Tag Archives: theology

Ants in His Garden

Colorful-garden-flowers-hd-wallpaperAnts are highly organized, hard-working creatures who know nothing about the larger world around them. They work oblivious to planes, barking dogs, passing people. They care only about their little world. But that world can change in a second with the introduction of earth-moving equipment, or gardeners or builders. What means nothing to their world can change their world forever.

Many times, we humans think like ants. For the most part, we humans pay no attention to God. Yet God’s larger world can overrule our lives in a second, causing great terror for those who never think of Him.

Most of us never see God, but some people get glimpses of Him. Moses saw His back parts. Isaiah saw God’s holiness and said “Woe is me!” John saw Jesus’ divine nature, and he fell down as a dead man. Three disciples glimpsed Jesus divinity on a mountain, and the sight overwhelmed them.

Every person who glimpses God’s holiness is overcome by a sense of sin and shame. Even the smallest sin becomes a mountain next to God’s holiness. When God intervenes, nothing remains the same.

What is the holiness of God? Someone has described holiness as a distinct class by itself with no rivals or competition. It means to possess transcendent purity, surpassing all others. God’s holiness relates to every other part of His character and nature.

Dr. R.C. Sproul says, “The Bible says that God is holy, holy, holy. Not that he is merely holy or even holy, holy. The Bible never says that God is love, love, love, or mercy, mercy, mercy, or wrath, wrath, wrath, or justice, justice, justice. It does say that He is holy, holy, holy, the whole earth is full of His glory.”

Too easily, we say that “God accepts us as we are.” His holiness should make us re-think that casual idea. God never compromises His holiness. When Moses disobeyed God before the people of Israel (Numbers 20), he was not allowed to enter the Promised Land because He insulted God’s holiness. Irreverence toward God’s holiness can exact a heavy price upon those who take it lightly. God’s holiness is why we are told to fear Him.

None of us measures up to God’s holiness. Yet in His holiness, God in Christ has reconciled us to Himself and clothed us with His righteousness. In Christ, we have no need to stand in terror before a holy God, apart from stubborn irreverence.

The holiness of God transforms even people like Karla Faye Tucker, a hatchet murderess, who heard the gospel and repented before a holy God. Her life changed so radically, she led many of her fellow prisoners to Christ, and a Christian man became so impressed by her Christ-like character, he married her. She paid an earthly price of execution for her crime, but she died praising the Lord for His holy and eternal deliverance.

A holy God has made a way for all who would take it. There are still many people oblivious to His great salvation, like ants in our gardens. Let us pray that the Spirit of God will awaken them to hear the Good News of what He has already done for them in Jesus Christ.

Tagged , , , , ,

The Lord’s Prayer

As we pray for India, we can find no better prayer model than the prayer Jesus taught His disciples, popularly known as “the Lord’s Prayer,” in Matthew 6. I say it is a model for prayer because it suggests larger, more detailed and specific prayers inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Lord’s Prayer enables us to discern if we are praying in the spirit of Christ or only in human power.

Charles Spurgeon, the great English preacher, reminds us that the Lord’s Prayer is not for everyone. It is reserved only for those who recognize the sovereignty of the One who first revealed it to His disciples. It is reserved for those who are “possessors of grace and are truly converted.” A heart of trust in Christ reveals the power of the Lord’s Prayer to those who seek to pray effective and powerful prayers.

The Lord’s Prayer is a very organic prayer in which every part works together in perfect harmony.

“Our Father” sets the tone for the rest of the prayer, reminding us that prayer is not just reserved as a personal exercise but a corporate relationship with the One who possesses authority, love, responsibility, wisdom and goodness.

As His children, we depend upon Him and submit ourselves to Him. God may or may not grant our request, but He always does well and wisely as a loving Father.

“Who art in Heaven” reminds us that all our earthly needs and desires are best met, not with earthly wisdom, but in Heaven. Why is this? Because the name and reputation of the Father is “hallowed.” God’s reputation and character far exceeds that of the greatest mortal man. His eternal and triune Personhood surpasses that of any created earthly person who soon passes away.

At the same time, when we remember that this holy God is “our Father,” we know that God is approachable, that He is as humble as He is holy.

A hallowed Father excludes no one who approaches Him in deep trust with heartfelt needs. A hallowed Father rightly requires obedience to Him, not from fear but in a loving response to His love. A hallowed Father gives us peace, for nothing can shake our relationship with Him. A hallowed Father is committed to His children and gives them privileges that no earthly father possesses.

This hallowed Father possesses a Kingdom that reflects His ways, His character, His will, His plan, His presence, His authority. It is a Kingdom of Heaven.

We can realize this Heavenly Kingdom on earth, not only in some future time when Christ returns, but now. We experience the Kingdom of God on earth as we see Him meet daily needs, bring two people together in marriage, enable us with wisdom and power to conduct our businesses, study for school and engage in creative endeavors that glorify God and bless others as well as ourselves.

“Our Father” reminds us that we have many brothers and sisters who do not yet know their Heavenly Father and feel orphaned from Him. “Our Father” reminds us of the multitudes who feel abandoned by God because of circumstances beyond their control, who are ignorant of Him who has loved them for all eternity.

May His Kingdom come on earth to all of these who have not yet heard!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,