Know thyself, O man, and that will make thee miserable; know thy God, O Christian, and that will make thee rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
C. H. Spurgeon, “Dilemma and Deliverance,” in The New Park Street Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 6. Originally preached on December 4, 1859. (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1860), 9.
He will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. Micah 7:19b ESV
Satan loves to remind us of our sin. He doesn’t care Christ has fully paid the price of our sin! He doesn’t care God has forgiven us and chooses to never remember our sins again!
Satan wants to derail our spiritual life and render us ineffective in the Lord’s service. He often does this by holding our old sins over us and whispering in our ear, “Shame on you! You’re no good! Look at what an awful sinner you are! God could never use someone like you!”
Thankfully Micah reminds us that our sins have been fully dealt with by the blood of Jesus Christ! Micah tells us God has trampled our sins under foot, and cast them into the depths of the sea!
The ocean is deep. Very deep. According to NOAA the average depth of the World’s oceans is 12,100 feet deep (2.3 miles!). The deepest point in the ocean is 36,200 feet or a stunning 6.85 miles below the surface!
When your old sins come to mind remind yourself that God chooses not to remember those sins and has buried them in the deepest grave for all of eternity.
The next time Satan tries to remind you of your sins you can tell him to take a long walk on a short pier.
Editorial note: Originally published September 9, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com
Is anything too hard for the LORD? Genesis 18:14 ESV
Ah, Lord GOD… Nothing is too hard for you. Jeremiah 32:17 ESV
In the Greek language omni means “all” and potent means “power.” This is where our English word omnipotence originates. So, when we speak of God’s attribute of omnipotence we are actually saying He possess “all power.”
In Genesis 18 the LORD gives Abraham the amazing news that his aged wife Sarah will give birth a child in about a year’s time. Overhearing this Sarah was incredulous – how could a woman well beyond her childbearing years possibly have a child?
Knowing her thoughts, God asked the rhetorical question “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” Many years later the prophet Jeremiah decisively declared, “Nothing is too hard for [God].”
Do you believe this? Do you really believe God possesses all power? Do you really believe nothing is too hard for God? Even in your life?
If you truly believe this… if you have truly placed your full, unconditional trust in Him, you have no reason to fear any challenge you may face. No matter how impossible it may seem. You can rest in the full confidence of knowing that nothing is too hard for God!
Father, You are omnipotent. There is nothing too hard for You, for You possess all power. Please help me to fully rest in you, while placing no confidence in the flesh.
Editorial note: Originally published January 23, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com
Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. Micah 7:18 ESV
The beautiful hymn Great God of Wonders! asks the rhetorical question “Who is a pardoning God like thee?” The answer, of course, is none! There is no other God who pardons sins like the Lord God Jehovah!
His mercy is unparalleled, His grace unequalled and His love unchanging! Praise God He delights in love! Praise God He does not retain His anger forever.
Great God of wonders all Thy ways
Display Thine attributes divine;
But the bright glories of Thy grace
Above Thine other wonders shine:
Who is a pard’ing God like Thee?
Or who has grace so rich and free?
Such deep transgressions to forgive!
Such guilty sinners thus to spare!
This is thy grand prerogative,
And in this honor none shall share:
Who is a pard’ing God like Thee?
Or who has grace so rich and free?
Pardon from an offended God!
Pardon for sins of deepest dye!
Pardon bestowed through Jesus’ blood!
Pardon that bring the rebel nigh!
Who is a pard’ing God like Thee?
Or who has grace so rich and free?
“Great God of Wonders! by Samuel Davies.” Hymns of Worship and Remembrance. Belle Chasse, LA: Truth and Praise, Inc., 1950. Hymn #15. Print. Note: Other versions of this hymn can be easily found online.
Originally published September 3, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com
May God give you the dew of heaven Genesis 27:28a ESV
Early this morning as I left the house I was careful to avoid stepping on the grass as I walked to my car. The grass was wet with the morning dew. Walking on wet grass would destroy my shoes and possibly stain the cuffs of my pants.
In biblical times the morning dew was a blessing– not a minor inconvenience. Every morning the dew would bring a refreshing break from the harsh conditions of an arid environment.
While it took much work to retrieve water from a well, the dew would arrive each morning without any effort. It was a blessing of God. An unconditional blessing that fell on the just and the unjust.
So each morning when you see the dew sparkling in the light of the rising sun remember the unconditional blessings of God you have received from Him.
Editorial note: Originally published August 28, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com
Commenting on Ezekiel 1:15-21 ~
And there are wheels within wheels, so arranged that we cannot follow their intricacies. But we see them everywhere, different principles working at one and the same time, in the world, in politics, in the church, in all phases of human society. So true is this that the mind becomes bewildered trying to keep all the different movements in mind, until we are tempted to think that all is utter confusion, and there is neither order nor sanity in the universe. But the spirit of the living creature is in the wheels and all are controlled by a higher power than the merely human, or blind chance, or what men call fate. Moreover, there are eyes in the wheels, and these speak of intelligence and careful discernment and discrimination. “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good” (Prov. 15:3); and, “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him” (2 Chron. 16:9). Those eyes are ever over the righteous, and His ear is open to their cry (Ps. 34:15). And so as the wheels move on, though so high that we are unable to comprehend fully what God is doing, we may rest in this precious truth, that nothing moves but at His command or by His permission. In the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God’s long toleration of evils—His apparent indifference to the cruelties practised against His people and the wicked behavior of those who seemed to triumph for a time while the righteous suffered in silence—will all be made clear, and we shall see that though the wheels were high and the mysteries of the divine government beyond our present ability to comprehend, yet all were under His control who was working according to plan in a way that puny man little realized. The wheels have never been separated from the living creatures. Nothing is left to chance. All movements among men are under divine control, and even Satan can act only as God gives permission, as we see in the account of His dealings with the patriarch Job.
Ironside, H. A. Expository Notes on Ezekiel, the Prophet. Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1949. Print.
“men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.”
1 Chronicles 12:32 ESV
1 Chronicles 12 tells us of the “mighty men” who rallied to David’s side during his days of rejection.
Not surprisingly those who came to David were highly skilled warriors. They were swift, mighty and experienced. Experts with the weapons of war including spear, shield, bow, and sling. By the tens of thousands they came to David’s aid equipped and battle ready.
There were others who came to David who brought an entirely different set of skills. Yes, they may have been warriors too– but they possessed something much greater than military prowess, they possessed wisdom and discernment. They were ‘men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.’
Today, perhaps more than ever, God’s Church needs men and women who understand the times. Wise and discerning believers who know what the church ought to do and have the courage to stand up and lead the Church in the ways of God!
Are you such a believer? Will you rally around the Lord Jesus Christ and His Church? Will you, with all wisdom and discernment, seek out God’s will for the Church today? Do you posses the courage to rise up and pursue God’s will?
Lord, I pray for Your wisdom. Wisdom to understand the times. Discernment to know Your will. Courage to stand battle ready. And the audacity to do your will regardless of the cost.
Editorial note: Originally published July 11, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com
“The Clouds are the dust of his feet” Nahum 1:3 ESV
On a recent afternoon I was overwhelmed with awe as I gazed up at the summer sky. Large, puffy clouds stretched across the expansive sky– seemly forever. Brilliant white clouds juxtaposed against a deep blue sky. It was grand. It was majestic. It was overwhelming. The beautiful vista defies description.
While looking at the clouds Nahum 1:3 came to mind, “the clouds are the dust of his feet.”
Wow. God is far greater in majesty than any cloud that has ever drifted across a summer sky. God’s grandeur far exceeds the grandeur of any cloud the human eye has ever seen. God is so much bigger than the clouds that, in comparison, even the largest clouds are smaller than even the smallest particle of dust. He is far more beautiful to behold than the sum total of all clouds human eyes have witnessed.
God is so beautiful, so great, so grand, so big, all clouds pale in comparison. All clouds are as insignificant as dust.
Today we gather together to collectively worship the one and only true God– the creator of heaven and Earth. May we be filled with awe of Him. May our thoughts be only of Him. May our worship, adoration, and praise be wholly focused on Him. May we wash away any thoughts that are not of Him, as we would wash our feet clean of the dirt of this world.
To God be the Glory!
Editorial note: Originally published July 5, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com
Commenting on Ezekiel’s vision of the Glory of the Lord in Ezekiel 1:4-28:
When the average reader of the Scripture comes to a passage such as Ezekiel 1, he sometimes may conceive that the matters under consideration are far removed from his life and service. But the opposite is true. Just as Ezekiel was a faithful messenger for God, warning of judgement for the unbelieving, and assuring of blessing for the believing, so we today have the unparalleled privilege to call men to the truth in Christ the Lord. If we have ever had a view of the holiness and majesty of our God, how can we fail to herald His message of urgency to the lost! If we are faithful, He has promised to call forth a remnant from all peoples. May God grant this fulfillment to be realized in our lives.
Feinberg, Charles Lee. The Prophecy of Ezekiel: The Glory of the Lord. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2003. 21. Print.
Of which salvation the prophets…testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow, 1 Peter 1:10-11 KJV
Zechariah’s Biography of Christ ~ 518 BC
1. THE DONKEY (lowly) “Thy King cometh unto thee: he is just…lowly, and riding … upon a colt the foal of an ass, Zechariah 9:9. Messiah would not ride into Jerusalem on a glorious stallion, but on a donkey, revealing His meek and lowly character. (Matthew 21:5)
2. THE SHEPHERD “And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock”, Zechariah 11:7-17. A shepherd who would guide Israel with two shepherd staves called Beauty (favor) and Bands (to bind). But then because of rejection, He would break the staves and Israel would be judged and eventually be ruled by a false worthless shepherd who will slaughter them. (John 5:43 / John 10:11 / Hebrews 13:20)
3. THE SILVER (worth) “Give me my price… so they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver”, Zechariah 11:12,13. Israel was asked to place a value on God’s shepherd. They valued him at 30 pieces of silver (price of an injured slaved) and then cast it to the potter at the Lord’s house. Judas betrayed the Lord Jesus for that amount. (Matthew 26:15, 27:3-10)
4. THE SWORD “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered:..”, Zechariah 13:7. God’s judgment sword that had spared the sinners did wake up and fall – not on the nations nor on Israel – but on His shepherd who was His equal (fellow) but also a man. All forsook Christ and He was crucified for our sins as Savior! (Matthew 26:31, John 19:34)
5. THE PIERCINGS “They shall look upon me whom they have pierced…” Zechariah 12:10. When Christ Jesus returns to earth Israel will see their Messiah – and He will have the pierce marks of the cross. In stunned horror, they will finally repent of their national rejection of Him and go into deep national mourning – and be cleansed in His fountain of sacrificial blood-forgiveness from all their sins. (John 19:34, 20:20 / Revelation 1:7)
6. THE BRANCH (life) “Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH”, Zechariah 6:11-13. A branch is something living that grows from a root to bear fruit. The Lord took a priest, Joshua (NT Jesus), and crowned him to sit on a throne. A man would grow like a branch into a full king-priest; religion and state merged in one person. And Messiah-King will rebuild the temple of God on earth. Christ Jesus is called “the branch of the LORD” (God), Isaiah 4:2 – “the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David” (King), Jeremiah 33:15 – The high priest was told that God would bring forth “my servant the BRANCH” (priest), Zechariah 3:8 – and, “the man…The BRANCH” (human), Zechariah 6:12 (Hebrews 4:14 / Revelation 19:16)
7. THE WARRIOR “Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations”, Zechariah 14:1-11. When all nations are against Israel, then the Lord shall descend to Mount Olivet and save them from all their enemies with a worldwide judgment. Their Savior won’t be a politician but God – the glorious Lord Jesus Christ with the marks of the cross. He’s on a white horse this time with the armies of heaven. Then there will be “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men”. (Revelation 1:7, 17:14, 19:11-16 / Luke 2:14)