God’s Powerful Voice

Psalm 29:3-4 — The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty watersThe voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic (NIV).

The Upper and Lower Mesa Falls are located about fifteen miles west of Yellowstone National Park in Eastern Idaho. The Upper Falls are approximately 300 feet wide and are 114 feet in height. The average volume of water flowing over the falls varies between 600 to 1,500 cubic feet per second. This equates to an average of 387 million to 967 million gallons of water spilling over the Upper Falls every day. Now that is a lot of water!

I had the rare privilege (being a Southern boy) to see Mesa Falls in person. As I stood and watched a football field’s worth of water pouring over the falls, I began to think about how powerful of a punch it must pack. What a force! I watched as the falls smacked against the rocks below, and I thought about the impact such a blow would have on a human. It wouldn’t be pretty.

I then turned my thoughts to how powerful God is. Though the Mesa Falls are powerful, the psalmist wrote that the voice of the Lord thunders over the mighty waters. His voice is an awesome force! He spoke creation into existence. His voice brings victory and sets captives free. Job 37:5 says, “God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; He does great things beyond our understanding.” Wow!

Be encouraged today. You are His child; He speaks over and through you. And when you speak His words, they will pack the same powerful punch. If you will set yourself in agreement with God’s purpose and align your mouth with His, you will be a force to be reckoned with. Hallelujah!

Psalm 29:5, 7-9The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the voice of the Lord strikes with flashes of lightningThe voice of the Lord shakes the desert; the voice of the Lord twists the oaks and strips the forests bare. And His temple all cry, “Glory!” (NIV)

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Ascribe God Glory

1 Chronicles 16:29 — Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name. Bring an offering and come before Him; worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness (NIV).

Another word for ascribe is assign. We assign things to people who are due them. Teachers assign homework to students. Parents assign chores to their children. Employers assign duties to their employees, and the list goes on. Believers are to assign, or ascribe, all glory to the Lord. Why? Because it is due Him.

A few years ago, our family drove from Forest Hill, Louisiana to Island Park, Idaho. Once we got out of Texas, I was reminded once again why all glory is due to God. We drove up through Colorado Springs to Denver to Cheyenne, Wyoming. Then we headed northwest to Jackson Hole, where we stayed a night. The next day we drove north through the Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. We were all awestruck by the breathtaking scenery (even our young boys were blown away).

We saw mountains and valleys, rivers and lakes, forests and rock formations. All of them handcrafted and strategically placed by the Creator. The colors were vibrant, the brush strokes of Almighty God. And amid the picturesque landscape was a wide variety of wildlife in their natural habitat. We saw deer, elk, and bison. We even saw a mama grizzly bear with her three cubs. Then it snowed on top of all that! Indescribable.

As I tried to take everything in, I couldn’t help but be overcome by the majesty of God. I began to worship and ascribe Him glory. Sometimes we just need a reminder of just Who it is we have the privilege of serving.

I want to encourage you today to give glory where glory is due. God is the only person to whom glory should be assigned. My mom-in-law always says, “God will not share His glory with anyone.” Neither should you. Give Him glory now. Hallelujah!

Psalm 71:8 — My mouth is filled with Your praise, declaring Your splendor all day long (NIV).

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No More Cover-Ups

Galatians 2:16 — Man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ (NKJV).

You did it again. You just can’t seem to help it. For whatever reason, this particular vice has you. You’re drawn to it; you self-medicate with it. It’s what people have come to expect, but this time you’ve gone too far. You’ve messed up big time, and the potential fallout could hurt many.

The cover-up begins. It’s what you do. You sin and then interfere with the proof of your involvement. What others don’t know can’t hurt them, and it would be a shame to involve the innocent. Once again, reasoning clouds your better judgment, and the cycle continues.

Jesus came to break the cycle. When you received Him, He showed up and tampered with the scene of your crime. He erased the evidence of sin by making you righteous, and He removed your guilt through justification. God has declared you to be innocent on all accounts. No elaborate cover-up scheme is needed. You are justified by faith in Jesus Christ. Put your faith in His finished work, and it’s just as if you never sinned!

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Head of Public Relations

Philemon 1:6 — That the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus (NKJV).

In order for your faith to be effective, you have to begin acknowledging every good thing you have in Christ. Your faith should produce and promote full recognition and appreciation and understanding and precise knowledge of every good thing that is yours in your identification with Him (AMPC).

People, in general, readily recognize what’s wrong with their lives. They have precise knowledge of their problems and are successful at marketing them. Their thoughts, words, and actions confirm the belief that they will never quite measure up or come out of the mess they’re in. They are chronic complainers.

You are the head of your public relations department. Rather than spread discontent or voice your dissatisfaction, make known the good things you have in Christ Jesus. From His fullness we have all received (John 1:16). Your faith will only increase when you begin to promote who you are in Him.

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Forgive Anyway

Luke 23:34 — Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for His clothes (NLT).

Jesus obviously understood the power of forgiveness. After being accused by the priests and tortured by the soldiers, Jesus forgave them. A lot of what He let go was done in spite, but in the verse above, He even forgave them of what they had done in ignorance.

Not everyone who hurts us does so vindictively. There are probably people in your life right now who you hold a grudge against, and they are clueless. Meanwhile, they live their lives freely, and you’ve imprisoned yourself. When you choose to forgive, you’re not only releasing the offenses of others, you’re letting yourself out of captivity.

Another thing I noticed in this verse is that right after Jesus forgave them, the soldiers gambled for His clothes. What a slap in the face and another opportunity for Jesus to be offended! Not everyone is going to receive your forgiveness, but you are still to give it without expecting anything in return. Love simply does what is right, period. Choose to forgive today.

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Love God First

Romans 12:9-10 — Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is goodBe devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves (NIV).

In this passage, Paul was writing to the church about how to treat one another. But before you and I will ever adhere to his instructions, we must love God first.

Matthew 22:37-39 says you are to love God and then love your neighbor as yourself. So I ask you, “How do you begin to really love Him?” I believe the answer is two-fold: Get into His presence and meditate on His word.

As you discover who God is, you will not be able to contain your love for Him. He is just that good! And as a result of loving Him, you will be compelled and excited to love others—really love them.

Matthew 22:37-39 — Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandmentAnd the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (NIV).

—Heidi Jonker

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Love Never Fails

1 Corinthians 13:8 — Love never fails (NKJV).

Another version states love never ends (ESV). Psalm 136 declares twenty-six times that God’s love never fails (CEV). Pastor Aaron Hankins said it like this, “Love is guaranteed success every time.”

Failure is not an option for the person who walks in the love of God. His love is not capable of a loss or even a tie. It wins!

It’s not uncommon for those involved in a broken relationship to say something like, “Well, we just grew out of love.” I don’t know what “love” they grew out of, but it wasn’t the God-kind. His love does not diminish; it is everlasting.

Many of the impossibilities and issues we face would work themselves out if we’d discipline ourselves to live in divine love. Choose today to demonstrate God’s love, even to those who are failing to love you.

Colossians 3:14 — Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony (NLT).

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