Tag Archives: glory of God

Living a Limited Life

When I first moved in the home I currently reside, I remember trying to get all of the utilities installed for the new place. One of the hardest vendors was the trash removal service company. I was asked to haul my trash a far-off distance because the truck couldn’t fit down our road. For years, I have been hauling the trash to this place they directed. This past week, we had a horrible snow storm. The snow blocked the already narrow road, but yet the trash truck came driving down the road—the road it was never supposed to be able to fit.

I’m not complaining about carrying the trash a greater distance; I need the exercise. In life, we find ourselves often limiting what can be done. We forget that we serve a God of the impossible. Instead of taking chances, instead of thinking outside of the box, instead of trusting the Spirit’s leading, we stay in our limited safe place. We trust the lies, that it is impossible. We even speak the lies to ourselves. But in not trusting in God’s plan, we find ourselves living a limited life, and missing out on what God has for us. We don’t think or imagine like God. We cannot grasp what He has planned for us. Yet, He has promised that whatever He has called us to, He will provide whatever is needed to see the task to completion for His glory.

Today, don’t go around placing limits on your life. If God has called you to something, trust Him. You might think that the truck won’t fit down the road—but you are only looking at things with your limited thinking. That road can fill with snow and the truck can get down if God has spoken. You can do all He has called you to do for His kingdom. He qualifies you. He equips you. Press onward. No limits! He is God of the impossible!! All for His glory!

“’For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the LORD.” Isaiah 55:8 [NASB]

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19 [NIV]

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21 [ESV]

Very Glad

Suffering is not fun, hence the reason it is called suffering. Suffering is when you are undergoing pain or hardship. It’s surely not fun. But Peter tells us to “be very glad.” Throughout the Bible we read that we should rejoice in our suffering. When we are insulted because of the name of Jesus, we are considered blessed (v. 14).

When we suffer, Peter says we are “partners with Christ in His suffering.” As we press forward, we are reminded that we “should serve with the strength God supplies” (v. 11 NIV). We shouldn’t be surprised when we have fiery trials (v. 12). Jesus told us it was guaranteed (John 15:20).

Paul told Timothy that “everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12 NIV). Continue to live a godly life in Jesus. Rest in the confidence that comes from living in the Lord, and remember that blessed is he who is persecuted. One day, we “will have the wonderful joy of seeing His glory when it is revealed to all the world.” Eternity we will have with Him.

“Instead, be very glad–for these trials make you partners with Christ in His suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing His glory when it is revealed to all the world.” – 1 Peter 4:13 [NLT]

What about Those Ites?

In Numbers 3 and 4, we read about the Gershonites, the Kohathites, Merarites, and others. The chapters contain so many instructions of the responsibilities of each clan. As we read over the passages, it is hard to grasp how this relates to us today. We are not carrying around a tent from place to place. We do not need someone in charge of tent pegs. We don’t have a lampstand. We have never personally met a member of one of the “Ites.”

Even though we do not live in the same time period as the “Ites,” nor need to concern ourselves with the Tabernacle of old, we can glean a lot from these chapters. As we review the text, we can see God’s desire for order.  We can also note how each clan had different responsibilities. Everyone had something to do, something that was their responsibility. Together, if everyone did as purposed, everything would flow smoothly and God would get glory.

These chapters help us to recognize how God appreciates order and they encourage us to faithfully obey His plan. Today, look at your home life, your work life, and your church life. Note where you are positioned. Embrace the position. Embrace the order. Take time to seek the Spirit’s guidance for further revelation of your position. Are you where you are supposed to be? Are you trying to take over another’s responsibilities? Are you serving where you are meant to serve? Are you doing too much? Allow God to lead you in every area of your life and watch how everything is orchestrated for His great purpose.

“The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” – Psalm 37:23 [NLT]

Glory

The Israelites were quick to complain about God when they didn’t have their eyes on food. Just after God brought them out of Egypt, they forgot what He rescued them from, because they were hungry. Where was the food? We would be better off back in Egypt.

Even though the Israelites were complaining, God showed His glory to them. He didn’t withhold His glory. How awesome is that?!? He graciously allowed them to “see the awesome glory of the LORD in the cloud.”

Have you ever seen God’s glory? If you haven’t, you haven’t been looking. Despite each of us being sinners, He allows us to see His glory. Despite us often being ungrateful, He allows us to see His glory. Today, thank Him for His gracious ways. Thank Him for allowing us to experience Him—allowing us to see His glory!

“And as Aaron spoke to the whole community of Israel, they looked out toward the wilderness. There they could see the awesome glory of the LORD in the cloud.” – Exodus 16:10 [NLT]

Drawing Attention

Paul gives specific instructions for women. This passage is a difficult one for many women to swallow. Many times it is misunderstood. Contemporary readers typically shut their ears to the truth in these words. It is important, whether you are a man or woman, to understand what Paul is referencing in these verses.

The reason for “women to be modest in their appearance,” is because women should “not draw attention to themselves.” The attention should always be God’s. This is why Paul is addressing the issue of women fixing their hair and wearing jewelry. It has to do with attention. We are never to do anything to draw attention away from Jesus Christ.

Paul notes that the attractive woman is one who does good things. When doing these good things, we shine the Light—we point to Christ. Remember friends, the world tells you to do what you can to get attention. However, in Kingdom life, we know He alone deserves all the honor, glory and praise. It doesn’t mean we cannot wear makeup or jewelry, that our clothing doesn’t matter. It means nothing can take His glory. Fix your eyes on Him and in everything you do, point to Him.

“And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes. For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do.” – 1 Timothy 2:9-10 [NLT]

Wrong Side of the Bed

Sometimes the day does not start out “right.” Many people call this “waking up on the wrong side of the bed.” We have all heard the phrase, “I wish I could just go back to bed and start the day over.” But once God blesses us with a morning, we have to live out the day until a next one comes (God willing). For me, this morning did not start right. Poor Max had some ear issues. Then I started working while still at home and I found more issues. My drive into the office wasn’t filled with the usual praise and worship session. Instead, there was silent contemplation.

I continued along with my day, but I didn’t have the same “bounce in my step.” All of the sudden, while running an errand, I drove right into a traffic jam caused by a road construction. A complete stand still. The cars were not moving. As I sat waiting for a hint of movement ahead, I was singing along to the worship music on the radio. As I sang, I focused on the lyrics. In the midst of day that did not start well, traffic had stopped to bless me with this special moment to praise the Lord—something I did not do during the morning drive.

Yes, the construction did not happen simply for me to have this jam session Jesus encounter. Even so, it was just what I needed. Each day is a new day. What a blessing! When a day seems to not start out the way you intended, do not count the day over. There’s no need to go back to bed and have a do-over. Instead, shift your eyes to God, realign yourself with Him, and meditate on His Word. Lift Your voice to Him. Thank Him. Praise His great name! As you are doing what you were made to do, you will live more expectantly, more joyful, more excited to share His love with a world desperate for Him.

“Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” – Psalm 100:2-3 [ESV]

“Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them.” – Isaiah 43:7 [NLT]

 

Ephesians Study: God’s Workmanship

[Ephesians 2:1-10]

All you do is STRANGE and WONDERFUL (Psalm 139:14)

We are clay. You are the Potter. We are all the work of Your hand (Isaiah 64:8)

God is Rich in Mercy

  • By Grace saved through faith
  • Gift of God – not works – not fulfillment of Law’s demands least man boast

Because of Great Love for Us

  • Great
  • Wonderful
  • Intense

Even Loved us when Dead in Sin – He made us Alive with Christ

  • In fellowship with Christ – sit down together with Him in heaven
  • In union with Christ – raised together with Him
  • He gave us the very life of Christ Himself

We are His Workmanship

  • In Jesus Christ – recreated in Christ / born anew
  • For good worksfruit of faith / done for God’s glory
  • Prepared beforehand/ predestined / prearranged / made ready

GOD DOES THE MAKING AND THE SAVING – It is FINISHED!

I am accepted I am secure I am significant
I am God’s child (John 1:12) I am free from condemnation (Romans 8:1-2) I am salt & light of earth (Matthew 5:13-14)
I have been justified through Christ (Romans 5:1) I am established, anointed, sealed by God (2 Cor. 1:21-22) I am chosen & appointed to bear fruit (John 15:16)
I am united with the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:17) I am citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20) I am a personal witness of Christ (Act 1:8)
I am a member of Christ’s body (1 Cor. 12:27) I can find grace & mercy in time of need (Hebrews 4:16) I am God’s temple (1 Corinthians 3:16)
I am a saint (Ephesians 1:1) I am born of God; evil one cannot touch me (1 Jn. 5:18) I am God’s co-worker (1 Corinthians 3:9)
I have been redeemed and forgiven (Colossians 1:14) I can’t be separated from the love of God (Rom. 8:35-39) I am seated with Christ in heavenly realm (Eph. 2:6)
I have access to God thru the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:18) I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love & a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7) I am God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10)

Bible Study Questions:

  • What was our condition before Christ?
  • What motivated God to save us? What does it mean to be saved?
  • What did God do even though we were dead in trespasses? How?
  • In verse 2:9, Paul speaks about salvation not being a reward for good things we have done. Why was this necessary? What is our part of the salvation process?
  • The passage speaks about good works that were prepared in advance. What does this mean? What does this mean for you? How is this different from what the world thinks of good works?
  • In Ephesians 2:10, Paul says that we are “God’s workmanship.” What does this mean to you? Why is it sometimes difficult to see yourself as such?

This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Ephesians. The 12 weeks include:

1- Sons and Daughters

2- Immeasurable Greatness

3- God’s Workmanship

4- Our Cornerstone

5- Least of the Saints

6- Love of Christ

7- Abundantly More

8- Unity of the Body

9- Anger Management

10- Exposed by the Light

11- Submission

12- Prepared for Battle

Self-Exaltation

We often hear people talk about others being “all about themselves”—proud, living in a “me-world” and thinking of themselves first. The truth is that since the very beginning of mankind we have been trying to exalt ourselves. God alone should be exalted but we seem to want some of the glory or all of the glory.

In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve got off to a bad start that we continue today. The “more clever” serpent lied to Eve. Adam was by her side but he never stepped in to take on the leadership position God gave him. The serpent promised that if the fruit was eaten, Eve would be “just like God, knowing everything.” Boom. Self-exaltation. She couldn’t resist. Adam went right along with it too.

In Genesis 11, it is clear that mankind did not learn from these previous actions. They said, “Come, let’s build ourselves a city and a tower that reaches Heaven. Let’s make ourselves famous.” Once again, they were trying to exalt themselves. They wanted to be famous. They wanted to be great. They thought they could just go to Heaven.

Today we still try to get some of the glory that is never ours. Glory is to God and Him alone. He deserves all honor, glory and praise. Not us. But everywhere we look, we see someone patting themselves on the back. We see athletes showboating. We see people pretending that they have achieved something great and worthy of praise. The reality may be hard to swallow—anything we accomplish is nothing in comparison to the glory of God. He is above all. He is the beginning and the end. No one can steal His glory. Let us remember to give Him all the glory. Let us remember that everything we do should be for the glory of God.


I have been reading The Message 100: The Story of God in Sequence by Eugene Peterson. I am grateful for the opportunity to review this new release from NavPress. I received this Bible free for review thanks to Tyndale House Publishers. I have read The Message (NavPress) twice and I have read the NLT Chronological Life Application Study Bible (Tyndale) as well, so I was eager to dig into the Message 100 to read this new version.

I am enjoying the chronological layout with the trusted paraphrase from Eugene Peterson. Reading in this order allows for a deeper understanding of the Bible, but written at a level that builds bridges for any reading level. It is a pure pleasure being able to sit and read God’s Word in the evening. During a recent message I preached, I recommended this new Bible, because I know that the Message paraphrase is a great translation to read along with a daily reading Bible. I always recommend having a few different translations to read for a deeper understanding. A chronological Bible is a blessing because it helps the reader to see things in an order that is not easy to understand when not in sequence.

The Message can be understood by any type of reader. This new Bible displays the verse numbers so you can look to your daily reading Bible for further study. As well, there is a guide to show where the books can be found as the order is chronological. The 100 readings are designed for a great progression through the books, without any loss to the message of the Gospel. The Bible allows for anyone to encounter Jesus and be moved by how He reveals Himself to us through His Word. There is plenty of room to write in the margins of this Bible as the Spirit leads.

themessage100.com

Frazzled

My dog Max has some issues with other dogs due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He is fine when dogs enter our home. He is fine when he goes to someone’s house and they have a dog. The issue is when we are walking. As a result, I am mindful of when we walk and where we walk because I do not want Max to get fearful and agitated.

It does not matter how prepared I am, nor how many alternative routes I can travel. At times, it does not matter and something will happen that is out of my control. This morning was one of those moments. A lady was driving down the road above the speed limit. She quickly veered over to the wrong side of the road, parking illegally right in front of us. She was holding a small dog and had the window wide open with the dog hanging out and actively barking. Right before Max was his biggest fear. He started to react. He was all frazzled.

There is no guarantee that you will have smooth travels throughout your day. There could be an interruption. Something could happen that would pull you off course. You may have spent time in preparation but you are knocked off of your feet. What then? Stop. Breathe. Remind yourself of the promises of God. Remember you are not alone (Deuteronomy 31:6, Hebrews 13:5). He is with you (Psalm 46:1). It may feel like everything is caving in, but in fact, God is preparing the way using all of the good and bad in your life to position you for something great. You were made for great things (John 14:12). You were made to give God glory (Isaiah 43:7). Change your focus and move forward (Philippians 4:8-9). You were made for so much more!

The Transfiguration of Jesus

[Matthew 17:1-13, Mark 9:2-13, Luke 9:28-36]

Chronologically in the Bible, before the Transfiguration, we read that Peter recognizes Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16b NIV). After Peter’s identification of Jesus as the Christ, we read about the prophecy of the church – the well-known statement, “you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church.” Following this prophecy, Jesus speaks to the disciples about the crucifixion and resurrection. Then Jesus, with the Three, headed up to a high mountain.

The Three were Peter, James, and John. They were the first to hear the call of Jesus (Mark 1:16-19). They were present during the healing of the daughter of Jairus, though the others were excluded (Luke 8:51). The Three were invited to come along with Jesus when He went to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane. (Matthew 26:30-46, Mark 14:26-42, Luke 22:39-46).

High mountains are associated with closeness to God and a readiness to receive His Word. We do not know the exact mountain where the Transfiguration occurred; however, many scholars believe it might have been Mount Hermon. We read about God directing Moses to go up a mountain (Mount Sinai) for Him to give Him the Law (Exodus 24:12-18). We read about Elijah going to Mount Horeb where He encounters the presence of God (1 Kings 19:8-18).

God’s voice echoes the same words on the mountain as spoken during the baptism of Jesus. “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17 NIV). “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!” (Matthew 17:5 NIV).

1) What is Peter’s focus when Moses and Elijah join Jesus?

2) When we see the glory of God, what should be our response?

3) What do Moses and Elijah represent?

4) Is John the Baptist Elijah?

5) Why did Jesus tell the disciples not to tell anyone about what they saw?

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