Thursday, January 31

God is Holy

Isaiah 6:3 And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!

When Moses encountered the Almighty God of the universe, he was commanded to remove his sandals because he was standing on holy ground in the presence of the LORD. Moses was so fearful that he could not look. Isaiah had a similar response. God’s holiness and glory is on display every day in nature. The more that is learned by human beings through discovery in science, the more the majesty and glory of our creator God is revealed. From the smallest human DNA cell to the vastness of the galaxy filled universe, the precision and order of the things learned point to a creator and to His glory and His holiness.

When you consider His glory and holiness along with the redemptive history of mankind as He has revealed in the Holy Bible, then we are properly prepared for the hymn below. Worship, praise, adoration, awe, and thankfulness are the results of the saints that sing and meditate on this beautiful hymn. Brethren, rest in His salvation and take peace and comfort in His eternal plan for all that are in Christ Jesus by faith. Praise God and worship Him, because he is Holy, Holy, Holy. Psalm 29:2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.

Holy, Holy, Holy
Words: Reginald Heber

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
Who was, and is, and evermore shall be.

Holy, holy, holy! though the darkness hide Thee,
Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see;
Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee,
Perfect in power, in love, and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy Name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
Holy, holy, holy; merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity!

Monday, January 28

Holy Manna

John 6:58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever.

Praise God that just as he feeds the birds and everything else with his bounty, he provides the human race with all that is necessary to sustain their physical life. How much more are sinners blessed for the holy manna that is provided for their spiritual lives. Jesus provided this spiritual food with his own flesh on the cross of Calvary. Those sinners that partake of this free bread receive the gift of eternal life. John 6:51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.

Free holy manna is indeed a wonderful and glorius thing for our meditation. This meditation will lead sinners to acknowledge the wonderful theological principles that are contained in the great hymn listed below. No matter what our worldly circumstances are with ill health and troubles, believers are blessed beyond measure and should rest in the fact that, when we are called to heaven, we will sit at Christ’s table and be served sweet manna all around. Praise God for the peace and joy this brings.

Brethren We Have Met To Worship
Words by: George Atkins

Brethren, we have met to worship and adore the Lord our God;
Will you pray with all your power, while we try to preach the Word?
All is vain unless the Spirit of the Holy One comes down;
Brethren, pray, and holy manna will be showered all around.

Brethren, see poor sinners round you slumbering on the brink of woe;
Death is coming, hell is moving, can you bear to let them go?
See our fathers and our mothers, and our children sinking down;
Brethren, pray and holy manna will be showered all around.

Sisters, will you join and help us? Moses’ sister aided him;
Will you help the trembling mourners who are struggling hard with sin?
Tell them all about the Savior, tell them that He will be found;
Sisters, pray, and holy manna will be showered all around.

Is there here a trembling jailer, seeking grace, and filled with tears?
Is there here a weeping Mary, pouring forth a flood of tears?
Brethren, join your cries to help them; sisters, let your prayers abound;
Pray, Oh pray that holy manna may be scattered all around.

Let us love our God supremely, let us love each other, too;
Let us love and pray for sinners, till our God makes all things new.
Then He’ll call us home to Heaven, at His table we’ll sit down;
Christ will gird Himself and serve us with sweet manna all around.

Thursday, January 24

The Sound of Sweet Grace

John 9:25 He answered, "Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see."

How sweet the sound and how precious is the grace when a sinner rests and trusts in his savior Jesus Christ. As his blind spiritual eyes are made to see, he is overcome with joy and peace as he reflects on his former life of sin. With spiritual sight, he can see how wretched and blind he used to be. But now his life is new and his focus is on the things of God, the Word of God, and the people of God. The old attitudes are gone and the new has come. He has new likes and new dislikes. What once were pleasures are now sorrows. Things that once brought pride now bring shame. Grace has wrought a new creature with a new heart. It is grace. It is amazing, and its sound is sweet. What a comfort it is to know that grace will lead the believer home, when the flesh and heart fail. In the blink of an eye there will be a transformation and glory shall begin. Christian, meditate on this and take comfort.

Amazing Grace
Words By: John Newton

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.

Monday, January 21

A Place Prepared By King Jesus

John 14:1-3 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. (2) In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? (3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.

When troubles come and our minds rush to and fro trying to figure out what to do, it is a comfort to remember that King Jesus has prepared a place for his sheep. When the sand of our personal hourglass has nearly been exhausted, we can meditate with peace and joy thinking of this glorious place where tears and suffering will not exist. It will undoubtedly be a place much like the Garden of Eden, only with perfect harmony, beauty and peace. The gardens will flourish as the creation will be set free from the bondage of corruption caused by the fall of the human race in Adam. God’s glory will shine so bright that it will never be night. Christians will see Jesus and walk with him and talk with him on the streets of gold. Praise God that Jesus has prepared a place and will fulfill his promise to come again and take his people home. Christians can rejoice and shout the victory when that last grain of sand falls through the hourglass of their life.

When we all get to Heaven
Words by: Eliza E. Hewitt

Sing the wondrous love of Jesus,
Sing His mercy and His grace.
In the mansions bright and blessèd
He’ll prepare for us a place.

When we all get to Heaven,
What a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus,
We’ll sing and shout the victory!

While we walk the pilgrim
pathway, Clouds will overspread the sky;
But when traveling days are over,
Not a shadow, not a sigh.

Let us then be true and faithful,
Trusting, serving every day;
Just one glimpse of Him in glory
Will the toils of life repay.

Onward to the prize before us!
Soon His beauty we’ll behold;
Soon the pearly gates will open;
We shall tread the streets of gold.

Thursday, January 17

God's Beautiful Creation

Romans 1:19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.

I love photography, and landscape photography is my favorite. I love to capture a moment in time of the beauty that is found in this world. It is my Father’s world, and I have been blessed to see much beauty in my lifetime. In my minds eye I can see a Colorado wildflower meadow with snow-capped mountains in the background. I can visualize the white sand beaches with emerald colored water in the Caribbean or Hawaiian Islands. I can remember the bumblebee collecting pollen in an azalea blossom. The view of the mountaintops from the top of Handies Peak is etched in my memory. The blue ice glaciers of Glacier Bay are magnificent to remember. The view of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco from the air is awesome to recall. Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, The Natchez Trace, Callaway Gardens, and many more images are in my mind and in my photography collection. When I close my eyes to rest, I can select these images of my Father's world and praise God for the glory of his magnificent creation. How blessed I have been to experience and photograph so much beauty.

This is my Father’s World
Words: Maltbie D. Babcock

This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world, the birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world: He shines in all that’s fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass;
He speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father’s world. O let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world: the battle is not done:
Jesus Who died shall be satisfied,
And earth and Heav’n be one.

This is my Father’s world, dreaming, I see His face.
I open my eyes, and in glad surprise cry, “The Lord is in this place.”
This is my Father’s world, from the shining courts above,
The Beloved One, His Only Son,
Came—a pledge of deathless love.

This is my Father’s world, should my heart be ever sad?
The lord is King—let the heavens ring. God reigns—let the earth be glad.
This is my Father’s world. Now closer to Heaven bound,
For dear to God is the earth Christ trod.
No place but is holy ground.

This is my Father’s world. I walk a desert lone.
In a bush ablaze to my wondering gaze God makes His glory known.
This is my Father’s world, a wanderer I may roam
Whate’er my lot, it matters not,
My heart is still at home.

Sunday, January 13

Near the Cross

1 Cor. 2:2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

The greatest period in the history of the world occurred when Jesus Christ came to planet earth. This greatest period came into its greatest focus at the cross of Calvary. It was for this moment and this purpose that Jesus came into the world. At the cross is where Jesus Christ accomplished his mission of redeeming a people unto himself and the Father. Satan was defeated on the cross and the redemption of the people of God was secured. This is why Paul can say his focus was on nothing else but Jesus Christ and him crucified. All theology flows from the cross as everything points to this moment and this event.

Sin, wrath, love, grace, redemption, faith, and eternal life are all expressed and dealt with at the cross. Praise God for the joy and peace that Christians have when their lives, attitude, and thoughts stay near the cross. In the photo of the cemetery above, a person even wanted their remains to be near the cross. If you are down and face seemingly insurmountable problems in your life, meditate on the words of the hymn below and take comfort in being near the cross.

Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross
Words by: Fanny Crosby

Jesus, keep me near the cross,
There a precious fountain
Free to all, a healing stream
Flows from Calvary’s mountain.

In the cross, in the cross,
Be my glory
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.

Near the cross, a trembling soul,
Love and mercy found me;
There the bright and morning star
Sheds its beams around me.

Near the cross! O Lamb of God,
Bring its scenes before me;
Help me walk from day to day,
With its shadows o’er me.

Near the cross I’ll watch and wait
Hoping, trusting ever,
Till I reach the golden strand,
Just beyond the river.

Thursday, January 10

Shall We Gather At The River?

Revelation 22:1-2 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb (2) through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

What a joyful passage this is for Christian meditation. This is a description of paradise regained. It is a picture of the future eternal Garden of Eden without the influence of Satan. It is a joy and a blessing to consider the reality of what is being shown to John in this vision. The first Adam fell in the Garden of Eden and caused mankind and the earth to become cursed and under bondage to corruption and sin. But God provided a second Adam in the person and work of His own son Jesus Christ to redeem the earth and his Church, the bride of Christ. In this the last chapter in the Bible we see the fulfillment of God’s redemptive plan that began immediately after the fall of Adam and Eve.

When this day is realized, the bride of Christ (the redeemed) will be together for all eternity praising and worshiping their savior the Lord Jesus Christ. The river of life will flow from the throne of God and the Lamb through the middle of the street of the City of God. The photo above gives a shadowy glimpse of what that will be like. Christians look forward and long for this great day when they can gather at the river and worship with singing and rejoicing. The beautiful hymn “Shall we gather at the River” comforts the soul as we reflect on the eternal state of Christians.

Shall We Gather At The River?
By Robert Lowry

Shall we gather at the river,
Where bright angel feet have trod,
With its crystal tide forever
Flowing by the throne of God?

Yes, we’ll gather at the river,
The beautiful, the beautiful river;
Gather with the saints at the river
That flows by the throne of God.

On the margin of the river,
Washing up its silver spray,
We will talk and worship ever,
All the happy golden day.

Ere we reach the shining river,
Lay we every burden down;
Grace our spirits will deliver,
And provide a robe and crown.

At the smiling of the river,
Mirror of the Savior’s face,
Saints, whom death will never sever,
Lift their songs of saving grace.

Soon we’ll reach the silver river,
Soon our pilgrimage will cease;
Soon our happy hearts will quiver
With the melody of peace.

Monday, January 7

Following In The Path

John 10:25-28 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, (26) but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. (27) My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. (28) I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.

In our society there are many exclusive and prestigious groups and clubs in which people covet membership. There are golf, yacht, tennis, and all kinds of organizations that people desire to belong to in order to enhance their status, reputation, and self esteem. None of these organizations will last and the members are here for an even shorter time. In sharp contrast, this passage of Scripture in John speaks of a group that will be together for eternity. Jesus refers to a group of people that he calls his sheep and his flock. The perks of the groups for which people covet and spend large sums of money only last for a few years while the sheep of the flock that belongs to Jesus lasts for eternity and is free. Yet, the Bible tells us that many are those that covet the world and its clubs but few are those that desire to be a part of Jesus’ flock. Why is this? Jesus tells us in verse 27 very plainly and simply when he says, “My sheep hear my voice.” Does this mean the Pharisees to whom Jesus was speaking are deaf? No, it means that the sheep of Jesus’ flock have been enabled to respond to this amazing grace, while many hear, but do not respond. Oh what hope, joy, peace, and contentment belong to those who are members of the most prestigious group in the history of planet earth. These people are Jesus’ flock. They have been touched by His grace and enabled to respond in faith.

Jesus also tells us in verse 27 that he knows His sheep and they follow him. He knows them (Romans 8:29) and they respond and follow him. Just as Chief, the German Shepherd dog, consistently follows the exact same path in the photo above, Christians consistently follow Jesus in their walk. It is very important to note that Jesus’ sheep follow him after they are in his flock rather than follow Him to earn their way into his flock. Rejoicing in gratitude and obedience is the proper response for all who are in Jesus’ flock and hear His voice. He will lead them through the valley of death and bring them safely to their heavenly home.

My Sheep Know My Voice
Words By: Herbert Buffum

My sheep hear My voice, and the path that I take,
They follow wherever I go;
My sheep know My voice and come at my call,
But a stranger’s voice do they not know.

My sheep know My voice, and day by day
They abide in the fold and go not astray,
They love Me because I have made them my choice,
And they follow My call for My sheep know My voice.

My sheep know My voice, and the pastures of green,
Where I lead them so often to feed;
My sheep know My voice and the cool sparkling stream
Where beside its still waters I lead.

My sheep know My voice, and the valley of death
Through which I shall lead them some day;
But no danger nor harm can touch one of them,
For I will be with them alway.

Thursday, January 3

The Proper Christian Dress

Romans 3:21-25A But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.

What a comfort it is for Christians to know they can stand before God on judgment day clothed in the righteousness of Christ. Through faith in his atoning sacrifice for our sins on the cross of Calvary, Christians can be secure and know that eternal life is the result of standing on the solid rock of Christ. As the great hymn below proclaims we can stand faultless before the throne dressed in his righteousness. There is not any other way to salvation as all other man-devised ways are but sinking sand.

What a comfort and joy it is to know the penalty for all our sins have been paid for by Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. Furthermore, we can go boldly before the throne not only with our debt paid, but also dressed in the righteousness of Christ. Through faith in Christ we give Him our sin and He gives us his Righteousness. Praise God for providing the dress we need to stand before the throne and be accepted into the family of God.

My Hope is Built
By: Edward Mote

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.