God’s glory

Tuesday Devotional: Nehemiah 12

bibleRead Nehemiah 12

Worship and Purification. A life devoted to the living God and to following Jesus Christ must be marked by these two words on a daily basis. It is impossible to devote your life to God without worship and it is impossible to follow Jesus without daily purification. To know the living God is to be confronted by the almighty in all that is good. To know the living God is to be daily in the presence of something greater than yourself and more beautiful than we could possibly imagine. It is not enough to know about Him. Knowing about Him is like acting overwhelmed by a painting that you’ve never stood in front of. There is superficiality to this kind of knowing. If we haven’t seen it personally, how could we expect to understand it, share it, rejoice in it? Merely knowing about Him is professing confidence in a King you’ve never allowed to command your steps.

If we haven’t accepted His authority and followed His commands, how we can claim any faith whatsoever in His authority and discernment? Knowing God is to know that HE IS and the implications of that revelation are life-changing. If HE IS then I am who He says I am: a child in desperate need of a good father. Once we know Him as Father we see His beauty and there is little else to do in the presence of His beauty than worship.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ IS purification. You cannot separate the two. They are inseparable and indistinguishable. He is the purifier and we NEED purification. Need AND needed. Jesus came to purify the world of its sin by taking the sins of the world upon Himself, setting the captives free and restoring sight to the blind. To know Jesus and follow Him is to live and breathe purification. Our first breath in the morning should remind us of the life we have in Jesus Christ. The day that follows reveals the continual and ongoing fight with sin within us which requires the daily purification of our hearts by the Gospel of Jesus. The cross purified us by paying the debt we owed, and the resurrection initiated the final chapter of the world that requires ongoing purification as it awaits the final return of the King.

To walk with Christ is to be in the presence of perfection and thus aware of our imperfections. However, although our imperfections become great in His presence, His forgiveness becomes greater. The cycle repeats and we are once again prepared for glorious worship. Amen!

 

Tuesday Devotional: Exodus 24

Read Exodus 24bible

An encounter with the living God is not transformed most powerfully by his willingness to bless us despite our faults, but by the recognition that in the presence of the God of the Heavens and Earth and in the presence of our transgressions against him we remain. We continue to live on. We continue to receive blessing. A realistic encounter with the living God understands the Holy, awesome presence of a God that has no need for us. There was never a need or a requirement that the living God create man. God in the triune relationship existed in perfect harmony with no need for anything else. His desire to create man arose out of the desire to share this triune love with a creation of willful participation and love. The question then must be asked that after that creation broke the harmony of said relationship, why does God feel the need to continue to provide? What have we given him? What can we give him? What do we have that he has not already possessed? The answer to all of these questions is absolutely nothing. Once this realization has been made in the heart and mind of a believer the question forever changes from, “How can God bless me?” to “How can I serve him?” With this realization of his holiness and our sinfulness there is no logical explanation as to why we can even stand if he continues to. The answer to this question is grace. The only reason that we continue to stand alongside the great “I Am” is because he desires to be seen and known by us and desires for us to be reunited with him.

The power of God is not felt by receiving things. The power of God is not experienced by a new insightful perspective, or standards to follow so that we prosper in this lifetime. The power of God is truly experienced by coming into the unshakable truth that we have no right to be if he truly is. This recognition of truth is where we can truly experience grace. The fact that we can coexist with the living God is grace. The truth that he is inviting all of us to not only exist alongside him but is desiring that we share in his holy inheritance, bought at the price of the life of his son, is unbelievable. Yet, this is the truth of the Gospel. God, the creator of everything, is the God that appeared and left men alive in the hopes that his presence would impact their lives enough to lead them to change and follow him. The story of God is a story of pursuit, not our pursuit to be like him in the flesh, but the unrelenting devotion of God to pursue his children at all costs to bring them home.