God's Works

"May the Lord be glad in his works!"

Psalm 104:31

I feel closer to God when I am outside. There I can always get an eyeful of evidence of God's power, wisdom and love.

The sky is amazing, and the sight to see it multiplies the miraculous nature of it all! When we step outside we remove a man-made layer of insulation between us and God. I can see the very works of His hands!

Many years ago I was recovering from a nervous illness. I found two things that would immediately make me feel better. One was creativity. The other was to take a walk outside.

And I think it is doubly wonderful that God's word reveals that he also rejoices in his works! Thank you God for this daily sermon without words, your Creation!

Make A Joyful Noise!

Make a joyful noise into the Lord all ye lands. Psalm 100:1

It is a noisy world! Noisy with a lot of arguing, condemning, fretting, weeping, boasting, carousing, etc.

But another kind of noise should be rising from God's people: JOY! This is because His Spirit has opened our eyes to the great works of God! He is our marvelous Creator! He also is our faithful Provider, in this world and for eternity!

Let us sing when we are happy. And let us praise Him even when we don't feel like it, because we are reminding ourselves that His goodness will soon manifest itself to us again!

Let's make it a habit to be emitting some level of "joyful noise", almost every minute.

Years ago a seminary student had a part time job sweeping the halls of  his school. He regularly refreshed his own soul by singing praise to God during that boring task. He later found out that lots of other people got a spiritual lift whenever they passed by!

I hope that my friends will always hear me coming, even before they see me, through my own grateful noise!

Principles & Practicals

Colossians 3:1,2

Have you ever noticed that when you look back on life you rarely remember the mundane details of the days but instead it is the relationships and big experiences that come to mind?

This causes me to recognize that there are always two levels to life. The low level entails the routine practices of the day including appointments, chores and problem solving. But the upper level includes the beliefs and purposes that over-arch all that we do. The practical level is short-term. The principle level lasts forever.

An illustration of this might be a cruise ship. On the lower decks are crew and staff moving back and forth to keep the ship successfully running each day. But on the upper decks are the vacationers who are focusing on the beautiful things such as food, sites and relationships. The activities of the lower level are necessary. But that's not why people sign up for a cruise. They are looking for memories that will be a blessing forever.

So as we move through each hour of the day let us not only pay attention to our errands & lists, but let us be constantly looking up to the Big Story which God is working out through us!

I Will Laugh At Your Disaster

Proverbs 1: 24-33

God has the right to say,"I told you so". I believe that this happens when people who defy God in their lives finally reap the foolishness that they have been sowing.

Christians encounter suffering from three sources: 1. Common problems that afflict all people who live in this fallen world. 2. Persecution that comes because we bear the Cross of Christ. 3. Reaping the consequences of our own disobedience. I think that these verses in Proverbs 1 clearly refer to the third type of suffering.

Of all the challenges we have in life, Christians should not be suffering the additional burdens of sinful self-inflicted wounds! I myself have sometimes shed tears of regret for ignoring this principle. God will not be mocked.

Let us repent of any lingering bad habitsbefore our self-set trap snaps closed!

Who Serves Who?

John 12:24-25

"Who Serves Who?"

Most people walk around with an upside down attitude. They assume that their life is the most important thing and that this world, other people and even God are there to enhance their life. Thus when their life is threatened or their body become sick they hit the panic button. This is why the medical industry makes so much money. People will pay any price to save their skin!

But the word of God says that as Christians our life is here to serve Christ! My life and body are his. As the Apostle Paul said, our goal is to glorify Christ in our bodies. And we have no desire to cling to this world other than to serve him. This attitude of taking up our cross and serving him actually pays off! For we will live with him and enjoy him forever!

The Flower Fades, But....

Isaiah 40:8

I was recently visiting my elderly parents who live several states away from me. It is always sweet to see them and I am glad I still have them. But when I see them only now and then the effects of time are obvious.

In this world everything changes and dies. This makes us often sad but actually is very good for us to consider. God's word says that all flesh is as grass. It fades and passes away. Most of us live to about 80 years old. But this knowledge of a finite life should bring to us wisdom of the heart.

1 Peter 1. 25 reminds us that a life which receives Christ who is the word of God will also last forever. This enables us to bear the infirmities of age and sickness with the sweet and strengthening grace of God each day. And those around us will see his power at work through our weakness as we daily lean on him!

Fear God. Honor the King

I Peter 2:17

The Bible tells us that Israel came to a point where they no longer wanted God to be their King. They preferred to have a human king like the other nations.

Having a human king or government is both a good and bad thing. It is bad because it is proof that most people have rejected God. But it is good because God ordains it to maintain peace and order in a fallen world.

But let us never make a human institution a substitute for God. Candidates regularly over promise what they can do and over condemn their opponents. There may be many leaders in the land but there must only be one God. Therefore don't let government dictate behaviour which is contrary to God's commands. And never look to government to be a savior to do what we should already be doing for the Lord.

Here is a paraphrase of something Thomas Jefferson once said: " When it comes to style, go with the flow. But when it comes to principles, stand like a rock!"

Fullness

Fullness

Like crystal clear water that fills a pool

Like colors, in between the lines of a coloring book

Like the words of a poet that fill the page, so are we your fullness O Lord!

We are your body Lord Jesus, your beloved church …

            “The fullness of him who fills every thing in every way.”

                                                                                    And I worship You

Overtones

LORD, align me with the frequency of Your will
In tune with the fundamental tone
Make me a pleasing overtone to You as I am joined by Christ to Your perpetual glory
___ everlasting to everlasting, enduring tone, enduring glory!

Never fading, endlessly sounding, fundamental tone
With overtones like flower buds
Never ending, cascading, harmonic overtones
Unfolding Your Name forever
Your Name, the resonance of Your perpetual glory!

You are my God, my Maker
Absolute Sovereign of my being
This very being that You have entrusted into my care.
___ I worship You in peace.

"Jesus gave them this answer: 'Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does."         John 5:19

"If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you."              John 15:7-8