I feel a bit more certainty than my brother the prophet Zephaniah. On the Day of the Lord’s anger, which many feel is even today, I know where my soul is going.

Righteousness and humility both seem to be at the heart of this text. This isn’t a relative righteousness where you compare yourself to your neighbor and tell yourself, “At least I’m not as bad as that guy.” This is an absolute righteousness, where the standard and model you compare yourself to is Jesus Christ. God does not grade on a curve, but on grace. He knows you cannot measure up, so He sent His Son to die on a cross for you, so that you would believe on Him and accept His gift of righteousness in exchange for your filthy rags.

For humility, I can think of no better example than the Holy Spirit. Consider that the third person of God, co-equal with God in every way, calls no attention to Himself. God the Father is the Creator, the Provider, the King of the Universe. Jesus the Second Person of God is the Savior, the One who rose from the dead and offered eternal life to all who believe. But the Third Person of God, the Holy Spirit, simply points to the Father and the Son. He does not glorify Himself or point to Himself, but points others to the Father and the Son. I think this is why there is such stern penalty against blaspheming the Holy Spirit. All the Holy Spirit wants to do is to bring us through the Son to the Father. He doesn’t ask for praise or worship Himself. I think in many ways, the Holy Spirit is the humility of God, and the reason He calls us to humility. As much as there is glory, laud, and honor for the Father and the Son, there is humility in the Spirit showing us what it means to be co-equal with God, and yet desire only that you give glory to the Father and the Son. What would it mean for your life if you only worked to bring people to the feet of Jesus, instead of taking any praise for yourself?

No one of us can live up to the standards set by God in Christ and in the Holy Spirit, but thankfully, Jesus came and lived out these ideals for us. We then trust in Him to school us and raise us up according to His word, that in every day and every way, we work to be more like Him. Let us praise the Name of Jesus before the Father!

Lord Jesus, thank You for taking this one for the team. Because of You, I have a chance, no, a certainty by my faith in You to spend eternity with You in Heaven. May every day be a day that I give honor to my calling. In Your Name I pray, Amen.

Level Ground

I like level ground. Its so much easier to travel, but, it’s also pretty boring. If you’ve ever been onĀ  a trip, traveling through hills and valleys, over rivers and even mountains is far more interesting than driving across long, level ground. My family and I had the chance last year to drive across Kansas on I-70. It is the very definition of level ground, and Kansas knows this. They’ve tried to spruce it up with several roadside attractions and tourist traps. I’ve not driven anything quite like it before.

So why would we want to Spirit of God to lead us across level ground? Simple. The same mountains and valleys that make travels interesting are the very things we want to avoid in our spiritual life. We’ve had the mountain-top experiences, and those are great, but we’ve also traveled through the valley of the shadow of death. Not so nice. In short, we would prefer the long, evening boring road led the Spirit to free us from the extremes of emotional and spiritual travel. That being said, we truly appreciate the highs and lows for those shape us to be who we are.

All of this is to teach us to do the will of God. I would much rather God teach me His will than have to force me along it. Let me learn by His gentle instruction than to have to be broken again and again until I listen. So as I live, let me learn what Your good, pleasing, and perfect will is.

Heavenly Father, I know I’ve messed up, and often. And often you have to teach me in ways I don’t like. Sometimes I have to take dark paths of sorrow and misery before I open my eyes enough to see the lessons you would have me learn. Help me Father to have open eyes and delight of heart when You bring me along Your will. Help me the path you would have me go, so that I will not wander but travel on the level ground you have prepared for me. Thank You Lord, In Your Son’s Name, Amen.

Seeing God

What a fantastic promise! God only permits Himself to be seen rarely, and then only in a limited capacity, such as when Moses saw His “back” on Mt. Sinai. Yet Jesus said to Philip at the last supper that if you have seen Jesus, you have seen the Father. Philip has asked him, “Show us the Father, and that will be enough.” Would that be enough to convince you that God is real, if He showed Himself to you? Surely we know God is love, and He demonstrates His love in this: He gave His Som for the sins of the world. If we have put our faith in Jesus’ saving work, His death, burial and resurrection, then surely we have seen God.

Strangely this verse seems to play along similar lines. God is not a god of magic, nor does He respond or comply with spells or rituals. God does as He sees fit. No one can make Him do anything. This making yourself pure in heart (which you cannot do) is not going to force God to reveal Himself. Rather, we receive purity because we receive the cleansing of Christ’s blood upon our heart. We cannot hope to be pure otherwise. We can only do this by faith, and receive it by faith and baptism. The promise for those who receive such faith is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Those who become pure in heart in this way allow for the Spirit of God to dwell in you. You will see the house of God every time you look in the mirror. You will be in God’s presence continually, because He is continually in you. The Holy Spirit is the ever-present proof of our eternal home.

The Holy Spirit is the penultimate Presence, heralding our ultimate reception into the presence of God when we die and meet Him face go face. Those who are pure in heart will see God.

Do you need to brush up on yo it purity today? Does sin mar your heart? Confess your sins today and receive relief from your guilt. Jesus has already paid for those sins and welcomes you back with open arms. Won’t you come and be pure? May God bless you today.