Monday, January 26, 2015

1/27/15- Revelation and Morality

Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom's instruction. (Proverbs 29:18)

19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts (Romans 1:19-26)

Thoughts: Revelation helps us with a moral restraint.  This has been proven true in many ways- statistically, socially, psychologically.  When you believe that there is a God holding you accountable and telling you right from wrong (including stealing, murder, lying, adultery), and who sees and cares about our actions- then we are more likely to show restraint.  If you believed a policeman was in the room with you, would it not be a source for a deterrent?   Revelation, not only deters us with that image, but convicts our conscience about what is right or wrong.  So Proverbs says where there is no revelation the people cast off restraint.  So Romans indicates when we dilute or pollute the knowledge of God we not only make God in our own image, but tends to immorality.  

Prayer: Help me to hear your voice behind me saying, "This is the way walk in it."  Help me to stay on the straight and narrow path- the path of purpose and hope that leads to the abundant life here and life everlasting.  

Extras: De Toqueville, the sociologist said that America is great because America is good. He went on in his writings to relate how religion played a key role in that goodness.  

Statistically- those who believe strongly are more likely to keep their marriages, to give more to charity, to volunteer more time for others than those who do not believe strongly. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

1-26-25 A Voice in the Whirlwind

1Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:
2“Who is this that obscures my plans
with words without knowledge?
3Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.
4“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
5Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
6On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone—
7while the morning stars sang together
and all the angelsa shouted for joy?
8“Who shut up the sea behind doors
when it burst forth from the womb,
9when I made the clouds its garment
and wrapped it in thick darkness,
10when I fixed limits for it
and set its doors and bars in place,
11when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;
here is where your proud waves halt’?
12“Have you ever given orders to the morning,
or shown the dawn its place, (Job 38:1-12)

Thoughts; "Out of the storm" is "Out of the whirlwind" or tornado.  It is in some of the worst of disasters that we see God's might and hear clearer God's voice.  There are some who cannot hear anything in the sad times of life.  This makes the sad times even sadder.  But for those of faith, God speaks in creation.  We see God in the stars, in the limitations of the mighty sea and clouds.  Some can see to put the puzzle pieces together, others are blind and do not see the pieces or the larger picture.  Yet God speaks if we have ears to hear.  

Prayer: Lord, give me ears to hear you in the world around me.  

Saturday, January 24, 2015

1/25/15- Words of God

 20Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.(2 Peter 1:20,21)

Thoughts: Do we believe it is possible for God to reveal Himself to us with words?  Prophesy is precisely that- and the inspiration of scripture is based on this idea as well.  God, who gave us the ability to speak and understand- to think abstractly- can speak to our minds through inspiration.  But we must believe not only that it can happen, but that it does happen- and happens specifically.  This passage says this is so important- "above all."
     Revelation is divine or it is nothing and useless.  2 Peter 1 reminds us that the prophets of God had their origin with God and not by human guessing or will alone.  The Holy Spirit inspired them and then inspired us with their words.  

Prayer: Lord, help me to believe in your words.  Give me grace to rely and trust in them as a word from you for me.  

Friday, January 23, 2015

1/24/15- God speaks in Various Ways

19“Or someone may be chastened on a bed of pain
with constant distress in their bones,
20so that their body finds food repulsive
and their soul loathes the choicest meal.
21Their flesh wastes away to nothing,
and their bones, once hidden, now stick out.
22They draw near to the pit,
and their life to the messengers of death.c
23Yet if there is an angel at their side,
a messenger, one out of a thousand,
sent to tell them how to be upright,

Thoughts: Job 33- Words from Elihu to Job that summarize. The verses from yesterday point out that God speaks through dreams or sometimes in the voice of conscience.  Here is a reminder of God speaking through pain.  Someone said that pain is the alarmclock of the soul.  God tries to wake us up to Himself through pain.  Many times people wake up to God and see what is really important through sickness or sadness.  Sometimes we have to be flat on our back to see that work is not the most important thing in life.  Sometimes our pain teaches us to pray out to the Lord for help.  

Prayer: Help me to hear you speak to me- even through pain.  

Thursday, January 22, 2015

1/23/15- God Speaks in Dreams

14For God does speak—now one way, now another—
though no one perceives it.
15In a dream, in a vision of the night,
when deep sleep falls on people
as they slumber in their beds,
16he may speak in their ears
and terrify them with warnings,
17to turn them from wrongdoing
and keep them from pride,
18to preserve them from the pit,
their lives from perishing by the sword. (Job 33)

Thoughts: God has spoken to people in dreams.  He spoke to Jacob at Jacob's ladder at Penuel.  He spoke to King Nebuchadnezzar in a dream.  But dreams are not always clear.  Nebuchadnezzar had to have an interpreter as did the Pharaoh when Joseph interpreted his dream.  Some wonder if a dream is from God or just from the worries of life as scripture mentions. Psychologists often point out that worry and past concerns play in different kinds of dreams.   Dreams are part of what theologians call "general revelation."  But God speaks clearer through scripture and Jesus Christ. 

Prayer: Help me, Lord, to hear your voice speaking to my life.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

1/22/15 - Revelation appliled

 11Now the Bereans were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 12As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men. (Acts 17:11,12)

Thoughts: The scriptures point out it is a noble thing to receive the message with eagerness.  If God reveals Himself to us, but we do not receive it, it makes no difference.  So many of the Scribes and Pharisees rejected the living Word- Jesus- when they saw Him face to face.  Many of the Thessalonians rejected Paul though he brought the Gospel message with great power.  The task is not just to believe in revelation, but to welcome the revelation and receive it.  

Prayer: Lord, help me not to only believe in your Word but to receive it with eagerness  

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

1/21/15- God makes Himself known

19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. (Romans 1:19,20)

Thoughts: God reveals Himself in nature. Nature is the fingerprint of God.  To see God's fingerprint in nature- means we know something about God.  Paul even says God makes Himself plain in creation- but we distort the plain meaning before us.  God's great power and divine nature are the two things clearly seen.  When we look at the might of the oceans we can imagine someone stronger than them who made them.  Jesus calmed the storm.  His creativity- perhaps the essence of being the Divine Creator, is clearly seen.  The differences, beauty, colors, patterns in creation point to a Maker.  God reveals enough about Himself to all people so that no one can blame God if He holds them accountable for turning away from His knowledge.  It is possible to know God- creation teaches us that.  But Jesus teaches it clearly. 

Prayer: Lord, help me to see your hand and know you.