Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Spiritual Rewards: God’s Presence

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Isaiah’s Realization

Isaiah's Realization

“And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me for I am a man of unclean lips and dwell in the midst of people with unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts." Isaiah 6:4-5 (ESV)

            The scene Isaiah describes here has been described as ‘tokens of terror.’ (1.) He was confronted with who God is and the state of his heart. He realized He was a sinner. Have we had times when we faced God and, like Isaiah, realized how wretched our lives are?

            I once was in conversation with a relative. My dad was in the hospital after having emergency open heart surgery. She said something about my dad needing prayer but then she said something that has stayed with me. “God doesn’t hear the prayers of a sinner.”
I didn’t pick up on what she said. She KNEW she was a sinner. I am sorry to say she left this earth about a month later. I missed the opportunity to lead this woman to Christ. I had to ask God to forgive me for that. However, I still carry that thought.
           
            As we enter the sanctuaries of our churches, we enter into God’s presence. In today’s world, I am sorry to say, some of us don’t act any different than if we were going into a living room or a game room.
                       
When are we going to learn about being in God’s presence?

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1.         Matthew Henry, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids MI ©1961, page 836


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Live in the Moment

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The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)

             A friend preached a sermon about how we are to live in the moment. She gave me a lot to think about. I sometimes relive the past and dream about the future. However, I learned that God holds the future.
            Another friend and I were talking about those who want to know the future of their lives. She told me she didn’t want to know what lay ahead for her because she would be afraid. She is a Christian and knows God has all things in His hands.
            My second friend made a wise decision because she has had an extended illness that keeps her housebound. Her usual trips out of the home she shares with her husband and daughter are when the ambulance takes her to the hospital three times a week for treatment. These treatments have caused more issues that affect her health.

            Because of my one friend’s sermon and my other friend’s experience, I have chosen not to worry about the future and live each day as best I can. My suggestion to anyone bothered about the past or concerned about the future to learn to live in the present.

             This is a Five Minute Friday entry. The prompt was FUTURE.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Spiritual Rewards: God’s Presence

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Isaiah Sees the Lord
“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up. And the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet and with two he flew. And one called to another and said, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory.” Isaiah 6:1-3 (ESV)

            Isaiah was thought to be a scribe in the royal palace at Jerusalem. (1)
  God had other plans for him. The passage at the beginning of Isaiah 6 tells us of his calling by God to work for Him and His kingdom. Let’s look at the first part of his encounter with God.

“In the year that King Uzziah died,” Uzziah tells us a date of his encounter with God.  King Uzziah died circa 740 B.C. He was thought to be a good king but people turned their backs on God. (See 2 Chronicles 26:18-21)(2.)

“I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up.” Isaiah saw God Almighty seated in His proper place, above the earth and all the things that make it up.

“. . . the train of his robe filled the temple.” This had to be a wondrous sight. As a preschooler, my son kept asking, “What does crowded mean?” Someone helped me give him an answer. We told him that something was crowded when something big was put in a small space. I don’t believe that the temple was crowded when Isaiah saw God. I envision the folds of God’s robe wrapping around the items of worship as they came to rest around Isaiah.

“Above him stood the seraphim.” Seraphim have been described as ‘an order of celestial beings.’ They seem to have borne a general resemblance to the human figure, for they are represented as having face, voice, hands and feet. (3.)  
   
“Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet and with two he flew.” I find it interesting that Isaiah described the seraphim in this way. I’m sure seeing them fly impressed Isaiah and anyone who would witness their actions.

“One called to another and said. . .” We don’t know how many of these celestial creatures Isaiah saw. The Unger’s Bible dictionary tells me that the seraphim (the word is plural) were aligned on both sides of the throne of God. In this setting, each side called out to the other, waited for a response from the other group and then called out again.      (The musical term for this type of worship is antiphonal.) (4.)

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory.” I can almost hear the seraphim worshipping the Lord in this way. To me, seeing and hearing them and seeing God as Isaiah witnessed it would be the dream of every child of God.
 
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1.      Life Application Bible, Tyndale House Publishers Inc, Wheaton IL. Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, ©1991 MI page 1179
2.      Op Cit page 1178
3.      The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary, Moody Press Chicago, IL © 1988 Page 1160

4.      Op Cit Page 1160

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us

scpeanutgallery.com  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...