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September 12, 2004

Is IT in You?

Selsten, Germany

“Oh – I long that my life be so full of the words of the bible – that if my skin were pricked, my blood would be bibline.” ~Jonathan Edwards

We have seen the Gatorade promotion – “Is IT in You?” The runner is sweating a bright orange sweat; the quarterback drips with blue or green – the color of that drink that will refresh and rejuvenate the body. It is a great visual coupled with the question – “Is IT in You?”

What a tremendous question to ask ourselves if we turn now toward our souls? The Word of God – is IT in you? Do we hunger and thirst for righteousness? 2 Peter 3:18 says, “GROW in Grace and in the Knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” This knowledge of Him comes through knowing His Word, and this Grace is found in message of salvation – the message dripping from every page and chapter of the Holy Word. Is IT in you?

“Let the Word of God dwell in you richly...” ~Col 3:16
Is IT in you?

Too often our Sunday worship fades quickly to our Sunday afternoon draining of life upon plasma screens of nonsensical illusion and drama. The NFL pre-game show of grown men excited and emotionally wrapped in debate on statistics, foretelling of outcomes, scores, and points of view once again becomes the scene of the sacrifice of the pig where the idol is made by its skin and tossed around in worship.

Oh – if we would only put half the creative mind and energy into the pursuit, discussion, and striving of faith, doctrine, theology, life, and love for the souls of men as we do toward football, what joy and healing there would be in the church! What impact we as a body would have on this world for the Glory of God! Oh how I long for the conversation to be turned when those who will not discuss the magnificence of God’s character ask what I think of so-and-so returning to the game, or what such-and-such an outcome will be for a series. Why not the sharpening and sparing involved in exhausting a scripture on the character of God and the excitement of the focus on our royal and eternal inheritance in Christ! Let us be strange in this world with this insatiable hunger for heavenly discourse and the very Words of God!

Is IT in you?

I too stand guilty, for I easily acquiesce and submerge my mind into the dulling gravel of bland and dry conversation to pass the hours supposing eternity. Let us thirst for God’s Word. Let us so long to be filled with it while we know it is our only source of strength and endurance.

Is IT in you?

“Keep my commands and live, and my teachings as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your finger – write them on the tablet of your heart.” ~Proverbs 7:2,3

September 07, 2004

Beautiful Judgment

Kandersteg, Switzerland

This weekend I was hiking on the slopes above Kandersteg, Switzerland in the heart of the Berner Oberland region of the Alps. I am always awestruck by the magnificence of the mountains – the colors, shapes, variations, size and power. They are both beautiful and foreboding. They are a reminder to me of God’s power and majesty, and my fragile smallness.

As I walked beneath a granite wall, I marveled at its lines of twisted rock, folded and stretched – traces of a day of shifting, plunging, rumbling and quaking – a day of destruction and upheaval – a day that would have crushed me, swallowed me, and thrown me down into utter ruin. It was a terrible force that formed these mountains. A force not of fire and heat, but a force from the waters of God’s judgement upon the earth in the days of Noah. I began to see the power, the might, the justice, anger, and wrath of God displayed upon these mountains now leaving behind a portrait of His perfect glory and enduring holiness and righteousness. But now, I lie and rest in soft fields in the shadow of these mighty mountains forced to their altitudes with deep groans from within the earth. And upon these paths that trace God’s judgment I walk in sweet exhilaration and awe, marveling at this terrible beauty.

We worship God as a result of His beauty in every aspect of His character and attributes including His wrath and justice. God’s glory moved upon the earth on that day when Christ our Lord was struck and hung upon the tree beneath a darkened sky, and the obscene work was done upon the hill of Calvary. An angry blow caused blood to flow a mighty river to reach my heart. Wrath and judgement fell upon the cry of the Son, and one life was rendered up for the punishment of my sin. Jesus was broken for me! He bore the full wrath of God – the same weight of wrath that formed the mountains formed my righteousness, and the obscene became beautiful.

Is God’s judgement a fearful and beautiful song to your heart knowing that you have been bought with the blood of Jesus on Calvary and have escaped the wrath our sin rightly deserved? Or does God’s justice leave you trembling in your ruin because you know you stand guilty and unrepentant? The call is to repentance and abandonment to the Mercy and Grace found only at the cross. Oh the Beautiful Judgment of God poured out for my salvation. My heart cannot help but be elevated and raised to new heights and sing in worship and cry out "Holy, Holy, Holy – Worthy is the Lamb that was slain. The whole earth is full of the Glory of God!"

"Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God almighty! Just and True are Your ways, O King of the saints! Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are Holy. For all nations shall come and worship You, for Your judgments have been manifested."

~ Revelation 15:3,4