We Serve the Servants

“The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,  who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written, for the time is near.

“John to the seven churches that are in Asia:

“Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come.., and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.

“To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood  and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever.  Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him…

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

“I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.  I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, ‘Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches.’” Revelation 1:1-11

God gave His servant John visions for His servants, not just for him. He had called and equipped this faithful apostle, His chosen instrument for this specific role. He knew He could entrust these vital truths to him for description and conveyance. John received and executed the assignment with exquisite care. He understood God’s intent and accomplished it as a devoted servant and fellow partner with his readers.

John models one who, because he was in the Spirit, knew the Lord intimately and understood his calling. He eagerly received, then delivered God’s message with grace and peace and a high view of God in order to inform, fortify, and bless His people. He came alongside as a fellow servant, one in the fray and in the faith with them, to encourage and give hope.

The Lord has saved each of us to serve the present age. He’s appointed our time and place and days to know Him and fulfill His plans. He’s called us to do our part to put forward His work in the church and world. How am I handling my specific assignments? Where and how am I spreading His truth and grace? (Acts 13:36; 17:25-27; Ephesians 4:16; 1 Peter 2:4-6)

Serving others takes time, intention, and abiding in the Spirit. It requires humility before God, love for Him and His people, and much grace. It may involve sacrifice and hardship. What do my daily decisions and activities reveal about whom I am serving with time and resources? Are my efforts for self or others? How am I helping the Body know and prepare to meet Jesus?

Lord, may I faithfully serve You in this present age by serving the church and world to Your renown and glory.

All the Unendings

“I bow my knees before the Father,..  that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit… that you… may have strength to comprehend what is the breadth and length and height and depth,  and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14,16-19

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?.. 

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35,37-39

To understand the vastness of the love of God in Christ there is a component of plumbing the profundity our own depravity. Unending meets unending in no neutral middle ground. God’s love and grace are high, measureless, uncontainable, and we sheep are sorely low and lost in interminable sin and need. Only Jesus bridges the chasm, only the Holy One reaches the depth of flesh with the highest of heaven. Who else can connect perpetual sin with my highest good by His fathomless mercy but the Infinite One?

There is no distance we can go to escape our Lord’s presence, no torrent of particular sorrow or grief the God of all comfort cannot assuage. There is no longing or want He cannot fulfill with His treasure, no destitution or confusion He cannot meet with hope and wisdom. To us belongs unending need, to Him belongs unending riches and joy. (Psalm 139:7-10; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4; Ephesians 1:3; Philippians 4:19)

Where do we take our dearth, our shame, our desire? Between Eden and heaven we will always be lacking, but the Lord is nigh with unending supply. Held in such a great salvation, will we daily drink deeply of His life? (John 4:14; Hebrews 2:3; 1 Peter 1:3-5)

“O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer
Greatest Treasure of my longing soul!
My God, like You there is no other.
True delight is found in You alone.
Your grace, a well too deep to fathom!
Your love exceeds the heavens’ reach!
Your truth, a fount of perfect wisdom,
My highest good and my unending need.

O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer,
Strong Defender of my weary heart.
My Sword to fight the cruel deceiver,
And my Shield against his hateful darts.
My Song when enemies surround me,
My Hope when tides of sorrow rise,
My Joy when trials are abounding!
Your faithfulness, my Refuge in the night

O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer
Gracious Savior of my ruined life.
My guilt and cross laid on Your shoulders,
In my place You suffered bled and died.
You rose! The grave and death are conquered!
You broke my bonds of sin and shame!
O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer
May all my days bring glory to Your Name!” ~Nathan Stiff, Sovereign Grace Music (2017)

Father, may my grateful heart and all my days issue endless praise for Your unending glory and grace.

“But You…”

“But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, ‘In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.’ It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.

“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” Jude 1:17-25

In this madding world, there are many buts, dichotomies that set right against wrong and ignite tension with every decision and action. We beloved apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ face realities and facts we need to be aware of, live rightly and righteously among, guard against, and work to overcome. For every warning and command we have a Helper, One who is able, and the One who, for this, is worthy of praise. (John 14:16-17)

The Lord experienced every temptation yet was without sin. He guides us in His power, gives wisdom and self-control, and so keeps us from falling. We keep on in the most holy faith by staying in the word, walking in fellowship, and pressing on to grow in biblical thinking and character. (Isaiah 28:9-10; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 5:22-23; Colossians 3:1-16; Hebrews 10:24)

We are stretched, but we are fortified by God’s Spirit. We are ridiculed, but our identity is secure in Christ. We are tested, but we own resurrection power. We are ashamed or embittered, but Jesus carried all our sins to death and created us anew. We are despised by the world, but we are loved with an everlasting love. We wrestle in a dark culture, but we are its light. As God’s beloved children, we can persevere to live on the right and victorious side of every but because of and by His abounding grace. Are we reckoning this as true? (Isaiah 43:1; 53:5-6; Jeremiah 31:3; Matthew 5:11-12,14; 10:22; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 3:20)

How do we react to scoffers- with disdain, fear, or strong defense? How do we respond to people and principles devoid of the Spirit? What are we doing by way of spiritual disciplines to keep ourselves in the most holy faith? What evidence is there that we care for the weak while rejecting their sin? It is the Lord who equips and enables for these hard things. How robustly are we availing ourselves of His grace, insight, and strength so our motivations, intentions, and actions exalt His glory and power?

Lord, keep me alert to evil, and wholly in the holy faith. May my daily dealings in the world be a living doxology to Thee.

Why the Testimony?

“Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth!
I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings from of old,
things that we have heard and known,
that our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children,
but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,
and the wonders that he has done.

He established a testimony in Jacob
and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers
to teach to their children,
that the next generation might know them,
the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children,
so that they should set their hope in God
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments;
and that they should not be like their fathers,
a stubborn and rebellious generation,
a generation whose heart was not steadfast,
whose spirit was not faithful to God.” Psalm 78:1-8

As the children of God, we are called to give ear to the righteous teaching and testimony of God’s glorious deeds, might, and wonders. Why? In order to know Him, share Him, set hope in Him, obey Him, guard against stubborn rebellion, and remain steadfast and faithful. Nothing substitutes as the fuel and enabling of all these. And when we have taken in, we are are also to teach and tell. The repeated refrain of God’s testimony is vital for the spiritual health of all who are in Christ because our finicky flesh, in spite of all these, still sins and does not believe. (Psalm 78:32)

The Lord in His mercy applies the grace of the testimony to redeem us. What wonder! The word passed down takes root to develop the faith of another generation, and another, to the magnification of His glory. Truths remind us He is God and we are not, and fortify our hope in troubling times. (Psalm 42:5-6; Lamentations 3:21-24)

In what ways are we experiencing the power of the word at work in us as it convicts, molds, and supplies? Is our character being transformed from glory to glory, rude impatience giving way to patience, a cold heart glowing warm with divine love? What explicitly is God redeeming through His testimony in our lives? (Psalm 78:38-42; John 16:8; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Colossians 1:29; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12)

As it takes ahold of us, how are we passing it on? When do we deliberately teach God’s truths and recite His deeds to our children, our colleagues, our friends? What role models are we emulating, and becoming?

“O to grace how great a debtor
daily I’m constrained to be!
Let that grace now, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
here’s my heart; O take and seal it;
seal it for thy courts above.” ~Robert Robinson (1758)

As a debtor to Your grace, Lord, may I be fully devoted to Your testimony, expressing in every word and way its power and glory.

Worth the Wait

“O Lord, you are my God;
    I will exalt you; I will praise your name,
for you have done wonderful things,
    plans formed of old, faithful and sure.
For you have made the city a heap,
    the fortified city a ruin;
the foreigners’ palace is a city no more;
    it will never be rebuilt.
Therefore strong peoples will glorify you;
    cities of ruthless nations will fear you.
For you have been a stronghold to the poor,
    a stronghold to the needy in his distress,
    a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat;
for the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall,
   like heat in a dry place.
You subdue the noise of the foreigners;
    as heat by the shade of a cloud,
    so the song of the ruthless is put down.

On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
    a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,
    of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.
And he will swallow up on this mountain
    the covering that is cast over all peoples,
    the veil that is spread over all nations.
   He will swallow up death forever;
and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces,
    and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
    for the Lord has spoken.
It will be said on that day,
    ‘Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us.
    This is the Lord; we have waited for him;
    let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.’
For the hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain.” Isaiah 25:1-10a

The determination to praise sets the heart aright. Trudging in the mire of distresses without and within we can tend toward complaint, but exalting God turns the mind toward all that is sure and hopeful. Praising Him for the His wonderful deeds is a glad way to bide our time as we wait His promises’ fulfillment.

God’s plans formed of old are indeed faithful and sure. They come to pass in divinely-prescribed time, distances upon distances, certain and wonderful. We see His hand at present, both acting for us and withholding action in mercy. We marvel at past deeds that have brought us thus far, and look with praise to all He will continue to unfold.

When we are impatient at the wait for God’s glorious fulfillment, what do we learn of His grace and eternal perspective? In tears, longing, and hunger, would we ask for faith to trust His comfort and prepared feast? How and where will we spread the good news of God’s promises for future resolution, the redeeming of every sorrow, and the joy of our salvation? Any and all present suffering is making way for a heavenly, joyous glory that will grace our longing with a splendid Amen. (Romans 8:18; 2 Corinthians 4:17-18)

“Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come:
’tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
and grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
his word my hope secures;
he will my shield and portion be
as long as life endures.” ~John Newton (1779)

Lord, keep me eagerly, expectantly waiting for You and sharing the delights of all You are and will do according to Your promises.

Recorded and Remembered

“These are the stages of the people of Israel, when they went out of the land of Egypt by their companies under the leadership of Moses and Aaron. Moses wrote down their starting places, stage by stage, by command of the Lord… They set out from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month. On the day after the Passover, the people of Israel went out triumphantly in the sight of all the Egyptians, while the Egyptians were burying all their firstborn, whom the Lord had struck down. On their gods also the Lord executed judgments.

“So the people of Israel set out from Rameses and camped at Succoth.  And they set out from Succoth and camped at Etham on the edge of the wilderness.  And they set out from Etham and turned back to Pi-hahiroth,.. and they camped before Migdol.  And they set out from before Hahiroth and passed through the midst of the sea into the wilderness, and they went a three days’ journey in the wilderness of Etham and camped at Marah. And they set out from Marah and came to Elim; at Elim there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees, and they camped there.  And they set out from Elim and camped by the Red Sea. And they set out from the Red Sea and camped in the wilderness of Sin…  And they set out from Alush and camped at Rephidim, where there was no water for the people to drink.  And they set out from Rephidim and camped in the wilderness of Sinai…  And they set out from Kadesh and camped at Mount Hor, on the edge of the land of Edom.

“And Aaron went up Mount Hor at the command of the Lord and died there, in the fortieth year after the people of Israel had come out of the land of Egypt, on the first day of the fifth month…

“And they set out from the mountains of Abarim and camped in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho… And the Lord spoke to Moses… saying,.. ‘When you pass over the Jordan into the land of Canaan, you shall drive out all the inhabitants… [and] take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have given the land to you.'” Numbers 33:1-11,14-15,37-38,48,50-52

God commanded Moses to document Israel’s sojourn through the wilderness, a detailed accounting of starts and stops, highs and lows, meanderings and memorable moments, all laced with the keeping eye of their Lord. He wanted them always to remember His call and care. He knew times would arise when these were questioned, and wanted them to keep answers ready.

“We recount your wondrous deeds.” Psalm 75:1

How am I keeping track of God’s faithfulness? Where do I record, to whom do I recount His wondrous deeds? In every documentation, every telling, there is an indelible imprint on the memory that can be recalled in moments of need or doubt. The more God is seen to have worked, the more He will be trusted in the future and His fame known and praised.

“O Lord, you are my God;
    I will exalt you; I will praise your name,
for you have done wonderful things,
    plans formed of old, faithful and sure.” Isaiah 25:1

Lord, keep your name and remembrance the desire of my soul. May I ever make known Your might among the peoples, to Your praise and glory. (Psalm 77:11-12, 14; Isaiah 26:8)

The Majesty of Judgment

“We give thanks to you, O God;
    we give thanks, for your name is near.
We recount your wondrous deeds.

‘At the set time that I appoint
    I will judge with equity.
When the earth totters, and all its inhabitants,
    it is I who keep steady its pillars. 
I say to the boastful, “Do not boast,”
    and to the wicked, “Do not lift up your horn;
do not lift up your horn on high,
    or speak with haughty neck.”’

For not from the east or from the west
    and not from the wilderness comes lifting up,
but it is God who executes judgment,
    putting down one and lifting up another.
For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup
    with foaming wine, well mixed,
and he pours out from it,
    and all the wicked of the earth
    shall drain it down to the dregs.

But I will declare it forever;
    I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
All the horns of the wicked I will cut off,
    but the horns of the righteous shall be lifted up.” Psalm 75:1-10

“In Judah God is known;
    his name is great in Israel.
His abode has been established… in Zion.
There he broke the flashing arrows,
    the shield, the sword, and the weapons of war. 

Glorious are you, more majestic
    than the mountains full of prey…
At your rebuke, O God of Jacob,
    both rider and horse lay stunned.

But you, you are to be feared!
    Who can stand before you
    when once your anger is roused?
From the heavens you uttered judgment;
    the earth feared and was still,
when God arose to establish judgment,
    to save all the humble of the earth.” Psalm 76:1-4,6-9

Our world is fuzzy with muddled morality and vapid living. It can be harsh with incessant caustic chatter and violence. The angst of making our way through a fallen culture unscathed and unscathing is unsettling at best. Amidst this uncertainty and certain troubles there shines the majestic beauty and rightness of God’s justice.

“The Lord sits enthroned forever;
    he has established his throne for justice,
and he judges the world with righteousness;
    he judges the peoples with uprightness.” Psalm 9:7-8

God’s judgment is flawless, measured, excellent. It is never capricious, out of control, or unfair. It is perfectly timed and always appropriate. Often this splendid facet of God’s character is neglected, even disdained, because we shun the concept of being judged. In the flesh, we despise accountability and want only to be left to ourselves, except when offended or infringed upon by others. But in our depths, we cry out for everything to be made right, and find our hope in the Lord alone.

When circumstances totter, where do we look for stability? When pain, poverty, and injustice seem to outgrow compassion and supply, where do we turn? If we say we trust the Lord, how convincingly do we prove it by expressed gratitude, withheld revenge, expectant faith? Do we nitpick and chafe at God’s justice, or look for God’s majesty as He upholds His holiness and promises? Do we criticize or question His methods or patience in waiting, or increasingly trust that all His ways are good and redemptive and His throne is unshakeable? (Matthew 7:1-2; Romans 12:17-19; 2 Peter 3:9; Revelation 6:10)

Lord, let me see and trust the majesty of Your judgment, and by confidence and emulation, express its beauty in my world.

The Greatest Grant

“Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,

“To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:

“May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.

“Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.” 2 Peter‬ ‭1‬:‭1‬-‭15‬

Peter extended grace and peace to the varied church by his reminder of all they’d been granted in Christ. In light of present suffering and opportunities to expand, in the midst of corrupting influences and opposition, their inheritance was precious and very great. This should fill them with deep soul calm and vibrant vitality. He himself knew the Holy Spirit’s constant influence, and with every breath would stir up reminders of true truths in God’s children. The large grant of the divine power and nature should be effecting great righteousness and godliness in their sojourn. (John 14:26; 21:18-19)

Does consistent exposure to God’s word and fellowship bear forth deepening spiritual disciplines and graces? Are we regularly relying on the indwelling Spirit and increasing in Christ-like qualities in thought-life, work, home, relationships? How often do we diss our inheritance, doubt the promises, and squander the riches we own? Where are we failing to reckon truth into our temptations and weaknesses? Is over-commitment, laziness, or apathy causing us to drift from wholehearted zeal?

What can we implement to nurture bountiful growth in all God has generously given?

Good Father, may I honor You by making the most of time and gifts to be more like You and magnify Your greatness.

There Shall Come Forth

“There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
    and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
    the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and might,
    the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
    or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
    and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
    and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
    and faithfulness the belt of his loins…
They shall not hurt or destroy
    in all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
    as the waters cover the sea.” Isaiah 11:1-5,9

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’” Jeremiah 23:5-6

What a promise! To this rebel land doomed to judgment by a wicked nation, Isaiah brought a hope-filled message: there would come a righteous Judge who would make all things right. When all seemed impossible to know and understand, there would be One full of the knowledge of the Lord. (Isaiah 10:5-12)

And the powerful breath of His lips that would execute judgment could also breathe into them life, living hope, wisdom, grace, and joy. The hope for their future had a present reality. Their sense of depression and despair could become delight if placed in the promised Spirit. (Genesis 2:7; Isaiah 11:12-16)

Do I get caught in a daily tangle of who deserves what, and can you believes, and never take sober stock of my own deserts? Do I wrangle over seeming injustice and bad timing in the gnarl of current circumstances and never take a high view of matters? What if I cast these cares on the Lord? What if in it all I endeavored to be more like Jesus and introduced light into the destitution that shrouds daily news? What if into every consternation and roil of turmoil I brought a spirit of wisdom, understanding, and righteous discernment? (1 Samuel 16:7; Psalm 55:22; John 13:15; James 3:17)

The Spirit of God in us can bring forth fruitfulness the world cannot comprehend or procure, and His heavenly fruit makes a difference in conversations and in our communities. We may be rejected or misunderstood, but we can honor the Lord and offer hope not found elsewhere. Where and when will we begin? (Matthew 10:22; Galatians 5:22-23)

Lord, as my strength, song, and salvation, bring forth from me a bounty of grace and truth, light and wisdom and joy, to a needy world. (Isaiah 12:2-5)

By God’s Power Guarded

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,  who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,  so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,  obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls…

“You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold,  but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.  He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you  who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” 1 Peter 1:3-9,18-21

Because work was finished and perfectly done, God’s children are born into an imperishable inheritance and guarded forever. Fear of failure or the future have no place in the minds of those in Christ. We are kept, His promises are kept. We cannot be moved! Though the earth shake and we are tested, He is our very present help, stay, and security. By the power that raised Jesus from the dead, we are guarded. (Psalm 37:28; 46:1-3; 121:7-8; Ephesians 6:13-17; 1 Thessalonians 5:8)

What are we doing to remind ourselves of our standing? We cannot recite often enough what Christ has accomplished, so we know that we know the riches He’s deposited for now and the future. The truth is a present buttress against doubt and fear and the taunts of the unbelieving world. It is our mode and substance of faith through hard times. The sureness of all Christ has done and won for us gives security, unshakable hope, and protection that have their bearing on how we conduct ourselves. (Ephesians 1:16-21; Hebrews 11:1)

How does certain love by Christ compel us to love lavishly, unafraid of rejection? What freshness and purity does it bring to our speech and compassion? What heightened generosity and wider hospitality does it inspire? What boldness to proclaim the gospel does firm standing in salvation fuel? What confidence in selfless service, knowing that our labor is never in vain? Christ who has saved us and goes before us is the Christ in whose glory we can daily rejoice. (1 Corinthians 15:58; Colossians 3:23-24; 1 Peter 1:22-23; 2:1)

My Lord, guarded by Your power may I fully trust Thee as I lavishly serve, love, and give to others, that You might be known and exalted.