Tag: glory of God

Pagans sacrifice to demons!

Scripture reading for September 7th: 1st Corinthians 10

Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 10:19-24 “What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He? “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.”

As a Christ-follower, we must never compromise our love and commitment to the One true God. In the Corinthians culture, idol worship was associated with sacrifices that were then cooked and served. Believers knew that the sacrifice was nothing more than an animal and that the god they sacrificed to was nothing. But behind these ‘gods’ were demons. They were lying religious spirits of darkness that held men in bondage. Demons were real and their purpose and power was also real. To set a good example and help those who were just coming out of this demonic bondage, Paul urged the believers to do what was most helpful and able to build up those being delivered: abstain from this meat. It would be ‘lawful’ to eat for them, but not helpful. The law of love again limits liberty to win souls.

1st Corinthians 10:26-29 “For “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.” If one of the unbelievers invites you to diner and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the ground of conscience. But if someone says to you, “this has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience–I do not mean your conscience, but his.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father God, thank You for this instruction on idolatry and the demonic forces behind it. Help me to apply this truth today in my time and culture that I might show the love of Christ and yet never compromise my sincere and total devotion to You and Your Word. Help me to seek the good of my neighbors always.

1st Corinthians 10:31-33 “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.”

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“Do not Fear! Only Believe!”

Scripture reading for January 22nd: Mark 5

Key Scriptures: Mark 5:21-24; 35-36 “And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about Him, and He was beside the sea. Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing Him, he fell at His feet and implored Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.” And He went with him.” . . .”While He was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.””

Jesus was approached by a synagogue ruler, Jairus, with a desperate request. He had a little daughter who was near death. He approached Jesus with great humility and asked for a personal visit by Jesus and the laying on of His hands. As they went, Jesus was interrupted by a woman with an issue of blood. He took time to minister to her and free her from her long infirmity. As Jesus was speaking to her, He overheard some messengers from Jairus’s house tell him not to bother the Teacher, as the little girl was dead. Jesus spoke authoritatively, “Do not fear, only believe.” The result was an amazing raising of the 12 year old girl from sickness and death. All were amazed at the immediate miracle!

Jeremiah 32:26-27 “The Word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: “Behold I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for Me?”‘

Faith confession and prayer: You are the Lord of all and nothing is too hard for You! Lord Jesus, help me to defeat all fear and hold fast to You and Your unfailing Word. Use me to speak Your Word and live by faith, inspiring others to trust You and Your eternal Word.

John 11:40 “Jesus said to her, Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”

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Faith unveils the glory!

Scripture reading for September 21st: Nahum, Psalm 149, 2nd Corinthians 4

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 4:3-6 “And even if our Gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the Gospel for the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, Who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

Paul carefully explained to the Corinthians how the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings light to darkened hearts. Satan, the ‘god of this world’, acts to blind the minds and hearts of the unbeliever to block out the light. But those who have believed receive the light and proclaim the Gospel by confessing “Jesus is Lord!” We joyfully become servants of all men, proclaiming the Gospel and sharing the light of Jesus’ glory by living a holy and consecrated life. We long to see Jesus face to face in full glory!

Psalm 149:2 “Let Israel be glad in his Maker, let the children of Zion rejoice in their King! Let them praise His Name with dancing, making melody to Him with tambourine and lyre!”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, fill me with Your light and truth today that I may reflect “Jesus is Lord” to the world You want to reach with the Gospel. May Christ’s light overcome Satan’s dark veil of death today and forever as I call others to take refuge in You.

Nahum 1:7 “The Lord is good, a Stronghold in the day of trouble; He knows those who take refuge in Him.”

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Do all for God’s glory!

Scripture reading for September 7th: Isaiah 36-37, Psalm 123, 1st Corinthians 10

Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 10:31-33 “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.”

Paul concluded his remarks about eating meat from idol temples with an appeal to a simple principle: Do all to the glory of God! We should not purposely try to offend or condemn others whose conscience may be weak or undeveloped in these matters of choice and limiting our own freedom. Our goal should be the salvation of as many as possible and we should act and work to that end, glorifying God by fulfilling His purposes.

Psalm 123:1-2 “To You I lift up my eyes, O You Who are enthroned in the heavens! Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to our God, till He has mercy on us.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I will keep my eyes on You and with Your help, do all I do to Your glory! May there be a great harvest of souls saved from destruction!

Isaiah 37:16 “”O Lord of Hosts, God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, You are the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; You have made heaven and earth.””

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“I am the Light of the World”

Scripture reading for April 17th:  John 9

I can only imagine what it would be like to be blind from birth.  Living in a world of darkness and not being able to see family, friends, or the amazing world that God created would be a great loss.  But suddenly having sight after years of living in darkness would make a tremendous impact on a blind person’s life!  Jesus gave this opportunity to a man he encountered.

Encountering the man born blind, the disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind?”  “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” Jesus answered, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.  As long as it is day, we must do the work of Him who sent Me.  Night is coming, when no one can work.  While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”  (John 9:2-5)  Jesus taught that in this particular case, sin was not a cause.  God would use this man’s blindness to display His glory to open eyes to His Son.

Jesus made some mud and placed it on the man’s eyes and told him to wash in the Pool of Siloam.  As he obeyed, he was restored to sight.  This caused the Pharisees to question him and then his parents.  They had trouble believing because Jesus restored this man on the Sabbath!  They condemned the man and cast him out of the temple for claiming that Jesus was from God!

There is a deep darkness over all mankind because of sin.  Jesus alone is the light of the world.  When we acknowledge Jesus is the Son of God we can see the light of His life!  Have you had your world lit up?

 

 

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The Father Speaks!

Scripture reading for January 23rd:  Matthew 17

Jesus wanted to be sure that His key leadership among the disciples had ample revelation of who He really was.  He took Peter, James and John to a high mountain.  “There He was transfigured before them.  His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.”  (Matthew 17:2-3)  This experience had to make a deep impression on these ordinary men!  Jesus was changed so that He radiated a bright light from His face and clothes.  His true nature was on display!

Then, two figures from Israel’s past emerged and were recognized by Peter.  Moses was the great “law-giver” and leader raised up by God to lead them out of slavery and bondage in Egypt.  Elijah was the great prophet who confronted idolatry and sin and called God’s people back to the worship of the one true God.  They met with Jesus to talk about the mission that God had for His Son. Peter began to make a suggestion to Jesus. “While he (Peter) was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is My Son, whom I love:  with Him I am well pleased.  Listen to Him!”  (Matthew 17:5)

When the Father spoke from the cloud, the disciples fell face-down on the ground and were filled with fear!  Jesus touched them, encouraging them not to be afraid!  They looked up and no one was there but Jesus!  Peter, years later, recorded his memory of this incident.  “but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.  For He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory. . .”  (2nd Peter 1:16-17)  The Father testified:  “This is My Son!”

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Glory returns to the temple!

Scripture reading for August 29th: Ezekiel 40-43

“Then the man brought me to the gate facing east, and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice was like the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with His glory. The vision I saw was like the vision I had seen when he came to destroy the city and like the visions I had seen by the Kebar River, and I fell face down.  The glory of the Lord entered the temple through the gate facing east.  The the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.” Ezekiel 43:1-5

Ezekiel had been taken with the “hand of the Lord” upon him to the city of Jerusalem. (Ezekiel 40:1)  This time Ezekiel found a heavenly being with an appearance that glowed like bronze with a linen cord and measuring rod in his hand.  This ‘man’ proceeded to measure everything in the temple and surrounding area, showing Ezekiel that the temple had been precisely rebuilt and restored.

Ezekiel next had a vision of  Glory returning! The land was radiant with the glowing fire. The Lord was speaking like roaring waters!   He saw the glory of the Lord enter the temple where it had departed, through the East gate!  Suddenly, Ezekiel found himself inside the temple and it was filled with the glory of the Lord!  (Ezekiel 43:3-5)

From inside the temple, a voice spoke to him,  “Son of Man, this is the place of My throne and the place for My feet.  This is where I will live among the Israelites forever.” (Ezekiel 43:7)  Ezekiel was told that he was to describe the temple to the Israelites.  If they would repent of their sins, God would reveal the design of the temple to them!  (Ezekiel 43:10-11)

This beautiful restored temple is currently composed of living stones.  God’s glory fills each stone as they look to Jesus Christ, who baptizes them in His Holy Spirit with a deposit of heavenly glory!  They now know Him and His laws are written on their hearts and God has forgiven their sins and remembers them no more.  (Ezekiel 36:24-27) (Jeremiah 31:31-34)  One day we will behold His glory from within the heavenly city and temple forever and ever!

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Overcome by Glory!

Scripture reading for July 18th: Isaiah 5-8

In the presence of the Lord there is an awesome awareness of God’s holiness and of our sinfulness.  It is always by God’s initiative that He reveals Himself to a man or woman.  We can’t command a visitation although we can ask humbly.  Job asked to have an audience with His maker and found himself unable to answer and repented in dust and ashes for words he had said.  (Job 42:2-6)   Isaiah had a visitation and saw the Lord in the year that King Uzziah died.  (about 740 B.C.)

Isaiah beheld the Lord on a throne and his robe filled the temple.  Above and around Him were heavenly beings called seraphs, or “burning ones”.  They had six wings and were calling to each other “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty, the whole earth is full of His glory.”  (Isaiah 6:3)  When they spoke, their voices shook the doorposts and thresholds of the temple and smoke filled the house.  It  was the glory of God Almighty!

Isaiah himself began to cry out in terror of judgment in the presence of this Holy One!  He immediately knew his sin would bring judgment and death.  He also understood the people among whom he lived were in danger of judgment!  Seeing God’s great white throne would spell disaster!  (Revelation 20:11-14)  God heard his confession.  He sent one of the seraph’s with a burning coal from the altar.  The seraph took the coal and applied it to the prophet’s mouth and his sin was taken away.

After cleansing, Isaiah heard the Lord asking a question.  “Whom shall I send?  And who will go for me?” Isaiah quickly responded with “Here am I, send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)  God told Isaiah that He was sending him to a people whose hearts were calloused and ears were dull.  (Isaiah 6:9-10)   Jesus quoted these verses as he spoke to the religious people of His day.  (Matthew 13:13-15)

In summary, the encounter Isaiah had with the Lord brought revelation of God’s glory.  This led to recognition of his sinfulness and confession.  Repentance brought cleansing.   After cleansing he heard God’s call and willingly obeyed!  This is a pattern for all disciples of Jesus Christ!

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Declaring His Glory!

Scripture reading for June 21st: Psalm 90-97

Psalms 95-97 are focused on the glory of  God and worship!  I enjoy these psalms because of their joy and rejoicing in God, Himself.  They call all of mankind and creation into the chorus of worship that belongs to God who is worthy of praise!

Singing for joy and shouting out loud is mentioned in Psalm 95:1.  Coming before Him with thanksgiving is always a good idea for God’s people, because God is the source of all their blessings! (Psalm 95:2)  God’s people are urged to bow down in worship and kneel before their maker.  (Psalm 95:6)  Our posture,  as well as our voices, instruments, and songs, indicates humility and honor.  He is the great King above all gods, creator of heaven and earth!

Psalm 96 opens with an exhortation to sing a ‘new song’ to the Lord. His people are to declare His glory among the nations and peoples of the earth.  All other nations and peoples have gods that are idols, but Israel alone knew the one true God who was worthy of praise! (Psalm 96:8)  God was so arrayed in glory and majesty that a new song would come to those who contemplated His beauty and strength!

The Holy Spirit’s infilling often brings a new level of worship to the believer.  From the Holy Spirit comes ‘spiritual songs’ given to help us worship of our awesome Lord when our own words aren’t enough! (Ephesians 5:18-20)   This is a special experience available to New Testament believers!

In Psalms 96 and 97, all of creation joins in the worship chorus!  The heavens rejoice and the earth is glad, the sea resounds and all the creatures in it at the glory of the Lord.  The fields are jubilant and the trees sing in harmony as the Lord comes.  The clouds surround Him.  Fire goes before Him and lightning lights up the world!  Mountains melt like wax in His presence and the earth sees Him and trembles!  All the peoples see His Glory and His people rejoice and are glad.   God comes to judge the earth and the peoples in righteousness and truth!

Take time today to offer heart-felt worship to the Lord!  He is truly worthy of our praise!  Examine your own heart for your preparations to see God as Redeemer and Judge!

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Restoring a brother!

Scripture reading for August 27th: 2nd Corinthians 1:12-2:8

Paul’s failure to visit the Corinthians as planned had left some of them charging Paul with being unreliable.  Paul wrote this second letter to them to defend his reliability and to deal with issues that needed resolution.  Paul explained that he had dealt with them in holiness and sincerity, according to God’s grace.  He had planned to visit them on his way to Macedonia and then come back though on his way back to Judea.  He decided not to personally visit at that time to spare them a personal rebuke.   He was not being deceptive, but faithful to God.  (2nd Corinthians 1:15-17)

“For as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not “Yes” and “No.”  For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by me and Silas and Timothy, was not “Yes” and “No,” but in Him has always been “Yes.”  For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ.  And so through Him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.” (2nd Corinthians 1:18-20)  Paul may have appeared to be undependable, but God was and is faithful.  God’s word can be trusted.  Every one of His promises are true and believers can say “Amen” to them for their lives.

Paul next wrote to encourage these Corinthians to restore the brother that they had disciplined for having his father’s wife.  (1st Corinthians 5:1-5)  “The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him.  No instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.  I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. . . .in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not ignorant of his schemes.” (2nd Corinthians 2:6-11)  This man’s punishment of being handed over to Satan had evidently brought deep sorrow and repentance.  He was a broken man who now needed restoration from the same church family who had in love put him out.  Paul encouraged them to obey his direction.  Forgiveness was needed to restore him and this congregation to the flow of God’s grace.

Are you standing firm in God’s grace today?  Is there a promise of God that you need to say “Amen” to?  Is there a brother or sister that needs restoration and forgiveness?  Be obedient!

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