God’s handiwork is displayed all around us! Some expect it, some take it for granted and may even ignore it, while others recognize worse case scenarios and therefore recognize the beauty of God’s creation. In the case of those in the latter category, those people may even pause and give thanks to the Almighty for His miraculous works. Meditate with me as we consider the wonderful works of God for the Israelites as they stood in awe at the miracles of God, performed for their benefit. He does the same for us today, so I trust that this will lead us to worship of our King!
Bible Reference: Exodus 14:31
Translation: The New Living Translation (NLT)
Bible Text: 31 When the people of Israel saw the mighty power that the Lord had unleashed against the Egyptians, they were filled with awe before him. They put their faith in the Lord and in his servant Moses.
OBSERVATION: God’s handiwork is displayed all around us! Some expect it, some take it for granted and may even ignore it, while others recognize worse case scenarios and therefore recognize the beauty of God’s creation. In the case of those in the latter category, those people may even pause and give thanks to the Almighty for His miraculous works. Meditate with me as we consider the wonderful works of God for the Israelites as they stood in awe at the miracles of God, performed for their benefit. He does the same for us today, so I trust that this will lead us to worship of our King!
APPLICATION: I believe that God moves just as mightily in our midst today, as He did for the Israelites when the Egyptians were chasing after them. For you see, anytime we witness, or hear of, a saint of God being healed; or miraculously protected in a terrible accident; or hear of God’s children being saved during a hurricane; these are all examples of miracles that occur in and around us that can only be explained as the hand of God. So as I meditated on this verse, I wasn’t as much in doubt of God being at work today, as He was with the Israelites, as I was in wondering if perhaps we have become so fast-paced that we hardly stop to recognize and praise God for His wondrous power in us, or in His children with whom we worship or rub shoulders with every day. I wonder if we may have just forgotten to program time for this important aspect into our Christian walk. We very easily ‘blow up’ the bad things that happen all around us, but how often do we stop to celebrate with a Brother or a Sister over an obvious miracle that has occurred in their lives? Part of fellowshiping together as believers, is that we grow spiritually as we celebrate God’s mighty works among our body of believers. It seems like so often our corporate worship services are so programmed and rushed, that we tend to meet societies need of getting together for a very limited and prescribed time. But within that programmed time, do we take time to truly remember and/or recognize all that God has done, and is doing among us, and then celebrate God’s very current miraculous works? When last have we stood in awe at the works of God? The Israelites didn’t wait until the next Lord’s Day to be led in praise and worship, for the scripture says that they were filled with awe and placed their faith in the Lord and His servant Moses. Perhaps we’ll see more people place their faith in the Lord, if they think that God’s children have a current, sincere and meaningful relationship with the Savior they are trying to promote. I am of the impression that this corporate worship service took place right on the banks of the Red Sea as they saw God’s mighty works unfolding. I bet that was some kind of awesome worship service that day – unplanned, unorchestrated and no clock watching for a given finish time. As indicated in the next chapter, a new song of deliverance was immediately penned with the expressions of the praise and worship from the people reacting to God’s mighty works! How would that song turn out if it was written at one of our worship services today? What words would you contribute to the song, based on your daily experiences with the King of all kings?
PRAYER: Lord, You are so good to us! You are patient, yet kind enough to work miracles in our lives every day. Please help us to open our spiritual eyes to see the glory of all that You accomplish in and around us, and help us to respond with due honor and praise to Your mighty works. May those who look at us, for proof of our relationship with You, truly see a child filled with awe over the mighty works You accomplish each day that impact us and draw us closer to You. May they be drawn to You and seek to know You in a very personal and meaningful way. Be glorified in us today Lord, as we recognize You, and celebrate in attitudes of thanksgiving, all that You do. May we again today stand in awe of You and Your mighty works. I love You Lord, and ask all this in the mighty name of Jesus, AMEN!
I believe there will be great opportunities for worship, and for winning the hearts of the lost for Jesus, if they saw into the depths of a totally surrendered heart, when they looked at us!
Bible Reference: 2 Kings 15:1–5
Translation: The Good news Translation (GNT)
Bible Text: In the 27th year of the reign of King Jeroboam II of Israel, Uzziah son of Amaziah became king of Judah at the age of sixteen, and he ruled in Jerusalem for 52 years. His mother was Jecoliah from Jerusalem. Following the example of his father, he did what was pleasing to the LORD. But the pagan places of worship were not destroyed, and the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there. The LORD struck Uzziah with a dreaded skin disease that stayed with him the rest of his life. He lived in a house on his own, relieved of all duties, while his son Jotham governed the country.
OBSERVATION: I believe there will be great opportunities for worship, and for winning the hearts of the lost for Jesus, if they saw into the depths of a totally surrendered heart, when they looked at us!
APPLICATION: It seems like there is always one aspect of our lives that we don’t fully turn over to God. In this king’s life, he came short of cleaning up his country for the Lord by leaving the pagan places of worship. I wonder what all we leave behind when we, supposedly, surrender it ‘ALL‘ to Jesus? Perhaps ‘ALL‘ that we feel is necessary to surrender to Him? God brought great condemnation on the kings that did this. I wonder how much is really brought upon us because of our lack of commitment and total surrender. I bet we could not imagine how much sweeter our relationship with Christ would really be if we totally surrendered ALL of ourselves to Him. Not only was a dreadful disease (punishment) brought on King Uzziah, but the people continued to worship their pagan gods. The un-surrendered parts of our lives will be heavily attacked by Satan, because he sees that as an inroad into the life of a believer in Christ. What stops us from surrendering all to Jesus? I believe there will be great opportunities for worship, and for winning the hearts of the lost for Jesus, if they saw into the depths of a totally surrendered heart. Let’s seek His face and ask Him for the help we need to do this, friends.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, please help us to search deep within our hearts and analyze those parts of our lives that we have not totally surrendered to You. After meditating on Your Word this morning, I feel like I must do this, because I likened it to me making a long trip in a nice RV, but leaving the air-conditioners at home. The trip would be a lot more tolerable and comfortable if I had the units with me. When my life is not totally surrendered to You, I live life similar to my RV trip, missing some very important pieces that could drastically improve the quality of life on earth for me. Furthermore, my joy while serving You down here would be so rich, that I couldn’t even imagine how much sweeter it would be when I see You face to face in heaven! Satan is after us with such intensity already, please help us to not leave any parts of our lives even more vulnerable to Him. May Satan, and all of those that my friends and I come into contact with see Jesus in all of His fullness and glory! AMEN!
Scripture: Genesis 33-35
OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)
14 Jacob set up a stone pillar to mark the place where God had spoken to him. Then he poured wine over it as an offering to God and anointed the pillar with olive oil.15 And Jacob named the place Bethel (which means “house of God”), because God had spoken to him there. Gen 35:14-15 (NLT)
APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)
Jacob went to Bethel because he was reminded of how God revealed Himself to him there when he originally escaped from his brother Esau over 20 years earlier. While there the second time, God gave Jacob a new name, Israel, gave him renewed strength to repopulate the land, and gave him much of the land that He (God) had once given to Abraham and Isaac. I got the impression that God was giving Jacob/Israel a new beginning, and telling him “Now go and get busy for me”. We just celebrated the beginning of a New Year. It started much like the old year ended, without much ado. It sure would have been nice to, and probably is not too late to, recommit ourselves to God as His children looking to restart our respective ministries and seek God’s direction for what He would have us do this year with all that He has blessed us with. I believe that if each of us reflect on the blessings that God has showered on us over the past year, then plant a marker to remind us of those blessings, then in all earnest seek to be involved in God’s direction for more successes in 2011, our churches would not be able to contain the overflow of His blessings. I feel like we need to set aside our personal agendas and ‘business as usual’ attitudes, and be willing to let God work mightily through us. We know the awesome spiritual needs of our community, and we believe that we know the God who holds all the answers to all of life’s problems and shortcomings. This is the same God that we, as Christians, have accepted as our King. Let’s let go of our selfish desires and let God perform miracles in and through us, so that His work can be accomplished in our community.
PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)
Praise be to God for His mighty hand and for all that He does for me each and every day. In being reminded of how You worked in the past dear God, I pray that You will again work in and through me and my church, and the churches of my community. There is no reason for us to have lost people in this community, or sinful acts a part of our neighborhood, for You are more powerful than anything or anyone else that we know. You are bigger than all these problems and challenges that we see, and You hold the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. I pray that You will find me faithful. I pray that You will find all those that worship You each week around Avon Park, Florida, willing and ready to bow before You, recognize Your Lordship and Your Kingship and that we will get off our personal thrones and allow You to be God, while we, as Your humble servants, stand ready to let You use us to do greater things for the Kingdom than we ever thought possible. May this be a year that we will look on as a ‘marker’ that future generations will come back to spiritually when they want to be reminded of Your power and move on a people and a community. Begin a renewed work in me, dear Lord, is my humble prayer.