Glorify the Lord

Glorify the Lord

One of our assignments, as believers in Christ, is to glorify the Lord.  Let’s look at what the Scripture says.

My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior . . .  (Lk 1:46-47 NIV)

I will remember the works of the Lord; surely I will remember Your wonders of old. 12 I will also meditate on all Your work, and talk of Your deeds.  (Ps 77:11-12)

I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify Your name forevermore.  (Ps 86:12)

Let them give glory to the Lord, and declare His praise in the coastlands.  (Isa 42:12)

Glorifying God means to acknowledge His impressiveness and to give Him respect by praising and worshiping Him.  We do this mainly because He alone deserves to be praised, honored and worshiped.

God’s glory is the core of His nature, and we give glory to Him by recognizing it.  In glorifying God, we exalt Him; we recognize and honor His deity; and we elevate Him above all else in our lives and in our thoughts.

Adoration [devotion, high regard, esteem] is also a component of glorifying God.  When we have this type of respect for God, our reverence is shown in ways that we can’t even perceive.  However, other people do notice it, and hopefully it will lead them to ask us for the reasons that we have for the hope that lies within us!

Feet of a Deer: Hind’s Feet

Feet of a Deer: Hind’s Feet

The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to tread on the heights.  (Hab 3:19 NIV)

The Lord God is my strength, and He will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and He will make me to walk upon mine high places.  (Hab 3:19 KJV)

In Habakkuk 3:17-18, the prophet says:

17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

Verses 17 and 18 show us that Habakkuk chooses to praise the Lord and to be joyful in Him in spite of life’s challenging circumstances. 

He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places.  (2 Sam 22:34 & Ps 18:33 KJV)

So what is the significance of hind’s feet?  A hind is a female deer (or a gazelle) who is able to place her back feet unerringly where her front feet have walked.  Because of this, a hind is able to run unreservedly on the roughest terrain.  In times of peril, the hind can run securely and stay on course.  Because the hind can scale high places, it can elude predators.

The spiritual lesson for us is that, despite our circumstances, when we are truly anchored by faith in Jesus, we’ll be able to run with joy the race that is set before us.  The Word reminds us that God Himself is our strength, and in Him our spiritual feet have become as sure-footed, nimble, and fast as the hind. 

The strength that God gives to us is an inward strength—confidence and assurance and courageousness in the face of all external afflictions and trials.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  (Phil 4:13 NKJV) 

. . . that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man . . .  (Eph 3:16 NKJV)

We are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19), and the strength of the Lord is within each one of us.  Glory to God!

Extreme Mercy & Forgiveness

Extreme Mercy & Forgiveness

And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.  (Ac 7:59-60)

Focus on the extreme mercy and forgiveness that Stephen displayed!  Here are people in the process of killing him, and he forgives them and asks the Lord to forgive them.  Then he dies. What mercy!  What forgiveness!  Stephen went to heaven as a martyr for the gospel.

According to Daniel 9:9, mercy and forgiveness belong to God.  The Bible says (see below) that mercy and unlimited forgiveness belong to God.

O Israel, put your hope in the Lord, because with the Lord there is mercy and with Him there is unlimited forgiveness.  (Ps 130:7 GW)

In the church of Jerusalem, Stephen was chosen along with six other men to serve as deacons.  As deacons, they would take charge of the gifts of the people, and give assistance to those who were in need, including widows.  The criteria for choosing these men was that they had to have the Spirit of God and to have wisdom. 

Stephen not only cared for the poor, but he began to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone—Jews and Gentiles both.  This conduct enraged some of Jews, who plotted against him.

Clearly, as Stephen shared the Good News, the Holy Spirit used Stephen as an instrument for the Kingdom of God.  History records that Stephen, as he ministered to the people, performed signs, wonders, and miracles among them.  Glory to God!

Stephen clearly loved and obeyed Jesus Christ, his Savior and example in all things.  Stephen emulated the Lord Jesus Christ in his life, work, and even in death. 

This is a good moment to reflect upon our own lives; and to determine whether we are allowing mercy and forgiveness to operate in our lives, our responses, and our actions.

Enthusiasm for the Christian Walk

Enthusiasm for the Christian Walk

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  (Rom 12:11-12)

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  (Gal 6:9)

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters . . . (Col 3:23)

It’s not a bad idea to pray for enthusiasm for your spiritual life!  The verses above show us the importance of spiritual zeal.  Zeal means passion, or intensity.

The word “enthusiasm” is from the Greek enthusiasmoms. It means inspired by God.  Our Christian walk will get stale and boring if we are not inspired by God on a daily basis.  One way we can receive inspiration is to read the Bible daily.  Another way would be to spend time in the presence of God, not just in prayer, but also listening for His voice.  If you’re willing to hear from God, He will surely give you His insight, wisdom, and revelation knowledge.

Another great way to maintain your passion for the Lord, is to praise and worship Him regularly.  You can listen to good CDs and join along in song.  Or you can go to your prayer closet and have a heart to heart session of praising God and thanking Him for His many blessings. 

There are some great online venues for ongoing praise and worship you can check out, as well.

As you seek the Lord and His will for you, and keep your ears open for His voice, you will realize that these disciplines will assist you in maintaining your spiritual zeal and energy.  Don’t be surprised to feel your faith and trust in God growing as you do.  God bless you.

No Discrimination in Christ

No Discrimination in Christ

Here’s a reassuring thought:  God has no favorites and He shows no partiality!  If you grew up feeling that your mom or your parents had a favorite child (who was not you), this will be very meaningful to you.  It will give you reason to feel more thankful than you might have previously.

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  (Gal 3:26-28)  We are all children of God.

For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  (Gal 5:14)

So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality . . . (Ac 10:34)

For God shows no partiality.  (Rom 2:11)

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.  (Rom 12:16)

These passages from the Scriptures advise us to love all people and to freely associate with everyone.  We are all equal in His sight because each and every human being was created in the image of God.  God wants every human being to be saved by accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

God offers salvation to all mankind as a free gift.  He isn’t withholding it from certain continents, from specific nationalities, or from people with a certain blood type.  His invitation is open to each and every person on planet earth.  Glory to God!  And He has given us each a free will so that we can choose our own destiny.  We can say “yes” to God or we can say “no.”  The choice is ours.

And then, we must keep on choosing, day by day, to serve the Lord with a joyful heart and to remain steadfast in Him.  As long as we stay in close relationship with the Lord, He gives us His gift of grace to make such choices easily and with a sense of contentment.  Hallelujah!

What Did You Want to See?

What Did You Want to See?

But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses.  (Mt 11:8)

When the messengers of John had departed, He began to speak to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?  (Lk 7:24)

Jesus talked about a “reed shaken by the wind” because in Bible days, reeds grew similar to sugar cane. The reeds bowed nearly to the ground during the hot daytime. At night, thanks to the cool breeze of the Mediterranean, the reeds would stand up again. This singularity was a crowd-gathering event. Groups of people came out to see the reeds rise in the cool breezes of the night. Then they would return home, unchanged by what they had witnessed. 

Jesus was telling the people that they did not follow John’s teachings, but that all they wanted was to see a spectacle (similar to the reeds).  They were not willing to repent and to be baptized.

They were also coming out to listen to Jesus in the same way—without a willingness or interest in changing their lives. Jesus was showing them how empty and frivolous they were.  They simply moved through the events of their lives without ever connecting with God or His power.

We must determine that in the course of our everyday lives, we must “see Jesus” and His power come alive in our own lives and in our own experiences.  How do we do that?  We study the Word of God and we allow it—INVITE IT—to cleanse us, transform us, and empower us to act. 

We are Christ’s disciples and we are meant to carry the Gospel to the ends of the earth.  We are called to support the spread of the Good News of Jesus Christ, and to work in our own neighborhoods to be an influence for good and a witness of Jesus Christ.  God bless you.

The Name of Jesus

The Name of Jesus

And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.  (Lk 1:31)  God the Father told Mary, through an angel, the name that she was to give to her firstborn child.  (You may read Luke 1:26-35 for the entire account of Mary’s encounter with the angel.)

. . . but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.  (Joh 20:31)

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  (Acts 2:38)

Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”  (Acts 3:6)

Today, we’re considering the Name of Jesus and some of the blessings that we enjoy through His name.  The first blessing that we receive through faith in the name of Jesus is salvation and eternal life. 

We’re also baptized into His name, and through it receive the Holy Spirit.  In Acts 3:6 we observe that there is healing in the name of Jesus.  Hallelujah!  There’s deliverance In the name of Jesus.  (Acts 16:18)  We believers are washed, sanctified, and justified in His name.  (1 Cor 6:11)

In the name of Jesus, we’ve been given power and authority over evil spirits and over all of the power of the enemy.  (Lk 10:18-20)

. . . which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.  22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church . . . (Eph 1:20-22)

This verse in Ephesians demonstrates that God has elevated the name of Jesus above ALL names—in this age and in the ages to come.  God has made Jesus to rule over all things and to be the Lord and Master over all. 

Let us honor the beautiful name of Jesus.