Friday, September 29, 2017

Worshipping Christ

Worshipping Christ

Revelation 4:9-11 
And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him . . . and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”

In the days of the Roman Empire, when Revelation was being written, as kings were conquered by Rome, they were brought before the reigning emperor to prostrate themselves before this reigning magistrate and then cast their own crowns before their conquerors. This was an act of total submission to the ruling empire and complete surrender of their domain. 

The twenty-four elders, in Revelation 4:10, will fall down before Christ, who is sitting upon the throne in Heaven and worship Him. This is genuine worship and where worship is defined so significantly. What a magnificent picture of true submission to the Creator of the universe that lives forever and ever. “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable” (Isaiah 40:28).

Have you ever asked yourself, “What does the word worship mean?” The word worship means to attribute worth to an object or person. When you worship Jesus Christ you attribute worth to Him and to His glorious name. “. . . at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,” (Philippians 2:10).

When ascribing the word, “worthy” to our Lord, we must understand the magnitude of significance it embodies. The word “worthy” means: righteous, blameless, guiltless, reputable, and pure. Jesus Christ is all of these and so much more. He is worthy of all praise, honor and glory due His name!

Lord, only You are worthy.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Will I Be Afraid?

Will I Be Afraid?
1 Peter 3:14  
But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed, AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, 

Psalm 56:4b 
I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?

Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands on May 10, 1940.  As the Nazis took control of most of Europe, Corrie ten Boom and her family began to hide Jews and refuges from the would be Holocaust. They could have assisted the Gestapo and been rewarded for their support, but instead, they chose to conceal as many Jewish people as possible. This put their family at great risk and later they paid dearly for it.

One frightful night, a night they would never forget, their home was invaded by the secret police. This would mark the beginning of many horrifying events that would take place in prison. They slept in beds filled with fleas, and ate stale bread with thin soup. They were not called by their names but by the numbers that were tattooed on their arms. Corrie’s number was 66730, an indelible mark never to be forgotten.

The night they were all taken to jail was the last night that all of them would be together in this life time. Corrie’s father died 10 days after being put in prison from pneumonia and her sister, Betsie, died 3 days before Corrie’s scheduled release. The Lord allowed Corrie to survive all the gruesome and painfully horrid circumstances surrounding her imprisonment. After spending ten long months in the forced labor camp, Ravensbrück, the day came when Corrie would be released. Some say she was let out because of a clerical error, but we know that God had a plan for Corrie’s life and her release was no mistake.

It’s easy to fear man when we do not allow God to strengthen us during times of adversity and tremendous heartache. Remember, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13 KJV).

Lord,  encourage my heart with Your compassionate grace.

Friday, September 15, 2017

In the Garden

In the Garden
Matthew 26:38 
Then saith He unto them, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.”

Matthew 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-50; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:1-11

When Jesus entered the Garden of Gethsemane, He knew He would be arrested, shamed, humiliated and put through severe testing. The Word of God makes it clear that Jesus knew all things that would happen to Him and that nothing was a surprise to Him or out of His and the Father’s control. 

This same Jesus understood fully all that His dying would entail. He knew what pain He would bear before He ever set foot in the garden. He knew of the floggings He would endure leaving Him to the point of death. He knew of the metal spikes that would pierce His body–––the most excruciating pain one could experience. That night during His prayer, every sorrow He had ever known seemed to fall upon Him. We could never comprehend the depth of Christ’s agony or the terror of divine wrath He would suffer that night.

The disciples were familiar with the Garden of Gethsemane they had gone there with Jesus before (John 18:2). On this particular night, the disciples were given instructions to, “Pray that ye enter not into temptation” (Luke 22:40). Jesus told them of the horrible trial they would  witness and yet, they fell asleep leaving Jesus to bear His anguish alone.

The prayer of Christ gives us a look into His heart as He suffers the supreme sacrifice and surrenders to the Father’s will. The Holy Son of God never knowing even the most insignificant sin would become sin for us. When Christ finished praying, He had the victory He had sought for during that long agonizing night . In perfect harmony with the will of His Father, Christ would shed His blood for sinful man. May we never forget what our Lord endured on our behalf.

Lord, thank You for Your supreme sacrifice in obeying the Father’s will.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Why Read God's Word?

Why Read God’s Word?
You may be asking the question, “How should I read the Bible?” The answer is clear. The Word of God should not be read as a self-helps manual determining how you are to live out the perfect Christian life. The Bible provides hope through the pages of it’s narratives as well as through the timeless truths which offer grace and mercy to fallen man. It is written about OT people that are in captivity, suffering in misery and crying out in utter despair. Yet, they see and experience the faithfulness of God through extensive hardships and pain. The Apostle Paul suffered many difficulties for the advancement of the Gospel nonetheless, he proclaimed encouragement and comfort through the faithfulness of Christ. A believer, living to the will of God, rests implicitly on his Creator's faithfulness to accomplish what is set before him by faith. 

We need to see the sinful state of our existence as condemned without hope (Romans 3:11-18). Yet, God’s wonderful redeeming love is shown throughout Scripture through the timeless story of His precious Son, Jesus Christ. We are assured of His birth, His death on the cross, His miraculous resurrection and glorious ascension into heaven. The Bible is most advantageous when read through the sorrows of life. But, in spite of all the heartaches, this precious book gives hope to the hopeless, rest to the weary and peace to those struggling in the midst of life’s storm. 

The Bible is clearest when read as a weary pilgrim in need of Christ not being clouded by our own self-righteousness. If we understand who we are and who He is, we will not read the Bible to get a quick fix. Scripture should be read through the lens of the Gospel, seeing Christ’s love bestowed upon mankind in all that He accomplished on the cross. Galatians 1:3-4a says, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins. . .”

Lord, may I read Your Word through the eyes of love and gratitude.

Friday, September 1, 2017

"Thy Will Be Done"

“Thy Will Be Done”
Matthew 6:9-10 KJV

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 

Our Lord instructed His disciples on prayer and gave them an example to follow not as a magical formula, but to commune with God. This prayer is short and to the point never mentioning the time of day in which to pray, how long to pray, or the position in which one is to pray. But, we are instructed to, “Pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17). Prayer usually comes from a heart that is truly committed to Christ generating thankfulness for all He has done. 

Prayer demonstrates our faith and trust in God in discerning His will for our lives. There are some who are fearful of God’s plan. The thought of surrendering to His will is overwhelming and at times even terrifying. These dear people are sure that if they were to yield to God, they would suffer painful, uncertain times in some distant and dangerous place. They can imagine themselves wasting away in solitude while being miserable in their existence. Psalm 33:11 says, “The counsel (plan) of the LORD standeth (endures, stands firm) for ever, the thoughts (intentions) of his heart to all generations.” They must understand that the plan or will of God  comes from an expression of His heart. I John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” The will of God works in our lives to bring about His highest goal, glorifying Him through His unchangeable love for us. Our prayer should be that God, by His grace, would transform us making us willing and able to know and obey His will. And may we ever be mindful, that God designs His will, from His heart.

Lord, I pray “Thy will be done” in my life, to bring glory to Your dear name.