11 July 2016

ARE YOU GRIPPED BY HIS GLORY?



The Psalms Overview

There is a story of a professor of philosophy who was a committed atheist and is primary goal for the class was to spend the entire semester attempting to prove that God couldn’t exist. His students were always afraid to argue with him because of his impeccable logic. For twenty years, he had taught this class and no one had ever had the courage to go against him. He would say, "Because anyone who believes in God is a fool. If God existed, he could stop this piece of chalk from hitting the ground and breaking. Such a simple task to prove that He is God, and yet He can’t do it." And every year, he would drop the chalk onto the tile floor of the classroom and it would shatter into a hundred pieces. Well, a few more years pasted until a freshman who happened to enroll. He was a Christian, and had heard the stories about his professor. He was required to take the class for his major, and he was afraid. But for three months that semester, he prayed every morning that he would have the courage to stand up no matter what the professor said, or what the class thought. Nothing they said could ever shatter his faith...he hoped. Finally, the day came. The professor said, “If there is anyone here who still believes in God, stand up!" The professor and the class of 300 people looked at him, shocked, as he stood up at the back of the classroom. The professor shouted, "You FOOL!!! If God existed, he would keep this piece of chalk from breaking when it hit the ground!" He proceeded to drop the chalk, but as he did, it slipped out of his fingers, off his shirt cuff, onto the pleat of his pants, down his leg, and off his shoe. As it hit the ground, it simply rolled away unbroken. The professor’s jaw dropped as he stared at the chalk. He looked up at the young man, and then ran out of the lecture hall.

Is God getting your full attention or is your heart like this foolish professor? What has God been doing in your life to get your attention these past months or weeks? Maybe you’re thinking God feels distant to you or He is silent in your life these past few weeks?
Can I tell you, you’re not alone in thinking this way at times? We all feel this way from time to time! To affirm that read the Psalms of David “How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” Psalm 13:1. Remember the Apostle Thomas was a prime example.....very similar to this story about the professor! If I don’t have proof “I will never believe.” John 20:25

Think about it! Just because we can’t see, feel, hear, or rationalize Him, doesn’t mean God isn’t here at this moment and working in your life! It says in Psalm 139:2-8 “You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to Heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol [Hell], you are there!” Are you like the professor? Or Are you falling deeper in love with him? See, it’s the longing of every human heart, even before we know what it is or how to fill it: To be gripped by the reality of whom God is and how awesome He truly is in our lives. The term for this is “a God-shaped hole” that every person has a void in his soul/spirit/life that can only be filled by God. (Example the Donut Man). The “God-shaped hole” is the inborn longing of the human heart for something outside itself, something superior. Ecclesiastes 3:11 refers to God's placing of "eternity in man’s heart."

God made humanity for His eternal purpose, and only God can fulfill our desire for eternity. All religion is based on the innate desire to “connect” with God. The problem, though, our natural bent ignores this hole or attempts to fill it with things other than God. Jeremiah 17:9 describes the condition of our hearts: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Solomon echoes the same words “The hearts of men, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live…” Eccl 9:3. The New Testament harmonizes this realty about sinful man and woman “The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so” (Romans 8:7). Romans 1:18-22 describes humanity ignoring what can be known about God, and instead worship anything and everything other than God. That’s the danger……….. But there is hope! To truly connect to God is to connect with the only Living God found in the scriptures and the finished work of Christ in the gospel.

So! Are you getting gripped by His glory in your life? When was the last time you were gripped by the greatness of God? Because to be gripped by his glory is to understand.......


God’s unfailing love and mercy towards creation and His called out ones (me and you).

“Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” Ps 136:1
Because to be gripped by His glory is to understand.......

The child of God can find a deep -seated joy and comfort when we are faced with a world that looks like it’s spiralling out of control.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Ps 46:1-2 

God’s everlasting forgiveness for sinners like you and me.

“.....If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness...” Ps 130:3-4
  
To be declared by the King of glory, His sons and daughters.

“Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. Psalm 24:3-4
  
A brokenness over your sin which brings you into a proper relationship with the One that paid your debt in full on the cross of Calvary.

“....For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.” Psalm 51:3-4

God’s resume and awesome track record that displays His trustworthiness.

“Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. On the glorious splendour of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness.” Ps 145:2-6

That God would be mindful of me, this small speck of sand and show such mercy and love.

“When I look at Your Heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You care for him?” Ps 8:3-4
  
To be blessed with the privilege of holding the words of God [Himself] in the palm of your sinful hand and to delight in Him daily.

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.” Ps 1:1-2

That God would give us dads [fathers] the wonderful and serious responsibility of teaching our children about the glory of God.

“I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments;...” Ps 78:2-7
  
Worship God truly the way He intended us to worship grounded in the finishing work on the Cross.
  
“Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth! Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvellous works among all the peoples!” Ps 96:1-3 

A holy and awesome God would take a people you and I, once haters and fools and bring us into a proper understanding of saving grace through His Son.

“The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity; there is none who does good. God looks down from heaven on the children of man to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all fallen away; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one. Ps 53:1-3

That He would give us anguish or a burdened heart for the lost which is ONLY found in the Gospel.

“My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law. Righteous are you, O LORD, and right are your rules. You have appointed your testimonies in righteousness and in all faithfulness.” Ps 119:136-138

We should be screaming from the roof tops that God is awesome ALWAYSHe is the one who spoke all things into existence from nothing into something. We are living proof of that. He is the one who said “it is was good” when He created all things for His gloryHe is the one sent His only Son to be our substitution for the payment of our sin. He is the one gave us His written word and implanted it into our hearts for present and future use. He is the one who promised us a Helper the Holy Spirit to understand His word though His gospel of grace. He is the one who is continuing to lead us home, the eternal promise of Heaven. “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Phil 1:6. Again God is awesome and we should always be gripped by His glory no matter what happens in this present life! I’m forever speechless when I think about the glory of God that He would love me….especially when I think of whom I used to be and what I’ve done. I’m forever humbled by His everlasting love towards me and His creation. I’m forever fearful for those who will face the ultimate wrath of God for their hatred towards His unmerited grace each and every day. Whether its family or our neighbor. I’m forever blessed and amazed to be called “His very own”. As 1 Peter 2”9 says “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” And as one Theologian said “Just as a square peg cannot fill a round hole, neither can the “God-shaped hole” inside each of us be filled by anyone or anything other than God. Only through a personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ can the “God-shaped hole” be filled and the desire for eternity fulfilled.” May God today grip your heart so tight that you will never forget where your love and mercy comes from, as you are faced with the next hour He allows you to breathe? Be gripped by His glory in the Psalms and fall deeper in love with Him as we take this journey together for His glory, and your good.

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