Walk Worthy

What kind of life does one lead to be counted among the 24 elders encircling God’s throne? What would that be like, a front row seat in His immediate presence, God’s inner circle, enjoying Him for eternity? (Re 4:10-11)

lighttim
Tunnel of light, Arizona

Then again, what could Jesus Christ possibly gain from inviting the likes of someone like me to sit with Him in His very throne, to rule and reign with Him? Yet this is His incredible promise to all who overcome. (Re 3:21)

But why long for a seat before the throne of God … or even a place beside Him in His throne … when I have God Himself? What more can I possibly desire when God grants me as intimate a fellowship with Himself as I can possibly stand … as if I were the only one in Heaven … for the endless eons of time? To have my God … is to have all.

What an unspeakable privilege to know this infinite, unfathomable God, and to be known of Him! (Je 9:24) Oh my soul … “that ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory!(1Th 2:12) Is any way too narrow, or any path too difficult for me to walk with Christ down here, when I see Him before me at the end (He 12:2), in all of His unsearchable richness? (Ep 3:8)

articles      blog

 

Our Light Affliction

The apostle Paul suffered greatly for Christ’s sake (Acts 9:16), yet he called it “our light affliction.” (2Co 4:17) What perspective did Paul have that moved him to rejoice in his sufferings?

Majesty

Paul knew that all temporal suffering is “but for a moment” when compared to eternity, unworthy to even be compared with the glories that will be revealed in us. (Rom 8:18) Christ suffers in and with us in all our tribulations for a glorious purpose, and Paul counted it a privilege to be the medium through which Christ chose to suffer (Col 1:24); there Paul found priceless fellowship with God. (Php 3:10)

God is constantly choosing to suffer fiercely. Though we cannot yet see all the glory He plans for Himself in this, we should count it a fantastic privilege whenever He invites us to join Him. Our only chance to love Christ sacrificially is now, in this life — in Heaven it will be too late. When we see His nail pierced hands and experience the infinite love of God in person, what will we not give for one more moment back down here among His enemies … to show Him what He means to us?

articles      blog

 

Every Perfect Gift

The very thought of someone who loves us taking the time to select a gift for us brightens the heart and lightens the soul. When a wise and wealthy friend delights us with a special gift … we anticipate a treasure.

How then do we respond to gifts from God? The wealthiest Friend imaginable … the most loyal, faithful, loving Being in all existence … what kinds of gifts does He give, and how do we respond?

James reminds us that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.” (Ja 1:17) Every gift from God is perfect and good; He gives no other kind. He knows us perfectly, loves us deeply, and He is omnipotent. He gives us exactly what we need, at exactly the right time, for our ultimate good and for His eternal glory. (Ro 8:28)

In receiving a gift from any cherished friend it is only polite to gratefully acknowledge it, taking time to enjoy it in their presence, connecting with them and immediately expressing delight and gratitude for their kind thoughtfulness.

Yet every moment of our lives is a precious gift from God, every step a gift from Him THE WAY, every word of Scripture from THE TRUTH, and every breath a treasure from THE LIFE. (Jn 14:6)

We are made to walk with God, and He is constantly offering Himself to us. What moment should forever pass from us without our being present in it, connecting with it, feeling it, tasting it … enjoying Him, relishing Him … and thanking Him for it, abiding in it, and in Him? (1Jn 2:28)

Let us ask God for the gift of receiving every moment as a precious gift from God … the perfect gift, at the perfect time, from the perfect Giver. Let us learn to linger in each one … tasting, relishing, giving thanks, connecting with each other and with Him … rejoicing with joy unspeakable and full of glory.

articles      blog

 

Keep Yourselves From Idols

At the end of his first epistle John the Apostle appends a final thought that may appear disconnected from the rest: Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.” (1Jo 5:21) What are idols and how do we keep ourselves from them?

IdolIf an idol is merely a physical representation of deity that facilitates worship, then how can covetousness — desiring wrongfully, inordinately, or without due regard for the rights of others — also be idolatry? (Col 3:5) Perhaps idolatry is something more than enhancing our worship with an object.

When Paul describes idolaters he provides a clue: “when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations … and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image.” (Ro 1:21-23) When we don’t thank God for Who He is we inevitably imagine a different god to fit our own desires. Perhaps this is the heart of idolatry: that God, as He truly is, is insufficient – echoing the dark refrain of covetousness. (Heb 13:5) Whether we physically create a finite image of the infinite, or merely desire one, in some way we’re missing God Himself.

I think God is telling us to be careful to seek Him as He is, and not as we wish Him to be. What we seek we are likely to find; to find God Himself we must cast off all precondition and prejudice as we pursue Him. Evidently, this is also the rare gift of God.

Perhaps then John’s ending is not so disconnected: “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” (1Jo 5:20) Those in Jesus Christ, as He is, find Him utterly satisfying, altogether sufficient … supremely precious. (1Pe 2:7) There is no better place to be. In all our finding then let’s find our place in Him … and stay.

articles      blog

 

Lest Any Man Fail

Having my heart established with grace is a goal in which I am making progress daily, looking to ensure that my heart is stabilized only in and by grace, the enabling power of God. I am no longer content to live unsettled and uneasy, nor in smug self-confidence; perfect peace in God is my daily objective.WoundedSoldier2

Yet even as I grow here, a related command in Hebrews intrigues me: “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled. Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.” (He 12:15-6)

What does it mean to establish grace in community? How does this form, and how does it relate to the foundation of the church? Am I to discern if another is failing in the enabling power of God? And if I do, what is a godly response? What is a root of bitterness? And help me understand … profane person. And how are these symptomatic of failing of grace? What is God calling us to here? How do we go about it?

articles      blog