God's Word is Powerful

God's Word is Powerful

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Anyone who wishes can visit London and go to Buckingham palace to watch the changing of the guard. However, to get in to see the Queen of England is impossible for the average person.  There are many people who make sure that only those who have been granted an audience with her majesty can enter the presence of the Queen.  So I will never see the queen of England.  But what is truly astonishing is that as a believer I have the incredible privilege of entering the presence the Sovereign King of the Universe  at ANY TIME. It has not always been that way.  As a matter of fact Nadab and Abihu, who were sons of Aaron the High Priest of Israel, made the mistake of thinking they could enter God’s presence anytime they felt like it. As a result God destroyed them both for their sin and arrogance.  God then went on to put in place the Old Testament Law which made it clear that only the High Priest could enter His presence in the Tabernacle and that was ONCE a year on the Day of Atonement after he offered ALL the proper sacrifices.  Keep that context in mind as we look at these verses together.

Hebrews 10:19-25 (NLT) And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. [20] By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. [21] And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, [22] let us  go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. [23] Let us  hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. [24] Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. [25] And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

We can now come BOLDLY into God’s very presence - not because we deserved it or have earned it but because Jesus has opened up the way by His own blood.  When He died on the cross Jesus cried it is finished and then died.  At that precise moment the Veil in the Temple was torn from TOP to bottom.  These verse explain why God ripped the veil.  Jesus had opened the WAY for us into God’s presence.  So we can boldly and confidently enter God’s presence. We can do this because Jesus opened the way by His own Blood and because He is our High Priest.  Our response is spelled out clearly.  Since those things are TRUE: We MUST draw near to God - We MUST Hold Firmly to the TRUTH we profess because God is COMPLETELY Trustworthy - We MUST NEVER give up meeting together but instead seek ways to encourage and motivate each other to honor God by the way we live.  
PRAYER: Thank You Father that I can come confidently into Your presence at anytime and be welcomed all because of what Jesus did for me.  Thank you Lord Jesus that You came and willingly paid for ALL my sins with your blood.  Please Lord God help me to be a constant source of encouragement to my brothers and sisters.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I absolutely HATE waiting in lines.  Whether it is the grocery store or the bank or being backed up in traffic on the highway.  I hate to wait.  I’m sure a huge part of that is my sinful nature.  I really do not want to wait for my breakfast burrito I want it ready to go when I ask for it.   So naturally God has worked on that area in my life.  Down through the years I have been challenged by His Word, by an amazing wife, and three great daughters.  The message has been the same “it is NOT about You.”  On some level we ALL have to learn that Truth.   However, that being said when I go into an emergency room with my finger half severed I really hope I don’t have to take a number and wait.  One of things that makes me grateful for the fact that we have a Sovereign and Infinite God is that when I am struggling, hurting, or facing temptation God does NOT say... hang on I have to wait on these other people first... take a number and sit down I will get to you.  Let’s look at these verses together.

Hebrews 4:14-15 (NLT) So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. [15] This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin

Hebrews 4:14-16 (NIV) Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. [15] For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin. [16] Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

We have a High Priest - Jesus - who intercedes for us with God.  He is on our side, He pleads our case, and He welcomes us into God’s presence.  The reason He can and does intercede for us is that He offered Himself up as the perfect Sacrifice - shedding His own blood - for OUR sins.  So that we would not have to pay the price for our own sins which would have meant death and eternity in hell.  But Jesus paid the price by dying in our place.  He then rose again ascended into heaven and sat down at God’s right hand.  That is WHERE He is RIGHT NOW interceding for us.  That is also WHY He can say come boldly into God’s presence.  Because He has opened up the way and paid the price for our sins.  They no longer come between us and God.  Jesus paid for them completely.  I love the fact that the ...verb translated let us come - or -  Let us then approach  can be translated to indicate ongoing action: let us continually come.” (NLT Notes)  That is very comforting to me because today I will need to go to the Throne of Grace over and over for help.  I love the fact I do not have to stand in line, that there is no wait, that I don’t have to do anything but come.  I can come boldly NOT arrogantly into His presence with my woundedness, my neediness, with my questions, doubts, and fears and He is ALWAYS ready to hear and to help. I  can KEEP ON COMING over and over and over because Jesus has opened the way and made it possible for me to come.  I also love the fact that God is sitting on the THRONE of GRACE.  What does that mean?  It means that God in ALL of His Power, Majesty, reigns from the position of Grace.  His throne is ALL grace - that is why I can come in the first place.      

PRAYER: Thank You Lord God that I can come to You with my struggles, fears, and failures.  Thank You for Your Mercy and Your Grace.  Thank You that you Understand and that You give me Your help so that I can be victorious over those things that Trouble and Tempt me. Thank my Lord God that Your throne is ALL GRACE and that You invite me to come ANYTIME.  Thank You for Your Mercy and Forgiveness as well as Your ongoing empowering everyday Grace. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Have you ever watched someone’s eyes? If you are with someone and suddenly they look past you and their eyes move, you know that they are looking at someone or something that is behind you. How do you know that they are looking somewhere else? By the fact that they are no longer focused on you and what you are doing together. I love the encouragement from the book of Hebrews. We are reminded that the only way that we can live a life that honors Jesus is to make sure that we are focused on HIM.

Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV) ...since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. [2] Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. [3] Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Where are my eyes fixed? Where is my focus? If we seek to honor Christ in our lives; if we want to persevere and faithfully follow Him, then Jesus must be our focus. Consider Him...consider means to think about, reflect on, or to mull over. What or who are we to consider? We are to reflect on and think about Jesus and the way in which HE lived. We are to seek encouragement, and strength from His example.  John Piper said it this way:  “Our emotions are governed in large measure by what we consider what we dwell on with our minds. For example, Jesus told us to overcome the emotion of anxiety by what we consider: ‘Do not be anxious... Consider the ravens... Consider the lilies..." (A Godward Life Vol 1 p. 229)

PRAYER: Lord, help me to look to You and Your example. In every situation which I face today, help me to think about how You would react and to seek Your help in acting and reacting in the same way.


When something really awful happens to me or someone I love - it is on my heart and in my mind and I find it hard to quit thinking about it.  There are times when I will sit and try to figure out ways to change the situation or methods of helping the person who is struggling.  A few times when I have felt that I was under attack personally by someone I found it hard to think clearly or to sleep well.  We all react differently to hard things in our lives.  Each of us will react in some way when a son or daughter is hurting, or when a friend or relative turns against us and slanders us to others.  For many it will mean having a hard time sleeping as thoughts and emotions churn away in our minds.  That is why this Psalm is such a challenge.  Let’s look at it together.

PSALM 3:1-8  (NLT) A psalm of David, regarding the time David fled from his son Absalom.
[1] O Lord, I have so many enemies; so many are against me. [2] So many are saying, "God will never rescue him!" [3] But you, O Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the one who lifts my head high. [4] I cried out to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy mountain.  [5] I lay down and slept. I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over me. [6] I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every side.  [7] Arise, O Lord! Rescue me, my God! Slap all my enemies in the face! Shatter the teeth of the wicked! [8] Victory comes from you, O Lord. May your blessings rest on your people.

The title of the Psalm tells us WHO wrote it and when it takes place.  Absalom had slandered his father, King David, and rebelled against him.  He had gathered and army of traitors around him and he was trying to hunt down and kill his father.  With very short notice David had to pack up and run for his life. He went into hiding until Absalom could be caught or killed.  The heartbreak in this was awful for him.   He loved Absalom and yet his son was doing something evil.  The anxiety and fear for himself and for his son must have been terrible.  Yet in the middle of all of this David remembers that God is his protection his SHIELD.  David remembers that God is the one who answers when he cries out to Him.  So he can sleep with confidence, peacefully, knowing that God is watching over him.  He trusts God enough in the middle of this terrible crisis to sleep and let God handle the problem.  I wonder how many times have I lost sleep because I did not TRUST God?  How many times have I stayed up trying to figure out a way that I could make it all work out rather than casting myself on God and His Mercy?  What an amazing lesson. In he midst of the chaos and turmoil caused by Absalom, David sleeps and Trusts God to take care of him.

PRAYER: Lord, thank you that You are TOTALLY TRUSTWORTHY.  Thank You that You are in Control even when it seems that ALL of the things around me are spinning out of control.  Help me to put everything that I am facing, all those things which cause me to worry into YOUR hands and to trust You to do what is best. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011


One of the disadvantages of global TV coverage or the Internet is that things that happen in other places of the world come right into our homes.  I have to admit there are times when I just don’t want to hear one more world leader blustering and threatening.  When I hear a national leader bullying another nation,  when I hear world leaders speak as if there is no God or as if there were many gods,  I get very, very weary of it all.  It does however, remind me that someday God will RULE.  It helps me to remember that no matter what the nations may say - no matter what they believe - GOD is still SOVEREIGN over the nations.  Let’s look at these verses together.

PSALM 2:1-4  (NLT) Why do the nations rage? Why do the people waste their time with futile plans? [2] The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the Lord and against his anointed one. [3] "Let us break their chains," they cry, "and free ourselves from this slavery." [4] But the one who rules in heaven laughs. The Lord scoffs at them.  

Psalm 2 is called Messianic Psalms because of the references to the coming Messiah.  It is also quoted in the New Testament carrying through that same theme.  In verses 1-3 the nations are making plans to rebel against God.  (Perhaps a prophetic reference to some of things mentioned in the book of Revelation.) However, I love God’s response.  He sees the nations and knows their plans and simply laughs at them.  They cannot catch God by surprise and they do not have the power to attack God no matter what their plan may be.  Why does God laugh at the nations from his throne? The Life Application Bible Note says this:  "It is the laughter of a father when his three-year-old boasts that he or she can outrun him or beat him in a wrestling match. The father knows the boundaries of power of his little child, and God knows the boundaries of power of the nations. Every nation is limited, but God is transcendent. If you have to choose between confidence in God and confidence in any nation, choose God.  ...God is all-powerful. He created the world, and knew about the empires of the earth long before they came into being (Daniel 2:26-45). But pride and power cause nations and leaders to rebel against God and try to break free of him. Our world has many leaders who boast of their power, who rant and rave against God and his people, who promise to take over and form their own empires. But God laughs because any power they have comes from him, and he can also take it from them. We need not fear the boasts of tyrants - they are in God’s hands."

PRAYER: Lord, I am so grateful that I cannot fool You, or take You by surprise.  Lord, please help me to remember that You have all the power necessary.   You can do ANYTHING  that must be done in this world and my life. Lord, help me to TRUST YOU and YOU alone.  Help me not to put confidence in myself or my own efforts but to humbly submit to You and Your plans for my life.