KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE SKY

Following my devotional posts you will understand my fascination with weather. Scripture is filled with all aspects of it including the accurate proverbs recorded in the 37th chapter of Job. Written by someone who, like myself, would watch weather closely.

The reason for my fascination is that if we truly desire to understand God then we will want to understand that which is under His divine control. Samuel understood this in writing the words of 1 Samuel 12:16-19. Today those same words of “calling upon the Lord” for rain are uttered by individuals and political leaders across our land when faced by drought.

For myself the fascination of weather lies in the signs it foretells. Today most overlook that critical purpose of weather. A purpose that even those who opposed Christ (Pharisees and Sadducee’s) understood (Matthew 16:1). In fact Christ in His own words (Luke 12:54-57) warns us that if we are discerning we will watch that which weather can tell us about the times now and the future.

The prophet Ezekiel shares in Ezekiel 38:2 and 22 that what happened to the Egyptians when holding the Jewish nation in bondage (Exodus 9:18) will one day return. When all we who believe will be freed from sin. Until then KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE SKY.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Watching weather is a way to be warned of what God has planned.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: 1 Samuel  12:17 “prayer for the blessing of rain”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord I hold Your forecast close to my heart.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1.  What aspects of weather does Scripture address?
  2.  What is the significance of weather that comes from the east?
  3.  How did Egyptians and some today go beyond watching weather?
  4.  What about weather fascinates you?

 

A LESSON FROM GOD

In my ongoing quest to learn and appreciate more the elements of God’s creation, today I want to visit about wind. Air movement or wind is an almost every day occurrence when you live on the plains. Perhaps that is why wind energy and towers are in our news so often.

What is not discussed is God’s relation to wind beginning with the fact that He created it (Amos 4:13) and sends it on its merry way (Psalm 147:18). The fact that God feels it is instrumental to our daily life makes me want to know more about it. To do this we have to understand where wind comes from. In Psalm 135:7 we are told wind comes out of the treasures God gives us. One of those treasures is not to far from my home and a popular tourist destination called Wind Cave. Exploring it you see the mastery of God’s handiwork.

God also can gather the wind together “in His fists” (Proverbs 30:4). We know the affects and knock out blow it gives when that is the case especially through tornadoes and hurricanes. In those and all other situations we must never forget that God is still in control (Psalm 107:25) and no matter its impact we are to use our experience with wind as a moment from which we can learn A LESSON FROM GOD.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Wisdom can come from watching the wind work out the will of God.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Amos 4:13 “God created wind”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord thank you for all Your creation.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1.  What is the importance of wind?
  2.  How is wind measured?
  3.  Where does wind come from?
  4.  What messages does God send with destructive wind?

NO SHARE IN HEAVEN

The universe (all that is) fascinates me. From the heights of the sky to the depths of the ocean. From the smallest particle seen under a microscope to all of creation that travel will allow me to see. The reason is that I understand the God of the Bible to be the King of the Universe and I want to know Him as well as I can during my journey in this life. Enlarging our universe only happens through knowledge and understanding. So let the journey begin or continue.

God created the universe through His Son Christ Jesus. John 1:3 speaks of this pre-incarnate work of Christ. Even the great mind of Albert Einstein said that “God does not play dice with the universe”. His awareness of probability mathematics did not allow for an evolutionary chance model of creation. Those who disagree we call Epicureans. They who have always believed a ‘do your own thing’ model and are slaves to the elemental spirits of the universe (Galatians 4:3) and have not this mature understanding.

My understanding is at creation we have been given the sky (that which we can see and study), paradise where souls rest until the gates of the final Heaven are opened to us to live eternally with God. Until then God through the angelic world and in our lives has allowed for free will and Lucifer, as a fallen angel, took advantage of this introducing sin to mankind both in our physical and moral universe.

We must know though that God has not abandoned us. He is still active in the world (James 5:7-8). The laws of science we have today is how God is currently running the universe. These laws cannot say how God might eventually change them. What we can say for certainty is that if you are not born again of God in the present you will have no reservation in the future Kingdom for the unrighteous have NO SHARE IN THE THIRD KINGDOM OR HEAVEN.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Understand the universe and you better understand God.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: John 1:3 “God created the universe through His Son”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord thank you for opening Your universe to me.

QUESTIONS TO THINK  ABOUT:

  1.  What is probability mathematics and how does it relate to the universe?
  2. Who are the Epicureans today?
  3. Where are the rules of the universe found?
  4. Is Revelations the key to the universe?

BLOSSOM ABUNDANTLY

As humanity, under the influence of satan, increasingly sucks the beauty out of what God created, I return to the beauties of nature and nature’s God. In Psalm 19:1-6 we see the Psalmist David write in comforting language about the works and Words of God. Indeed the heavens reveal God’s glory and can also reveal God’s anger.

This beauty of the heavens is synonymous with the beauty that also exists upon the earth as was pointed out by Matthew in Matthew 6:28-31. The plants that adorn the earth are more beautiful than anything we can imagine clothing ourselves with yet the money we spend on clothing and jewelry is far in excess what would be the cost of a flower or packet of flower seeds. We forget the beauty God seeks lies within our hearts and not in the reflection from a mirror.

Within God’s creation is a message meant for each of us which is to give us a foretaste of the coming Kingdom. This description of Spiritual blessing seen in our earthly blessing is noted in Isaiah 35:1-2. Indeed nature can serve as our example. We also as God’s creation should BLOSSOM ABUNDANTLY.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Natures beauty is a bountiful blessing for all to see.

DEVOTIONAL VERSES FOR TODAY: Isaiah 35:1-2 “nature foretells the coming Kingdom”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord thank you for Your creation.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1.  What can you do to appreciate the beauties of the Heavens?
  2.  What can you do to appreciate the beauties of the earth?
  3.  In what ways does Creation point to God’s Kingdom?
  4.  Are you  blossoming abundantly?

GOD’S NUMBERS

Numbers have always fascinated me although I was never very good at mathematics. They are especially fascinating when it comes to God’s Word. Within each number and the multiple ways they can be shown are meaning and purpose. For example the number one is symbolic of unity whether in marriage (Matthew 19:6) or the Triune nature of God (3 in 1).

Two is symbolic of division (Matthew 7:13-14). It involves choices that we likely make hundreds of times each day. In most cases they are black and white in what is put before us. The number three is not only the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) but also the days between Christ’s death and resurrection (Luke 13:32).

An additional number is 6 which is symbolic of testing and that number is given satan 666 (Revelations 13:18) for satan above all others tests us every moment. Seven is the number of completion (Exodus 20:10-11) and perfection. It is to be the day we rest and look back upon a week of God’s blessing and give time to praise and worship Him.

The number 8 is that of new beginning as seen in 8 souls who were saved through water after the great flood (1 Peter 3:20). For this and all else we look to ten or tenth which is at the very least the part we return to God for His many blessings to us in our life (Genesis 14:20). This we do now in our life on earth and should not be done reluctantly.

Other numbers exist such as 40 which is symbolic of testing and judgment and 70 which is a devotion unto its own symbolizing God’s completed purpose. Those numbers and more effect us each day and are put before us in God’s Word to guide us. Indeed all numbers are GOD’S NUMBERS.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Numbers nourish when they bring us to the Name of God.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Matthew 19:6 “one, the number of unity”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord continue to guide my life through Your Word.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. How can Scriptural numerology benefit your life?
  2. How is satan testing you?
  3. What is necessary to make your life complete?
  4. Do you need a new beginning?

WHAT GOD’S CREATION CAN TELL US

The works and wonders of God when looked upon as pointing to Him are indeed miraculous. Favorite verses of mine regarding this are Psalm 19:1-3 that point to the glory of God. In fact as Romans 19:20 shares we can clearly see God’s attributes and understand them through His creation.

What mankind must understand is that through nature we can understand God but nature must not become our god (Romans 1:25) or point to any number of other gods that we might dream up. For indeed their is only one God Who is sovereign over this world and everything in it (Acts 18:24). In nature we can see God’s goodness and we can see God’s judgment.

So what are the characteristics of nature that will help us understand God better? First of all is that it speaks a universal language (Romans 10:18). It would seem to me then that even those far off distant people who have no Bible can find God if they simply look at His creation. It is not unlike a painting telling us about the artist. In a sense we see the heart and conscience of the Creator in what is created. What they do not know is the saving message of Jesus Christ which only through Scripture we can share.

The danger in all this lies in, as touched on earlier, how we respond. What God intended for good we often corrupt with our futile thoughts and foolish hearts. Mankind in its infinite stupidity wants to take what is clearly evident and bring confusion upon those whom God desires be saved. This and so much more is WHAT GOD’S CREATION CAN TELL US.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Nature declares the name of God now to all who would be nourished and born anew.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Romans 1:19-20 “Nature declares God”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord declare Yourself to me in the wonders You surround me with.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. In what ways is God’s glory manifested in nature?
  2. How do we see God’s goodness and judgment in nature?
  3. How does our work speak of who we are?
  4. How does mankind bring confusion upon what God has made clearly evident?

 

WHERE SHALL I LOOK?

Stars have long held a unique fascination for mankind and most especially so in the Jewish culture. Perhaps that is why a star was chosen to guide the Magi to the feet of Christ after He was born.

Few enjoy looking into the nighttime sky on a clear evening to see the shining stars as I do. For those who do they must be careful for many have come to a place where they worship them which God forbids (Deuteronomy 4:19). A former president’s wife brought notoriety to this by her fascination of astrology and horoscopes. The danger is in the deception that can bring.

Nebuchadnezzar discovered this when wanting a dream revealed and astrologers among others were not able to do so (Daniel 4:7). Perhaps that is why the Magi who were gifted astrologers fell at the feet of Christ knowing He alone had the answer to all of life’s questions.

Daniel a child of Israel and acknowledged by God understood this fact. When Nebuchadnezzar needed advice he discovered that someone who understood the prophetic plan for Israel was ten times wiser than all the astrologers put together (Daniel 1:20). Today instead of seeking horoscope readers and their like we need simply to turn to God’s Word.

Daniel was a man filled with the Holy Spirit and being so rightfully was placed over astrologers (Daniel 15:11). What gave Daniel his wisdom is that he understood as should we that only our Creator God in Heaven (Daniel 2:27-28) can answer the question WHERE SHALL I LOOK?

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Astrologers are of no assistance when seeking ancient truths.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Daniel 2:27-28 “God does not speak through astrologers”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord may I always look to Your Word for any assistance I need.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. What is the Scriptural understanding of a star?
  2. How should we understand the 12 stars of Revelation 12:1?
  3. What wisdom does God’s Word tell us stars can provide?
  4. In what way do you appreciate the stars of creation?

RELATED BLOGS: See category ‘astronomy and the universe’.

WHEN LIFE SEEMS MOST DARK!

This morning in my personal devotion a simple thought was expressed. That thought was that stars only seem brighter in the country (versus town) because the darkness is stronger around. The light of a star does not change its intensity because of your location.

For me that idea though simple in its truth was eye opening. When life around me grows ever more dark or even for me personally, it is then that I need to show God’s glory through my life all the more so.

Stars for me have always held a special fascination. In the movie “It’s a wonderful life” stars are shown as angels or glorified saints. In fact Daniel 12:3 tells us as much when it speaks of the wise believer who turn others onto a path of righteous living being “like the stars forever and ever”.

Christ Jesus Himself was referenced as a ‘Star out of Jacob’ in Numbers 24:17 before his earthly arrival toke place. In fact when speaking of His return to us one day he tells us in His own words that He is “the Bright and Morning Star (Revelations 22:16)”.

In this life there are many who society deem as ‘stars’ of one sort or another. In truth in the eyes of God they are insignificant and will be one day brought down as Obadiah 4 tells us. That is unless they turn to a path of righteousness in which case their star will really shine.

The question we each have to ask ourselves is whether we are apostates falling away from Christ’s teaching and therefore like “wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever (Jude 13)” or faithful followers who will shine bright “like the stars forever and ever (Daniel 12:3)”. This is your decision WHEN LIFE SEEMS MOST DARK.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Stars symbolize saints who are filled with the Spirit of Christ.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Daniel 12:3 “Stars figurative of glorified saints”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord shine through me.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. Have you  ever considered the stars?
  2. How can you shine brighter when  life within or around you grows darker?
  3. What will help brighten your personal star?
  4. Are you focused or a wandering star?

RELATED BLOG: A path to wisdom!

THE SOUND OF THUNDER!

As strange as it may sound I enjoy observing storms. Perhaps I should have been a storm chaser but since I am unable to do that I simply observe weather around me waiting for the powerful voice of God to once more speak through His creation. At night when many can’t sleep because they are wary over the weather I find myself sleeping well. In fact I can sleep through storms as Jesus did in Luke 8:22-25. That peace that Christ portrayed is ours as well (Psalm 29:11) if we only have faith.

Today I see God’s voice and have that peace most especially when I hear the sound of thunder. I suppose the reason is what thunder represents beginning with God’s power (Job 26:14) and control (Psalm 104:7). The sound of thunder is produced by lightning and we all know how destructive lightning can be and what lightning generally is a part of which is other forms of stormy weather. Within all that God speaks.

For me when I see lightning strike and thunder sound I think of Revelation 4:5  where we are told that one day it will emanate from the very Throne of God and therefore as it will then so it does now declare His majesty. Lightning and thunder are in fact a glimpse of what judgement will one day be like (Rev. 11:19). How glorious to observe THE SOUND OF THUNDER in this life as followers of Christ knowing some day that sight and sound will usher us into eternal bliss.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Thunder foretells of a time when the trumpet sounds of judgment will be heard.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Revelation 4:5 “lightning and thunder declare God’s majesty”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord thank you for speaking to us through Your creation.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

1. How do you feel about lightning and thunder?

2. In what way do you associate it with God?

3. Are you able to sleep through stormy weather?

4. What makes weather fascinating for so many?

RELATED BLOG: Ultimate peace!

TAKE COMFORT IN YOUR SURROUNDINGS!

Throughout my life I have tried to make the place where I have “put down my roots” a place of comfort as much as is possible. I choose to live in an environment where the sounds and other sensory delights are readily available. Sensory delights which are available to all of us such as the sights and sounds of God’s creation as first told to us in Genesis chapter one. Genesis a place where God’s Word begins and where a true appreciation for life also starts. Free will allows all of us to believe in a world created by an omnipotent God or as many unfortunately do in what is termed as macro-evolution where everything literally must come from nothing. I choose to believe in a loving Creator Who has designed all of creation with great detail for us to appreciate.

Likewise we see the work of God in the heavens (Psalm 8:3). For me astronomy (the study of the stars) and observing weather closely is absolutely fascinating. God has given us a theater that has a show which plays 24/7 and because of its ever changing nature it is worth observing at every moment. For me of late it is interesting to see how the Zodiac (12 of the 80+ known constellations) tell the story of God’s relationship with man. It should also be noted that this study is far different from astrology (ex. horoscopes) which I do not believe in for numerous Scriptural reasons.

As we enjoy the heavens so we should also enjoy the deep (Ps. 107:24) as God’s Work. To me learning to scuba dive is one thing I wish I would have learned but not having done so we who do not ‘scuba’ have been given aquariums to appreciate a small part of ‘the deep’. Indeed God has given us so much to help us find COMFORT IN OUR SURROUNDINGS that we should look to each day as a real blessing. In fact that may well be God’s greatest work which are those people who are ‘regenerate’ or born again into Him and to whom God will bless with a true understanding for and appreciation of His wonderful works that give us so much comfort.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: The works of God are seen in the wonders that bare witness to God’s love.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Psalm 107:24 “examples of God’s Work”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord thank you for the wonders of creation.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

1. What of God’s creation do you most enjoy and in what manner do you enjoy them?

2. What is the fascination with star gazing and storm chasing?

3. What is the difference between astronomy and astrology?

4. What places have been given to us to appreciate God’s masterful works (ex. planetariums, aquariums, etc.)?

RELATED BLOGS: Hand of God, R.S.V.P., and A most wonderful inheritance.