Born to Reign

And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I  heard saying, "To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever." - Revelation 5:13 NASB

This month, I've been studying Revelation in preparation to facilitate Beth Moore's new study Here and Now, Then and There. While I've studied Revelation before, I must say diving into scriptures about Jesus' return to rule and reign over all creation provides a different twist to Christmas!

In just a few hours, Christians all across the world will celebrate their Savior's birth.  He was born a baby in Bethlehem but will come again to rule the earth forever.

God in the flesh came down to earth from his throne in heaven be with us. Jesus was God,

who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant ... Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:6-11 NASB) 

Previously when thinking of that baby in a manger on some silent night in a little town of Bethlehem over two thousand years ago I didn't think about the awesomeness of the throne room of God nor of the Second Coming. I hadn't thought about thunder, lightning, plagues and Him having enough power to destroy the earth with one word.  I just hadn't thought about the Jesus who would one day conquer all evil.

But from now on, I will celebrate the first AND eventual second coming of Christ on Christmas Day. What about you?

Yes. Every knee will bow to Him...twice.  Once to kiss His cute little baby cheek in the manger.  Another to acknowledge Him as King of all Kings.

Happy Birthday, Jesus. Merry Christmas, all. 

God is God

Most of us have heard about the trials of Job and how God allowed him to be tested by Satan in order to prove to Satan that Job was a good man indeed.   Job did not know how great a purpose his suffering was accomplishing now did he?  He didn't know that God and Satan were having a discussion about him.  Do you ever wonder if that is going on in heaven regarding you?  That's an interesting thought to ponder, but is beyond the scope of this post.  :)

What is the "scope of this post"?  Well, it is this.  My favorite part of the book of Job has always been the last five chapters (38-42) where God finally puts Job in his place by asking Job a boatload of questions that he could not possibly answer.  God said to Job "Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me." (Job 38:2 NIV).  Yikes.  Have you ever felt like God was doing that to you?  I have.  Recently.

Job finally realizes who he is in light of the majesty of God after God asked him 81 questions that he could not possibly answer.  He could not answer them because only God would know the answers.  You and I would not know the answers either, in spite of all of our technological advances.   Eventually we too, must answer God as Job did:

Then Job replied to the LORD: "I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked,  'Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?' Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.

"You said, 'Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.'

My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.  Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes."  (Job 42:1-6 NIV)

The point I'm trying to make is that we never know why God has put us in our allowed us to be in our current  circumstances.  His thoughts and ways are higher than ours - way higher!  We just need to settle into knowing without a doubt that God is good to the core of His being and trust in His heart when we do not understand His plans for our lives.   We must become like Job and confess that we have said and thought things, and even judged God for His actions, without adequate knowledge to do so.  Sometimes it takes tragedies in our lives for us to finally see God.  Even Job had to move from a state of just hearing of God to actually seeing God.  (Job 42:6) God wants to be God in our lives.  It is time to let Him be just that.  Are you willing?

How Great Is Our God?

So just how great is our God anyway?  Can we really even fathom his majesty?  Try as I might, I know that I can't even come close, but it is fun trying nonetheless.  In my head of late I keep singing the song "How Great is Our God" by Chris Tomlin.  It is a simple yet powerful song if we really delve into thinking about God's majesty.  So guess what?  I'm going to write about it today.

In heaven as described in the book of Revelation we find lots of creatures singing to God, among them the angels.  Taking a look in Revelation 5:3-4 we see the angels singing the song of Moses:

And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.  Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

God is the same now and forever.  The same song that Moses sang about God's majesty is fitting for the angels in heaven in the future to come.  Now on to Chris Tomlin's version of the Moses song in "How Great is Our God":

The splendor of the King,
Clothed in majesty;
Let all the earth rejoice, all the earth rejoice.

He wraps Himself in light,
And darkness tries to hide,
And trembles at his voice, and trembles at His voice.

Can darkness hide our dear Lord, our powerful Lion who is also as gentle as a Lamb?  I think not.  His judgments are true.  He is worthy to be praised, adored and feared.  His works are marvelous and beyond description.  And get this --- darkness cannot hide Him because He is light!

Revelation 22:5 And there shall be not night there; and they need no candle, neither the light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. 

Friends, the "they" is WE who are saved.  No wonder all the earth will be rejoicing in God's splendor and majesty.  With no more dying, no more crying - look out, I'm going to break into a rendition of "Soon and Very Soon" - He is definitely worthy of our praise.  Sing with me...

How great is our God!
Sing with me:
How great is our God!
And all will see
How great, how great is our God!

Are you having fun yet? I sure am with you and I can't even see your faces. :)  Now think about God's never changing nature.   God is good...all the time!   He has always been and He will always be.  After all, our God who cannot lie, says it Himself in Revelation 1:8: "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty."

Age to age He stands,
And time is in His hands;
Beginning and the End, Beginning and the End.

The Godhead, three in one,
Father, Spirit, Son
The Lion and the Lamb, the Lion and the Lamb

One day every one will see that Jesus is God and Lord over all (Ph 2:9-11).  I just love happy endings, don't you?  No more pain, no more suffering, and Jesus finally gets all of the worship He so richly deserves.

Philippans 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:  10 That at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Well, our singing is almost over as we have one last stanza.  As you read it or sing it with me, think about all you've just read.  Jesus is God and God is definitely great and worthy to be praised.  Let your heart sing.  How great is Your God?

Name above all names,
Worthy of all praise.
My heart will sing: How great is our God!

NOTE: If you feel like shouting to the Lord, click here.

Shout to the Lord

Do you ever get a song in your mind that you just can't get rid of?  If you do, I hope it is one you like!  :)  Yesterday,  while I was thinking about the Chris Tomlin concert the night before and trying to decide what to post, I kept thinking of the song "Shout to the Lord" by Darlene Zschech.  I guess the song does express how indescribable God is, but just in a different way.  Hold on to your seats as you journey through this song with me while I let the scriptures do the "talking".  I promise you this will be a fun ride! :)

My Jesus, my Savior
Lord there is none like you
All of my days, I want to praise
The wonders of Your mighty love

Wherefore thou art great, O LORD God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears.  (2 Samuel 7:22)

My Comfort, my Shelter
Tower of refuge and strength
Let every breath, all that I am
Never cease to worship You

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1) I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. (Psalm 91:2) I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O most High. (Psalm 9:2)

Shout to the Lord, all the earth let us sing
Power and majesty praise to the King
Mountains bow down and the seas will roar
At the sound of Your name

All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name. For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone. (Psalm 86:9-10)

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:10-11)

I sing for joy at the work of Your hands,
Forever I'll love You
Forever, I'll stand
Nothing compares to the promise I have in You

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:7)

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.  (Isaiah 53:5)

Prayer:  Lord, how awesome You are.  Thank You for Your power and strength, tenderness and mercy.  Nothing....NOTHING, compares to the promises I have in You. Thank You for Jesus and for His healing "stripes".  I love You.