Archive for October, 2012
“For thus says the Lord of Hosts, ‘After glory He has sent Me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye’” (Zechariah 2:8).
I cannot imagine being ascribed any greater status than that of being the apple of God’s eye. This statement, alone, should resolve any fear you might ever have. While you may consider this world a dangerous place and hostile to the life of faith, the greater danger is for those who stand in opposition to His people; His church; those whom God is using to bring hope to the world.
“But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation” (Micah 7:7).
To speak of watching and waiting is the language of faith. It is an optimistic view of life that sees beyond one’s present circumstances and lives with the anticipation of God’s purposes being fulfilled. Watching and waiting looks ahead to a better day and renewal under God.
“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart’” (1 Samuel 16:7).
The old adage is “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” Yet, how often we fall into the trap of judging others and evaluating their worth on the basis of superficial appearances. While exterior appearances can be augmented it is the heart that tells the true story of a person’s character. What we need are transformed eyes that see each person as one created in the image of God.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires”
(2 Timothy 4:3).
There is a vast difference between what we want to hear and what we need to hear. One is for the ages (enduring) while the other is for the moment (tickles). It is the contrast between the “felt” need of the present moment and the actual need of a life that is seeking Christ. We don’t need a relevant word. What matters is that we are relevant to Christ.
“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).
The salvation our Lord offers is most often referred to as “eternal” life or “everlasting” life. It is a continuing security procured by the sacrificial death of Christ on Calvary’s cross. If salvation was dependent upon our menial religious offerings there would be no assurance; only conditional or temporary life.
“For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you,which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well” (2 Timothy 1:5).
Think of all those that have a vested interest in your life; that have played a role in bringing you to a place of faith in Christ and the shaping of your life. As we become to the life of others what these were to ours, a rich legacy of faith is perpetuated through the generations.
“So I will tear down the wall which you plastered over with and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation is laid bare; and when it falls, you will be consumed in its midst. And you will know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 13:14).
Every life is built upon some kind of foundation that offers security and peace of mind to the individual. The wise person builds upon the Rock; the foolish person upon the sand. Today’s text offers the reminder that when life sometimes shakes us to our very foundation, it may well be God that is doing the shaking.
“How blessed are those who dwell in Your house ! They are ever praising You. Selah” (Psalm 84:4).
The response of God’s people is forever one of adoration, praise, honor, and glory. We do not evaluate our circumstances to determine whether He is worthy of praise. He is praised not because of what He has done or might do, but for who He is.
“The Lord said, ‘I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings. So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians'” (Exodus 3: 7-8).
Every time I read of this particular action of God in human history, my mind goes immediately to the miracle of the incarnation–“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”
“The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in Him” (Nahum 1:7).
While the Lord has decreed his church to be an offensive movement against evil and for the redemptive purposes of God–that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it–he, himself, is our defensive refuge in our days of trouble. To know and be known by him is to be protected by him.