Let it shine

The word tells us there are many spirits in the world and that we should be wary and test them. Some may even appear as a kind and lowly sheep. Don’t be fooled. Sometimes the sheep isn’t wearing wool but merely a wolf’s coat. There is but only one true spirit, and that is the spirit which resides in the hearts of the believers, God’s own children. The Holy Spirit.

As believers, we are indwelt by his loving spirit and it’s sufficient for everything we need to grow in the fullness and knowledge of the Lord as we sojourn here on earth. How honorable it should be to us to be a temple of the Living God!

While we’re here, the Holy Spirit is our source of all strength to love others as Christ first loved us and gave himself up for us on Calvary. When he departed back to heaven, he made a promise to give the believers a helper to guide them, and he has.

The world may think it strange that Christians are the manifestation of love in a place that doesn’t always love back. Love thine enemy? Bless those who curse you? Yes, these are the commandments for God’s family. We are able to do this through the power of God’s love working through us. It’s not our love, but His that flows through. It’s to be given away just as freely as it was given to us. It’s His love anyway, and to share it with others shows the living God in us. It may be the only glimpse of God they will see. Let it shine.

Our God Reigns

There is no God like Jehovah. His plans can never be thwarted though many have tried. Back in the day when God’s people were scattered to Babylon, he had a moment with the Persian King Cyrus and basically told him that for the sake of Israel, you will conquer many nations. He’ll bring many to their knees as well as set the exiles free and, later, they will rebuild Jerusalem.

Though King Cyrus did not know God or understand his ways, the Lord saw fit to use him to fulfill His plans and purposes for Israel. As it is today, the Lord appoints and uses leaders to continue the plans he has for the world.

It may seem like God is lax in carrying out truth and justice by seemingly allowing sin to reign, but it does not reign supremely. God is overseer and judge as well as jury. He has not let go of the ball.

He is the Author of all that is true, holy, and good. May we not murmur or be distressed or turn away our belief. Remember, we are but clay. Who is the clay that it should order the potter or find fault with him?

It would be better if we acquiesced in faith to the higher power and turn our hearts to believe in his promises as they were given to Israel. May we be reassured today that the great prophet, priest, and king of all is also the judge, jury, and executioner. He knows what he’s doing.

Great is Thy Faithfulness

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” ~ Lamentations 3:22-23

Jeremiah said it well. God’s faithfulness to us is a great thing. Though we ourselves may lack faith or waver in our unbelief that his word is true, God can never deny his own faithfulness and will never stray from the truth because He is truth!

There are so many examples in the Bible of the Lord’s faithfulness to believers from his forgiveness to our salvation and sanctification, strength through trials, protection from evil, victory over sin, and sealing our future in heaven. Basically, through the Lord’s generous loving kindness, he has saved every believing soul from the power, penalty, and presence of sin. On top of that, God promised to glorify every person he called and justified (Romans 8:29-30), and our souls shall never see eternal death.

We know the Lord is coming back to earth one day and, according to the book of Revelation, the living Word in flesh is the “faithful and true Witness.” At his return, he will actually bear the title, “Faithful and True.” How lovely to know he’s coming back in victory, and we will dwell with him forever.

Sing a new song

By his mighty arm, the Lord brought out his people from the bondage they suffered in Egypt, and all the while upheld them through their 40-year journey in the wilderness. They endured much over the years in the desert, and with everything they went through… the distress, trials, and temptations, the Lord was right there to aid and guide them into the Promised Land of Canaan. He provided food, warmth, shade from the strong sun and more. To think their sandals never wore out!

It was the Lord and only he who could have given them the strength to conquer their enemies and bear their afflictions. It is the reason they made a joyful noise with trumpets, harps, and the psaltery at their special feast days.

Like Israel, we, too, have a covenant with God through our faith and belief in the work of his blessed son, Jesus. We’ve been brought out of bondage as well and now stand humbly in Christ as redeemed citizens of a Heavenly Kingdom that is both here in our hearts as well as its ultimate future fulfillment.

As we endure our own trials through the desert of our time on earth, may it be as it was then…that we make a joyful sound to the Lord by singing psalms, singing aloud, and making a joyful noise. The word, noise, connotes that we don’t even have to be singing in the right key! God is pleased to hear the noise that comes from a worshipful heart.

Who’s the greatest?

There are some who believe they have it all figured out. They suppose by doing good deeds or by simply attending church—by these they’ll be able to carve out their own way to heaven. On their own merits. The question to ask is:  Why did Jesus come to earth in the first place? What was the purpose of him sacrificing his life in such a cruel way?

In Moses’ day, the law was deemed to be the truth. Those that followed it were doing the right thing. But the law was unable to secure salvation. The sacrifices were only a temporary stop gap; they had to be repeated time and time again. That is, until the ultimate sacrifice was paid in the life and blood of the Savior.

The psalmist declares of Jesus, “Your law is the truth” and the word tells us he came to fulfill the Law. He is also the Incarnate Word of God and, therefore, the source of all truth.

Many times in the O.T., Jesus refers to himself as the I am. Exodus 3:6 states, “I am the God of Abraham…” In John 8:58, “Truly, truly…before Abraham was, I am.”

Jesus—prophet, priest, and King of Kings—is the great I am, and the only way to secure a heavenly future is through belief in him. Because he provided the way, and is the truth, and also overcame life, the future is secure for all who believe.