Be In Awe

Have you noticed just how blind we are? Have you noticed how self-consumed we are? When was the last time you stood in awe of God? When was the last time you looked around and acknowledged it was all created by God?

As we pause for a moment to take an objective look at our world, we see the mass of humanity consumed by their daily desires. We work to fulfill them. We seek to be entertained. We long for a loving touch. We believe we are entitled. We believe we deserve good things.

We are told often in Scripture to be in awe of God. We are told to take time to contemplate who he is. We are told to go to a quiet place to spend time with him. Unfortunately, we are running a race we were not designed to run. We have stepped off the path God laid out for us and onto the treadmill of materialism.

To spend time in prayer does not mean we must physically be on our knees in a back room or Sanctuary. We can sit on our front porch and observe what God has put before us. It can be sitting on a hilltop overlooking a portion of God’s creation. We can observe and be amazed at the birds and other animals we see along the way.

We need to be observant and stand in awe of God. When we acknowledge all that God has created, we are humbled, realizing we are just one small bit of his creation. It is when we come to this realization that we can truly submit to God. We can stand in awe of God now, accepting his wonderful gifts of grace, mercy, love, and salvation. Or…we will stand in awe and bow in fear when Jesus returns.

I pray we take time to observe God’s creation. I pray we are humbled when we realize how small we are. I pray each one of us will stand in awe of God and give him the glory. Take notice of God’s creation. Realize how small you are. Be humble before God. Be in awe of God. Give God the glory.

Psalm 33:8-9

Let all the earth fear the Lord; 

let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. 

For he spoke, and it came to be; 

he commanded, and it stood firm.

Night Stars

Have you gazed at the stars lately? Have you observed the vastness of space? Have you ever wondered what angels might be like? Have you thought about how the vastness of space and all the stars were created? What if you could have a personal relationship with their Creator?

We may think it is poetic to look up at the stars at night. We may not think anything of the stars. We may be in complete amazement to hear there are people working on a capability to travel to Mars. We may not think about space travel at all.

In my previous profession, I worked on the information technology systems for a company who is contracted to build a prototype jet engine to take people to Mars. That may sound incredulous to most of us. Some of us may wonder why we would ever want to go there. It all boils down to humans being a curious breed. We are constantly seeking.

What are we seeking? It is really a question of Who are we seeking. Whether we realize it or not, we are seeking our Creator. We seek to know and understand him. We seek to understand our environment. For some of us, we merely focus on our immediate environment. For others, we are seeking to understand something more.

Standing amazed at the creation God has made is a proper attitude to take. Knowing that God spoke all things into being, including the space and stars of our universe, is one part of knowing God better. We don’t have to understand it completely. We are simply to give God the glory he deserves for his wonderful and amazing creation.

I pray we all take notice of God’s creation. I pray we believe God created everything in the universe. I pray each one of us stand amazed when we look at the stars shining in the night sky. Seek to know God. Believe God created everything. Be amazed at his creation. View the stars. See the vastness of space. Give God the glory for his creation.

Psalm 33:6

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, 

and all their host by the breath of his mouth.

Highest Authority

What is your mission in life? Have you pondered that question? Have you figured it out? Have you considered the path you are on? Have you laid out interim steps to get where you want to go? Have you considered asking God where he wants you to go?

A question everyone wrestles with at one time or another is what their purpose is. If we didn’t, we would blindly amble through life. God has given us a purpose. The bigger question is, are we fulfilling it? Some of us are. Some of us are not.

As Christians, we talk about the great commission. Unfortunately, too often we don’t act on it. Oh, we might once every blue moon ask a friend to come to church with us. But we don’t really live out the great commission. If we did, our churches would be overflowing.

What does it mean to live out the great commission? It means every moment of our lives are lived for Jesus. Everything we do brings glory to Him. Our words. Our actions. Our attitudes. Ensuring all of these are done to glory Jesus does not mean we have to constantly speak His name. It means we speak, act, and have the attitude of Jesus at all times.

Jesus gave us the great commission due to the authority given Him. We often don’t think of His authority. Yet, His authority is the greatest authority in the entire universe. It is greater than any government or corporate position. Adhering to His authority is the most important thing we can do.

I pray we all recognize Jesus’ authority. I pray we seek to do everything so as to bring glory to Him. I pray each one of us will speak, act, and have an attitude like Jesus. Know that Jesus has all authority. Go to glorify Him. Speak like Jesus. Act like Jesus. Have an attitude like Jesus.

Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Jesus Given Authority

By what authority do you act? Do you know the authority by which others act? What or who is the highest authority? Do you view authority from a human perspective? Have you attempted to view authority from God’s perspective?

We are granted authority from higher authorities. While working our jobs, we may be given authority over a small team or over a large department. We may climb the corporate ladder to the point of having authority over the entire company.

When Jesus came to earth, He came with authority. It was not just any authority. It was the authority to cast out demons, perform miraculous healing, and even raise people from the dead. Where did His authority come from? It came from the Father who put the entire plan in motion.

Notice, Jesus starts His answer to the questions of those around Him by stating they knew where He came from. But both He and they were talking about His earthly upbringing, Nazareth. Then Jesus switches to His heavenly mission given to Him by the Father. He states they do not know the Father, but Jesus knows the Father. Why would He say that? Because if they knew the Father, they would know Him.

Jesus has been given all authority by the Father. To know Jesus is to know the Father. To know the Father is to know Jesus. Knowing the Father sent Jesus and Jesus willingly came to be our Savior is the beginning of wisdom. Will we seek to truly know the Father and the Son? It is by getting to know they that we live the promised life of abundance.

I pray we all seek to know the Father and the Son. I pray we know that Jesus was both sent and came willingly. I pray each one of us know and accept Jesus as our Savior. Jesus has all authority. The Father sent the Son. The Son came willingly. Accept Jesus as your Savior. Seek to know the Father and the Son.

John 7:28-29 Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own authority, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.”

Humbly Accept Authority

Yesterday we discussed obeying authority, today let’s look at how we handle authority when given to us. Do we relish it? Do we abuse it? Does it become “my way or the highway?” Or do we humbly accept our role? Do we use our authority wisely?

For some, when given a little authority, they can become big headed. Authority can be intoxicating. People can become overwhelmed with the desire for power. Many people have been consumed with the desire for power. Power can be our downfall.

I heard many times when I was younger, “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.” This saying was used for two purposes. It was to remind me that it can be an uphill climb to topple someone in a high position. It also was used to impress upon me that thinking highly of myself could result in a hard tumble of my own.

Jesus sent seventy of His disciples out on a mission. He gave them authority to perform miracles and cast out demons. They returned whooping and hollering, shouting with joy. He reminded them that He had given them this authority. He also told them not to rejoice in their authority. Instead, they were to rejoice that their names were written in heaven.

We should follow Jesus’ instruction as well. He is the one who gives us authority. We may think it is a boss further up the chain, but it is not. Jesus is the One working in them who gives us authority. We are to humbly accept the position, carry out our duties to the best of our abilities, and give all the credit to Jesus. Much like the disciples, we are given authority by Jesus. Much more authority than we often realize. Our authority includes spiritual authority. We should put that authority to work for Christ’s kingdom and rejoice that our names are written in heaven.

I pray we all humbly accept the authority we are given. I pray we know and act as though our authority comes from Jesus. I pray we rejoice that our names are written in heaven. Jesus gives authority. You are given spiritual authority. Know your authority comes from Jesus. Humbly accept the authority given. Rejoice that your name is written in heaven.

Luke 10:19-20 “See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

Jesus’ Authority

What is your view of authority? Do you obey those in authority? Are you someone who rebels against authority? Are you in a position of authority? How might you need to change your attitude to submit to authority? Have you submitted to Jesus’ authority?

Over the ages there have been a plethora of people who have rebelled against authority. Some of them have done well and may have been revered as heroes. Most of them have experienced horrible endings to their rebellion. Rebelling against authority often does not turn out well.

Many of us rebel against authority today. Oh, we don’t think we do, but we do, even if in very small ways. We exceed the speed limit. We rail against our government. We disobey our parents. We cheat on our taxes. There are many ways in which we reject authority.

Why do we rebel against authority? We follow our personal desires. We call it freedom, but it is anything but freedom. In fact, by definition, it becomes anarchy. We say that conforming to authority is brainwashing. However, obeying authority creates a civilized society.

One authority we should submit to is Jesus Christ. He has authority over this earth and all people, even if we do not want to admit it. He has authority to grant us an abundant life. He has sacrificed Himself for us to grant us eternal life with Him. He performed many miracles and gave God’s message with authority. Submitting to His authority brings Him into our lives in a powerful way, strengthening our relationship with Him, and makes our lives better.

I pray we all submit to the authority of Jesus Christ. I pray we know that He will bless us richly when we do. I pray each one of us seek the abundant life Jesus promised. Know that Jesus has all authority. Stop rebelling. Submit to Jesus’ authority. Strengthen your relationship with Jesus. Seek the abundant life.

Matthew 9:8 When the crowds saw it, they were filled with awe, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to human beings.

Put Things In Order

Do you have your acts together? Are your things in order? What does it mean to you to have your things in order? Does it mean to have your retirement plan in order? Does it mean a plan for your relationships, job, and children? Have you left someone out of your plan?

Often, when we think of putting things in order, we think of planning our life, developing a plan in our jobs, or making final arrangements as we near end of life. Far too often we only think of worldly possessions and our finances. But there is more to putting things in order than what we normally think of.

The Apostle Paul closes out his second letter to the church in Corinth with a simple message to put things in order. He clarifies it with a couple pieces of advice. He tells them to agree with one another. Let’s not misunderstand that statement into thinking he means they can never disagree. After all, not everyone will agree that steamed broccoli is an awesome side dish. He is speaking about agreeing who Jesus is and serving Him. He is telling them to not quarrel over the how of worship but agree on worshiping in truth and spirit.

Paul tells them to live in peace. This is not just peace with one another but peace with those in their community and the Roman authorities. Functionally, he is talking about obeying the law and not purposely stirring up discord. He is also speaking of accepting the peace of God into their lives. This happens as they allow the Holy Spirit to guide their lives more.

We can make our lives much, much more pleasant if we were to follow his guidance. When we all agree that Jesus is the most important part of our worship, we are less concerned about the order. When we seek God’s peace and peace with one another, we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives and look at things from one another’s perspective. Make no mistake, it takes a commitment from us and a surrender to God to achieve these.

I pray we all submit to God. I pray we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives. I pray each one of us will strive to agree with one another and live in peace with one another. Put your life in order. Submit to God. Listen to the Holy Spirit. Be in agreement with other Christians. Live in the peace of God. Be at peace with others.

2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell. Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.

Consider God

What is your perspective of who you are? Where do you stand in relation to the world? Have you thought about it all? Do you realize you are just one among billions? Is that a depressing thought? Is it a scary thought? Have you considered how awesome God is?

We often think rather highly of ourselves. We like to put ourselves on a pedestal to boost our self-esteem. Being a big fish in a small pond can inflate our ego. It is once we get out into the bigger ocean of people that our eyes open to see the sea of humanity.

By recent estimates, there are more than 8 billion people on this earth. Wrapping our minds around a number that large is hard to do. Even if we were to consider everyone we see on television or movies, only see a drop in the bucket of humanity. Suddenly, when we consider the numbers, we are not nearly as important as we would like to think.

Not only has God created all people but he has created all plants, animals, and insects. Add to that all the stars, planets, and moons in the universe. Getting the picture? God is far greater than we might imagine. Then we add into this grand picture of God the fact that he wants a relationship with each one of us.

It is no wonder the Psalmist writes with an attitude of amazement. He writes with a realization that mankind is just one tiny piece of God’s creation. Yet he also realizes that God cares greatly for mankind and has allowed them to rule over creation…and he is in awe.

It should be humbling for us to consider the awesomeness of God. We should be humbled to think that God has put his wonderful creation in our hands to care for. Our responsibility goes far beyond ourselves. We are to be good stewards of all that God has blessed us with.

I pray we all are in awe of God’s creation. I pray we are humbled by his desire to have a relationship with us. I pray each one of us will strive to care for what God has blessed us with. Be in awe of God. See his wondrous creation. Be humble before God. Be a good steward. See the blessings God has blessed you with.

Psalm 8:3-4

When I consider your heavens, 

the work of your fingers, 

the moon and the stars, 

which you have set in place, 

what is mankind that you are mindful of them, 

human beings that you care for them?

Wonder of God

Have you ever wondered how everything was created? Have you pondered how it might all have happened? Was the first one small dust particle? Did the inspiration for creating the entire universe come after God had created a single bit of dust? Or did he always have a grand plan?

Please do not misinterpret my questions. They are not to insult or make fun of God. Rather, they are simply curiosities that cross my mind. You see, I like to dig to the bottom of things and am curious how and why things are done. After all, God could have gone forever without creating us.

My curiosity sometimes gets the better of me. I start wondering about how God created everything and why. Then I start spiraling down a rabbit hole that never seems to end. Or, more precisely, I can never know the answers to the questions I raise in my mind. I am much better at understanding how he works in the world today than determining how he originally created it and why.

Let’s clear one thing up. The scientific community is not counteracting the story of God creating everything. First, science has yet to be able to create something from nothing. Only God can do that. Second, the Hebrew writers often used allegories to explain to people what we do not understand. Therefore, the creation stories in Genesis are not to be taken literal but are to express the magnanimity of God in human terms, even though expressing him fully in human language is not possible.

I pray we continue to believe that God created everything. I pray we understand enjoy the mystery of God. I pray each one of us will spend time wondering about the mighty acts of God. Believe in God. Wonder about God. Know that God is our Creator. Trust in him.

Genesis 1:1-2 In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.

Holy Spirit Filled

Have you been filled? Do you know what it is like to be filled to the point of overflowing? Have there been times when you have eaten too much? Have you had that same feeling from the Holy Spirit?

Most of us can relate to eating too much. This is especially true on holiday’s such as Thanksgiving or Christmas. We want to have a taste of almost everything laid out on the table, including all the desserts.

Being filled by the Holy Spirit can have a similar feeling to it. When we eat too much we feel as though we will burst. When the Holy Spirit fills we may overflow with the goodness being poured within us.

The apostles certainly knew what it was like to be filled to the point of overflowing. They began speaking in languages they didn’t know. If you can imagine it, the Holy Spirit gifted them with an ability to do something they were incapable of just a few moments before.

Perhaps the closest we can relate to it is the adrenaline that can come over us when a loved one is in danger. There are reports of people who have lifted a car off a trapped loved one. They could not normally do that. However, when the adrenaline kicks in, the impossible becomes possible. The Holy Spirit makes the impossible possible in our lives, even today. We merely need to ask and believe, then wait for the Holy Spirit to gift it to us according to God’s will.

I pray we all seek to be filled by the Holy Spirit. I pray we ask the Holy Spirit to do the impossible. I pray each one of us believe the Holy Spirit can and will overflow us according to God’s will. Be filled by the Holy Spirit. Accept him into your life. Allow him to guide you. Allow him to take over your life.

Acts 2:4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.