What God’s “Clothing” Reveals About Him

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You are clothed with splendor and majesty, covering yourself with light as with a garment, (PS 104:1-2)

The Psalmist poetically compares the creation with God’s clothing: “You are clothed with splendor and majesty, covering yourself with light as with a garment.” We can’t see God, but he shows us something of himself in his “clothing.”

Spurgeon says “Garments both conceal and reveal a person, and [so does the creation] of God.” The universe conceals God – we can’t see him in his infinite glory as he really is. But the universe also reveals God – and if the creation is filled with such majesty and beauty, how great must God be. “It makes us feel how altogether inconceivable the personal glory of the Lord must be; if light itself is but his garment and veil, what must be the blazing splendor of his own essential being!” (Spurgeon).

Michael E. Travers says, “All of nature can only hint at God’s greatness, just as a person’s clothing can only give a suggestion of what the person is really like.” (Encountering God in the Psalms)

A couple weeks ago I happened to catch the most beautiful sunset. The fiery oranges and the subtle pinks and purples evoked a sense of awe and hunger for a deeper beauty. That yearning for a deeper beauty is ultimately a yearning for the infinite beauty of Jesus Christ. As John Piper says, “It is the glory of Christ that finally satisfies our soul. We are made for Christ, and Christ died so that every obstacle would be removed that keeps us from seeing and savoring the most satisfying treasure in the universe—namely, Christ, who is the image of God.”

Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 1 JN 3:2

In heaven there will be no more pain or tears. We’ll be reunited with loved ones who believed and went before us. We’ll have glorious immortal bodies. But nothing will compare with the rapturous vision of Christ’s face.

If you can, take a few minutes today and observe the beauty of the creation. I hope you live somewhere where you can take in a sunset or pine trees reflecting in a lake. As you delight in the Lord’s “clothing” praise him that someday you’ll stare in amazement upon “the blazing splendor” of his face.

*painting – “Starry Night” by Van Gogh

Treat That Wound Right Away

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Are you angry with a brother? Offended at a sister? Are you avoiding her? When you hear the song, “We Can Work It Out” do you say, ‘Yeah sure we can’? We can be tempted to think that if we ignore anger, it will just go away. But it won’t. Like an untreated wound, it gets more infected if we fail to deal with it.

In Matthew 5:21-26 Jesus says:

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.”

UNRECONCILED RELATIONSHIPS LEAVE US LIABLE TO JUDGMENT

First Jesus says “You have heard that it was said to those of old” – the OT law said – “that whoever murders is liable to judgment.” Of course.  But now Jesus puts three other things in the same class as murder: being angry with a brother, insulting a brother, calling a brother a fool.  Anger with a brother is murder in the heart and makes us liable to the judgment of hell.  Serious business.

Unreconciled relationships expose us to judgment, so Jesus commands us to deal with relational strains quickly. Especially if you know that someone has something against you. Don’t wait. Take care of it now. Go and seek to be reconciled

RECONCILIATION TAKES PRECEDENCE OVER WORSHIP

In verses 23 and 24 Jesus says,

“So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”

Even if we are right in the middle of worship and remember we’re unreconciled with someone we should stop what we’re doing, “leave your gift there before the altar” and GO. “FIRST” – before you worship – “be reconciled to your brother, and THEN” – after that – “come and offer your gift.”. Reconciliation takes precedence over worship.

Maybe you don’t think you’ve sinned against him, but he certainly believes you did – he “has something against you.  But that’s his problem you say. No! Jesus says: “Leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”

What Jesus implies is that unresolved conflicts hinder worship. God won’t accept our songs and prayers if we tolerate broken relationships and let offences divide us.

Keep short accounts. Deal with offences quickly. “Do not let the sun go down on your anger. And give no opportunity to the devil.” (Eph. 4:26-27). When we let anger fester, it gives Satan the opportunity to tempt us to bitterness and ruin our relationships.  It gives him the opportunity to tempt us to slander and gossip and hate in our heart.

So Jesus says “GO!” Now.  Before the sun sets.  Even if you’re in the middle of worship. Keep short accounts. Does this mean we leave in the middle of a song Sunday and drive to someone’s house to be reconciled? Not necessarily, but we should work toward reconciliation as quickly as possible.

If you know someone has a problem with you go to him. Humble yourself. Try to see your sin. Listen to him. Don’t be defensive.  If you see your sin ask forgiveness. If you can’t see it, don’t write him off – tell him you want to see your sin, that you’ll pray about it and if you do see it you want to ask his forgiveness.  It’s hard to go to someone who’s offended at us. Sometimes they unload on us. But failing to try to reconcile can have disastrous consequences. In verses 25 and 26 Jesus says:

Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.

If we don’t try to work things out with people, it can get much worse down the road. So come to terms quickly!

If every church practiced this what unity, joy and blessing we’d see. What a witness it would be to our children and the world. Is there anyone who has something against you? Anyone you’re not reconciled with? Humble yourself, go to them, and seek to be reconciled.

Resolution #9, #9, #9….The Resolutions Of Jonathan Edwards In Today’s English

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It’s that time of year again when many of us make bold resolutions to do things like quit smoking, start exercising, or quit smoking while exercising.

I have never found making New Years resolutions helpful though, because:

1) I don’t write them down, thus forgetting what I resolved by January 2nd,
2) I make resolutions I can never possibly do, like “Do Iron-Man Triathlon,” or “Memorize book of Habakkuk in original language” or,
3) I make resolutions I feel I “should” do but have not the least whit of actual desire to do, like “Raise organic free-range chickens.”

In the 1700s when there was no HDTV, YouTube or Twitter, people passed the time by making resolutions, as did the famous theologian, Jonathan Edwards. He made approximately 5,000 mostly unkeepabable resolutions, such as “I resolve always to clean the kitchen sink before going to bed,” but narrowed them down to 70 keepable ones, like “I resolve to witness to 342 people a day.”

Yearly I examine the Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards whenever I want to remind myself what a loser Christian I am. But in addition to reminding one of how spiritually pathetic one is, the Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards have great value to inspire. So I thought it would be good if we looked at a few. And because we are a full-service blog, I’ll make helpful and insightful comments and interpret his Puritan into language any common Pittsburgh Steeler fan can understand. Let’s get started.

The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards

Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do humbly entreat him by his grace to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will, for Christ’s sake.

What a great beginning. We can’t do anything apart from God’s grace and help, so J.E. prays for grace. I regularly fail to pray before doing things, so often I find myself looking at a toilet I’ve installed upside down, or hot water coming out the cold water spigot after I’ve repaired it, and my wife Kristi asks me, “Did you pray about it?” To which I reply, “No! And I’m not going to!” But let’s move on, next J.E. says:

Remember to read over these Resolutions once a week.

J.E. hasn’t even made his first resolution and already I know I’d fail to do this. I’ve entered weekly reminders into my Google Calendar, like “Jog” or “Clean Gutters” and though they pop up like prairie dogs before my eyes every week, after 2 pop-ups they become invisible, like the exercise equipment in my basement. On to the first resolution.

1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God’s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many soever, and how great soever.

Here’s a great example of Puritan language: “never so many myriads of ages hence.” This means “a heck of a long time.” Here Jonathan Edwards resolved to live completely for God’s glory, for his own and others’ good. But Puritans always made things sound more impressive by using words like “hence” and “soever.” One of their favorite words was “duty,” which roughly means “that which is boring and tedious like flossing”.

2. Resolved, to be continually endeavoring to find out some new contrivance and invention to promote the aforementioned things.

Again, it makes you sound more spiritual to your friends if you use Puritan words like “endeavoring”, “contrivance” and “aforementioned.” What he means in plain English is: “Git ‘er done.”

4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.

When Edwards says, “nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it,” he means he will avoid things like snowboarding and swing dancing because he could throw his back out.

5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.

Obviously he could only have kept this resolution because Facebook hadn’t been invented. No one today can possibly do this.

7. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.

Let’s see, in the last hour of my life, I’d be afraid to light myself on fire, eat a live scorpion (Bear Grylls couldn’t make this resolution), or sing “The Impossible Dream” in front of Simon Cowell.

Well, so as not to overwhelm you, to be continued…

Originally published Dec 28, 2009

Now That’s Interesting! Mom Daughter Lookalike, Star Wars Parody, New Cookie Monster…

Artist and Mom Look Alike Photos – This is a really creative idea. An artist and her mom staged a series of photos in which they were both wearing the same outfits. See more here.

We Meet Again! – I enjoyed this Star Wars parody.

Me Want It (But Me Wait) – I’m not sure how I feel about this. Obviously self-control is a good thing, but this is not the Cookie Monster I grew up with.

Mountain Biker Riding the Wall – This biker rides up on the retaining wall in order to pass his competitors.

A New Writer for The Blazing Center

My name is Barnabas Piper, and the best thing that has ever happened to me is receiving the email asking me to write for The Blazing Center. I am so thrilled to be granted the opportunity to write for this illustrious blog and hopefully some of its aura and ethos will rub off on me.  (Full Disclosure: Stephen demanded I write that.)

In all honesty, though, I am excited that Stephen asked me to contribute to this site and am looking forward to it.. Here is a little about me to help you know whose stuff you’re reading. Because you will read it. I am married to Lesley, and we have two daughters who say funny things and are cuter than all the other kids. I am originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, which means I was infected as a child with the Vikings/Twins/Timberwolves bug and have yet to find the cure. If they ever won any games of significance it would help, but I’m not bitter.

For the past twelve years I’ve lived in the Chicago area where I went to college, got married, worked in publishing, and became a dad. Recently, though, we moved to the Nashville area so I could join the Ministry Grid team at Lifeway. I do social media and content marketing (meaning I tweet, blog, and share lots of content). If you are in ministry the site is well-worth checking out.

I blog about all sorts of stuff at BarnabasPiper.com, but I especially love books, sports, and coming at ideas or observations in fresh ways. I write often about the process of learning to truly know Jesus and what it really means to live as a Christian. Every week WorldMag.com is kind enough to give me a spot to write for them too. When I have spare time I’m either reading or I find a game of some sort on TV and then write some more. I have a book releasing in the summer of 2014 from David C. Cook called The Pastor’s Kid: Finding Your Own Faith and Identity. (More information to come – much, much more. You can follow me on Twitter for brilliant insights, gut-busting humor, and depressed rants about Minnesota sports.

How To Achieve Ultimate Success

Turn on the TV and you’ll see all kinds of gurus telling you how to be successful and fulfilled.

You’ll see Oprah and Doctor Phil dispensing advice on successful relationships. You’ll see Joel Osteen telling you how to have your best life now. Go to a Barnes and Noble and you’ll find books like: “The Real Truth About Success: What the Top 1% Do Differently, Why They Won’t Tell You, and How You Can Do It.” (Why won’t they tell me?)

Proverbs 2 is a father’s appeal to a son. This father wants what’s best for his son. The dad is Solomon, the wisest man who had ever lived. He wants his son to be a success, but not in the way we usually think about it. He wants his son to be a SPIRITUAL success. But Proverbs 2 is more than an ancient sage appealing to his son. It’s God appealing to and instructing us. GOD wants us to be spiritually successful.

So what does Solomon (and God) have to say to us about spiritual success?

My son, if you receive my words
and treasure up my commandments with you,
making your ear attentive to wisdom
and inclining your heart to understanding;
yes, if you call out for insight
and raise your voice for understanding,
if you seek it like silver
and search for it as for hidden treasures,
then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God.  (Proverbs 2:1-5)

First of all, spiritual success is conditional. It won’t happen automatically. Notice how many times Solomon says, “IF” before he gets to the “THEN” – IF you receive my words…IF you call out…IF you seek it like silver…THEN you will understand…

We must pursue God whole-heartedly. Though God pours out all things freely as gifts of grace, he gives us what the puritans called “means of grace” – things like Bible intake, prayer, fellowship, preaching, and reading books – means by which we receive grace.  IF we pursue God through these means, God promises to freely give grace.

Seeking God is like turning on a faucet. Millions of gallons of water are just waiting to quench our thirst, but we have to turn on the faucet. God has bags and bags of grace stored up for us, but we must pursue him. James said, “You have not because you ask not.” Jesus said if we keep asking, seeking and knocking we will receive, find, and the door will be opened.

Solomon tells his son that the 2 most important things in life are to know God and to fear him:

then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. (5)

This is true success. Parents, this is all that really matters with your kids. Things like education, sports, learning a musical instrument, dance and art classes – all these are fine, but really don’t matter in eternity. When my kids were little, as Stephen mentioned last week, I told them I don’t care what you do in life, whethere you are “successful” or not – all I care about is that you would love and serve Jesus.

The fear of the Lord is not slavish, grovelling fear but a healthy knowledge of God’s holiness. It’s knowing that God hates sin and will not be mocked if we willfully go on in it. I don’t go around all the time fearing that God will suddenly strike me down with lightning. But I know that if I give in to certain temptations, God will deal with it. He’s not mocked. When I’m all by myself in an airport somewhere, maybe no one I know would see me buy an impure magazine, but I know God surely would. This is a healthy fear of the Lord.

“Find the knowledge of God” doesn’t mean we merely get knowledge ABOUT God.  It means to KNOW GOD PERSONALLY.

In John 17:3 Jesus said, “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”

We can know God! There is no greater joy. Jesus came to reveal the Father and bring us to him. There is nothing sweeter than an intimate relationship with God through Jesus. This is the ultimate success. The ultimate in happiness, joy and satisfaction. This should be our ultimate goal in life.

The Apostle Paul would have been considered a huge success before Jesus saved him. An expert in the Jewish law, he was at the top of his game, a rising star, respected and admired by many. Yet here’s what he said about all his achievements after Jesus saved him”

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. [8] Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ. (Philippians 3:7-8)

Nothing mattered more to Paul than knowing Jesus. That’s the success he was running after.

Make Paul’s pursuit yours. Read God’s word. Cry out to him for wisdom, strength and help. You won’t cry out in vain. You’ll find healthy fear and you’ll know Jesus more and more. That’s the ultimate success.

What Are You Willing To Risk?

What kind of risks are you willing to take for Jesus?

In the book of Ruth, Naomi hatches a plan to see her widowed daughter Ruth get a husband who can give her children. She tells Ruth to spruce herself up and present herself to Boaz, a relative quite a bit older than Ruth, who could, as a “kinsman redeemer” marry her. Ruth had been working as a field hand for Boaz, and he’d shown great kindness to her, but shown no interest in marrying this young foreign widow.

Naomi tells Ruth to go to the threshing floor on the east side of town at night, where Boaz would be sleeping next to and guarding his pile of grain, uncover his feet, lie down next to him, and wait for him to tell her what to do.

These were days when “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). It was risky for a young woman to cross town alone at night. It was a huge risk to lie down next to an older man in the dark. Would he take advantage of her? But Ruth makes her way to the threshing floor, and in the darkness manages to locate Boaz asleep by his grain. She gently lifts his garment back exposing his feet, then lies down.

In the middle of the night, something startles Boaz, he turns over and – there’s a woman at his feet! In the darkness he can’t see who it is so he cries out “Who are you?”

“And she answered, ‘I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer.’” (Ruth 3:9)

“Spread your wings over your servant” meant “spread the edge of your garment over me,” which was a commitment of marriage, like giving an engagement ring. Ruth didn’t wait for Boaz to tell her what to do as Noami had advised, but blurted out a marriage proposal!

This was another huge risk on Ruth’s part. Iain Duguid says it was completely countercultural for a woman to propose to a man, or a young person to an older person or a field hand to the field owner. Naomi had told her to be silent, but Ruth blurts out a marriage proposal. How he will respond? Will he reject her? Will he say ‘how dare you ask me to marry you’ and send her weeping into the night? Ruth takes a huge risk here.

What are we willing to risk for Jesus?

I talked with a young man recently who is planning to move his family, along with several other families in his church to India to live among Muslims until they either plant 15,000 house churches, or until he dies. Talk about taking a risk for Jesus. I get nervous just thinking about bringing Jesus up with a non-Christian friend.

Jesus risked it all for us – not only did he risk it all, he gave it all.  He left heaven’s glory, became a man, was scorned, scourged, nailed to a cross, judged and punished by God to save us.  He gave it all.  We should be willing to take risks for him.

We should be willing to step out and ask if we can pray for someone or tell them about Jesus. To lovingly confront someone persisting in some sin. To share our struggles with fellow believers. To give to God’s kingdom, like the widow who gave her last two cents in the temple as Jesus watched. Jesus said that out of her poverty she “put in everything she had, all she had to live on” (Mark 12:44).

This week let’s think about where we can take risks for Jesus. Ask for boldness. Most of us can’t move to India, but we can all begin to take small risks for Jesus.

God Calls You To Go Even Though You May Not Know Where

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. Heb 11:8-9

Faith fuels obedience

God called Abraham to leave his homeland and go, not knowing where he was going. Abraham didn’t know how long it would take to get there or what he’d do when he arrived. He didn’t know what hardships he’d face along the way or what enemies he might encounter. All Abraham had to go on was God’s promise he would receive an inheritance. His faith that God would fulfill his word fueled his obedience.

The whole Christian life is going not knowing

Jesus calls us to follow him, not knowing the details of our future, but having his promise to be with us, care for us, guide and transform us.

When Jesus first saved me, I had to quit my rock band. I thought I’d never have any social life or fun again, but figured that Jesus created friendship and fun, and that he was capable of giving me new friends and a new life. And eventually he gave me more friends and greater joy than I’d ever known in the band.

Where is Jesus calling you to go? He may not be calling you to a foreign land, but calling you to go to someone to seek reconciliation, not knowing if they’ll embrace you or slam the door in your face. Jesus may be calling you to give money to the kingdom, not knowing how you’ll pay for your tuition. He may be calling you to share the gospel with your Muslim neighbor, not knowing how he’ll respond.

Jesus may be calling you into marriage or parenthood. Buckle up.  You have no idea the adventure that lies ahead. Or Jesus may be calling you to rejoice while you have tears in your eyes. Early on in my Christian life I heard someone say that if God commands something, just trust him and obey, even if you don’t know why. If God says it, he has good reasons and untold blessings in mind.

The whole Christian life is going, not knowing.

It is obeying God’s word in faith when we can’t see over the horizon. Jesus doesn’t give us the answers to the test  in advance. It’s not for us to know the times and seasons. Though he doesn’t give us the details, he gives us the map and compass of his Word and his Spirit.  He gives us himself.  And if we have Jesus, that’s all we need. We go with the one who’s our portion and fountain of joy.

We go by faith in a mighty, loving and infinitely wise Savior, who never disappoints but does far more than we can think, ask or imagine.

Courage, Success and Meditation

What if God suddenly put you in charge of leading 2 million people into a strange land occupied by fearful warriors?

What if you had to replace one of the greatest leaders in the Bible – Moses – who led Israel out of Egypt, split the Red Sea, met with God face-to-face, received the 10 Commandments, struck a rock with his staff and water gushed out. Imagine being called upon to take his place. That’s what Joshua had to do:

After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel.”

I’d have said, “Who me?  What if I fail?”  God told Joshua to have courage.  To grab the bull by the horns and get going.

Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  (Joshua 1:1-9)

Three times God told Joshua: Be strong and courageous.

Why should Joshua have courage?  How could he know he’d succeed?  Because God would be with him, and he had God’s word to guide him.

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.”

Success in the Christian life comes as we meditate on God’s word day and night.  As we chew on his promises.  As we determine to believe and obey God’s word no matter what.  As we interpret the events of our lives through the lens of Scripture and not circumstances.

When we look at our circumstances they may look hopeless.  Where will the money come from?  How will I ever meet someone to marry?  What am I going to do with my life? How will I get through this trial with my teen? Circumstances say God has abandoned you. God’s not good or faithful or caring.

That’s when we have to grab our minds by the collar, shake them and say, BUT GOD’S WORD SAYS….

God is in control.  He’s faithful.  He can provide out of nowhere.  He can take a few loaves and fishes and feed a multitude.  He can put a gold coin in a fish’s mouth.  Hey self, BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS!  He’s with you.  He’s promised to be faithful. He’ll show you what to do.

The secret of success in the kingdom?  Believe God’s promise to be faithful.  Meditate on his word day and night, then be courageous and do it.  

 

God Is Not Man…And Am I Ever Glad

I will not violate my covenant or alter the word that went forth from my lips. (Psalm 89:34)

God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?  (Numbers 23:19)

I’m so grateful for the rich treasure of promises in God’s word.

The reason we trust his promises is because we know his character. God is all-powerful, all wise, altogether loving, and doesn’t lie or change his mind.  When God says he will do something we can bank on it because we know he’s good for his word. We trust his word because we know his character.

If God failed to do something he promised, there could only be three explanations – He would be either a liar, an impotent God or an unfaithful God.

What a horrifying universe it would be if the all-powerful God were a liar. We couldn’t trust him at all. We’d have no hope and no stability. How could we know Christ’s death actually paid for our sins? How could we know we’d really go to heaven? All our hope resides in the fact that God is always truthful and never lies.

What if God meant well but was simply unable to fulfill his promises? He wouldn’t be all-powerful. He’d be an impotent God.  That would be a different kind of scary universe. How would we know God could accomplish anything he promised? How could we know God would actually be able to save or forgive us, defeat Satan, or take us to heaven?

A God who changed his mind would be frightening too – he’d be unfaithful.  How could we possibly have any security in a universe where the all-powerful God was not faithful?  If God changed his mind, then he might be good one day and evil the next. He might bless us one day then curse us the next.

We trust people who do what they say they’ll do. We say he’s a man of his word; If she says it, she’ll do it; Trust me, I’m good for my word.  Our word reflects our character. Yet even the best of us humans have lapses. Each of us forgets occasionally. Sometimes we change our minds.  Sometimes we make promises then realize we shouldn’t have.

That’s why God says in Numbers 23 that he’s not man – he’s never tempted to lie, change his mind, or make unwise promises.  And am I ever glad.

That’s why we should put all our hope in God’s word. We should scour the Bible for his promises, ask him to fulfill them and thank him that he won’t change his mind or forget to do what he’s promised. That’s why we should cling to his word even when we don’t see it come to pass immediately. God won’t forget. God doesn’t make empty promises.

God said it, I believe it. The money’s in the bank. Period. End of discussion.