Shattered. That’s how it feels when a high-profile spiritual leader fails.
And the casualties are many – both among believers and among observers in the world.
But there is a lesson to be learned. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Never be a follower of personalities…regardless of who it might be.
Remember the words of Jesus — “ Come unto me…”
So today…check yourself to be sure you are following Jesus…and no one else. Set your affections on Him…and Him alone. He alone will never let you down. The closer you follow…the more satisfying will be your walk.
If you follow people…it is only time until you will become disillusioned.
Never ever take your eyes off of Jesus.
The dominance of God. He is Lord of all.
“Heaven is my throne; and the earth is my footstool.”
Think of it – the earth is but the footstool of God. That speaks of indisputable dominance…under the feet of God.
The word picture used here by Isaiah is striking. God’s throne is in heaven…and the earth is but a footstool. Dominance – that’s the message.
But the squeeze is on – to remove God from the affairs of men…from government…from education…from public discourse. People are intoxicated with their own insistence on dominance.
And what about you? Have you turned the control of your life over to Christ? Have you declared total reliance on Him?
Remember…you are part of God’s footstool. Accept His dominance. Surrender to His Lordship.
To be ignored. That’s the height of insult.
It’s painful to be slandered…criticized…or taken advantage of. But to be ignored…as if you do not exist…that is the worst.
God said to the obstinate nation of Israel: “Here am I, here am I.”
In other words…God was being ignored – as if He did not exist.
In our day…God is responding in the same way. “Here am I, here am I.” But He is largely ignored by a godless society.
Never let this be true of you. Instead…behold His glory. Bow in humble adoration. Open your heart to His entreaty. Respond to Him with all of your heart.
Laundering your thoughts. It is necessary…because thoughts pick up impurities.
Included here are imaginations…memories…musings…grievances…aspirations…thought patterns…and even thoughts about God.
You need Jesus to sort through it all…and wash clean all that has stained your mind. This laundering needs to be continuous…keeping your mind clean and pure.
Paul said “…we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” That results in the laundering of your thoughts – with the blood of Jesus being the detergent that can cleanse your every thought.
In order to have the mind of Christ…this cleansing work must be a reality. It’s the way to see God. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
A laundered mind – that’s God’s way to a victorious life.
Wasted money and labor. Don’t fall into that trap.
“Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?”
It’s also a commentary on modern life – money and labor spent on what does not satisfy.
Then the Prophet Isaiah says – “Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.”
The psalmist says — “O taste and see that the Lord is good.” That’s the satisfaction for which the soul craves.
So check your money and your labor. Do you find in them satisfaction for the deep cravings of your soul?
Invest your money and your labor in a growing intimacy with God.
That’s where your soul will find satisfaction.
The big basket of religious thought. It includes all thoughts deemed transcendent. But…don’t put the gospel into that basket.
Listen to the Prophet Isaiah. “…stricken by God, smitten by him…pierced for our transgressions…crushed for our iniquities…”
This is about Jesus…how God crushed Him for your sins – so that you might be free.
Don’t mix this with empty…powerless…imaginary religious thought. This is about an event – when God Almighty solved the sin problem for time and eternity.
Away with empty speculations…vain traditions…and the imaginations of men.
Fix your eyes on the cross.
Rock quarries. Let them remind you of your spiritual ancestry.
“Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were cut…”
Then Isaiah points to Abraham and Sarah “…who gave you birth.”
This promise is for “…you who pursue righteousness and who seek the Lord.”
Your ancestry includes all of the righteous who have gone before you. You are related to them all…spiritually. This is where you find your fathers and mothers in the faith.
It is your family tree – spiritually. And what a blessed lineage is yours – Abraham…Moses…David…Daniel…Peter…Paul. They are your spiritual relatives.
Be grateful for your godly heritage.
Paradox – and the promises of God. Without this awareness…you will be left in a quandary.
God promises to heal our diseases. But the Apostle Paul speaks of sustaining grace during times of suffering.
God promises to supply all your needs. But Paul speaks of times when he was in need.
God promises protection. But Peter speaks of fiery trials.
So if you don’t accept seeming contradictions…you may soon be confused and discouraged.
What is the key?
First. Pray and believe with full assurance — but at the same time remember that God always knows best.
Second. You see life incrementally. God sees it wholistically. What seems to you as contradictory…is instead the working out of His eternal plan.
A marvelous revelation. It’s so simple a child can understand — yet so profound that brilliance cannot plummet its depth.
The story of creation. It can cause children to sit on the edge of their seats – and still become the starting place for the deepest ponderings of intellectuals.
The story of man. Beginning with Adam — the Bible relates how man populated the earth…developed civilizations…and describes how it will all culminate in eternity.
The story of redemption. It’s about a man who lived a perfect life…died a victorious death…and rose to be the Savior of mankind.
Amazing…glorious…and supernatural – that’s the story that is contained in the Bible.
A blend of simplicity and profundity.
Soaring like the eagles. But you’ve got to spread your wings.
If you don’t…you can never enjoy the wind under your wings. That’s God’s part.
But you’ve got to spread your wings.
But what are your wings? Hope. When you hope…you are spreading your wings and catching the lift of divine wind.
“…those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles…”
Hope is your set of wings – hope that God’s ways are best…hope that Jesus cares…hope that grace is always sufficient…and hope that heaven will one day be your home.
With every confession of hope…the spread of your wings gets wider and wider – and it keeps catching the divine breeze under your wings.
Soar like an eagle.