VIDEO Time and Eternity

 

For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past, and like a watch in the night. Psalm 90:4

When it came to keeping time, the Romans divided the night into four “watches”—four periods of three hours from sunset to sunrise. This was in contrast to the Jewish standard of measuring the night by three watches of four hours each. But whether measuring by Jewish or Roman standards, a watch in the night was very short—a matter of a few hours.

In Psalm 90, Moses meditated on time and eternity—man’s time compared to God’s eternity—and said that in God’s sight a thousand years is like yesterday, a brief “watch in the night.” We think a thousand years is a terrifically long period of time, and to us, it is! But to God a thousand years is as brief as a few hours, a watch in the night. Why is that true? Because God is “the eternal God” (Deuteronomy 33:27). He is not measured by time as we are.

God sees all of time as one event. He knows your tomorrows as well as you know your todays and yesterdays. Therefore, you can trust Him with what tomorrow will bring.

The great weight of eternity hangs upon the small wire of time.  Thomas Brooks


Truths to Transform 2015 – Psalm 90 – Skip Heitzig

The Servant Hears

The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10

Had the wireless radio been on, they would have known the Titanic was sinking. Cyril Evans, the radio operator of another ship, had tried to relay a message to Jack Phillips, the radio operator on the Titanic—letting him know they had encountered an ice field. But Phillips was busy relaying passengers’ messages and rudely told Evans to be quiet. So Evans reluctantly turned off his radio and went to bed. Ten minutes later, the Titanic struck an iceberg. Their distress signals went unanswered because no one was listening.

In 1 Samuel we read that the priests of Israel were corrupt and had lost their spiritual sight and hearing as the nation drifted into danger. “The word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions” (1 Samuel 3:1). Yet God wouldn’t give up on His people. He began to speak to a young boy named Samuel who was being raised in the priest’s household. Samuel’s name means “the Lord hears”—a memorial to God’s answering his mother’s prayer. But Samuel would need to learn how to hear God.

“Speak, for your servant is listening” (v. 10). It’s the servant who hears. May we also choose to listen to and obey what God has revealed in the Scriptures. Let’s submit our lives to Him and take the posture of humble servants—those who have their “radios” turned on.

By:  Glenn Packiam

Reflect & Pray

Why is it vital for you to obey what God has revealed in Scripture? How can you stay “tuned in” to His voice?

Dear Jesus, thank You for being a speaking God. Thank You for the Scriptures that help me follow You in obedience. Speak, Your servant is listening.

God Really Is Able

Ephesians 3:20-21

Jesus knew what it was like to live with limited resources, to have others question His actions (Mark 3:21), and to be rejected by those He sought to serve (John 6:66). Yet in spite of such opposition, He didn’t let circumstances affect His trust in the Father.

We’re called to follow Jesus’ example by believing that God is able to do what He’s promised. For instance, Hebrews 7:25 assures salvation for whoever requests forgiveness in the name of Jesus—His death on the cross satisfied the demands of divine justice for all our sins. God will pardon everybody who has genuine faith in His Son and will make each one a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). No matter what trouble someone may have caused, the Lord invites that person to draw near in faith and receive the gift of everlasting life.

God also promises to establish in truth everyone who trusts in Him (Rom. 16:25). Through His Spirit and the Word, we start to see things as our Father does, which helps us understand what pleases Him.

By believing God keeps His promises, we grow stronger in our faith and gain peace. Hardships that would once have thrown us off course lose their power. Hope replaces discouragement, and trust overcomes doubt. Next time trouble comes, focus on God’s promises and ability to care for you.

Omniscience of God

“O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.” (Psalm 139:1)

The marvelous 139th Psalm consists of a prayer by King David to his King, the omniscient, omnipresent, holy Creator God, the King of kings. In this psalm David reflects on and praises God for His majestic attributes, and by doing so is driven to introspection.

David claims that God knows when we sit down or stand up (v. 2). He even knows our thoughts (v. 2). Furthermore, He knows our direction and habits (v. 3). He knows our words better than we do ourselves (v. 4). In everything, God knows and guides (v. 5). “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me” (v. 6), David claims, and neither he nor we, trapped as we are in finiteness, can comprehend this omniscience.

Where can we go to escape His omnipresence (v. 7)? Neither to heaven nor hell (v. 8). Not to the air or the sea (v. 9). Neither darkness nor light (vv. 11-12) can shield us from His presence. In all, He leads and guides (v. 10).

Thinking such lofty thoughts should compel us to praise and thankfulness as it did David, especially as it relates to our own creation and growth. God knew us in the womb (v. 13) and controlled each stage of our embryonic development (vv. 14-16). He knew and planned all the events of our lives (v. 16). “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God!” (v. 17). They are innumerable (vv. 17-18).

Reflection on God’s holiness makes David painfully aware of his own sinfulness, as it should us. Recognition of God’s nature should bring us to a place of submission and a desire for holiness, as well as a yearning to follow fully the omniscient God. “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (vv. 23-24). JDM

On Coming Home

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

—John 14:3

 

Some years ago one of our national Christian brothers from the land of Thailand gave his testimony in my hearing. He told what it had meant in his life and for his future when the missionaries came with the good news of the gospel of Christ.

He described the godly life of one of the early missionaries and then said: “He is in the Father’s house now.”

He told of one of the missionary women and the love of Christ she had displayed, and then said: “She is in the Father’s house now.”

What a vision for a humble Christian who only a generation before had been a pagan, worshiping idols and spirits—and now because of grace and mercy he talks about the Father’s house as though it were just a step away, across the street.

This is the gospel of Christ—the kind of Christianity I believe in. What joy to discover that God is not mad at us and that we are His children…. What a hope that makes it possible for the Lord’s people to lie down quietly when the time comes and whisper, “Father, I am coming home!”   EFE050-051

Thank You, Lord, for this incredible truth! And this is the message of hope that we share as we proclaim the gospel! Let us do it joyfully today. Amen.

 

Of Faith and Fear

This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

—1 John 5:4

 

No matter what the circumstances, we Christians should keep our heads. God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, of love and of a sound mind. It is a dismal thing to see a son of heaven cringe in terror before the sons of earth. We are taught by the Holy Spirit in Scriptures of truth that fear is a kind of prison for the mind and that by it we may spend a lifetime in bondage.

To recoil from the approach of mental or physical pain is natural, but to allow our minds to become terrorized is quite another thing. The first is a reflex action; the latter is the result of sin and is a work of the devil to bring us into bondage. Terror is or should be foreign to the redeemed mind.

True faith delivers from fear by consciously interposing God between it and the object that would make it afraid. The soul that lives in God is surrounded by the divine Presence so that no enemy can approach it without first disposing of God, a palpable impossibility. WOS052-053

This is the victory that overcometh low spirits, a sinking heart, whispers of the devil and all the discouragements of this lower worldeven our faith. SAN072

 

God’s Ecology of Holiness

2 Peter 3:18

 

Ecology is that branch of biology that deals with the relationships between living organisms and their environment. Every living thing is immersed in a context or environment with specific characteristics.

Just as there are biological ecologies, there are social ecologies where individuals are immersed in social environments. It is not uncommon for us to be in and out of several social ecologies in one day: for example, home, marriage, work, the supermarket, church. Among my favorite social ecologies are Christian summer camps.

When Peter says “Grow in grace,” (2 Pet. 3:18) he is speaking ecologically. He means that we should immerse ourselves in God’s grace, in His loving kindness and in His presence. He provides a nutrient-enriched environment through our relationships with Him and others.

In the ecology of holiness, God’s plan is that we first develop and progress. As we move ahead in our relationship with Christ, He does a deepening work. Often the work is done in a social/spiritual context of others and always in the context of God’s presence in our lives. Second, at every stage of our growth and development, His love goes before us to help us move toward a restoration to His image and likeness. Third, He provides for us a nutrient-enriched environment to be the “means of grace,” promoting our growth and well-being. This includes Christian teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer (Acts 2:42), and all the wholesome activities of small fellowship groups. God uses others to mediate His grace to us. It is this daily immersion in the means of grace that promotes this social ecology of holiness.

Brother Lawrence, a twelfth-century monk, understood the ecology of holiness when he practiced the presence of God throughout the day. In the wonderful book The Practice of the Presence of God, Lawrence tells how Jesus was experienced as present at all times, and with whom fellowship was immediately enjoyed and never ceasing. He was assigned often menial and mundane work in the monastery and yet he carried out his assignments in partnership with Christ, as his co-laborer, rejoicing and praising Him continually throughout each day.

Our lives represent the threads of the tapestry woven together to be both beautiful and functional for our Lord. To “grow in grace” is, like Brother Lawrence, to daily abide in Jesus Christ and to be immersed in the ecology of God’s grace and holiness.

Jonathan S. Raymond, The War Cry