The Seven Wonders of God

The late Reverend Billy Graham once spoke about the seven wonders of God.

Reverend Graham noted that the first wonder of God is His love. Imagine, the Creator of Everything, loves us and is interested in you and me as if we were the only people who had ever lived. This is true even as we sin against Him. God still wants to put His arms around us and tell us, “I love you.”

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Psalm 63:3-4 (ESV)

Because your steadfast love is better than life,

    my lips will praise you.

So I will bless you as long as I live;

    in your name I will lift up my hands.

In fact, God’s tremendous love for us led to the second wonder of God: God coming to live among us. God became a man named Immanuel-God is with Us. The First Advent of Jesus is God’s second wonder.

Jesus, fully God, fully man, leads us to the third wonder of God: the Cross. It is on the Cross that Jesus died for you and for me. On the Cross, Jesus was pierced for our transgressions and bore our iniquity upon His shoulders. In that excruciating, painful suffering, God laid all our sins on Him, atoning for us what we could not ever possibly atone for ourselves.

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Revelation 3:20 (ESV)

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

From the Cross, we derive God’s fourth wonder-the wonder of repentance. To repent means to change direction or to turn around. When we repent, we turn from the wrong path straying away from God to the right path walking with God. Through repentance, we change from our old ways to our new life. Thus, repentance is the fourth wonder of God.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

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Because of the fourth wonder of God, we receive the fifth wonder of God-the gift of peace and joy that comes from Christ. God’s wondrous love and gracious forgiveness is ours to freely receive because of Jesus’ atoning work on the Cross and our repentance.

The sixth wonder of God is His plan for the future. Your future. My future. The future of the world. As believers, we can take comfort in knowing that in the future God will return. Jesus is coming back.

The seventh wonder of God is our individual commitment to Jesus Christ. When we repent and believe, we experience genuine life change. We are rescued from sin and freed from the sting of death. Through our commitment to Jesus, you and I can claim an eternal life spent in the presence of God forever and ever. Amen.

Chris Tomlin-Resurrection Power

 

 

 

What We Believe About God Matters

An accurate understanding of God is necessary if we are going to have a closer personal relationship with Him. Oftentimes we try to make God conform to our image of Him, rather than worshiping God in the fullness of His glory with the fullness of our joy. Many popular or practical concepts of God distort the true essence of all that God is. When we fall into the trap of these miniature concepts of God, we try to force a great big God into a small, limited box.

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“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”  A.W. Tozer

These false perceptions have to be corrected if we are going to experience spiritual lives of any real depth and significance. Failing to have a correct view of God creates a ministry that leaves stumbling blocks in the path of others. Distorted thinking about God twist the roles of God and man and our philosophy of life. Wrong doctrine leads to wrong thinking. In order to think clearly and enunciate carefully a right understanding of God, we must begin with right doctrine. Right doctrine leads to right thinking about God.

After the Lord had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has. Job 42:7 (NIV)

My Monday Morning Cup

The Amazing Blessings of Living a Spiritually Rich Life

Monday morning ushers in the beginning of another work week. With a full week of activity ahead, Sweet T and I are looking forward to celebrating my Mom’s 80th birthday this coming weekend. In the decade since my Dad passed, we’ve watched my Mom grow deeper in her spiritual walk and grow closer to God. This has been a true blessing to us and all the people who know her. My Mom is a social butterfly; always kind, always generous. She’s deeply loved by her friends, many of whom she’s know for decades. She’s never met a stranger and she’s always willing to help someone.  Mom is a great example of what it means to live the Bible you read. She does that every day in the way she treats other people and goes about her daily routines. She’s got an incredibly bubbly spirit despite not always having the easiest of lives. Mom often reminds me of the popular pericope “The Widow’s Mite” found in the Synoptic Gospels of Mark and Luke.

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The Widow’s Mite (Gospel of Mark)

41 And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. 43 And he called his disciples to him and said to them, Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. 44 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.

Mark 12:41-44 (ESV)

My Monday Morning Cup

The Widow’s Mite (Gospel of Luke)

1 Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box. 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. 3 He said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. 4 For they all offered their gifts out of their wealth. But she, out of her poverty, put in everything she had to live on.”

Luke 21:1-4 (NET)

The story is a lesson in poverty and prosperity based on the weights and measures of God’s economic scale. The widow, while physically poor, was rich spiritually. In contrast, the scribes, dressed in their long robes of pride, were rich physically but stood before the widow spiritually bankrupt. They had everything and gave only that which cost them nothing. She had nothing yet gave God her all.

There is more to walking the walking then simply talking the talk. Actions have always spoken louder than words. James, the half-brother of Jesus, makes it clear that our belief is expressed through our deeds. What we do, in other words, reflects what comes to our mind when we think of God.

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14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, Go in peace, be warmed and filled, without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

James 2:14-17 (ESV)

Me and MomSweet T and MomIMG_3236

My Mom will readily tell you that she doesn’t understand all the things of God. She has often said she doesn’t know her Bible as well as she would like. Yet, her actions show how deeply God’s truth is engrained in her. Her faith is self-evident in how she greets each day and every person she meets. Sweet T and I are thankful that the Lord has blessed us with her and grateful that she continues to be a blessing to others.

One of Mom’s gifts that she readily shares with others is her art. As long as I can remember, my Mom has always done artwork, particularly molding and sculpting original pieces from clay. This has provided her with the opportunity to spend quiet time with God and to share her love of art with others through the pieces she produces. Her artists circle consists of an eclectic blend of friends, each with their own unique talents.

Original Clay Pieces made by Mom © Karin I. Bantau

Mom models living a spiritually rich life. When we put God first, good things happen.

How about you? Do you feel spiritually rich today? I pray you do.

P.S. If you see Mom this week be sure to give her a birthday hug. Be sure to tell those you love that you love them. Better yet, do something that shows them how much they mean to you. None of us are promised tomorrow. Amen.

God is good all the time. All the time God is good!

Be Blessed and be a blessing.

#Spiritual Growth #More of Him Less of Me #Blessings