VIDEO Don’t Worship Wrongly!

Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels. Colossians 2:18

What would you do if you encountered an angel from heaven? One would not be blamed for falling down, prostrate, before such a magnificent being. If one fell down out of fear, that would be understandable. But if one fell down in worship, that would not be appropriate. The apostle John discovered that when he bowed down to worship an angel in heaven and was reprimanded—twice.

John had seen a lot of “falling down” in heaven, specifically the four living creatures and the 24 elders worshiping before the throne of God. So when John himself encountered a mighty angel, he fell down at the angel’s feet to worship (Revelation 19:10; 22:8-9). But in both cases, the angel told John to stand up because “I am your fellow servant…. Worship God.” This testimony could not be clearer: Angels are worshipers, like us. Multitudes of them circle around the throne of God and worship Him (Revelation 5:11-12). Angels are not to be worshiped.

All of creation—in heaven and on earth—bows a knee before Jesus Christ and Him alone (Philippians 2:10).

What or whom we worship determines our behavior. John Murray


Chuck Missler – The Book of Colossians – Session 5

The Joy God Provides

A cheerful heart is good medicine. Proverbs 17:22

When Marcia’s out in public, she always tries to smile at others. It’s her way of reaching out to people who might need to see a friendly face. Most of the time, she gets a genuine smile in return. But during a time when Marcia was mandated to wear a facemask, she realized that people could no longer see her mouth, thus no one could see her smile. It’s sad, she thought, but I’m not going to stop. Maybe they’ll see in my eyes that I’m smiling.

There’s actually a bit of science behind that idea. The muscles for the corners of the mouth and the ones that make the eyes crinkle can work in tandem. It’s called a Duchenne smile, and it has been described as “smiling with the eyes.”

Proverbs reminds us that “a cheerful look brings joy to the heart” and “a cheerful heart is good medicine” (15:30 nlt; 17:22). Quite often, the smiles of God’s children stem from the supernatural joy we possess. It’s a gift from God that regularly spills out into our lives, as we encourage people who are carrying heavy burdens or share with those who are looking for answers to life’s questions. Even when we experience suffering, our joy can still shine through.

When life seems dark, choose joy. Let your smile be a window of hope reflecting God’s love and the light of His presence in your life.

By:  Cindy Hess Kasper

Reflect & Pray

What else does the Bible teach us about the joy found in God? How does inner joy contribute to a healthy mind, body, and spirit?

The joy You provide is my strength, dear God. Help me to be a messenger of Your love to others

The Corrupting Influence of Sin

Galatians 6:7-10

It can be sobering to think about life as a field of our own planting, and what’s in our field is determined by the type of seed we have chosen to sow. What if we selected the wrong “seed” but don’t realize it until years later, when we’re standing in a field filled with mature “plants” that are causing us pain and difficulty?

In this agricultural analogy of sowing and reaping, there are only two types of seeds—those that originate from our sinful desires and those that originate from the Spirit. The first kind of seed produces sin and corrupts our character, but the second kind produces Christlike qualities associated with eternal life.

Sowing and reaping is a principle we cannot change; it’s a reality of how our world works. The attitudes and actions we sow now will produce more of the same later, so what will we choose to plant? If we let sinful qualities take root, they will in time characterize our whole life (Gal. 5:19-21). The good news is that we can always change seeds. If we want a life that others see as a godly harvest, then we must plant the Spirit’s seeds and lean on Him to cultivate His fruit (Gal. 5:22-23).

A Debtor to Grace

“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” (Romans 7:18)

All too often we find ourselves as frustrated as the apostle Paul in that we often know to do the right thing, to abstain from a particular sin, but we quickly fall right back into that sin. We must daily recognize our sinful habits and determine in our hearts, with strength from the Holy Spirit, to withstand the sin, to overcome temptation. “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin” (Romans 7:25). The writer of “Come Thou Fount” had the same frustration.

O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.


Scripture tells us we are secure in Christ, never to be separated. Christ informed His disciples that “my sheep hear my voice, and 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. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:27-29). We are safe in Christ’s hand surrounded by the Father’s hand. And then the transaction is sealed by “the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30).

Take courage. We are secure in Him. JDM

On the Road to Jerusalem

Luke 17:11-37

ON His way to Jerusalem, our Lord was met by ten lepers beseeching Him for mercy. He simply told them to go and show themselves to the priests as cleansed persons, and we read that “as they went, they were cleansed.” What a lesson in faith! They could have said, “What? Go to the priests as though we are healed! We are not going to witness to what we don’t have!” But faith simply took Jesus at His word, and as they walked by faith the wonder was wrought. We demand that we see before we believe. Faith steps out, looking no better and feeling no better, but believing that He is faithful who promised. As we go, we are cleansed.

Only one of the ten returned to give thanks, but he was rewarded by being made whole not only in body but entirely! The entire story (Luke 17:11-19) sets forth the blessing of God when we simply obey like Naaman—who went to wash in the Jordan though he felt no better, and it looked like a fool’s errand.

In the remaining verses of this chapter, the Pharisees demand to know when the kingdom of God would come. Jesus replies that the kingdom is “in the midst” of them. He did not mean that it was within those self-righteous Pharisees, but that in Himself the kingdom was among them—but they refused it. During the present Church age the kingdom is a spiritual matter and not outward, but when the Lord returns to reign it will be an outward matter, visible to all. The Bible speaks of that day and says it will be as it was “in the days of Noah.” We are living in such a time now. Men are eating and drinking and marrying wives and buying and selling and planting and building. They are indifferent to the Lord’s return; and even professing Christians ask, “Where are the signs of His coming?”

But He will come. Many, like Lot’s wife, will be looking back upon the city of Sodom. In verses 26 and following, there may be a reference first of all to the fall of Jerusalem… but that was a type of the Lord’s return. Our Lord’s strange statement: “Wheresoever the body is, there will the eagles be gathered together,” has its primary application in the Roman soldiers who wrought God’s vengeance upon Jerusalem… but broadly it means, “Wherever there is sin and national putrefaction, there will the avenging forces fall in judgment.” This carnage will reach its climax at Armageddon, the last great battle.

Our Trustworthy God

I will sing about the Lord’s faithful love forever; I will proclaim Your faithfulness to all generations with my mouth.—Psalm 89:1

God is utterly trustworthy in all He says and does, and this is the rock-bottom reality on which everything in the universe depends. In an age when so much unfaithfulness abounds, how good it is to realize that we have One who will never let us down, never have to apologize for failing us, and never go back on His Word.

Am I speaking to someone who has just discovered unfaithfulness in a marriage partner, or experienced the break-up of a relationship because a person you trusted did not keep their word? It’s a sad moment when we get a revelation of the inconsistency of the human heart. But we need to look into our own hearts also, for none of us can claim complete immunity to the sin of unfaithfulness. We may not have broken a contract or violated the marriage covenant, but we have been unfaithful to Christ in other ways—to the light and privileges that God has entrusted to us, perhaps.

How refreshing it is, then, to read today’s text and focus our gaze on the One who is faithful at all times and in all things. We may let Him down, but He will never let us down.

A chorus I learned as a young Christian comes back to me when I am tempted to doubt the faithfulness of God:

He cannot fail for He is God,

He cannot fail, He pledged His Word,

He cannot fail, He’ll see you through,

He cannot fail, He’ll answer you.

Prayer

Gracious and loving God, what inspiration it brings to my soul to realize that of all the things You can do, the one thing You can’t do is fail. May the reality of this be the pavement on which I tread this day and every day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Further Study

Dt 7:9; 1Kg 8:54-61; Ps 89:1-8

What did Solomon testify?

What did the psalmist promise to do?

Our Father

Luke 10:22

All nations of this world, both civilized and barbarous, have a God of some kind, but their God is mostly a cold, hard, unloving force. The God of merely nominal Christians is no better than a stern magistrate, the author of a set of rules which they hate to keep. Our Lord states a general truth, attested both by the history and experience of mankind, when He says that no man can apprehend the nature of God by his intellect alone.

We are told as children that God made the worlds, and as adults we accept the statement because no other adequate cause for the daily marvels of the near earth and the distant universe can be found or suggested. But to accept God as Creator does not reveal Him to us as a Father. We can never know Him as Love, never understand His real nature and His feelings towards us, till we see Him taking our flesh upon Him, bearing our burdens, our sorrows, and our sins, living with us, dying for us, in the body called Christ Jesus. Only the Son can reveal Him.

Do you remember how, when you were little, your own father represented not only all power but all tenderness to you? If you were frightened, you sheltered in his arms; if you were hurt, you ran to him for sympathy; if you were lonely, he comforted you; and when your child’s heart felt a thrill of love and tenderness, it found a full return from him.

God loves us more than that. Multiply the tenderest father’s power of self-sacrificing love by infinity and that is how God loves. But how was He to make us know that unmeasured love and sympathy and every gracious quality which our hungry hearts demand?

Just as our fathers showed their love by stooping to our level, by becoming children with us, by incessant care and pains in all details of our need, so the Father of fathers has done for His children. He took our flesh, with its pain, hunger, temptation and weakness upon Him. He put himself into our possible circumstances—of poverty, homelessness, friendlessness; He came to the level of the outcast by law as well as by misfortune and ended His life with sorrow and suffering by the most horrible of deaths.

Love must always express itself by sacrifice. Whether it be the love of parent, lover or friend, sooner or later it meets and stands the test of sacrifice. The Lord high over all became a reproach of men, that we might understand His tender love for us.

Elizabeth Swift Brengle, Half Hours with My Guide