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No God like Jehovah

There is no God like Jehovah. He is faithful and true to his word. He says what he means and means what he says. He is steadfast, immovable and consistent.

Who of us is consistent? Is anyone or anything? Life changes on a dime and today’s good thing is tomorrow’s bad. We say one thing today, and a week—even hours—later say the opposite. We forget. We’re human.

Inconsistency is so like the human nature of man. So, it’s tough to get our finite minds wrapped around the glory and infinite being we call God, who never changes.

God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? ~ Numbers 23:19

The infinite nature of Jesus and his incarnation and becoming our Emmanuel is utterly unfathomable, since he’s been around from before time began, and he is as steadfast and unchanging then as he is now.

To think the creator of the universe does not change at whims or predilections like man does, should give us all the more reason to depend on him—the one who is faithful and true—and hold his Holy Word above all else.

“Anyone else sense something odd about this Coronavirus? Election years have been associated with viruses in the past like ebola, sars, etc. But virologist findings say this virus isn’t nearly as potent as the others, yet it’s put the global community in a panic. Something is not right about this. Power of the media is amazing. Social experiment in the making?”

I posted the above comment on social media last week, and there’s two schools of thought, as always, as the dialogue began.  In fact, prominent names in the media are on opposite sides.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, leading physician of infectious diseases on a Sunday morning news show said we should NOT go out to public places like restaurants. While Congressman Devon Nunes on a Sunday morning news show said we SHOULD go out to public places like restaurants. Not to mention that the CDC, WHO, and the family doctors also cannot agree on a course of action that is in sync.

So what does one make of it? Is it hype or propaganda? A social experiment?

From a casual observation, it seems the rate of transmission of this latest COV-19 in America does not warrant the amount of fear that’s being irrationally spread. To be so concerned about this to the point of shutting down the  entire economy is absurd in my opinion. The ramifications will unravel a whole plethora of financial unrest for a massive amount of workers and business owners in the weeks and months to come that will affect everyone. Sadly, many churches have cancelled services as well.  We’ve NEVER responded like this before when H1N1 came…or SARS, MERS, Swine flu, etc. People have gotten the COV-19 while innocently inside their beds in a nursing home. Yet, we’re warned to stay inside.

As for me and my family, our faith is the overriding factor in all of this. As we are led by the spirit, so we should walk. I am not swayed by this latest contagion because I believe it’s politically motivated. An article online containing incriminating information just confirmed my suspicions this morning. In all of this, I look to the Lord.

“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses but one who has been tempted in all things as we are and yet without sin. Let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need” ~ Hebrews 4:14-16

Here I Am

In Genesis- we read: Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”

Can you think of anything more daunting?  When God spoke to Abraham and made his covenant with him, Abraham obeyed. His faith in God was reckoned to him as righteousness. Abraham took the command willingly and did not delay. No excuses, no hesitation; he got up early and stepped up to the challenge. His faith revealed how much he trusted God.

Of course, God did not condone pagan human sacrifice; so, when Isaac questioned his father as to what the sacrifice would be, Abraham responded that God would provide the sacrifice. God spared Isaac and made a substitute. Abraham took a ram and offered it up for a burnt offering, and the place of the sacrifice was called Jehovah Jireh (the Lord will provide).

Abraham, and later Moses, recognized God’s provision, and it pointed to the ultimate sacrifice when God would provide Himself. As Charles Spurgeon says, “In order to save us, God provided God. He did not provide an angel, nor a mere man, but God himself.”

Here I am was Abraham’s faithful reply. Would we all be so quick and ready to assume the commands of God as Father Abraham? Total surrender is the highest form of worship.

 

Our steadfast hope

It’s a marvelous mystery that in the ages before time began, Jesus was there. Yes, he became the Incarnate one, our Emmanuel (God with Us) at his birth in Bethlehem, but he was always here. In the first chapter of John, we read: In the beginning was the Word; and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 

 In Jesus, dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority ~ Colossians 2:8-11

According to minister-author Matthew Henry, “The fullness of the Godhead dwells in Christ really and not figuratively; for he is both God and man.”

In our finite minds, it’s hard to conceptualize the awesomeness of the nature of Christ. It’s not so much a matter to consume and comprehend through logic but more of a respectful apprehending through faith. For how can the limited mind of a finite being claim with any authority the process of an infinite God? It’s impossible. But with God, all things are possible.

In Hebrews 1:8-12 we find… Of the Son, God says, ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom…You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of Your hands; they will perish, but You remain…You will roll them up; like a garment they will also be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will not come to an end.’

Sound of Silence

As God’s holy ones, the Lord speaks to us. Sometimes, it’s in a still, small voice. His word instructs us multiple times in Psalms to be still.

Be still and know that I am God ~ Psalm 46:10

 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him ~ Psalm   37:7

How can we be still in a world filled with distractions and noise? With all that goes on in our busy lives, taking time to be still is rare. The moments we can put everything on hold and relax ourselves are cherished times.

Take the time to step away from all of it and listen for him. He speaks to us in an abundance of ways: the silence of a forest…the rolling of the waves… the serenity of standing on a mountaintop are just a few.

To be still before the Lord is not always a physical position or something to do in the midst of a silent moment. To be still also means to let your ways yield unto his…to mentally put everything else aside and let the Holy Spirit lead.

As we are only strong in the Lord’s strength, taking the time to consider his ways above and beyond our own can only lead to opening ourselves up to the direction of the Holy Spirit.

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him ~ Psalm 62:5

 

Storm Tossed

When sorrows like sea billows roll is a lyric from a popular old hymn written by Horatio Spafford after much tragedy in his life. After losing his toddler son in the great Chicago fire of 1871, he later lost all four of his daughters in a ship accident at sea and penned, It is well with my soul.

 Despite the tragedy, Spafford remained in the bosom of Christ, knowing his comfort would be true and sufficient for anything.

Like Job, David, Paul, Daniel, Joseph and many other saints from old, they leave us examples of hardship and persecution. With their dire troubles—even unto death—they maintained an abiding faith as they rested in the spiritual arms of Jesus.

Some by the fire and some by the flood…but all through the blood of Jesus are we sifted and refined like choice silver and gold. It would seem like Horatio Safford had been sifted with both water and fire in the Lord’s sanctification of this godly man. Like all of them, we are given hope that they survived their trials to tell the tale, and only through the power of God are the waters stilled.

 

 

 

Some by the fire and some by the flood…but all through the blood of Jesus are we sifted and refined like choice silver and gold. It would seem like Horatio Safford had been sifted with both water and fire in the Lord’s sanctification of this godly man. Like all of them, we are given hope that they survived their trials to tell the tale, and only through the power of God.

Trust or bust

It’s usually a good idea to consult a map when entering a foreign territory. When traveling, vacationing, or just visiting a new place, knowing where you’re going will often save time and keep you on the right track.

In the course of our lives, there are so many paths to take while on this planet. As we walk, we’ll find the lust of the flesh, lust of the eye, and the pride of life do not stop once we are saved. In fact, these temptations often appear stronger when we’re walking with the Lord.

When confronted with any kind of situation where you think you’ve got it covered, remember how many times the wrong decision was made simply because we thought we knew best.

Walking with the Lord is not a set of arbitrary rules and regulations to keep us boxed in; rather, it is relationship tethered by a mutual love and bond fostered through the power of the Holy Spirit—our helper.

If we seek Him first…put His way above our own way, and trust in Him as we would our dearest friend, then He will lead us on the path we’re supposed to travel.

If you’re ever in doubt as to which way to go, remember, the road map is as close as your faith walk with God.

 

Called by name

Without a gate or a shepherd to lead them, sheep often wander away and can easily get lost or die. They’re soft and cute but not too bright. That’s why they need protection. People are sometimes referred to as sheep, and in the pejorative sense, sheeple. It’s never a compliment to be regarded as a sheep. At least, not among the worldly. But with the Lord, it’s different.

I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father ~ John 10:14-15.

Like a sheep, we know the Lord’s voice when we hear it. Whether it’s that still, small prompting or a verse in the word, God speaks to our hearts. As we know him better, we tend to trust and follow him more. We recognize when he’s talking to us because we’re open to his instruction and our ears are tuned to Him.

In God’s economy, a believer should be proud to be part of the Lord’s flock because we have the great shepherd, the Rock of Ages, to guide us. Though, we may need prodding, to be one of the Lord’s sheep is the most gratifying places to find oneself.

We were once like sheep who were astray, but the Lord saw fit to call us by name into his sheepfold where we will remain safe throughout eternity.

Love and Mercy = Grace

God, by His grace, sent his only begotten Son to take the brutal penalty for all of mankind…for each and every one of us as it states in 1 Peter 3:18 … Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. Though, it begs the question: If God is love, and he has an amazing compassion for us, they why doesn’t this grace cast everyone straight into heaven?

… God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth ~ 1 Tim. 2:3-4

Some would say his love doesn’t extend far enough to save everyone and that it’s only for the elect. That’s true, it is for the elect. Those who’ve made the choice to believe are the elect! And the choice is made to believe in Him through our faith. Can God’s loving desire for everyone to be saved be contradicted by anything other than rejection by man’s own choice?

Moses said in Deuteronomy 30:11, Now, what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach love the Lord your God…walk in obedience to Him… choose life. Joshua also exhorted Israel to choose whom to serve. It was a choice then and it’s a choice now.

Our finite minds cannot begin to comprehend the depth of God’s grace to mankind. Though, Jesus’s finished work on the cross is a good place to start.

Make a joyful noise

Standing before the tabernacle at the tent of meeting as well as in the temple, all kinds of instruments were used, including cymbals, harps, lyres, and trumpets were all used to worship and glorify the Lord. The Levitical singers, Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and their sons and kinsmen together with the trumpets of the 120 priests, praised the Lord saying, He indeed is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting. Then the house of the Lord was completely filled with a cloud, signifying God’s glory filling the temple.

In addition to the book of Psalms, God’s word is full of verses that encourage believers to worship him through music.

Ephesians 9:15 says we are to speak to each other in psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.

Colossians 3:16 says to let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

The word also says to make a joyful noise unto the Lord. No matter the skill or pitch of your vocal cords or whether you can even carry a tune in a handbag, God is honored when the sound you make comes from your heart.