Categories
culture politics, economy, etc. praise

Our Best Days Are Ahead

As an undergraduate at Purdue in 1987, one of my Professors, Harry Targ, lectured on the Cold War.  He had just published his book Strategy of an Empire in Decline, in which he explained his belief in the moral, economic and political superiority of communism viz capitalism.  In his mind, the USA Would not long withstand the inexorable and inevitable expansion of the Soviet Union.  He was right regarding the collapse of an empire but wrong about everything else.

While Professor Targ is a run of the mill exemplar of the Marxist-Socialist bias in secondary education, he illuminates a larger point.  He was a full-time academic on the Soviet Union.  In 1986, there wasn’t serious discussion or analysis regarding the forthcoming USSR implosion.  Notwithstanding his expertise on the Soviet Union, Professor Targ didn’t see the collapse coming in a relatively few years.  None of us did.

Life works like that.  Major historical events rarely appear obvious or inevitable as they happen. They are only clear in retrospect, if ever.

In contrast to the failure to foresee the swift and surprising nature of the USSR’s collapse, there are serious red flags that Western liberal democracies in general and the USA in particular have become financially, politically, and morally unhinged.  Spending well beyond the available means is the norm not the exception for governments and families throughout the West. No leading political figure in any way advocates significant spending cutbacks.

We’re politically dysfunctional as the federal government divides fairly equally between those wedded to socialist statism and those that prefer corporate and military statism (while occasionally mouthing traditional conservatism).

Post-modernism has supplants Judeo-Christian beliefs as our moral foundation.  Regarding sex, sexuality and marriage, what had been regarded as immoral, perverse and often illegal in the 1950s, is now acceptable and often routine and laudatory.  When the highly accomplished Coach Paterno was fired for harboring a child molester on his coaching staff, thousands of students at one of our most esteemed Universities protested … not over the sexual improprieties that had occurred between Paterno’s subordinate and boys, but over the fact Paterno was fired over it.  These outraged students are some of our most gifted minds and the future of this country.

There are clouds on our national horizon.

We should however fear and fret not.  One kingdom will last forever, and it’s not our beloved USA.  The everlasting kingdom will provide perfect justice and governance.  As much as I love the USA and what we stand for, that future perfect government has not yet been established on Earth.

The future King of nations will not be delivered via an election.  He will arrive with the sound of trumpets.  Instead of water, he will baptise with fire, providing terribly perfect justice and loving grace.  Under his perfect reign, the curse will be lifted and a new world reborn.  Death will no longer sting and eternity will be a reality.  That day should be our hope for the future.  In Christ and not the works of mankind should we place our faith. Jesus Christ return and his perfect reign will endure forever.  Pray soon.  Amen.

Categories
praise video

The One

Holy.  Omnipotent. Eternal.

Forever.  And always has been.  Can you imagine it?  No.  He never was not and always will be.

His knowledge has no limits.  I don’t know what that means, but do know that Scripture teaches He knew each of us by name before He laid the foundations of the Earth.  He knows each hair on our head and every one of the trillions and trillions of stars that He created.  Boundless in time and boundless in comprehension.

He is loyal and faithful, even to those that leave him.  Us.  He loved us before we loved him and after we betrayed his love.

But his love and justice are also limitless and eternal. Christ. Cross. Grace.

Amazing God.

He is mighty to save.

Categories
encouragement praise

Soli Deo Gloria – Restoration

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Philippians 4:4 -9

Jesus is my Savior and Rescuer.  He restores us to God.  He shall restore all of creation to God.

Jesus Christ is returning, sooner than most think, to rescue us, to restore us to the place and existence for which our soul longs.  Nature groans under the curse, waiting for that day.

He will return for us, to take us to a place where there will be no more tears, no more suffering, no more death.  We will live in the presence and glory of the almighty God.

John 6:38-40 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.

We will be in heaven, with God, forever, only because of Jesus.

Turn away from evil and do good; so shall you dwell forever.  For the Lord loves justice; he will not forsake his saints.  They are preserved forever, but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.  The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell upon it forever. Ps. 37:27-28.

We have faith in what God accomplished in the past.  Our hope is in what he promises for our future.  He promises a perfect and lasting peace for those that put their trust in Him.

knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. … So we do not lose heart.  Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.  For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.  For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Cor. 4:14-18

God, give us the eyes to see and the strength to truly believe in your eternity for us, and to live in that hope.

“… He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Rev. 21:4

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.  Praise Him all creatures here below.  Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.  Amen.

We praise you God for your Glory.  We REJOICE in you Lord.  Forever.

“Surely I am coming soon.” Amen.  Come, Lord Jesus!  The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all.  Amen. Rev. 22:20-21

Categories
encouragement praise

Soli Deo Gloria – Sanctification

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Philippians 4:4 -9

God creates and saves; he also is our sustenance and strength.  Christians have no need to be anxious or troubled, despite our troubling world and troubling times.  Life can be hard, painful and more often than not, it’s unpredictable. When we try to overcome, we so often fall short or become confused.  We should rejoice, even in hardship, because our strength is not in our effort.  Don’t struggle or worry.  Look to Christ for he strengthens those who put their faith in him.

If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Mt. 16:24-25

In the Sixth Chapter of the Gospel of John, Jesus explained

Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

So they asked him, “What miraculous sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our forefathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'”

Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

“Sir,” they said, “from now on give us this bread.”

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. ” …

We worship the God of the living. The author of life.  The creator of life.  God loves life.  Through his strength he created us.  Through his strength he saved us.  Through his strength he perfects and strengthens us in the likeness of his son – in a truer image of God.  He did not create and save us to then watch us struggle.

Following our master is, again, not about us.  Our strength is about him.  Our peace is about him.  We have to lay ourselves down.  I must become less.  He must become more.

Romans 6: Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.  If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians  3:10

Galatians 2:  I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

We were saved by grace and we are to live in his grace.  He is our life and our identity.  Our self in Adam is dead.  Our new identity was raised in Christ, our second birth.  Our new self is a historical reality.

Acts 17:28: For in him we live and move and have our being.

How do we become less and he become more?  It is a question of our emphasis, not of results.

I have caught myself impatiently yelling at my children to BE PATIENT!!!!!  BE QUIET!!!!

We teach what we know.  We reproduce who we are.  Are children learn much more from who we are than from what we teach.  We learned more from watching who are parents were than we did from what they told us.  The best lessons were those that coincided with how they lived.  The lessons that resonated were those that matched both how they lived and matched their passions.

We will learn and grow strong in the ways of God when we spend time with Jesus.  When we sit quietly at his feet.  When we look to him first.  Remember as a child, looking to your parent first for guidance? Encouragement? For love?  Those of you with children, when they look up at you trying to figure out what to do, when they are scared, when they need a friend.  Sanctification depends on our resting in Christ foremost. Knowing him.

Remember Mary and Martha – Martha was so busy serving Jesus.  Mary was enjoying the presence of Christ.  Martha complained.  “Martha Martha you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary.  Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42

Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Mt. 7:21-23

The one thing we must focus on first is Christ, sitting at his feet, loyally.  That is first.  We must know him before we can serve him.  Once we know him, our first lesson is that it’s not about us. On the inevitable day of judgment, we do not warrant his approval.  He gave us grace.

Our strength, our identity, our sanctification comes NOT from our efforts.  It comes from knowing and sitting at the feet of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  Our strength is in Christ, not in ourselves. Our sanctification is to God’s glory only.

Categories
praise theology

Soli Deo Gloria – Salvation

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Philippians 4:4 -9

God’s creation walked away and rebelled against Him.  It is through Christ’s blood and the grace of God that we are saved from the consequence of our rebellion and inherent sin nature.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—  not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8, 9

Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus.

As a lawyer, I “get” the debt of sin we accrue.  Christ explained to a young lawyer that the foundation of the law could be summed up in two maxims: love God with all that you are and love others as you would love yourself.  In law, those two maxims are referred to as “affirmative duties.”  They create an obligation to do something.  Whenever you fail to perform your obligation you break the law.  Accordingly, every time we fail to love God with all that we are or love others (to include our enemies) as much as we love ourselves, we sin.  That means our sins are constantly accruing.  During our “best” moments when we’re loving selflessly and/or praising God with a pure heart and righteous behavior, we’re simply not sinning.

I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. John 6:47

It’s not about us. We had nothing to do with our creation.  Our present life was an unearned gift.  We didn’t choose or earn the right to live.  We didn’t select this time, this place, or these bodies.  Life was a gift, which we cherish.

Eternal life is also a gift from God.  Our original sin was turning away from God and looking to our own ways, our own wisdom.  The world’s false religions teach us how we can or should warrant God’s approval.  That is the first principle of sin and Satan’s lie – look to ourselves first.  The way that seems “right” by our own reckoning is the path of destruction, for we are creatures of wrath warranting destruction from the eternal and perfect Creator.

Creation and salvation are about what God has already done through Jesus Christ.

Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!‘  Mt. 7:21-23

Testimonies on the day of judgment about how well we lived and what we did for Christ will be a denial of God’s grace.  Such testimony will reveal a soul still self-focused and oblivious to the mountain of sin in our lives.  On the day of judgment, those who rely upon themselves and what they did will be cast away as evildoers.

Jesus said, “only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”  God’s will is for us to place our faith in him, in Christ, and not in ourselves. We are to look to our Lord.  Even in the Old Testament, the story is told over and over again.  God called his people to look to and rely upon Him.  Repeatedly, the people of Israel looked to their own ways, which repeatedly led to their misery and destruction.

Our salvation is to God’s glory only.  It’s all about Jesus.  It’s not about us.  Salvation is entirely through the holy blood of Christ, it is not about our sweat.  And the fantastic thing is, there is great, perfect and lasting pleasure in enjoying and praising God’s grace and perfection.  People praise because we were designed for it and it feels great.  Indeed it does.  Praise Christ, our Savior.

Categories
Ministry praise video

What if the mountain is you?

What happens when a gifted worship minister struggles with God’s call to leave his (and his family’s) comfort and enter the foreign mission field?  Well, if it’s David Loftis with a camera and an Internet connection, it’s a new song and video about the struggle to follow God’s call and what happened when he prayed for the faith that moves mountains:

Categories
praise

Soli Deo Gloria – Creation

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Philippians 4:4 -9

God is the Creator, our Creator.  God created and creates – we contributed nothing to our creation

Only God can create ab initio … from nothing, something.  Amazing power.  Power beyond our ability to comprehend.  To create where once there was nothing.  The power of creation.  The power to create.  The only true creator.  At best, our most brilliant artists only use and make derivative works and repurpose what God has created.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth …

Let there be light.  And there was.

Expanse. Earth.  Vegetation.  Stars.  Universes.  Galaxies.  The Boundless cosmos …

Ps. 97:6 – The Heavens declare the glory of God … There are approximately 100 billion stars in our galaxy.  If you counted one star ever second, it would take over 3,000 years to count each one. Beyond our galaxy, there are estimated to be over 100 billion more galaxies.

Fish, birds, and land animals.

One of the joys of parenting is seeing the world again through the eyes of a child.  The complete fascination with the curiosities of other living creatures.  Bugs.  Horses.  Dogs. Puppies. Cats.  Wow.

Sitting on the bottom of the ocean, watching schools of fish swim in unison.  A mountain goat climbing in the Rockies.  A city of termites living underground, too close to your house.  Pterodactyls.   A herd of elephants walking across the Serengeti plain.  A common house finch making and tending its nest next to a common garden spider constructing an ornate web.  A grizzly bear.  Leaping salmon.  The water moccasin.  The behemoth. A bald Eagle sitting majestically in a yellow pine overlooking a lake as the sun rises.  A preying mantis.  A lion.  A mutt welcoming you home, licking your face. So much more. Each one of these created from the mind of God.

Humans.

A cell.  The organic chemistry.  Toes. Running.  Hearing.  Digestion. The heart.  Emotions. Sex. Thought. An eye.  To see, to capture and decipher certain waves of light.  To design beauty with those lights.  The mouth and the dangerous tongue.  To manipulate air to talk.  To move thoughts across space to others.  Ears.  God created every bit of us.

The elegant ear, its exterior undulating shape should qualify it as modern art but for the fact there’s nothing modern about it.

The simple ear.  The highly intellectual communist Whitaker Chambers, a spy against his US government, sat down unwittingly one morning to breakfast next to his young child in high chair.  Admiring his first-born child, he gazed upon her ear … that delicate, wonderful, incredible ear through which she could hear her father … that ear.  And the realization entered his mind, that ear could not exist by mere chance … that undeniable truth that confronts us all every day in so many ways and that too many try to suppress … He knew her ear could not have been the result of a chance of nature … and the necessary consequence … years in the making, the foundation of his Communist worldview began to crumble, leading to what would become the most high-profile spy dramas of the 20th Century USA.

God created that ear.  Out of nothing, he designed us and created the stuff of our existence, of our being.

Our creation is to God’s glory only, through Christ Jesus.

Categories
encouragement praise

Reasons to Chear this Weekend, and always.

I had the honor of giving the devotional this morning at Answers in Genesis after the scheduled speaker, Dr. Jackson, was not able to attend due to weather.  After discussing the importance of keeping Vegemite out of the Super Bowl, I reviewed four reasons for being a rejoicing fan – of Jesus Christ.  Devotional here: Rejoice! Four Reasons

Categories
praise

Celebrate Life!

Inside the Womb at 84 days
Happy to be here!

Praise God for the gift and miracle of life.

Shout for joy to the LORD!

Fr. Frank  Pavone asks a good question, “What disease does abortion cure?” – here.

Categories
praise

Thank God!

Shout for joy to the Lord all the Earth!  Worship the Lord with gladness.  It is He who made us and we are His people.

Thank you Lord for the blessing of your love, especially as it is shared and enjoyed through family and friends.  Thank you also for these United States, where we can worship and praise you and celebrate together without persecution.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to “recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness. Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be.

—George Washington

Categories
praise

God is GREAT!

He is the creator of everything — seen and unseen.  He holds time and the countless galaxies in the palm of his hand.

He is the author of salvation and the sustainer of our faith.

He has no beginning and no end. 

He made you and me. 

His ways are not our ways, yet He walked amongst us and suffered and died for our sins.

He is permanent.

He hears our prayers.

He invented grace.

He is love.

He is holy.

He is great.

Categories
encouragement praise theology

Forever

“No matter how great your pain is right now, it is not forever.”

I heard this quote from my pastor recently. The lesson is about our Eternal State with God himself. Forever.

We are reminded in Scripture to to focus on the forever.  The problems that we encounter here and today are nothing compared to the Forever.

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, while we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are temporal, but the things that are unseen are eternal. – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

I am reminded again and again how little I know about life.  I cannot even manage my own problems this week, let alone my entire life.  And my life is much more fortunate than many.

How little I know.

How little we all know about life.

We look at life as if it is about to crush us down.  We look at what we see, hear, and touch, and define this as our life.

We measure ourselves by our accomplishments and our pains that we encounter.

How little we know.

God has not made us for this 70-year span here on earth.  We are meant to be with him.  Forever.

What will life be like when finally see God?  How little will we care about our day-to-days pains from here on earth?

We will have stepped out of the shadows and will finally get to experience the REAL life.

Forever!

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” – Revelation 21:3-4

No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. – Revelation 22:3


Categories
praise

Thanks and Praise III

 Nos. 1- 10, 11-20,

21.  God whispers

22. Fresh pineapples from Hawaii

23. Cheeseburgers fresh off the grill and hot, buttery, salty corn on the cob, and seconds on those cheeseburgers

24. God’s incredible creativity

25. We live in a land where we are free to worship and praise God

26. God hears our worship, praise and prayers

27. How incredibly made is the human body

28. Faith in eternity

29. A loving, faithful wife

30. the Gettys

Categories
entertainment music praise video

In Christ Alone

I think the Keith and Kristyn Getty are the best songwriters of our generation and that people will be singing the songs they’re writing today until the Lord returns.  Here’s a favorite …

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone! who took on flesh
Fulness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones he came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied –
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine –
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.

Categories
entertainment praise video

My favorite song …

I learned this song in Ranger school.

Really amazing …

The movie by the same name is also excellent entertainment and well worth the watch.

Categories
praise

Thanks and Praise!

Some reasons to praise and thank God:

1. Amazing Grace

2. Butterfly kisses from my daughters

3. Hope for eternity

4. Sunrises

5. Real kisses from my wife

6.  Sons welcoming me home

7. Home cooked meals with family, especially Thanksgiving

8. Laughter and wine

9.  Beethoven and Third Day

10. Amazing Grace

Categories
politics, economy, etc. praise theology World etc.

Rights?! What Rights?!

We live in a world obsessed with personal rights.   The recent political manuverings in Washington highlight a popular worldview that everyone has extensive rights, including health care.   Many wonder, how far do personal rights extend?   However, it’s nothing new.  It’s been with us since the curse.

Yet there was One Man who lived very differently.  We read in Philippians 2:6-8 that when Christ came to our world from the Father, he set aside his rights as God to fully incarnate into humanity.  The Apostle Paul tells us that Christ, though God Himself, gave up his rights to live like, look like and be treated like God.

Imagine a king leaving the glorious and lavish environs of his palace to live among the poorest of the poor in his kingdom.  But not just for a night (as if a publicity stunt), rather for years.  Regardless of the squallor in which he lives, where he lays his head or stale bread he feasts upon, the fact remains he is still king.  Christ, the King of Kings, did just that – He left his glorious, righteous throne and laid aside his rights to live as God.

What if you were to wake up tomorrow and be summoned to court only to learn that due to enormous debt you are now a slave of your creditors – for the rest of your life!  You no longer have personal rights – where to live, what to do for a career, ownership of personal property, access to a bank account, or anything that is yours.  You are now the one that is owned.  A bit frightening isn’t it?  The prophet Isaiah foretold the Christ would not have any form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.  Christ stepped in humanity not as a nobleman or into a well to do family, but as a lowly slave.  He gave up his rights to look like God.

To leave your rightful throne and live like a common slave is one thing .  To do so to sacrifice your life for wretched lost mankind is completely something different.  Scripture tells us that he humbled himself to the point of death on a cross.  The final hours of Christ leading up to the crucifixion was perhaps that most humiliating and excruciating experience anyone could ever face.  The betrayal, false trials, cruel beatings, mockings and jeerings would crush any man.  Yet Christ endured them all to rescue you and me.  He gave up his rights to be treated like God. 

What’s more amazing is that Christ gave up his these rights so that you and I would gain one of the greatest rights known to man.  In John 1:12, we read these priceless words, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”

He gave up his rights so we could have the right to call heaven our eternal home. 

Thank God for the cross! 

Thank God for the empty tomb! 

Thank God he gave up his rights to rescue us.

Categories
encouragement praise Uncategorized

He’s Alive!

Thanks to Don Francisco:

The gates and doors were barred
And all the windows fastened down
I spent the night in sleeplessness
And rose at every sound
Half in hopeless sorrow
And half in fears that day
Would find the soldiers breaking through
To drag us all away

And just before the sunrise
I heard something at the wall
The gate began to rattle
And a voice began to call

Categories
praise

All power, honor, and glory, forever and ever …

11Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12In a loud voice they sang:

   “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
   to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
   and honor and glory and praise!” 

 13Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing:
   “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”

Revelation 5

Categories
encouragement praise

Alive!

Must-see link: Alive!, by Max Lucado