It’s About God

What is life about? The Bible tells us there is coming a day of judgment. Every knee will bow before God and recognize Him.  Life is about Him–not us.

Today’s reading

Isaiah 34-36; Philippians 2

Selected Verses

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;
 it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God. Isaiah 35:1-2

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,  so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  Philippians 2:9-11

Reflections

No matter where we open our Bibles and read, we are never far from the theme of the glory of God. His glory is proclaimed everywhere, but, between the fall of Man and the final judgment, humanity falls short of that glory. Contrary to popular culture, it’s not about us.  It’s about God.

Isaiah prophesied of a day of restoration when deserts would blossom and dry land would be refreshed. In that blessing of the earth, all would see God’s glory.

At the time of this writing, the eastern United States had gone through ten days of rain. In Virginia, our joy at seeing rain after weeks of drought began to give way to gloom as the cloud cover remained day after day and steady rain saturated the ground. Floods arose taking out a hundred-year-old covered bridge. We prayed for relief and for safety from trees falling before expected high winds.

Then on the eleventh day, here at Thistle Dew Farm, we woke to cloudless, blue skies. The sun shone brightly, drying up the mud and restoring the beauty of early autumn.  I praised God and I’m sure I was not alone.

Jesus knew the suffering of becoming a human, a servant, and a prisoner. He knew condemnation and the unspeakable pain of flogging and crucifixion. He bore that to save His people from their sin. God exalted Him and glorified Him. One day every knee will bow and recognize His Lordship. This will bring glory to God the Father.

Think about it

We live in a time characterized by fanatical self-worship. To be free, to be autonomous, to act however we please with no consequences, to be enraged that any one should call us to bow to God–these values rule our day. But it’s not about us. It’s about Him. Be sure you trust in Christ for forgiveness and life. Do not let the day of restoration be your day of condemnation. Your life and all of human history is about God

The kingdoms vs. the Kingdom

Many kingdoms have come and gone.  Only one Kingdom will last forever.  Do you belong to that Kingdom?  Do you know the King?

Today’s reading

Joshua 11-13; Luke 4:1-32

Selected Verses

And Joshua turned back at that time and captured Hazor and struck its king with the sword, for Hazor formerly was the head of all those kingdoms.  Joshua 11:10

And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” Luke 4:5-7

Reflections

“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change ”  is a statement attributed to the Greek philosopher Heraclitus. Christian theology disputes that because God is constant and unchanging.  Nevertheless, to a large degree everything in our experience seems to be constantly changing, like the kingdoms of this world.

In Joshua’s day, Hazor was head of several kingdoms. Joshua, with God’s leading and power, conquered Hazor and all the kingdoms of Canaan. The scripture tells us that God hardened the hearts of those kings so that they would fight against Israel and lose (Joshua 11:20). Hazor’s  kingdoms came under the dominion of Israel until the Assyrian captivity in 722 B.C.

Clearly the devil has some control in this world, but only what God allows him. He tempts certain people with power and authority in exchange for allegiance to his evil causes and purposes.

Which people does Satan personally approach? We have at least a partial list in the Bible where we are told that the devil went after Eve, Job, Peter, and Jesus (Genesis 3:1-7; Job 1-2; Luke 22:31-34; Luke 4:1).

Hazor ruled some kingdoms. Later, Israel possessed those lands. When the devil approached Jesus to tempt him, Satan claimed to have authority over all the kingdoms of the earth. In the final analysis, these earthly kingdoms rightfully belong to God the Creator and He providentially controls them. But the ultimate kingdom is not an earthly temporal one. Jesus proclaimed the coming of the kingdom of God.

Think about it

Do you serve a changing kingdom or the Kingdom that belongs to our unchanging God? Seek His Kingdom and serve the King who is eternal. He hardens hearts of proud rulers and turns hearts of all at His will (Exodus 7:3; Proverbs 21:1). Pray that His Kingdom may come in ultimate triumph soon and that we will be found in it.