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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

A World of Deception

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We’re living in a world where people cut corners whenever they can.  After a while, scamming the system becomes a way of life.  That doesn’t work on the spiritual level.  There aren’t any shortcuts to spiritual growth.  The Bible uses the word “diligent” to describe how we should go about our Christian lives.  According to Hebrews 11:6, God rewards those who diligently seek Him.  Peter told us to be diligent to make our call and election sure.  “Be diligent,” he wrote,”to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless” (2 Peter 1:10 and 3:14).

As Christians we need to take responsibility for our walk with God, seeking to be more like Him, sharing our faith, and serving others.  Be diligent to serve the Savior.  Don’t try to scam the system.

Commentary from David Jeremiah Turning Point Devotional, November 11, 2016.

“Once you have made the World an end, and faith a means, you have almost won your man, and it makes very little difference what kind of worldly end he is pursuing.  Provided that meetings, pamphlets, policies, movements, causes, and crusades, matter more to him than prayers and sacraments and charity, he is ours-and the more ‘religious’ (on those terms) the more securely ours.  I could show you a pretty cageful down here.  Your affectionate uncle, SCREWTAPE.”

The Screwtape Letters, by C. S. Lewis.  Pg. 34-35