Tag Archives: glory

It’s all about love love love love love…

11 Feb

This morning on my way to work I was listening to the radio and they were talking about asking these five questions each week in your marriage. I think that they can have an amazing impact on your relationship with your spouse. Here they are:

1. How did you feel loved this week?
2. What do you have coming up this week?
3. How would you feel most loved and encouraged this week?
4. How would you best feel pursued in intimacy this week?
5. How can I pray for you this week?

These five questions are very simple, but they can have a huge impact in the intimacy of your relationship with your spouse. Now, don’t simply go in and read them to your spouse each week as if they are something to be checked off of a list. These questions need to be worked into normal conversation intentionally. These questions should cause you to have REAL concern for your spouse spiritually, mentally, physically, and relationally.

I plan on using these (so get ready She-wood!) I know that there are times when I fail to guard my wife’s heart, and I repent for that. However, that doesn’t mean I cannot be intentional about guarding it in the future.

I challenge you to invest in your relationship with your spouse. Yes, it takes work, and it is not always fun. But it is SO worth it! Your marriage is not ultimately for you. Yes you benefit from it greatly, but ultimately your marriage is for the glory of God.

Advertisements

On earth as it is in heaven

15 Sep

A. W. Tozer once wrote, “God has not finished with His saints till He has brought them to a place where they honor Him on earth as He is honored in heaven.”  What a high task that has been placed before us!  This statement begs the question, how is he honored in heaven?  Well, John gives us a quite vivid picture of what that looks like in Revelation 5:11-14.  There we read,

“Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”  And I heard every creature in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”  And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.”

Can you even imagine?!  What a scene that John has painted for us!  To have gotten to glimpse that for even a second must have been altogether glorious and terrifying at the same moment.  Now, how do we bring that about here on earth?  We have to be empowered by the Holy Spirit in order to do so.  You see, Christ’s beauty was too much to simply stay with one ethnic people in Israel.  In Isaiah 49:5-6 we read, “And now the LORD says, he who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him; and that Israel might be gathered to him – for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD, and my God has become my strength – he says: “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

This is how we bring about God’s honor “on earth as it is in heaven.”  We are to be a light to the nations and spread the beautiful gospel to the people whom we come into contact with each day.  This is how we spread the glory of God throughout the world.  Tozer said, “He can honor us only when He knows that His glory is safe in our hands.”  Oh that He would deem my actions adequate for protecting His glory in my life as I share it with others.

I challenge you to live a life that is worthy of being honored by God as you honor Him by spreading His glory throughout the world as you share the gospel with others.

While I’m waiting…

30 Aug

If you have kept up with this blog for any amount of time, then you know that we are in a season of waiting to find what the next step in ministry will be for our family.  It has been a tough summer for us to go through, but it has been a great summer at the same time.  I hope that makes sense.  While it stinks to be unemployed and not having a permanent church home to serve in, it has also been an incredible growing experience for both me (He-wood) personally and our family as a whole.  I have come to a better understanding of who God is and how He provides for His children.  I have come to a better understanding of the fact that I do not have to know what the next step is ahead of time, because God already knows what that step is.  And ultimately He has my good in mind.  Now I also understand that my understanding of what “good” means is not necessarily the same as God’s understanding of what “good” means.  To say it another way, humanly speaking, good usually means that I am comfortable, happy, and independent, but in God’s economy good means that I am in a position that I can bring Him the most glory by being completely dependent on Him.  Needless to say, it has been an incredible summer.

This morning I have been greatly encouraged by both a psalm and by the words of Charles Spurgeon.  Psalm 27 is a great psalm of King David.  It begins with that great verse, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”  Such great words of encouragement.  But the psalm ends with a great promise and mindset that I plan on adopting in my own life.  Verses 13-14 read, “I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let you heart take courage; wait for the LORD!”  WOW!! What encouraging words especially when you consider that most scholars believe this psalm was written during the rebellion of David’s son Absalom.  I was greatly encouraged by these words this morning.

I also read through Spurgeon’s Morning by Morning as a part of my devotion time in the mornings.  Today was about waiting as well.  I can totally identify with his words.  Spurgeon writes, “There are hours of perplexity when the most willing spirit, anxiously desiring to serve the Lord, does not know what role to play.”  How true have these words been for me over the past couple of months?  I have such an incredibly strong desire to serve and be in a place where I can invest in the lives of people, but, as of yet, God has not revealed the place where I should do that.  It is somewhat frustrating at times.  However, I have resolved myself to a position that I had not phrased as Spurgeon did, but from now on I will say it this way. “Believe that if He keeps you waiting even until midnight, He will still come at the right time; the vision will come and not delay.” (I love his nod to the book of Habakkuk!)  I will wait “in prayer…with simplicity of soul…in faith…and in quiet patience.”

I know that God is good and that I am an object of grace for Him as one of His children.  And as the song says, “While I’m waiting, I will worship.”

I wanna be in the light…

4 Aug

Hear these great and encouraging words from Charles Spurgeon.

“The joy of the saints in heaven is comprised in this: Jesus chose us, loved us, bought us, cleansed us, robed us, kept us, glorified us…Nothing of beauty is left when the light is gone.  Without light no radiance flashes from the sapphire, no peaceful ray proceeds from the pearl; and so all beauty of the saints above comes from Jesus…In heaven our knowledge will be perfect, but the Lord Jesus Himself will be the foundation of it…Whatever there may be of transcendent splendor, Jesus will be the center and soul of it all.”

What awesome and encouraging words from an amazing man of God!  After reading those words yesterday morning, I found my thoughts clouded by them for the rest of the day.  I am fascinated by the thought of living in the presence of a living Savior whose own glory is so radiant and bright that there is no need of a sun or moon.  In Revelation 21:22-25 John writes, “And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.  And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.  By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day – and there will be no night there.”  I simply cannot wait to get to that point in eternity.  How amazing will it be to experience that kind of intimacy with our Savior?

Let the imagery of Revelation 21 captivate your mind and thoughts today.  If you are a Christian, let it encourage and uplift you; excite and enthuse you.  If you are not yet a believer, let it intrigue and challenge you; move and salvationcompel you.

I can feel Your presence here with me, and suddenly I caught within Your beauty.

1 Mar

There are two topics that I feel like God has impressed me to address this morning: presence and beauty.  I would like to send a hearty thank you to MercyMe for writing the perfect lyrics for this post.  Let’s begin with presence.  I, of course, am talking about the presence of God.  He has been teaching me about His presence lately.  Like in Exodus 33:12-16 where God informs Moses that He wants him to lead the people out from Sinai, and Moses says that He will not go without God’s presence.  I had read that passage many times before, but the other day when I read it the thing that floored me was Moses’ question at the end of verse 16.  He says, “Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?”  As the people of God, it is His presence that distinguishes us from everyone else on earth.  That is so foundational, but it has huge missiological implications.  If we are going out to try to do missions in our own power, what is the point?  For whose glory will these missions take place?  However, if we go with the presence of God and follow His leadership as we do missions, the outcome will be drastically different.  The glory goes to God, and life change occurs as a result.  If we are constantly living in His presence, our lives will look totally different form the world around us, and this is where the distinguishing factor, or characteristic, lies.

God’s presence will lead us to worship as well.  In his book, Called to Worship, Vernon Whaley writes, “Without His presence we will not worship.  But when God is with us, when He is present, worship is our immediate response.  And when we respond to His nearness with worship, we can begin to know Him -personally – and to feel and understand His power” (p. 6).  When God is near, we will worship.  It is impossible to truly encounter the God of the universe and do anything other than fall on your face in worship.  I have resolved to constantly be seeking after and following the presence of God.  As a worship leader, I cannot expect to lead if I am not wrapped up in His presence.  And as a follower of Christ, I cannot expect to be in the right place if I am not surrounded by His presence.

The second topic today is beauty.  I want to ask this question, because I think it ties directly into this discussion of presence: When was the last time you were captured by the beauty of God’s creation?  I mean really think about the last time that you sat in wonder at the sunrise, or marveled at a spider making its web, or had your breath taken away by the grand scale of a mountain range.  Is it part of your recent memory, or do you have to think back to a different time?  We should take the time to ponder the beauty of the Lord.  It is when we are in His presence that we are able to truly recognize His beauty for what it is.  In Psalm 27:4, David writes, “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life [PRESENCE], to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple [BEAUTY].”  Truly, when was the last time that you simply sat in the presence of the Lord and were caught up in His beauty?

When we are living in the presence of God we will be cognizant of His beauty and the beauty of His creation.  I challenge you to seek after and follow the presence of God today, and then slow down to enjoy the beauty of the Lord and His creation.  The result will undoubtedly be worship.