VIDEO Consider His Heavens

When I consider Your heavens. Psalm 8:3

NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite has made some remarkable discoveries recently; including a planet that’s as dense as pure water, a lava world that sizzles at more than a thousand degrees Fahrenheit, and a comet that belches out tons of ice, dust, and gas.

God’s power is displayed throughout the world and across the heavens. When we look upward at the stars or downward at the intricate blades of grass at our feet, we see the workmanship of a great Engineer, the artistry of a great Designer, and the glory of a great Creator.

Isaac Watts wrote, “I sing the mighty power of God that made the mountains rise, that spread the flowing seas abroad and built the lofty skies.”

God’s power is available to strengthen His children through Jesus. It’s available to you. The Bible speaks of “the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe” (Ephesians 1:19).  If you feel weak today, remember God doesn’t. Consider His heavens, and be strengthened by His Spirit.

Who can study the science of astronomy and contemplate the star-lit heavens with a knowledge of the dimensions of the celestial bodies, their movements, and their enormous distances, without bowing his head in reverence to the power that brought this universe into being and safely guides its individual members? Arthur M. Harding


Romans 8:1–3 // Free In Christ Jesus

 

A World of Provision

There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number.  Psalm 104:25

It’s 2 a.m. when Nadia, a farmer of sea cucumbers, walks into a roped-off pen in the ocean shallows near her Madagascar village to harvest her “crop.” The early hour doesn’t bother her. “Life was very hard before I started farming,” she says. “I didn’t have any source of income.” Now, as a member of a marine-protection program called Velondriake, meaning “to live with the sea,” Nadia sees her income growing and stabilizing. “We thank God that this project appeared,” she adds.

It appeared in large part because God’s creation provided what their project needs—a natural supply of sea life. In praise of our providing God, the psalmist wrote, “He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate” (Psalm 104:14). As well, “there is the sea . . . teeming with creatures beyond number—living things both large and small” (v. 25).

It’s a wonder, indeed, how God’s wondrous creation also provides for us. The humble sea cucumber, for example, helps form a healthy marine food chain. Careful harvesting of sea cucumbers, in turn, grants Nadia and her neighbors a living wage.

Nothing is random in God’s creation. He uses it all for His glory and our good. Thus, “I will sing to the Lord all my life,” says the psalmist (v. 33). We too can praise Him today as we ponder all that He provides.

By:  Patricia Raybon

Reflect & Pray

In what ways does God provide for you through His creation? How can you thank Him for that today?

O Creator God, we’re humbled by Your vast creation and all the ways You provide for our needs.

Overwhelmed by Problems

2 Timothy 1:1-9

Job described the human condition with these words: “Man is born for trouble, as sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7). This was certainly the situation for Timothy, a young pastor trying to protect the church from persecution and false doctrine. And as a result, he was becoming discouraged and found his passion waning.

Things are no different today, right? Overwhelming troubles can cause us to grow weak and lose our zeal for God, His Word, and prayer. The solution for us today is the same one Paul gave Timothy all those years ago. The apostle reminded his protégé that “God has not given us a spirit of timidity but of power and love and discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).

The path to spiritual revival is found in the very things we are sometimes reluctant to do—praying and reading the Word. When we read Scripture, our mind is renewed with God’s truth, and we draw comfort, strength, and courage from His promises and unfailing love. Through prayer and submission, we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to endure afflictions with hope and joy in Christ. So instead of yielding to despair, let God use your troubles to rekindle your spiritual life.

Threescore Years plus Ten

“The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” (Psalm 90:10)

When Moses wrote these words near the end of his life, he was 120 years old (Deuteronomy 34:7), but all the rest of the people of Israel (except Caleb and Joshua) who had been over 20 at the beginning of the 40-year wilderness wanderings had died there (Numbers 14:28-34), and so there were no others over 60 years old.

In former days men had lived much longer. Adam died at 930 and Noah at 950, but then Shem only lived to 600, and Abraham died at 175 years of age. Thus, the normal lifespan by Moses’ time was down to 70 or 80 years, and he prophesied that this would continue.

It is remarkable that, with all the increase in medical knowledge, this figure has stayed about the same, and there seems to be little the gerontologists can do to increase it.

Furthermore, the latter years are largely “labor and sorrow,” just as God told Adam when his sin brought God’s curse on the earth (Genesis 3:17-20). No matter how much we try to prolong our lives, we are “soon cut off.”

But then, we “fly away”! The soul/spirit complex of the Christian believer, released from its weary body, flies away to be with the Lord. Those left behind may sorrow, but “to depart, and to be with Christ…is far better.” The Christian may confidently say with Paul: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:23, 21). In the meantime, as our time grows shorter, it is more important than ever that we “walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time” (Colossians 4:5). “So teach us to number our days,” prayed Moses (and so should we), “that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). HMM

Two Conditions Must Be Met Before…

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.

—1 John 5:14

 

When we go to God with a request that He modify the existing situation for us, that is, that He answer prayer, there are two conditions that we must meet: (1) We must pray in the will of God and (2) we must be on what old-fashioned Christians often call “praying ground”; that is, we must be living lives pleasing to God.

It is futile to beg God to act contrary to His revealed purposes. To pray with confidence the petitioner must be certain that his request falls within the broad will of God for His people.

The second condition is also vitally important. God has not placed Himself under obligation to honor the requests of worldly, carnal or disobedient Christians. He hears and answers the prayers only of those who walk in His way.

The truth is that God always answers the prayer that accords with His will as revealed in the Scriptures, provided the one who prays is obedient and trustful. Further than this we dare not go.   MDP086-087

Lord, in the power of Your Holy Spirit, help me to be obedient. May everything I think and do be pleasing in Your sight. Amen.

 

The Final Test of Love

He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

—John 14:24

 

There is something basically wrong with our Christianity and our spirituality if we can carelessly presume that if we do not like a biblical doctrine and choose not to “buy” it, there is no harm done.

Commandments which we have received from our Lord or from the apostles cannot be overlooked or ignored by earnest and committed Christians. God has never instructed us that we should weigh His desires for us and His commandments to us in the balances of our own judgment and then decide what we want to do about them.

A professing Christian may say, “I have found a place of real Christian freedom; these things just don’t apply to me.”

Of course you can walk out on it! God has given every one of us the power to make our own choices. ICH062-063

The final test of love is obedience. Not sweet emotions, not willingness to sacrifice, not zeal, but obedience to the commandments of Christ. Our Lord drew a line plain and tight for everyone to see. TIC166

Tozer on the Holy Spirit.

Sanctified Wholly

1 Thessalonians 5:23

It seems to me that there is a large amount of uncertainly abroad among us on the subject of holiness. I have no new truth to set forth; the doctrine is as old as the Book.

Holiness to the Lord is to us a fundamental truth; it stands in the front ranks of our doctrines. We inscribe it upon our banners. Holiness in its broad significance means separation from all unrighteousness and consecration to God. It means that the soul is brought into a state in which it has both the liberty and the ability to serve God as He desires and that it constantly does so.

In the early stages of Christian experience this deliverance is only partial. Although the soul is delivered from the domination and power of sin, and is no longer the slave of sin, still there are the remains of the carnal mind which trouble the soul, often lead it into sin, and which, if not continually fought against and kept under, bring the soul again into bondage. Nevertheless in this state the soul, when faithful, has peace with God, the guidance, energy and witness of the Holy Spirit, which together create in the soul a blessed certainty of salvation, and a joy which is unspeakable and full of glory. All this is, however, perfectly compatible with the conscious existence of sin in the soul.

There are three broad relations in which a man can stand toward sin. He can be, firstly, under sin; secondly, over sin; and thirdly, without sin.

He can be under sin. He is not only exposed to the penalty which God has in infinite wisdom and benevolence attached to the transgression of that law, but he is under its power. Even when enlightened to see its cruel and ruinous character, and yearning for deliverance, he is powerless to free himself from its iron grip. He is a slave to the tyrant; he is under sin.

He can be over sin. It may be that the pride, anger, lust or whatsoever other evils ruled him with a rod of iron before, may be there. Bruised and broken and faint they may be, but still they exist; but the Master has taken them from the throne of the soul and has been given power over them. He is now no longer under sin, but under grace. The old habits and tempers and tendencies can still make their presence felt, but they are no longer the masters.

But there is another state, and that is without sin. In this experience, Paul’s prayer for the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 5:23), and through them for all saints, is answered. The God of peace sanctifies wholly, and the whole body, soul and spirit are preserved blameless.

William Booth, Salvation Soldiery