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Archive for the ‘glory’ Category

Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
 – Isaiah 53:10 (NKJV)

God’s people are to live in such a way that their lives please God.  God’s people are to live to please God.

It doesn’t sound like the Christianity that many of us signed up for when we walked down the aisle of our home church and accepted Christ as Lord and Savior in our lives.  It does not resemble the only-believe sermons that echoed in tent revivals throughout Middle America during the times of Progressives prior to the Industrial Revolution of America.  No, it does not even seem to resemble any of the tenets of religious righteousness that seem to make the headlines as the Religious Right.  That doesn’t sound like the normal Christian life that many pastors, evangelists and others have spread throughout the nation and the world about prosperity, being born again, and serving to be saved. No, it doesn’t sound like any of that at all.

However, that is what the Word says.  We are to live in a way that pleases God.  We are to model our lives after the service, sacrifice and suffrage of Jesus Christ.  Isaiah’s “Suffering Savior,”  the “man of sorrows,” presents us with a humble manner of submission that we can see and reflect in our own daily lives.

Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. . .

Sadly, we often interpret God’s pleasure as an image of the Heavenly Father looking down and smiling upon Jesus on the cross.  That sounds far from the accurate interpretation of the matter.  God’s pleasure in the situation is the satisfied debt of sins.  The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross satisfied the debt of sin through the Lamb of God who was “without blemish” (1 Peter 1:19, NKJV).  Therefore, Jesus submitted to God and offered Himself as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins.  As John says, He serves as “the propitiation of our sins.” Read Hebrews 2:17 and 1 John 4:10 about His sacrifice for our sins.

He paid a debt that we could never repay on our own.  He had to serve as the propitiation of our sins in order to satisfy the debt that we could never repay ourselves.  As Paul wrote, salvation is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8).  He stepped up and stood in for us, only to sacrifice all and suffer for our sakes.

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

1 John 5:2-4 (NKJV)

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. – Philippians 2:5 (NKJV)

We need to reflect Christ’s sacrificial living.  Paul stated that we should have the mind of Christ.  Peter said that we should suffer just as Christ suffered.  James, the brother of the Lord, said that we should embrace being tested and tried.  We are to live in a manner that satisfies God.  We are to please God.

Our daily lives are to please God.  Let not Christ’s suffering and sacrifice appear to be in vain.  Do not disregard the cost of salvation.  God did not hold back.  He offered His best.  We, too, are called to offer our best.  God offered His best in Jesus Christ.  God expects us to offer our best by following the example of Jesus Christ.

Live to please God.  Live a repentant and revived life.  Live a renewed life as a new creation in Christ Jesus.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. – Hebrews 11:6 (KJV)

The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy. – Psalm 147:11 (KJV)

“It is the quality of our work which will please God and not the quantity.”
-Mahatma Gandhi (Gandhi quotes)

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Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.- Psalm 115;3 (NIV)

The LORD does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths.
– Psalm 135:6 (NIV)

God can do whatever He wants to do.  In theological terms, it is called His sovereignty.  In other words, He is God and answers to no one except Himself.  He is God alone, answering to no one.

Since God is sovereign, we can be assured that God can also use whomever He decides to use.  He used a stuttering murderer to deliver His people out of Egypt.  He used a young man to serve as His prophet to His people.  He used a shepherd boy to demonstrate how to be a man after God’s own heart.  He used a poor young woman to bring the manifestation of the Messiah into the world.  He used a religious zealot to spread the gospel to Gentiles throughout the world.

He uses whomever He chooses to use.  He can use you, too.  Don’t overlook what God can do and how He can do it to bring Himself glory.

Look at this story below to just how God can use anyone or anything.

21Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab. 22But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the Lord stood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, she turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat her to get her back on the road.

24Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path between two vineyards, with walls on both sides. 25When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaam’s foot against it. So he beat her again.

26Then the angel of the Lord moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. 27When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat her with his staff. 28Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?”

29Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.”

30The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?”

“No,” he said.

31Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.

32The angel of the Lord asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me.c 33The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If she had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared her.”

34Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go back.”

35The angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but speak only what I tell you.” So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.

– Numbers 22:21-35 (NIV)

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“A problem is a chance for you to do your best.” –Duke Ellington

God expects us to do our best.  He desires it of us.  Essentially, we are to do our best to give Him glory.

Have you done your best with what you have been given by God?

  • Marriage?
  • Children?
  • Job?
  • Spiritual gifts?

The list could go on.  We have to answer whether we have truly handled what God has given us to the best of our ability.  We have to do our best and give Him the glory in doing so.  He has entrusted us.  That’s about stewardship.

Do your best and give God the glory.  He did so in saving us.  He did not hold back.  He did not spare anything.  He offered His best, a lamb without spot or blemish.  We should do the same.

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? – Romans 8:31-32 (NIV)

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To the only wise God our Saviour, [be] glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. – Jude 1:25

Jude, the brother of James and the Lord Jesus Christ, wrote these final words in his stirring epistle about contending for the faithJude wraps things up by giving glory to God.  He talked about the evil of mankind in the past, even the angels who did not keep their station and did evil, and of the evil that men would still do on earth.  He points them out, so that other believers will recognize them for exactly what they are.  Yet, after all that he says about evil, he takes the two final verses of the epistle to give God glory.

Starting at verse 24, Jude writes an inspiring conclusion to the entire epistle.  It must be inspiring.  We use it as a benediction, closing our worship hour as we echo his words with eloquence.  It stirs our spirits.  We recite the words of Jude that we have committed to memory and we share them with our congregations.  In the words of Matthew Henry, “The apostle concludes this epistle with a solemn ascription of glory to the great God.”

It fits.  The verses seem to have been laid in just the right place.  They seem fitted precisely in the perfect position.  They appear nestled in the best place possible, especially after reading of all of the horrific things done throughout the ages.

We should glorify God if we contend for the faith.  God will get more glory from our adherence to the tenets of our faith rather than the words of our mouths.  We can give God glory through what we do more than what we say.  We can profess Him by what we produce rather than what we proclaim.

Jude shared what he had to say so that others would uphold the faith.  He did not hold back one bit.  He let it fly with both barrels blazing.  When the smoke finally cleared, he gave glory to God.

Put your faith into action.  Give God the glory.

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Worth the Risk

“Faith laughs at impossibilities.” – Smith Wigglesworth

Faith involves a certain degree of risk.  My pastor preached and taught many times over the years that faith can cause you to end up looking foolish following God.  If you are going to have faith, you must be willing to take a risk.  You have to be willing to stand out from the crowd.

As Christians, we are called to be faithful.  Faithful indicates that one is full of faith.  Imagine if you were so faithful that it began to overflow and touch others.  Take a moment to think of all of the ways that you touch people by living a life full of faith.

When you risk your public image, your reputation, and your good name, you take a risk of losing face.  You put such things on the line and trust God, leaving all things in His hands.  You have enough faith to hold on and see things through, even when it seems like things won’t work out for your own benefit or gain.  You trust that God has it all worked out.  You put your faith in Him.  In the end, God gets the glory. 

If God gets the glory, then it all is worth the risk.  Friends may come and go, but God reigns supreme over an everlasting kingdom.  Let the glory be given to God and see that faith is well worth the risk.

 

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When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah.22 Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters.- Gen. 5:21-22 (ESV)
Genesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings 

Change can come in many forms.  We may have different causes for our change, but we need to ready ourselves for change.  We need to prepare for it as much as possible.  You may never see it coming down pipe, but you still need to ready yourself for the day it comes.  Sam Cooke sang: “Change gonna come.” In The Art of War, Sun Tzu said,”In everything there is change.”

My suggestion is that you be so prayed up and prepared that no change catches you by surprise.  You need to downsize your home.  It will come one day.  Your children will move out.  Hope and pray that you have done all that you can to prepare them.  Your job is laying off people in every department.  Think over your next career move.  Your wife just said that she’s pregnant.  Get yourself ready, buddy.

I have always been amazed about Enoch’s walk.  Not only did he walk with God, but he walked with Him and “he was not” due to the fact that God did not let him see death.  The New International Version says: “he was no more.” Let’s take a factual approach to this.  He was gone.  He was out of everyone’s sight.  You could have turned over every rock east of Eden and still never would have found Enoch.

Why?

God’s sovereignty.  God did with Enoch as He does with us all.  He did whatever He chose to do with Enoch.  Let’s not get this theologically twisted.  Let’s not dummy-down the doctrine here. 


Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.- Psalm 115:3 (NIV)

He is sovereign.  Yes, Enoch walked differently due to his son being born.  He walked with the Lord.  Yet, we tend to stress the goodness of Enoch and his walk, not the greatness of God who “took him away.” 

Look at God and His power.  Who but God could open up heaven and allow on such as Enoch to walk in? Who but God could look from on high and be considerate of the ways of man, still saying that there is none that does good; no, not one? We have to pay more homage and honor to God for His goodness because He is holy.  Enoch shows us the power of God, not a perfect example of submission.  Don’t put too much emphasis on Enoch when you need to see the power and might of the Lord at work in Enoch’s life.  Surely, through His power, He can bring about change.

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“We have been created for a purpose.”- Rick Warren
The Purpose Driven® Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?
In this day and age, it is pretty hard to figure out who hasn’t heard anything about Rick Warren.  Whether good or bad, his name has come up in a conversation about a best-selling book, a political agenda and relationship with President Obama, or Saddleback and its pastor hosting a political debate or “forum” (I truly do not see the difference beyond theory and definition).  Some atheists and church-haters despise Rick Warren and everything that he stands for, while some Christians and non-Christians live upon every aspect of The Purpose-Driven Life.  That is until The Shack or some other best-selling book sweeps Christendom and its outer realm like Jabez and Benett’s Book of Virtues once did.
What I admire admire about Rick Warren is that he is unashamed about what made him successful as a pastor.  I’ll even say how God made him successful in that realm. 

Look deep into The Purpose-Driven Church and see a man following God’s lead, both prayerfully and faithfully.  Prior to pastoring, Rick Warren had faith.  Prior to having a mega-church status, Rick Warren sought to please God.

Stop for a moment.  Think about what I just put out there.  Substitute “Rick Warren” with your name and his status with your achievements and accomplishments.
Prior to becoming a parent and a spouse, ______________ sought to please God.
Prior to getting a driver’s license and a car, _________________ sought to please God.
Prior to teaching Sunday school and leading VBS, ________________ sought to please God.
Prior to (whatever it is that people see as your big thing), did you seek to please God?
Now that you have done it and achieved it, do you still seek to please God? Do you seek to please Him more and more?
There’s no middle of the road with God.  I don’t believe that He’s nonchalant about how we handle His kingdom business.  We either please or grieve God.  There isn’t a safe place where we can straddle this way or that way.  Either we please Him or we simply do not, and then that’s when we grieve Him.
I could have used T.D. Jakes, Robert H. Schuller, Billy Graham, or the late Oral Roberts.  Imagine if I had used someone like Kirk Franklin, Brian Welch from Korn, or Steven Baldwin.  Each of these men have a story that speaks about times when their very own lives grieved God as well as the dramatic turnaround that led to them seeking to please God.
God is either pleased or grieved with us and our actions.
Do you please God? Do you grieve God? 
Seek to please Him today and forever.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.- Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)

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