate they doubt that God’s Presence is there.
In too many of our churches, you can detect the attitude that anything goes. It is my assessment that losing the awareness of God in our midst is a loss too terrible ever to be appraised.
Lord, I pray that we might restore to our worship a real sense of the divine sacredness of Your Presence in our churches and in our lives. Amen.
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a
jealous God. (Exodus 20:5)
It has been proven often in history that whoever entertains an unworthy conception of God is throwing his or her being wide open to the sin of idolatry, which is in essence, a defamation of the divine character.
It is vitally important that we think soundly about God. Since He is the foundation of all our religious belief, it follows that if we err in our ideas of God, we will go astray in everything else.
We would like to believe that there are no longer false gods in the world, but actually we recognize some of them in our own society. What about the glorified “Chairman of the Board” of the modern businessman? Or the story-telling, back-slapping god of some of the service clubs? Think of the dreamy-eyed god of the unregenerate poet—cozy, aesthetic and willing to fellowship with anybody who thinks high thoughts and believes in moral equality. We often encounter the tricky, unscrupulous god of the superstitious; and the list goes on!
Thankfully, we have found that to know and follow Christ is to be saved from all forms of idolatry!
The dispensation of the old covenant was that of distance. When God appeared even to his servant Moses, he said, “Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet;” and when he manifested himself upon Mount Sinai to his own chosen and separated people, one of the first commands was,
“Thou shalt set bounds about the mount.” When the gospel came, we were placed on quite another footing. The word “Go” was exchanged for “Come,” distance was made to give place to nearness, and we who aforetime were afar off, were made nigh by the blood of Jesus Christ. “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”