Saturday, July 21, 2012


"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, 
neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, 
for the former things have passed away.”
Revelation 21:4 (ESV)

Yesterday morning we awoke to the news of the Aurora shootings. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families who lost loved ones in this tragedy. We grieve with them, and pray for God's love and compassion to rain down on them and give them comfort and peace. 

The shocking event in the Aurora theater reminds us that we live in a fallen world. Evil does exist, and from time to sad time it rises up in rage and forces us once more to acknowledge that the world we live in is imperfect. Horribly imperfect. And it will remain that way until Christ returns and sets everything right. He is our hope, our Light that shines through the darkest hour. When He comes, death will die, mourning will cease, and pain will be long forgotten. He'll gently wipe all tears -- every single one -- from the eyes of His beloved children. And inexpressible joy will replace the ache that once filled their hearts. This is His promise. It's a promise for those who know Him and place their trust in Him. Maranatha! Our Lord is coming.

Friday, July 20, 2012

God's Holiness

When the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, 
“Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, 
for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”
Exodus 3:4-5

It was God's presence that made the ground around the burning bush holy. And when He departed it ceased to be holy.  Because He is a holy God there will always be a distance between Him and man; we will never be equal with Him. The fact that we can have a relationship with Him shows His willingness to condescend to us.

Removing one's shoes is a sign of humility and reverence. "I doubt that Moses stooped to loosen his sandals. Like others who have beheld the glory of the living God, he may have fallen to the ground, prostrate. The flames which encompassed (but did not consume) the bush, along with the warning issued by the Lord from within the flames, emphatically impressed Moses with the holiness of the One who was manifesting Himself. Moses was deeply impressed with the holiness of his God." (Bob Deffinbaugh)

Too often humans have a flippant attitude toward God. May we, like Moses, be impressed with the holiness of our God.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Ultimate Teacher

"I shall give thanks to You with uprightness of heart,
When I learn Your righteous judgments."
Psalm 119:7

The more we know of God, the more we find for which to praise Him. His word is full of truth and life and hope. Joy comes in discovering who He is. He is altogether lovely. Completely trustworthy. Ever faithful. Full of grace. The Ultimate Teacher.

"We must learn to praise, learn that we may praise, and praise when we have learned. If we are ever to learn, the Lord must teach us, and especially upon such a subject as His judgments, for they are a great deep. While these are passing before our eyes, and we are learning from them, we ought to praise God, for the original is not, 'when I have learned,' but, 'in my learning.' (Spurgeon)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Steady Communication with God

"pray without ceasing;" 
1 Thessalonians 5:17

The Greeks used the words “without ceasing” to describe something that is persistent. Such as a hacking cough, or repeated military attacks. To "pray without ceasing" is to be persistent in our communication with God. He wants to have a conversation with us throughout the day.  "Continued prayer is a state of steady communion with God. We do not allow great gaps to intervene between episodes of prayers. He takes interest in the small areas of our lives. We do not brush off our children when they come to us with a little scratch. Neither does God brush us off when we come to Him with little things." (Dr. Grant C. Richison)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Spirit of Truth

"When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, 
that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me,"
John 15:26

Is there any doubt that the third person of the Trinity -- the Holy Spirit -- is critical in the life of a Christian? We need His truth to undergird us and give us the strength we need to stand up and refuse to believe the lies the world feeds us every day. God teaches us through the Holy Spirit: " But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the Truth (the whole, full Truth). For He will not speak His own message [on His own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears [from the Father; He will give the message that has been given to Him]," (John 16:13 Amplified Bible).

"This strong Succourer and Friend is ‘the Spirit of truth,’ by which is designated, not so much His characteristic attribute, as rather the weapon which He wields, or the material with which He works. The ‘truth’ is His instrument; that is to say, the Spirit of God sent by Jesus Christ is the Strengthener, the Encourager, the Comforter, the Fighter for us and with us, because He wields that great body of truth, the perfect revelation of God, and man, and duty, and salvation, which is embodied in the incarnation and work of Jesus Christ our Lord. The truth is His weapon, and it is by it that He makes us strong." (Alexander Maclaren)

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Ransomer

"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, 
but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Mark 10:45

"The reason we need a ransom to be paid for us is that we have sold ourselves into sin and have been alienated from a holy God. When Jesus gave his life as a ransom, our slavemasters, sin and death and the devil, had to give up their claim on us. And the result was that we could be adopted into the family of God." (John Piper)

How easy it is for people to be in bondage and not even know it. The world tries to convince us that it has the answer to all our needs, and that freedom comes from alienation from God or choosing to reject His existence altogether. It's so seductive that people easily buy into it. And yet it is that very philosophy that knits the chains that bind them and hold them hostage. It takes humility to admit we need saving, and we have a wonderful model of humility in our Savior. He who knew no sin became sin for us, that through His sacrifice we might take on His righteousness and be made right before a Holy God. (1 Corinthians 5:21) This is true freedom. . .to know Christ as our Ransomer.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

His Glorious Name

"For You are my rock and my fortress;
For Your name’s sake You will lead me and guide me."
Psalm 31:3

The faithfulness of the Lord is to His glory. He comes to our aid because He cares for us, but just as importantly He leads and guides us because His very reputation depends upon it. "If God should begin and not continue, or if he should carry on but not complete the work, all would admit that it was for some reason that must bring reproach on the Almighty. This can never be. God was self moved to undertake man's salvation. His glorious name makes it certain the top stone shall be laid in glory." (William S. Plumer.)

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