From: Our Daily Journey
Alas and Did My Savior Bleed
I once heard a speaker describe God’s unique nature in a memorable way. The word “God” was placed at the top of a PowerPoint slide, the words “Everything Else” at the bottom, and a solid line in-between. The speaker then stated that—as His creatures—we’re more like a worm or a cow than God. In His holiness, He’s separate, “above the line.”
Perfect in all He is and does, God is set apart from all creation and alone worthy of our worship (Psalm 96:8). As the psalmist declares, “Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor. Let all the earth tremble before him” (Psalm 96:9).
Yet more than once in Scripture, those who belong to God are told to also be holy—set apart—as He is holy. How can we, as created beings, reflect divine holiness? We know our own frailties and sinfulness, so it seems impossible. But Paul wrote that those “who have been called by God to be his own holy people” are “made. . . holy by means of Christ Jesus, just as he [does] for all people everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:2). Those who believe in Jesus and receive salvation by His sacrifice are dedicated to God, made holy through Christ’s Spirit.
Will we do this perfectly in this life? No. Each of us will still struggle with sin. But we can always turn to the One who alone is perfect. May we worship Him for His greatness, beauty, honor, and majesty (Psalm 96:4-6). And may we pursue His holiness as the Holy Spirit provides all we need to be set apart for our “glorious and strong,” holy God (Psalm 96:7).
Is your mind stayed on God or is it starved? Starvation of the mind, caused by neglect, is one of the chief sources of exhaustion and weakness in a servant’s life. If you have never used your mind to place yourself before God, begin to do it now. There is no reason to wait for God to come to you. You must turn your thoughts and your eyes away from the face of idols and look to Him and be saved (see Isaiah 45:22).
Your mind is the greatest gift God has given you and it ought to be devoted entirely to Him. You should seek to be “bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…” (2 Corinthians 10:5). This will be one of the greatest assets of your faith when a time of trial comes, because then your faith and the Spirit of God will work together. When you have thoughts and ideas that are worthy of credit to God, learn to compare and associate them with all that happens in nature— the rising and the setting of the sun, the shining of the moon and the stars, and the changing of the seasons. You will begin to see that your thoughts are from God as well, and your mind will no longer be at the mercy of your impulsive thinking, but will always be used in service to God.
“We have sinned with our fathers…[and]…did not remember…” (Psalm 106:6-7). Then prod your memory and wake up immediately. Don’t say to yourself, “But God is not talking to me right now.” He ought to be. Remember whose you are and whom you serve. Encourage yourself to remember, and your affection for God will increase tenfold. Your mind will no longer be starved, but will be quick and enthusiastic, and your hope will be inexpressibly bright.
“Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” Matthew 5:16 ESV
I had promised my wife that I would bring her a cup of coffee after my morning run. So, at 6:03 a.m., breathing hard and sweaty, I walked into Starbucks to order two cups of coffee to take home.
As I waited in line, the guy in front of me was clutching a copy of the New York Times and waving a $50 bill in the face of the clerk. Obviously ticked at the clerk, he was ranting, “What do you mean you don’t have change? What kind of a place are you operating here? I’ve got the money. I want my New York Times!”
The clerk, clearly shaken by the man’s anger, apologized, “I’m sorry, sir. We just opened, and I don’t have that much cash on hand yet. I don’t have change for a $50 bill.”
I had just been reading Jesus’ call for us to light up our world with good works so, knowing that this was an opportunity to put Jesus’ plan into gear, I stepped forward and said, “Hey, I’ll pay for your paper” and told the clerk to put it on my bill.
“Are you sure?”
“Yep,” I replied. “Put it on my bill.”
As the guy walked out he thanked me profusely and said, “All that I have is yours!” Which obviously didn’t include the $50 bill in his hand!
When the clerk handed me my two cups of coffee, he surprised me by saying, “Sir, that was a really nice thing you did. This world would be a lot better place if there were more people like you.”
Have you ever had one of those moments where you know that you should testify but the words just aren’t there? Well, I was caught so off-guard that I just muttered some self-deprecating remark and started toward home. I was tormented, wondering what I should have said! About half a block down the street, it occurred to me that I could have said, “Thanks. Actually, the world would not be a better place if more people were like me, but the world would be a better place if more people were like Jesus, because He taught me how to do that.”
I thought about going back to say that to the clerk. But then it crossed my mind that cutting in front of a long line of people to make a religious speech might not be a real good idea. Just then it struck me . . . I was wearing my Moody Bible Institute cap! I began praying that he had seen the cap. Praying that he had discovered that my buying a newspaper for a steamed customer and rescuing him is what “Bible-people” do!
I find myself praying for that server in Starbucks, praying that he will get around a lot of us Bible-people and notice that there is something consistent and compellingly different about us. That someday it will whet his appetite for the Jesus that has made us to be people of “good works.”