Psalm 63 (Part Four)

I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory (63:2 NIV).

We are looking at the believer’s experience of God in the sanctuary. As already said, to David and other law covenant believers, this sanctuary was the physical tabernacle or temple. For us in Christ’s new and better covenant, Christ’s people in union with him by faith form this spiritual temple. It is the experience of the glorious God that is the key to everything that David writes in this psalm. This is one reason to guard carefully a Biblical way of thinking and acting about the church. When we realize that God is in the gatherings of his people, we can behold his power and glory! We will see him living and shining with glory in his chosen and dearly loved ones (cf. Colossians 3:12).

“Why does David thirst for God above everything else…? The answer is simply because God is who and what He is… The glory of God, to be in the presence of God! There is nothing that is comparable to this!” (Lloyd-Jones, Enjoying the Presence of God, p. 103) In his inner being, David has acquired a sense of God’s excellent nature. His soul is in love with God, for he knows personally something of the majesty of Almighty God. “This man has been in the presence of God. He has seen something of the God’s glory and he says, ‘There is nothing which is of any value by contrast with this and nothing that I may receive from the whole universe is of any value compared with it.’”

O Lord, I would delight in Thee
And on Thy care depend
To Thee in every trouble flee
My best, my only Friend…

He that has made my heaven secure
Will here all good provide
While Christ is rich, can I be poor?
What can I want beside?

O Lord, I cast my care on Thee
I triumph and adore
Henceforth my great concern shall be
To love and please Thee more.
(By John Ryland)

To review briefly, we ask, “What does a believer do in a desert place, when all around is or seems to be bleak and barren? David was in a desert place, but while there, he called upon the Lord. His circumstances could not separate him from his God, and neither did David act like the circumstances had. He had had the experience of seeing God’s power and glory in the sanctuary. When he was in the desert, he had a fresh, spiritual experience of God—the experience of praise.

Grace and peace, David

Psalm 63 (Part Three)

I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory (63:2 NIV).

Verses two through eight presents five vital experiences of the saints (those set apart for God, which is a basic idea about true believers.) Each of us should seek to know each of these experiences in an increasing measure. Salvation is not some kind of “fire insurance policy” but the experience of eternal life with God that begins now. Each ideally will develop in an increasing measure. The five experiences are:

  • God’s glory
  • Praise
  • Satisfaction
  • Meditation
  • Trust

Unfortunately, some approach the Bible and its message with mere intellectual curiosity. They like to hear “steps for successful living” or how to be prosperous or moral or have a happy family or whatever quest they’re into. The Bible becomes a manual that provides a philosophy for life or counsel about how to get through their problems. As Martyn Lloyd-Jones said years ago, they have “taken up” Christianity, but Christianity has never taken hold of them. To them, it is practical information without spiritual transformation. This psalm does not permit such an approach. It speaks of the person whom the true and living God has “taken up”. Against a barren assent or knowledge, this psalm tells us of spiritual experience with God as the center, as the great desire of the heart. King David’s purpose in this song is to shout out that God himself may be known!

It is important to remember that David lived during the time when the law or old covenant governed a person’s approach to God. His worship had to be through physical means like sacrifices offered at an altar at the earthly sanctuary, the tabernacle. We must think about the means he needed to use in worship. Certainly, all believers in God in all ages know God himself through faith. My point does not concern the reality of fellowship with God, or even whether any particular believer in one age of redemptive history had a greater desire for or intimacy with God than a believer in a different age. Everything is in proportion to one’s faith. But we ought to keep in mind the historical setting of this psalm.

When David wrote “in the sanctuary”, he meant that physical place chosen by God as the home of the Ark of the Covenant. Earlier in Israel’s history, this had been the tabernacle built in the time of Moses; later it would be the temple constructed by Solomon. David lived in a transitional period, and he meant the tent he had erected to house the Ark. During the law covenant, God revealed his glory in connection with the Ark. The old covenant people could see the cloud of glory arising from above the gold mercy seat of the Ark, between “the wings of the cherubim”. Part of David’s experience was very physical.

In the new covenant, believers in Jesus the Messiah are God’s temple or sanctuary. For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people (2 Corinthians 6:17 NIV; cf. 1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Peter 2:4-5; etc.) We do not go to a place to see a physical appearance of God’s glory, but the Spirit of glory and of God rests on us (1 Peter 4:14 NIV). When we are with other believers in Jesus, we form the temple of God that we already are. The Lord Jesus is present in such gatherings (Matthew 18:20). This truth should cause us to worship together with reverence and awe! By faith we can see the Living One in our sanctuary! Since we are God’s temple, we can know his spiritual presence (which is very real; something does not have to be material to be real, witness God himself.) In our gatherings, we should see his power and glory. We should see his power in the transformation of lives. We should realize that there is shining spiritual glory in our meetings. We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18 CSB).

Grace and peace, David

Psalm Nineteen (Part Two)

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. (19:2-4b NIV).

People like to gaze up at the sky and into the heavens above. Sharon and I live in a suburban area, and we rarely can see many stars. There are too many lights around us. At such times, we miss upstate New York. When we can be out in the country, we like to star gaze. I suspect you do, too. In these verses, David considered the revelation that God has made in nature, specifically, in the sun and the stars.

Day after day they pour forth speech…. David next entered into a more particular explanation of the principle stated in verse one. We might picture a storyteller starting at first light with his tale, continuing it until the sun sets, but then another storyteller comes on the scene to continue the same story! “They ‘pour forth’ or literally ‘bubble forth’ their information. As someone has rightly remarked, it is as though their eloquent testimony bubbled forth at every crack and cranny of the universe” (Leupold). Speech: David emphasizes that everyday the creation communicates with mankind about their Creator. God has a twenty-four hour “TV station or web page” that only broadcasts commercials—messages about his glory. The creation says to mankind, “Stop, listen to my voice, and think about what I am telling you about the glory of God.”

Night after night they reveal knowledge. The night is usually the time for rest, sleep, and the pursuit of pleasure. The creation, however, is always at work preaching the glory of God. What an advantage may be received by people from this preacher! Until recently, people were unable to know little about the universe around him during the daytime. Sometimes the moon is still visible early in the day, and there is the occasional morning star or supernova, but it is the night that reveals the immensity of the universe. It displays knowledge not easily received otherwise; even the most illiterate can look up and read a vast library regarding the glory of the Lord.

They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Since the Tower of Babel, mankind has been under the judgment of many different languages, which has hindered human progress and frustrated mankind’s pride. How difficult it can be to understand someone from another language! Yet God is not frustrated in communicating with people. His creation speaks to people of all languages, so that all are without excuse (Romans 1:20). Observe that there are no “innocent heathen”, but that all are responsible to God because of the message of creation. They all are able to hear the language that the heavens speak.

Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. Verse four is quoted in Romans 10:18, in that great passage about the sovereignty of God in the spread of the gospel (good news). No one will be able to say on that day of judgment that he or she never heard about the Creator, because the Lord has had his words about his glory and his work proclaimed to the ends of the world. But someone may object, “But this message tells nothing about the way of salvation! That doesn’t seem fair!” However, God is most just. Since they refuse to listen to the message of his glory and suppress it constantly (day after day… night after night), God cannot be blamed for not sending another message, the good news of his Son.

When we tell others the good news, we do not go among those who have never heard, but among those who refuse to listen—a hostile audience. Don’t be surprised when they will not listen to you. To turn someone from darkness to light requires the action of the Holy Spirit with God’s word. We can and should tell others the word, and at the same time, we must pray for the Holy Spirit to produce spiritual life as they hear the word. For whom are you praying?

Grace and peace, David

Psalm Nineteen (Part One)

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands (Psalm 19:1 NIV).

Psalm 19 is a great hymn for public worship composed by David. Its subject is God’s revelation in nature and in the Scriptures. This psalm calls us to consider the excellent nature of God’s disclosure of himself to all people everywhere in nature. Even though it is of such a high quality, it does not exhaust all that the Creator says to those made in his image. God has also given verbal communication to people in his word, the Bible. Only by this higher revelation may we learn about God’s will and his grace. Then having acknowledged God’s revelation, we must evaluate ourselves based on what God has said to us.

True worship is always the worship of God alone. We do not worship the Bible or the creation, but the God who revealed himself in both creation and the Scriptures. So then, this psalm calls us to bow before the God who is able to communicate clearly, consistently, and constantly with mankind. In a world that continually suppresses the knowledge of God, the people of God ought to rejoice that we know the living God, who can speak! We do not walk in darkness, but we have a steady source of light. Be glad, believer in Christ, and sing!

The apostle Paul also discusses the concept of revelation in Romans 1:18-23 and 10:11-21. There we find that general revelation (God’s witness to himself through what has been created) is sufficient to cause all people everywhere to be without excuse, but it is only the Scriptures that can give the knowledge that makes us wise unto salvation (cf. 2 Timothy 3:15).

Here is a brief outline of Psalm Nineteen:

  • General revelation (19:1-6)
  • Special revelation (19:7-11)
  • Response to God’s revelation (19:12-14)

Verse 1

David uses one general example from creation of how God has spoken to mankind. “Look up and around you to the heavens and to the sky. Both tell you the greatness of the living God.” If we would look at ourselves or at all creation on a microscopic level, we would also see God’s majesty. But David tells us to look at the immensity of the heavens and the skies that surround our living space. Look at them and think about the God who is immense enough to make what to our senses seems to stretch out forever.

Notice that God designed the heavens and the skies to communicate. They declare and proclaim. This is not communication by words but by pictures. From our earliest days, our senses are confronted with these living color pictures that say to us, “Stop, look, think. Who made us and who made you?” As the Hebrew text makes plain, this communication always occurs. It intrudes upon us, whether we will have it or not. God speaks through it in a way that it is always in our face.

The person of faith has nothing to fear from true science, for its only materials for thought and investigation have been formed by an all-wise Creator. The “opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge” (1 Timothy 6:20) are a problem, but never true science.

What do the heavens and the skies speak of? They tell us about the glory of God and the work of his hands. “The God who made us is majestic and deserving of honor. Be impressed by the weight of his magnificence.” In our time, few things seem to impress us. Our attitude is “So what? Let me get back to having a good time.” The creation calls out, “No, no, no! Leave your preoccupation with yourself and meditate on the glory of God.” So then in this psalm David invites us to add our praise of the God who speaks to that of creation crying out his glory.

To think about the glory of God means that we must consider his ability to act, to create, to do. Creation says that the hand of God is its maker (Psalm 8:6; 95:5; cf. 1 Chronicles 29:12; Isaiah 59:1). Here we have God speaking through what he has made to tell us that he is able to make all things. And this ought to furnish ample material for praise in public worship. Is it worthwhile to worship? Oh yes, for we serve the One True God who is mighty!

Grace and peace, David

Humility Before God

dscn0073Psalm 115:1

Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness! (ESV)

Worship does not come easily to the human heart. There are many reasons, but at the core is sin, the great evil that rejects God as God, refuses to love him foremost, and rebels against him and his ways. Sadly, we reject him as our Creator, Preserver, Ruler, and Holy One. We struggle with the Biblical idea that God alone is the cause, means, and goal of everything. For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen (Romans 11:36 ESV). You see, we want to be the goal of everything. We want our needs and desires to be satisfied. We want the world to go at our pace. We don’t want anyone or anything to disrupt our plans, because we must be happy! A simple way to evaluate yourself on this is to think about your plans for the Christmas season: people you want to be with, places you want to go, parties you want to attend, pleasures you want to experience, and presents you want to receive. Did you notice the recurring phrase? How many of them give preference to God’s glory and will?

Worship does not come easily to the human heart. Worship declares God’s worth and primary significance. How can we worship and bring glory to God?

  • We must know the God that we are to worship. True knowledge of God comes through Jesus Christ (cf. John 14:6). To know God, we must trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. We first must be rescued from our sin and selfishness.
  • We must humble ourselves before God. Mankind, He has told you what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8 HCSB). We cannot worship when we try to usurp his place or put other things in his place.
  • We must refuse praise that belongs to God. Not to us, O Lord, not to us… We like to be admired, congratulated and thanked. But we must make certain that God receives the praise, because apart from the Lord we can accomplish nothing of eternal significance (cf. John 15:5). Spiritual gifts are from the Spirit of God, and so we must honor God as we use them. This requires a conscious effort to honor the Lord.
  • We must become spiritually fruitful. My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be My disciples (John 15:8 HCSB). God desires to see us display the way of life that honors him, the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

The aim is that others might see and honor God’s steadfast love and faithfulness. Those who follow Christ Jesus are God’s covenant people. We belong to God. We give this testimony to the world. When we praise God for his actions in our lives, we point others toward him. For example, “I trusted God in my affliction, although people thought he had abandoned me. But look, I am here today! He has preserved me, he has met my needs! God is faithful; we can rely on his love!” During this Christmas season, let’s evaluate our aims. Do we strive to honor God? In the activities of a busy holiday season, do we make room in our hearts to worship?

Grace and peace, David

The Believer’s Happiness a Reason for Praise (Part One)

dscn3658Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Psalm 146:1-10

The closing psalms are the outposts of heaven. In the Psalms the ruin of sin has been discussed and the glory of God set forth over all. At the end of the collection, the Psalms conclude with praise to the Lord. “Come, rejoice with me; let us magnify his name together!” is a worthy theme for the ending of this collection of writings. This psalm of praise also has an instructional purpose: to urge people to put their trust in the Lord, for only then are we humans truly happy.

The psalm opens with determination to praise the Lord. Hallelujah! My soul, praise the Lord. I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing to my God as long as I live (146:1-2 HCSB).

The writer provides a lesson in self-exhortation (146:1; cf. Psalm 103:1; 104:1). Spiritually, we must be self-controlled; that is, we must not allow the events and circumstances of life to dictate our spiritual tone. This requires us to talk to ourselves. “Why are you so depressed or lethargic, my soul? You are a child of the King, an heir of heaven, and one who will reign with Christ!” This involves the ministry of the Holy Spirit, as we will see in our series of articles about the Spirit of God. “O Holy Spirit, enlighten my eyes with the glory of my blessed Redeemer. Control me with the truth that is in Jesus, and then I will be self-controlled.” Practically, we must start here, because we will never be able to encourage others to praise the Lord until praise for him flows out of our own hearts.

We read of the response of the writer’s soul to his self-exhortation (146:2). A fire has been kindled in the psalmist’s soul. And not only is that true, but the fire has intensified so much that he resolves to praise God as long as he lives (cf. Psalm 104:33). This is like being “bit” by the physical fitness “bug”. Those bitten by it desire to do their selected activity repeatedly, whether it is swimming, walking, running, cycling, hiking, or skiing. (Let it snow!) When godly aspirations govern the soul, a person does not think about growing weary of them or of them ever losing their freshness. Even now, for example, I can sense the excitement of putting on the skis and taking off in eight to twelve inches of fresh powder. The problem is that too few have tasted the majesty, the glory, and the goodness of God, so that they long to praise him. Do you crave the glory of the Lord?

If your soul has been saved from eternal wrath, then come, let us praise God together! Certainly, we have something we can share together, because we know the joy of sins forgiven and the wonder of Christ’s perfect righteousness, and the Spirit living within as the Spirit of adult sonship. We cannot tell how long or short our lives may be, but as long as we live, we may glorify the Lord!

The key to such praise is knowing that God is yours—that he is in covenant with you in Christ by the blood of his cross. Can you say, “The Lord is my God; I will praise him forever?”

Grace and peace, David

Paradise Regained: Starting at the Resurrection

IMG_06101 Corinthians 15:20-28

In the beginning the Holy God created a perfect world and a people made in his image, sinless and able to glorify God by enjoying him always. The Holy God used to communicate with his people and they with him in the cool of the day (Genesis 3:8). Filled with joy, right with God, and in perfect fellowship with one another, it was truly Paradise. But the darkest day in human history happened early. Adam rebelled against God, and his transgression brought God’s curse and the resultant ruin that our race still bitterly experiences. Paradise had been lost. Now death, disease, discord, despair, and disaster became part of human life.

However, the loss of Paradise was not humanity’s only problem, as tragic and terrible as that was. Rejecting God’s rule, people became the followers of a new leader, willingly following the evil one in a sinful way of life (Ephesians 2:1-3). Rightly, the Holy God responded to mankind in holy wrath (Romans 1:18-32). But mankind responded, not in repentance, but by striving to build up a rebellion, a kingdom or reign of darkness, against God’s kingdom or reign (Psalm 2:1-3). Now as far as overthrowing God’s reign or rule, this kingdom of darkness is hopeless and totally insignificant in power.  In fact, when he views this rebellion, the Lord laughs (Psalm 2:4). He is God, the Creator, the Almighty, the Lord of the armies of heaven, and Sovereign over all. Let us worship God, as we consider his eternal reign (Psalm 47:2; 103:19; 145:11-13).

How did God respond to human rebellion? Before we can understand his response, we must understand who the Lord is and his eternal purpose. In everything God works to lift up the glory or shining significance of his name. He wants to display all that he is, and to have a people who will sense and share his glory. Like an overflowing fountain, he chooses to display his love, patience, goodness, kindness, mercy, peace, and joy. And he freely chooses to share what he is with a totally undeserving people, by his sovereign grace. He shows himself as all that we need that our comfort and joy might be only in him (Isaiah 40:1; cf. 51:12). We lost Paradise, but God’s story, the story of the Bible, is how God decided to regain Paradise for his chosen people, all to the glory of God’s name. God tells us he does this by setting up another kingdom in humanity—the kingdom of God through his Son. Let us listen to the story of his glory.

God’s kingdom involves the salvation (resurrection) of his people (15:20-24). The central idea of God’s reign is based on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In contrast to the basic truth of the gospel (15:3-8), some people connected with the Corinthian believers had been denying that there was a physical resurrection (15:12). Paul first responds that such denials are against the truth of Christ’s resurrection and our hope in Christ (15:13-19). Now he proceeds to demonstrate that Christ’s resurrection has made necessary everything included in God’s reign or kingdom, including the resurrection of all Christ’s people. So Paul sets forth the centrality of Christ’s resurrection. He calls Christ “the firstfruits of those who sleep” (those believers who have died, cf. 15:18). The idea is that Christ is the first one in the resurrection to eternal life, and his resurrection guarantees the resurrection of his people (cf. 16: 15; cf. 2 Corinthians 1:22; 5:5; Ephesians 1:14). In other words, the resurrected Christ is God’s pledge that many others will be resurrected also. In Christ’s resurrection, there is the regaining of Paradise, but it is a regaining with power (cf. Romans 1:4; cf. Ephesians 1:18-21).

Next, Paul steps back a bit and places the event of Christ’s resurrection into the purpose of God in history. Since the losing of Paradise happened through a man, so also through a man Paradise must be regained. The Greek text reads simply: “For since through a man, death, also through a man [the] resurrection from [the] dead” (15:21). In God’s infinite wisdom, he chose to display his glory through a man to counter the effects on mankind’s rebellion against God. The glory of God would shine forth brilliantly through his Son taking on human flesh (Philippians 2:6-8), and through his true humanity bring about his purpose. God acts to build a new humanity through Christ’s resurrection. Again, the Greek text simply says: “For just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Cor 15:22). Paul uses the “Two Adams” to set forth the truth of the relationship between, on the one hand, Adam and his fallen, sinful, and cursed humanity, and, on the other hand, Christ and his new, justified and glorified humanity. Anyone in Adam only has death; Paradise is lost. But everyone in Christ certainly shares in life; Paradise is regained. “Those who are ‘in Christ,’ those who have entered the new humanity through grace by means of his death and resurrection, will just as certainly ‘be made alive’; they will be raised from the dead into the shared life of the risen One” (Fee, p. 751, his emphasis).

Then Paul must answer a question: “If those who are in Christ share in his resurrection, then why do his people die? Why aren’t we living in the fullness of his resurrection now?” So he answers, “But each in his/its own order: [the] firstfruits, Christ; then at his Coming, those who belong to Christ; then the goal: when he hands over the kingdom/reign to God the Father, when he brings to an end/abolishes all rule and all authority and power.” God is working out a plan. In the first order is the resurrection of Christ. When he raised Christ from the dead, God the Father set in motion a process to bring about his goal. That goal is end of all opposition to his reign and the display of the full glory of his reign. In the second order is the resurrection of those who belong to Christ. This explains why Christians die. Though resurrection power is already at work in us, it is not yet God’s appointed time for the full expression of the second order. As we have been redeemed spiritually, so will our bodies will be redeemed, and we will enter glorious freedom (Romans 8:18-25). Paradise will be regained, but it is a better Paradise of glory.

Those who follow Christ must live with a “resurrection outlook”.  We must be thankful for the now of Christ’s resurrection and assured of what will happen when Jesus returns and we are resurrected. Is the confident expectation of resurrection glory part of your world and life view? Make it part of your daily thoughts.

Grace and peace, David

For the Glory of God

DSCN0790Isaiah 42:5, 8-9

“We need to see first and foremost that God is God—that he is perfect and complete in himself, that he is overflowingly happy in the eternal fellowship of the Trinity, and that he does not need us to complete his fullness and is not deficient without us. Rather, we are deficient without him; the all-sufficient glory of God, freely given in fellowship through his sacrificed Son, is the stream of living water that we have thirsted for all our lives” (Piper, The Pleasures of God, pp. 18-19, his emphasis). Obviously, what Dr. Piper writes—and more importantly, what the Bible teaches, is completely at odds with the so-called wisdom of mankind and all its ideas, attitudes, words, and actions. Yet only in the glorious God can defeated, debauched, and dying people find real hope. The truth revealed in these verses serves to exalt God’s Servant as Matchless Redeemer, and so this brings more glory to God. This is the best thing that can happen to people, because when we know the glory of God in Christ, then we can enjoy eternal life and all the overflow of his glory to us.

In our previous articles on this passage, we saw that verses 5-9 of Isaiah 42 are a unit, put together something like a sandwich. And we have already considered the innards of the sandwich, the great Servant of the Lord and what he does. But the outside, the “bread” of the sandwich is just as important and provides us with a clear view of the glory or value or shining brilliance of the Lord God.

God identifies himself as the Sovereign Creator (Isaiah 42:5). We hear three couplets in which God describes his creative acts. First, the Lord God talks about his creation of the heavens. In Biblical thought, God’s creation of the vast, spectacular heavens reveals his majesty in a special way (cf. Psalm 19:1-6). Anyone in their right mind who looks at the sun, moon, and stars, and ponders their immensity and the great display of light connected with them begins to wonder. A sense of awe strikes them. And when we think from a Biblical perspective that the Almighty God made them all, we are humbled and stirred to worship. Also when we think of heaven, we think of the place that speaks of God’s throne (Matthew 5:34), of his absolute rule over everything (Daniel 4:25-26). God’s throne was made by God alone. His sovereignty flows from his most excellent being.

Second, God talks about his creation of the earth. He made the earth; in poetic language, he spread it out, like he was unrolling a map. Picture it, as God spread it out. “Hmm, let’s put a large inland sea in the midst of three continents, and while we’re at it, let’s have two large continents cut off from the others by two mighty oceans. Now, where should we draw the rivers? And mountains, hills, and valleys can also show our glory!” God also made what comes out of the earth, like vegetation and animals. To use our picture again: “And we need to make fertile places from which people can get food and build their civilizations. And let’s give them animals and their environment to rule over wisely; then they can reflect our glory in the way they live. When they are wise, caring rulers of creation, they will show our surpassing glory.”

The Sovereign God talks about his creation of people. God created people, too. He made mankind, men and women, to bear his image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-27). This is what gives every person value and significance. This also means that we must respect everyone (James 3:9-10). This is why every word we speak must be spoken in order to build others up (Ephesians 4:29).

Someone might object, “But there is so much that is wrong with that person’s attitudes, words, and actions!” I answer, “Perhaps that is true, but we’re talking about how you must please the Lord. You please him by building others up by your words. And if you can’t think about how you can do that while you disagree with them, then clearly you ought not to get in conversations with them until you learn how to talk godly and wisely.” God gives life and breath to all people. Therefore, all are dependent on him! And it should generate a great deal of holy reverence when we realize that the God to whom we must all give account has such total control over our lives.

All this is not isolated truth; we should admire it, learn it and submit to it. Here, God tells us this in order that we might exalt God’s Servant, who is our covenant and liberator. The Sovereign Creator’s power was displayed in his Son. We are wise to submit to him by living for his glory.

Grace and peace, David