Praise the Omniscient

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God knows everything. He is omniscient.

O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, O Lord, You know it all. You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is too high, I cannot attain to it. (Psalm 139:1–6)

His understanding is infinite. (Psalm 147:5)

Your Father… sees what is done in secret… (Matthew 6:6)

Lord, You know all things… (John 21:17)

And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. (Hebrews 4:13)

Awesome. Scary.

God knows everything about everything and everybody all the time.

God knows everything about you—and me–all the time. He knows everything you—and I—think, feel, say, do. There is nothing you or I can hide.

Simultaneously, God’s omniscience is comforting and fearful.

He knows all our sins, which should lead us to confession and repentance, thereby receiving His forgiveness (1 John 1:9).

He knows all our sins—past, present, and future—and saved us anyway, which should lead us to worship Him and give us confidence.

For unbelievers, though, God’s omniscience is a frightful reality since God, when He judges, knows everything the person did. Everything.

For unbelievers, this truth should help them know they need a Savior.

Praise the Omniscient

God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—I praise Your Omniscience. You know the end from the beginning. You know everything about everything and everybody all the time, and knit everything all together to accomplish Your glorious will. Help me relax in light of this truth, resting on You.

How to Pray for What You Already Have

Too often I will pray for something God has already given me.

My problem isn’t that I lack God’s resources but that I don’t apply His provision in my life.

Don’t Pray to Receive What You Already Have

If I pray for strength to cope with something, or the ability to do what He told me, I’m praying for the wrong thing. I’ve been told that I “can do all things through Him who strengthens” me (Phil. 4:13).

If I pray for His guidance, I’m ignoring that He always guides me (John 16:13).

If I pray for His grace, I overlook that He has freely and richly given me His grace (Ephesians 1:6-7).

If I pray for joy, I discount Jesus’ promise: “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full” (John 15:11).

I have been given “everything pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3).

But I Don’t Always Use What I’ve Been Given

But I am not always joyful.

I too often believe I am not able to do what I know the Lord wants me to do.

I pray for the wrong things.

Pray to Apply What You Already Have

Instead of praying for peace, or joy, or guidance, or strength, which you’ve already been given as a child of God, pray that the Lord will help you understand and apply His gifts in your life, in your situation.

Lord, thank You that You have given me the ability to accomplish Your direction. Thank You that You will guide me as I work in this situation. Please help me clearly understand what to do. Please help me get started and keep going.

Lord, thank You that You given me Your Word, help me understand what You would have me do. Thank You that You are with me now and will be with me as I, in Your strength, go about my day. Help me stay alert to You (Luke 21:36).

Lord, thank You that You already have given me everything pertaining to life and godliness. I am determined to use Your gifts in the life You have given me. Help me continually look to You for the guidance You’ve promised. Help me demonstrate Your power and love today.

Question

How are you going to pray—right now?

Is God Sovereign Over Our Sins?

 

God is sovereign over everything and everybody all the time. Period. (See Chapters 2-5 in When Storms Come: Will You Be Ready?)

Does that mean God is sovereign over our sins?

Yes.

God is sovereign over our sins, but we are entirely responsible for them.

God does not cause evil, He is not tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone (James 1:13). We are responsible for our own behavior.

God can prevent our sins (Genesis 20:6), but, clearly, He often does not.

When we sin, as children of God we are responsible to confess our sins. Our faithful and righteous God then forgives us our sins and cleanses us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

Even though we are forgiven if we confess, most likely there are consequences from our sins.

The good news out of this bad news is that God, in His providence, uses our sins for His purposes. (For example, Proverbs 19:21; Lamentations 3:37.)

Since He is sovereign, eternal, and omniscient, He not only knows what “will” happen, but whatever happened—whatever He allowed—was/is part of His plan. He works all things in accordance with His will.

This explains the familiar promise: God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

So…what bad thing just happened to you? God knew about it from before the foundation of the world (He is eternal). He allowed it (He is sovereign). If you’re a believer, He will use it for good.

SO!

If you’ve sinned, confess it, and seek to walk in His way.

But whatever the circumstance:

Trust Him.

Praise Him.

Obey Him.

Feeling Unlovable?

Feeling unlovable?

Oh oh.

Whose lies are you listening to?

If you are a King’s kid, Almighty God loves you with an infinite, unfathomable love.

If you don’t yet believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God and have not yet received Him as your Lord and Savior, turn to Him (See Becoming a Child of God).

God’s Love for His Kids

God is Truth. God is Love.

He, Almighty God, tells us about His love for us, He proved His love by sending Jesus to die for our sins, He promises unimaginable blessings for us for eternity. (See Chapters 6-9, When Storms Come: Will You Be Ready?)

When I sin, when you sin, God still loves us and is ready to forgive if we confess (1 John 1:9).

And His love means He will work on us and in us so we walk in holiness. He doesn’t quit on us (Philippians 1:6; 2:13).

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6)

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

If you don’t believe He loves you, then you are listening to lies.

Lies

Lies, at their core, are satanic.

[The devil] does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)

You may hear statements, comments or accusations from others that you think mean you are unlovable. You may rag on yourself telling yourself you are unlovable. As a King’s Kid, those are lies.

The Truth

God loves you.

God is for you.

There is nothing that can separate you from the love of God. Nothing.

Your Choice

You have a choice.

Whom do you believe?

Choose to believe God.

As His child, He loves you. LOVES you. Loves YOU.

 

See also:

His Enormous Love

What Does God Think of You?

The Lord Sings Over Us

 

 

Praise His Name

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Praise His Name

We, believers, are called to praise His Name.

I will sing praises to Your name. (2 Samuel 22:50)

O may Your glorious name be blessed and exalted above all blessing and praise! (Nehemiah 9:5)

Praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. (Joel 2:26)

God acts for His Name’s sake.

Then you will know that I am the Lord when I have dealt with you for My name’s sake, not according to your evil ways or according to your corrupt deeds. (Ezekiel 20:44)

I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake. (Acts 9:16)

We are to act for His Name’s sake.

Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life. (Matthew 19:29)

You have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. (Revelation 2:3)

Hallowed Be Your Name

This is the first petition in the Lord’s Prayer. His glorious Name represents all His is: His attributes, His actions, His nature.

To help us know Him, the scriptures include many names for God; one list includes more than 900.

Let us praise Him for who He is.

Practical Tips

To praise His Name, we need to know Him. We can say “Praise His Name,” or “Praise the Lord” all day long without coming close to meaningful praise.

Instead, practice praising Him for a specific attribute (for example, praise Him as Creator), or with a specific name (for example, God Almighty, Redeemer, Shepherd).

As you read the Bible, develop your own list of His names and His attributes, and praise Him, one at a time, using that list.

The Psalms include wonderful verses of praise. Use those to guide your own prayers of praise.

Praise His Name

God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) I praise Your holy name. You are God, immortal, eternal, totally other than me. You are from everlasting to everlasting, creating and sustaining all things, and working all things in accordance with the counsel of Your will.

Help me know You better, and praise You with my words, my deeds, my life.

To You be all the glory.

Next Time

Regret

We all have past actions—past sins—we regret.

We may have spent considerable time reprimanding ourselves.

We may still be stuck in that past sin.

Regretting sin is a good thing if it leads to godly sorrow, repentance, and determination to follow the Lord. (See, for example, 2 Corinthians 7).

But it is not a good thing to be stuck.

What to do

Clean up the mess as best you can.

Try to resolve the hurt you caused someone else.

Correct, with the Lord’s help, your underlying issues that led to the sin.

Resolve to not repeat the sin.

Determine, going forward, to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4).

Press on.

Next time

There is a wonderful story by Arthur Gordon about the roadblock of regret. He writes of seeing a dear friend, an eminent psychiatrist, and telling him about causing the failure of an important project. The dear friend, whom he called the Old Man, told him he was using the poison phrase: “If only.” “If only I hadn’t…”

            “The trouble with if only,” [the Old Man] said, “is that it doesn’t change anything. If keeps the person facing the wrong way—backward instead of forward. It wastes time. In the end, if you let it become a habit, it can become a real roadblock—an excuse for not trying anymore…

            [The remedy is to] “shift the focus…Change the key words and substitute a phrase that supplies lift instead of creating drag…Strike out the words ‘if only’; substitute the phrase next time….

            “As long as a patient keeps saying if only to me, he’s in trouble. But when he looks me in the eye and says next time, I know he is on the way to overcoming his problem. It means he has decided to apply the lessons he has learned from his experience, however grim or painful it may have been. It means he’s going to push aside the roadblock of regret, move forward, take action, resume living.”

Questions for you (and me)

Are you—am I—stuck in the past because of a failure, a sin?

Have you—have I—repented? Tried to make it right? Worked not to repeat the sin?

Are you—am I—looking forward to what God has for us, determined to walk in His way?

Are you—am I—thinking “Next time?”

 

~~~

Arthur Gordon, “The Roadblock of Regret,” in A Touch of Wonder: Staying in Love with Life (Grand Rapids, Michigan. Fleming H. Revell, 1974 77-78

In Kristin Snyder, When Storms Come: Will You Be Ready?

See also: If only; I Blew It.

 

 

 

Be Courageous

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Be Courageous

God tells us, about 50 times, to be courageous.

What is Courage?

Courage: “The quality or state of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or vicissitudes with self-possession, confidence, and resolution; bravery.”

Courage enables us to do what the Lord tells us to do.

Remember: There is a difference between courage and foolishness.

HOW

Joseph of Arimathea came, a prominent member of the Council, who himself was waiting for the kingdom of God; and he gathered up courage and went in before Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. (Mark 15:43)

How do we “gather up our courage?”

#1 Stand on your firm foundation in the Lord.

Jesus Christ is your Lord. Remind yourself about who He is, your position as God’s child, and God’s promises about your future.

Remember: He is with you.

Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid. (Mark 6:50)

Remember: You are in a battle for a great cause.

#2 Be clear about your objective

The Lord has chosen you to do some task. ACT! (1 Chronicles 28:10)

What is it He wants you to do?

Or, sometimes the Lord has chosen you to wait. It can take courage NOT to act, but to wait. (Psalm 27:14)

#3 Be conscious of your witness

Courage can be contagious… But so, also, can cowardice.

Paul’s imprisonment gave others more courage to speak the word of God without fear. (Philippians 1:14)

#4 Pray

Pray at every step, not just this one!

#5 Do It Scared!

Still Scared? Did God tell you to act?

Do it scared.

Do it.

Past, Present, and Future

 

Everyone living has a past, is living in the present, and has a future. There are no exceptions. However, the specifics are different for each of us.

Believers have many common elements for our past, present, and future.

Here is a description just from Romans 5:

Believers’ Past

We believers—all of us—were enemies of God, and helpless to do anything about that. (vv. 6, 10)

But! Christ died for us, the ungodly, demonstrating God’s love for us. (v.8)

We, those who believe in Christ Jesus, and, by faith, trust Him, have been justified (declared righteous). (v. 9)

We were made righteous and received an abundance of grace. (v. 17)

The Holy Spirit was given to us. (v. 5)

God’s love was poured out within our hearts through the Holy Sprit. (v.5)

Believers’ Present

We have peace with God, being reconciled to Him through Christ’s death. (v.1)

We stand in grace, through faith, through Jesus Christ. (v.2)

We are saved by Christ’s life. (v.10)

We exult in the hope of the glory of God. (vv.2, 11)

Believers’ Future

We are saved from the wrath of God through Jesus Christ. (v.9)

In other chapters, our future is more thoroughly described.

We have eternal life (John 3:15), with glory beyond comprehension (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Be Encouraged

In the past we, believers, were saved from the penalty of sin.

We all have a past of ungodly behavior. Don’t get stuck there. Remember the fact—the fact—that God, even though I was, you were, His enemy, He loved us so much that Christ died for us.

Even though…He made us righteous.

Even though…He gave us His Holy Spirit.

Even though…He poured out His love into our hearts.

In the present we, believers, are being saved from sin’s power.

And we have His help in the present, enabling us to live more godly lives.

We stand in His grace, knowing He is with us and will never forsake us.

In the future we, believers, will be saved from sin’s presence.

We are assured of eternal life, glory beyond comprehension.

 

Hang in there

 

 

 

 

With All My Ability

 

With all my ability I have… 1 Chronicles 29:2

Best Effort

As I thought about this, the more and more powerful this verse became for my life.

The phrase “with all my ability” doesn’t demand perfection, because none of us can be perfect, but it does demand our best effort.

This changes our outlook from the end result, to our daily, moment by moment, striving to achieve our goals.

I find this both freeing and challenging.

“How To”

As I started to think about it, a library hold became available: Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts; Becoming the Person You Want to Be by Marshall Goldsmith.

The book gave me some “how to” ideas to apply the best of my ability to specific goals in my life.

Goldsmith said each of us are Planners (our goals) and Doers (our actions), but that we often are better planners than doers. What we need, he said, was a coach to help the Planner become better at Doing. One tool is to develop daily questions to ask ourselves to what extent we did our best to…

Did I do my best to do, this day, what I know I should have done?

In his model it looks like this:

PLAN

What is the goal I want to achieve?

What is the associated question, for example, “Did I do my best to…”

COACH

Monitor yourself

Assess your effort

Keep score

DO

Stick with it

Improve your skill over time

You’re the Coach

The Coaching element helps us identify issues that we need to address in order to do our best, and, over time improves our skill in DOING what we need to do to reach our goal.

You have to come up with your own goals and Daily Questions, but here are some examples:

Did I do my best to read and study the Bible?

Did I do my best to have a meaningful prayer time?

Did I do my best to exercise according to my plan?

Did I do my best to stick to my diet?

Or, if it more powerful for you, word the questions in the negative:

Did I do my best not to eat sugar?

Did I do my best not to waste time?

~~~~~

I am applying this to my life, and can sense that this discipline will help me achieve my goals. Do you think it might work for you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Praise The Messiah

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“Messiah” means The Anointed One, translated as “Christ” in Greek.

Reading through the Old Testament, there are a number of references to an anointed one, usually referring to king, priest, or prophet. However, there is only one who is The Messiah.

The Messiah came, but most of Israel didn’t recognize Him. When the magi came and wanted to worship Him, Herod the king asked the chief priests and scribes where The Messiah was to be born. Bethlehem, Herod was told. The magi sought Him in Bethlehem, but there is no record the chief priests and scribes looked for Him (Matthew 2: 1-12). And they didn’t look even though they knew from Daniel when He was to be born. (Daniel 9: 25-26).

The question for us is: “Do we recognize The Messiah?” Have we received Him as our Lord and Savior?

The Messiah

The Messiah perfectly fulfills three offices: Priest, Prophet, and King.

The Priest

Jesus, so named because He came to save us from our sins, is our great high priest, our mediator with God. He both offered a sacrifice for our sins, and was the sacrifice for our sins. He continues to intercede with the Father on our behalf. For those who believe in Him, He reconciles us to God.

The Prophet

Jesus showed us the Father. Jesus, The Messiah, is The Truth, bringing God’s truth to us. And He revealed what is to come.

The King

Jesus, The Messiah, the King, possesses infinite wisdom and power, righteously ruling over all, delivering both mercy and judgment. He defeats every enemy. As King, The Messiah mediates the rule of God to people. He has God’s authority, and acts on God’s behalf.

 

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Praise You, Jesus, The Messiah. Praise You for coming to save us, offering Yourself for our sins, reconciling us to God. Praise You for showing us the Father, showing us the truth, and letting us know what is to come. Praise You for Your eternal, righteous rule.

 

Jesus Christ, our Lord: “Jesus” who came to save; “Christ,” The Messiah;“Lord,” Ruler over all.