His Holy Dwelling

www.bible.com/1713/psa.68.5.csb

Does God Care? He doesn’t have to. God exists in His Holy Dwelling infinite, eternal, needing nothing. In His palace He reigns supreme over the universes, the realm of the spirit and our own realm. He also exists in His own realm, the realm of uncreated Being, where He alone exists. His Being unveiled in His fullness would destroy all created realms and beings. Therefore, God chooses to reveal Himself in veiled form, dwelling as a “King” in His Heavenly palace, or a s a “Father” to His “Son”. The truth is that God is so much more awesome that we can imagine that we could not have invented Him, because we don’t know what He is, really, for that knowledge would be too much for us to grasp.

This is the God who cares. He cares for those so far beneath Him as to be microscopic. Why? Because we contain one unique quality in all of creation: He made us in His image, a concept that we still argue over today.

This verse points his care for widows and the fatherless. These two groups are considered because in the culture of Psalms, these groups are irrelevant because the culture was tied to family relationships. Broken families such as these were second or third place in that society. We still carry some of that water in our own culture.

By caring for those considered least, we know that God cares for the whole. God cares for us all equally, as He is often a father to those whose father is unavailable. He is a husband to those wives who feel alone. God fills in the gaps in your life. In a very real sense, He does this through HIs people, which is why I encourage you to attend a local congregation if possible.

Cast all your cares on Him, for He cares for you. God bless you today.

Seeking Counsel

www.bible.com/1713/jhn.14.26.csb

The Silent Partner of the Holy Trinity is the Holy Spirit. Today on Pentecost Sunday we remember the birthday of the church and the role the Holy Spirit played on that day. Like tongues of fire the Holy Spirit descended upon those disciples of the early church and caused them to speak in various tongues so that all around were amazed, speaking of the works of God in their own language.

This remarkable event marked the beginning of the Church, the beginning of God’s mission of inclusion by faith of the peoples of the world by offering the “gift of the Holy Spirit” to all who would received Him by faith, repentance, and baptism. It was no longer exclusive to the Jews to know the Presence of God, to have a singular Temple where God resides. No, the presence of God is offered to all!

In one of Jesus final teachings with His disciples the night before He died, He told his disciples about the Holy Spirit, who would be a Counselor and a Teacher to them. This forms the basis for the teaching of the rest of the New Testament beyond the gospels. The Holy Spirit would and did guide them into all truth. That ceased when those disciples died, and those they directly discipled, like Mark and Luke. Paul was given special dispensation as an Apostle called directly by Christ and so too was given authority to write Spirit-inspired Scripture.

So what does the Holy Spirit do for us, if His purpose in this verse was to inspire Scripture? We aren’t writing Scripture anymore. No. But the Spirit is the same. He need only guide us to what is written, remind us of what we’ve read. The wisdom of the Spirit is already written for us to consume, but we may not always understand what we read when we read it. The Spirit works within us to help us understand it. The Spirit is just as powerful and effective for us in seeking wise counsel as it was for Solomon.

Celebrate today the birthday of the Church, and give place to the Holy Spirit every day as He points us to the Son and the Father.

God bless you today!

Before Time

www.bible.com/1713/2ti.1.9.csb

I can’t even fathom what this verse means. I have no reference for “before time began”. But God could see into the world He was about to create and extend to me grace, salvation and a calling through His Son, whose work to save me was determined already.

God must think a great deal about us. From eternity past, He was able to see all of our time in a moment, down to the very thing you are doing right now. Every life was before Him before He had even uttered the first “Let there be”!

But God has both seen all our doings and still called us to salvation by His grace. You are not insignificant. But you matter to God, and since before time began.

God bless you today!

Woe

www.bible.com/1713/rom.8.18.csb

In a shot across the bow against the Health and Wealth Prosperity Gospel, we have this verse that very clearly says suffering is for the present time. Suffering? You mean like pain and sorrow, grief and loss? All the above.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not all pain and suffering. There are times of great and surpassing joy that cannot be compared. God is good and He is good to His children. But the promise here isn’t for health and wealth. The promise here is not made dependent on your faith. The promise here is that we can expect suffering in this life because there is incomparable glory waiting for us. We must be tried and tested in order to shine. We must be polished and refined before we can reflect Him. All of our rough edges need to be worn away.

An ordinary piece of gravel is nothing to admire. It’s a rock. It’s common and ordinary. You take that same piece of gravel and put it in a streambed for 30 years, or in a rock tumbler and turn it for a week, what emerges is a smooth stone, a shiny stone that you will want to admire. It’s fine crystalline structure will dazzle your eyes with detail you couldn’t see before. That is the power of trial and suffering.

This present life is filled with such trial and testing. We don’t what we will look like, but it will be amazing. If we balk at God everytime bad things happen, if we complain and resist His change, will we be as stunning? All the beauty we will ever receive in this life or the next comes from God.

Let God work in your life today. Trust Him for the outcome. God bless!

Feeling Down

www.bible.com/1713/psa.34.18.csb

Are you feeling down today? Do you feel like your heart is broken? Working in the medical field, being broken-hearted is an actual medical condition. This surprised me when I found this out. A person can suffer from a broken heart, especially when experiencing profound loss. My belief is that doctors didn’t really have a better explanation than this significant emotional-physical connection, so they call it broken-heart syndrome.

But this verse holds a profound promise. These weep in the presence of God. Do you have a feeling come over you when your child weeps? Anger at those who caused it; dismay and empathy for the plight of my child. How do you think God feels when we weep? A God who knows every detail, the location of every quark and neutrino of our existence? Our God transcends our reality, but is able to be with us at all times. God is able to see the plane of our existence and be present at every point.

God cares for us. That is profound. The ultimate infinite God cares for us. He cares about the infinitesimal speck that we are to Him in the vastness of the universe. He cares for us. Let that sink in. Of all the things He has to think about, we are on His mind. His presence seeks us out. He cares for me.

Wow.

God bless you today.

The God of Comfort

www.bible.com/72/isa.66.13.hcsb

In the context of Isaiah 66, God is comparing the revival and rebuilding of Jerusalem after the exiles return to the nurture and love of a young mother for her child. The source of this comfort is the nourishing milk that a mother provides her infant, giving him ease from his hunger.

The context for Isaiah 66 is interesting. Using this comparison, God is like a nursing mother bringing and nurturing life in His city. Like a nursing mother, God provides all that is necessary for life in this place. A nursing mother does more than simply feed her child. She holds him close and speaks softly to him, comforting him. This is the image that God wishes to convey to us.

When we need comfort, His are arms that we can run to. Last fall, my father had heart problems and had to have surgery. With my father feeling so vulnerable, I experienced a moment when I felt lost. The man in my life who had always been strong was now suffering, and I had to move into a role of strength for my family. I felt terribly unprepared. I really needed someone in that moment that could tell me it was all going to be ok. I really needed a pair of arms that would hold me and whisper in my ear that everything was going to be fine. And I think if someone actually did that I probably would have melted right then. I almost did when my uncle showed up a couple of hours later. The hug I received from him was priceless.

In those moments I wished for someone I could turn to, but we all have to grow up sometime, and be that comfort for others. Where do we get that comfort? We get it from the Master Comforter. He throws His arms around us, whispers in our ear and tells us it’s going to be ok. As a comforting mother, He wraps us up in His arms and eases our anxiety and fear with love and compassion.

Be grateful to your mother today. She gave you life from her own body. Be grateful to God today. He gave you life both from beginning and from the cross.

God bless you today.

Spiritual Hygiene

www.bible.com/72/1th.5.17.hcsb

This command from Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians is good spiritual hygiene for the Christian. If you are constant in prayer, you will have little time for temptation. As Christians, because we have within us the Holy Spirit, the presence of God is within us constantly. I cannot really understand what that means. Do we comprehend the gift that that is? Never before in the history of man had any people ever been given the promise of their God being present in them. This is the same Spirit if God who hovered over the waters at Creation. That presence swells within us. How could we not be in constant contact with Him?

This command is as much a recognition of our new normal as it is a command. You are always in the Lord’s presence. You always carry His Spirit, not just a portion because God cannot be divided up into little pieces. You carry the presence of God within you at all times. There is no place that you go that God is not already present. You do not need Temple or Church to find the presence of God.

So imagine how much more meaningful it is when you do find that gathering of saints at your church. Whose meaningful encouragement and mutual support only reinforce your awareness that God is present with you.

I want to encourage you today to pray constantly. Talk to Him always. He will never leave you.

God bless!

Evidence

www.bible.com/72/heb.12.2.hcsb

When looking at this verse, I realize that the only part of this verse that can be proven historically is that a man named Jesus from Nazareth died on a cross nearly 2000 years ago. While that seems like a long time ago, it is easier to prove than the exodus of Israel from Egypt or the Flood of Noah.

The rest of this verse depends not only on the crucifixion, but another piece which isn’t mentioned, the resurrection. That too can be proven historically beyond a reasonable doubt. With these two points in hand, what can we say about the others?

Jesus is the author and perfected of our faith. – because Jesus rose from the dead, He is the first to both predict his resurrection but also to fulfill it. While there are other resurrected god stories out there (i.e., Osiris), we actually have historical evidence that His is true. There are a number of eye-witnesses, there documents recording their varied accounts. A number of eye-witnesses, On threat of death, refused to recant their faith in the living Christ. Then there is the Shroud of Turin, whose image was burned into by an amazing heat that cannot be explained by natural means. This One is the author of our faith. He started it by rising from the dead. He perfects it by continuing to work in us today as the living Christ. I can accept by reason that He is alive. I accept by faith that He continues to live and mentor me today.

Jesus now sits at the right hand of God. – This one is harder to prove, but not impossible. In His life in earth, Jesus claimed often to be the Son of God. He performed many miracles which established His power over creation like His Father. When he died and rise again, he established that even death had no hold over him. By these evidences, He has proven He is the Son of God, God in flesh. So it is not much of s stretch to believe by faith, though we can’t see it, that today He sits at God’s right hand, a position of favor with His Father.

Evidence? Far more reliable than the reasoned suppositions offered by others. It is far easier to prove God exists in an ordered, physical universe than to prove He doesn’t. What kind of God He is can be found in the pages of Scripture. While we may not agree with the Christian God, that doesn’t mean He doesn’t exist. I am grateful for a God who loved me enough to save me before I was ever born.

Thank you God.

Creation Entitlement

www.bible.com/72/rev.4.11.hcsb

Sorry about the late post today. Time got away from me this morning. But I looked at this verse and immediately knew what I needed to write about it.

If you make something, do you feel ownership is entitled to you? I mean, if I write a post, and someone else quotes from my post without giving attribution, will that make me upset? Of course, and rightly so. That material is an extension of me, it goes forth from me and represents my thoughts and inner workings. It is me to an extent.

So when God creates the universe, is He entitled to credit for making it? Duh. And yet, what has happened? Why is there so much desperation to make it a natural random chance event? Why are there those fanatical about making the universe create itself? Because doesn’t that put the creative earnest right our laps? Surely the atheist believes that is the universe created itself, and we are the highest form of life in this universe, we are responsible for creating ourselves. Or something like that. And we don’t have to give credit where credit is due.

But God is the Creator, and He is entitled both for credit and for Ownership. He made it. It belongs to Him unless He willingly sells it to someone else. And there is another who stole it from Him, stole the power of the air for himself and stole men away from God. So God sent His Son. Jesus died and paid the ransom for many. God owns us. Twice. He will own is a third time when He grants us a resurrection body, a newly created thing when we lose this one to death.

Isn’t God amazing? Let us glorify Him together.

Revolutionary

www.bible.com/72/rom.1.16.hcsb

Jews AND Greeks? Are you serious? God wants to save both of them? What about the Romans?

Seriously, the power of God is the gospel. Without regard to piety, reverence, law-keeping and ritual, the gospel has more power than any of these. The gospel is a story. It is the story of an Almighty Creator God who wants to save His Creation, namely Man from his own rebellion. So God sends His Son as witness and testimony to the care and love of God. Man kills the Son in the ultimate act of rebellion. The Son rises from the dead in order to demonstrate His forgiveness for sin. He is the God who loves us despite our evil to compel us to change.

This requires of us in humanity a desire to return. Under the right circumstances and conditions, something in us will revive that had died. It is our love for our father. Our desire to be approved and loved by our father. Our desire to make our father proud of us. It is as deep-seated in us as our need to breathe. It transcends culture and language. And the gospel is the power of God to restore that fundamental relationship despite our sin and grief and guilt. It is God who forgives, who stands ready to receive us back when we’ve realized in the hog pen that being in our father’s house, even as a servant, would be far better.

I challenge you with the gospel today. I know this world is lost and broken. It has Daddy-issues. But the gospel is stronger. The world has rebellion, strife, murder and death, but the gospel is stronger. It is the power of God unto salvation. And it is ours to wield simply by telling.

God bless you today.