Friday, January 18, 2019

All Things Created Through Him

 

[Photo of a Scripture verse]


“He is before all things, and in
him all things hold together.”
—Colossians 1:17

At the time of the year just passed, we think of Jesus as a baby born in a stable in Bethlehem. We imagine Him in the arms of His mother, Mary, with her adoring husband, Joseph, looking on in wonder. We see the shepherds arrive and hear the chorus of angels proclaim the birth of the Messiah. (Did you know that the word “Christ” is the New Testament Greek word for “Messiah”? So, when we say, “Jesus the Christ,” we are saying, “Jesus the Messiah”?)

But, Jesus is so much more than a helpless baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. He is God the Son. He is the Creator and Sustainer of all things.

Notice what the Apostle Paul writes in Colossians 1:15-17:

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Do you despair about our elected officials? No matter what you may think of them, they exist in their positions of power only because Jesus allows it. I know, I know, that is an almost unconscionable thought. Nevertheless, that is exactly what this passage of Scripture indicates. And, it is even clearer in the original New Testament Greek language.

Now, we may not have any idea why God would want such ones in power. But, if we believe His written Word—and we who follow Jesus do—then we have no other conclusion than to accept the reality that confronts us.

The Apostle Paul further instructs us in 1 Timothy 2:1-3:

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior…

Jesus is the One through whom all things are created. And, all the more so, all things hold together. Every aspect of our universe continues to function as it does because of the holding power of Jesus. Every system on this earth continues to function as God intends it because of the holding and conforming power of Jesus. Nothing man does can interfere with God’s divine power over all creation.

As we begin a new day, we can watch the sun rise and glorify God that He causes it to rise each day. We can proceed through the timeline of our day knowing that every second is accountable to God. We can relax into His loving arms knowing that He cares for us in such a loving way that nothing will befall us that is outside of His perfect will for us.

 

Copyright © 2019 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.

 

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Contend for Me

 

[Photo of a Scripture verse]


“O Lord,… be not silent. Do not be far from
me, O Lord. Awake, and rise to my defense!
Contend for me, my God and Lord.”
—Psalm 35:22-23

When we get into trouble, we often cry out for help. There’s no shame in that. At least there shouldn’t be any shame in asking for someone to help us.

Over the last 18 years, since arthritis has crippled my ability to walk and climb stairs—and particularly in the last 14 months since I had my right leg amputated below the knee—I have occasionally lost my balance and found myself clinging to some object, unable to get upright again. In those moments of teetering on the brink of falling, I call out for help. Fortunately, in most cases, my wife comes swiftly to my aid.

This is not a small thing for her to do. I now weigh in at just a bit less than two-and-a-half times her weight. Thirteen years ago, I weighed more than four-and-a-half times her weight.

So, for my wife to help me, it is more like a tiny baby deer trying to help an elephant. That might make for a great cartoon image. But, in real life, it’s not something that prompts laughter—at least not for the two of us. Fortunately, my wife has learned how to help me without harming her own self.

Do I wish I did not need help? Of course I do. The hardest lesson I have had to learn in the last 18 years is to ask for help without shame. Previously, I was always a very independent person. I was strong, sure-footed, and very mobile, in spite of my extreme obesity. Now, I need help far more often than my fragile ego can tolerate. But, I have no choice.

King David knew what it was to need help. He was a very strong, self-reliant person. After all, he not only protected his sheep from a lion and a bear, he was the one who killed the Philistine giant, Goliath. Nevertheless, David found himself in need of help and learned not to be ashamed to ask for it.

Here are David’s words from Psalm 35:22-23:

O Lord,… be not silent. Do not be far from me, O Lord. Awake, and rise to my defense! Contend for me, my God and Lord.

David is saying, “I can’t fight this battle alone, Lord. I need your help. I need you to rise to the occasion and bring me aid.” That this great warrior would be willing to ask for help when he needed it says a lot about him. And, it says even more about the one David is asking for help.

As we begin another day, we must not be ashamed to ask God for help. We cannot obediently follow God’s will for us without His help. That’s why God gives everyone who believes the indwelling Holy Spirit. The Spirit is there to help us. We should eagerly seek His help whenever we need it. There is no shame in asking the Spirit to contend for us. After all, that’s one of the ways He shows us how very much He loves us.

 

Copyright © 2019 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.

 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Shining Stars

 

[Photo of a Scripture verse]


“Those who are wise will shine like
the brightness of the heavens, and
those who lead many to righteousness,
like the stars for ever and ever.”
—Daniel 12:3

As a child who grew up in the 1950s, whenever I look up at the night sky, I can’t help but think of the tune “When You Wish Upon a Star.” This song written by Leigh Harline and Ned Washington for Walt Disney’s 1940 adaptation of Pinocchio was sung by Cliff Edwards in the character of “Jiminy Cricket.” You will likely remember the lyrics:

When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are.
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you.

If your heart is in your dream,
No request is too extreme.
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do.

Fate is kind.
She brings to those to love
The sweet fulfillment of
Their secret longing.

Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through.
When you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true.

A sky full of shining stars holds a particular fascination for we earth-bound humans. The more we learn about the vast universe that surrounds our planet, the more we feel the enormity of God’s marvelous creation. The more we sense how far-reaching the universe really is, the more we recognize how blessed we are to have a personal relationship with the God who created all things.

The Christian artist Sandi Patty sings a wonderful song that begins with these words:

Who filled the sky with radiant stars
   to glorify the night.
Who knows the path that leads up
   to the dwelling place of life.
Creator, Master, Holy One,
   Sustainer of my soul—
He reigns in golden splendor:
   Almighty God! Almighty God!

Here is a lovely version of this song:


[Graphic of a play video icon]


The Prophet Daniel makes an interesting statement, as recorded in Daniel 12:3, regarding those who follow the pathway that God has opened up for them:

Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.

We may not think of ourselves as “shining stars.” But, in God’s eyes, we are brilliant beams of His marvelous Light in this sin-darkened world.

As we begin another day, let’s praise God that He continues to mold us into the image of His holiness—a task that we are completely unable to complete on our own. As we respond to the gentle nudgings of the Holy Spirit and strive to become more and more obedient to God’s revealed will, we will, indeed, become the shining stars that He wants us to be.

 

Copyright © 2019 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.

 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Glory and Praise

 

[Photo of a Scripture verse]


“I will praise God’s name in song and
glorify him with thanksgiving.”
—Psalm 69:30

When we really like someone and hold that one in high esteem, we usually become very quick to share all of the positive things we know about that person. We readily do this because giving honor and praise to this one we hold dear reflects back on us, as well.

God has graciously allowed me to have the opportunity in my life to become friends with a few truly important people. I have never taken advantage of these relationships and consider myself very fortunate to have had the privilege of knowing these individuals. Some of them have contributed greatly to Christ and His Kingdom. Others have allowed the presence of Christ in their minds and hearts to very positively influence their work lives and their personal lives.

When it seems helpful and appropriate, I have spoken well of these individuals, just as I routinely speak well of all the people God has brought into my life. I imagine you have done the very same thing. We tend to enjoy telling others the good things about the people who are important to us.

King David felt the very same way we do. David enjoyed greatly giving honor and praise to someone who he felt was extremely important to his daily life—someone David considered a dearly loved friend and companion. He captures this practice in these words he wrote in Psalm 69:30:

I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.

David freely praised God’s name and gave glory to Him. David did this because God meant so very much to him on the most intimate and personal level. That’s the way we, who belong to God through His Son Jesus, should feel, as well. The fact that we belong to God is the most important relationship we have. His great importance to us should prompt us to glorify and praise Him for who He is.

At the beginning of this new day, let’s not hesitate to tell others how much God means to us. Let’s freely share all of the wonderful qualities He has shown in our relationship with Him. Let’s recognize that praising Him and giving Him glory also reflects back onto us. His divine Presence in our lives gives us a holy glow that He uses to draw others to Himself. And, that, dear ones, is an amazing and wonderful thing.

 

Copyright © 2019 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.

 

Monday, January 14, 2019

His Kindly Look

 

[Photo of a Scripture verse]


“Though the Lord is exalted, he looks kindly on
the lowly; though lofty, he sees them from afar.”
—Psalm 138:6

Have you ever walked through the streets of a large city at dusk and passed groups of homeless people as they began to gather in a place where they will spend the night? Different individuals have quite different reactions when they view these people who are down on their luck.

Whenever I encounter homeless people, I wonder how Jesus would respond to them. In that moment, I feel shame that I often am afraid of them and recognize that would not be how my Lord would feel. He would feel compassion, concern, and love.

Most of us find it very hard to love the unlovely. In many ways, I consider myself “unlovable.” Yet, when faced with people who have descended to a place where they never anticipated they would end up, like many of us, I do not immediately respond with the same compassion, concern, and love that Jesus would feel.

When we meet people at the crossroads of life, one of the things we must learn as Christians is to set aside our preconceived notions, our predispositions, and our prejudices. We need the eyes of our Savior to see these ones—ones He would consider dear—as He would see them.

King David captured this very thought when he wrote these words found in Psalm 138:6:

Though the Lord is exalted, he looks kindly on the lowly; though lofty, he sees them from afar.

The very fact that, even from the lofty heights of His eternal home, God sees the lowly and looks kindly on them should motivate us to do the same. We should applaud those whom God has called to specifically work with the downtrodden in this world. At the same time, we should be willing to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and extend His love to everyone who crosses our pathway, even those individuals who make us uncomfortable.

Let’s begin this new day by asking God to soften our hearts toward those to whom He would extend His lovingkindness and tender mercies. We will represent our Great King in a much better way if we take on His heart and extend His love to everyone no matter what their current circumstances might be.

 

Copyright © 2019 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.

 

Friday, January 11, 2019

Star Power: Shining Like Stars

 

[Photo of a Scripture verse]


“Do everything without complaining or
arguing, so that you may become
blameless and pure, children of God
without fault in a crooked and
depraved generation, in which you
shine like stars in the universe.”
—Philippians 2:14-15

I am told that in most families with more than one child, the children vie for the attention of their mom and dad, grandmas and grandpas. They do this in a spirit of sibling rivalry or unabashed competition. I am also told that this is quite natural and helps build character into the children.

As an only adopted child, I did not have the “luxury” of experiencing this character-building experience. It could very well be that my awkward socialization stems from this defect. In any case, I know that when we try to transfer this human experience to the spiritual, we run into a bit of trouble.

God does not respond to a group of His children clamoring for His attention. He is everywhere present and has His eye and ear on every single one of His dearly loved children. He knows what we need and what we desire. No amount of discord between children will earn any more of His attention or favor.

The Apostle Paul clearly stated the essence of this in Philippians 2:14-15:

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.

As we begin a new day, let’s keep in mind that complaining or arguing will buy us absolutely nothing in the Kingdom of God. Rather, devotion to the pathway that God has laid out before us—a pathway that leads to holiness—will bring the kind of star power that lasts for all eternity.

 

Copyright © 2019 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.

 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Hope from God's Word

 

[Photo of a Scripture verse]


“For everything that was written in the
past was written to teach us, so that
through endurance and the encouragement
of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
—Romans 15:4

For many years, the Bible has occupied the place as the number one selling book in all of literature. In fact, a According to the Guinness World Records, the Bible is the best-selling book of all time, with over 5 billion copies sold and distributed.

Yet, in spite of this appropriate accolade, the fact remains that many Bibles sit on bookshelves, or on coffee tables, or on nightstands, or in some other place where they are seldom, if ever, opened and read. That’s truly a shame. Why? Because the Bible contains the story of God’s relationship with the humans He has created. And, because the Bible is the greatest message of hope ever provided for the consumption of humankind.

The Apostle Paul specifically declares these encouraging words, found in Romans 15:4:

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Our great hope comes from the reality recorded in God’s written Word, the Bible. We are most foolish if we do not take advantage of what the Bible has to share with us.

Let’s begin this new day by determining to read our Bibles and put into practice the hope we find on its pages. If we do that, we will greatly improve our own lives and greatly improve the world around us.

 

Copyright © 2019 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.

 

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

He is Close at Hand

 

[Photo of a Scripture verse]


“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and
saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
—Psalm 34:18

As we move forward into the month of January, we look back on the holiday season we just passed through. Hooray! We survived! All across the United States, and even around the world, people scurried to fill their holiday season with hustle and bustle of buying gifts, decorating, attending parties, celebrating with family and friends, and generally having a glorious time.

But, in the midst of all this noise and celebration, there are always those of us who have a tinge of sadness during that season of the year. We recognize that not every Christmas memory is one of joy or excitement. Yet, we do not want to “rain” on the holiday parade of others.

As I’ve shared on this blog previously, in mid-December of 1981, my dad died suddenly of a massive heart attack at the age of 74. Four years and just one day later, my mom also died suddenly of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 81.

They have obviously been gone from more than a third of a century. Yet, from time to time, particularly as an only adopted child, I feel the awful weight of their sudden deaths invade my spirit. It makes Christmas a time that is framed with a sense of grief and loss. In this, I know I am not alone.

One of the enormous blessings of being a child of God through the loving sacrifice of God’s one and only Son, Jesus, is that I know God understands my grief. After all, He watched His totally blameless Son die on the cruel Roman cross at Calvary, all the while knowing that Jesus was dying in place of humans whom God had chosen to belong to Himself. This is a grief—God’s grief—that we simply cannot imagine.

In responding to such a God, King David wrote these words, as found in Psalm 34:18:

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

What a comforting thought: God is close to those who are crushed in spirit.

The songwriter Lucy Rider Meyer captured this thought—as well as the text from Isaiah 55:1—in a song that is sung so well by the late Donald Doig. I’ve included this song in a link below.

 

[Graphic of a play music arrow]

 

As we begin another day, let’s be mindful that there are those around us—not only at Christmastime, but all through the year—who are dealing with grief and loss. We can be very helpful to them by letting them know that God understands their grief and so do we. We can be a genuine source of comfort to them now and all through this year that has just begun.

 

Copyright © 2019 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.

 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Rich in Every Way

 

[Photo of a Scripture verse]


“You will be made rich in every way so that you can
be generous on every occasion, and through us your
generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”
—2 Corinthians 9:11

Do you ever dream of becoming wealthy? I’m not talking about coveting the wealth of someone you observe. I asking if, in your dreams, you ever experience a scenario where you become wealthy?

I’m not at all certain why this dream persists. But, I quite frequently dream that I somehow come into a very large sum of money—856 million dollars, to be exact. I have no idea where that amount originates. I was raised in a very modest circumstance, even quite poor financially. While I have done reasonably well during my adult life, I have certainly not acquired even mediocre wealth.

Yet, somehow this dream keeps cropping up. In this dream, with God’s guidance, I give most of this large sum away to organizations and friends who could genuinely use this money for good. I report this not to show how generous and magnanimous I am, but rather to illustrate the way this dream plays out. After all, it is only a dream—certainly a very silly dream.

While we tend to judge wealth in financial terms, as children of God we have wealth that extends well beyond any measure that money can provide. In writing to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul made this declaration in 2 Corinthians 9:11:

You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

Did you ever think about the fact that each act of generosity on the part of those who follow Jesus results in thanksgiving to God? What Paul writes rings true. And, when he speaks of generosity, Paul is not only talking about giving gifts of cash. He is talking about giving of ourselves to help meet the needs of others.

Thinking of the Season we just passed through, I recently saw this meme on Facebook posted by a dear friend.

[Photo of a social media meme]

The Apostle Paul would likely agree. In fact, Jesus Himself would agree that it is better to do an act of kindness and generosity as a way of keeping Him central in our celebration of His birth.

Let’s begin another new day by determining to focus on the things that really matter. By showing God’s love in every possible way, we will, indeed, “be made rich in every way.”

 

Copyright © 2019 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.

 

Monday, January 7, 2019

Call Him to Account

 

[Photo of a Scripture verse]


“Break the arm of the wicked and evil
man; call him to account for his
wickedness that would not be found out.”
—Psalm 10:15

Looking around in our present world it often appears that evil is winning. There is so much corruption and evil prevailing around us that it is easy to lose sight of the fact that God is still in charge. We can become quite easily discouraged by the coarseness of our society and the godless ways in which people treat each other.

Then, of course, there is the hyper-sexuality, drug addiction, broken marriages, damaged families, hurtful relationships, corruption in government, and a host of other problems that seem to plague our age.

In the time of great distress where the prevalence of evil seems almost overwhelming, it is appropriate to turn to God and share with Him the sorrow we feel. That is exactly what the Psalmist did, as recorded in Psalm 10. This is his lament that begins:

Why, Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak, who are caught in the schemes he devises.

Having poured out his lament to God, the Psalmist seems to become buoyed in his spirit and transitions to a prayer for justice that includes these words from Psalm 10:15:

Break the arm of the wicked and evil man; call him to account for his wickedness that would not be found out.

We may not always feel comfortable praying such a prayer. But, we could also say, “Good enough for the Psalmist, good enough for us.”

Of course, we want to pray for the salvation of all those who seem consumed by evil. Yet, when God does act to bring justice, we should not be at all surprised.

As we begin a new day, let’s not forget that God remains in charge of all things. He also is a holy God and a God of justice.

While He does extend mercy to those ones He draws to Himself, He also metes out justice to those who persist in evil. It’s important for us to not be surprised when God does act, even if His justice may seem harsh to some. He will, from time to time, remind all people that He is all-powerful and holy.

 

Copyright © 2019 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.

 

Friday, January 4, 2019

All Things New

 

[Photo of a Scripture verse]


“See, I will create new heavens and a new
earth. The former things will not be
remembered, nor will they come to mind.”
—Isaiah 65:17

One of the joys of a new year comes when we turn a page and see before us 365 blank pages on which to write a new history of our lives. We put aside the trials and discouragements of the previous year and we move forward with great hope that tomorrow will be much better than yesterday.

Even when we have problems that persist in our lives, there is something about the beginning of a new year that gives us hope. And, that is a very good characteristic of a new year. It always seems like it is a time of new beginnings.

For “Christ’s-ones”—those who believe in the life-transforming power of the living Lord Jesus Christ—we have the promise of a new beginning always before us. God is the God of New Beginnings. Just as He has washed away our sin with the blood of His one and only Son, Jesus, so He will continually renew us in our inner being. The Holy Spirit offers daily refreshment for our souls.

Speaking through the Prophet Isaiah, God also promises the ultimate in new beginnings when He transforms our current sin-filled world into an ever-new eternal Kingdom. Notice what God says, as recorded in Isaiah 65:17:

“See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.”

As Christians, our hope not only rests in the beginning of each new year, it also resides in our hope for eternity. God is, even now, preparing us for an eternal life where all things will become new. Let’s cling to that hope, as we begin this new day.

 

Copyright © 2019 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.

 

Thursday, January 3, 2019

"I Am the Almighty"

 

[Photo of a Scripture verse]


“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says
the Lord God, “who is, and who was,
and who is to come, the Almighty.”
—Revelation 1:8

Whether or not you’ve spent a lifetime in church, or just walked through life immersed in cultural references, you’ve likely heard of the phrase “the burning bush.” In case you’re not familiar with this incident in the life of the Patriarch Moses, let me share it with you from Exodus 3:

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”

When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

And Moses said, “Here I am.”

“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”

Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”

God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’

“This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation.

“Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.’

“The elders of Israel will listen to you. Then you and the elders are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God.’ But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand compels him. So I will stretch out my hand and strike the Egyptians with all the wonders that I will perform among them. After that, he will let you go.

“And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed. Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters. And so you will plunder the Egyptians.”

One of the most interesting aspects of this incident in Moses’ life—at least interesting to me—occurs when Moses asks God what God’s name is. That’s a reasonable thing to do. We are known by our name. Think about it. Even the people who know us the very best identify us by our names. In fact, our names are a short-form abbreviation for our reputation. If people know us by our name, they also associate our reputations with those names.

So, if God is sending Moses to make an almost unbelievable request of the Egyptians, to whom the people of Israel are enslaved, it is quite understandable that Moses wants to identify the One sending him on this scary assignment. By reporting the name of the One who has sent him, Moses can somewhat insulate himself from at least part of the wrath that will surely result from this request.

God’s answer to Moses is equally fascinating to me. God says, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you’” (Exodus 3:14).

Ponder God’s answer for just a moment. God identifies Himself as “I am who I am.” In other words, “I am the person I have always been, the person that I am at this present moment, and the person I always will be for all eternity.” In these few short words, God declares His eternal existence. As difficult as it may be for our poor finite minds to comprehend, God has always been who He is. And, He will always be who He is, as time reaches out toward eternity.

Throughout Scripture, God affirms His name: “I am who I am.” In speaking to the Apostle John, God makes this statement found in Revelation 1:8:

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

You probably realize that the letters Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the New Testament Greek alphabet. Just as young pre-school children learn to say, “A, B, C, D, E, F, G…” So young children in the first century A.D. learned to say, “Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, Zeta, Eta, Theta, Iota, Kappa, Lambda, Mu, Nu…” all the way to Omega.” By identifying Himself with the beginning and ending of the New Testament Greek alphabet, God is illustrating, in a very concrete way, that He is both the beginning and ending of all things.

Then, God seals this description by repeating a phrase similar to the phrase He used with Moses: “…who is, and was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

“Let there be no confusion,” God says to John. “I am the one and only true God. I created all things and by my hand all things exist. When I speak to you in the moments that lie ahead, you can count on the truthfulness and accuracy of what I have to say.”

As we continue to move forward into another year on the calendar, let’s remain conscious of the fact that in this time of transition—and in every moment of every day of our lives, both now and in the life to come—God is still the same. He has always been, He is now, and He ever will be. He created us. He sustains us. He loves us. He extends His grace to us. He grants us His mercy. That reality should become the anchor point of our lives.

 

Copyright © 2019 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.

 

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Un-yielded Glory

 

[Photo of a Scripture verse]


“I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not yield
my glory to another or my praise to idols.”
—Isaiah 42:8

One thing we learn from the earliest study of Scripture is that God protects the glory of His name and will not yield that glory to any other person or any other thing. That’s why it is so important to understand that the glory Jesus receives comes only because He is, in fact, God the Son. Jesus not only bears the image of God—the imago Dei—He is God. As the second person of the Holy Trinity, Jesus has all of the attributes of God, the One in Three.

Jesus declared this when He said, as recorded in John 10:30:

“I and the Father are one.”

It should come as no surprise that centuries before Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the Prophet Isaiah declared these words from God in Isaiah 42:8:

“I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols.”

God retains His glory. He does not yield it to another. That’s why our modern practice of making so many other things, or people, “gods” has such a destructive manifestation in our society. Nothing steals God’s glory. Not sports, nor houses, nor cars, nor family, nor—you can name whatever you wish. Nothing steals God’s glory.

So, at the beginning of this new day in this New Year, we should determine to remember that God must have the first place in our hearts and minds. He must always be preeminent. His glory cannot be shared and will not be shared.

God retains His glory. We bask in the Light of His divine Presence because He has chosen us before the foundation of the earth to belong to Himself. He sheds His mercy, grace, and love on us in great abundance. And, the reflection of His glory surrounding us directs our pathway.

 

Copyright © 2019 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.

 

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Working Your Dreams

 

[Photo of a Scripture verse]


“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with
all your might, for in the realm of the dead,
where you are going, there is neither
working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.”
—Ecclesiastes 9:10

As another new year begins, please seriously consider heeding these wise words found recorded in Ecclesiastes 9:10:

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.

 

______________________

1 A version of the image in this blog post originally appeared on Page 1 in The Moore-Wilson Sigaling Report—Vol. 3 No. 3 for May/June 1991

 

Copyright © 2019 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.