February 19, 2019- How Majestic is God’s Name! – Psalm 8, John 1:1-5

Creation

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.   Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?

Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,  the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

 O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!    Psalm 8 (ESV)

It is comforting to know that God is omnipotent. Someone beyond us has created the universe and all that is in nature, yet He cared for fragile humanity so much that Jesus became one of us.  Jesus lived on the earth. He entered into the wonder of human life as well as all its pain and brokenness. He laughed, He wept, He comforted, He taught. He rebuked.  He got angry. He shared joy. Jesus was fully God, and also fully human.

As we confess in the Apostle’s Creed, Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate. He suffered. He died and was buried, and descended into the place of the dead. He rose on the third day. As the prophet Isaiah teaches us, He was pierced for our transgressions, and by His wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5 (ESV)

God Himself- Jesus- who has always been, beyond the constraints of time, has given us stewardship of the world. Out of His great love for us, He provides for us. The sun, the moon, the stars, the oceans, the fields and mountains, and all the animals that live in them are all His handiwork.

Thank God that we are always on His mind and that He always cares for us even though we are little more than dust.

The Psalms remind us to pray, to praise, and to bring everything to the omnipotent and endless God who created us and sustains us. It’s always a good time to look up and remember that God provides everything we need, including life with Him forever!

February 12, 2017- Choose Life, Deuteronomy 30:19-20

enjoy-life

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him; for that means life to you and length of days, so that you may live in the land that the Lord swore to give to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. Deuteronomy 30:19 (NRSV)

Choose life.  Exactly how can we do that?  God determines when we are born, when we die, and He has the hairs on our heads numbered.  God has it all covered, and nothing gets past Him.

Theologians and sages and teachers have pondered on the question of free will for centuries.  If God is indeed omnipotent (all powerful) and omniscient (all knowing) and exists beyond His creation (He is in, through and with His creation, but is not created and is beyond creation,) then why should we concern ourselves at all with what we do?  If the events of the universe are all predetermined anyway, then why should we not just live as if anarchy is the law?  These are questions that can be argued (and have been for centuries,) and it is good to question authority, but in practical application, is anarchy- the absence of laws and standards- a viable answer to the question of how we should live?

If for no other reason, we should strive to live as God wants us to live, because He is God and we are not.

lord-purpose

Sometimes we have to go back to looking at God as our parent- to see God as Jesus addressed Him, as “Abba” or “Daddy.”  When we were five we didn’t question when Daddy said, “You need to eat your vegetables, ” or “Eight o’clock is bed time.”  We simply trusted that Daddy or Mommy knew what was in our best interest, and we did it.

In this passage from Deuteronomy- the final book of the Torah, or Jewish law, God is telling His people what things He wants them to do for their own good, so that they will live long and prosperous lives.  These are loving instructions from our “Daddy,” given to us for our own good.

god

Love God (and this is primary,) obey God (do what He tells us to to do, as best we can with the Holy Spirit’s help) and hold on to God (have faith that He provides for us and has good plans for us.)  These are God’s instructions for life as He intends for us.