Christian Devotions

Archive for the ‘Majesty’ Category

Majesty

And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;

Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever. ~~ Revelations 5:11-14 (KJV)

We have come close to God. We ask for a closer walk with Him. But we dare not forget His majesty. This picture from the vision of John gives us a glimpse of God’s throne.

We will pass over the study of the four living creatures for the moment. If you wish to read more explanation, you’ll find some of it here.

But these four creatures begin the praise with “holy, holy, holy.” And the elders around the throne kneel and bow down. When these elders kneel, it is not like when we kneel in church, torso upright. This is the kowtow, the kneeling and bowing low so that the forehead touches the floor or the ground.

This throne is also a judgment seat, like a judges bench only more so. From this throne the pronouncements of God proceed. His judgments, affirmations, condemnations, all are here in the presence of these witnesses.

But for Christ, we cannot know these judgments. It is He who will break the seals on the scroll of judgment. It is through Christ that we can know God without panic. That doesn’t mean we don’t fear God. It simply means that we accept the sacrifice of the Lamb. We still kneel in awe around the throne of God.

Father, God,

Still the trembling in our hearts. Allow us to love You, adore You, obey You at all times and in all places. Grant us an awareness of Your majesty and our dependence.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

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Wise Men

And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh. ~~  Matthew 2:11 (KJV)

In many traditions, we’re coming up on the feast of Epiphany, the visit of the Magi to the Christ-child. These men had been looking for the star that indicated His coming. They traveled far and came bearing gifts.

Gold was a gift for royalty; frankincense was a gift for a priest; myrrh was a gift for a funeral.

These wise men had studied the prophecies and knew what had been foretold about the Messiah that the Jews were expecting. So they came to acknowledge Him.

Wise men and women still seek the Lord. But the wisest do more than acknowledge Him. They invite Him into their lives. They open the doors of their hearts and minds to receive Him as their savior and lord.

Father, God,

Grant us the wisdom to seek Your face and the grace to offer ourselves to You as our ultimate gift. Help us to remember that Jesus is our royal priest who died that we might live, not just a babe in a cradle.

In Jesus’ most precious name.

Amen.

 

 

Lord of Hosts

And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the Lord of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the Lord, were there. ~~I Samuel 1:3 (KJV)

Jehovah Sabaoth is a name of God used more than 200 times in the bible. It is so easy for us to get caught up in the fact that God is personal to each of us that we forget His majesty and power.  Translating the Hebrew, we see that the Eternal, Everlasting God commands “masses of people arrayed as for a battle.”  Those are the hosts.

This name of God appears only once in the New Testament:

Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.  ~~ James 5:4 (KJV)

How interesting that it is connected with the pleas of the downtrodden – the underdogs.

I would not like to be among those who kept back the hire of the reapers in this instance. The Lord of Hosts is not a person that I would like to tangle with from the other side of the dispute.

But look at the comfort for the reapers. They are assured that the Lord of Hosts is on their side, that He cares about them, and that He will ultimately make things right.

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. ~~ Romans 12:19

We do well to remember that the Lord we serve is a loving, comforting, personal God as well as the majestic Lord and Commander of multitudes of both people and angels.

We do well to remember that when we think to take things into our own hands, we overstep our boundaries.

Father, God,

Help us to remember who You are in all of your majesty. Remind us that if You are for us, no power in the universe can stand against us. Not that we are able, but that You will undertake for us. Accept our gratitude for Who and What You are.

In Jesus’ most precious name.

Amen.

  Join me as we worship His Majesty!

Awesome!

I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me. ~~ Psalm 57:2 (KJV)

Sometimes we take God for granted. We know He is there. We know He loves us. But we forget His awesome power and might. We disregard the fact that nothing, not even the littlest thing, escapes His notice and attention.

We can believe that He is concerned about the state of our nation and the condition of our hearts. But are we aware that He is also concerned about our stubbed toe, our hangnail, and our most fleeting vile thought?

There are more than seven billion – yes, billion with a “b” – people on this planet. That’s a 7 with nine zeroes behind it. And our God is intimately concerned about each and every one of them, their hearts, their lives, their hangnails. Every hair on each of those heads is numbered – counted one by one. (Matthew 10:30, Luke 12:7) I cannot begin to count to seven billion, nor to count the hairs on even my own head, much less everyone else’s.

But God can.

Not only that, but He is concerned about our lives on a global scope. He sees the migrations of people trying to escape totalitarianism. He sees nations and factions at war with one another and cares about those conflicts. He is even concerned with our politics – local and national.

It is impossible for me to wrap my finite little mind around the capacities and abilities and thoughts of our Infinite God. There are no boundaries for Him. No degrees of separation and importance.

With one hand, He can sweep the seas aside and bring forth dry land. He can speak and the oceans will rage or become serene. He whispers in our ears and, if we are listening and obedient, our lives can change forever. Tenderly, He reaches forth and dries our tears.

All knowing, all powerful, always there, He is truly awesome — AWESOME!

Father, God,

Help us to put ourselves into perspective with our ever expanding knowledge of who and what You are. Grant us the vision to begin to see glimpses of Your power and might, Your tenderness and love. Give us the ability to share You with those around us, helping us to see them as You see them.

In Jesus’ most precious name.

Amen.

Elohim

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.   And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. ~~ Genesis 1:13

Most mainline denominations, both Catholic and Protestant, acknowledge a doctrine of the trinity of God. God in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost).

The opening verses of the Bible contain that concept. Let’s look at it.

In the beginning, God…

There it is, God – the one and only – no modifiers as to which god – just God. He needs nothing but the name to identify him.  But the word used here is Elohim which is a plural construction, equivalent to our word “gods”.

At the end of verse two we have:

And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

The Spirit of God – the Holy Spirit – a second person of God, a second manifestation of God.

Then verse three:

And God said

The Word of God – the Son of God – appears. How do we know this refers to the Son of God?

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. ~~ John 1:1-3

These verses in John refer to Jesus, the person of God who limited himself to human form and function to be the redeemer of each of us in this world. The Word of God created our physical world; the Son of God interacted with mankind in the physical world.

The doctrine of the Holy Trinity is slightly difficult to wrap one’s mind around: one God, three persons.

Early on, when I tried to explain the doctrine to others, I used this crude analogy.  I am one person, but I am my mother’s daughter, my husband’s wife, and my children’s mother. I function very differently in relationship to each of these people.  In the same way, each of the Persons of the Trinity functions differently from the others.

God created us; Jesus redeemed us; the Holy Spirit indwells us.

God is our Father; Jesus is our Savior; the Holy Spirit is our Comforter, the Paraclete, the One Who Walks Beside.

God has us covered from all sides.

Father, God,

Help us to wrap our minds around all that You are. Give us the grace to believe what we cannot fully comprehend. Open our ears to the promptings of Your Holy Spirit and strengthen us for immediate and unquestioning obedience.

In Jesus’ most precious name,

Amen.

 

 

Presence

2 Corinthians 5 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.2 or in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.

For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.

Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.  (KJV)

Yesterday, we said good-bye to a family member that exemplified that scripture. For as long as I’ve known him, this cousin never tired of bragging on God. His focus was on Jesus first. and then his wife and family.  For the last several months, his heart had turned more and more toward being present with the Lord. But he never lost sight of his family either.

His home going occurred just days before his 81st birthday. I’ve smiled at the thought of what a celebration that birthday party must have been.

To that end, the service for him yesterday was festival, the music, triumphal. We opened the service with an Allalujah, segued into “It Is Well with My Soul” and then “How Great Thou Art”. We exited with “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” — “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the Lord!” And we knew that while we were seeing “through a glass darkly”, he was seeing his Lord face to face.

Most importantly, he wanted everyone in the world to know the Savior as he knew Him.  That, of course, is the point. If we know the Savior, we should be eager to share our good news with all we meet. If we love our neighbor, we should want the best for that neighbor – and the best is Jesus. The good news of our Salvation through the Grace of God is the most important information we can disseminate.

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Acts 1:8 (KJV)
The writer of these words in the book of Acts was quoting Jesus. Please note that the word is “shall” not “will” in this passage. While the nuances have been mostly lost in our common conversation, “shall” is a word of command; will is a word of desire or wish.
Jesus doesn’t ask us to be his witnesses; he commands it. So just how well are we doing as witnesses?  That is the question we shall answer at the judgment.
Father, God,
So fill us with your spirit that our thoughts are filled with witnessing for you. Give us the words to speak your truth with love to those we meet. Help us to remain full of you, not of ourselves.
In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

 

Disclaimer:  I apologize for the Friday devotion not appearing til Saturday. There is no excuse except that I fell down on the job and relinquished a privilege.  With God’s help, it will not happen again.  Thank you,  ~J~

 

 

Learning Holiness

Focus verses: Hebrews 10:11-18

Today the world focuses on the coming of the Christ-child as an infant in a manger. But our reading from Hebrews shows Him in all His power and majesty as our high priest forever.

He is the propitiation for our sins. He is our ransom from the world, the flesh and the devil. He is powerful beyond all imagining. He sits at the right hand of God waiting for all His enemies to be made His footstool.

His work is done. When from the cross he said “It is finished” that was exactly what He meant. It is finished, completed, done, all over.

…because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy (v. 14).

There seems to be a contradiction in this subordinate clause. How can we be already completed as perfect and still undergoing the process of being made holy?

We are perfect in the eyes of God the Father because He sees us through the lens of Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf. We are “complete” in Him. But we are continually being set apart from the world for the kingdom of God. We are growing in His grace and under His guidance through the Holy Spirit.

My grandmother used to say “It’s a wasted day if you haven’t learned anything new.” Each day, we learn more and more about Him and His ways. We walk closer and closer in His footsteps.

Father, God,

Although You see us as perfect through Jesus, our earthly lives are filled with stumbles and shortcomings. Grant that we may walk closer and closer in the footsteps of Christ with the guidance of Your Holy Spirit.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.