VIDEO Like Him Forever

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 1 John 3:2

As young children take on their unique appearance, the questions begin: Whose eyes does he have? Does she have her mother’s curls? Who does that laugh remind you of? Children never look exactly like their parents, but resemblances are always found.

The day is coming when Christians will be like Christ. Paul expounds on this subject in Romans 8:18-30, but John says it succinctly: “When He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” Looking at Christ will be like looking into a divine mirror—reflected to us will be the image of Christ Himself. We won’t become divine like Christ, but we will become complete, sinless, holy, and righteous—the image to which God has been conforming us in this life (Romans 8:28-29).

It’s an honor to reflect part of our earthly parents’ image in this life. But how greater will be the honor and glory of seeing Him as He is—and being like Him forever!

No man can prove that he is a child of God without showing the family likeness. John Blanchard


Paul Washer | 1 John 3:1-8 | University Lectures

What Should I Say?

I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king. Nehemiah 2:4–5

When I stopped to browse through a box of books marked “C. S. Lewis” at a used bookshop, the store owner appeared. As we chatted about the available titles, I wondered if he might be interested in the faith that inspired much of Lewis’ writing. I prayed silently for guidance. Information from a biography came to mind, and we began to discuss how C. S. Lewis’ character pointed to God. In the end, I was thankful that a quick prayer had reoriented our conversation to spiritual matters.   

Nehemiah paused to pray before a pivotal moment in a conversation with King Artaxerxes in Persia. The king had asked how he could help Nehemiah, who was distraught over Jerusalem’s destruction. Nehemiah was the king’s servant and therefore in no position to ask for favors, but he needed one—a big one. He wanted to restore Jerusalem. So, he “prayed to the God of heaven” before asking to leave his job so he could reestablish the city (Nehemiah 2:4–5). The king consented and even agreed to help Nehemiah make travel arrangements and procure timber for the project.

The Bible encourages us to pray “on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” (Ephesians 6:18). This includes moments when we need courage, self-control, or sensitivity. Praying before we speak helps us give God control of our attitude and our words.

How might He want to direct your words today? Ask Him and find out!

By:  Jennifer Benson Schuldt

Reflect & Pray

What patterns of speech do you need God’s help to change? What types of situations in your life could benefit most from prayer?

Dear God, I surrender my words to You. Use them for Your glory. Help them to inspire and encourage others.

To learn more about the act of prayer.

Devotion in Despair

In troubling times, turning to God’s unfailing love will be a place of refuge and escape

Psalm 42:1-8

Where do you turn in times of trouble? For believers, the first response should be to cry out to the Lord for help. That’s exactly what we see in today’s passage. When the psalmist was in despair, his soul yearned for God. He knew that even in raging adversity, he could count on the Lord’s unfailing love being poured out on him (Psalm 42:8). It was a truth that gave him hope and the ability to praise the Lord, even in the midst of his trouble.

This is a recurring theme in the psalms, many of which begin with images of despair and hopelessness but end with affirmations of God’s unfailing love. He’s often described as a rock, a stronghold, or a refuge in times of trouble. 

When you are overwhelmed by difficulty and despair, turn to the psalms for encouragement and restoration of hope. In good times, we can easily grow distant from God, but adversity drives us to draw near Him with yearning—not just for deliverance but for intimacy with our loving Father. Then as we read about His love and faithfulness, we find hope and a sure foundation upon which to rest.

Let Him Hear

“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matthew 11:15)

The Lord Jesus Christ must have considered this exhortation to be of great importance, for it appears eight times in the four gospels and seven times in Revelation, all as spoken by Christ Himself—as well as one more time apparently uttered by John (Revelation 13:9). It is urgent, therefore, that people not just “hear” God’s Word with their ears (“in one ear and out the other,” as the saying goes), but really hear it, with understanding minds and believing hearts and obedient lives.

It is most important, first of all, for unsaved men and women to respond to the gospel message in this way. Jesus said: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24). Hearing this message with believing minds and hearts means all the difference between heaven and hell.

But that’s just the beginning. Jesus also said, “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” (10:27-28). He not only promised us everlasting life when we first heard His voice, but also assures us that this life is truly everlasting and can never be taken away from us, as we continue to hear His voice in His Word.

Not only everlasting life, but resurrection life! “The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth.” “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout,…and the dead in Christ shall rise…:and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (5:28-29; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). He that hath ears, let him hear! HMM

His Attributes And Acts

I exalt You, my God the King, and praise Your name forever and ever. I will praise You every day; I will honor Your name forever and ever. The Lord is great and is highly praised; His greatness is unsearchable. One generation will declare Your works to the next and will proclaim Your mighty acts. I will speak of Your glorious splendor and Your wonderful works. They will proclaim the power of Your awesome works, and I will declare Your greatness. They will give a testimony of Your great goodness and will joyfully sing of Your righteousness (Psalm 145 vv. 1-7).

This noble praise psalm begins the grand doxology (Psalms 145-150) of the entire Psalter, bringing this anthology of ancient worship songs to a mighty crescendo. Excitement builds, erupting in a fulfilling climax of praise in Psalm 150, the Old Testament Hallelujah Chorus!

David begins extolling God the King. He covenants with the Lord to praise his name on a daily basis. He vows to keep the relationship fresh, not taking anything for granted.

The psalmist praises the Lord for both his attributes and his acts. Only God is worthy of praise because of his divine personality and unprecedented acts in history. God is not an absentee landlord of his universe! Future generations will tell the stories revealing his glorious splendor and majesty.

What a model for my own praise experience! I need to celebrate daily the Lord’s attributes and actions in my life. How does his character affect me personally? Can he ever act toward me in an unloving way? Is he capable of upholding and sustaining me?

These are the concepts I must meditate on. These are the things I must pray about. These are the images and pictures of God I must write down to preserve for future generations of believers. What poems, songs, and holy literature should spring forth from these exalted thoughts!

Personal Prayer

My God and King, you alone are worthy of daily and forever praise! I exalt and declare your goodness to all generations.

A Disciplined Tongue

Lord, set up a guard for my mouth; keep watch at the door of my lips.—Psalm 141:3

Proverbs 10:19 states, “The one who controls his lips is wise.” I’m glad God included in the Psalms and Proverbs the words that are before us today about controlling our speech. It’s important to talk, but talking too much is as bad as not talking at all. Proverbs extols rationing our words.

Once, when Thomas Edison the inventor was at a reception, the toastmaster stood up and complimented him on his many inventions, especially the talking machine. After the toastmaster sat down, the aged inventor rose to his feet and said, “Thank you for those remarks, but I must correct one thing. It was God who invented the talking machine. I only invented the first one that can be shut off.”

A doctor told me that once, while writing out a prescription, he asked a woman to put out her tongue. When he had finished, she said to him, “But doctor, you never even looked at my tongue.” The doctor replied, “It wasn’t necessary, I just wanted you to keep quiet while I wrote the prescription.” Amidst the humor of today’s notes, don’t miss the point—words are important, but don’t overdo them. I like the advice of an anonymous poet who wrote:

If your lips would keep from slips

Five things observe with care:

Of whom you speak, to whom you speak,

And how and when and where.

A wise person has a disciplined tongue. Many need to learn this, for, like the tongue in old shoes, our tongue is often the last thing to be worn out. If a disciplined tongue is your need, ask God to help you, for an undisciplined tongue is an unloving tongue.

Prayer

Father, I realize that oftentimes my tongue is the most difficult thing to bring under control. Yet I have the promise of Your help even in this. I give you my tongue to be bridled—take over the reins. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Further Study

Mt 12:30-37; Tit 1:1-10; Jb 11:3

What did Jesus say we will have to account for?

What did Paul mean by “idle talkers” (Tit 1:10)?

Just In Time for The Census

Galatians 4:4

We exist in a world of cybernetics. We are quite used to a periodic census, to polls that follow each other in interminable succession. We are accustomed to completing questionnaires that demand every procurable tidbit of personal history couched in terms of “when, where and how,” but never “why.”

Born “just in time for a census,” we say of Jesus. The “where” we know: in Bethlehem, Joseph’s ancestral city, where any family records would be kept. Joseph’s genealogy showed him 27 generations in line of descent from the greatest of all Israel’s kings.

The “how” we know. The Child arrives in unprepossessing circumstances. No accommodation in the lodge makes any emergency shelter, however rough, appreciated.

But for the “why” we must listen again to the Angel Gabriel’s message to Mary and the reassuring one to Joseph: “You are to give Him the name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

Only as the “why” is answered does the question of the “when” make sense—just in time for the first registration of its kind. A minor fact in the story, perhaps, but one with major significance.

God’s indescribable gift is given in “the fullness of time” (Galatians 4:4 KJV). He is to be “numbered” among the children of men and, later to be “numbered with the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12). He is to be part of humanity’s mass, under authority, subject to civil and magisterial powers, but brother to all. He is to be a cipher among millions of ciphers, classified by tribe and town, genealogically noted and inescapably recorded.

But that is not all. He is, thank God, as the Christmas carol reminds us, the “Brightest and best of the sons of the morning.” Though “veiled in flesh,” the Godhead is seen. He is, in the poetical words of Charles Wesley, “born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth.”

Because God included Jesus in the human census, the census of divine love will exclude none, for “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”

(Acts 2:21). The One who was “counted in” during the Bethlehem census is the one and only Savior for those of us who, but for divine grace, would eternally be “counted out.”

Arnold Brown, Occupied Manger, Unoccupied Tomb