The Fire that Always Burns

Leviticus 6:13   (NLT)   Remember, the fire must be kept burning on the altar at all times. It must never go out.

Our God is always inviting, waiting, ready and willing for us to come into his presence. His fire—the fire of His mercy and grace, the fire of His cleansing blood, the fire of His Holy Spirit—is always ready, always lit to burn away all our sins, any hour, any minute of the day.

Leviticus 6.13 - The Fire that Always BurnsThrough our Lord Jesus, God’s throne is open and accessible 24/7. What a wondrous truth. We desperately need that. We have sinned at various times of our day. Temptations come at us every opportunity it gets. Praise God for many times of victory. But we have times of failure. Praise God that when we fail—when we sin—we don’t have to wait for a year, for a month, a week, a day, not even for an hour for us to ask for forgiveness—for us to be cleansed. We don’t have to bear the load of guilt sin and shame—not for a single moment. At the instance we fall, we can immediately and sincerely confess our sins to him; and as he promised, He is just and faithful enough to forgive us of all our sins and to cleanse us of all our unrighteousness.

Thank You Lord that you have already provided us the ways and means—all that are necessary for us to come to You any time of any day. Through the death of our precious Lord Jesus, through His sacrifice—His shed blood on the cross—we no longer have to wait to be forgiven. We no longer have to come up with our own animal sacrifices; we don’t have to delay until we could find the proper time; we no longer have to suffer—weighed down—for a prolonged period of time, as we struggle to complete the grueling task of gathering all the necessary requirements and performing necessary sacrifices—to the strictest detail. Our cleansing, restoration, and refreshing are available to us any moment of our day. Because of you, we get to always live light and free. Thank You Lord—in Jesus’ Name, amen.

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Heavens Proclaim God’s Glory

Psalms 19:1   (NLT)   The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.

Psalm 19.1 - Heavens Proclaim God's GloryWe are inundated by testimonies of God’s reality, existence, love, power, and wisdom. We look up to the heavens and we see greatness there. We look up to the sky and we see precision, order, beauty, skillful work of art. Not everyone comes to the same conclusion, but I can’t help but see glory and majesty behind them all.

Creation is a silent yet very visible evangelist pointing us to God. We have to just be more observant and more conscientious of the beauty and the marvels surrounding us. If God could create such awesome wonders, and sustain them throughout all ages, how can He not take good care of us? He is more willing and able to care for us than we think.

Dear God and heavenly Father, God of creation, thank You for leaving us more than sufficient proofs and demonstrations of You. I pray that we’ll be more aware of Your constant presence, of Your immense and tremendous power, of your unfailing love, your inscrutable wisdom, and the universe-size billboard flashing those truths continuously—in Jesus’ Name, amen.

 

Be Teachable

Acts 8:31   (NLT)   The man replied, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?” And he urged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with him.

“Teachability” is a very valuable virtue. It requires humility but it’s also a path to greatness. It takes humility to admit lack of understanding, to admit need of help, to admit someone knows more than you do. Learning requires sincerity and resolve. It Acts 8.31 - Be Teachablenecessitates effort. The person in this story had a hard time understanding what he was reading, but he was reading nonetheless.

Having a know-it-all attitude is disadvantageous. Wise people understand: wisdom is a life-long pursuit; the truth is: it is an eternity-long pursuit. Our learning doesn’t stop when we meet the Lord face to face.

There is no greater source of wisdom than God’s Word. True: there are some parts hard to understand; it will take a sincere desire to learn for us to grasp truths God intends for us. We find it a big help listening to others who have also spent time and effort in studying His Word. We don’t deny personal responsibility; we have to read the word by ourselves; we have to study it; meditate on it; memorize it; live it out; share it. But we can certainly also learn from others. It doesn’t diminish our self-esteem when we do. We expand our horizon much greater by mining the gold from other people’s perspective. We recognize that we miss some important insights other people catch. We even learn from people of the world; they too have wisdom to share; they too are created in God’s image; they have undeniably good contributions. In some cases, we need discernment from the Holy Spirit to know whether what they teach is godly or worldly. It’s no problem because God is more generous with His Spirit guiding us, helping us, warning us, and leading us to the truth.

Dear heavenly Father—all loving and all wise, thank You for giving us understanding and insight—especially when it comes to vital spiritual truths. Thank You for giving us your Holy Spirit without Whom we would be spiritually blind. Thank You for making us a part of people who have the same access to Your Spirit—the Spirit of wisdom. Thank You for giving us opportunities to learn, to know more about You, Your Word, Your love, and a lot more wonderful truths we absolutely treasure. And thank You for the privilege and honor of bearing and sharing this treasure.

 

Worship the Creator

Acts 7:50   (NLT)   Didn’t my hands make both heaven and earth?’

The fact that the one true living God was the One Who created both the heavens and the earth is enough reason for us to not worship any other god or being but Him.

Acts 7.50 - Worship the CreatorOf course, others question the validity of this truth. They don’t believe God created creation. They somehow have a hard time accepting this. But there shouldn’t be any problem believing God can create. The fact that the universe is so big is not a proof that no person or being could be responsible for its beginning; it is proof that God who created this magnificent, immeasurable universe is way more powerful and bigger than we imagine.

There is no reason for us to worship anything or anyone else other than the One really worthy of worship. That’s no other than the one true living God. Any other entities pulling us to give them a greater place or a higher priority in our hearts and lives than God himself ought to be resisted with all wisdom and might. They’re trying to deceive us and cause us to place our attention on something so little—to settle with something infinitely smaller. God longingly wants us to set our minds and hearts on Him, to have our lives dedicated to the best of the best: the best cause, the best reason for existence, the best Being Who exists. He wants us to live the best way we can: from the best source, through the best means/sustainer, for the best purpose. Oh, that gives us so much worth and significance.

We thank you Father for being real. We thank you for leaving us with more than sufficient convincing proofs of your existence and greatness. You’re an indescribably powerful and wise God. And you choose to care for us so much, to love us with a consistent, continuous, persevering, and endless love that we won’t find from anyone else. We thank you for giving us a very gracious invitation and welcome to You and into your very presence—the presence of our great and Almighty, All-wise Creator.

No Pretenses

Acts of the Apostles 5:4   (NLT)   The property was yours to sell or not sell, as you wished. And after selling it, the money was also yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren’t lying to us but to God!”

Pretense is a serious offense in the Kingdom of God.  Good deeds marred by lies—especially against God’s very own children—can have devastating consequences. Deceiving God’s people is a direct assault on God. God doesn’t take those things lightly.  Acts 5.4 - No PretensesSin of all kinds always has consequences. The consequences may not manifest right away; some wrongdoers may think they’re getting away with it. Consequences—though they may not come immediately, they will come surely.

We better be careful with the words we speak; there is wisdom in thinking before speaking. Believers aren’t invincible when it comes to deception and lies. Others want to appear better than who they really are; they want their work to appear bigger than what they really do. Who doesn’t want to look good, right? Pretense becomes a weapon in accomplishing this. We must be very careful not to be lured into its very superficial benefits.  As believers we ought to be careful in using figures of speech: exaggeration, hyperbole, euphemism, similes, metaphors, overstatements, etc. They are beautiful and creative ways of expressing ideas when utilizing them obviously as that—figures of speech. But the temptation is there to exalt oneself by blurring the line between creativity and reality. We ought to be careful; it will keep us from trouble.

Dear God thank you for being a God of integrity and honesty. You’re not One who lies to us. You are the God of truth. In fact, you are the Truth. We can absolutely depend on You because what You say is what it is. There isn’t a pinch of possibility that You don’t mean what You say, or that You ever deceive us. Help us to be like You in this. May we be people of truth. Let nothing—bribe, greed, envy, jealousy, self-exaltation—lead us to embellishing or twisting reality. We are children of truth—children of light. Help us to live as one, fearless of exposure because we have nothing to hide.

Go Forward!

Exodus 14:15   (NLT)   Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving!

The sea before them; Pharaoh and his mighty Egyptian army was behind them; the Israelites, in fear, were complaining to and blaming Moses for their seemingly fatal predicament. God tells Moses to tell the Israelites to get moving. That’s a statement of Exodus 14.15 - Go Forwardfaith. God told them to do what they needed to do despite the seemingly impossible scenario. God gave His command as if there was no sea in front of them.

If something has to be done, it does not matter how impossible the situation is—how wide the ocean, how insurmountable the mountain, how challenging the challenge, how impenetrable the obstacle, how problematic the problem, how serious the sickness, how expensive the cost—we have to act in faith, get up, and get moving. And we will see how God will split the sea for us; move the mountains out of the way; solve our problems; remove the obstacles; or just simply carry us in His mighty arms through all of them.

Dear God, it’s You Who gives us the confidence that nothing we face in life can ever stop us from reaching our destiny, from doing what needs done, from accomplishing our missions. Because you’re present, we don’t have to be stopped; we have a God who’s infinitely much bigger and greater than any hurdle, and more powerful than any enemy. As we’ve probably heard before: we look not at the bigness of our problems; we look at the bigness of our God. With that, nothing—no one scares us; we keep moving, pressing on towards the mark—our temporary destinies here on earth and our eternal, high, heavenly calling in our precious Lord Jesus.

No Fear of Enemies

Exodus 11:1   (NLT)   Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will strike Pharaoh and the land of Egypt with one more blow. After that, Pharaoh will let you leave this country. In fact, he will be so eager to get rid of you that he will force you all to leave.

Exodus 11.1 - Not Fearing EnemiesGod knows how to deal with his enemies—our enemies. He is a Victorious God. No one in no time can ever defeat him. God was able to turn the pharaoh’s hard and hardened heart completely around; He can do the same even to our most ardent enemy.

Enemies are real, but we don’t have to fear them. We don’t have to be troubled; we don’t have to panic about their existence or presence—no matter how close they may be to us, no matter how powerful they may be. In God’s perfect timing, and in God’s powerful unique ways; He will move our enemies to serve his purposes and act even surprisingly and totally favorably towards us.

Dear God, thank you so much for giving us very encouraging and dependable promises and assurances so that we don’t have to fear anyone or anything. You’re in complete control—nature, people, and everything else. We may not fully understand how you do this without violating man’s free will, but it’s enough for us to know that no one can thwart your purposes; You will accomplish them. It’s enough for us to know you love us, and you will always do the best for us; that includes dealing with those who oppose us.