VIDEO A Hiding Place From the Storm – Under the Canopy

A Hiding Place From the Storm

Over everything the glory will be a canopy. Isaiah 4:5, NIV

Throughout the Bible, storms are illustrations of the hardships of life, yet we are constantly told of Him who is our shelter in the storm. One especially vivid passage is found in Isaiah 4, which describes the city of Jerusalem during the coming Millennial reign of Christ. Verses 5-6 say, “Then the Lord will create over all of Mount Zion…a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over everything the glory will be a canopy. It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain” (NIV).

While this is talking about the city of Jerusalem during the future Millennium, there is an unmistakable application for God’s people now. The presence of your God envelops you. His glory covers you like a cloud by day and a fire by night. Visualize His closeness and think of Him in that way. His presence will brighten the dark days, and His canopy of blessings will be a hiding place from the storm and rain.

When the world is tossing me, like a ship upon the sea / Thou Who rulest wind and water, stand by me. Charles A. Tindley


Frank Edwards – Under the Canopy Lyrics

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Beyond the Stars

You have set your glory in the heavens. Psalm 8:1

In 2011, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration celebrated thirty years of space research. In those three decades, shuttles carried more than 355 people into space and helped construct the International Space Station. After retiring five shuttles, NASA has now shifted its focus to deep-space exploration.

The human race has invested massive amounts of time and money, with some astronauts even sacrificing their lives, to study the immensity of the universe. Yet the evidence of God’s majesty stretches far beyond what we can measure.

When we consider the Sculptor and Sustainer of the universe who knows each star by name (Isaiah 40:26), we can understand why the psalmist David praises His greatness (Psalm 8:1). The Lord’s fingerprints are on “the moon and the stars, which [He] set in place” (v. 3). The Maker of the heavens and the earth reigns above all, yet He remains near all His beloved children, caring for each intimately and personally (v. 4). In love, God gives us great power, responsibility, and the privilege to care for and explore the world He’s entrusted to us (vv. 5–8).

As we study our star-spattered night skies, our Creator invites us to seek Him with passion and persistence. He hears every prayer and song of praise flowing from our lips.

Loving Creator of the universe, thank You for being mindful of us.

The greatness of God is evident in His awesome vastness and intimate nearness.

By Xochitl Dixon 

INSIGHT

Paul wrote that the sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another, and the stars in their differing sizes and brightness, still another (1 Corinthians 15:40–41). The varying wonders of the night sky, however, are only a hint of the differences we see in the glory of God. While the cosmos stretches our mind with its evidence of unlimited space and power, the heart of God contains a far greater wonder. Beyond the unbounded expanse, colors, and wonders of the cosmos is the hidden glory of the love of God on the cross.

Father, when we consider the universe Your hands have made and the face that bore the spit and fists of those who mocked Jesus, what is man that You are mindful of us?

Mart DeHaan

Every Christian Rewarded

1 Corinthians 3:5-15

Scripture is very clear about the fact that wonderful benefits await believers who obey and bring glory to God. In Psalm 19, David wrote that there is great reward in keeping the Lord’s precepts (Psalm 19:11). What’s more, the promise of heavenly gifts comes straight from Jesus Christ’s mouth in the Sermon on the Mount. (See Matt. 5:12.)

Reread today’s passage, and notice Paul’s assertion that he and Apollos would each receive rewards for their service to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 3:8). God neither offers group prizes nor reserves treasure only for those who work in ministry. We are all ministers of the gospel, whose good works store up heavenly treasure. God sees our Spirit-led decisions and actions as worthy of reward. You may not feel particularly important or essential in this big world, but your every action and word matter to God. What He values is the believer yielding to the Holy Spirit’s direction.

The motivation behind our actions is important too—sometimes good works are done for the wrong reasons. For example, Jesus revealed that some religious leaders were fasting to gain attention, not to please God (Matt. 6:16). When a person seeks the applause of men, their adulation is the sole reward. While this may feel good for a while, flattery is not eternal.

I suspect that one day we’ll all shed tears of regret over the righteous acts we neglected or the work we did for personal glory. We will realize how much more we could have done for the Lord. But then He will dry our tears and make us new, as He promised (Revelation 21:4-5).

Leadership Challenges

“And Moses spake before the LORD, saying, Behold, the children of Israel have not hearkened unto me; how then shall Pharaoh hear me, who am of uncircumcised lips?” (Exodus 6:12)

Once the mantle of leadership has been accepted, God expects an unreserved commitment to follow through with the task. Moses had to leave Midian and likely saw little of his family afterward (Exodus 4:18-31). Jesus noted, “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62).

Rarely is leadership simple or easy. Moses must first meet with and win over the elders (Exodus 3:16). Nor is it likely the people would fall in line without a challenge. Moses felt the rejection of Israel long before he received their honor (Exodus 6:9-27).

Opposition from the godless is a given. Our Lord Jesus taught, “The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also” (John 15:20). Moses faced the power and wrath of the court of Egypt (Exodus 5:2), which extended that power through their taskmasters to the people of Israel (Exodus 5:10-11).

The Lord is obviously in charge of events. “And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt and bring out the children of Israel from among them” (Exodus 7:5). God always has a reason for His actions. Human leaders are His means to accomplish His purpose.

Also, the direct purpose will not overshadow the long-term objective. “And I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and disperse them among the countries; and they shall know that I am the LORD” (Ezekiel 30:26). Human leaders seldom see the ultimate purpose fulfilled in history, but they will know the reality of it in eternity (1 Corinthians 13:12). HMM III

 

Thanks be unto God, who always causeth us to triumph in Christ

Acts 14:8-27

Acts 14:8

This represents the impotency of all men in spiritual things till the grace of God puts strength into them. When we were yet without strength Christ died for the ungodly.

Acts 14:9-11

Even now-a-days foolish persons will speak of a new minister as if he were a god, and in a short time will turn round and oppose him.

Acts 14:12-17

We do not find that they rent their clothes when the people talked of stoning them, but when they spake of worshipping them, they could not bear it; being more concerned for God’s honour than their own

Acts 14:18, 19

This is popularity—a god yesterday, and a criminal to-day; garlands first, stones afterwards. How fickle is man!

Acts 14:20-22

Paul was left for dead.

Acts 14:20-22

Paul was a true hero, the garlands did not ensnare him, nor the stones defeat him; he had young converts to cheer, and at all hazards he entered the city again

Acts 14:20-22

The apostles had themselves endured much tribulation, and they very candidly assured the converts that they must expect the same. If we reckon upon a smooth path to heaven we deceive ourselves.

Acts 14:23

Churches must have pastors; those assemblies which have no ministers are not according to the apostles order.

Acts 14:24-27

The returned missionaries held one of the first missionary meetings. Their speeches consisted of the details of God’s work through them, and made the saints in Antioch exceedingly glad.

As a family, do we help missions as we ought? The heathens are perishing, are we clear of their blood?

 

The heathen perish: day by day

Thousands on thousands pass away;

O Christians, to their rescue fly;

Preach Jesus to them ere they die.

 

Be Thou Exalted Only

Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth (Psalm 57:5)

Essentially, God’s gracious plan of salvation was wrought to bring about the restoration of a right relationship between men and women and their Creator.

The disobedience and fall of Adam and Eve destroyed the proper Creator-creature relation, in which, unknown to them, their true happiness lay.

Many of us are interested in walking with God and pleasing God and resting in the promises of God. We have discovered that such a life on this earth begins with a complete change in relationship between God and the sinner; a conscious and experienced change affecting the sinner’s whole nature.

The atonement in Jesus’ blood makes such a change judicially possible, and the working of the Holy Spirit makes it emotionally satisfying.

We must begin with God—and God must be the center of all we are and all we do. “Be Thou exalted” is plainly the language of victorious spiritual experience and central to the life of God in the soul!

 

Victory Without Battle

“But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the Lord their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.” Hosea 1:7

Precious word! Jehovah Himself will deliver His people in the greatness of His mercy, but He will not do it by the ordinary means. Men are slow to render to God the glory due unto His name. If they go to battle with sword and bow, and win the victory, they ought to praise their God; yet they do not, but begin to magnify their own right arm, and glory in their horses and horsemen. For this reason our Jehovah often determines to save His people without second means, that all the honor may be to Himself alone.

Look, then, my heart, to the Lord alone, and not to man. Expect to see God all the more clearly when there is no one else to look to. If I have no friend, no adviser, no one at my back, let me be none the less confident if I can feel that the Lord Himself is on my side; yea, let me be glad if He gives victory without battle, as the text seems to imply. Why do I ask for horses and horsemen if Jehovah Himself has mercy upon me, and lifts up His arm for my defense? Why need I bow or sword if God will save? Let me trust, and not be afraid, from this day forth and for evermore. Amen.

 

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