The Bible states, God created all things. He loves that which he made.
All things are held together by the power of His Word. He keeps all things. Nothing can contain God, yet he is in and through all things.
God is Holy. This means He is separate from His created order and creation is contained in Him. God is infinite. His power and wisdom shine forth through creation.
Ultimate beauty and splendor find their source in God’s holiness.
The finite mind cannot fully comprehend that which is infinite. But, God makes provision for us by His Christ. The person of Jesus Christ is an “exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by the power of His Word.” (Heb. 1:3).
God’s provision of Grace did not stop there. God followed through with a comprehensive plan to bring unity between The Holy and the unholy. The pinnacle of this great provision was the cross of Christ. In the darkness surrounding Calvary, a cosmic transition occurred where The Holy made righteous the unrighteous by the final work of Jesus Christ. We know it was final because the last words left his lips on the cross; “It is finished.”
Christ burst forth from the grave, we behold the beauty of His Holiness. There is no beauty in death. Splendor is “hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:1-3) who is eternal.
Set our hearts on that which is above, eternal and infinitely beautiful.
(Post above inspired by personal Bible study of the character of God and A.W. Tozer’s ‘Attributes of God’ and ‘Knowledge of the Holy’).
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV).
The true Christian is utterly and totally dependent on the power of the Holy Spirit that indwells us at the moment of Salvation.
Any attempt to manufacture righteousness apart from the Spirit is futile. In the Flesh, there “dwelleth no good thing” (Rom 7:18). As a grape is dependent on the branch which is dependent on the vine, the believer is dependent on the Holy Spirit.
My favorite passage of scripture is John 15:1-11. The theme is total dependency on God through Christ (the True Vine). “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5).
“For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.” (2 Cor 1:9)
God has given us the power to overcome the Flesh (our sinful nature). How?
By yielding to the (Holy) Spirit.
How do we yield to the Spirit?
By abiding in Christ and pursuing God.
What does that look like?
By studying God’s Word, (prayerfully) seeking His face and believing.
Of course, to the unsaved world this is foolishness because the world is blind and unable to discern that which is Spiritual. They do not have the knowledge of God nor the indwelling Spirit of God. Our job is not to worry about what the world thinks but to trust in Christ (who overcame the world).
“Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” (2 Cor 1:21-22)
The Holy Spirit testifies to this truth. We are no longer slaves to sin and death. We are set free by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. In Him, we are truly free to ‘walk in the newness of life (Rom 6:4) and eternally secure in Him.
Who are you dependent on today and do you have assurance of Salvation?
One morning several weeks ago, I met with Rabbi Bloom and the team from Compassionate Fort Worth at Congregation Ahavath Sholom. We enjoyed breakfast outside in the beautiful weather under a Sukkah (Hebrew for ‘booth’). This day began the Hebrew celebration of the Feast of Booths (See Leviticus 23:22-44)
We were given a brief history lesson about the Sukkah and why it is celebrated thousands of years later. As with most of the Hebrew feasts, the Feast of Booths is a remembrance and is rich in symbolism.
When the Jewish people made their Exodus from slavery in Egypt, they wondered in the desert for 40 years. During this time, they lived temporary dwellings called ‘booths’ for shelter (think tent with a thin screen for a roof). These booths were quite fragile and often had a thin layer of palm leaves or twigs for a roof. It was important to be able to see the sky through spaces in the roof material.
During the Exodus, the Hebrew people understood their booths offered very little in the way of protection from the elements, enemies or wild animals. They depended on God to protect and guide them. Today, Jews around the world celebrate by gathering, eating and even sleeping in their Sukkah to celebrate God’s protection and guidance.
After our meeting, the good Rabbi gave me a tour of the synagogue.
The first stop on our journey was a small quiet sanctuary. At the center was a large encasement on the wall, adorned with a beautifully carved tree. As we rolled the case apart, I beheld several scrolls. Each had a unique covering. The Rabbi ask for a hand to retrieve a large scroll and we placed it on a table.
I had the privilege to hold and learn about two significant Torah scrolls. The first scroll survived the Holocaust and WWII. The second was a 100 year old scroll from Iran. All script was perfectly justified and beautiful to look at.
When we unrolled the Holocaust scroll, we landed on Lev. 8:30 where Moses anointed Aaron and his sons into the priesthood. The Rabbi also pointed out the passage where Aaron’s sons brought foreign fire (or strange fire) into the temple. That did not turn out so well for them (God protects His Holiness). After discussing aspects of the scroll, we carefully rolled it up and returned it to its home.
Next Rabbi Bloom led me to a large sanctuary. Again, we went to the front of the room where the Torah scrolls were stored. He retrieved a scroll encased in silver with ornate artwork.
When we unrolled the 100 year old Iranian scroll, the Rabbi rolled to the 10 Commandments. I cannot read Hebrew but he showed me the 6th, ‘Thou Shall not murder.’ I happened to study the 6th Commandment that morning during my devotional time. Hebrew is a magnificent active language rich in description.
Murder is the unjust taking of innocent human life (not self-defense, just war, etc). The 6th Commandment has two sides in the Hebrew. 1. Do NOT murder and 2. DO protect and preserve human life.
Standing in the present, holding the past and knowing the eternal truth behind the Command was a lesson in theology and history. The irony of holding these two historical artifacts in light of current events was not lost on me. We replaced the scroll and finished our tour all before 10am. But that was not the end of the journey.
For several weeks, I had been wanting to set up a tent in the backyard and ‘camp out’ with the kids. It had been too hot. However, the first day of the ‘Feast of Booths’ was cool and clear. A perfect night to camp out under the stars. I remembered what I learned in the morning and found the application for my family.
Instead of our normal Bible reading and story, I took a detour and told my 6 and 4 year old kids to grab their sleeping bags. We are going to camp out tonight! Needless to say, they were excited. I was too!
Before heading to the back yard, I gathered my wife and children in the living room and read Leviticus 23:33-44. This is passage describes the ‘Feast of Booths’. I explained that we would sleep in a tent under a thin screen. We would be able to see the night sky and the celestial bodies that God flung into place. The thin tent would provide very little protection. We had to depend on God for protection this night in our own Sukkah.
I saw the Old Testament come alive that night in my children. And I remembered the God who protected and guided the ancient Hebrews is same God who protects and guides me today.
As the night grew quiet. The children wondered off to sleep murmuring about stars and galaxies. My eyes fell shut under God’s protection and eternal security of Christ as the melody of ‘How Great Thou Art’ lulled me to sleep.
Two weeks ago I attended the Global Leadership Summit and one of the co-hosts was comedian Michael Jr. He told a story about the birth of his daughter and how she was crying inconsolably in the delivery room until she heard her father’s voice. Michael Jr. shows a video of the actual event and brings forth a lesson impacting the entire summit audience. Watch and read on…
When we experience the embrace of the Savior holding us close to Himself, we hear his beating heart. We hear his quiet whisper. His still small voice says to us, “I am with you. I am right here. I love you.” That’s our Father’s voice!
All we know through revelation, theology and scripture strike a resounding chord in which our spirit affirms, “This is true!” One may argue, “this is far too mystical for modern Christianity!” I respond from Romans 8 and John 15 by stating, “The Holy Spirit testifies to what is true and testifies we are children of God.”
As this truth reverberates into the deepest inmost parts of our being, we recognize the chord struck has a nostalgic undertone of longing for something beyond ourselves. In it we sense a timeless quality just out of reach but quite familiar.
Then, from the depths of our hearts, ‘the eternal’ emerges like a wave crashing on a celestial shore. We realize again our Father “set eternity in our hearts.” Again, the Spirit testifies, “This is true!”
The ministry of the Holy Spirit astonishes my finite mind. The reality of which cannot be brushed aside with the wave of the unbelieving hand. In fact the wave of the hand affirms another Biblical truth; man is resistant to the truth and the love of God. This we can leave for another talk. Here is the real question…
Have you heard the father’s voice? Are you listening for it?