May 01, 2020
We don’t get it. Lured by every worldly god, we run in multiple directions seeking life. Unsatisfied, we pursue more. But all our efforts will never yield the right results. We’re looking in the wrong direction.
Every genuine follower of Christ wants an undiluted life, free from the impurities and distractions that destroy us and pull us away from "simple, pure, devotion to Jesus Christ." But, what is the path to purity? Not just moral purity, but holiness in every dimension? Most people believe it comes by observing some rules, following some guidelines. But the secret lies in pursuing someone, not something.
OUR SINGULAR PURSUIT
David repeats a pronoun thirteen times in eight verses that gives us the key. A vision consistently set on Christ alone is the secret! It is not pursuing holiness, but pursuing Him that leads to an undistracted life. Notice the word "You" or its equivalent in these verses.
The songwriter understood this:
If Christ fills our vision we will be overwhelmed by His beauty, awed by His goodness, and humbled by His grace. A response of holiness is sure to follow.
OUR CONTINUAL RESPONSE
Seeing the value of Christ, we want more of Him. We gladly turn from those things that cloud our vision or hinder our intimacy. We have seen the Pearl of great price and are more willing to sell everything to possess Him. Deliberate surrender and obedience yields a greater experience of Him—which makes us want to follow Him more—which leads a deepening vision—and the unending cycle of vision that leads to holiness goes deeper and deeper. When we see Him for who He is, it changes us.
My favorite poem sits on my study wall and is a constant reminder that the goal of all of my study and work is one thing and one thing alone.
Father, thank You that You are perfect altogether lovely. To see you is to behold everything that is good and right and gracious. Through Your Word and prayer, let me live in Your presence, beholding You! One day in Your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. And let my heart be filled with You so that I will gladly release every weak substitute.
July 02, 2022
July 01, 2022
In each generation there are wicked rulers leading nations to do wicked things, oppressing those around them with senseless violence and evil. Hitler had his day and Stalin, and now Putin as he ravages Ukraine.
Where is God in all of this? The small, one-chapter book of Obadiah gives us the answer: God will always, ultimately judge wicked men nations. Justice wins the day. Notice God’s word through Obadiah to the wicked nation of Edom. No nation that ignores God will escape His judgment.
June 29, 2022