I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things. (Isaiah 45:7)
This Scripture sure is an eye-opener; sobering to say the least. Can you imagine that; God creates darkness and evil. Talk about the fear of the Lord!
The word create appears eight times in the Bible. That's right, only eight times. Its meaning is to choose or qualify. All but one of its appearances are in the book of Isaiah. The other place is found in Psalm 51:10; when David asks God to, "create in me a clean heart." David was in trouble because of his wanderings of heart. Darkness instead of light, evil instead of peace. He was desperate! His heart qualified him to do evil, darkness shadowed all his thoughts. David knew his heart had to be changed and Father God was the one to do it. So turning to Jesus, David asked God to form light in his heart. To form means the squeezing into shape as a potter's mold. So, Jesus went to work on David's heart and once again," he became a man after God's own heart".
Beloved, if you've lost that zeal, that closeness, that sweet love of life with your Lord and Savior Jesus; then you have left your first love.(Revelation 2:4) Jesus must always be first. Open your heart like a book. Read it aloud to God. The potter knows how to author and finish your desired results; for all things are possible with God. You only need to ask.
For all others, great shall be a reward; you have not served in vain.
I've always wondered when people get upset, why do they turn from God? Instead of calling on his name in a time of trouble, they take other means of action. Perhaps, it's because they are shallow in the scriptures or have no basis to pierce heaven making manifest the reality that God's hand is not shortened.
Then again, sin could be the issue, fully knowing that the just must live by faith. It could be that they are not familiar with the Scripture we have just read from Isaiah 59:1.
Father God will always hear prayer and will respond with his awesome love and power. How can I be sure? As I look to Jesus, I see a man who said, "lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." See what I mean.
For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he pondereth all his goings. (Proverbs 5:21)
We as people seem to surround ourselves with pleasant tokens of affection. Such as a picture we might hang on our wall or perhaps a knickknack. Some sort of plant or flower in our garden. A reminder of a trip we may have taken. It may be a special article of clothing, our favorite coffee cup or some tasty food. Certain places we visit and so on. Activities or objects that strike a chord of fulfillment adding different degrees of enrichment to our lives.
As we prepare for our approaching campaign, come see, "this man of God" at the Tampa convention center; could this also be "tokens of affection" with our heavenly father? When Jesus ponders this event, do you think it strikes a chord of affection? So what has been your involvement in preparation for this campaign? To ponder is to weigh mentally. This means that Father God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost are thinking about your goings in such matters.
When you came to church this morning, the Lord was thinking of you. While here, Jesus will open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing for you. But what about all the other people who are not here? As we leave Sunday service, will your goings include tokens of affection toward the lost and dying of this world? Have you made provisions to spread, "the good news?" May be your only thoughts about the upcoming meeting is; how will I find the time to attend or squeeze this into my hectic and busy schedule? Get involved!!! Schedule time to tell and invite others. Be instant in season and out of season because Father God is pondering all our goings.
The desire of a man is his kindness and a poor man is better than a liar. (Proverbs 19:22)
Father God's values seem to be miles away from natural man's thoughts. The holy scriptures say that His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are Almighty God's ways and thoughts higher than ours. Here is some excellent wisdom and good advice; before you or I decide to instruct God on any subject, think of the shallowness of our intellect and the vastness of Father God's character.
For example in the above scripture, on its face value two challenges seem to emerge. First of all, whom do you know that has made the desire of their life to show kindness to all? Yes, to all. Friends, family and enemies alike. Most people you will meet are desirous of a vast number of personal commodities.
Then, God compares a liar with a poor man. So where is the connection? Here we find another example of choice; whether to use a simple thing like lying or paying the price of truthfulness. The Lord Jesus always places a great value on our eternal souls. Weakness of the flesh, self desires and lying are all hellish and will perish with the using. An awareness of spending one's life in pure and holy activities will produce peace, joy; eternal life.
Beloved, today is quickly becoming yesterday and our tomorrows will fly with eagles wings. As we acknowledge God as our Father in all our ways, His light will break forth as the noonday sun; lighting our path and revealing His hidden secrets.
For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord. But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death. (Proverbs 8:35 & 36)
Beautiful, loving, sweet Jesus! Magnificent to say the least, causing a stir in the heart of the sinner and the simple. For we have turned everyone to his own way and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Ponder this for a moment. When will you ever stop needing Jesus? Can you think of a moment in time that our own righteousness will speak right things to God Almighty? On the other hand, Jesus's righteousness speaks volumes. Day after day, situation after situation, with every breath we take, Jesus will always be the way, the truth and the life.
When I traveled a great deal all around this world, there was one item I never had to pack in my suitcase. That was favor of the Lord! It was always there. In a small room in Penmaenmawr, Wales, United Kingdom or before a crowd of 50,000 in Madras, India, his favor always afforded me the grace I needed. Everyone who has received Jesus as their Lord and Savior can obtain like favor. On the other hand even when a believer doesn't acknowledge him in all their ways, they will have trouble.
Beloved, no matter how you cut the cake, the slice will always come out the same; fear God and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil. Can you imagine that?
Dr. Thomas Snyder