Magnify 

Psalm 70:4
“Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; and let those who love Your salvation say continually, ‘Let God be magnified!’”

We can never be sure what the day in front of us holds. We can each testify of times in life, where our days were suddenly interrupted with something good or something bad. A phone call, text, email, or visit to the doctor, can suddenly change the course of our day and even our lives. David exhorts us that regardless of what life throws our way, we should always respond by magnifying the Lord.

The word magnify has two related, yet almost opposite, meanings. In certain cases, it can mean to take something that is too small to see and enlarge it. Scientists use highly advanced microscopes to look at things hidden from the naked eye. However, the word magnify can also mean to take things that are too far away to see and bring them closer. Years ago, my wife and I were walking around an outdoor mall in Southern California where a large telescope had been set up in the courtyard. For a few dollars, we were able to use it to look at the moons of Jupiter. What was impossible to see, suddenly came to light. Magnifying God is like using a highly sophisticated telescope to bring the person and work of God into view in our daily circumstances.

It is quite common for us to question God when our life is interrupted with unsettling circumstances. It is during those times that it is all the more important to fix our eyes upon the Lord, and begin to magnify Him. As we look heavenward with hearts of worship, we will be reminded of His mercy, grace, power, love and presence. If you are in the midst of a particularly trying time, perhaps it would do you good to take your eyes of the circumstances, and begin to magnify the Lord.

Pastor Jim

Questions for Psalm 70

  1. David is pleading with God to come quickly. Have you had those moments when you’re empty and broken? By all means cry out like David did “O Lord, do not delay!”
  2. In the midst of his turmoil and panic David remembers to do something in verse 4. Can you spot it? Sometimes we treat God like a vending machine and forget to thank Him for what he has done and to worship Him for who he is. Even when we become afraid and terrified– forget not His benefits.

The Champion

Genesis 32:28
“And He said, ‘Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.’”

2015/01/img_1338.jpgThe Bible is filled with fascinating stories and amazing promises. I think it is safe to say, the most amazing events ever recorded are written in the pages of our Bibles. Of all these stories, this one records perhaps the most striking statement of them all,

” . . . you have struggled with God and prevailed.”

The same truth is recorded later

Hosea 12:4
“Yes, he struggled with the Angel and prevailed. . .”

It does not surprise me to read that Jacob fought with God; that is an all too common occurrence. All of us have had times when God has instructed us to do something and we have resisted Him, to our hurt. I have found, when I fight against God, not only will I lose, but sometimes, I will bear scars from the battle. How is it that Jacob fought with God and came out victorious?

I think the answer is quite simple. Victory was achieved, not by the fight, but with the surrender. It was when Jacob stopped fighting and gave in to God, that he became the champion and received the spoils. We will never win a battle against the will of God, or the ways of God, but we can come out victorious if we are willing to surrender to God. Years later, when the book of Hebrews was written, the writer refers to the heroic faith of Jacob, who leaned upon his staff. The reference is to the victory won when his knees bowed in submission to the the Lord.

Whatever stage of life you may find yourself, it is high time for a victory. The losing streak needs to come to an end. Why not give in to the ways of God, and begin to experience the blessings of a champion, rather than the agony of defeat.

Pastor Jim

 

Terms And Condition

Genesis 28:20-21
“Then Jacob made a vow, saying, ‘If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God.'”

2015/01/img_1331.jpgJacob has made a mess of things. His own ambitions have driven a wedge between himself and his family, he has been forced to flee for his life, and is now, just about homeless. With his head resting on a rock, he develops his own covenant with God. “If you will do these things for me, then you will be my God.”

I find it fascinating, that people will debate with themselves, whether or not they will choose God. It is as though they make a mental pro-verses-con list, to determine whether He is worth it or not. While the debate rages within, I think it is worth noting, God is not on His throne in heaven, questioning whether or not He wants you. That question was answered long ago, when He sent His only Son to make a way for us to be forgiven and go to heaven.

Instead of putting ridiculous requirements upon God, why not look at all He has done to show His unfailing love and amazing grace. Stop debating and start following; abundant life awaits.

Pastor Jim

 

Fight

Matthew 4:1
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.”

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b9a/30989304/files/2015/01/img_1294.jpgPeople seem to be fascinated with fighting. I can remember being in Jr. High School and hearing the word “FIGHT” resonate across the playground. All activities stopped and the whole student body ran in an attempt to get a front row seat to view the scene. Things have not changed; people gather to watch boxing matches, UFC events and even hockey games, all for the thrill of the fight.

Here in Matthew 4 we have a fight for the ages. It is the greatest of fights because it is between the greatest of opponents; the devil and Jesus. It reflects the fight we all face. I notice in this epic battle a few key elements that will help us as we seek to overcome the temptations the devil throws our way.

First, notice how the devil works. Jesus is hungry and weary, and tempted with food. The devil will always attack where we are weakest. We simply need to understand that. When we do, we can build defenses like accountability, to help withstand those attacks.

Second, notice how Jesus responds to the temptation. He quotes the WORD. Daily Bible reading will give you fresh ammunition to counter-attack the devil’s temptations. I am still amazed how, what might seem like an obscure passage while I am reading it, has tremendous impact on my life throughout the day. Keep in the WORD and you will always be prepared for battle.

Third, Jesus understood we cannot put ourselves in a compromising position and expect to come out victorious. It seems to me, when we fail in our walk with the Lord, it is because we were in a place we should not have been. Get off the pinnacle of the Temple! Do not tempt the Lord by putting yourself in a place where all you can expect is failure.

Let’s keep ourselves in the WORD, and our eyes on Jesus, as we press toward the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Pastor Jim