Apr 24, 2015
Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity!
Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
Who was, and is, and evermore shall be.
Holy, holy, holy! though the darkness hide Thee,
Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see;
Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee,
Perfect in power, in love, and purity.
Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy Name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
Holy, holy, holy; merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!
As Christians, we all probably spend some time seeking the Lord, but to be truly successful at it, we must learn to adjust our focus. The reason focus is important is that what we behold, we become. If we fix our attention on the sensual and materialistic, it won’t be long before we ourselves start leaning in that direction. Try giving up television for a couple weeks, and see how it impacts your mind. While you might not notice its influence, it actually has a subtle but gripping effect on you and alters the way you think.
On the other hand, if you focus your love and attention on Jesus, you will become like Him. It’s almost like osmosis—we absorb His characteristics as He pours Himself into us. We can fix our mind on Him when we pray, when we study the Scriptures, and when we meditate on God’s truths.
But more than that is involved. We must go deeper, to the point that we are listening and sharing our hearts with Him. If we are open and transparent before Him, He will speak and fill us with Himself.
When we learn to receive from Him in this way, we’ll find that our hunger and thirst for everything else begins to diminish. It’s not that our desires will disappear, but instead, they become redirected.
You will discover you have a growing hunger for the Lord and a longing to know Him in a warm and personal way. And you will notice your joy bubbling up and overflowing so that it cannot be stopped or stifled. Why? Because once you have begun to seek the Lord, you will recognize Him as your all-in-all.
“Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.” (Micah 7:18-20)
The lengthy passage above is quoted in its entirety because, coming as it does at the end of Micah’s dual prophecy of imminent judgment of the sinful, rebellious nation of Judah and of the coming glorious reign of the Lord, it sums up the work of God’s grace in dealing with iniquity. Each of the three verses quoted describe a part. Such grace:
Pardons iniquity (v. 18). As sinners, we have the assurance of mercy instead of judgment. God pardons our iniquity, passes by our transgressions, and retains not His anger. Why? “Because he delighteth in mercy.”
Subdues iniquity (v. 19). As forgiven sinners who have tasted of His grace and mercy, we have assurance of deliverance in time of temptation. Why? Because “he will have compassion upon us.”
Performs what it promises (v. 20). When circumstances surround and difficulties discourage, we have confidence in the inheritance of covenant promise, just as Jacob and Abraham did. Why? Because “thou hast sworn,” and God’s own reputation is at stake.
Israel refused to respond to the warnings of the prophets to turn from their sinful ways. In doing so, they missed God’s great blessing and reaped His wrath. May God grant us the wisdom and conviction to accept His mercy and compassion and to believe He is still trustworthy regarding His promises. JDM
2 Chronicles 33:1-6, 9-13, 15, 16, 20-25
2 Chronicles 33:1
So that he was born three years after his father’s recovery, and perhaps it was the absence of an heir which rendered Hezekiah so loth to die.
2 Chronicles 33:1
So that could his father have foreseen what his son would be like, he might have been content to die childless.
2 Chronicles 33:3-6
He went from bad to worse, he rioted in evil, nothing was too bad for him, he heaped up the most daring impieties, and yet he was the son of a saint. Children may have the best examples, and yet fall into the worst sins.
2 Chronicles 33:9, 10
They persecuted the prophets and “shed innocent blood very much.” It is a sign of great hardness of heart when warnings are despised.
2 Chronicles 33:11
His kingdom thus became so reduced that it was “as when a man wipeth a dish and turneth it upside down.” His great sin was visited with a punishment which made men’s ears to tingle as they heard of it.
2 Chronicles 33:12, 13
Who can say that God is not ready to pardon, when he sees such a sinner saved? No man could be worse than Manasseh, and yet he obtained mercy. Oh, the depths of divine love! Let every sinner in the universe come and welcome to Jesus, for the chief of sinners has been saved.
2 Chronicles 33:15, 16
He ceased to do evil and learned to do well, and this was the best evidence of his sincerity. The Lord grant us also to bring forth fruits meet for repentance.
2 Chronicles 33:21-23
How little does one man learn from the experience of another, even though it be his own father! Electing love is here to be seen. Manasseh sins, and grace gives him repentance; Amon sins, and continues in it till he perishes.
And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. (Acts 16:31)
I object to the charge that “Tozer preaches experience.” I preach Christ, the Savior—that is my calling! But I am positive about the validity, the reality and the value of genuine Christian experience. We can talk to Jesus just as we talk to our other friends.
As a boy, I was not a Christian. I did not have the privilege of growing up in a home where Christ was known and loved. God spoke to me through a street preacher who quoted the words of Jesus, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
That invitation let me know that Jesus is still calling “Come now!” I went home and up into the attic. There in earnest prayer I gave my heart and life to Jesus Christ. My feet had taken me home and into the attic. But it was my heart that went to Jesus! Within my heart I consented to go to Jesus. I have been a Christian ever since that moment.
“Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel.” Num. 23:23
How this should cut up root and branch all silly, superstitious fears! Even if there were any truth in witchcraft and omens, they could not affect the people of the Lord. Those whom God blesses, devils cannot curse.
Ungodly men, like Balaam, may cunningly plot the overthrow of the Lord’s Israel; but with all their secrecy and policy they are doomed to fail. Their powder is damp, the edge of their sword is blunted. They gather together; but as the Lord is not with them, they gather together in vain. We may sit still, and let them weave their nets, for we shall not be taken in them. Though they call in the aid of Beelzebub, and employ all his serpentine craft, it will avail them nothing: the spells will not work, the divination will deceive them. What a blessing this is! How it quiets the heart! God’s Jacobs wrestle with God, but none shall wrestle with them and prevail. God’s Israels have power with God and prevail, but none shall have power to prevail against them. We need not fear the fiend himself, nor any of those secret enemies whose words are full of deceit and whose plans are deep and unfathomable. They cannot hurt those who trust in the living God. We defy the devil and all his legions