Saturday, January 7, 2012

Our Great God

"For who in the skies is comparable to the LORD? 
Who among the sons of the mighty is like the LORD,"
Psalm 89:6

God has painted breathtaking sunrises this week in the Rockies. I appreciate the beauty that fills the morning skies, but it is short lived. Within seconds the heavens' purple, crimson and golden hues fade away as the sun ascends into view. We live in a land of ever changing skies, but the One who created them never changes. Dawn may arrive tomorrow in a blanket of gray, but our God will still be on His throne, dressed in brilliant light. His brilliance is singular -- there is none other like it, neither in Heaven nor on earth -- and it will never diminish. It is eternal because He is eternal. 

O Lord my God! when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed:

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul! my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze:

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul! my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin:

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul! my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration,
And there proclaim, my God, how great Thou art!

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul! my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

"How Great Thou Art"
Originally a Swedish folk melody,
"O Store Gud" by Carl Boberg (1859-1940)
was translated by Stuart K. Hine in 1899.

Friday, January 6, 2012


"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."
2 Corinthians 3:17

Through the years I have heard people say they would never want to become a Christian because they like their freedom. As if giving their lives to Christ would somehow imprison them. Actually, just the opposite is true. A person experiences liberty when he opens his heart to Christ. He has the liberty of approaching a holy God without fear of condemnation, and having an intimate relationship with Him. She has the liberty of becoming the person God intended her to be; unhindered by past sin. They have the liberty of eternal life, looking forward to the resurrection body which the Lord Jesus will give all who have believed in Him. "The way to be yourself, to have freedom, is not to be afraid to look at all the evil that is possible in your heart and in your life, because you have another basis on which you can receive the acceptance and approval of God. It is a gift to you. It is faith continually accepting anew the gift of righteousness, of already being pleasing to God, and, on that basis, serving him out of a heart of gratitude for what you already have." -- Ray Steadman

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Share What You Have Gleaned

"So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. She took it up and went into the city, and her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned. She also took it out and gave Naomi what she had left after she was satisfied."
Ruth 2:17-18

Ruth walked behind the harvesters in the field of Boaz and gleaned the barley they had left behind. She stayed in the field quite awhile -- the scripture says until evening -- and when she processed what she had collected, she found she had received an abundance of food. So much, that she was able to satisfy herself and feed her mother-in-law Naomi, too. Ruth was generous with what she had received. The more time we spend in God's word, the more spiritual truth we will glean. Enough to nourish ourselves and others. But, like Ruth, it is up to each of us to be generous with what we have received.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Great Power of God

"Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You,"
Jeremiah 32:17

If God could create the world out of nothing, why should we doubt that He can accomplish whatever concerns us today? The great preacher and evangelist Charles Spurgeon wrote: "If we would venture more upon the naked promise of God, we should enter a world of wonders to which as yet we are strangers. Let Jeremiah's place of confidence be ours -- nothing is too hard for the God that created the heavens and the earth." We are four days into a new year. Imagine what the next twelve months could hold if we venture into it with unabashed faith in the great power of our God. What is the impossible thing you want God to do? If Christ is your Savior and what you desire is in line with His word -- if it is not outside of His will -- then you can ask whatever you want and God will do it (John 15:7). This is a bold statement, but I'm just repeating what Christ said. If we are abiding in Him, then our desires will be in line with His desires, and He surely will do the thing He desires to do. Abide in Christ, seek His will, then trust in the great power of God and step forward in confidence. To God be the glory!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

From Scarlet to White

“Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the LORD,
“Though your sins are as scarlet,
They will be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They will be like wool.
“If you consent and obey,
You will eat the best of the land;
“But if you refuse and rebel,
You will be devoured by the sword.”
Truly, the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

The Israelites had abandoned God and become corrupt. Isaiah prophesied that severe judgment was coming to the Israelites because of their sins, but that God would forgive them and spare them if they would turn in repentance to Him.  This truth applies to the present time, as well. Our culture has become rebellious toward God and numb to sin. In fact, we no longer call sin by its true name. We call it "a bad habit" or "an addiction", "a failing" or "a mistake". Do we really think we're fooling God by such talk? The Bible says "God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil" (Ecclesiastes 12:14). Isn't it time we owned up to what we really are? Sinners in need of a Savior. I'm not ashamed to admit that without Jesus Christ in my life I'd be pretty rotten. I am by nature a critical, ungrateful, complaining and selfish person. And guess what? The Bible calls all those negative traits sin. But praise God I'm not a slave to myself and my sinful ways. I've been freed by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit living within me. And day by day He's changing me. Granted, I've got a long way to go and I'll never reach perfection this side of Heaven, but God is working in my life. And not just in mine, but in the lives of everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord for salvation and sanctification. God loves us. He forgives us when we turn from our sins and turn to Him. God makes our scarlet sins as white as snow.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Tracking with God

"Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, 
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever."
Psalm 23:6

After every new snow at our homestead deer, rabbits, elk and who knows what else traipse through our yard, leaving fresh tracks. Sometimes I can't find an end to a particular path, especially a bunny track, and I wonder if a predator followed him and brought him to an early demise. In my own life there are times when I feel the hot breath of the enemy on the back of my neck and I am tempted to worry and fret about my future. But then I remember that only God's goodness and lovingkindness (mercy)  follow me when I walk with Jesus. He goes before me and behind me. All the days of my life. And should my life end, I will dwell with Him in Heaven forever. These aren't just some nice words that we often here quoted at a funeral. They are the promises of a God who loves us and wants us to spend eternity with Him. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year Treasures

"And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years and had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers. At that very moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem."
Luke 2:36-68

Anna was what we today would call a "Prayer Warrior". She spent over sixty years in the temple, fasting and praying; most likely interceding for others. To a lot of people in today's society, Anna's life in the temple would be considered a waste. But Anna didn't see it that way. ". . .if we look just below the surface, we see that Anna lived fully devoted to God. God commends her life to us. In the Bible, every fact is confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses. Along with Simeon, God chose Anna to bear witness to the infant Jesus as the Messiah. Her life was well spent." -- Pastor Steven J. Cole 

Jesus said, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:19-21)  Anna stored up her treasures in heaven. It's a new year. Where will your treasures be stored in 2012?
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