Archive for Magnificent God

Your Holy Temple

I will be careful to lead a blameless life…
I will walk in my house
with blameless heart.
I will set before my eyes
no vile thing…
I will have nothing to do with evil. (Psalm 101:2-4, NIV)

Do you not know that your body is
a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you,
whom you have received from God?
You are not your own;
you were bought at a price.
Therefore honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, NIV)

Father,
I cherish Your holy presence
always with me,
always in me, and
always enveloping me.

Help me never to entertain thoughts
that are offensive to You
or say words that are unloving
or take actions unworthy of the name of Christ.

By Your Holy Spirit,
by simple faith,
keep my heart, mind, and life pure,
fit for your use.

If a man cleanses himself…
he will be an instrument for noble purposes,
made holy, useful to the Master and
prepared to do any good work.
(2 Timothy 2:21, NIV)

Father, am I clinging to any
habits or
attitudes
that draw me from You?
Show me, and
help me put them aside.

Hymn: My Mind Will Be Your Holy Place

God Is in His Temple and on His Throne

Father, when life seems hopelessly unjust, You remind us:

The Lord is in His holy temple.
Let all the earth be silent before Him. (Habakkuk 2:20, NASB)

Your temple reminds us that You are holy –
perfect in all Your words,
Your actions,
Your wisdom,
Your timing.
Your temple reminds us of Your presence
with us and
in us.
We are Your temple.
No matter how viciously evil threatens us, Almighty God,
You never leave us alone.
So even when our world seems so very wrong, we remember:
The Lord is in His holy temple.

When our lives fill with problems and turmoil, Father, You remind us:

The Lord has established His throne in the heavens,
And His sovereignty rules over all. (Psalm 103:19, NASB)

Your throne suggests
Your power,
Your control,
Your unfailing goodness.
You are our stability.
You are our unshakable certainty
in this sea of change.
You are perfect strength
in all our weakness.
All reality bows to You, our Savior, our King, our loving Father.

So in this wicked, unstable world, we look to You and remember:

The Lord is in His holy temple;
the Lord’s throne is in heaven. (Psalm 11:4, NASB)

Father, how do we praise You for
all You are and
all You do?
Where do we start?
Your greatness and goodness encompass
all we are and
all we experience.

Hymn: God Is in His Temple

The Magnificent One

Father, Your reality is broader than
our senses or imagination.
Your world stretches far beyond
this tiny realm and
our brief few moments on this earth.
Help us to live wholeheartedly
with You and Your reality in view.

The Magnificent One
Isaiah 6:1-4; Habakkuk 2:20

He is the Magnificent One,
transcendent,
high above,
separate, and
infinitely beyond.

He is
pure,
perfect,
incomparable, and
absolutely glorious.

He is
Supreme,
the Source of all being,
the Creator,
the Uncreated One.

Divine,
eternal,
majestic, and
exalted,
He is
always good,
always just, and
complete in Himself.

He is
the I AM.

He is
Holy God.

Father, You are eternal.
Only in You are we eternal.
You are holy.
Only in You are we holy.
You are all-in-all.
Only in You are we complete.

Hymn: Worshiping Transcendent God

I Desire Only You

O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly;
My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You. (Psalm 63:1, NASB)

Father, I desire only You.
I trust only You.
I worship only You.
I seek only You.

In the morning, as I rise to work,
I desire only You.
As I drive to work,
with time to think or listen,
I desire only You.
At work, with decisions to be made,
I desire only You.
As I come home from work, weary,
where I have desired and sought
relaxation,
I desire only You.
In spare moments,
as I face each decision, each task,
I desire only You.

Facing the future,
in my home,
in my ministry,
in my daily life,
I desire only You.

Beautiful Father,
Eternal Father,
Almighty,
Loving,
Holy Father,
in whom I live and move
and have my being,
I desire only You.

I am Your child.
I ask only one thing.
Father, I desire only
You.

Father, we are like children who
ignore an incredible gift from a parent
because it is beyond their childish desires.
We lower our heads and
cling to our toys.
If only we realized what it means to
share Your life!

Hymn: Draw My Desires to You, Lord

Father, Receive My Gift

Psalm 131:1-2

Father, You are beyond all need.
You are full to overflowing.
All that is
flows from You and
is forever nourished by You.
Your nature, Your joy is
to give,
to share,
to bless.

Your resources are endless, and
Your authority is complete.
You simply speak, and
it is so.
Your will is the power that fuels all reality.
Your love is the music that makes the universe dance.

You are not impressed by our material gifts.
You are like a great-hearted king
to whom a child joyfully, lovingly brings a penny.
The penny is worthless.
The love is priceless.

Father, my Father,
that’s what I want to give You:
I want to daily bring You my love.
Like the alabaster perfume,
like the widow’s mite,
I want my life to be a gift of love,
worthless to the world, but
priceless to my loving Father.

Let all my “accomplishments” be like
a child’s drawing.
Receive the love they express, Father.
Receive the worship,
simple but sincere.
Receive the gift
because it is all I have.
I offer it joyfully,
thankfully
to You.

Father,
You can speak universes into existence
with a word, and
a thousand years is as a day to you.
So You are not impressed by our material gifts.
Like any parent, You long for Your children.
You long for us –
our hearts,
our minds,
our lives.
You want us to love You with all our
heart,
soul,
mind, and
strength.

Hymn: As Simply as a Child

One by One

Luke 18:35-42

Our magnificent God created the entire physical universe
with a word.
His sovereignty is so complete that
He simply expresses His will, and
matter obeys.

When Jesus came,
surely He could have healed the same way.
With just a word He could have healed
an entire village,
an entire nation,
the whole world.
But He did not.
He healed personally,
individually,
one by one.

He healed in many different ways.
Healing was not a technique but
a personal exchange.
He always established personal contact
with the one requesting the healing,
whether with the needy person or
with their representative
(sick people often can’t speak for themselves).
From the petitioner, there was
an expression of faith.
Then from Jesus,
a word,
a look,
sometimes a touch – and
a changed life.

Jesus shared the Father’s love
person to person,
face to face.
How else could you fully express such a
deep,
personal,
intimate love?

He calls us,
His servants and friends,
to express God’s love the same way to
each of His loved ones all around us:
person to person,
one by one.

Father, help me not to respond to people
by label or category,
but as individuals,
as Your unique creations.

Hymn: One by One

Set Apart

“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17, NIV)

We are weak, imperfect people
sent into an evil, hostile world
to do the work of a holy God.
How can we be protected from the evil all around us?
How can we effectively do God’s work here?

We must be sanctified.
“Sanctified” means “set apart”.
We must be set apart to God:
consecrated entirely to Him, cleansed and made entirely His own,
equipped for His service.

What does God use to set us apart entirely as His own?
He sets us apart and keeps us
by the truth—
that is, by the reality and reliability of His mighty word.
We go into this evil world in complete safety and
do His work boldly and effectively
because we are shielded and empowered by
the reality and reliability of Who He is and all He says.

In all our weakness
we can be holy and effective in this world
because God is Who He is, and
we are in Him.

As you trust God,
you can do
anything He calls you to do.
Anything!

Hymn: Lord Jesus, Living Presence

Living in God

Father, You are transcendent,
above all need and
all insufficiency.
Thus You are peace, and
trusting You brings us into Your peace.
As our grasping surrenders to You,
we are sufficient in You in every circumstance
as Christ was sufficient in You.

In You, we are without need.
We are fearless and free to love as You love,
selflessly and lavishly.
We are free for joy.
We are free for sacrifice.
We are free for fruitful living in You.
We are free to live as Christ lived,
from and
through and
unto You.

Father,
teach me to live in all the
freedom and
completeness
that comes from trusting
Jesus Christ.

Hymn: Life in the Vine

Each of Us Is a Gift of Grace

To each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. . . . It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:7, 11-13, NIV)

Read the following passage about God’s judgment on His disobedient people, and imagine yourself living through this situation:

See now, the Lord, the Lord Almighty, is about to take from Jerusalem and Judah both supply and support . . . the hero and warrior, the judge and prophet, the soothsayer and elder, the captain of fifty and man of rank, the counselor, skilled craftsman and clever enchanter. I will make boys their officials; mere children will govern them. People will oppress each other–man against man, neighbor against neighbor. The young will rise up against the old, the base against the honorable. (Isaiah 3:1-5, NIV)

Imagine any society with all its skilled people taken away: no leaders, no teachers, no doctors or dentists, no repair people or builders, no police officers or soldiers, no writers or performers, no cooks or crafts people or specialists of any kind.

Imagine a church with all its skills and talents gone.

That makes us realize how dependent we are on such gifts from God. It helps us see His grace reaching out through society, providing for our every need while drawing us together as a people. God is our complete support. We are totally dependent on Him for everything.

What do you have that you did not receive? (1 Corinthians 4:7, NIV)

But He has also made us dependent on each other. The gifts that you have been given – material goods, abilities, or even inclinations – are not gifts to you but are God’s gifts to His people through you.

In Ephesians chapters 1 and 2, we hear about God’s great grace poured out through Jesus. In chapter 3 Paul talks about himself as a vessel of God’s grace. But here in Ephesians 4 he says that God pours out His goodness and love through each of us. He is pouring out His provision through you. He has entrusted a portion of His grace to you.

You are part of a beautiful pattern, like the waterways of the earth or the blood vessels of the body, bringing God’s life to every corner of our world, meeting every human need. And He is using human hands. He is using your hands!

Praise to our all-wise God for His goodness! Praise Him for teaching us the blessings of unity!

Each of us is the steward of a gift
designed to glorify God,
to show those around us
how good and loving He is.
Together,
what a beautiful picture of God we could paint!

Hymn: Through Me

A Broader Vision

All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you. (Colossians 1:6, NIV)

Christians had gathered from all over the world to spend a week worshiping, talking, and learning together. And I had spent the entire week there in a publisher’s booth selling one particular product: our new hymnal. Every little feature of that product, every detail of the booth, was my life for those days.

Then on the last day, with lighter crowds, I wandered around a bit and saw some of the other exhibits. Right there across the aisle from me was the world missions area. Walking through, I got a glimpse of the desperate needs in so many world areas. I saw display after display of the world’s great cities, and I thought of all the needy millions crammed into each of them.

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the details and mechanics of our own little area of ministry. And let’s be honest: at times our concerns revolve too much around how that ministry impacts our own interests. We forget the needs of people, which is the real reason the ministry exists.

With all that in mind, I was approached by a former missionary who was hosting the display. Seeing my name, he commented on a publication I had helped produce years before. He relayed how useful it had been in his work on the mission field.

As he spoke, I thought immediately of new projects I was working on. I realized that God would be able to use them to touch the lives of others, if I stayed focused on Him and on the needs of His people.

I came away with a desire to do a better job right where I am. I don’t need a broader field of service. I need a broader vision of His work here where He has placed me.

Our ministries are only a tiny part of the overall picture, but they matter. We need to stay faithful to Him and focused on Him with each task He places before us. Somewhere that task will make a difference in the lives of people. Somewhere are needs He intends to meet through us today.

God designed our individual spiritual gifts and
roles in the Church to be
small and specialized.
Yet He calls us to
a perspective on the Church that is
broad and all-encompassing,
taking in the entire eternal purpose of God.

Hymn: Beyond All Barriers