How Great Thou Art

“How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all.”1

 

Life often feels frenzied and hectic. We hurry from one appointment to the next, returning phone calls, texts, and emails: checking off our seemingly endless to-do lists. Sometimes we only sit and rest out of sheer exhaustion.

 

This past summer, my family had the privilege of vacationing in South Lake Tahoe, up in the Northeastern mountains of California. We hiked hidden trails that led to beautiful waterfalls and exceptional scenic views that, quite literally, left me breathless. As we stopped to rest it was impossible to not stand in awe at God’s perfect creation; something not easily appreciated when we are caught up in the busyness of life. To be out in nature with no phone signal and no pressing agenda, has no comparison. In the undistracted stillness it was easy to notice nature as it was intended to be appreciated. The sound of a rushing waterfall in the distance, the buzz of a bee in a nearby flower and the call of a bird to its flock. The sky was a brilliant blue and the horizon seemed endless. God created all of this for you and me to enjoy, unaltered.

Read the rest: http://www.actsweb.org/daily.php?id=2428

Our Heavenly Father

Matthew 6:9-13

“Pray, then, in this way:

‘Our Father, who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’

 

When Christ taught His disciples to pray, He began by addressing God as “Our Father.” All of us who’ve been born again into God’s household have this same right. Since our concept of the heavenly Father is limited by our perceptions of earthly dads, let’s consider what Scripture says about His care for us.

Our heavenly Father loves us. We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him. 1 John 4:16 tells us His love will never cease. Even when we disobey, it’s demonstrated in discipline (For whom the Lord loves He disciplines,
And He punishes every son whom He accepts.”
Heb. 12:6).

He hears our prayers. God is never too busy for us. He invites us to draw near to His throne with confidence to receive grace, mercy, and help in time of need (Therefore let’s approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace for help at the time of our need. Heb. 4:16).

The Father is our provider and protector. He promises to supply all that we need and protect us from the evil one (Give us this day our daily bread.Matt. 6:11; And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Matt 6:13). Every event in our life is filtered through His sovereign will.

The Lord is our guide. He’s given us His Word to direct our path (Your word is a lamp to my feet, And a light to my path. Ps. 119:105).

By viewing the Father through the truth of Scripture instead of our preconceptions, we’ll see Him as He truly is and discover a security we’ve never known before.

Fearing God

A Broadcast with R.C. Sproul

On the day of judgment, everything that has been hidden in this life will be revealed. Should this fact bring us relief—or dread? Today, R.C. Sproul continues his series in the gospel of Luke and considers how we should respond to the warnings and promises that Jesus makes about the last day.

The Promises of God

Hebrews 6:10-20

10 For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, by having served and by still serving the saints. 11 And we desire that each one of you demonstrate the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and endurance inherit the promises.

13 For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear an oath by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14 saying, “indeed I will greatly bless you and I will greatly multiply you.” 15 And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise. 16 For people swear an oath by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath serving as confirmation is an end of every dispute. 17 In the same way God, desiring even more to demonstrate to the heirs of the promise the fact that His purpose is unchangeable, confirmed it with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to hold firmly to the hope set before us. 19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and reliable and one which enters within the veil, 20 where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

 

Have you ever felt as if there’s a promise God failed to keep? If so, then today’s passage is for you. Let’s look at three things we can learn from it.

  1. There is no one greater than the Lord. He has infinite power, knowledge, and wisdom. Nothing can thwart His purposes, so everything He commits to do, He will do. Today’s passage reassures us that the Lord never fails His children, even if we have to wait for His answer.
  2. God is unchangeable. That means His Word and His plans for the ultimate good of His children do not change. You can count on Him to do whatever He says He will do. Though everything around us changes, our heavenly Father never wavers.
  3. It’s impossible for God to lie. He is true and the source of all truth. Because He’s holy, there is no sin in Him. All His commitments are based on His truthfulness.

A promise is valuable only if the one making it is trustworthy. Since God alone perfectly meets this qualification, we can base our entire life on the certainty of His promises. What’s more, His absolute faithfulness means we can also be sure of His devotion and unconditional love.

Under the Fig Tree

 

“How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” John 1:48

It is a common misconception that God will only speak to you while in church or will only reveal himself to you during a worship service or revival. We believe that God will find us when we are at our best spiritually; otherwise, we doubt he can even see us, let alone use us.

John the Baptist had been preparing his followers for the arrival of Jesus the Messiah, so upon seeing Him, they quickly began to follow Him. These disciples not only followed Jesus, but they were eager to tell their brothers and friends that they had found “The Messiah” (John 1:41). When Jesus called the disciple Phillip to follow Him, he too ran to tell a friend. Like many of our friends and family, Phillip’s friend, Nathanael, responded a little skeptical and doubtful (John 1:45-46). Upon Phillip’s persuasion, Nathanael followed and found that Jesus already knew him; not only knew him, but Jesus had been watching Nathanael! (John 1:48) Jesus had observed Nathanael sitting under a tree, possibly submerged in his own thoughts; unaware that God knew those thoughts and counted Nathanael as an asset in building God’s kingdom. As Nathanael approached Jesus, he realized that Jesus had been waiting for him to come and follow Him! Imagine the emotions Nathanael felt upon learning that Jesus had personally handpicked him, even though he had doubted and had not come running when he had heard Jesus was in town.

Jesus is still keeping an eye out for His followers today. You might be feeling a little skeptical about the Lord’s grace and mercy. You might be on the fence about fully surrendering to God. Maybe you have a friend whom you know needs to hear about Jesus but are unsure of their reaction. Know, today, that Jesus has already chosen his children – those who will follow him and be His disciples. It is up to us to take that first step in following the call of the Messiah. Tell that friend today that you have found Jesus and persuade them to follow; it may be that Jesus has already had His eye on them too, even under the fig tree!

Suggested Prayer:

Dear Lord, you are so mighty and so loving. You have sought each of us out individually and have a plan for our lives that will bring glory and honor to you; all we have to do is follow. Thank you for choosing me for your Kingdom. I ask for the courage to bring others to you too. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  • From Daily Encounter

Sermon notes – 1 John 3.11-12

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:11-12

by Don Merrit

John is continuing his thoughts that we looked at in vv. 7-10, and as I mentioned last time, this is the central core of Christian theology, the part that everything else is built upon.  Simply stated, this love core flows like this:

  1. God loved us while we were still sinners.
  2. God sent His Son to die for our sins.
  3. We loved God and responded to the Gospel.
  4. God loved our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Therefore, so do we.

We see this pattern at work once again in verse 11.  God loved us, so we should love each other. Then John, as was his custom, takes one more step.  Since no one has ever seen God, and since God loves all of us and we love Him, if we also love each other, God’s love will be complete in us and visibly expressed within His Body, the Church.  This is as far as John has gone so far…

At this point, we can infer that there is another step.  The other step is implied in John’s mentioning that “no one has seen God.”  OK, why did he choose to write that?  Think…

No one has seen God, but if we love one another as God loved us, then His love will live amongst us, and through us all will see it.

I have seen a number of debates about Evolution and Creation.  These kinds of discussions usually have at their core, an assumption that if we cannot observe some “evidence” that God exists, then we can determine that He does not exist.  I’m no scientist, but this seems to be a natural inclination on the part of people who are educated with regard to the Scientific Method.  Remember that one from your school days?  It was the one about observations, and testing theories with observable evidence.

Back to John.  Have you ever thought that it would be nice if you could find the positive “proof” of God’s existence? Yes, something that can be observed and studied?

Are you sitting down?

Read more of Don’s notes: https://lifeprojectblog.com/2022/06/26/sunday-sermon-notes-june-26-2022%EF%BF%BC/

A Look at God’s Existence: Evidence We Want vs Evidence We Should Expect

https://chab123.wordpress.com/2022/06/27/a-look-at-gods-existence-evidence-we-want-vs-evidence-we-should-expect-4/

The Reality of God’s Love

No matter what our circumstances might suggest, God still loves us and will never stop.

2 Corinthians 11:23-27

23 Are they servants of Christ?—I am speaking as if insane—I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. 24 Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent adrift at sea. 26 I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers at sea, dangers among false brothers; 27 I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.

Have you ever wondered why a God of love lets bad things happen to you? Or whether your past keeps Him from loving you? But just because you may feelunloved doesn’t mean that you actually are. The apostle Paul could probably relate. In today’s reading we see that he encountered hardship after hardship while following God. And his past was so checkered with sin (And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except for the apostles. Some devout men buried Stephen, and mourned loudly for him. But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house; and he would drag away men and women and put them in prison. Acts 8:1-3; Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, and asked for letters from him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them in shackles to Jerusalem. Acts 9:1-2) that he could have assumed he had good reason to feel unloved.

Yet Paul kept spreading his message of hope—that God loves us and sent His Son to die for our sins. The situation we find ourselves in may be unfair, painful, or humiliating, but it doesn’t mean God has stopped loving us. Sometimes we face difficulty because He is smoothing our rough edges and molding us into His image. Other trials are instigated by Satan but are allowed through the Lord’s permissive will.

Either way, God is working everything out for our good, according to His specific purposes for each believer’s life (And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Rom. 8:28). The key to accepting the truth of God’s unconditional love is to focus attention on Him rather than on your circumstances. When you are learning of Him, talking with Him, and sharing your life with Him, trust and faith will replace doubt and fear.

Holy, Holy, Holy

A Broadcast with R.C. Sproul

The Bible doesn’t just describe God as holy. It says He is “holy, holy, holy” (Isa. 6:3). Today, R.C. Sproul examines this attribute of God that is elevated to the highest degree.

Unstoppable Love

God’s love for us never ends, but we must open our hearts to receive it.

Romans 8:31-39

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring charges against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, but rather, was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or trouble, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 Just as it is written:

For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We were regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

God is love. It is His very nature to care for His creation unconditionally. This means that no matter what we do, the Lord will not stop loving us. After reading that sentence, many people are going to think of a dozen reasons why they are an exception. So let me make this clear: God loves each of us, and the only thing preventing us from experiencing that love is our own hesitation to accept it.

The truth is, none of us deserve the Lord’s love, and yet He freely gives it anyway. Some people intellectually believe every word of the Bible but still feel unloved because they judge themselves unworthy. Their doubt acts like a dam, keeping the flow of God’s care from their heart—and the barrier will hold as long as the person believes divine love must be earned.

Romans 8:32 (above) tells the good news that “God is for us,” and the cross is a stunning example: Jesus died so we could be purified and enter into a relationship with the Father. The Savior’s atoning sacrifice is itself proof of God’s love, but there are many other expressions of it, including a unique purpose and plan for each of His children. And through His sovereign control, He works every situation—whether good or bad in itself—to our benefit. Won’t you ask the Lord to reveal and help you clear away anything that might be blocking the flow of His relentless love?