Archive for ‘Devotions’

September 14, 2012

God the Artist: Sensitivity

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin” (Hebrews 4:15 NLT).

“Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4-5 NLT).

I don’t know. God just “gets it.” Even when nobody else does.

September 14, 2012

God the Artist: Passion

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 KJV/NKJV).

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8 NLT).

“God’s love is meteoric,
his loyalty astronomic,
His purpose titanic,
his verdicts oceanic.
Yet in his largeness
nothing gets lost;
Not a man, not a mouse,
slips through the cracks.

 How exquisite your love, O God!”

(Psalm 36, The Message)

(NOTE: I almost never use MSG, but I was reading it last month as I cycled through the Psalms and well, this hit me).

“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with unfailing kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3).

When I think about God’s passion, I also think about His attention to detail…

September 13, 2012

God the Artist: Creative

“The heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array” (Genesis 2:1).

“Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7).

“Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man” (Genesis 2:22).

“When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?” (Psalm 8:3-4)

“The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
 They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
 It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth” (Psalm 19:1-6).

“For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:13-16).

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).

I’m kind of an astrophysics geek. I love planets, stars, constellations, galaxies, nebula, novas. One day earlier this year, as I was praising God for His immense creation, I heard Him say, “You are more valuable to me than all of that.”

September 12, 2012

God the Artist: Vision

I’m releasing a little series: God the Artist.  It’s minimalistic. I want to let you do your thinking and I’ll do mine.

“The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters” (Genesis 1:2 NLT).

What was He thinking about there, hovering over the surface of the waters? The universe. The galaxies. The solar systems. Our solar system. The planets. Our planet. The human story. Me.

September 4, 2012

JEHOVAH

The past month has been a silent month for me. This blog has been silent, my Facebook account has been silent, I’ve been silent at church, and I’ve been silent at work. It has been incredibly liberating. I haven’t had the strain of article deadlines, haven’t had to deliberate whether or  not a status is productive, haven’t immersed myself in busy-ness that I’d falsely convinced myself was for God, haven’t striven for the spotlight at work. I have kind of just been … existing.
At first, scaling back was a real struggle. I wanted to be doing. As I settled down, thought, I began to realize how necessary this time was. Just my Maker and me.

The verse that I have been meditating on during this time is, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Have you ever really thought about that?

God is.

I love this definition: “God can be defined only by being, pure and simple … By concrete being, by absolute being, the ocean of all substantial being, independent of any cause, incapable of change, exceeding all duration, because He is infinite” (Catholic Encyclopedia).
JEHOVAH is God’s highest and holiest name, and it simply means, “I Am.” Often, we attach other titles to it. Titles like Jireh (“Provider”), Rapha (“Healer”), Rohi (“Shepherd”), Elohim (“Mighty One”), and Sabaoth (“Hosts”). In adding these things, important though they may be, we lose sight of the fact that before He is any of these things, God is just is.

A few years ago, I was reading through Ezekiel in my personal devotions and noted 43 variants of the following phrase: “Then they shall know that I am the LORD [JEHOVAH].” It’s a 48 chapter book. In Isaiah chapters 43-45 the name JEHOVAH appears 27 times. I think it must be important.

Think About It:

“You are My witnesses, says the LORD, and My servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the LORD, and beside me there is no savior” (Isaiah 43:10-11 NKJV).