I was reading this morning in Psalm 139:16 where King David says that the eyes of God saw your substance and wrote it down in a book before you ever came to be. Every time I walk into an old bookstore or enter a university library (you know the kind with a spiral staircase in the corner and the smell of ancient knowledge) I always get this sense of the presence of God. I know that may sound ridiculous, but I get the sense that God really likes books. There’s something about the recording of wisdom that seems to be close to His heart, and it wouldn’t surprise me if eternity doesn’t reveal that Heaven has a library. Books, kind of like God Himself, require tactile interaction and searching to mine the information in them. They’re not hiding anything that a seeking heart can’t uncover. And the thought that God has a book specifically related to the substance of your being and the destiny of your days is quite powerful. The next time you walk into an old bookstore, see if you don’t find it to be a nice place to pray and ask God what He’s written about you.
The news one week ago today brought word of the tragedy in Las Vegas. One man, with a crowd before him, and the means to kill, crossed the line from thought to action, and today dozens of families are being forced to live the unimaginable. The demonic influence of fear is a thief desperate to steal your peace. We must never allow tragedy to cause us to lose hope. Just as one man motivated by hate can change the world, how much more can one person empowered by Love? Two millennia ago in Jerusalem, one man with a crowd before him, and the means to save, crossed the line from thought to action. Today, millions of families are awakened daily to the grace of Jesus Christ. He saved then, and He saves now. He breathed His Spirit into us and has never stopped breathing. Pray for those affected by this tragedy, and let Love motivate you to freely give hope and grace to a confused world.
The news today brought word of the tragedy in Las Vegas. One man, with a crowd before him, and the means to kill, crossed the line from thought to action, and today dozens of families are being forced to live the unimaginable. The demonic influence of fear is a thief desperate to steal your peace. We must never allow tragedy to cause us to lose hope. Just as one man motivated by hate can change the world, how much more can one person empowered by Love? Two millennia ago in Jerusalem, one man with a crowd before him, and the means to save, crossed the line from thought to action. Today, millions of families are awakened daily to the grace of Jesus Christ. He saved then, and He saves now. He breathed His Spirit into us and has never stopped breathing. Pray for those affected by this tragedy, and let Love motivate you to freely give hope and grace to a confused world.
In Christ – The Word of God Says
• Godʼs child for I am born again of the incorruptible seed of the Word of God which lives and abides forever. (1 Pet. 1:23)
• Forgiven of all my sins and washed in the blood of Jesus.
(Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:12; Heb. 9:14; 1 John 1:9; 1 John 2:12)
• A new creation.(2 Cor. 5:17)
• The temple of the Holy Spirit.(1 Cor. 6:19)
• Delivered from the power of darkness and translated into Godʼs Kingdom.(Col. 1:13)
• Redeemed from the curse of the law.(1 Pet. 1:18, 19; Gal. 3:13)
• Blessed.(Deut. 28:1-14; Gal. 3:9)
• A saint.(Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:2; Phil. 1:1)
• The head and not the tail.(Deut. 28:13)
• Above only and not beneath.(Deut. 28:13)
• Holy and without blame before Him in love.(1 Pet. 1:16; Eph. 1:4)
• Elect.(Col. 3:12; Rom. 8:33)
• Chosen.(1 Thess. 1:4; Eph. 1:4; 1 Pet. 2:9)
• Established to the end.(1 Cor. 1:8)
• Made near by the blood of Christ.(Eph. 2:13)
• Victorious!(Rev. 21:7)
• Set free.(John 8:31-33)
• Strong in the Lord.(Eph. 6:10)
• Dead to sin.(Rom. 6:2,11; 1 Pet. 2:24)
• More than a conqueror.(Rom. 8:37)
• A joint heir with Christ.(Rom. 8:17)
• Sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.(Eph. 1:13)
• In Christ Jesus by His doing.(1 Cor. 1:30)
• Accepted in the beloved.(Eph. 1:6)
• Complete in Him.(Col. 2:10)
• Crucified with Christ.(Gal. 2:20)
• Alive with Christ.(Eph. 2:5)
• Free from condemnation.(Rom. 8:1)
• Reconciled to God.(2 Cor. 5:18)
• Qualified to share in His inheritance.(Col. 1:12)
• Firmly rooted, built up, established in my faith, overflowing with gratitude.(Col. 2:7)D
• A fellow citizen with the saints and of the household of God.(Eph. 2:19)
• Born of God and the evil one DOES NOT touch me.(1 John 5:18)
• In the world as He is in heaven.(1 John 4:17)
• His faithful follower.(Rev. 17:14b; Eph. 5:1)
• Overtaken with blessings.(Deut. 28:2; Eph. 1:3)
• His disciple because I have love for others.(John 13:34,35)
• The salt of the earth and the light of the world.(Matt. 5:13,14)
• The righteousness of God.(1 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 2:24)
• A partaker of His divine nature.(2 Pet. 1:4)
• Called of God.(2 Tim. 1:9)
• The first fruits among his creation.(James 1:18)
• An ambassador for Christ.(2 Cor. 5:20)
• Godʼs workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.(Eph. 2:10)
• Healed by the stripes of Jesus.(1 Pet. 2:24; Isaiah 53:6)
• Being changed into His image.(2 Cor. 3:18; Phil. 1:6)
• Beloved of God.(Col. 3:12; Rom. 1:7; 1 Thess. 1:4)
• Raised up with Christ and seated in heavenly places with Him.(Col. 2:12; Eph. 2:6)
• Always triumphant in Christ.(2 Cor. 2:14)
• Freed from the law of sin and death.(Rom. 8:2)
• Brought into the glorious liberty of the children of God.(Rom. 8:21)
In July, 1862, Abraham Lincoln drafted the first pass at the emancipation proclamation. It wouldn’t go live nationwide until January, 1863. And like any idea that threatens to change people’s lives, it took some getting used to. People’s love for good news is only outweighed by their fear of change. Or to put it another way, if you take someone out of a log cabin in Kentucky and put them in a mansion in Beverly Hills, they might not adapt so easily. You may recall a quaint little tv show about this in the 60’s called the Beverly Hillbillies. Contrary to the lofty ideals of thousands of former slaves packing up for a well deserved weekend at the beach to celebrate the emancipation proclamation, it took many years for the effects of that freedom to be realized. One slave claimed to believe in Mr. Lincoln, and had heard of the emancipation, but was heading out to the field to tend to it because even though he was told that he was free he simply didn’t know what that meant. And so it is with the Gospel. The Gospel means “good news” and news is to report that which has happened. The cross and resurrection is the emancipation proclamation of Heaven over humanity. You are free. Yes, you. Even YOU! The Holy Spirit will teach you how to be free.
All of creation is waiting, for you to discover who you are.
When you hear about something being holy, what’s your immediate emotional response? Probably to lower your voice to speak in hushed tones, to adopt a posture and countenance of reverence, and to get serious. That’s quite the opposite of this raucous wine and BBQ fiesta. But that’s not the portion here I’m drawn to today. The part I’m fixated with this afternoon is the common phrase here regarding the joy of The Lord.
It is our alignment with the Divine nature of Joy that unloads massive quantities of strength. So I don’t have to create my own joy, even though I have the ability to do that through Him. One thing I know about chronically happy people, they’re not preoccupied with unattained desires or unmet expectations. Joyful people have lost their perception of lack, giving the world cause to quote phrases like ignorance is bliss. Yet the joyful may be quite the opposite of ignorant. God knows everything about everything, and remains eternally joyful. This must mean that if we are not joyful and He is, He knows something we don’t, and what He knows about you delights His heart. I’m just persuaded in this, that if we knew what God knows, we would be just as joyful as He is.
This section of Revelation reveals that in Christ, you ARE the kingdom of God. So then every time you pray the Lord’s Prayer, “May Your kingdom come…” you’re actually praying for yourself. You’re praying for the revelation of your authentic identity to be manifest. And it’s that identity which all of creation longs for the revelation of.
People find it hard to release to others what they themselves are not worthy of. Bitterness thrives within a heart unwilling to receive grace. What you extend to others, you release to yourself. When you release grace you agree with Christ. When you forgive others you forgive yourself. (see also Matt 7:1-3)
Love is not a concept, idea, philosophy, or feeling. Love is a Person, Jesus Christ.
When Jesus said let the children come, He was inviting them to do the unthinkable. To joyfully climb upon the literal “Mercy Seat” of God.
I have discovered that I only find rest in the arms of Love, my head on the pillow of Justice, enveloped in the breath of Peace. The inexplicable embrace of an absolutely good God whose just-ness was satisfied in Christ once for all, that is the kindness that leads me daily to a renewed mind. For neither Love nor Justice are a what (to be replicated), but rather a “Who” (to be represented). Now if I can just re-present that to everyone with a pulse…