The long, dark shadows of your fears for tomorrow are cast before you. They are like the shadows of the mountains against a setting sun. What is hiding in those shadows? How will you find the help and courage you need to go on and find safety? The hills around you may hide struggles and terrors of all kinds. Where will you find the help you need to keep going? Then your heart remembers that your God made the hills. His sun casts the long, dark shadows before you. His Son, your savior, has taken this path before you. He has prayed for you. He watches over you. Unlike you, he never sleeps. By his blood he has secured your […]
493 years ago, Governor William Bradford proclaimed that Thursday, November 29th, 1623 would be a day of Thanksgiving and corporate worship. This day marked the third year since these pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock. Over half of their group died in the brutal first year of their new colony. Why did they make the journey? Why did they endure the hardship? And why did the 33 year old Bradford call them together on that November day? The answer: they came to worship their God in freedom! Would you risk losing your life, the lives of your children and all that you have just for the privilege engaging in corporate worship that honored God and not the State? Thanksgiving Day is […]
People were designed by God to worship. At the fall man lost his ability to know whom to worship. So, we worship counterfeit gods. This is the worship we were born to as fallen creatures. It is the enemy’s scheme that when we participate in corporate worship we do so to earn God’s favor. But our God is a jealous God. He will not share his glory with counterfeit pretenders. May we see God for who he is, not for what we want him to be. May we say with the Psalmist: But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.
There was a moment when there was no universe to observe. There were no light years to measure because there was no light. There was no way to measure time, because there was no time. There was no gravity, no radiation, no black holes, no stars, no planets, no comets, no asteroids, no moons to be observed. The physical universe did not exist. Or did it? Before there was light, time and galaxies, there was God. This same God asked Job a question whose answer gives the difference between creature and Creator: “Where does light come from, and where does darkness go? Can you take each to its home? Do you know how to get there?” Of course, Job could […]
You can have confidence in the face of terror and be an encouragement to your family and to those around you. In Matthew 10 Jesus brings gentle encouragement to his followers. He tells them it is God who has the real power over body and soul. Then he tenderly comforts his followers by reminding them that not even a sparrow falls to the ground apart from their Father’s care. So, don’t fear for you are worth more than many sparrows. The world is not stumbling out of control, even if our leaders are uncertain in their responses to evil. Your loving heavenly father is committed to care for you no matter how serious the threat of terror. Focus on the […]
The Bible is a precious gift. It is tells you about life. It provides perspective in troubled times. If your heart is troubled this morning take refuge in these 185 words. Psalm 37:1-11 Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, […]
If your view of reality is limited to what you can see, your worship will be ill-informed. The power of God is not limited to what you can see. Faith is what expands your vision to see what is really real. There is great comfort in the unseen reality. The unseen armies of God provide hope that you can speak of the gospel with power. You have no need to panic or despair. In order to be salt and light you must first be confident of the reality that you cannot see. It is foolish to live only for what is seen. If you worship a god you can see, you worship an idol. The Bible opens the eyes of […]
Does your soul thirst for God? How special is God to you this day? Do your thoughts of God mirror those of David in Psalm 63? Would your children say that you view God as David does in this psalm? These words of David teach us just how deeply we should value the privilege of knowing God. May we all long for God each day, for surely we live in a dry and weary land. O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. […]
Biblical worship is about transformation. Christian worship is distinct from anything that our “spiritual” culture has to offer. An encounter with the Living God, whether corporately or individually, should be transformational. Conformity to the world’s idea of worship carries the idea of personal enrichment and fulfillment. Biblical worship is nothing of the sort. Biblical worship requires courage. When you see God for who he is, you cannot remain the same. You are undone, yet you have hope. You must be transformed. Your mind must be renewed so you can embrace the perfect, written will of God for your life.
Luke’s Gospel, written to gentiles, tells us why Jesus came to earth. His words are a mixture of joy and sobriety. Joy, because Jesus is my only hope. Sobriety, because Jesus describes exactly who I am without his mercy. If you do not think of yourself as a poor, blind slave apart from the grace of Christ, you think too much of yourself and too little of Christ. In these verses from Luke 4:16-21, Christ tells us why he came. Praise be to the glorious grace of God! He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of […]