Archive for April, 2011

The Earth is Filled With Knowledge of the Glory

Daily God Walk for Thursday, April 21, 2010

 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. – Habakkuk 2:14

 It would appear by this verse alone that God was giving a promise of his glory to the people, but in reading this verse in context it can be seen that he is actually addressing judgment upon the unrighteous.

Habakkuk begins his message with a prayer; “How long, O Lord must I call for help, but you will not listen?” He was moved by the injustice he saw and the destruction of that injustice. His heart cried out for God to do something to rectify the wrongs his people were doing.

God answers his prayer by telling him that he is raising up Babylon, a ruthless nation, to punish the Jews. The Jews had strayed far from their roots and they no longer revered the law of God. The people then were not much different than the people of today.

Some who are called by the name of the Lord seem to have forgotten the very cornerstone of the faith. They are ruthless in business and have no mercy on the needy. Ministries are directed toward those who have resources to keep their programs going while service to those Jesus identified with go lacking.

Many today sense that we are entering a period where the faith of many will be severely tested. We in America have enjoyed great freedom to worship God, but that is not true in all places around the world. Christians by the 100’s of thousands are suffering for the name of Christ. I am afraid that we are not be shielded from such suffering.

We must cry out as Habakkuk, “How long, O Lord must I call for help.” God will hear that cry and awaken his people. Whatever form that awakening takes we will know that it is the hand of the Lord because the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord.

In that time of awakening to the glory of the Lord there will be a mass returning to the faith, just as there was after the tragedy of the Twin Towers. The knowledge of God as sometimes angry at the actions of the people, but always just and full of mercy, will fill the earth and as people call upon him his glory will be released to them.

 Prayer: Lord, I pray with Habakkuk, “How long, O Lord, must I call for your help?” Father, give our world and our community the knowledge of your word so that they will see your glory and return to you. Amen.

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God Will Not Give His Glory to Another

Daily God Walk for Tuesday, April 19, 2010

I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols. See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare before they spring into being. I announce them to you.  – Isaiah 42:8-9

 Only God himself can say, “I am the Lord; that is my name!” No equivocating, no timidity, no room for question – the Lord is the Almighty. The Hebrew word here translated Lord is yhovah and literally means the eternally self-existent one.

He who is the I AM, the eternally self-existent one, will not allow any other god to have that name for he alone is the eternally self-existent one. He alone is worthy to be worshipped whose name is so sacred and his power so great that for centuries his followers didn’t utter his name for fear of dishonoring him.

In the context of declaring his glory, God is making promise of a new covenant and a new role for Israel. Read more of this prophecy:

“This is what God the Lord says – he who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it; I, the Lord have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness” (v5-7).

Then he says, “I am the eternally self-existent one!” His glory is manifest in his works and he will not tolerate giving credit for what he has done to inanimate gods created from the imaginations of the hearts of man.

Only the Lord God can change the course of nations and establish his will in the earth. We are commissioned to declare to the nations our glorious God, the only eternally self-sufficient one.

 Prayer: Father God, you are the Lord [the eternally self-sufficient one]. I will not give honor to any other who tries to take your place for you alone are glorious and worthy of praise. Amen.

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Give God the Glory Due His Name

Daily God Walk for Monday, April 18, 2010

Ascribe to the Lord, o families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts. Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth.    – Psalm 96:7-9

 The whole world is being called to worship the Lord of glory in this passage. “O families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.” All who hear this call and respond by giving the Lord the glory due his name will find favor with Him.

The psalmist acknowledges that there are other gods worshipped, but he declares, “All the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary.” It seems he is saying that man has formed an image to worship and called it his god; but God has formed man after his own image and calls upon man to give him the glory due his name.

Man’s attempt at religion has produced gods framed in the mind of man and the only glory they could have is the glory that man could imagine. That is why so many of the gods of the world are made of gold and precious jewels because the only glory they can have is the glory man can give them, but the Lord God is not that way at all.

We are called to acknowledge the glory that he is; the glory of his presence and the glory of his name. We cannot give him glory; he is glory. We can only recognize his glory. We cannot add to his glory; how can we speak of his glory in a way greater than the stars, the sun and the moon? We cannot give him glory – he is glory! We can only recognize his glory. I join with the nations ascribing to the Lord the glory due his name.

 Prayer: Father God, my Lord. I acknowledge your glory in all the earth. You have shown yourself glorious among the nations. You have set yourself apart from all the gods of the earth and you alone are worthy of worship. I bow before you and submit to your glory. Grant me the humility to yield to your ways while I ascribe to your name the glory you are due. In Jesus name, amen .

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The Glory of the Lord is the Light of Our Life

 Daily God Walk for Sunday, April 17, 2010

 Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you… The sun will no more be your light by day nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.                          – Isaiah 60:1,2.19

The prophesies of Isaiah revolve around the judgment that was coming upon the Jews and their restoration after the time of trial was over. Woven into the fabric of those prophecies is hope, not only for the Jewish people, but for all people who will believe and commit themselves to God.

After 70 years of being separated from their homeland God promises that a remnant of the people will be restored. It is to that remnant Isaiah prophesies that the Light of God, the glory of the Lord, rises upon them.

In all of the history of Israel they had consistently fallen prey to the natural world around them. They needed a god they could see so they created a golden calf in the desert. They needed a king they could look to so they rejected God’s system and got a king.

God had given them a system called Sabbath in which man, the animals and the land would be given sufficient rest, but man wanted more so he violated the Sabbath of God to gain more security from the world system.

It is with the memory of these things that God tells them they will not need the sun and the moon for light to guide them but the glory of the Lord will be a light to them. The Lord was telling them that the world system will not lead them into the light they seek. God was promising them that his glory would be their light.

This prophecy extends to all who call upon the Lord. If you have been in a period of gloom and doom I call to you as Isaiah called to the Jews, “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.”

 Prayer: Lord, sometimes it is easier to lean on the world I can see than it is to trust you. Help me to see you as the light of my life.

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The Glory of God in the Manna

Daily God Walk Saturday, April 16, 2010

 Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you will know that it was the Lord who brought you out of Egypt, and in the morning you will see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against him.         – Exodus 16:7-8

 The people grumbled when they saw Pharaoh’s army coming after them. They grumbled after three days in the desert. They grumbled because the water was bitter. It reminds me of the song from the late 50’s; You Talk Too Much. One verse goes, “You talk about the people wherever you go, you talk about people you don’t even know.” It sounds like that person was a grumbler too!

They were grumbling now because they didn’t have bread and just after Moses spoke about the promised bread they looked and the glory cloud was appearing over the desert. The Lord spoke to Moses from the glory cloud telling him, “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.’ “

There is a lesson we should all learn here. It is that if we will just trust the Lord, regardless of how things look, he will come through for us. In one of his psalms David wrote, “I was young and now I am old and I have never seen the righteous forsaken or his people begging for bread” (Psalm 37:25).

Our tendency is to look at what we don’t have and complain about it and God is trying to get us to look at what we do have and be thankful for it. Israel had been slaves in Egypt, now they were free. They were placed under grievous labor for their masters, now they were going to a land already prepared for them to inhabit.

Would it be easy? No. Would there be some blood, sweat and tears involved? Probably. But they would be free – and the land they would work would be their own. The towns where they lived would be their own.

Sure, there are things we would like to have in the here and now, but we must remember that we are like Israel – in this life we are in the wilderness moving toward the promised land.

 Prayer: Lord, thank you for the sweet water and manna. Amen.

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The King of Glory

  Daily God Walk Friday, April 15, 2010

 Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. – Psalm 24:7-8

Scholars believe that this Psalm was a song for the returning of the Ark of the Covenant to the temple, and in the years after the return of the Ark it was sung on the anniversary of its return. Christians also apply it as prophetic of the ascension of Christ.

However one applies this psalm the message is the same: Our Lord is the King of glory! He who triumphs over all his enemies inhabits his rightful place among his peoples.

It was because of the disobedience of Israel’s leaders that the Ark was lost in battle. In fact, the Ark was never intended to be taken into battle and the fact that it was is in itself a sin against God. The priests had become corrupt and the leaders of Israel had lost sight of the glory of the Lord. It was the judgment of God that the Ark was taken from them.

As is often the case God took this bad thing which happened and used it as an opportunity to show his glory. The Philistines captured the Ark, but they didn’t know what they were in for. They left it in a room with the idol of their god Dagon. The next day when they returned they found Dagon overturned and broken. Plague and sickness fell upon them until they returned the Ark to Israel.

The ark was kept on the farm of an Israeli farmer until David had it returned to the house of worship. The farmer that kept the ark was blessed abundantly while it was in his possession.

Then the ark returned to its rightful place and the people rejoiced. As the Ark entered the city they cried, “Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battles.”

Today the same King of glory rests in his rightful place, but his place is now in the hearts of believers. Let us rejoice that the King of glory has returned to his rightful place.

 Prayer: Thank you King of glory for coming into my life. Amen.

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Glory Over Pharaoh

Daily God Walk for Thursday, April 14, 2010

 I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen. – Exodus 14:17-18

The story of Israel being delivered from the Egyptians is among the most remarkable in the entire Old Testament. The entire event is full of miracles from the burning bush to the parting of the Red Sea.

Our text for today takes up the story after Pharaoh had released Israel to leave. When it fully dawned upon him that Israel had left and he no longer had any control over them he changed his mind about letting them go. He assembled his army, his foot soldiers, horsemen and chariots, and took off after them.

When Israel saw the Egyptian army approaching them they panicked. They accused Moses of bringing them into the desert so the Egyptians could slaughter them. Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.”

You may remember how the glory cloud moved behind the people and settled down between the enemy and Israel confusing the army just long enough for Moses to stretch out his rod over the Sea and watch it part leaving dry land for them to walk across.

God had told Moses that the Egyptians would go in after them and God would gain glory through the destruction of the army. Then the Egyptians would know that God was with Israel and the entire event would bring him glory.

Because of examples like this we know that when God calls us to do a task he is going to be with us regardless of how desperate  it may look. God told Moses, “My presence [glory] will go with you, and I will give you rest” (Exodus 33:14). Jesus told us, “I am with you always even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

With God going before us it makes no difference who is behind us.

Prayer: God, I’ll follow you, just keep my back covered. Amen

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Paul ”Hope Preacher” Smith

Messages of inspiration for the journey of faith

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