Favor in All

Nehemiah 2:5   (KJV)   5 And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it.

For Nehemiah, the king’s pleasure mattered; him being pleasing to the king mattered; and the city of his fathers mattered.

8x10 LandscapeGod is concerned most about our eternal destiny, investments, and existence. And that’s absolutely appropriate because heavenly things are incalculably more valuable than any temporal matter. But the wonderful thing about our Lord is that His love and concern for us covers every area of our lives. He’s concerned about our attitudes not just toward Him but toward other people. He’s concerned about our relationship with others. He’s concerned about our heart of worship, our way of worship, and also our places of worship—including the bricks and concrete parts of it.

Our loving God and Father, you’ve created us; You have given us everything for life and godliness; You’ve given us everything for our enjoyment. We appreciate all of them. Help us Lord not to get our priorities wrongly. We set You far and high apart from everything else as our Lord and King Who sits on the throne of our hearts. We pray that we won’t be lured into having anything else ever coming close to occupying that position.

We also pray that we will appreciate and enjoy all your other blessings although they’re not as important as the Blesser and eternal things. You’ve given us loved ones, friends, and acquaintances, our church family, our church building, our houses, cars, clothes, food and drink. Thank You for all of them. To us, they are expressions of who You are—your generosity, and Your love.

Advertisements

Blessedness of the Watchful

Luke 12:38   (KJV)   38 And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.

Luke 12.38 - Blessedness of the WatchfulServants who will be found expectantly and readily waiting for the Lord’s return will be blessed.

The Lord will and can return any moment. Although others believe differently regarding the notion of imminence—that no one knows the day or the hour except the Father—we all believe that He’s coming again. As surely as His return is, He also wants us to be prepared.

The Kingdom of God is our preoccupation. We lay up eternal treasures. We’re free from greed, from love of money, from materialism. We understand the value of life is more than the entire world itself. And God is infinitely greater than anything and anyone. We seek Him first—His Kingdom and righteousness. We may not have thousands in our bank deposit, but we have a rich relationship with our Father.

We serve Him gladly—our lamps continually burning, with extra flask of “oil.” We see the ever-increasing appearances of the signs of His return; we don’t neglect them; we pay serious and careful attention. When He comes like a thief, we won’t be caught in surprise.

 

Greatest Surprise Awaits

Revelation 10:1   (KJV)   10 And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire

Revelation 10.1 - Greatest Suprise AwaitsAn angel clothed with a cloud, rainbow over the head, face shining like the sun, feet like pillars of fire—this is definitely a different picture compared to the images of angels commonly portrayed.

We need to be ready to be pleasantly surprised by still so many things that will be revealed to us when our eyes are finally and completely opened to the supernatural world. We’ve seen angelic beings painted or drawn as babies, toddlers, warriors, some have two wings, some have six. But there have not been a lot of times when we’ve seen depictions of angels as majestic as the one we see here.

That’s an angel. When it comes to God, we’re already out of words to describe our infinite, eternal, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, immutable, loving, holy, just God. As free as our imaginations are, they still fall short of grasping the glorious reality of our God and of the supernatural and eternal sphere. We’re already absolutely fascinated by the surface truths we know.  Oh, what an indescribable and unimaginable delight it will be when we see Him face to face.

One True Living God

Jeremiah 10:10   (KJV)   10 But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.

There’s only One true living God; a god among millions of gods isn’t God, a dead god isn’t God.  He’s the King of all Kings, Lord of all Lords. He is eternal, awesome, all-powerful. Jeremiah 10.10 - One True Living GodNo one and nothing can fight against Him and survive, much less, prevail.

We stand, walk, and live in awe of the LORD our God. There’s no one else like Him. No one else is all-powerful, all-present, and all wise. There’s no other Name greater. He rules over all people of all nations. Others fight against Him; but everyone will eventually bow before Him and acknowledge Him for who He is. He existed before time; He will exist after time.

We praise God that He gave us wisdom to understand. We don’t have to find ourselves fighting a sure losing battle. God is the very source of life; He’s the very force or being that created the entire universe, and is the One sustaining or preserving it. We’re on His side; we live for Him. We’re not of those who incur His wrath; we’re of those who receive His pleasure. We don’t look forward in fear to destruction; we longingly and joyfully anticipate His return and our ultimate salvation and glorification, abiding forever in His presence, power, peace, wisdom and love.

Boasting in Knowing Him

Jeremiah 9:24   (KJV)   24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.

Glorying or boasting is good if glorying is in the right thing. Having a true saving knowledge of, experience with, and understanding of God are right reasons to glory—Jeremiah 9.24 - Boasting in Knowing Himknowing His nature, His power, His ways, His will.

The more we know Him, the more we see how wonderful He really is. For Him to lovingly and graciously invite us to drink of the free Living Water, He knows that when we do, we get to taste and see how good He really is, that He really is the One we need and we’ve been looking for. He’s the only one Who really satisfies our deepest hunger and thirst. He really is the answer to the greatest longing of our souls.

Others run after this world and its seemingly grand offers. They pursue more and more money. They strive hard to share in the 15 minutes of fame—of increased power and influence. They continually look for new things that will satisfy the cravings of their tongues and stomachs, or other people and things that will satisfy their flesh. But those are not things we glory in—not temporal things that will eventually just get burned up.

What we have extends beyond the reaches of matter, time, and space. Who we have and what we have are infinitely worth more than anything and anyone. He’s incomparable, immeasurable, incalculable, and incomprehensible. That’s why we worship Him alone. No volumes of books are enough to accommodate everything that can be written about Him. No amount of words can be used to fully describe the joys and blessings of having a saving knowledge, personal relationship, and very close intimacy with such a magnificent Being.

 

My Treasure

Matthew 6:21   (KJV)   21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Our minds and hearts are invested in God and heavenly thoughts. The more we do, the more we’re drawn to them.  There really is no being, system or cause greater than God. He has no equal, no qualified rival. Strength, glory, honor, and supreme rulership Matthew 6.21 - My Treasurebelongs to Him.  In His presence is fullness of love, joy, peace, and freedom.  He frees us from all earthly worries and encourages us to focus on things that are eternal and heavenly.

Oh, to taste and see that the Lord is good; to know Him increasingly more; to know His face, His Word, His will, His ways, His works; to know the power of His resurrection, His Kingdom now, and His Kingdom to come—nothing beats or surpasses any of these in value.  No, we’re not of those who are too heavenly minded and no earthly good. In fact, it is our being increasingly more God-minded and heavenly-minded that we become truly earthly good.

We’re not affected by people’s perception of us; we’re not affected by their lack of interest, their low estimation of us.  We’re beyond that; we’re free from people’s opinions and influence.  We serve God; we shine His light—not to elevate ourselves or to boast of how good we are, but to point them to God.  We forgive those who wrong us; we love our enemies; we walk the extra mile, we bless those who curse us.  Those we do because we’re not a part of the dog-eat-dog, “survival of the fittest” competition that the world has cruelly imprisoned and controlled people with.  What matters is the infinitely more precious existence with our wonderful God now and in eternity.

Lambs Among Wolves

 Luke 10:3   (KJV)   3 Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.

We are to go share and spread the Good News of salvation to the lost, and to make disciples of all those who believe. Each has a calling; each has a race to run; each has responsibility. But we all are sent to the same hostile world. We are sent out as lambs luke-10-3-lambs-among-wolvesamong wolves. There’s no mandate to change our nature; we’re not called to be like wolves. Our difference will be obvious; it’s natural for wolves to try to hunt, attack, and devour us, but we are to stay our course.

Hostility is real; persecution is real, but God’s presence is more real. He promises to deliver us all the time. He may deliver us from them; He may deliver us through them, but He will deliver us. Others may question this. Martyrs abound. Where is God’s deliverance in this? These are legitimate questions, especially when asked from a perspective void of the eternal. Praise God for His light that shines in our understanding. We see better; we see clearer; we see more.

We’re aware of the supernatural and the eternal. This helps navigate through the world of the wolves better. We reach out to them without becoming like them. Many times they mistreat us. I remember a Middle Eastern sister in the Lord who was asked by some fanatical religious zealots to vacate their house at 12 midnight that same day, or they will be killed. They left everything they worked so hard for. That in itself was difficult, but even their journey of leaving their home became a dangerous escape attempt. They had to take unfamiliar paths because death also waited along the main thoroughfares. She shook as she shared the experience.

Some of us aren’t spared. That doesn’t spell failure on the part of God. He never fails. Death for us in the grand scheme of things isn’t tragic; it isn’t the end; it’s a passageway ushering us into an indescribable, incomparable, most blissful experience ever—right in the presence of our Father—He Who loves us most, He who we love most. That’s why although we fully appreciate God’s earthly blessings; we’re not attached to them; we understand that our real citizenship is dual: temporal and eternal, and our eternal home far outweighs what we now have.

So we go—lambs among wolves, lovingly, carefully, fearlessly, faithfully, empowered by God, changing this world, while longingly waiting for the next.