He was full of Grace and Truth.
In that order. (John 1:14,18)
Christian friend, wherever you are today, whatever you are doing... as you live to be like the Lord Jesus, remember:
He was full of Grace and Truth.
In that order. (John 1:14,18)
Life is loaded with secret things--the whys behind photosynthesis, laws of gravity, reason for colors, digestive system, properties of water, as well as a long ETC list. But the understanding of none of these is essential to satisfied and joyful living. God has given us all we need to know in His Word and hidden many other things beyond our reach. The essentials are basically wrapped up in knowing our origin, purpose, and destiny--the Bible answers each of these dilemmas in many different ways. The grand unknowns may be researched and studied, because some of them can definitely be understood better through science, but they should not overly consume our time. All time and expense invested in searching for answers God will not give is useless and wasted.
"The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law." Deut 29:29
What is your favorite dessert? Maybe, like my daughter and I, you can totally dive into one of those chocolate sponge volcano cakes, capped with vanilla ice cream and drenched with rich chocolate syrup. Or what is your idea of a musical masterpiece? You can probably name one immediately, whether vocal or instrumental, that transports your soul up through the sky and into the heavenly places! Or what is the most amazing scenery you've ever gazed on? Perhaps it was the colors, the vastness, the variety, or the sheer size of what you saw... whatever it was, you found yourself grasping for the right adjectives.
Each of these images have something in common. They are processed through the mind. Our tongue, our ears, our eyes, all send messages to the brain, messages that leave behind a happy memory, and one we would rapidly call delightful. Every single thing we enjoy is first received and managed by the incredible gift we have between our ears!
So what is God trying to tell us when He has the psalmist write (37:4), "Delight thyself also in the Lord..."?
Clearly He is handing us an invitation. And it's no ordinary one. He is opening an unusual door, one that promises to be not only enjoyable to go through, but one that leads to a marvelous prize: the granting of the desires of our hearts.
Notice the verb--Delight.
It is very rich. It speaks of a God who loves, a God who gives, a God who is good, a God who is generous. It tells us that He intends for us to experience joy and satisfaction.
So, to delight in something involves thinking. And this particular idea has to do with engaging our intellect in the most enjoyable, rewarding, and glorious exercise that can ever be offered to man. It is the challenge of looking to the Infinite One, through the window of His Word, and being drawn into a personal and eternal relationship with Him.
It is a rational journey, and a wonderful one, that starts in the mind, and then branches out until it saturates every part of our lives.
We know how to delight ourselves in earthly experiences. But how about in spiritual ones? Our bodies and souls are experts at finding pleasures in the visible and emotional realms. But what about our spirits? Have we heard and understood the call from our Maker, the one that will transport us out and beyond the end of time, into the never expiring fellowship with God?
Do we know what it is to be enraptured with Him though the Scriptures? Is it our joy to find a quiet spot just to relish our privileges as children of God? I wonder. It seems that for some, their faith is a mechanical, dull, unfulfilling thing. That is not the way the Lord means to be.
The greatest delight, the greatest joy, the greatest pleasure available to man, is to focus his mind, not on the pursuit of visible goals, but on the knowledge of the Invisible One!
Delight thyself also in the LORD: and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. (Psalm 37:4)
We all know that to dwell is to establish a home somewhere. And though we are usually referring to a physical location, the idea itself has a much deeper meaning than simply an address. It is more than just a structure behind a mailbox. It is about a place where we find comfort, peace, and safety.
At least, that's what it should be.
Now a home can be in a hut, an apartment, a castle, a mansion, or even a cave. But the physical characteristics or price of the house are not the point here. As David describes this blessed person, he is not merely talking about someone who has a roof over his head.
He is referring to a mental experience, something we do in our consciousness, with our brains. It is about having a dwelling place for our mind.
So where does my mind consider home? Where does it go to relax? Where can it be totally transparent? Where is it understood and accepted? Where can it find coherent answers to life's critical questions?
Our Creator made us to be at home in Him. Our minds were wired to enjoy His presence--He alone is to be our residence. He formed us in such a way that when we stray from His secret room, our joy and peace fade before the chilling breeze of doubt and fear. Only when He Himself becomes the lodging place is our mind put at ease.
Unfortunately, even as believers, many times we churn and stew our way through life. We are altogether too busy, foolishly ignoring His amazing invitation. And in so doing, we miss out on this supreme privilege, that of dwelling in the pleasure of the Almighty.
Maybe right now would be a good time to stop.
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. (Psalm 91:1)
There are things to forget; there are things that don't really matter; and there are things that we should never, ever forget.
God, who gave us the ability to remember, does not leave us in a fog. He tells us to use our mind, to control what we think about, and know what we should ignore.
Isaiah 51:12-13 says that we have no business paying attention to man while forgetting our Maker.
Is this not the issue that so often bends us out of shape? Do not others--in a bad way--have too much effect on our thinking? And is it not the easiest thing in the world to forget that God is the ultimate Comforter because He made us, knows what we need and don't need, and has all power to provide?
May we learn to forget--
"I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die . . . And forgettest the LORD thy maker"
Does it make any difference?
Some will stew over how it can be possible for an omniscient God and a human prayer to mesh.
And in stewing, they don't pray.
Others skip the anguish through pure and simple faith. They realize that we will never understand the mysteries of eternity from this earthly platform in time. So they just believe, and pray.
In Isaiah 37:21, God delivered a pretty straightforward message to Hezekiah: BECAUSE YOU PRAYED... I WILL SPARE YOU.
Now what would have happened had Hezekiah not prayed? Well, we can speculate, or wish for a fuller explanation, or beg for more light on the subject. But we cannot claim ignorance of God's will.
He wants us to pray.
He wants us to pray more than He wants us to understand how prayer works.
He wants us to pray so He can show us His interest, His love, and His glory.
"Lord, teach us to pray."
For some random reason I woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep.
So I started thinking, and thanking.
My wife is sleeping peacefully tonight. My four children are out of the home but in the Lord. My parents are comfortably retired and live with my brothers. The church ministry is full of growing, changing people. The Aierdi ministry is expanding in ways I’d never dreamed about. I have a bunch of godly friends, nearby and far away, who are in constant communication with me. I have no material needs unfulfilled, at least that I know of.
I believe the Lord woke me up so I could think.
And thank Him for all His goodness.
Psalm 119:55-I have remembered thy name, O Lord, in the night,…
Maybe it wasn't so random after all.
There are still several hours before dawn.
Good night, Lord.
And, Thank you.
Some people count their steps.
Some think it’s a ridiculous thing to do.
Others are probably considering the idea:)
At any rate, there are plenty of options out there… smartphone apps, fitness trackers, pedometers, etc… gadgets that at the end of the day tell us how many steps we took.
Well, more or less 4,000 years ago, a man claimed that every step he’d ever taken was counted—Job! (in 31:4-Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps?)
This is a sobering thought, and could be downright scary, if you consider the implications. We are not talking about a satellite, but a Person with a capital P—God. Whether this is good news or bad news depends on your relationship with Him.
For His faithful children, having His watchful eye monitoring every movement is a good thing. For those not in the habit of loving Him as Father, or who don’t even know Him personally, this should be a huge reason for concern.
Some people like to read.
Some people don't.
And some people learn to.
In my years of ministry -- about 30 now -- I have rarely known of a growing Christian who did not read... the Bible AND good books.
If you do not like to read, learn to. It is possible, and IT WILL change your life. Start small. Make it a priority. Log your reading if that helps. But do it.
You may soon mourn the fact that you started so late. AB
(Bring ... the books, but especially the parchments--2 Tim 4:13)
He did not say we were surrounded by a cloud of heroes, nor a cloud of examples, nor a cloud of masters.
The Spirit said, "cloud of WITNESSES", and that has one obvious thrust -- they see! In the past week, two dear friends have changed sides. Bob and Rosi went from the race to the stands, from earth to the Lord's presence, from running to watching, from striving to resting...
It is the Christian's privilege to understand that their saved loved ones may well be allowed to watch their own funeral. If so, they definitely watch it with the full realization that God is God, and all is under control, all is well.
But how they must long for us to pay attention to the implications of this one amazing verse -- Hebrews 12:1!
(In memory of Bob Bixby and Rosi Minguez)
March 2017 video report