Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Full of glory

Isaiah 6:1‭-‬3 NIV
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory."

The goodness of God is manifested throughout all of creation.  The whole earth is full of His glory.  And the angels in God's presence are so impressed with His holiness.

I want to spend time in His presence and become more impressed with His holiness.  And I want to become more aware of His glory in creation.

Heavenly Father, you are holy and good.  As your son, I want to be holy and good.  May I be a reflection of you today.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The LORD is gracious, and He desires repentance

Jonah 4:2 NIV
He prayed to the LORD, "Isn't this what I said, Lord , when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.

The LORD is kind and gracious.  He sends prophets to confront our sin, and His heart is for us to repent and return to Him for forgiveness and restoration.

Heavenly Father, you are good and kind, and I want to love you more.  Help me see your character, and help me tell others about how good you are so that they will know you and love you, as well.  I pray in the name of Jesus.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Amos and Hosea

I am not sure that I have noticed before how Amos and Hosea were contemporary prophets.  I also think it is interesting that both Amos and Hosea prophesied punishment for Israel, but they also prophesied restoration.  God is faithful, and He is good.

Heavenly Father, I praise you for your wisdom, sovereignty, faithfulness, and kindness.  Thank you for the hope of restoration.  Lord, may today be a day of restoration.  Please bring restoration in my own heart, and please use me to help others experience your restoration today.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus.

Monday, June 20, 2016

miraculous provision of food and water

God miraculously sent ravens to feed Elijah in the desert.  Then God miraculously sustained flour and oil for the widow in Zarephath, her son, and Elijah (1 Kings17).  But the conclusive moment for the widow was when Elijah raised her son from the dead:
24 Then the woman said to Elijah, "Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth."

After Elijah was taken up to Heaven, Elisha healed the water of Jericho (2 Kings 2):
19 The people of the city said to Elisha, "Look, our lord, this town is well situated, as you can see, but the water is bad and the land is unproductive." 20 "Bring me a new bowl," he said, "and put salt in it." So they brought it to him. 21 Then he went out to the spring and threw the salt into it, saying, "This is what the LORD says: 'I have healed this water. Never again will it cause death or make the land unproductive.'" 22 And the water has remained pure to this day, according to the word Elisha had spoken.

Later, when Jehoshaphat King of Judah and Joram King of Israel were attacking Moab, and their armies ran out of water (2 Kings 3), Elisha prophesied:

16 ... "This is what the LORD says: I will fill this valley with pools of water. 17 For this is what the LORD says: You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water, and you, your cattle and your other animals will drink. 18 This is an easy thing in the eyes of the LORD; he will also deliver Moab into your hands.

Heavenly Father, help me understand that miracles are easy for you, and that as a son of God, I can participate with you in bringing those miracles.  Lord, may your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.  Lord, help me show people your truth, not only tell them.  I want them to see your power and believe you because they have experienced your goodness and power.  Lord, please use me to provide water to people.  I want to say what I hear you saying, and I want to do what I see you doing.  Holy Spirit, please use me today.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Solomon: religion instead of relationship

As I finished reading Ecclesiastes, I noticed that King Solomon did write a few lines about fearing God, your Creator, but it saddens me that Solomon didn't refer to Him by name, Yahweh, as King David did.  Considering the writings of David, it seems to me that David grew in focus and desire on knowing Yahweh and enjoying His presence, whereas Solomon experienced the intensity of the glory of God's presence at the dedication of the temple, and yet, tragically, Solomon drifted away from an intimate relationship with Yahweh. 

Heavenly Father, I want to grow in my relationship and experience with you.  I want to be a son who knows his Father.  Jesus, I want to abide with you and walk with you.  Holy Spirit, I want to be aware of your presence and constantly keeping in step with you.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Ecclesiastes: implicit truth

Ecclesiastes 1-6

It seems to me that the essential truth in Ecclesiastes is not explicitly stated; it is implied. 

Solomon finds everything meaningless, which seems to me that he had mostly fallen off the wagon by the time of this writing.  It seems to me that, as King David grew older, the his writings tended to focus more and more on dwelling in the presence of the LORD and knowing Him.  However, Ecclesiastes is mostly focused on the futility of worldly living (though not explicitly stated as such) and largely absent of a contrast of the satisfaction of experiencing God.  While Solomon concludes that several different worldly pursuits (e.g., hard work or hedonism) are "meaningless" or "a chasing after the wind" and truncated by the grave, the implicit contrast is that you can always go deeper in your relationship and experience with the LORD, and every experience with Him will be shared and celebrated for eternity.  Furthermore, to the extent to which we allow the Holy Spirit to permeate and annoint our work and R&R, He sanctifies it and redeems it from futility to sacred significance.

Heavenly Father, I praise you for the systems, cycles, and seasons that you created.  Thank you for the opportunity to live with you because of the presence of your Holy Spirit.  Lord Jesus, may every moment of my life be devoted to knowing you and advancing your Kingdom.  Holy Spirit, I want more of you.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus.

Friday, June 3, 2016

OT and NT glory, fire, and annointing; temple and Church

2 Chr. 6:40 "Now, my God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.41 "Now arise, Lord God, and come to your resting place, you and the ark of your might.  May your priests, Lord God, be clothed with salvation, may your faithful people rejoice in your goodness.42 Lord God, do not reject your anointed one. Remember the great love promised to David your servant."2 Chr. 7:1 When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. The priests could not enter the temple of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled it. When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the Lord above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying,
"He is good; his love endures forever."

I am impressed with the similarities between this event and the baptism of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The New Testament revelation is that we are God's temple, filled AND anointed with the Holy Spirit.

I think it is interesting that Moses asked God on the mountain to show him His glory, and God told Moses that He would let him see His goodness.  When God filled Solomon's temple with His glory, the people responded by praising God's goodness and love.

Heavenly Father, thank you for filling me with your Holy Spirit when you gave me faith in Christ.  Please anoint me today for your work, and may I be a tabernacle of your presence and demonstration of your goodness and love.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus.