God Has Spoken By His Son

“Surely the LORD our God has shown us His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice from the midst of the fire. We have seen this day that God speaks with man; yet he still lives.” [Deuteronomy 5:24 NKJV] God “has in these last days spoken to us by His Son,” [Hebrews 1:2] and “whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins” (forgiveness of sins) [Acts 10:43] and “should not perish but have eternal life.” [John 3:15]

The book of Deuteronomy contains the last words of Moses to the children of Israel. He reminds them of the deliverance of God from slavery in Egypt. They came out of Egypt to be free to worship the Lord their God and learn to serve their holy God. They came to Mount Sinai for the Lord to speak to them His holy words.

“So it was, when you heard the voice from the midst of the darkness, while the mountain was burning with fire, that you came near to me, all the heads of your tribes and your elders. And you said: ‘Surely the LORD our God has shown us His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice from the midst of the fire. We have seen this day that God speaks with man; yet he still lives. Now therefore, why should we die? For this great fire will consume us; if we hear the voice of the LORD our God anymore, then we shall die. … You go near and hear all that the LORD our God may say, and tell us all that the LORD our God says to you, and we will hear and do it.’ ” [Deuteronomy 5:23-25, 27 NKJV]

The Lord God’s presence was so holy the people feared death knowing their uncleanness in sin. For God had told them that no man should see His face and live. [Exodus 33:20]. This same fear now falls upon them as they hear the Lord’s voice and know the closeness of His presence. They understood that man could hear and not die at the voice of the Lord.

However, the holiness of God was so bright and frightful, they feared for their very life. In response to this holy fear in the presence of a holy God, they asked Moses to go before God and bring God’s word back to them. Moses would now be God’s prophet, speaking God’s word to the people. The people promised to obey the word Moses brought from the mouth of God. And so God’s word would come to God’s people through prophets.

“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things.” [Hebrews 1:1-2]

Then the time came when God would once again speak to His people face to face. He did so in His Son, Jesus Christ.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. … And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” [John 1:1, 14]

This Word of God in Jesus Christ came to speak face to face with God’s people so they might know Him. As they know Him, believe upon Him so that they might no longer fear their uncleanness of sin, but receive forgiveness (remission) of their sins through Jesus.

“To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.” [Acts 10:43]

For as God, Jesus, had eternal life to give to whoever believes in Him.

“whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” [John 3:15]

We no longer hear God’s word through His prophets; God has spoken His Word in His Son. In believing the words of the Son of God, fear of death is removed for God forgives the sin of all those who believe in His Son. Hear Him today.

“Surely the LORD our God has shown us His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice from the midst of the fire. We have seen this day that God speaks with man; yet he still lives.” [Deuteronomy 5:24 NKJV] God “has in these last days spoken to us by His Son,” [Hebrews 1:2] and “whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins” (forgiveness of sins) [Acts 10:43] and “should not perish but have eternal life.” [John 3:15]

Stand Still and Consider

“Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God.” [Job 37:14 NKJV] “Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things … He has not dealt with us according to our sins.” [Psalm 103:3-5, 10] Let us “Sing to Him … Talk of all His wondrous works!” [105:2]

Job was a man “blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil.” [Job 1:1] Yet God let Satan bring devastating loss and debilitating illness upon Job because he feared God. In the closing chapters of the book, God reveals Himself as God, all-powerful, Creator, and holy. God, the LORD, is to be feared and worshiped.

Just before God reveals Himself, Job is given an exhortation:

“Listen to this, O Job; Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God.” [Job 37:14 NKJV]

This same call –stand still and consider the wondrous works of our God– comes also to us each day. It comes to those who believe in God and His Son, Jesus Christ, and who fear and worship Him above all else. We are called to consider the wondrous works of God given to believers in the work of Christ. His greatest work for us was to pay the penalty of eternal death that our sin brought upon us. With Christ’s work God grants us forgiveness of our sin, iniquity, and transgressions.

David, the psalmist, gave this God praise for His great works of mercies and benefits. Be still and consider this wondrous work of which David sings.

Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good
things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.  …

The LORD is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
He will not always strive
with us,
Nor will He keep
His anger forever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities.”
[Psalm 103:2-5, 8-10 NKJV]

After David extols multitudes of God’s mercies, grace, and wondrous works, he calls us in Psalm 105 to make them known through our lips: in thanks, talk and song!

“Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples!
Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
Talk of all His wondrous works!”
[Psalm 105:1-2 NKJV]

God’s wondrous works are glorious to behold! Let us stand still and consider them. Let us instill them in our soul. Let us make them known with our lips.

“Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God.” [Job 37:14 NKJV] “Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things … He has not dealt with us according to our sins.” [Psalm 103:3-5, 10] Let us “Sing to Him … Talk of all His wondrous works!” [105:2]

Next time: Bible Nugget

Why Do I Write? (Part 4)

Firstly, I write to crystallize my thoughts to understand the convictions of my heart.

Secondly, I write to express the faith and hope that abides within me as an anchor for my soul.

Thirdly, I write to encourage others in the faith and hope that abides within me.

To bring us to the final, fourth, point,  I write to glorify God!

“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”  [Colossians 3:17 NKJV]

In Colossians 3:17 as a Christ follower, I am exhorted to “do all in the name of the Lord Jesus”. If Jesus has died for my sins that I might have eternal life with Him and the Father, then all my thanks and focus in life is to be to the honor of His name, His glory. I am nothing and have done nothing in the strength, wisdom, or power of my flesh and feeble mind. No gift that I could give is worthy of Him. In thanksgiving I give Him the duty of obedience done from a heart driven by love because of His great sacrifice for me. I am dead to self to seek only His highest honor in all that I do.

So whatever I write, speak, do, or even think is to be examined in light of God’s Holy Scripture. For the word of His Scripture is profitable to provide and empower me to live rightly and do what pleases Him. His Word is my delight and the rule of life for me.

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” [2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV]

Because of all that the Lord Jesus has done for me, I owe Him my life, my breath, my all. And because of His goodness in what He has done, I rest in the sure hope that He only seeks my highest good. I understand that my highest good is to be transformed into the image of the Lord Jesus Christ in word, deed, and thought! In this work of His love for my highest good, I find the greatest joy to be found!

All glory be to Thee, my God;
Great things You’ve done for me.
I bow my head; my feet unshod;
I drop to bended knee.

I praise You, Sovereign, Holy One;
New life You’ve given me.
I’ll follow footsteps of Your Son
To ever with You be.

To Thee, my God, I’ll ever raise
The glories of Your name.
I’ll take no claim for any praise
To You goes all the fame.

I am not my own. I write to the glory of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. He alone is my joy, my hope, and my life.

Next time: Bible Nugget

Why Do I Write? (Part 3)

Firstly, I write to crystallize my thoughts to understand the convictions of my heart.

Secondly, I write to express the faith and hope that abides within me as an anchor for my soul.

Now, thirdly, I write to encourage others in the faith and hope that abides within me.

Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement)…”  [Acts 4:36 ESV]

Barnabas is given a name according to his character, how he lived his life: as an encourager. His interactions with others focused on encouraging them in a myriad of ways: build up in confidence, inspire with hope, comfort in sickness, strengthen in resolve of character, console in loneliness, breathe words of living hope, etc. In this mindset Christ walked as the example He would have us follow.

Paul, also, calls us to this example. So I, too, strive to walk in this example as an encourager to others to be pleasing to God.

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up….”  [1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV]

One way I desire to encourage is through writing about faith and hope in the Lord Jesus Christ in various forms. In Bible studies, the writing is to present organized thoughts about God’s word that it is true and faithful in all He says and all He does. In poetry, the aim is to show my faith and hope in pictures and verse. In Bible nuggets, the idea is to present a thought to ponder and meditate upon for the day. Then there is the occasional devotional or short story to advance a theme to encourage in God’s holy word.  

In choosing this path to tell who God is, I hope to encourage others to see God as the God of encouragement and comfort, and then they share it with still others as He purposes.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”  [2 Corinthians 1:3-4 ESV]

Therefore, I write to encourage others with the comfort in which I have been comforted by my God. I write to encourage others in the faith and hope that abides within me because of God’s great comfort.

Next time: Why do I write? (Part 4)

Why do I Write? (Part 2)

We have examined the first reason I write: to crystallize my thoughts to understand the convictions of my heart. From this it follows that my writing will be to express these convictions of my heart: what I believe and what is my hope in life.

Secondly, I write to express my faith and hope.

“Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.”
                                                                 [Proverbs 4:23 NKJV]

The heart is our inner soul from which our thoughts are solidified, emotions are poured forth, and actions are performed. It is truly the center of our being which shapes everything we do. So in a sense what we hide in our heart is who we really are. We do live what we believe in our hearts.

As for me:

“I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”              [Galatians 2:20b NKJV]

And through this faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God who died for my sins, I rest in His eternal hope:

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”    [Titus 2:11-14 NKJV]

Secondly, I write to express this faith and hope that abides within me as an anchor for my soul [Hebrews 6:19]. It is the greatest treasure and delight of my life to be persuaded that God loves me, desires my highest good of His holiness, and will complete the work of grace He has begun in me. Yes, in Him I live and move and have my very being [Acts 17:28].

Next time: Why do I write? (Part 3)

Why do I write? (Part 1)

As I start this journey, this is a valid question.  

Writing is about choosing and collecting words to present thoughts for others to read. Through this process I am hoping to capture words to paper as a way to sort, organize, and develop a flow of meaning to these words for myself that can be presented to others.

I have often noted that I can think thoughts that appear in my mind as perfectly reasonable. Then in my excitement, I pick up my pen and start writing that fantastic thought, only to discover it made no sense at all. That is a letdown. But it is very much a part of writing.

Writing is a means to slow down the thoughts and streamline them to express refined ideas – especially ideas that form tenets of what I believe. It is a means by which I may crystallize my thoughts to understand the convictions of my heart. As I fully understand them for myself, only then can I venture to communicate them to others. 

The understanding I seek is rooted in the Lord, His word, His precepts. He must give the understanding. So in seeking this understanding my prayer is: “Lord, Help me understand the meaning of your precepts.  … For you broaden my understanding.” [Psalm 119:27, 32 CSB] Unless the Lord gives the understanding to my heart, there is no true understanding. So I write to understand the convictions of my heart toward God.

So, why do I write? Firstly, I write to crystallize my thoughts to understand the convictions of my heart.

Next time: Why do I write? (Part 2)

Sharing a Passion and an Interview

Reading and studying the Bible is exciting to me; it stirs my soul with passion to share what the Lord is graciously teaching me. So leading women’s Bible studies is an outlet to share and learn at the same time. In God’s Word we share its truth from our faith and hope. Then, hopefully, we are challenged by the truth we learn so that our character is transformed to more fully reflect our Savior.

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” [2 Timothy 2:15 NKJV]

How we teach God’s Word is of vital importance. It cannot just be a passion, an emotion, an excitement for excitement’s sake. It must be a passion in the right understanding of this holy Word. Because our hearts are so quick to be deceived (Jeremiah 17:9), it is important that we are seeking the Spirit’s wisdom and understanding in rightly handling God’s Word. Therefore, the preparation for leading is time to be guarded that the Lord might fill one with His understanding. Yet, a vital part of the preparation is to marinate in His Word, so that it seeps into the mind and the heart to impact the very foundation of the belief system of the soul.

Often in these times of marinating, soaking, and meditating upon God’s Word my heart is stirred. It overflows with the richness of God’s mercy, grace, love, peace, and abundant goodness. From this outflow I write poems as an expression of the truths that God is instilling deep in my very being.

I collected twenty of these poems for editing by Tell Tell Poetry (Kallie Falandays). This process has now been completed and the collection of poems is titled, “Yet I Will Joy: Poems of Faith and Hope.” (The collection is now at Wipf and Stock Publishers going through the various publication stages.) Kallie did an interview (16 minutes) with me of the editing process of Yet I will Joy and about the book itself. Check it out!

I continue to marvel at God’s goodness as He carries me step by step through this dream of many years of being published. It is truly a work of His abundant mercy and grace to me. My utmost desire is that God be magnified through the work and through me His daughter.

Next time: Why do I write?