His Magnificent Love

Our magnificent creator reveals His magnificent love in His creation. We can trust His heart as we see it in His magnificent design!

Read Charles Spurgeon’s morning devotion from August 2nd.

“Who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will.” Ephesians 1:11

Our belief in God’s wisdom supposes and necessitates that he has a settled purpose and plan in the work of salvation. What would creation have been without his design? Is there a fish in the sea, or a fowl in the air, which was left to chance for its formation? Nay, in every bone, joint, and muscle, sinew, gland, and blood-vessel, you mark the presence of a God working everything according to the design of infinite wisdom. And shall God be present in creation, ruling over all, and not in grace? Shall the new creation have the fickle genius of free will to preside over it when divine counsel rules the old creation? Look at Providence! Who knoweth not that not a sparrow falleth to the ground without your Father? Even the hairs of your head are all numbered. God weighs the mountains of our grief in scales, and the hills of our tribulation in balances. And shall there be a God in providence and not in grace? Shall the shell be ordained by wisdom and the kernel be left to blind chance? No; he knows the end from the beginning. He sees in its appointed place, not merely the corner-stone which he has laid in fair colours, in the blood of his dear Son, but he beholds in their ordained position each of the chosen stones taken out of the quarry of nature, and polished by his grace; he sees the whole from corner to cornice, from base to roof, from foundation to pinnacle. He hath in his mind a clear knowledge of every stone which shall be laid in its prepared space, and how vast the edifice shall be, and when the top-stone shall be brought forth with shoutings of “Grace! Grace! unto it.” At the last it shall be clearly seen that in every chosen vessel of mercy, Jehovah did as he willed with his own; and that in every part of the work of grace he accomplished his purpose, and glorified his own name.

In His Hands for His Glory

Praise in the Storm

Why does it seem easier to focus on what seems negative instead of positive?

Why do we seek out a friend to share a problem instead of a praise?

Why are we more apt to pray when we are in a valley instead of on a mountain top?

I was thinking through these questions as I read the following verses from Psalm 105,

“Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice! Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually” (Psalm 105:1-4).

Reading the psalmist’s reminder to give thanks to the Lord and to make known His deeds made me think of my family’s situation the past few months.

Our summer has been spent focused on home repairs. Everything hit us at once. What started out as water damage cascaded into something much larger. Instead of a relaxing summer, my husband and I have been project-managing repair work for several months. Contractors recently went into our walls to try to find the source of a leak. I never knew how complicated leaks could be! Water can seep into your home and travel on what appears to be a very unusual path.

So, the source of the leak evaded everyone. I prayed that God would help us, that He would give us wisdom. One of our contractors said to us, “I wish it would rain! Maybe then we could find the leak!”

It rained that very night! My husband and I were able to capture some immensely helpful pictures. When the contractors came back the next day, they could see exactly where the water had entered our home. We could finally develop a plan to repair the leak, Praise the Lord!

It occurred to me we don’t usually pray for rain. In fact, we usually pray for the opposite. This simple act of raining is helping me learn that God is good ALL the time. He is good when it rains—how my family praised Him for that rain! And He is good when it doesn’t rain. He is good when the sun shines, when the night falls, in each season of the year and in each season of life. He is good when life seems good and fair, when we are thriving physically, spiritually, financially, and He is good when we are hurting, when life seems to fall apart.

As the psalmist reminds us, regardless of where we are in life, we are to give GLORY to the Lord, to thank Him, to praise Him, and to make noise about what He is doing in our lives,
Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works” (Psalm 105:2).

Friends, let us TELL everyone of the Lord’s wondrous works in our lives! The next time you meet a friend for coffee dedicate time to sharing how the Lord has blessed you. Believer, be known for your gratitude. Remember the Lord is working ALL things for your good—even in something as simple as a rainfall.

Growing in Grace

Am I Good Enough?

Did you ever watch Jay Leno, the king of Late-Night television for many years? He periodically ran a segment called “Jaywalking,” in which Jay himself would take to the streets of Los Angeles and ask random people questions.  Some of them are hilarious.  My son and I have watched YouTube videos of these Q&A’s and found many of them to be highly entertaining.  My son’s favorite is the question, “What keeps the earth rotating around the sun?”  The correct (and short) answer is gravity.  One person said it was the earth’s axis.  Another person simply said, “the moon!”

While thinking about these videos we watched, I wondered what people would have said if Jay had asked, “Do you think you’ll go to heaven when you die?” And if they answered, “Yes,” it would have been interesting for Jay to ask, “Why?”

My guess is that most people who believe they are going to heaven would say it’s because they are good people. They might say they have never broken any laws (does speeding count?), have helped others, tried to keep the Ten Commandments, etc.  Maybe they have a list of rules—biblical or worldly or completely made up—and those have become standards for goodness.

I think about this in the context of being a wife and mother.  Am I good at either? Maybe some days. Some days, I feel I am careful with my words. I encourage. I don’t lose my temper. I am productive. I drive carpool, make dinner, do laundry, and when my head hits the pillow, I feel good about how I have cared for my family that day.

Is that “good?” What IS good?

“Good” is a word that’s a moving target. There are many definitions and there are many applications.

The defining meaning is GOD. The Bible tells us GOD is good.

  • For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation. (Psalm 100:5 NLT)
  • Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good (Psalm 135:3)
  • Taste and see that the LORD is good (Psalm 34:8)

But perhaps most stunning of all are Jesus’s words, “And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone’” (Mark 10:18; italics added).

God is not only good. He is perfect.

If God is the standard of goodness, then all humans will fall short of that standard.  That is not a criticism, that is reality! We are all sinners. We may be made in God’s image, but we are not God.  Therefore, I may, by God’s grace, seek Him, obey Him, love Him, read His Word and even do commendable, benevolent works.  But that does not make me good.

In Matthew 6:33 (NLT), Jesus says, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”

When asked what the most important commandment is, Jesus says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37).

So, Jesus Himself tells us how to live a “good” life.  It is by loving the Lord first and foremost and seeking Him with all of our might by His grace.  To do that, we must trust God above all else. We must spend time with Him, in His Word, because that is how we get to know Him and His will for our lives. He must always be first.

And, dear reader, if you are one of the people that would say, “I’m going to heaven because I am a good person,” please, pray and read the scriptures. None of us is good enough on our own. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Eph 2:8 NIV).

Growing in Grace