VIDEO Becoming What We Worship – When I Look Into Your Holiness

Becoming What We Worship

We all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory… by the Spirit of the Lord.  2 Corinthians 3:18

“When my two daughters, Hannah and Nancy, were about two or three years old, I noticed how they imitated and reflected my wife and me,” wrote Professor G. K. Beale. When they played house, they used the same activities and attitudes they saw in their parents. “God has made humans to reflect Him,” wrote Beale, “but if they do not commit themselves to him, they will not reflect him but something else in creation…. What people revere, they resemble.”1

Some people create a god to fit their lifestyle, but this is simply modern-day idolatry. If money is our god, we’ll become materialistic. If it’s pleasure, we’ll become hedonistic. If it’s ego, we’ll be narcissistic. Psalm 135:18 says those who make idols will become like them.

But if we worship the God of the Bible, we’ll imitate Him and by the power of the Spirit be transformed into His image, from one degree of glory to another.

We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God. A. W. Tozer, in The Knowledge of the Holy

  1. G. K. Beale, We Become What We Worship (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2008), 15-16.

When I Look Into Your Holiness

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When the Bottom Drops Out

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16

During the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, more people were looking for work than there were jobs available. I was one of those job seekers. After nine anxious months, I landed employment as a copywriter. But the company soon fell on bad times and I was jobless again.

Ever been there? It seems like the worst is over when suddenly the bottom drops out on you. The widow at Zarephath could relate (1 Kings 17:12). Due to a famine, she was preparing the last meal for herself and her son when the prophet Elijah requested a bite to eat. She reluctantly agreed and God provided a continuous supply of flour and oil (vv. 10–16).

But then her son fell ill. His health declined until he stopped breathing. The widow cried out, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?” (v. 18).

At times, we may want to respond like the widow—wondering if God is punishing us. We forget that bad things can happen in this fallen world.

Elijah took the concern to God, praying earnestly and honestly for the boy, and God raised him up! (vv. 20–22).

When the bottom drops out on us, may we—like Elijah—realize that the faithful One will not desert us! We can rest in God’s purposes as we pray for understanding.

For help on the topic of peace, read discoveryseries.org/q1126.

God is good in both the good times and the bad.

By Poh Fang Chia |

INSIGHT

It can be easy to think that life will go well if we do everything we’re supposed to do. But today’s story reminds us that life isn’t a formula. The widow was faithful and obedient, and yet her son died. But we can be encouraged that there’s nothing too hard for God, for He is the one who can even bring the dead back to life (v. 23).

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Commit your situation to our faithful God.

For more about the book of Kings, check out our free online course at christianuniversity.org/OT219.

J.R. Hudberg

Accept Criticism?

Proverbs 10:17

Nobody likes criticism. It can hurt, especially when unsolicited, and is sometimes delivered with unkind words and a harsh spirit. However, we must be careful not to reject the reproof without first considering whether it’s valid.

God can use an honest, direct person to convey something we need to hear. Criticism forces us to examine ourselves. God’s goal is that we grow in spiritual maturity and holiness, but we all have blind spots that keep us from seeing the areas He wants to transform. If we fail to listen to a reproof He allows to come our way, our spiritual growth could be stunted. However, this doesn’t mean all critiques are valid. That’s why it’s important to respond well and evaluate criticism correctly.

• Do not immediately reject the comment, blame the person, or defend yourself. Instead, consider what was said, and ask God to help you discern if it’s true.

• Thank the person for his interest in you and explain that you’ll reflect on his observation. If he was sincere, he’ll be appreciative, but if his intentions were negative, this may disarm him.

• Evaluate the criticism and determine what exactly is under scrutiny—your beliefs, your character, God … ?

• View this as an opportunity for growth, and if necessary, apologize.

Instead of allowing criticism to lead us into anger and self-pity, we should let it do its work in our life. We can’t allow hurt or anger to derail what God wants to do in us—namely, make us more Christlike. And isn’t that what we all want?

Sure Foundation

“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure.” (2 Timothy 2:19)

The preceding verses of this section of 2 Timothy are replete with warnings about the damage that could be done through “babblings” and cancerous words. But God is unshaken by whatever man might do. “He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he” (Deuteronomy 32:4).

“I am the LORD, and there is none else,” Isaiah joyfully quotes (Isaiah 45:6). “I am the LORD, I change not,” the prophet Malachi is told (Malachi 3:6), and there is “no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17) in the God of creation. God’s sovereign will is absolute: “The word of our God shall stand for ever” (Isaiah 40:8). “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Isaiah 46:10).

We who are twice-born, and thus the children of God, can stand firm and steadfast in the knowledge that He who is “sure” is the One who is working in us “to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). He has adopted us as His children “by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will” (Ephesians 1:5).

It is no random act of capricious fate that has secured us. It is the sure foundation of the great Creator God. It is His divine power that has “given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” That calling rests on “exceeding great and precious promises” that enable us to participate in the “divine nature” and escape the awful “corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:3-4). HMM III

O death, where is thy sting?

1 Corinthians 15:35-58

We will now finish Paul’s wonderful resurrection chapter.

1 Corinthians 15:35-38

The insinuation is, that a dead body decays and cannot be raised again. Paul has little patience with the sceptical question, and cries,

1 Corinthians 15:35-38

But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his or rather its

1 Corinthians 15:35-38

You cannot tell from looking at a seed what the plant is to be, neither can we determine from our present bodies what their future form will be. How lovely is the flower compared with the shrivelled grain! How fair will our bodies be in comparison with these trembling frames!

1 Corinthians 15:41

As all these things differ from each other, so will the resurrection body differ from that in which we now live. It will be the same body as to identity, yet will it differ in many important points.

1 Corinthians 15:44

It is sown a natural body or a soulish body, animated by the animal life

1 Corinthians 15:44

it is raised a spiritual body fit for the immortal spirit which will quicken it

1 Corinthians 15:44

There is a natural or soulish

1 Corinthians 15:46

Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural or for the soul

1 Corinthians 15:48, 49

Blessed assurance!

1 Corinthians 15:51, 52

Those who are alive when Jesus comes must undergo a transformation ere they can enter heaven.

 

The saints who now in Jesus sleep,

His own. almighty power shall keep,

Till dawns the bright illustrious day,

When death itself shall die away.

 

How loud shall our glad voices sing,

When Christ his risen saints shall bring

From beds of dust and silent clay,

To realms of everlasting day!

 

Jesus Christ, the Blessed One

Take my yoke upon you… For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:29-30)

I feel great sorrow for those who read the Sermon on the Mount and then conclude that Jesus was providing a word picture of men and women comprising the human race. In this world, we find nothing approaching the virtues of which Jesus spoke in the Beatitudes.

Instead of poverty of spirit, we find the rankest kind of pride. Instead of mourners, we find pleasure seekers.

Instead of meekness, we find only arrogance, and instead of hunger after righteousness, we hear men saying, “I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing!”

Instead of mercy, we find cruelty. Instead of purity of heart, we encounter corrupt imaginings. Instead of peacemakers, we find men quarrelsome and resentful, fighting back with every weapon at their command.

Jesus said He came to release us from our sad heritage of sin. Blessed is the sinner who finds that Christ’s words are the Truth itself; that He is the Blessed One who came from above to confer blessedness upon mankind!

 

Rules For Prosperity

“Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.” Josh. 1:7

Yes, the Lord will be with us in our holy war, but He demands of us that we strictly follow His rules. Our victories will very much depend upon our obeying Him with all our heart, throwing strength and courage into the actions of our faith. If we are halfhearted we cannot expect more than half a blessing.

We must obey the Lord with care and thoughtfulness. “Observe to do” is the phrase used, and it is full of meaning. This is referred to every part of the divine will; we must obey with universal readiness. Our rule of conduct is “according to all the law.” We may not pick and choose, but we must take the Lord’s commands as they come, one and all. In all this we must go on with exactness and constancy. Ours is to be a straightforward course, which bends neither to the right nor to the left. We are not to err by being more rigid than the law, nor turn out of levity to a more free and easy way. With such obedience there will come spiritual prosperity. O Lord, help us to see if it be not even so! We shall not test thy promise in vain.

 

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