Friday, November 14, 2014

Is God in Everything?

Is God in Everything?
“There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all.”  (Ephesians 4:5,6 NLT)
            Have you ever come to a point in your life when you could say without hesitation and absolute conviction – GOD IS IN CONTROL?
            It was in July 1989 that I was lying in a hospital bed in Columbia, Missouri facing quadruple by-pass surgery the next morning.  I didn’t even know if I’d see the morning light, but I was confident that the Lord was in complete control.  I remember praying that the Lord’s will be done, but I dearly would like to go on telling others about Jesus.  The Lord heard my prayer and now 22 years later I’m still serving him teaching children about Jesus, writing devotional articles to challenge and encourage others, and supporting those who have answered the call to ministry.
            Is God in every area of your life? 
            Paul encourages the Thessalonians by saying, “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  (5:18 NASB)   If God is not in everything, how can we honestly give thanks for every circumstance, struggle, and trial of life. 
            King David believed that God was in everything for he said, “For the angel of the LORD is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him.”  (Psalm 34:7 NLT)  It is obvious from the context that David experienced this on a personal level.  How many times was he protected from his enemies while running from King Saul in the wilderness?  David knew that God was in control.
            Does this mean that we are encircled by the presence of God?  Yes!  Even in times of testing and trial?  Yes!  When we face financial or family difficulties?  Yes!  God is in everything – even the things we don’t like and that give us pain and distress. 
            Nothing – absolutely nothing ever takes God by surprise.  Everything that takes place in our lives whether it be good or bad is allowed by God for a purpose.  The purpose may be for instruction in righteousness, or it may be for disciplinary reasons, but it is always profitable, and the ultimate aim and purpose is to glorify the Father.  (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
            When we face situations and difficult circumstances that are out of our control, let us remember that God is in everything and has all things under his control.  

Prayer: Dear Lord, since you are in control of all things, help me accept whatever circumstance comes my way today.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Jehovah Alone is Worthy

Jehovah Alone is Worthy
Read: 2 Kings 17:7-41
Worship only the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt with such mighty miracles and power.  You must worship him and bow before him; offer sacrifices to him alone.  (2 Kings 17:36 NLT)
            Disaster came upon the nation of Israel because the people worshipped the gods of the pagan nations around them.  They turned away from the God of their forefathers, built shrines, set up sacred pillars and Asherah poles, sacrificed their sons and daughters in fire, consulted fortune-tellers, and used sorcery arousing the anger of the Lord. 
            Is this how the people of Israel thought about worship?  Their actions reveal that they rejected God as the object of their affections and substituted worthless idols.  What was the result?  The Scriptural record says, “They worshipped worthless idols and became worthless themselves.  They followed the example of the nations around them, disobeying the Lord’s command not to imitate them.”  (2 Kings 17:15b NLT)
            Therein lays the danger for us today.  We live in a world full of idols and false worship.  No longer are God and his Son Jesus Christ the center of worship around the world.  No longer is Jesus the object of man’s affection.  He has been relegated into obscurity by secularism and humanism.  Feel good and prosperity gospels have replaced the good news.  Sin is only a figment of the imagination and rarely mentioned in public debate.  Greed and lavish lifestyles have replaced modesty and reverence. 
            It is a well-known fact that our style of worship shapes the character of the worshippers into a likeness of the object worshipped.  Though created in the image and likeness of God, when we worship false gods of any kind, our souls become infused with the substitute deities.  As a result, our worship becomes a mockery to the very God who created us. 
            “Holy, Holy, Holy,” a hymn written generations ago is our call to worship.  “Only thou are holy; there is none beside Thee, Perfect in power, in love, and purity.”  It is God alone whom we worship.  He alone should be the object of our affection.
            Are you worshipping the great Creator God?  Is his son, Jesus Christ the object of your affection?  Jesus is lord of all and Lord over all --- including you –

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for revealing to us that you alone are worthy of worship.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Jesus is the Final Word

Jesus is the Final Word
Read: Hebrews 1:1-14
In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.                           (Hebrews 1:1-2 NIV)
            Did you know that one of the titles for Jesus is “the Word”?  John says, ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  (John 1:1 NASB)
            When Jesus came to this earth he took upon himself human flesh, that is, he inhabited a human body.  It was a human body that possessed both a divine and a human nature; yet without a sinful nature.  That’s what is called the Incarnation (John 1:14).
            The Scripture declares that God “made him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf…” (2 Corinthians 5:21).  1 John 3:5 says, “You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.”  Peter also testified in his epistle that Jesus also “committed no sin.” (1 Peter 2:23)
            God in his infinite wisdom took deity and poured it into humanity.  The book of Hebrews opens with the words, “God, after he spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days had spoken to us in His Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the world.”  (Hebrews 1:1,2 NASB)  These words reveal that “Jesus is the Final Word.”  In times past God gave a part of his message to Adam, and parts to Noah, Moses, David, Solomon, and various prophets.  At no time did he reveal the complete revelation to any one person.  But now in these last days, he is speaking to us by his son. 
            Throughout the book of Ephesians, Paul talks about the mystery that was hidden in past generations.  Then to the church in Colossae, he reveals the mystery to be –Christ in you, the hope of glory.  (Colossians 1:27)
            Just think of it – Christ in you!  No person in Old Testament times, no matter how great they were, knew or experienced this blessed truth.  The one who is declared to be Lord of Lords, and King of Kings lives in us who believe.  How remarkable is that?  Truly, Jesus is the Final Word.

Prayer: Dear Lord, how thankful we are for your Son, Jesus Christ, and his willingness to come and give his life as a propitiation for our sin.