Psalm 99:5 Lift up the Eternal our God in your heart;
bow down to the earth where He rests His feet.
He is holy, perfect and exalted in His power. (VOICE)
Today with Jesus He reminds me through His word, of the magnitude of His Holiness. The world, it seems, has chosen to adopt and focus only on the character of God that is non-threatening. We "believe in" the merciful Father who loves us and His Son Jesus who will "stick closer than a brother."
God delights when His children desire a relationship with Him.
But Abraham, Moses, and all the other heroes of the faith realized that we should tremble when we consider the Holiness of Almighty God. He is the Creator of the Universe, and everything in it, He crafted by His Hands. The magnitude of this reality should drive us back and to our knees, weeping at the realization of our unworthiness.
Our response when we come face to face with His awesome Power and Holiness should be like that of those enjoying a leisurely day at the beach only to look up and see a wall of water soon to overtake them with all the power of the tsunami that formed it. Rising in its presence, they must choose if they will fall in surrender to it or turn and try to run.
When we think of our "best friend" He becomes a pal who knows all our flaws and puts up with us in spite of them. We blaspheme God by reducing His Son - the Holy, Sinless Lamb of God, sacrificed for our sin, to little more than a "good bud" who offered to go to bat for us with His dad.
May we never confuse our relationship with our Creator with that of our earthly relationships. God extends His grace and love to us because He, alone, has the authority and chooses to do so. Not because he wants to be our pal.
Lord help me never to forget the magnitude of Your Holiness, the depth of my depravity, - or the need for the world to know Your Son Jesus.
Micah 6:8 O man, He has told you what is good. What does the Lord ask of you but to do what is fair and to love kindness, and to walk without pride with your God? (NLV)
Why do some attempt to put holiness living in a negative light? Certainly, it is part of the spiritual warfare going on in the world. Those who follow Christ rather than the world - that just isn't "cool." In the event this maneuver proves ineffective, accusations of elitism and self-righteousness may ensue. When all else fails, any flaws and failures must be discovered and exploited.
Living a life of holiness can make one a target. Unless one lives a life of solitude and is not engaging the world, the likelihood of experiencing one or all of these attacks is inevitable.
How can these tactics be so useful? Because to a greater or lesser degree, We are vulnerable to each one. Any one of them could be true. Regardless of whether or not we have decided to follow Christ, we are born with a sin nature. To deny it is to declare God a liar.
When we seek the approval of others instead of God, the mocking may be effective in leading us off the path of holiness. If we maintain a holy life is it because we have never experienced any significant challenge to it? If we're not careful, we could fall victim to a prideful attitude. If we have escaped that particular snare but are not mindful of our demeanor, others could still perceive us to be self-righteous. Lastly, the ugly fact is that we all do have failures - maybe even skeletons in our closets. Any one of which could be selected and used against us.
In Christ, our sins cannot condemn us. We must, however, be mindful that our actions reflect on Him and the body of Christ.
Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (ESV)
Psalm 94: 18-19 18 If I say, “My foot is slipping,”
Your faithful love will support me, Lord.
19 When I am filled with cares,
Your comfort brings me joy. (HSCB)
What a beautiful picture of our Lord. Always there. Faithful. Supportive. Encouraging.
I admit, there have been times I've thought to myself, "I am on the edge right now." I've even heard the words come out of my mouth. Things were piling up, going wrong, or just not happening as quickly as I wanted. I could have written the Psalmist's words myself.
More times than I can count, the faithful love of the Lord has supported me when "my foot was slipping." He lovingly put His arm around me, took my hand and "walked me back from the edge."
I am acutely aware of all the anxiety, cares, and concerns that come in this life. My stress doesn't disappear because I have put my trust in Jesus Christ. But when I sit down with Him each morning and let Him speak to me through His Word, His love, and His comfort replaces my cares with joy.
Romans 4:7-8 7 “Oh, what joy for those
whose disobedience is forgiven,
whose sins are put out of sight.
8 Yes, what joy for those
whose record the Lord has cleared of sin.” (NLT)
Psalm 94:1-3 1 O Lord, the God of vengeance,
O God of vengeance, let your glorious justice shine forth!
2 Arise, O Judge of the earth.
Give the proud what they deserve.
3 How long, O Lord?
How long will the wicked be allowed to gloat? (NLT)
Christ Jesus transforms our heritage as sinners. We no longer are criminals living in violation of His law. Through faith in Jesus Christ, we are free to follow it.
As followers of Christ, we enjoy freedom. We are released from the bondage of sin in which we were born. In our own capacity, we are no better than the blatant sinner that other may revile. All sin is repugnant to our Holy God.
What is it that keeps one from accepting our Heavenly Father's most generous offer? - Freedom. Freedom from the guilt of our past sins and liberation from the deception that leads to the desire to violate God's law.
Psalm 94 8-11 8 Think again, you fools!
When will you finally catch on?
9 Is he deaf—the one who made your ears?
Is he blind—the one who formed your eyes?
10 He punishes the nations—won’t he also punish you?
He knows everything—doesn’t he also know what you are doing?
11 The Lord knows people’s thoughts;
He knows they are worthless! (NLT)
The devil's deception arrives in many forms. Sin, however, is rooted in pride. Some believe there is no God, that we alone control our destiny. Others may believe they're doing just fine the way they are and have no time, nor do they find it necessary to seek God. We may even convince ourselves that since we are believers, our "good" hearts, are "too big to fail."
Three entirely different perspectives. Each one is rooted in pride, assuming 1st place when God alone holds that gold medal.
Romans 3:10-12 10 Here’s what Scripture says:
No one is righteous—not even one.
11 There is no one who understands the truth;
no one is seeking after the one True God.
12 All have turned away; together they’ve become worthless.
No one does good, not even one. (VOICE)
No one is righteous - not even one. Righteousness comes only through the humble acceptance of Jesus' of salvation and submitting to God's authority over my life. It is His robe, but He permits me to wear it.
He sacrificed His life of ours. We must crucify our pride to live free from our sin for which He died to save us.
Psalm 90:14 Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love,
so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives. (NLT)
Today's devotion especially spoke to my heart. That satisfying joy comes with knowing and serving God. Living life surrendered to Him and with the power of the Holy Spirit brings with it the inexplicable joy that accompanies God's faithful love.
It is not a joy that the human heart can explain. It is not possible to understand. It is beyond belief - except through experiencing it.
It is not optimism - an attitude, a positive outlook on life. And it is a fantastic attitude to possess. A glass half full is no better than one half empty. But is is when one is an optimist. Joy, however, is more than an attitude that forces us to find the treasure hidden in every unfortunate circumstance.
The gift of living joyfully comes to us even when there is no hidden treasure to be found. Even in uncertainty, pain, unhappiness, fear, and unspeakable grief? Yes.
Being joyful is not reliant on being happy and content. It is to know Jesus Christ and walk in His Spirit. To live it is the only way to know it. Even then it is never fully understood. Praise God that it doesn't need to be.
Thank You, Lord, for the those who encourage through
their optimism. They are a blessing to our lives.
And thank You for the joy of walking in Your Spirit.
It is the blessing to our soul.
Melinda started her fifth year of her devotions reading Oswald Chamber's My Utmost for His Highest. In 2015 she has made the commitment to share what this year's journey. Taking a detour, she began living Every Day With Jesus