VIDEO Marvelous Light – Longing for the Word

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9

Ken Block, a professional rally driver, recently fitted his off-road truck with 300,000 lumens of blinding light to make sure he can see everything on the darkest night and in the darkest places. How much is 300,000 lumens of light? The average car headlight pumps out 700 lumens on low, and 1,200 with the high beams turned on. A light in a football stadium uses 70,000 or more lumens. So if Ken Block heads down your street, you might want to don your sunglasses or pull your curtains.

Nothing, however, compares to the light Jesus sheds on our pathway as we proceed through life. The Lord Jesus radiates light, as we see on the Mount of Transfiguration in the Gospels and in the descriptions of Him in the book of Revelation. Our eyes aren’t yet fitted for that brightness, but it filters through His grace onto our paths to brighten and illumine each step we take.

Walk in the radiance of His presence today.

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Longing for the Word (1 Peter 2:1–9)

True Success

The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Exodus 34:6

My interview guest politely answered my questions. I had a feeling, though, that something lurked beneath our interaction. A passing comment brought it out.

“You’re inspiring thousands of people,” I said.

“Not thousands,” he muttered. “Millions.

And as if pitying my ignorance, my guest reminded me of his credentials—the titles he held, the things he’d achieved, the magazine he’d graced. It was an awkward moment.

Ever since that experience, I’ve been struck by how God revealed Himself to Moses on Mount Sinai (Exodus 34:5–7). Here was the Creator of the cosmos and Judge of humanity, but God didn’t use His titles. Here was the Maker of 100 billion galaxies, but such feats weren’t mentioned either. Instead, God introduced Himself as “the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness” (v. 6). When He reveals who He is, it isn’t His titles or achievements He lists but the kind of character He has.

As people made in God’s image and called to follow His example (Genesis 1:27; Ephesians 5:1–2), this is profound. Achievement is good, titles have their place, but what really matters is how compassionate, gracious, and loving we’re becoming.

Like that interview guest, we too can base our significance on our achievements. I have. But our God has modeled what true success is—not what’s written on our business cards and resumés, but how we’re becoming like Him.

By:  Sheridan Voysey

Reflect & Pray

How tempted are you to base your significance on your accomplishments? What aspect of God’s character needs to grow in you today?

Spirit of God, make me compassionate, gracious, patient, and loving!

A Vision for Believers

Matthew 28:16-20

Most people have aspirations for their life. Some aim for a high-powered career or financial success, while others dream about having close friendships or impacting the world. But no matter what our personal goals may be, we should be aware of the vision God has cast for all of His children. Known as the Great Commission, Matthew 28:19-20 charges us to “go and make disciples of all the nations.”

But what does it mean to “make disciples”? Some Christians think this refers to adding new church members. However, God is not interested in numbers or external appearances; He’s concerned about genuine heart change. So He commissions His followers to lead others, first to saving faith in Jesus Christ and then to baptism as a public declaration of their trust in the Savior.

Once Jesus shared these objectives, the disciples spent the rest of their days fulfilling them. In fact, almost every one gave his life to accomplish them.

This command has not changed. Our Father still expects us to share the good news of the gospel, to teach people how to be followers of Jesus Christ, and to baptize those who are saved.

Are you living with God’s purpose as your guide? Ask Him for the courage to share His message of hope and love.

Wonder at His Word

“Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them.” (Psalm 119:129)

Josiah was eight years old when he became king of Judah. His grandfather was Manassah and his father Amon, both evil kings. While it seemed Josiah would follow the same path, he didn’t. “He did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the ways of David his father, and declined neither to the right hand, nor to the left” (2 Chronicles 34:2). What made such a difference?

As the text above testifies, Josiah found wonder in God’s Word. When Josiah was a young man (age 26), a godly leader read to him the law (torah), which engaged his soul.

And the king stood in his place, and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book. (2 Chronicles 34:31)
Such was the case of the psalmist. The earlier portions of Psalm 119 declare the good that he had done, but now his soul was motivated. He longed (v. 131) and cried for direction and help from the Lord: “Look thou upon me, and…Order my steps in thy word….Deliver me from the oppression of man….Make thy face to shine upon thy servant” (vv. 132-135).

These unselfish prayers were each coupled with a promise to obey. With his heart and correct behavior involved, the psalmist wept for those who “keep not thy law” (v. 136). When the hearts of God’s people break because of sin, revival comes (2 Chronicles 7:14). HMM III

Here is Moses’ Prayer

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. —Psalm 90:12

A few days after these words appear in print the old year of our Lord will have gone to join the long procession of years and centuries that move on into the shadows of a past that can come no more.

In the year just gone the world has been writing history, not with ink only but with blood and tears; not in the quiet of the study but in violence, terror and death in city streets and along the borders of nations; and other and milder but more significant history has been written by incredible feats of power in sending man-made objects out to circle the moon and the sun….

To each one fortunate enough to live out [this year], God will have given 365 days broken into 8,760 hours. Of these hours, 2,920 will have been spent in sleep, and about the same number at work. An equal number has been given us to spend in reverent preparation for the moment when days and years shall cease and time shall be no more. What prayer could be more spiritually appropriate than that of Moses, the man of God: “Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).   WOS145-147

“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” Amen.

God is Enough

Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded —Jeremiah 7:23

The error that everything new is good and everything old is bad takes place in the realm of practice and worship and religious activity generally. This is a view…[that] can lead, of course, to great rebellion against the truth….

We will never be where we ought to be until we go back to those old paths and learn to find God. [Then] we will cease to be bored with God….[W]e will center our affections upon God and Christ…and become specialists and experts in the realm of the spiritual life.

It is amazing how little outside stimulus we need if we have that inward stimulus. It is amazing how much God will meet our needs. It will not be God and something else. It will be God everything.

And then, wisely, we will gear into our times…and in a moment we will become…alert to the needs of the world around us….[A]t the same time, our great anchor will be God above.

… God [will] be enough. TSS164-166

May God give us the courage to be obedient to His truths in this tragic, critical and dangerous hour in which we live. TSS166

The Gospel of the Second Chance

Philippians 3:13-14

New Year’s Eve for me when I was a boy was overcast with solemn thoughts. My officer parents would see that the family attended the Watch Night service, where, after expressions of thankfulness to God for His mercies and exhortation to new resolutions to mend our ways, the crucial moment of the midnight meridian would approach as the seconds ticked away. Then the distant church bells would herald the dawn of a New Year, at which our hearts would be strangely awed by the magic of it all.

The service over, we would line up behind father and proceed to our home, where he would gravely open the door to the New Year, saying in sepulchral tones, “May the blessing of God be on this house through the coming year.” It seemed as through the house had been exorcised of the evil spirits in the family circle through the past year, and that the angels of grace and goodwill had taken possession. It was all so mysterious, and in my childish fancy I thought the windows to a golden dawn had been opened.

Some time passed before I learned that divisions of time are artificial. Life is a continuous story, not a turning over of a new leaf in a book. I learned that “yesterday is tomorrow” and that our life is not in a calendar but in ourselves.

The past is not dead and done with on the stroke of twelve; it lives on in the present, moving into the future. For this reason the past may always be redeemed. To God no failure is final. He gives a second chance to all who will take it. The divine Potter never gives up. With infinite restraint and delicacy He toils to bring success out of failure. God’s redemptive purposes are working for us.

A fallen woman brought to Jesus for censure received a new chance: “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more” (John 8:11). Her future was more important than her past. Jesus believed her capable of something better.

The past is redeemable. Tomorrow is still alive, pregnant with beauty, radiant with power, overflowing with glorious possibilities. We cannot relive the past year, but we can outlive it. After the martyrdom of Stephen, Paul gave himself a new chance: “But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).

George B. Smith, Meditations for the Ordinary Man