The View That Will Change Your Life Forever

Some views will change your life forever.  The scenic wonder as you look out over the mountaintops. The sun that sets below the horizon daily.  The waves that crash on the ocean shores where land and sea collide.  Seeing and feeling the peace of a forest walk as nature saturates your senses.  When our eyes meet with places like these, there seems to be an extraordinary pull within us that longs for us to want to relive that experience day after day.  What your eyes see and what you experience has a way of affecting you on the inside.

But what about what your heart sees?  How do you respond to the vision of Jesus before you today?  When you look at Him, who do you see?

One day Jesus had a private moment with His disciples. In that moment, He wanted to know what they saw, not with their eyes, but with their hearts.  After asking about the opinions of others (Mt. 16:13), He wanted to know what those around Him thought for themselves: “But whom say ye that I am?” He asked (Mt. 16:15). 

With that questioning digging into their personal understanding of Him, only one spoke in revealed truth that centered itself in his very being and wouldn’t let go.  Only one man, by the name of Peter, saw Jesus for so much more.  “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,” (Mt. 16:16) he said without hesitation or flinching, being fully confident in his answer.

In Jesus, I believe he saw not just the miracles, and wonders, and powerful teaching.  He saw Him for who He was: “The Son of the living God.”

When you see Jesus for who He really is, your life will be filled with wonder in a way you have never experienced before, and you will be changed forever.  When the veil of truth is pulled back and revelation dawns upon your knowing heart, and heaven shows you the Son, things will never be the same. 

As your eyes of faith look upon Him and your soul is drawn to Him, you find in Christ what you have been searching for all your life.  Forward you walk.  Closer to thee, O Lord, I must be, becomes the craving of your inner man, and it cannot be satisfied with another.

I know how the world views Him.  They call Jesus many things and have many opinions.  But as I rise this day and every day, I see your glory.  I see Your hand in the very details of my life.  I feel you in my heart, and as with Peter, I see the Son before me.  That is a view that has changed my life forever. 

Blessings ~

Father God, we are praying today for many souls to see You for who You are.  We are praying for eyes and hearts to be opened to the eternal truth: salvation can be found in no other, but only in Jesus Christ can lives be truly changed forever (Jn. 14:6).  May many grab hold of this truth today and believe and receive Him for themselves.  In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray, AMEN!

Above image by David Mark from Pixabay

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Devotional Reading – “When the Precious is Poured”

“There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat,” Matthew 26:7

Each of us possesses the precious.  Each of us has within our being an ointment of appreciation to our Lord.  Each of us carries the sense that without Him we are nothing, therefore, what I do have I pour out for Him.

Much of our culture is self-seeking.  But God is asking for flags of surrender to be waved for service.  That we give up and pour out all for Him.  That we show the world a thing or two about true love; true appreciation to a Savior who poured out all for us.

Do I mean empty your bank accounts?  That’s not what I am speaking of here.  I’m talking about service.  Good examples of selfless service are hard to find in our age.  The way for many to see something beautiful in Christian service is blocked by the hoarding of blessings to oneself.  The gain for self has dimmed a light that once so richly shone.  Self has taken place on a pedestal that it was not meant to mount.

Jesus calls us to the service of this woman who gave up her best to bless.  When was the last time we gave up our best to bless others?  When was the last time we put our wants and desires on the back burner and put the thoughts and cares of others in the forefront?

Despite scathing ridicule, the woman unashamedly approached Jesus with her expensive, yet still, inadequate gift.  You see, for all He did for us, no gift can repay.  The costliest of earthly possessions and service can’t scratch the surface of reward for what He accomplished on the cross.  Yet, we are compelled to press forth and give our best.

“In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works…” (Titus 2:7, KJV).  It’s time for a new pattern to be laid.  The foundation of self must dissipate, and new groundwork needs to be founded on who He is in our lives and all that He has already done.  It’s time to show the world a different lifestyle.  A life built on pouring out.

When we pour out for Jesus, the preciousness within us becomes evident.  Man can then see the good that was once hidden.  He can see the difference that was once disguised.  When we release the precious that is in us we become vessels that honor the Lord; for it was on the cross when He poured out the precious for us.

The world needs a visual aid.  When they see us break the box and release the preciousness of good works inside, they will “glorify your Father which is in heaven,” (Matthew 5:16, KJV).

“That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life,” (1 Timothy 6:18-19, KJV)

Look for a way to bless others today and to pour out into their lives.  God bless you.

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Like a Tree!

“He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.” Psalm 1:3
 
Father God, We are praying today for the fruitfulness of Your people. May Your hand of prosperity be upon them. May You cause the works of their hands to increase and bring forth abundance. May the increase of their ministries, work, and lives be forever blessed, in Jesus’ name, AMEN!

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I will remember . . .

Taking time to remember all God has done for you, where God has brought you from, and all that God has delivered you through is always a good idea. “I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.” Psalm 77:11

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“We Cannot Bless Your Name Enough!”

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“Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;

Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:1-5)

Bless the LORD, O my soul, for He has done this for you.  O soul, you that find mercy in His saving grace, in Him you are benefited.  In Him, is found love and renewal.  In Him, forgiveness resides and lives are made whole.  In Him, there is healing for mind, body, and soul.  In Him, your life is redeemed from the destruction it would have known without Him.

It is God, our heavenly Father, who has crowned your life so beautifully with these undeserving gifts.  It was His faithfulness toward you that bestowed such lovingkindness in your life.

Tender are His mercies toward you.  Let us never forget where our help comes from (Psalm 121:1-2).  Let us always be reminded where our hope is found (Psalm 147:11), and that it is God alone who can be attributed to pouring “good things” into our lives (Psalm 103:5).

In Him, we are renewed, as with the strength of an eagle with our wings spread, gliding upon the winds of His Spirit, soaring high in this day, and in the days to come.  You, O God, are our constant help through anything we face (Psalm 46:1), and we cannot bless Your name enough.

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“There is no place . . .”

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“Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;

Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.

Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.” (Psalm 139:7-12)

There is no place, O God, that can keep me from Your sight.  Your eyes see me.  Your heart knows me.  Your love shelters me.  Your mercy follows me all the days of my life (Psalm 23:6).

Help me to walk through my days in this holy confidence: “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee,” (Hebrews 13:5).

Your Word has assured me, for it cannot lie (Numbers 23:19).  Your Spirit comforts me (John 14:16; 16:7).  With Your hand holding us, You tell us not to fear (Isaiah 41:10).

Although some days seem dismal, You are the Light that shines in my life (Psalm 18:28).

Where can I go . . .?  You have the words to eternal life (John 6:68), therefore, I will most gladly plant myself in Your presence, at Your feet alongside Mary (Luke 10:39).

Thank You, for Your knowledge of me, O God.  Thank You, for Your precious thoughts toward me (Psalm 139:17).  Thank You, for anchoring me and not leaving me on the waters of this life to drift about aimlessly (Hebrews 6:19).  And thank You, for leading me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:24).

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“Resetting Holiness!”

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“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).

“And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean” (Ezekiel 44:23).

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children” (Hosea 4:6).

“Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16).

Resetting holiness.  Has the church lost this all-important standard?  Has the desire to become a seeker-friendly church (which I have nothing against) and the like caused us to shift our focus from how God calls us to worship, live, and operate?

Have we become like the temple that Ezekiel witnessed, whose people caused the glory of God to leave that place?

Studying Ezekiel 8, we see while there was “worship” going on in the temple, it was not God’s worship.  The people who were to live in a covenant relationship with God were bowing down to false gods and giving themselves over completely to idolatry.  The people who were to live pure and holy, a sanctified (set apart) people, their lives and practices now celebrated the things God called abominations.  Things that were wrong and out of order of the true reverence of God were now being declared to be right and acceptable.

In that, I wonder how far the modern church has drifted from God’s holy standards and how close we are to being like those people of old.  Those who “worshiped” wrongly behind the walls believing it did not matter and that nobody, including God, saw them (ref. Ezekiel 8:12).

While we may not be involved in those exact things, and while I have nothing against the modern uses whereby we usher in worship, I must wonder if in our coming together, we are coming in the right spirit.  When David penned the words, “Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength.  Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness” (Psalm 29:1-2), I see in those beautiful verses what God deserves, and I must ask myself are we giving Him what He deserves?

Are we magnifying His glory in our building and in our lives, or are we chasing His glory away from the center of what we call worship, as seen in Ezekiel 10?

For God’s glory to be strong with us, we must be strong in God!  God doesn’t want us to honor Him with our mouths only, but He wants us to live and worship Him from the heart (Matthew 15:8; Isaiah 29:13).

And, my friends, it is from the heart where the resetting needs to begin, a heart that longs for more of God.  It is worship that invites His presence to come closer rather than repelling.  We want God’s glory permeating the atmosphere as in the days of old when they were overwhelmed in worship by His presence in a good way (1 Kings 8:10-11).

But for that to happen, things must change.  Wherever God’s presence is, things cannot go on as before.  He is a holy God, and the environment where He resides must be holy.  There is a transformation that must take place where the people worship.

God’s desire has always been to be near His people.  And in Ezekiel 43, he sees a light of hope.  Instead of seeing God’s glory moving away from His people, God’s glory is moving toward His people, toward His temple (43:3-5).

With that also came a message of warning: “And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me.  And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile . . .” (43:6-7).

God cannot reside in an unsanctified place.  The people’s responsibility was to get in line with what God wanted.  For Him, there has always been a line between holy and unholy (Leviticus 10:10).  There must be a resetting of holiness as the standard then, as well as now: “This is the law of the house; Upon the top of the mountain the whole limit thereof round about shall be most holy . . .” (Ezekiel 43:12).

In all of this, you may be wondering how exactly do we go about the business of resetting holiness?

First, I must say that resetting holiness should always begin with repentance.  God’s glory left the temple because of the people’s sin.  Sin corrupts.  Sin interrupts fellowship with God.  Sin will prohibit Him from coming to where you are.  They were to “put away” from them those things that defiled the place of worship (Ezekiel 43:7-9).

James 4:8 says, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded” (see also Isaiah 1:16 and 2 Timothy 2:21).

Then, there must be the restoration of proper worship.  They had to do more than take the wrong things out.  They had to bring in or adopt the right things, the right ways.

For them, the focus was on the altar and how it was to be consecrated, respected, and used (Ezekiel 43:13-25).  They had to fully honor God in His service.  They do this by honoring the way He prescribed things to be done.

How this restoration of true worship may look for us today is for us to refocus on why we are here, what we are doing here, and who are we honoring here.  Answering those questions will help us to realign our purpose for being here, which all boils down to one complete, overall answer: God.

Why are we here? – God.

What are we doing here? – God.

Who are we honoring here? – God.

When we keep those three things in proper perspective, we reset holiness as the standard in our lives and in our worship, and the glory of God can take over the atmosphere.

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Father God, on You do I wait. . .

God’s Word is my firm foundation and on the promises written within, I wait! “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” Psalm 130:5, NIV

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