Praise the Zeal of God

Are you unconcerned when you see your young child in the street? Of course not! You get your child out of harm’s way and make sure your child knows not to do that again.

Do you think God is indifferent to your plight? He’s not. He is zealous for you.

God’s name is Jealous

The Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God(Exodus 34:14)

[In both Hebrew and Greek the translation might be “jealous” or “zealous.”]

God is Jealous/Zealous about His Name, His Holiness (and you)

I will be jealous for My holy name.(Ezekiel 39:25)

For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.(Deuteronomy 4:24)

God’s Zeal

The Bible demonstrates God’s zeal over the Jews, Israel, His church and His enemies. His zeal to fulfill His eternal plan is evident.

I am watching over My word to perform it.(Jeremiah 1:12)

There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lordof hosts will accomplish this.(Isaiah 9:7)

God’s Zeal Prompts Him to Act in Love or in Wrath.

He put on righteousness like a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head; and He put on garments of vengeance for clothing and wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle.(Isaiah 59:17)

Praise the zeal of God.

God, I am so grateful You are zealous. It would be awful if You watched the mess we are in and… did nothing. It would be awful if You were indifferent to my circumstances or my future. But You care, passionately, about us, about Your creation, about Your name, Your holiness, and, with zeal, You are bringing Your righteous plan to fruition.

I praise You that we can rely on Your righteous acts, knowing Your zeal prompts You to action.

Thank You, Zealous One!

~~~

What are you zealous about?

~~~

This completes Volume 1 of Praise A to Z. For a complete list, see Praise A to Z Volume 1

 

 

During the Storm

nasa.gov

 

During the Storm

The storm hit.

During Hurricane Harvey and its 40 inches of rain, friends in Houston had to build a system to channel water from their overwhelmed gutters away from their house. Family in New England had to shovel snow from their roof.

What should we do during a storm?

Remind Yourself

During a storm, remind yourself of how you prepared for the storm:

Remember

Get Centered

Pray

Repeat the steps you took to get ready. (See Before the Storm.)

Do

Do whatever the Lord is telling you: channel water away from your house; shovel snow from your roof to protect the structure; do what He leads you to do during your particular storm.

Determine

And, then, determine to:

Trust your sovereign, loving God.

Run to Him—He is your refuge.

Give thanks, for this is God’s will for you.

Be a light in your world, showing God’s truth and mercy.

Press On!

And—Press On!

 

Christ Lives!

biblica.com

 

Jesus Christ the Lord is risen today! Alleluia!

Christmas

Jesus Christ came to us as a baby, came in the flesh that He might, as a man, seek and save that which was lost.

Good Friday

Jesus Christ died, sacrificially, that He might atone for the sins of those who believe and put their trust in Him, making us new creatures.

Easter

Jesus Christ is not on the cross.

He is not in the tomb.

Jesus Christ was resurrected, proof His sacrifice was accepted.

Christ lives!

Death was conquered.

Satan was defeated.

Ascension

Jesus Christ ascended, taking back the glory He had before the world was.

Christ sent the Holy Spirit

Christ now sits at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us.

Christ is preparing a place for us so that where He is we may be also.

Because He lives, we live

Because He lives: we (believers)

  • Have been redeemed
  • Have been adopted by the Father
  • Are in Christ
  • Have everlasting life
  • Have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us
  • Have been blessed with every spiritual blessing
  • Have everything pertaining to life and godliness
  • Are co-heirs with Christ. (and more)

Contemplate the wonder of what God has done.

All glory to God.

Halleluiah!

~~~~

God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—thank You. Thank You we rejoice today for Christ’s resurrection. Please help us feel the wonder of what You have done. Help us praise You with our lips and our lives.

~~~

He is risen!

He is risen indeed!

Before the Storm

 

We have family in New England, who have lived through several bomb cyclones! And family in Hawaii, which has had flooding. And friends in Houston who endured Hurricane Harvey and its 40 inches of rain.

We usually have warning of impending bad weather and can take some steps to weather the storm.

We can take steps before any storm to prepare for it and help us reach safe harbor. And the steps we should take when we know a storm is coming are also the steps we should routinely take to sail through life.

What to do?

Remember

Remember God is sovereign over everybody and everything all the time.

Remember God loves you—believer in Christ—with an everlasting love.

Remember God uses the trials of life for good.

Remember God is with you.

Remember God will guide you.

Remember the great things He has done for you.

Get Centered

Remembering the truth about God enables you to face any storm with trust.

Remembering God will be with you and guide you, empowers you to be grateful.

Pray

Pray in thanksgiving for all He has done for you, and all His promises.

Pray, trusting Him, for His love for you, and He loving control over the storms in your life.

Pray, asking Him for His direction, and His power enabling you to honor Him through troubled times.

~~~~

See When Storms Come: Will You Be Ready? for a helpful study so you can be ready for anything.

 

 

 

 

 

Praise Yahweh

 

God declared His name to be Yahweh, I AM.

I AM WHO I AM. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations. (Exodus 3:14-15)

Personal Name

God chose to tell us His personal name!

There is so much more about His name, but I am thrilled that God shared His personal name with us. If we work in a large company or study in a big school, we don’t know all the names of our co-workers or faculty or students. In larger churches, we don’t know the names of all the congregation or, probably, the names of all the staff. We’re friendly when we meet those folks, but we don’t learn their names unless we start building a relationship.

God giving us His personal name means relationship!

Character

“I AM WHO I AM,” reveals foundational truths about God. “I AM” signifies eternal existence. God is God from eternity past to eternity future, from everlasting to everlasting.

When He revealed His name, He also declared that He is with us, and that He will deliver us. (See Exodus 3:13-17)

I AM eternal, and near My people to deliver them.

In the Old Testament there are many compound names of God, which reveal more of His character. A good study is to identify these names and their meanings, for example: YHWH-jireh, The LORD  Will Provide (Genesis 22:14).

~~~~~

Yahweh, I praise You for revealing your personal name to us, and for manifesting Your character and Your attributes through Your Word. I am so grateful You want a personal relationship with me, with us. I praise You for Your infinite…infinite everything…infinite power, infinite love, infinite justice, infinite mercy. You are incomprehensible, and yet You chose to reveal Yourself to us that we might have a loving relationship with You. All glory and honor and praise to You.

Praise Yahweh!

Who is Waiting at Your Finish Line?

 

Gold medal! The first-ever USA gold medal in cross country, with the ladies winning the team sprint.  During the last 100 meters, the USA skier sprinted into first.

“In the final stretch I was just thinking, Go, go, go, I’m giving it everything I had… and when there is someone you care about at the finish, you’ll never give up, never.” Jessie Diggins

Our race

 The Christian life is a race, a wrestling match, a boxing bout, a battle. The Bible has many references to our need to strive against sin and to walk according to the Spirit.

Who is waiting at your finish line?

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith…  (Hebrews 12:1–2)

Jesus Christ is at our finish line, and with us through our race.

Our race goes better when we are conscious of His presence now and at the finish line.

The finish line for the Christian has enormous rewards.

We will be glorified (Romans 8:30; see God’s Loving Promises).

We will receive the crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:6)

We will receive rewards for what we did in the body (Revelation 22:12).

Never give up

Strive to be able to say with Paul:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7–8)

Let run our race with endurance. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus at the finish line.

Press on.

 

Who Do You Think You Are?

Who Do You Think You Are?

What is your immediate response to this question: “Who do you think you are?”

Is your response about your job or role? “I’m a business owner, I’m a doctor, I’m a teacher, I’m a professional athlete, I’m a parent.” Those are temporary answers; your business might fail or be sold; you retire; you get cut; your kids leave home (yeah, you’re still a parent, but you have an empty nest).

“Who do you think you are?” is an identity attack and most likely accompanied with a sneer and an implied accusation.

As a Christian, your core identity is a chosen child of God, redeemed, reconciled, gifted, sealed, and destined for eternal life.

How should we react to identity attacks?

Jesus

“If you are the Son of God…” (Matthew 4:3, etc.)

“You have a demon.” (John 7:20, John 8:52)

Jesus, of course, knew exactly who He was, where He came from, and where He was going. He answered Satan with scripture (Matthew 4:1-11). He answered the Jews with the declaration that He was I AM. (John 8:54-58)

The Apostles

Paul was called crazy (Acts 26:24).

In general, the apostles were reviled, persecuted, called and treated like dregs, the scum of the world (1 Corinthians 4:12-13).

What did they do? They kept going. They rejoiced they were worthy to suffer for His name (Acts 5:41).

Nehemiah

When the Jews were rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem, their identity was attacked. They were mocked and call feeble. (Nehemiah 4:1-2).

What did they do? They finished the wall in 52 days. They kept going.

Job

Job suffered a prolonged attack on his identity. His “comforters” declared him guilty and wicked, and told him he’d gotten what he deserved.

Job thought, as did his attackers, that suffering was caused by sin. He didn’t understand because he couldn’t think of anything he’d done that caused his loss and distress. While he answered his attackers, he mainly talked to, and questioned, God.

But then God showed up and asked Job “Who do you think you are?” UH OH!

If God asks you that question, it is not a good thing!

God asked Job where he was when God laid the foundation of the earth, whether Job ever commanded the morning, and on and on. And on.

What did Job do? Job repented. Job declared God sovereign. And Job obeyed when God told Job to pray for his friends.*

Who Do You Think You Are?

How should we react to this question in its many forms?

  1. Be settled in who you are, and whose you are. (See Who Are You?)
  2. Consider the source. React differently if someone (or yourself) is asking, or if God is asking.
  3. Determine if you have gone awry, or overstepped your bounds, and if so, correct that.
  4. If you are working in the will of God, rejoice and keep going!
  5. Rejoice that you are worthy to suffer for Him.

If God asks, it is a reprimand.

  1. Confess.
  2. Repent.
  3. Submit and trust.
  4. Obey.

Remember your identity

You are a chosen child of God, redeemed, reconciled, gifted, sealed, and destined for eternal life.

 

PRESS ON.

 

~~~

  • Initially, they were three friends who came to comfort Job. Then, for many chapters, they were Job’s accusers and attackers. Now God called them Job’s friends. I’d like to know more about this transition back to friends.

 

 

Who Are You?

Your Identity

We are sometimes attacked at the core of who we are. Jesus was, the apostles were. We’re not exempt.

Next week, I plan to talk about attacks, but as I was working on that, I realized to withstand core attacks, we must be settled in who we are.

Who are you?

Developing a strong sense of self is a key developmental task. The stronger our identity, the less we are blown off-track with the changes and challenges of life. This is true for both believers and those who don’t believe in Christ.

When we believed in Jesus Christ and trusted Him for our salvation, our core identity changed. We became new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17).

This transformation is sometimes startling in its magnitude. Think about Paul. He was zealous for God according to the strictest Jewish beliefs, and persecuted Christians (Acts 22:3-4). After Jesus appeared to him,

immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” (Acts 9:20)

Your identity

One year I listed (some of) what the New Testament said about my identity as a believer. My list included:

Child of the Father (John 1:12)

Sister of Christ (Matthew 12:50)

Bride of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2, Revelation 19:7-10)

 Indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14)

 Redeemed (Ephesians 1:7)

 Saint (See Good Morning, Saint!)

 Challenge

As you read through the Bible this year, make your own list of who the Bible says you are.

And determine to believe what God says about you.

 

Praise The Word

Nasa.gov

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)

Jesus Christ is God, eternal, and in eternal relationship with God.

Yet Christ humbled Himself to be born as a baby, giving up His prerogative as God, in order to show us God, and to seek and save that which was lost. (Philippians 2:6-8; Luke 19:10)

Jesus Christ is how God chose to speak to us, after God spoke to us in the prophets. He explained God. (Hebrews 1:2; John 1:8)

Jesus Christ is God in a human body. (John 1:14)

  1. The fullness of Deity in bodily form. (Colossians 2:9)
  2. The radiance of Gods glory. (Hebrews 1:3, John 1:14)
  3. The exact representation of His nature. (Hebrews 1:3)
  4. The image of the invisible God. (Colossians 1:15; 2 Corinthians 4:4)

When you see Jesus Christ, you see the Father. (John 14:9)

God came seeking us! To save sinners from their sin, judgment and death.

The enormity of this is overwhelming. Almighty God, eternal, creator, judge, humbled Himself to speak to us in tangible, human form. God showed us His nature, His glory, through Jesus Christ.

As we seek God, we have the incomprehensible assurance that God is seeking us. The unfathomable truth in God’s Word, Christ Jesus.

~~~~~

God, I praise You for showing us Yourself in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, The Word of God. I praise You–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit–for revealing Yourself to us. I praise You, Jesus Christ, for explaining the Father to us. The magnitude of Your grace is overwhelming. Thank You that we don’t need to wonder, but that we can be assured You love us, You care for us, You want us with You for eternity. Help us absorb the enormity of Your mercy into our lives, help us share this awesome truth with others, and help us walk in a manner worthy of You.

God is With Us

Harry Durgin

 

God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit–will be with us, believers in Christ, throughout the year ahead (and for eternity). This is one of the sure things in 2018. (See Sure Things in 2018).

God is present everywhere (See Praise the Ever-Present God), but, for Christians, God’s presence in our lives is a living, loving, personal relationship.

We are in a relationship with Almighty God! We are children of the Father, brethren of Christ, indwelt by the Holy Spirit.

God is always with us, including being with us through the other three sure things in 2018.

God is with us in our service.

We have God-given work to do. We have a great commission to fulfill (Matthew 28:19).

And, He promised to be with us as we work:

I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:20)

He shows us how to serve; He helps us in our service.

I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me. (Colossians 1:29)

Ask for His guidance for and in your work. Be confident that He is working within you to accomplish His will.

God is with us in our trouble.

He is in control of our storms and guides us to safe harbor.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for You are with me. (Psalm 23:4)

God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

Trust His loving sovereignty.

God is with us as we choose.

He is working in us to make decisions that honor Him.

It is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)

In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. (Romans 8:26)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5–6)

Pray for wisdom to make a godly choice.

Work to make God’s presence a conscious factor in your service, your trouble, your choices.