Posts Tagged ‘God’

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QUOTE (Victor Hugo)

February 26, 2016

Victor_Hugo_001“Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.” ~Victor Hugo

In honor of Victor Hugo, a French author best known for his novels Les Misérables  and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, who was born on this day in 1802.

Resources:
Victor Hugo
Victor Hugo>Quotes

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WORSHIP WEDNESDAY (Chris Tomlin)

February 24, 2016

Christian faith is ever to be growing and transforming to the end of life for those who are in Christ Jesus.  Transforming faith reaches the depths of the heart, untangles the tentacles of affection, and reforms the very form of a child of God’s soul.  The maturation of faith awakens early and often under the clear understanding and belief that the God of the Universe, the God of Creation, the Great I Am, is the Best Father of those who are His. The essence of Christian faith is not the general adoration of the unknowable.  The child daily abides with the Father whom he knows and loves.  Within that relationship, the divine power of Spirit transforming faith is released.

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to our children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!  Luke 11:11

I worshiped this morning to this reminder from Chris Tomlin to the reality of who God is – a good, good, Father.

“The child asks of the Father whom he knows.
Thus, the essence of Christian prayer
is not general adoration, but definite, concrete petition.
The right way to approach God is to stretch out
our hands and ask of One who we know has the heart of a Father.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

 

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“DILATED SOUL” – Jan. 20

January 20, 2016

“In him was life, and the life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”  John 1:4-5

The door swinging shut was like plunging into an abyss.  I stood for a moment in the stunned shock of a lost sense.   A long repressed fear manifested in a disquieting shiver as the gloom of darkness seeped into my being.

In the disorienting gloom, my hands spring out as like the sudden sensory loss might cause me to crash into a surrounding wall.  I groped for a wall.  My fingers, landing upon textured drywall, immediately began sweeping the surface as if trying to read indiscernible Braille.  My eyes strained against the blackness in a futile attempt to distinguish the outline of the light switch.

I knew the switch had to be somewhere near the door, in its usual place.  My hands began to swing in large radii in the desperate attempt to find light.  My search was going disconcertedly nowhere.  In mounting frustration, I paused.

In that pause, my eyes adjusted to the lack of light.

RedeyeThe pupils of my eyes dilated to a degree that captured all the light available.  I had not noticed any light when the door had initially closed.  However, my eyes now collected a sliver of light that was penetrating the door at the threshold.  It was not much light but it was enough.

Having opened up to the light, my eyes were able to distinguish the faint outline of a switch right in front of me.  I flipped the switch without thinking and immediately was hit by a rush of light into my wide open eyes that nearly dropped me to my knees.

My floundering in darkness reminded me of the amazing nature of the eye.  The eye is a marvelous organ for the regulation of light.  The iris of the eye has two types of muscle.  There is a ring of sphincter muscles that encircle and constrict the pupil down to a couple of millimeters across to prevent too much light from entering.  There is another set of dilator muscles that can expand the pupil in low light.  The function of the iris is to pull in all the light necessary so that we are not blind.

The human body was created for light.
We were specifically designed to let light in.

I wonder if our soul isn’t similarly designed.

We were designed to have the true light of the world within us.

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  John 8:12

Yet, sinful man sits imprisoned in the gloomy darkness of a closed off soul.  The sinful desires of the flesh have constricted their soul, preventing the light of the world from entering in.  They grope about in search of the light but they cannot find the source.  Yet, the source is all around them.  They cannot see because the pupil of their soul is closed.

I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.  Isaiah 42:6-7

Every person needs God to dilate the pupil of their soul.  God overcomes the power of sinful flesh in order to open our souls to His penetrating light; He opens the eyes of the blind.  The light of the glory of God flowing into a dilated soul drops every sinner to their knees.

Iris_close-upThe Christian life is merely learning to live in the light; learning to live with a dilated soul.  Our sinful nature continues to want to clamp down and close out the light of the world; it has malfunctioned into regulating the amount of light that can be let in.  Repentance and following Christ is a continual process of yielding to the dilation of our soul.

We were created to have the light of life.  Thankfully, God has not left us in the darkened prison of our closed souls.

“The pupil dilates in darkness and in the end finds light, just as the soul dilates in misfortune and in the end finds God.”  Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for not leaving me in darkness.  Thank you for sending your Son, the light of the world, to lead me out of the dungeon of my own darkened soul and into the light of life.  Father, continue to dilate my soul; continue to open up my heart to your light.  Do not let the cares of this world constrict my desires and prevent your light for entering into me.  Help me to walk in your light in all things and at all times.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

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WORSHIP WEDNESDAY (Rend Collective) – Jan. 13

January 13, 2016

Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.  Nehemiah 8:10

A joyless spirit saps our strength.  Our joy in the Lord extends beyond superficial feelings of happiness.  Joy produces strength, and strength produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to same.

We must never lose our joy.

If you are not feeling the joy of the Lord, then you may need to go back to the Word.

And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing because they had understood the words that were declared to them.  Nehemiah 8:12

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WORSHIP WEDNESDAY (Kristene DiMarco)

December 30, 2015

The first step of a child of God is to follow Jesus.
The last step of a child of God is to follow Jesus.
Every intermediate step a decision to follow and not stray.

I worshiped this morning to this reminder from Kristene DiMarco to be resolute and decisive in ever one of our intermediate steps of faith.  The lyrics of the song are:

My heart is steadfast oh God, and I won’t be led astray
by the things that, simply will fade before Your face Oh,
And I will follow You, I’m wrapped up in You, I belong to You

I was made for this, one thing is to see and to seek Your goodness
Take me by the hand and lead me

And I will follow You, I wrapped up in You, I belong to You

I have decided, and I have resolved in my heart
that I will go anywhere, anywhere just to see Your face
I have decided, and I have resolved in my heart
that I will go anywhere, anywhere, anywhere
just to see Your face

I will follow You, I wrapped up in You, I belong to You

Moments may come when I feel so afraid but
I rest in the promise you made that You will remain forever faithful and

I will follow You, I wrapped up in You, I belong to You

I belong to You

~ Kristene DiMarco, I will Follow You

 “I claim no right to myself, no right to this understanding,
this will, these affections that are in me.
Neither do I have any right to this body or its members,
no right to this tongue, to these hands, feet, ears or eyes.
I have given myself clear away and
not retained anything of my own.”
Jonathan Edwards

 

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WORSHIPLESS WEDNESDAY – Dec. 9

December 9, 2015

I tapped my foot to an engaging new song while commuting to work.  My mind wandered aimlessly until the words, “Pastor got a look and said, “Ya’ll had better hurry“; Send her off to a little bible college in Missouri”, brought me back to what had so engaged my foot.  The song continued with my full attention as I listened to the song “Getting Ready to Get Down” by John Ritter.

Objection after objection formed in my mind to nearly every stanza of this song.  I turned the radio off with a mixture of anger and sadness.   I was once again confronted with the familiar lie buried into the artistic fabric of our society.

I know this lie all too well.  I believed these lies for long enough to know the truth of their destructive nature.  The Story of JD chronicles my swallowing of the same old lie packaged anew in this John Ritter song.  Consider the gospel that Ritter is proclaiming:

  • There are no consequences to giving your love to whomever you please;
  • There is more to this world than the promises in the Bible;
  • Don’t let anyone, even God, tell you who you should be;
  • The God of the Bible is dry, but the world is exciting;
  • You don’t need to worry about your morality and saving yourself for marriage.
  • It is good to pursue the forbidden sweets of the world.
  • You know what you need more than God.
  • You shouldn’t let God keep you from getting what you need.

That was the message that I absent-mindedly followed with the tap of my foot; A message based on a lie.

I am tired of the same scheming falsehood.
I am tired of the same sneaky deceit.
I am tired of the same hidden distortion.
I am tired of the same crafty fabrication.
I am tired of the same lie of this world.

I want to shout, “You don’t know my God.” 

  • My God is infinitely more valuable than a one night stand;
  • My God’s promises surpass anything the world can offer;
  • My God will make me into the most complete me possible;
  • My God is the most incredible and interesting entity in the universe;
  • My God has given me everything and I give it all back because I love Him;
  • My God created all the sweetness of this world & I’ll follow his tasting instructions;
  • My God gives me all that I need, exactly when I need it;
  • My God knows what I need better than I do.

This world has nothing for me!

If you don’t feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Your soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great.
~ John Piper

We are all enticed to nibble at the table of the world.  A smorgasbord of the same lie confronts us in a myriad of ways from the moment we awake to the moment we go to bed:

Songs harmonizing a lie.
Movies glamorizing a lie.
Academics retorting a lie.
Politicians legislating a lie.

It is a sad reality that many who profess Christ will go to bed tonight stuffed with small morsels cut from the same lie.  We must fight this reality.  We must not mindlessly tap our foot to the latest musical rendition of the same lie.  We must not be shaken from the Truth that God is better than anything this world can offer and the source of our everlasting joy.

That is the wonderful Truth for our minds to be set upon.

 Christ did not die to forgive sinners who go on treasuring anything above seeing and savoring God. And people who would be happy in heaven if Christ were not there, will not be there. The gospel is not a way to get people to heaven; it is a way to get people to God. It’s a way of overcoming every obstacle to everlasting joy in God. If we don’t want God above all things, we have not been converted by the gospel.
~ John Piper

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QUOTE (Richard Baxter) – Dec. 8

December 8, 2015

220px-Richard_Baxter_Colour“You come hither to learn to die, I am not the only person that must go this way: I can assure you, that your whole life, be it ever so long, is little enough to prepare for death. Have a care of this vain deceitful world and the lusts of the flesh: Be sure you choose God for your portion, heaven for your home, God’s glory for your end, his word for your rule, and then you need never fear but we shall meet with comfort.”
~ Richard Baxter

In honor of Richard Baxter, an English Puritan Theologian, who died on this day in 1691.

“O what a blessed day that will be when I shall . . . stand on the shore and look back on the raging seas I have safely passed; when I shall review my pains and sorrows, my fears and tears, and possess the glory which was the end of all!”
~ Richard Baxter

Resources:
This Day in History for 8th December
Goodreads > Richard Baxter Quotes

 

 

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