VIDEO Sovereign Over All

Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him. Daniel 7:27

The King James Authorized Version of the Bible was published in 1611. From its beautiful English text, many words and phrases entered the Western cultural lexicon, such as “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen”—the last line in the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:13, KJV). But some modern English translations of the Bible omit that final line of the prayer.

The omission is not a theological concern but one regarding the readings of the  original Greek manuscripts. The Greek texts used by the King James translators had the line; modern analysis of Greek texts suggest it wasn’t part of Jesus’ original words. Since the theological importance of the line—God’s sovereignty over the kings, nations, and affairs of the world—is well attested throughout Scripture—there is no need to debate its inclusion (1 Chronicles 29:11-13; Daniel 2:20).

In a day when it seems kings and nations do whatever they desire, remember: God sets up kings and removes kings (Daniel 2:21). He rules over all.

To be God and sovereign are inseparable. Stephen Charnock


27 Daniel 07 – J Vernon McGee – Thru the Bible

Before You Even Ask

Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. Isaiah 65:24

My friends Robert and Colleen have experienced a healthy marriage for decades, and I love watching them interact. One will pass the butter to the other at dinner before being asked for it. The other will refill a glass at the perfect moment. When they tell stories, they finish each other’s sentences. Sometimes it seems they can read each other’s mind.

It’s comforting that God knows and cares for us even more than any person we know and love. When the prophet Isaiah describes the relationship between God and His people in the coming kingdom, he describes a tender, intimate relationship. God says about His people, “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24).

But how can this be true? There are things I’ve prayed about for years without receiving a response. I believe that as we grow in intimacy with God, aligning our hearts with His, we can learn to trust in His timing and care. We can begin to desire what God desires. When we pray, we ask for—among other things—the things that are part of God’s kingdom as described in Isaiah 65: An end to sorrow (v. 19). Safe homes and full bellies and meaningful work for all people (vv. 21–23). Peace in the natural world (v. 25). When God’s kingdom comes in its fullness, God will answer these prayers completely.

By:  Amy Peterson

Reflect & Pray

How might you participate in bringing God’s kingdom to earth? What will you ask God for today?

God, thank You for always hearing my prayers. I trust that You love me and are working all things together for good for those whom You’ve called. Please transform my desires so that I want what You want.

Essentials of Effective Meditation

Matthew 6:5-15

In our normal everyday routines, there are countless voices that vie for our attention. Our children cry for it, our employers insist on it, and our loved ones yearn for it. Amidst all these competing demands, it can be difficult to discern the most important voice of all—that of our heavenly Father. Is it any wonder, then, that He sometimes seems distant or we can’t clearly make out what He’s trying to tell us?

Unless we make an effort to retreat from life’s noisy demands for a moment or two, our ability to hear God’s voice will likely be weakened. Jesus was well aware of this need to pull away regularly to pray and meditate on Scripture. In teaching the disciples how to pray, Jesus told them to go into their rooms and close the door behind them (Matt. 6:6). He knew that in order to commune with the Father, “decluttering” our schedules and thoughts was vital.

You and I are blessed—and cursed—with constant communication through our phones, tablets, and computers. But true communion with the Lord demands some seclusion. So let’s turn off the TV, music, and phone notifications, and listen for God’s voice. Claim a block of time for the heavenly Father today, even if you start with only five minutes.

Unjust Steward

“And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.” (Luke 16:8)

This parable of the unjust steward has perplexed many Christians, for it seems to indicate that the Lord approved of dishonesty. “Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness” (v. 9) also seems to contradict verse 13, when He said, “Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

The apparent contradiction vanishes, however, when we realize Christ was not commending the dishonesty of the steward, but his acute business sense and concern for the future. Neither does the Lord approve of greed or covetousness, but He does exhort believers to be as prudent in investing their money for the eternal future as shrewd worldlings are in feathering their earthly nests. Sad to say, it is common experience that, by this measure, “the children of this world” do conduct their affairs “in this generation” far more shrewdly than “the children of light.” Even more sadly, the latter often even try to follow the example of the ungodly in “laying up for themselves treasures upon earth,” rather than “treasures in heaven” (see Matthew 6:19-20).

The Lord would exhort us, on the other hand, to use our money (“the mammon of unrighteousness”) to make true friends, “that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations” (Luke 16:9). The “unjust steward” was trying to insure his own earthly future, hoping to make temporal friends by bribing them with money that was not even his own.

How much wiser it is for us to use whatever money the Lord has entrusted to us to make true friends, helping to bring them to Christ and building them up in the faith. Then, when we “fail” from this life, we shall enjoy their fellowship and gratitude in the “everlasting habitations” of eternity. HMM

Best Leadership is Discerning

For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

—Acts 20:29-30

 

Within the circles of evangelical Christianity itself there has arisen in the last few years dangerous and dismaying trends away from true Bible Christianity. A spirit has been introduced which is surely not the Spirit of Christ, methods employed which are wholly carnal, objectives adopted which have not one line of Scripture to support them, a level of conduct accepted which is practically identical with that of the world—and yet scarcely one voice has been raised in opposition. And this in spite of the fact that the Bible-honoring followers of Christ lament among themselves the dangerous, wobbly course things are taking….

The times call for a Spirit-baptized and articulate orthodoxy. They whose souls have been illuminated by the Holy Ghost must arise and under God assume leadership. There are those among us whose hearts can discern between the true and the false, whose spiritual sense of smell enables them to detect the spurious afar off, who have the blessed gift of knowing. Let such as these arise and be heard. Who knows but the Lord may yet return and leave a blessing behind Him?   PON006-007

Lord, grant to me “the blessed gift of knowing.” And then be pleased to use me for Your glory today. Amen.

 

One Thing Needful

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

—Matthew 5:3

 

The truly humble man does not expect to find virtue in himself, and when he finds none he is not disappointed. He knows that any good deed he may do is the result of God’s working in him….

When this belief becomes so much a part of a man that it operates as a kind of unconscious reflex he is released from the burden of trying to live up to his own opinion of himself….The emphasis of his life shifts from self to Christ, where it should have been in the first place, and he is thus set free to serve his generation by the will of God without the thousand hindrances he knew before.

Should such a man fail God in any way he will be sorry and repent, but he will not spend his days castigating himself for his failure. He will say with Brother Lawrence: “I shall never do otherwise if You leave me to myself; it is You who must hinder my falling and mend what is amiss,” and after that “give himself no further uneasiness about it.” GTM173-174

In the character of a Christian, humility is the one thing needful. Where this is wanting, all is wanting. DTC134

 

The Way of the Cross

Luke 2:49-52

It was a rocky road to Bethlehem!

The precious parchments of the patriarchs

had set the scene on history’s holy page.

The sacred signs were there. Messiah’s Day

would dawn when God’s own time had fully come.

A star proclaimed The Hour and angels sang

“Good News! The Peasant Prince is birthed in straw!”

 

It was a winding way near Nazareth!

A village youth at work among the shavings of

the shop where wooded things were hewn once paused

to stretch his arms as shafts of light etched out

His silhouette upon the farthest wall.

The shadowed shape traced not a carpenter

but victim, cast upon a cross of shame!

 

It was a pleasant path by Galilee!

The Rabbi from obscurity strode down

the dusty road beside that sea so prone

to trouble workers on the wave. He marched

into the mart where wondrous words would hold

the throngs enthralled and grasping for God’s news—

the gospel of a kingdom near at hand.

 

It was a craggy course, discipleship!

He called his own, as rabbis do, out from

the ordinary and bland—the fishing and

the taxing, too. He molded, melded them,

and minded them to down their nets, take up

their cross to follow Him. No turning back,

no wav’ring on the way ahead for them.

Lucille L. Turfrey, The War Cry