Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let Your glory be above all
the earth. - Psalm 57:5
When was the last time something took your breath away
because of its majesty? I'm not talking about an electronic
gadget or some special effects in a movie. I'm talking about a
nighttimesky show such as an eclipse of the moon. Or walking
outside on a starry night to see Orion or Pleiades - con-
stellations mentioned thousands of years ago in Scripture (Amos
5:8) that are still glowing today for our enjoyment. I'm speaking
of a bursting dawn that radiates with glorious colors to signal
another sunrise. Or the sound and light show that accompanies
God's way of watering the earth with food-producing rain (Job
Have you stood by a fence and marveled at the power of a
horse as it gallops gallantly through the field, mane flowing and
hoofs pounding? (39:19-25). Or watched a soaring, swooping eagle
drop from the sky because his God-designed vision has sighted
supper from his mountain-peak nest? (39:27-30).
At creation, God gave man breath. Then he took man's breath
away with the beauty, grandeur, and eloquence of a universe of
marvels created by His own hand. Look around. Examine what God
has done. Then, breathless, proclaim His majesty. - Dave Branon
The wonder of creation speaks, To everyone in different ways; But
those who know and love the Lord, Can for His handiwork give
praise. - Sper
ALL CREATION IS AN OUTSTRETCHED FINGER POINTING TOWARDS GOD.
SOMETHINGS WRONG WITH HARRY
1 Peter 2:9-17
A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance. - Proverbs 15:13
Every morning Harry, a Christian, walked into his office
singing a song from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Oklahoma:
"Oh, what a beautiful morning; oh, what a beautiful day! I got a
beautiful feeling, everything's going my way!" But one morning,
he forgot to sing. Harry soon noticed that something was wrong at
the office; everyone around him seemed on edge. When he finally
asked a co-worker what was wrong, she replied, "You didn't sing
this morning, and we thought you were upset!"
Harry had become known for such a cheerful, positive spirit
that his coworkers were sure something was wrong with him that
morning. Harry hadn't realized how closely people were watching
him, and he resolved from then on always to come to work singing.
First Peter 2 reminds us that people are observing our lives
(vv.11-12). To be good representatives of Jesus Christ, Peter
teaches that we're to be submissive to authority, to live an
honorable life, to do good works, to honor all people, and to
fear God (vv.12-17).
The testimony of our lives can give us opportunities to
share the good news of Jesus. So we might want to ask ourselves,
"What do people see in me?" - Anne Cetas
Help me to sing a joyful song, For those bowed down with care, A
song of hope and freedom, For those in dark despair. - Andrews
DO OTHERS SEE JESUS IN YOU?
WHAT'S FOR DINNER?
It came to pass ... that God tested
Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And
he said, "Here I am." - Genesis 22:1
I can hardly imagine inviting special friends over for
dinner and then throwing a few leftovers into the microwave to
serve up to them. But if I were to do that, it would speak
volumes about how I really feel about them.
Giving God the leftovers of our lives speaks volumes about
His true worth to us. When God asked Abraham to give Isaac back
to Him as an act of worship, Genesis 22:1 calls it a test. A test
to see if there was anything in his life that he treasured more
than God. It's no different for us. There are times when God
requires something really important to get His work done. He'll
ask us to give up our natural instincts to seek revenge so that
we can communicate His forgiving love by forgiving our enemies.
He may call us to sacrifice portions of our time or money or
comforts to advance His cause. Or He may require us to allow our
sons and daughters to go to a far-off land to tell others about
His saving love. The way we respond to what He requires says
volumes about how we really feel about Him.
Anyone can offer the leftovers. Only those who love God more
than anything else will serve up the very best for Him. - Joe
"Take up thy cross and follow Me," I hear the blessed Savior
call; How can I make a lesser sacrifice When Jesus gave His all?"
NO SACRIFICE WE MAKE IS TOO GREAT FOR THE ONE WHO SACRIFICED HIS
PATH TO HUMILITY
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you
up. - James 4:10
My friend declared, as he tried to keep a straight face,
"I'm so proud of my humility!" That reminds me of the joke about
a leader who was given an award for his humility. Because he
accepted the award, it was taken back the following week!
David seemed to be making the Psalm 131 same error when he
said, "My heart is not haughty" (Ps.131:1). When we understand
the text, however, we know that he wasn't boasting about the his
humility. Rather, in response to accusation of treason made by
Saul's men, David stated he didn't consider himself so important
nor think of himself so highly as to have "lofty" eyes. Instead,
David learned to be like a "weaned child" in the Lord's arms
(v.2). Like a baby who is completely dependent on his parents, he
waited on God for His protection while he was a fugitive under
King Saul's pursuit. In his darkest hour, David realized his need
and then advised his people: "Hope in the LORD from this time
forth and forever" (v.3).
The path to humility is twofold. It involves knowing who we
are - having a proper self-esteem rather than thinking too highly
of self. But most important, it requires knowing who God is -
holding Him in highest esteem and trusting Him for His best in
His time. - Albert Lee
Humility's a slipper y prize, That seldom can be won; We're only
humble in God's eyes, When serving like His Son. - Gustafson
WHEN WE THINK WE'RE HUMBLE - WE'RE NOT
WRITTEN IN RED
1 John 4:7-19
God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might
have life through Him. - 1 John 4:9
My first Bible was printed mostly in black type, but some of
its words were in red. It didn't take me long to discover that
the ones in red had been spoken by Jesus. More than 100 years
ago, a man named Louis Klopsch published the first "red-letter"
Bible. As he thought about Jesus' words in Luke 22:20, "This cup
is the new covenant in blood, which is shed for you," he puposely
used blood-red ink to call specific attention to His words. The
words of the Bible are priceless to us because they tell of the
"love letter" God sent 2,000 years ago in the Person of His Son
(1 John 4:10).
Jesus' purpose in coming to earth as a Man was to die, to be
sacrificed, to give His life for ours. God's plan was written in
red - written with "the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb
without blemish and without spot" (1 Peter 1:19).
Those of us who have accepted God's gift of love are called
to be "letters" to those who don't know Him. We are epistles of
Christ "written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God"
(2 Cor. 3:3).
Long before a day in February was set aside to celebrate
love, the world received a love letter - and that changed
everything (John 3:16). - Cindy Hess Kasper
If you'd like to know the love of God the Father, Come to Him
through Jesus Christ, His loving Son; He'll forgive your sins and
save your soul forever, And you'll love forevermore this faithful
One. - Felten
NOTHING SPEAKS MORE CLEARLY OF GOD'S LOVE THAN THE CROSS OF
Read: Hebrews 2:1-9
We must give the more earnest heed to the things
we have heard, lest we druft away. - Hebrews 2:1
In the 1923 silent movie "Our Hospitality;" comedian and
acrobat Buster Keaton performed a daring stunt near a waterfall.
A retaining line, called a "holdback" cable, hidden in the water
and attached to him, kept him from being carried over the falls.
During filming, the cable broke, and Keaton was swept toward the
falls. He managed to grab an overhanging branch, which he clung
to until the crew could rescue him. The dramatic scene appears in
the finished film.
Drifting into unintended hazards can make for exciting film
footage. In real life, however, dangers of this kind are usually
marked with warning signs to prevent people from venturing into
Similarly, the Bible has provided us with warning signs
about drifting from the safety of God's Word. "Therefore we must
give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we
drift away" (Heb.2:1).
When we don't cling to God's Word through study and
reflection, it's easy to drift. Like a swift stream, the
attractions of this fallen world draw us toward sin. But as we
meditate on Scripture and seek the Holy Spirit's guidance, we
learn the reality of our spiritual anchor and are kept secure
even in the dangers of the world's current. - Dennis Fisher
The Bible stands like a rock undaunted 'Mid the raging storms of
time; Its pages burn with the truth eternal, And they glow with a
light sublime. - Lillenas
THE COMPASS OF GOD'S WORD WILL KEEP YOU FROM SPIRITUAL SHIPWRECK.
Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.
- Ephesians 5:19
Do you know why bees hum? It's because they can't remember
the words! Ironically, that old joke reminds me of a serious
story I read baout a man awaiting heart bypass surgery. He was
aware that people die during surgery. As he thought about all
that could go wrong, he felt very much alone.
Then an orderly walked into his room to take him to surgery.
As the young man began to push his gurney along the corridor, the
patient heard him humming an ancient Irish hymn, "Be Thou My
Vision." It prompted his memories of lush green fields and the
ancient stone ruins of Ireland, the land of his birth. The hymn
flooded his soul like a fresh breath of home. When the orderly
finished with that song, he hummed Horatio Spafford's hymn, "It
Is Well With My Soul."
When they stopped outside the surgical suite, the man
thanked him for the hymns. "God has used you this day," he said,
"to remove my fears and restore my soul." "How so?" the orderly
asked in surprise. "Your 'hums' brought God to me," the man
"The LORD has done great things for us" (Ps.126:3). He has
filled our heart with song. He may even use our "hums" to restore
someone's soul. - David Roper
Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart, Naught be all else to me,
save that Thou art; Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light. - Irish hymn
PRAISE FLOWS FREELY FROM THE CHOIR OF THE REDEEMED.
To be continued