Majesty!

Making Life Work
Read: Psalm 29
Focus: Psalm 29:1-6

“Praise the LORD, you heavenly beings; praise his glory and power.
Praise the LORD’s glorious name; bow down before the Holy One when he appears.
The voice of the LORD is heard on the seas; the glorious God thunders, and his voice echoes over the ocean. The voice of the LORD is heard in all its might and majesty.
The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars, even the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes the mountains of Lebanon jump like calves and makes Mount Hermon leap like a young bull…”

If you are a big fan of nature, like I am, you will love this psalm. David is extolling the indescribable majesty and awesome power of God in the ongoing witness of nature…the vastness of the deep blue oceans, the breathtaking beauty of the mountain peaks, the chest-rattling sounds of the thunder and knee-knocking fierceness of an electrical storm. Truly God was doing some of his best work when he created the cosmos.

I was flying back to the beautiful city of Portland some time back after being in the Midwest for a few days. The sky was cleara brilliant blue. We flew over the majestic Rockies after a plane change in Denver, and I was yet again struck by the stunning scene before me—the snow-capped wonder for the Front Range, an unhindered view of several 14,000 footers all the way from Pike’s Peak on the South to Long’s Peak on the north. Hard to beat!

But that was just the beginning. As we neared Portland, the pilot—I’m sure just for my benefit—flew as close to Mt. Hood as I have ever been. It was so close it seemed as though you could reach out and touch it. Words can’t do justice to its overwhelming wonder. But then out the other window was an amazing shot of Mt. St. Helens…or what’s left of it. And if Mt. Hood reminded me of God’s unequaled artistry, Mt. St. Helens reminded me of his unequaled power.

All I could do was what David did in verse one: “Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!”

But guess what? As amazing as God’s work in nature was, it wasn’t even his best work. You are his best work! You are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:10). The best of God’s power and majesty, glory and strength were on display when he redeemed you from your sin, made you a part of his forever family, granted you kingdom authority and gave you a divine purpose for this life and the one to come. And none of that due to your own worthiness, mind you! It was all because of his great love!

Yep! As wonderful as Planet Earth is, it doesn’t even compare to God’s recreation of you!

__________________

“There is no peace more wonderful than the peace we enjoy when faith shows us God in all created things.” (Jean-Pierre de Caused Hall)

 

Making Life Work: Now why don’t you do what David did by falling to your knees and ascribing to the Lord glory and strength!

Managing Creation: You’re Hired!

Making Life Work
Read: Psalm 8
Focus: Psalm 8:4-6

“What are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor. You gave them charge of everything you made, putting all things under their authority.”

In comparison to the overwhelming vastness, magnificence, complexity, wonder and beauty of the universe—that which we see through both the telescope as well the microscope—man seems so insignificant. Yet the Sovereign God created the human race and gave them co-rulership over his creation. He put us in charge!

The Works of Thy HandsImagine that! God has entrusted us with the work of his hands. We are to manage his resources, tend to his investment, and supervise the things he so lovingly and purposely crafted out of nothing. We are to guard, preserve and even increase what is so precious to him. We have been given stewardship of all creation.

Why did God do that? Only God knows. But when you think about it, it is both humbling and sobering that God has sovereignly placed this weight of glory upon my shoulders—and yours.

That, then, begs the question: How are you doing taking care of God’s universe? How are you tending his environment—Planet Earth? What is your attitude toward things created—stuff? And what about you, God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10), how are you caring for you—spirit, mind, soul and, yes, even your body?

Hopefully you are giving great care to all these things like a partner rather than a hireling. Hopefully you have an ownership mentality. Hopefully you take seriously this calling of stewardship God has given you. Perhaps a great companion chapter for you to consider would be Matthew 25:14-30 where Jesus teaches about the parable of the talents.

Yes, God has given you the keys to his shiny universe—the macro, the micro and the personal. Steward it well!

__________________

“Now if I believe in God’s Son and remember that He became man, all creatures will appear a hundred times more beautiful to me than before. Then I will properly appreciate the sun, the moon, the stars, trees, apples, as I reflect that he is Lord over all things. …God writes the Gospel, not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.” (Martin Luther)

 

Making Life Work:God has put you in charge of quite a bit—and he is counting on you to steward it wisely. So when it comes to the creation, don’t let the crazies and radicals hijack the environmental movement. Christians ought to lead the way with a common sense approach to loving the earth. When it comes to your body, treat it like the temple of the Holy Spirit—because it is. And when it comes to your inner being, tend to it often. Make sure you are doing regular soul work, because one day it will return to its Creator.

God Did It!

Essential 100—Read:
Genesis 1 & 2

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” ~Genesis 1:1

Could there be a more important statement in Scripture than this simple, matter-of-fact, one line explanation of how everything got here, including you and me?  “In the beginning God created” explains it all!

We don’t know how long he took doing it—if the seven days are literal 24-hour periods or if they are epochs of time; we don’t know the details of how he planned and executed creation; we don’t know if he created dinosaurs or unicorns or Big Foot. There is a lot more about creation that we don’t know than what we do know.  But we know the most important fact about it:  God did it!

That’s the one piece of essential information out of the untold billions of facts we would love to get our brains around that we do have, and that is really all that matters.  That is not to say trying to figure out the “what, when, where, how and why” of creation are not important—they are. It is a worthy pursuit.  But the “who”, well, that one has been settled: God did it!

And just as important, perhaps even more important, are the ramifications of that fact.  If God did it, then he owns it.  He has a right to call the shots about how it will operate, and how we are to operate within it.  He made it for his purpose and glory—and that includes you and me. He is the Creator, we are the created, and therefore all of life is to be lived for his purpose and glory. There is no better use of the oxygen we breathe in, which he created, by the way, than to carry out the purposes and live for the glory of the Creator!

 “To live and work for the glory of God cannot remain an idea about which we think once in a while. It must become an interior, unceasing doxology.”  ~Henri Nouwen

Furthermore, since God did it, he certainly has the power—and the motivation—to care for his creation.  And that, too, includes, you and me. What a comfort to know that there is a Creator who holds the universe in his hands and sustains it by his will.  Life is not the product of random forces and the future is not at the mercy of impersonal fate.  Creation is in good hands, and you and I can sleep in peace tonight knowing how we got here, what is keeping us going, and where we are headed.

Yeah, God did it, and that’s a good thing.

Reflect and Apply:  Take a moment to think about the personal ramifications of the “God did it” truth revealed in the very first line of the Bible.  Can you truly say that the way you live your life is aligned with the Creator’s purpose and glory? If not, speak with him about the necessary adjustments you need to make.

Who Put You In Charge?

Read Psalm 8

Featured Verse: Psalm 8:4-6

“What are mere mortals that you should think about them,  human beings that you should care for them?  Yet you made them only a little lower than God  and crowned them with glory and honor.  You gave them charge of everything you made,  putting all things under their authority.”

In comparison to the overwhelming vastness, magnificence, complexity, wonder and beauty of the universe—that which we see through both the telescope as well the microscope—man seems so insignificant.  Yet the Sovereign God created the human race and gave them co-rulership over his creation.  He put us in charge!

Imagine that!  God has entrusted us with the work of his hands.  We are to manage his resources, tend to his investment, and supervise the things he so lovingly and purposely crafted out of nothing.  We are to guard, preserve and even increase what is so precious to him.  We have been given stewardship of all creation.

Why did God do that?  Only God knows.  But when you think about it, it is both humbling and sobering that God has sovereignly placed this weight of glory upon my shoulders—and yours.

That, then, begs the question:  How are you doing taking care of God’s universe?  How are you tending his environment—Planet Earth?  What is your attitude toward things created—stuff?  And what about you, God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10), how are you caring for you—spirit, mind, soul and, yes, even your body?

Hopefully you are giving great care to all these things like a partner rather than a hireling.  Hopefully you have an ownership mentality.  Hopefully you take seriously this calling of stewardship God has given you.  Perhaps a great companion chapter for you to consider would be Matthew 25:14-30 where Jesus teaches about the parable of the talents.

God has put you in charge of quite a bit—and he is counting on you to steward it wisely.  So when it comes to the creation, don’t let the crazies and radicals hijack the environmental movement.  Christians ought to lead the way with a common sense approach to loving the earth.  When it comes to your body, treat it like the temple of the Holy Spirit—because it is.  And when it comes to your inner being, tend to it often.  Make sure you are doing regular soul work, because one day it will return to its Creator.

Yes, God has given you the keys to his shiny universe—the macro, the micro and the personal.  Steward it well!

“Now if I believe in God’s Son and remember that He became man, all creatures will appear a hundred times more beautiful to me than before. Then I will properly appreciate the sun, the moon, the stars, trees, apples, as I reflect that he is Lord over all things. …God writes the Gospel, not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.”
— Martin Luther

Psalm 29: Majesty!

Read Psalm 29

Majesty!

“Praise the LORD, you heavenly beings; praise his glory and power.
Praise the LORD’s glorious name; bow down before the Holy One when he appears.
The voice of the LORD is heard on the seas; the glorious God thunders, and his voice echoes over the ocean. The voice of the LORD is heard in all its might and majesty.
The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars, even the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes the mountains of Lebanon jump like calves and makes Mount Hermon leap like a young bull…”
Psalm 29:1-6 (TEV)

If you are a big fan of nature, like I am, you will love this psalm. David is extolling the indescribable majesty and awesome power of God in the ongoing witness of nature…the vastness of the deep blue oceans, the breathtaking beauty of the mountain peaks, the chest-rattling sounds of the thunder and knee-knocking fierceness of an electrical storm. Truly God was doing some of his best work when he created the cosmos.

I was flying back to the beautiful city of Portland yesterday after being in the Midwest for a few days. The sky was clear…a brilliant blue. We flew over the majestic Rockies after a plane change in Denver, and I was yet again struck by the stunning scene before me—the snow-capped wonder for the Front Range, an unhindered view of several 20,000 footers all the way from Pike’s Peak on the South to Long’s Peak on the north. Hard to beat!

But that was just the beginning. As we neared Portland, the pilot—I’m sure just for my benefit—flew as close to Mt. Hood as I have ever been. It was so close it seemed as though you could reach out and touch it. Words can’t do justice to its overwhelming wonder. But then out the other window was an amazing shot of Mt. St. Helens…or what’s left of it. And if Mt. Hood reminded me of God’s unequaled artistry, Mt. St. Helens reminded me of his unequaled power.

All I could do was what David did in verse one: “Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!”

But guess what? As amazing as God’s work in nature was, it wasn’t even his best work. You are his best work! You are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:10). The best of God’s power and majesty, glory and strength were on display when he redeemed you from your sin, made you a part of his forever family and gave you a divine purpose for this life and the one to come. And none of that due to your own worthiness, mind you! It was all because of his great love!

Now why don’t you do what David did by falling to your knees and ascribing to the Lord glory and strength!

“There is no peace more wonderful than the peace we enjoy when faith shows us God in all created things.”
—Jean-Pierre de Caussde Hall

Psalm 8: Who Put You In Charge?

Read Psalm 8

Who Put You In Charge?

“What are mere mortals that you should think about them,
human beings that you should care for them?
Yet you made them only a little lower than God
and crowned them with glory and honor.
You gave them charge of everything you made,
putting all things under their authority.”
Psalm 8:4-6

In comparison to the overwhelming vastness, magnificence, complexity, wonder and beauty of the universe—that which we see through both the telescope as well the microscope—man seems so insignificant. Yet the Sovereign God created the human race and gave them co-rulership over his creation. He put us in charge!

Imagine that! God has entrusted us with the work of his hands. We are to manage his resources, tend to his investment, and supervise the things he so lovingly and purposely crafted out of nothing. We are to guard, preserve and even increase what is so precious to him. We have been given stewardship of all creation.

Why did God do that? Only God knows. But when you think about it, it is both humbling and sobering that God has sovereignly placed this weight of glory upon my shoulders—and yours.

That, then, begs the question: How are you doing taking care of God’s universe? How are you tending his environment—Planet Earth? What is your attitude toward things created—stuff? And what about you, God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10), how are you caring for you—spirit, mind, soul and, yes, even your body?

Hopefully you are giving great care to all these things like a partner rather than a hireling. Hopefully you have an ownership mentality. Hopefully you take seriously this calling of stewardship God has given you. Perhaps a great companion chapter for you to consider would be Matthew 25:14-30 where Jesus teaches about the parable of the talents.

God has put you in charge of quite a bit—and he is counting on you to steward it wisely. So when it comes to the creation, don’t let the crazies and radicals hijack the environmental movement. Christians ought to lead the way with a common sense approach to loving the earth. When it comes to your body, treat it like the temple of the Holy Spirit—because it is. And when it comes to your inner being, tend to it often. Make sure you are doing regular soul work, because one day it will return to its Creator.

Yes, God has given you the keys to his shiny universe—the macro, the micro and the personal. Steward it well!

“Now if I believe in God’s Son and remember that He became man, all creatures will appear a hundred times more beautiful to me than before. Then I will properly appreciate the sun, the moon, the stars, trees, apples, as I reflect that he is Lord over all things. …God writes the Gospel, not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.”
— Martin Luther