Wednesday, August 24, 2016

GOD’S PRESENCE


Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.”  (John 4:23 NIV)

Whenever God’s people gather and worship Him, God promises He will make His presence known in their midst. On the other hand, where God's people consistently neglect true spiritual worship, His manifest presence is rarely experienced.

-- Ralph Mahoney


#3932

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

GOD’S COVENANT


“Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’”  (Genesis 12:1-3)

The God who takes the initiative and speaks to Abraham also enters into covenant with him.  Not a business deal where two people sign a contract nor a handshake over a fair exchange, a covenant is more profound than either of the above.

A Bible covenant unites people to God and to one another.

-- Joe E. Pennel, Jr. in "The Upper Room Disciplines 2000"


#3931

Monday, August 22, 2016

COURAGE


“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  (Joshua 1:9 ESV)

Criticism challenges it -- adventure arouses it -- danger incites it -- threats quicken it.  COURAGE -- another word for inner strength, presence of mind against odds, determination to hang in there, to venture, to persevere, to withstand hardship.

-- Charles Swindoll in Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life


#3930

Friday, August 19, 2016

WAITING FOR GOD

“I will stand at my watchpost,
and station myself on the rampart;
I will keep watch to see what He will say to me,
and what He will answer concerning my complaint.
Then the LORD answered me and said:
‘Write the vision;
make it plain on tablets,
so that a runner may read it.
For there is a vision for the appointed time;
it speaks of the end, and does not lie.
If it seems to tarry, wait for it;
it will surely come, it will not delay.’”  (Habakkuk 2:1-3)

The writer Anthony Padovano once observed that "we wait for everything that is really worth having . . . we even wait for God."  Waiting in the Biblical tradition is not passive or forgetful, but active, eager, yearning, and engaged.  Habakkuk determines to wait on God for the Resolution of his crisis; God, in turn, bids him, "If it seems to tarry, wait."  What are you waiting for most fervently for yourself? For your loved ones?  Your church?  Your community?  The world?  Name these things before God in prayer, claiming God's promises.

-- Paul L. Escamilla in Spiritual Formation Bible -- NIV


#3929

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A TESTAMENT TO THE CREATOR


“You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”  (Psalm 139:13-14)

Those are some of the most poetic and prophetic words in the Bible. They may be some of the oldest, too. While most scholars attribute Psalm 139 to David, one rabbinic tradition says it goes all the way back to Adam. If that is true, these are some of the oldest and truest words in the history of humankind.

Every moment of every day, we experience the miraculous on both a microscopic and macroscopic scale. Miracles are happening all around us all the time. But the greatest miracle is the one you see in the mirror. There never has been and never will be anyone like you. Of course, that isn’t a testament to you. It’s a testament to the God who created you.

-- Mark Batterson in The Grave Robber


#3928