God’s Reach; God’s Touch

Zechariah 12:1   (KJV)   12 The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, saith the Lord, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.

Our Lord’s reach touches the farthest and the closest of His creation.

Zechariah 12.1 - God's Reach, God's TouchWhen He tells us not to worry, it’s because there’s really no reason to. God is the Sovereign ruler of everything and everyone. Even when things and people are spinning out of control, He’s still in total control.

We have free will. We may not completely understand His ways. We may not comprehend how He works all things for the good of those who love Him and those who are the called according to His purpose—both our good times and bad times. We may not understand how the devil is allowed to roam around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour, how the devil seems to be influencing the vast majority of people, and yet at all times, God is victoriously utilizing all of the devil’s schemes and works to end up serving His purposes. When people saw defeat on the cross, He was triumphantly parading His vanquished enemies in the open.

We still don’t know the ultimate limits of our universe. We still don’t fully know the most detailed outworking of our body parts. We still don’t accurately and consistently predict weather and earthquakes, but we know our God—little but enough knowledge to be sure that in all of them, we can rest confidently in Him—His awesome power, and His unending love. The universe is incalculably huge. It takes a lot of work to keep them in order and working well. But it’s nothing that He can’t handle. Amidst all of that macrocosmic management, we’re still in the very center of His heart and sight.

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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.

 

Discernment

2 Samuel 14:17   (KJV)   17 Then thine handmaid said, The word of my lord the king shall now be comfortable: for as an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and bad: therefore the Lord thy God will be with thee.

Discernment is angelic.  It’s God bestowing us knowledge and wisdom so we can determine what’s good and what’s evil, when they’re not as clear as black and white.  We don’t have to make mistakes in making decisions especially the critical ones.  Often, 2 Samuel 14.17 - Discernmentwhen it comes to major decisions in life, we don’t always have clear-cut instructions from the Word.  Even then, we end up with the right choices.

How do we believers seem to know things—truths that aren’t plainly laid out before our eyes to see?  For one, we sheep know our Shepherd’s voice.  The more intimate we are with our Shepherd, the more sensitive we are to hearing and recognizing His voice.  He gave us a very good foundation: His Word.  There, we get to know Him, His acts, His ways.  The more we know Him in the obvious, it becomes easier to sense Him in the ambiguous.

We love His Word.  We’re passionate about learning it.  It’s never a waste of our time doing so.  One Word from God in a critical juncture of our existence can radically change the course of our future.  Not one Word of His will fall to the ground without accomplishing purposes.  We draw near to Him; He draws near to us.  The nearer we are to Him, the louder we hear His heartbeat, the clearer we see His leading.  We understand He wants us to make the right decisions more than we do.  And He makes His presence closer to us than He can ever do:  He is with us—always; He’s in us—always.

God’s Thrones

Psalm 11:4   (KJV)   4 The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.

The LORD’s present in our lives. He is here, but He is also the Sovereign ruler of all.  He’s enthroned in our hearts, and in the heavens.  He knows all things, even the innermost secrets of our hearts. No one is beyond His knowledge and His reach.  He is still very much involved in our affairs. He never leaves Psalm 11.4 - God's Thronesor forsakes us. In fact, His hands of invitation are continually extended to us—beckoning, welcoming.  We are His temple—His home.  He’s closer to us than He can ever be and we can ever know.

He knows our prayers and cries—even those as soft as a whisper. He is that intimate with us.  He literally knows more about us than we know ourselves.  Why not?  He loves us tremendously and He is an all-knowing God.  He is also infinitely powerful.  Although He’s very intimate with us, He is not limited to our small realm of existence.  He rules; He reigns, and He will do so forever—glorified, lifted high.

We need Him close; not everyone sticks around.  Others easily ditch us at the first sign of discomfort.  It’s good to know that Someone sticks around even when the whole world turns against us.  Some people aren’t settled with just leaving; they don’t get satisfied until we’re down, hurt, or destroyed.  They accumulate weapons and ammunition to attack us when we’re most vulnerable.  We’re not troubled.  The LORD is our more than efficient Protector.  He is our impenetrable shield.  No weapon formed against us will ever get through Him and to us—to those who are His—to those who are upright.  In the presence of our enemies, we still enjoy very restful nights and very joyful days.

Follow Jesus

Luke 5:11   (KJV)   11 And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.

When these apostles decided to follow Jesus, they forsook everything. Their call occurred just right after they brought their ships to land. What’s interesting is the fact that they just witnessed and experienced an astonishing miracle from the Lord. From not catching a luke-5-11-follow-jesussingle fish the night before, to catching so many that they needed help from another boat. Both boats were so full, they were on the verge of sinking.

It was after this eye-opening miracle that Peter recognized his sinfulness before Jesus. But now, another interesting part follows. Jesus called them and they left everything—that, I would presume, includes all the fish they caught. The miracle wasn’t a miracle of provision after all; it was a miracle of revelation and conviction: it revealed Jesus more; it revealed the true spiritual condition of Peter; and it convinced them that Jesus was worth leaving everything for.

God is a miracle working God, and yes, He’s worth following and forsaking everything for. Leaving everything sounds like a very huge sacrifice but it isn’t necessarily. He supplies all our needs according to His inexhaustible riches in glory. He does miracles so convincing that material provision no longer worries us. Our priorities change; we understand that even miracles, though they may answer our physical or material needs, serve a much deeper spiritual purpose: it leads us to a greater revelation of who our Lord is and a closer relationship with Him.

We joyfully follow Him: no retreat, no surrender, no regret.

Close and Clean

James 4:8   (KJV)   8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

Our Lord’s gracious invitation is always extended to us. The Father tenderly draws us through His gentle Spirit, and we willingly and gratefully come. As we do, we’re wonderfully transformed into His image; we’re changed from glory to glory. Changes james-4-8-close-and-cleanhappen; we walk the straight paths of righteousness, holiness and purity. We delight in clean living—in and out. Our minds and hearts are set: we choose God over the world, over others, over ourselves, over anyone or anything else.

He is our continuous pursuit. We want to know Him ever-increasingly more. We want to be as close to Him as possible. The closer we are to Him, the clearer we see Him, the more we know Him, the more we become like Him. Our faith-our dependence on Him, our relationship with the Lord is proven genuine even through the hardest of tests, trials, and situations. It’s not a cheap claim and confession; instead, it’s clearly evidenced in our lives.

All for God, and God for all—totally and absolutely—all in, all out, all the way. The cross before us, the world behind us, though none go with us, we are committed: we follow Jesus, ever closer. Our eyes are set on Him; our path is clear. Nothing can stop us. We’re going all the way—to the upward call of our Lord. Suffer, we may; it will be way more than worth it all. Surrender to Him, we do. We walk without the unneeded weights of our sin baggage. Jesus is seen increasingly more in us; we look for and see God’s image in others. We treat everyone with love and respect. That’s why we don’t discriminate; that’s why our lives are testaments of God’s blessing; our lips are fountains of sweet blessings as well. Our minds, our hearts, our works—all them are aligned toward one end: the glory of our beloved God and Savior.

Proud of God

Jeremiah 9.24 - Proud of GodJeremiah 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.

We’re grateful that God has blessed us with so much; we can do much; we accomplish much. But with all our God-given enormous potential, we humbly admit: we make mistakes, at times, terrible mistakes. We don’t compare ourselves to others; it’s easy to find others who do worse than us. We contritely own up to our flaws and sins, knowing that our loving and just God can lovingly, mercifully, and graciously forgive us without violating His justice.

He deserves all the glory; that we know full well. We are just immensely grateful that He welcomed us to experience His salvation and freedom—that we have a loving, living relationship with Him. We are tremendously grateful to Him for opening our minds and hearts to realizing Who He is—our Life-Saver and King. Now, we enjoy an intimate relationship with Him; we “know” Him. We saw that we were drowning in sin; He came as our Life-Saver; He grabbed hold of us and we grabbed hold of Him. We saw that we were living in rebellion against God—living as our own king; we bowed to His crown, and He accepted us into His Kingdom.

In God and through God alone does lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness come together in perfect harmony. He loves us; He wants to save us from our sins—its penalty, its power, and its presence. He’s just; He needs to judge us for our sins. He’s righteous; He wants and leads us to walk the righteous path. In His awesome wisdom, He came in the very person of His Son and demonstrated His love and justice by dying on the cross. On the cross, He sacrificed His life for us—that’s love clearly seen. On that cross, He took the punishment for our sins—that’s justice sufficiently served. We who are now graciously saved joyfully and faithfully live in righteousness as we walk according to the words and will of our King.