Tag Archives: Glory

Never let us read any portion of God’s Word without looking up for divine teaching!

Never let us read any portion of God’s Word without looking up for divine teaching!

(James Smith, “The Evening Sacrifice; Or, A Help to Devotion” 1859)

“Open my eyes–that I may behold wondrous things out of Your law.” Psalm 119:18

God’s Book is a book of wonders! It is a wonderful record . . .

of God’s power in creation,
of His wisdom in providence,
and of His grace in redemption.

It has the stamp of infinity upon it. We cannot penetrate its heights, fathom its depths, or traverse its lengths and breadths–but as we are taught of God. The Holy Spirit, who composed it and inspired holy men to write it, must unfold and reveal it to our minds–or we shall never . . .

see its glory,
be impressed with its majesty,
or rejoice in its divine truths.

Never let us read any portion of God’s Word without looking up for divine teaching. Never let us imagine that we know all that is contained in any one verse of God’s blessed Book–for there is a fullness in the holy Scriptures not to be found anywhere else.

Oh, ever blessed Spirit of God, who has given us Your holy Word to . . .

instruct our intellects,
sanctify our hearts, and
regulate our lives–we beseech You to . . .
enlighten our minds to understand it,
open our hearts to receive it,
give us faith to believe it, and
enable us to reduce it to practice in our every-day life!

O may we be given grace . . .

understand the sublime doctrines,
believe the precious promises, and
practice the holy precepts of Your blessed Word!

Lord, unveil to us the types, unfold to us the prophecies–and apply to our hearts, the consolatory portions of the sacred Scriptures. May we hide the Word in our hearts, that we may not sin against You. O to catch the meaning, taste the sweetness, and feel the power–of Your holy truth! O Lord, open our eyes, and unfold the truth to us this night! O Lord, soften our hearts, and bring home Your Word with power!

“Then He opened their understanding–that they might understand the Scriptures.” Luke 24:45

“Behold, God is exalted in His power! Who is a teacher like Him?” Job 36:22

The Cross “✟” or the cross “❌”

I am saddened…..No grieved to see just how many “professing Christians” have filled Facebook, Twitter and the rest with endless ramblings on where we need to put the cross “❌” on our ballot papers, Without mention of THE CROSS “✟” on which our whole Salvation and Hope is vital!

Have we really elevated politics to a Saviour level?

We are living in a day when the message of the church is changing. Churches, and even whole denominations, are moving away from the old message of salvation through the blood of Jesus, and are moving toward a message of salvation through social activism and good works. The old bloody message of the cross is quickly being replaced by a bloodless message that lacks power and that lacks hope. Instead of hearing the devastating, but life changing news that men are sinners, people hear a message that tells them, “I’m OK and you’re OK!”

When the Apostle Paul went to the great and intellectual Grecian city of Corinth, he said, “I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). When Paul described what his message was, he said, “We preach Christ crucified” (1 Corinthians 1:23).

The Christian looks beyond this dying world to his eternal home in glory. The cross of Jesus enables him to soar on high, and leave the world behind him. He looks forward to the glory that is to be revealed in him. He sets his affections on things above. Oh, keep gazing on a crucified Savior, and the world will lose its charms. “Be of good cheer,” says Christ, “I have overcome the world.” We also shall overcome it, through his cross. It is a sight of the cross of Christ that weans the affections from sublunary objects, and centers them on heavenly and divine things. In this wicked world, the Christian thirsts for God, and pants to reach the mansions of glory.

O that every reader would imbibe the spirit of Paul, and boast only in the cross of Christ! The cross of Christ is the Christian’s boast. In every age this has been his song. Every true believer glories in Christ and him crucified. A ray of heavenly light from the cross beams on his soul, filling it with joy unspeakable and full of glory; enabling him to sing in the ways of the Lord and boast in the rock of his salvation. He sees the moral grandeur of the cross; its attractiveness; its dazzling glory. He is thus led to place all his hopes in the cross of the Man of Calvary, and to glory, before an ungodly world, in that atonement made by the blood of Jesus.

“Far be it from me to boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galatians 6:14

🎄 The Glorious Incarnation #7 ~ Helpless Human Baby

“The Almighty appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child. The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets. Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as this truth of the Incarnation.”

J.I. Packer

✞ Music “This Is Amazing Grace” by Phil Wickham

[Verse 1:]
Who breaks the power of sin and darkness
Whose love is mighty and so much stronger
The King of Glory, the King above all kings

Who shakes the whole earth with holy thunder
And leaves us breathless in awe and wonder
The King of Glory, the King above all kings

[Chorus:]
This is amazing grace
This is unfailing love
That You would take my place
That You would bear my cross
You lay down Your life
That I would be set free
Oh, Jesus, I sing for
All that You’ve done for me

[Verse 2:]
Who brings our chaos back into order
Who makes the orphan a son and daughter
The King of Glory, the King of Glory

Who rules the nations with truth and justice
Shines like the sun in all of its brilliance
The King of Glory, the King above all kings

[Chorus]

[Bridge:]
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Worthy, worthy, worthy.

🎄Prayer: Christ The Saviour

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Jesus, please help me this Christmas, as i remember you as the baby in a manger. Not to see you as just a pleasant picture that conjures up nostalgic and happy thoughts for me. But to be the picture of the incredible news that was proclaimed by the angels to the shepherds…

Thank you so much for making this unfathomable Good news, that “Christ the Saviour was born!” and you made it possible for someone like me to be born again. You were as much the Saviour of the world in that manger as you were on that cross.

Thank you for loving me so much, that you’d purposely lay your glory aside to enter your own creation, to save someone like me from my sins, and the punishment of those sins, providing the way of escape from death itself!

Thank you Jesus, Amen.

Glory, Glory, Glory

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“Man’s thought is always of the punishment that will come to him if he sins. God’s thought is always of the glory man will miss if he sins. God’s purpose for redemption is glory, glory, glory.”

Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life

✞ Promise: Rejoice and Exult

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Romans 5:2 Amplified Bible

Through Him also we have [our] access (entrance, introduction) by faith into this grace (state of God’s favor) in which we [firmly and safely] stand. And let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God.

✞ Music “Dry Bones” by Worship Central

“Dry Bones”

God is here, moving in our hearts
Looking to pour out His love
Abundantly in us

We are here, longing to be changed
Breathe into our lives again
Don’t let us leave the same

Spirit of God, Fire of love
Come have Your way in us
[Your] glory and power awaken us now
Lord, have Your way in us

You are here making all things new
Jesus, light the fire in us
[and] we will burn for You

Spirit of God, Fire of love
Come have Your way in us
[Your] glory and power awaken us now
Lord, have Your way in us

Have Your way

These dry bones will live again
We’re nothing without You, nothing without You!

Spirit of God, Fire of love
Come have Your way in us
[Your] glory and power awaken us now
Lord, have Your way in us

[speak to the dry bones]
[speak to the dry bones and they will live again]
[You breathe Your life upon us all]
[we will know that You alive]
[there is no one else]
[we couldn’t do nothing without You, Jesus, nothing!]

These dry bones will live again
We’re nothing without You, nothing without You!

Salt & Light

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We come on our own, we come together. We come with our excitement and with our lack of expectation.
We come with our lamps burning brightly and with our lamps hidden.
We come with our longing and with our pride.
We come with our words and with our silence.
We come with our music and with our resentments.
We come to you, God of truth, with our hands open
and ask that you reach out to us afresh.

Lord forgive our hardness of heart

Forgive us for those times when we think we can do it without you

Forgive us for our coldness towards you and others

Melt the ice of our coldness and breathe your new life into us

Generous God,
we thank you that a small amount of salt
can season a whole meal;
a small candle can light a whole room,
a small act of kindness inspire a whole life,
a small community transform a whole city,
a small prayer bring near a whole kingdom.
We thank you, Lord, we thank you.

Please show me the areas of my life which have become flavourless?!

Show me in what ways can I be salt in my world?

We pray, gracious God, for your Church throughout the world, for your Church in this nation, in this place, that we would be light bearers and truth bearers. May we shed the light of encouragement where there is disappointment; the light of integrity where there is corruption; the light of clarity where there is uncertainty; the light of challenge where there is complacency; the light of acceptance where there is rejection. And may we always walk and pray and serve in the light of humility and in the strength of your name, that others may see you in us and give you the glory.

We pray in Jesus’ name.
Amen.

May you be as salt where there is staleness;
light where there is darkness;
truth where there is unbelief
and love where there is great need.
And may you know the blessing of God the Father,
Son and Holy Spirit,
close to you each moment and each day.

Imprinted With God’s Image

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Hebrews 1 The Voice

Long ago, at different times and in various ways, God’s voice came to our ancestors through the Hebrew prophets. But in these last days, it has come to us through His Son, the One who has been given dominion over all things and through whom all worlds were made.

This is the One who—imprinted with God’s image, shimmering with His glory—sustains all that exists through the power of His word. He was seated at the right hand of God once He Himself had made the offering that purified us from all our sins. This Son of God is elevated as far above the heavenly messengers as His holy name is elevated above theirs.

Most images of angels are influenced by art and pop culture—and are far removed from the Bible. The word “angel” literally means “messenger,” and it can refer to either a human being or a heavenly being. The Hebrews author is writing about heavenly messengers.

In the Bible, heavenly messengers have several functions—executors of God’s judgment, guardians of God’s people, heralds of God’s plans. They appear at critical moments to chosen people who play important roles in God’s salvation, such as arriving to announce the birth and resurrection of Jesus and to transmit God’s law to Moses. They are no more than messengers, created beings, who serve the will of God and His Son. Recognizing their place, they bow before the Son in loving adoration.

For no heavenly messengers have ever heard God address them with these words of the psalms:

You are My Son.
Today I have become Your Father.

Or heard Him promise,

I will be to You a Father,
and You will be My Son.

Now, when the Son, the firstborn of God, was brought into the world, God said,

Let all My heavenly messengers worship Him.

Concerning them, God said,

I make My heavenly messengers like the winds,
and My servants like a flame.

But to the Son He said,

God, Your throne is eternal;
You will rule Your kingdom with the scepter of justice.
You have loved what is right
and hated what is evil;
That is why God, Your God, has anointed You
with the oil of gladness and lifted You above Your companions.

And God continues,

In the beginning, You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth
and set the skies above us with Your own hands.
But while they will someday pass away,
You remain forever;
when they wear out like old clothes,
You will roll them up
and change them into something new.
But You will never change;
Your years will never come to an end.

Did God ever say to any of the heavenly messengers,

Sit here, at My right hand, in the seat of honor;
and I’ll put all Your enemies under Your feet?

No, of course not. The heavenly messengers are only spirits and servants, sent out to minister to those who will certainly inherit salvation.

Hebrews 2:1-5

That is why we ought to pay even closer attention to the voice that has been speaking so that we will never drift away from it. For if the words of instruction and inspiration brought by heaven’s messengers were valid, and if we live in a universe where sin and disobedience receive their just rewards, then how will we escape destruction if we ignore this great salvation? We heard it first from our Lord Jesus, then from those who passed on His teaching. God also testifies to this truth by signs and wonders and miracles and the gifts of the Holy Spirit lighting on those He chooses.

This letter is punctuated with passages that sound an alarm: danger, both imminent and eternal, is at hand. The real danger is the gentle erosion of rock-solid commitments.

How often it happens! A person makes a decision to follow Jesus. He practically explodes with joy. Then life happens and the invisible forces that shape culture in our world—the idols of consumerism, relativism, and materialism—begin their exacting work to shape us into an image that no longer reflects our Savior. Over and over again, the writer warns us to be careful. Don’t neglect this great salvation. Make sure the anchor holds.

The Masterpiece

The Masterpiece

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

There is a story about a wealthy man and his only son who travelled the world together collecting priceless paintings by Van Gogh, Monet and many other masters. Tragically, the son died at war while rescuing others. Distraught and lonely, the old man dreaded the upcoming Christmas day.

Christmas morning, a young soldier knocked on his door and said, “I’m a friend of your son. I’m one of the ones he rescued.” Then the soldier presented a picture he had painted of the son. Though the picture lacked genius, the brokenhearted father saw the features of his precious son and immediately valued this painting above all the masterpieces in his home. Every day, the father gazed at the portrait and told his housekeeper of his great love for it.

When the father died, the art world buzzed with excitement over the sale of his extraordinary art collection on Christmas day.

The first item offered was the painting of the son, but no one in the self-important crowd would bid on the amateurish portrait. The auctioneer insisted that the terms of the will required the portrait must be sold before any other paintings could be offered. Finally, the housekeeper, tears streaming down her cheeks, said to the auctioneer, “May I pay ten dollars for it? That is all the money I have. I knew the son, and I know how much the father treasured that portrait.” The auctioneer said, “The bid is ten dollars. Going once, going twice, gone,” and the gavel fell.

The auctioneer then announced that the auction was over. “What do you mean?” said the stunned audience. “There must be hundreds of millions of dollars of art here.” The auctioneer replied, “It is very simple. According to the will of the father, whoever takes the son gets it all.”

Like the art collectors, not everyone can see the real value of a relationship with Jesus. John 1:11 tells us that Jesus came to His own but His own received Him not. They did not accept the precious gift of God’s Son, a gift that brings with it all the blessings and love of God.

If you are not intentional about recognizing and receiving Jesus Christ, you will have nothing in the end, and there will be no negotiation of God’s terms. God’s Son may have been born in the most humble of circumstances in a manger in Bethlehem, but He is coming back in power and glory. The next time we see Jesus, things will be very different from His first coming. Not only will He be the King of kings but He will be a judge and we will be held accountable for our lives.

Read John 3:18-36 and Revelations 3:16. Clearly, there are two categories of people: those who fully accept the Son as the only means to the Father and those who don’t. People who are indifferent or neutral about the Son will miss the opportunity to live eternally with the Father in Heaven. It is not enough to believe Jesus was a good man or a prophet; James 2:19 says that even the devil believes and “trembles.”

Have you said “Yes” to the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior? Luke 15:7 says there will be joy in Heaven when you do. Tell the Father today about your love for His Son. Ask God to protect your heart from being neutral or complacent about your devotion to Jesus. Is there someone you know who needs to acknowledge Jesus as Savior? Pray about being intentional about introducing them to the Son.

Crafted By Human Hands

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Psalm 115:1-8 The Voice

Not for us, O Eternal One; this glory is not for us—but for Your name
because of Your loyal love and truth.
Why should the nations ask,
“Where is their God now?”
Our God is in heaven
doing whatever He chooses.
Those nations worship idols of silver and gold,
crafted by human hands:
They have given their gods mouths, but they cannot speak;
eyes, but they cannot see.
They have provided their idols with ears, but they cannot hear;
noses, but they cannot smell.
They have fashioned hands, but the idols cannot reach out and touch;
feet, but they cannot walk.
Their idols cannot make a sound in their finely crafted throats.
The people who make idols will become useless like them,
like all who trust in idols.

Nothing Transcends The Power Of God

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Nothing transcends the power of God.  Whether our difficulty is from Satan, others, self-inflicted, or experienced in the process of our obedience, it is God’s prerogative to rearrange, reconstruct, reinterpret, and realign the situation to bring glory and praise to His name.

 

Joseph Stowell

The Means To New Life For Others

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2 Corinthians 4:1-12 The Voice

Drawing from Exodus 32–34, Paul uses Moses as a model of one who has been transformed by God’s glory, but in a limited way. Moses encountered God (the Lord) through the Spirit on that mountain, but the Spirit now—as a fulfillment of the new covenant—dwells in the hearts of believers and continually transforms them. This transformation is based on a new way of understanding God’s revelation: Jesus Himself, the One who reveals God’s glory, is the very image of God. Through this Spirit-enabled encounter, believers experience a new way of living and therefore come to resemble the Anointed One as they reflect His glory.

Since we are joined together in this ministry as a result of the mercy shown to all of us by God, we do not become discouraged. Instead, we have renounced all the things that hide in shame; we refuse to live deceptively or use trickery; we do not pollute God’s Word with any other agenda. Instead, we aim to tell the truth plainly, appealing to the conscience of every person under God’s watchful eye. Now if our gospel remains veiled, it is only veiled from those who are lost and dying, because the evil god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers. As a result the light of the good news, the radiant glory of the Anointed—who is the very image of God—cannot shine down on them. We do not preach about ourselves. The subject of all our sermons is Jesus, the Anointed One. He is Lord and Master of all. For Jesus’ sake we are here to serve you. The God who spoke light into existence, saying, “Let light shine from the darkness,”[a] is the very One who sets our hearts ablaze to shed light on the knowledge of God’s glory revealed in the face of Jesus, the Anointed One.

But this beautiful treasure is contained in us—cracked pots made of earth and clay—so that the transcendent character of this power will be clearly seen as coming from God and not from us. We are cracked and chipped from our afflictions on all sides, but we are not crushed by them. We are bewildered at times, but we do not give in to despair. We are persecuted, but we have not been abandoned. We have been knocked down, but we are not destroyed. We always carry around in our bodies the reality of the brutal death and suffering of Jesus. As a result, His resurrection life rises and reveals its wondrous power in our bodies as well. For while we live, we are constantly handed over to death on account of Jesus so that His life may be revealed even in our mortal bodies of flesh. So death is constantly at work in us, but life is working in you.

Jesus’ death is the means to new life for others. Similarly when believers suffer for others as Jesus did, their suffering is an avenue for God’s life to transform situations.

Spirit Levelling

Spirit Level

My Thoughts 💭 

Travelling back home on the train this morning, I was showing Sarah the new (but hidden) spirit level on iOS 7 on my iPhone (to get to it, just open the compass app and then swipe from right to left with one finger to reveal). As I was tilting my phone up and down and showing that when the surface is level the whole screen goes green, suddenly I had the thought….

This is the same with our spiritual lives. How balanced/instep am I with the Spirit that dwells within?!

Are you instep with the Spirit?

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Galatians 5:25 (NIV)

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

More Thoughts 💭  

At or around harvest time I like to think about my life and how much its changed from the fruitless dead tree and how God is healing me by his Love and Grace by trying to grow the fruits for his glory. I need to keep my roots deep in him and be in step with the Spirit so I don’t just wither and die.


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