Clouds

Know what you believe

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~2 Timothy 1:12-14~

All people have a belief system whether they realize it or not.  Even those who claim there is no God have faith that He does not exist.  What we believe affects every area of our life and shapes each decision we make, yet few of us take the time to really think about what we accept as true.

All belief systems have a foundation.  Some people base their convictions on what fits their lifestyle, reasoning, and desires.  But that is not to be the case with Christians – Jesus calls His followers to adapt life to their faith in Him and the authority of His Word.

Anytime we add other philosophies or ideas to Scripture or pick and choose which parts of the Bible to believe, we create our own version of faith, based on personal reasoning.  God’s Word is the only true and reliable foundation for belief, because it contains the recorded thoughts of an eternal, omniscient God.  All other concepts must be measured against Scripture to determine their validity.

Knowing what the Bible says is essential for developing a sound system of beliefs founded on the truth and wisdom of the Lord.  This world offers many philosophies that sound good but are laced with lies.  A faith anchored in what Scripture teaches is your protection against deception.

Each time you face a problem or decision, search God’s Word for the answer.  Begin your day by reading the Bible and asking God to help you understand what He is saying.  He loves communicating with His children and as you spend time with Him, He’ll open your mind to know His thoughts.

Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch devotional, November 26, 2017.

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Wonderment and Awe

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Every week, thousands of worshipers flock into the great cathedrals of Europe to feel a sense of the majesty of the architecture-the high ceilings, massive pillars, stained windows, and reverberating sounds.  The ancient builders wanted to inspire us with a sense of the majesty of worship, and they designed their cathedrals with that in mind.

Every week, thousands of visitors flock to the National Parks of America for the same reason.  We’re awestruck by the vast desolation of Big Bend, the immensity of Grand Canyon, and the sheer cliffs and plunging waterfalls of Yosemite.  The towering peaks of the Tetons and Rockies are a wonderment.  The human heart is hungry for a sense of God’s majesty.

Yes, we are God’s friends who, in prayer, can call Him, “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15); but He is also clothed with majesty and girded with strength (Psalm 93).  Our worship should be warm and personal, but we shouldn’t forget the awe and reverence due His name.

Commentary from the Pathways devotional by David Jeremiah, June 19.

Beautiful to God

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I will praise the Lord at all times;

His praise will always be on my lips.

I will boast in the Lord;

the humble will hear and be glad.

Proclaim with me the Lord’s greatness;

let us exalt His name together.

Psalm 34:1-3

As adopted children of God, we share with Jesus all rights to God’s resources.  As God’s heirs, we can claim what He has provided for us-our full identity as His children.

Commentary from The One Year NIV Devotional NT, May 30.  Tyndale House Publishers. (2003)

The Ascension

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After He had said this, He was taken up

as they were watching,

and a cloud received Him

out of their sight.

While He was going,

they were gazing into heaven,

and suddenly two men in white clothes

stood by them.

They said, “Men of Galilee,

why do you stand looking up into heaven?”

Acts 1:9-11a

If a good God exists, it’s likely He would cut through the mire of sin and the haze of religious ambiguity by revealing Himself in human history.  Jesus of Nazareth made radical claims of divinity that other world religious leaders never made.  And He rose from the dead, confirming those claims.  

Paul Copan, HCSB Apologetics Study Bible (2007), pg. 1199