During this pandemic, we'd like to share a daily devotional -- a little of what the Lord has been teaching us in relation to our life and faith in these uncertain times. Maybe you can relate. You may also find our daily video devotionals at www.towerviewkc.com/live
Jeremiah 23:24 "'Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?' declares the LORD. 'Do not I fill heaven and earth?" declares the LORD.
Because God is omnipresent, He is absolutely unavoidable. We do not find God, but God finds us by descending from the majesty of his omnipotent and omnipresent power to his Son in our humanity. And on another note: People ask how Christ's return might be seen around the world, but they forget that he is omnipresent (everywhere - but not in everything. We are not pantheists) and plans to cover the globe with his glory.
Friend, we can’t hide from God’s all seeing eyes (Pro. 15:1-3). But remember and read Exodus 2:25. Feel forgotten by God? God sees. God knows. But don’t forget about Exodus 2:24-25. The game changer. Wherever you are, whatever you're going through: God is faithful. God sees, God knows. That is comfort to us!
We dig really deep holes for ourselves, right to the core of the earth. But the omnipresent Jesus is already down there, waiting with love. That sin you'll never shake in all this life: God sees it as no barrier. Believe the gospel most where you’re defeated most. Let us point the eyes of the all to the Lord whereupon our eyes can remain fixed and our hearts fully blessed.
Father, we praise you today that you are everywhere but not in everything. We don’t worship a chair because you are in it. But we worship you because you see that chair as well as all of me, all that we don’t see, and all of what is to come. Lord, thank you that you aren’t some fickle God that changes based upon what you see. Your sovereign plan is firm and fixed—and so we look to you, the author and finisher of our faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Exodus 9:30 "But I know that you and your officials still do not fear the Lord God..."
Do you believe in magic? Do you think magicians are real?
Well, when we think of magicians, we think of David Copperfield or Houdini. Even in our digital world of 3D and other illusions, magicians still amaze us by making building disappear or pulling cards out of nowhere. They are a source of entertainment and amusement.
In Egypt, magic was inseparable from religion. Priests would practice black magic to the power of the gods. Here we see three types of people that practiced the black magic. First, the “wise men” were those with skills and/or knowledge in a variety of fields and their counsel would be sought by the kings
Second, we the “sorcerers” were those engaged in the Egyptian practice of magic. They would use rites and incantations to influence nature, people, and the gods. Finally, the “magicians” were actually a brand of priests within the Egyptian culture. They had access to the occult world, being familiar with the secret writings.
Can you imagine the scene? Aaron’s rod becomes a serpent, slithering around. The magicians and others cause their staffs to become serpents. So, there are all these serpents on the ground. But then, Aaron’s staff swallows the other staffs. Moses and Aaron were not magicians. God was putting His power on display before Pharaoh and the Egyptians.
Because of pharaoh’s hard heart, God then unleashes ten plagues. There is the turning the Nile into blood, frogs, gnats, flies, death of livestock, boils, hail, locusts, and darkness. Each one of these plagues took dead aim at one of the Egyptian gods. These plagues weren’t just random acts of God. God is a God of order. With each plague, the LORD was showing His sovereignty, power, and authority over the gods of Egypt and the king of Egypt.
What a lesson for us today! God will not jump through your hoops. You will come to Him on His terms. You will come to Him on His time. You can’t be talked into the kingdom of heaven. You must become like a child and believe.
What will it take for you, dear friend, to repent? How long will you play games with religion? God may have to bring a direct, frontal assault on your god, just like He did to pharaoh. Whether it is beauty, popularity, fame, friends, family, or a relationship, everything must be pointed to the glory of God.
Father, we'll have a hard time feasting on God's Word if we're full from feasting at the table of the world. You often use so many things in our lives to remind us of this. Recall to our minds today that we don't control you - but you are the one in control. We know that nothing that comes our way has not first passed through your hands. Lord, so many don't fear you, and, sadly, myself at many times. Rejuvenate my heart, Lord. Help me to see you for as you are in your Word. Forgive me for my sin. Thank you that Jesus and Jesus alone saved me from all my sin. In Christ name I pray. Amen.
James 4:15 “If the Lord wills, we will live."
We are enveloped in sovereign care. If he doesn't will this or that, we won't do this or that. Peace.
When he stops willing us to live, we die. At the wisest moment, old or young.
"The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
So, when all our thinking and planning are done, we should peacefully, and expectantly say,
“If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
Trust in the Lord is not a naive leap of faith, but an informed and obedient response to his revelation of himself and his will for you, found in his Word. Only arrogance presumes we are in control, James says. If we live, it is his will. If we die, it is his will. The Lord gives and takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Father, we have to make real choices in this life, but as we do, we want to follow you. Father, we have to live around real people, but as we do, we seek you. Father, we know that nothing can overtake your love for us. And for that, we praise you. Thank you for sending your Son to die, buried, and rise again. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Isaiah 41:4 “Who has performed and done this, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he.”
We panic. God stays true to his sovereign plan.
We wonder. God knows the end from the beginning.
We pray. God answers with wisdom and grace.
Why? Because there is none before him or after him. He’s it.
“God is greater than man“ (Job 33:12). Every man. All men. Everywhere. Beginning to end. Forever.
We have a God who does not take risks because he knows the end from the beginning. He is never caught off guard, and he never panics.
God is the source, the means, and the goal of all things--the beginning, the middle, and the end--in all, over all, through all, to all. How fitting this would be the last verse in the Bible. "The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen" Rev. 22:21 - From beginning to end, the Bible is a revelation of God's grace, and Jesus as the only true hero.
Take that, Thursday (& every day!)!
Father, at the start of this day for some, and it's end for others, we praise, bless, and adore you for your tenacious love, vigilant care, and sovereign rule. You alone are worthy; you alone are good; you alone are God. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Job 1:21 "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised."
What carried Job through losing everyone and everything dear to him? How did his faith survive his circumstances?
His response to his circumstances speaks across the ages to encourage us to praise God no matter what the situation we may find ourselves in. No doubt, the difference between an immature Christian and a mature one is the ability to bow in worship and humbly acknowledge God’s sovereign control over your life, even when you don’t “feel” like it.
Job did not believe in fate. He did not believe in chance. He believed in God’s authority, and it was that belief that helped him cope when his whole world caved in.
The tendency for most people is to curse God, to question God, or blame God. Job worshipped God and praised God. We need the same unswerving faith Job had in the sovereignty of God. God gives and God takes away, so we must trust His sovereignty when either happens to us.
You may have well-laid plans that God refuses to bless or that need adjusting. You may have a friend or family member dying of a debilitating disease with no hope in sight. Hang in there! The outcome to these events might be different than you expect and even pray for so faithfully. Praise God! When those times come, let’s ask for the strength from the LORD to worship Him for who He is and what His eternal Gospel stands for in Holy Scripture. He will provide and sustain us as only He can.
Father, man plans his steps, but the Lord is sovereign over all. All my peace rests upon the knowledge that you are who you say you—all-good, all-wise, and all-powerful. Father, I am very thankful that you interfere with my plans. Father, help me to be thankful for the rain in my life. It interrupts my plans and reminds me you are in control. So, Lord, help me to worship accordingly. That is, according to your will and your way. That is the only way I can be successful to all you call me to do. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
1 Corinthians 2:2 “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”
God chooses foolish messengers (weak nobodies) to use a foolish method (preaching) to make known a foolish message (Christ crucified). The preacher who does not preach Christ crucified is a mere pretender to the office.
God has willed to work, not through human wisdom or intellectual expertise, but by the preaching of Christ crucified & raised from the dead! We must preach Christ crucified! We must throw off the clever strategies of modern evangelism, and face the world with open Bibles and the gospel of Christ crucified and raised. The offering of a better life now or eternal bliss later will draw even the most carnal men to the church--but will spit in the face of the Savior.
Friend, remember: There is only one gospel that provides access to God, the saving truth of Christ crucified.
“A Christless cross no refuge is for me;
A Crossless Christ my Savior may not be;
But, O Christ crucified! I rest in thee.”
--B B Warfield
Father, we come today not with eloquence or smarts. We come only through your Son on this Monday. May this day be for your glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Acts 14:22 “Strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.”
No other way. Discipleship 101.
“Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22. This “must” (δεῖ) is the same as the “necessary” of 1 Peter 1:6. It is far better to enter the kingdom of God through many tribulations than to settle into this world with a false peace.
Tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, sword -- that's life for people God loves (Romans 8:35-39). Despite this, what is the mission of the mission of the church? In short: evangelism, discipleship and church planting (Acts 14:21-23).
“In me you will have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 In me, peace. In the world, tribulation. Simultaneously.
Tribulation puts muscles into our soul. Have you asked the Lord recently for a strong soul?
Father, thank you for being upfront with us about what we can expect in life between the resurrection and return of Jesus. There will be difficult seasons, hard stretches, and unplanned for chapters. But you are just as sovereign over our sorrows as our joys. In your name. Amen.