VIDEO One True King – A Brief Glimpse Of Heaven

Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed.  Daniel 7:14

There has never been an earthly king deemed worthy to be worshiped by all mankind. Some kings have thought themselves worthy and have tried to enforce their sovereignty. The Bible says such a King will appear one day who will gain the loyalty of all except those who faithfully belong to God.

Daniel the prophet saw that king in a vision, pictured as a little horn (Daniel 7:8). But his rule was cut short by “One like the Son of Man” (Daniel 7:13) who was given authority over all the earth by the Father (the “Ancient of Days” in Daniel 7:9). This “Son of Man” is the same Christ of whom Paul prophesied that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Him as Lord (Philippians 2:10-11).

In a day of pseudo potentates, we can rest assured that even the knees of earthly kings will one day bow to the true King of kings (Revelation 19:16).

The dearest idol I have known, whate’er that idol be, help me to tear it from Thy throne and worship only Thee. William Cowper, “Walking With God”


Daniel 7:9-14, A Brief Glimpse Of Heaven

Every Opportunity

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.  Colossians 4:5

Ever caught a dragon? I hadn’t until my son convinced me to download a game on my phone. Producing a digital map mirroring the real world, the game allows you to catch colorful creatures near you.

Unlike most mobile games, this one requires movement. Anywhere you go is part of the game’s playing field. The result? I’m doing a lot more walking! Anytime my son and I play, we strive to maximize every opportunity to nab the critters that pop up around us.

It’s easy to focus on, even obsess over, a game that’s crafted to captivate users. But as I played the game, I was convicted with this question: Am I this intentional about maximizing the spiritual opportunities around me?

Paul knew the need to be alert to God’s work around us. In Colossians 4, he asked for prayer for an opportunity to share the gospel (v. 3). Then he challenged, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity” (v. 5). Paul didn’t want the Colossians to miss any chance of influencing others toward Christ. But doing so would require truly seeing them and their needs, then engaging in ways “full of grace” (v. 6).

In our world, far more things vie for our time and attention than a game’s imaginary dragons. But God invites us to navigate a real-world adventure, every day seeking opportunities to point to Him.

By:  Adam R. Holz

Reflect & Pray

When did God use someone in an unexpected way to bring you into deeper relationship with Him? When has He used you to impact someone’s life during an ordinary day?

Jesus, thank You that You’re constantly at work in the people around me. Help me to make the most of every opportunity I have to demonstrate Your love and grace.

Responding to Others’ Failures

2 Timothy 4:9-18

The apostle Paul sacrificed much. He faced hunger, shipwreck, beatings, and imprisonment to carry God’s Word to others. Consequently, he had every reason to expect the men and women he mentored to be faithful when he experienced a crisis. But Paul was virtually alone when he endured his Roman prison and trial before a government tribunal—only Luke continued to lend support.

Paul’s friends probably had reason to stay away—namely, fear that the tribunal would investigate them next, or confidence that the apostle’s faith would sustain him. Regardless of the reason, Paul had only these words for his deserters: “May it not be counted against them” (2 Timothy 4:16).

Paul’s words echo Stephen’s story. As Stephen was stoned for preaching the Word, Paul—at the time a Pharisee called Saul—looked on approvingly. When the apostle later repented after his experience on the road to Damascus, the memory of Stephen’s final words must have provided great comfort: “Lord, do not hold this sin against them” (Acts 7:60).

While resentment and anger seem justified when others fail us, we don’t have the right to withhold forgiveness. Regard- less of the pain someone inflicted or the loneliness his or her absence caused, God’s expectation doesn’t change: We should forgive because Jesus forgave us.

While God and I Shall Be At Home

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

The final verse of the majestic hymn “I Am His, and He Is Mine” focuses on the unending love between the believer and God. As we read in our text, nothing can “separate us from the love of God.”

His forever, only His—Who the Lord and me shall part?
Ah, with what a rest of bliss Christ can fill the loving heart!
Heav’n and earth may fade and flee, First-born light in gloom decline,
But while God and I shall be, I am His and He is mine.

Resting in such supernatural love, which lasts forever, begets peace and rest even now. Our Savior beckons, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Aspects of our present life may be temporary, but His love lasts forever. “The heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment,…but my salvation shall be forever” (Isaiah 51:6). “And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar [gray] hairs will I carry you” (Isaiah 46:4).

Consider the last line in the hymn. “But while God and I shall be, I am His and He is mine.” As long as either God or the individual remains, their love will last. “But the LORD shall endure forever” (Psalm 9:7). “He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). Thus, the Christian “will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever” (Psalm 23:6). “I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:27-28). JDM

Bowing to Givers

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

—Philippians 4:19

 

Remember, my giving will be rewarded not by how much I gave but by how much I had left. Ministers are sometimes tempted to shy away from such doctrine as this lest they offend the important givers in their congregation. But it is better to offend men than to grieve the blessed Spirit of God which dwells in the church. No man ever yet killed a true church by withdrawing his gifts from it because of a personal pique. The Church of the First-born is not dependent upon the patronage of men. No man has ever been able really to harm a church by boycotting it financially. The moment we admit that we fear the displeasure of the carnal givers in our congregations we admit also that our congregations are not of heaven but of the earth. A heavenly church will enjoy a heavenly and supernatural prosperity. She cannot be starved out. The Lord will supply her needs.   GTM183

Thank You, heavenly Father, for Your incredibly generous provision and faithfulnessboth to us as individuals and to the churches we lead. Amen.

 

Only One Source of Power

Every man’s work shall be made manifest…and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

—1 Corinthians 3:13

 

The only power God recognizes in His Church is the power of His Spirit whereas the only power actually recognized today by the majority of evangelicals is the power of man. God does His work by the operation of the Spirit, while Christian leaders attempt to do theirs by the power of trained and devoted intellect. Bright personality has taken the place of the divine afflatus.

Everything that men do in their own strength and by means of their own abilities is done for time alone; the quality of eternity is not in it. Only what is done through the Eternal Spirit will abide eternally; all else is wood, hay, stubble.

It is a solemn thought that some of us who fancy ourselves to be important evangelical leaders may find at last we have been but busy harvesters of stubble. GTM111-112

[Jesus] has left us the same power which He possessed. He has bequeathed to the Church the very Holy Spirit that lived and worked in Him. Let us accept this mighty gift. Let us believe in Him and His all-sufficiency. Let us receive Him and give Him room. HS314

 

The Splendor of Holiness

Psalm 29:2

The Psalmist has provided an appropriate matching word for “holiness.” John Morley used to say that holiness was a word which defied definition. If splendor is used for a magnificence that beggars description, then the two are not unequally yoked in this four-word phrase.

Splendor is a poet’s word which Wordsworth employed to convey the wonder of the sunrise on the Thames as seen from Westminster Bridge. But splendor is also a word which Christian hymn writers have applied both to the person of God and His handiwork. Robert Grant described Him as “pavilioned in splendor,” and our own Will Brand wrote of “the splendor of the clear unfolding” of the name of Jesus. With good cause splendor may be joined in divine matrimony to holiness—and this for three reasons.

First of all, the phrase restores to the experience of holiness that breath-catching sense of wonder, that gasp of the heart’s astonishment, as if this possibility was almost too good to be true.

Further, the union of splendor with holiness demonstrates afresh the appeal of the experience. True goodness both looks good and is good. We must not forget that our vocation is so to practice virtue that men are won to it.

Finally, this phrase about “the splendor of holiness” reawakens in our hearts a sense of the desirability of the experience. I must have given many hours to a consideration of this subject—to my own confused thinking on the matter, to listening to speakers on Salvation Army platforms, not to mention my own earlier and mixed-up dissertations on the same level. But it was a long time before I realized that any seeker was not so much to be argued into the experience as convinced by its inherent attractiveness.

Some Sunday mornings I was urged to remember that the experience was biblically based, with chapter and verse quoted in support. This could not but be agreed. On other occasions I was reminded that there was a divine command, binding on all God’s children. Again, this could not be denied. Yet rarely did these approaches raise the pulse beat of desire because, “the beauty of holiness” was veiled from sight.

Now beauty in any form at once captures our attention. In the language of the New Testament, what is holiness but to be conformed to the image of the Son? This is surely desirable. More than that, it is gloriously possible. Thanks be to God!

Frederick Coutts, The Splendor of Holiness