Only one adequate plan has ever appeared in the world, and that is the Christian dispensation.
John Jay - First US Supreme Court Chief Justice
Wednesday's Word: May 2015

Wednesday's Word

Welcome friends, feel free to look around, make comments and whatnot. I'll try and keep this thing updated with interesting pics, stories and other odds & ends. Feel free to criticize, but please share the 'truth in love'. No reason to be purposefully offensive. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Thy Will Be Done On Earth As it Is In Heaven

Matthew 6:10 Thy will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven

It seems that it’s just our human nature that puts such a high value on brevity;
Get to the point, give me the bottom line and cut to the chase are all familiar phrases that encourage quick and simple.
It’s no surprise that most people who “almost” read my posts, gauge how long it is first. This isn't condemnation; I can’t act like I’m not the same way but I do realize that there are quite a few long conversations worth having. I think our “fast” culture directly contributes to a lack of ability in deeply appreciating things. I believe that fully knowing the process allows for deeper appreciation. Our waking day presents us with many, MANY choices. Sadly, the reason behind promoting so many options is that it seems that it appeals to our individuality and therefore raises the probability that we can all be happy by choosing what suits us best. There’s a long conversation to be had but to cut to the chase: that’s not always true. Too many choices frustrate us and can make us non-committal to a particular option and once we do choose, the fundamental purpose of the choice is that it provide us some sort of real gratification or we quickly become distraught and regret the choice.

Here’s some verses that deal with God’s will. It’ll be your job to think on how often and how much time these things are considered in your heart and based on that frequency, you’ll see how much deeper The Disciples’ Prayer can go.

Here’s The Word;

Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.

Psalm 103:21 Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.

John 9:31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will.

Ephesians 1:9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ,

Colossians 1:9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually

ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 1 Thessalonians 5:16 Rejoice always. 17 Pray without ceasing.18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Hebrews 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Talk about not even scratching the surface. The thing we must realize is that our interaction with God HAS to be personal time spent with Him in His Word. Listening to great expositors is a wonderful thing and they can surely ‘stir’ your heart to motivation, joy or even beneficial conviction, but It’s the Holy Spirit in you that will wash and sanctify you by His Truth as you seek after Him.

So how often is it your choice to enjoy quiet time with God in His Word? Or has the illusion of happiness that comes from seeking after the many choices that come with any given waking day taken up most of your time? God’s will really isn’t hard to find once you’ve resolved that it’s available and it’s less about your happiness as it is about His holiness. I mean just think about it: The beings in Heaven aren’t robots and I imagine that they have the ability to reason and choose. However, they haven’t entangled themselves with a bunch of self-serving options, not because they’re ignorant of the idea, but because they KNOW they’ve chosen the best of all probably outcomes – intimacy with a Righteous, Compassionate and Holy God. I pray we “get that” down in our hearts when we pray “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.”

In Him,

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Thy Kingdom Come

Matthew 6:10 - Thy kingdom come

It’s so important to continue reading God’s Word, even if you feel pretty accomplished and confident after you’ve read it once. I didn’t realize how confused I was about this verse until I read it again as an adult. I used to wonder why Jesus would tell us to pray to God that His kingdom would come. I figured if it’s something God wants to happen, how can I even begin to consider that my prayers would have any effect whatsoever in its fulfillment? As I got older, I realized that the basis for my confusion was a twisted view of what the kingdom looked like.

The kingdom of God (kingdom of Heaven) is a multi-layered concept: There is the heavenly realm where God and His angels are right now; where our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (when we become saved). There is also the kingdom of heavenly rule where we embrace Christ’s righteousness and submit to His Lordship over our lives. Furthermore, at the end of it all, the kingdom will be the new heaven and new earth where there will be no more separation between God and man. So which “Thy kingdom come” should we be praying for? Pray for them all. I think there’s a way to pray or each as long as we pray in understanding. We pray to The Father, The Son, or the Holy Spirit in the understanding that they each perform unique functions yet are each still fully God. I think that an important aspect of our prayers to God concerning ‘Thy Kingdom’ should be in a heart of confession that we get it – that we understand the divine order and pledge ourselves to active fulfillment of His will over our own.

Here’s The Word;

Matthew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 18:4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Mark 12:32 – 34 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God.

Luke 17:20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

So if I’m being honest, as I go through my life today, I need to take a long look at MY kingdom; the material things I’ve amassed and the immaterial things that I have rule over, as well as the things in my heart (assumptions, ideas, plans, desires, hurts, fears) and evaluate them. How much am I motivated to amass more, or how determined am I to make my authority over my stuff apparent, or how inclined am I to allow God to have my whole heart? It’s way easier to recite the Disciples’ prayer without thinking how much I place myself in hypocritical shoes without even thinking. As a child, I used to think I had a pretty good idea of who was and wasn’t on God’s side, now that I’ve grown some, it’s less of an outward look and more of an inward one: Am I committed to furthering my kingdom, or Thy Kingdom.

In Him,

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Hallowed Be Thy Name

What is Holy? How is something made to be Holy? The (online) dictionary defines Holy as - dedicated or consecrated to God or a religious purpose; sacred.
So then the next question is – What is sacred? This is not meant to be difficult but I don’t think there’s a quick and easy way to convey the depths of what “Holy” is. Although, we often look for the clear and simple answers, some things require more of a conversation than a comparison of ubiquitous, yet elusive terms.
In this part of the Disciple’s prayer, we continue to build upon the theme of “uncommon”. With all the sermons I’ve heard, the one thing I would say that falls short is that sermons eventually end - but the idea of “Hallowed be Thy Name" is an ongoing, moment by moment realization that God, and everything about Him should be SO much more highly esteemed, SO much more highly revered and SO much more highly …… Exactly.

So, in trying wrap my mind around “Hallowed”; more than words, it’s two ideas: SEEING God as uncommon and SO much higher, and SEEKING to interact with and reverence Him accordingly.

Here’s the Word

Ezekiel 38:23 Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord.

Leviticus 21:8(b) for I the Lord, which sanctify you, am holy.

Psalm 99:3 Let them praise thy great and terrible name; for it is holy.

1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

Deuteronomy 10:17 For the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:

Revelation 1:17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:

Isaiah 6:5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.

Revelation 4:8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

Again, this was less about finding verses that contain the word Holy and more about seeing and reverencing God in His Holiness, His Awesome Wonder, His unapproachable Glory. In this case, we need to reclassify the word 'terrible' which to us usually connotes something wholly undesirable. Here in its truest form, it leans to the idea of inconceivably and overwhelmingly awesome. We may see an immaculate sunrise, or sunset or some other majestic landscape and somehow, in it's awesomeness, the image is also very endearing...we just wish we could hug it. Trust me, if you saw GOD in His full glory, a hug would be the last thing on your mind (just look at Isaiah's and John's reactions). The word sanctify as seen in a few of the verses speak to the process by which something becomes or is established as Holy, set apart, consecrated or identified as especially uncommon. This leads to a good point on fully understanding what we’re supposed to be about as well as our natural inclinations that prevent the full expression;
Our natural tendency is toward what’s comfortable and common for us. Sadly, our fallen and depraved state taints the things we touch. This also creeps into our relationship with God. For God, Holy IS common, comfortable and natural. So we see there’s a distance we must travel whereby we should not seek to make Him common by our earthly standards, but rather yield ourselves to seeing Him in Truth, and realize thankfully, that it is Him who’s making us Holy.

When we see the word “Hallowed”, all we can do is imagine glimpses of something too magnificent for words. Remember, even the angels in Heaven have wings that cover their faces as God’s Glory is even more than they can become overly familiar with. All they say is “HOLY HOLY HOLY!”… I pray that in some similar way, we’d allow God bring us to that understanding. The way that God’s holiness becomes ‘most’ real to us is when His deliverance has affected us directly. When He does something that we could never have possibly done, expressed most in how His great Love for us, gave us the one thing we needed most – Salvation.

In Him,