I know that my Redeemer liveth,and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. And though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.
My Daddy’s Face
“Where is daddy’s face?” asked my six-year-old granddaughter. “I can’t find him!”
The child turned over random puzzle pieces, examining the details for clues. The puzzle had been a gift created from family photos, each image representing a favorite memory.
Shrugging her little shoulders, Cassie added, “I know he’s here! I just need to look harder.”
“Look, Cass, is this your Daddy’s eye and nose?” I asked, holding up a piece.
“Yes, yes, I see him!” my sweet grandchild answered.
“Let’s keep looking until we have daddy all together, Cassie.”
I was reminded that sometimes I, too, have searched for my Father’s “face” among the disassembled puzzle pieces of my life. I’ve even cried out, Where are you? In those times of darkness, I have had to trust and remember who my Heavenly Father is. Like Cassie, I need to look harder for evidence of God’s presence, instead of fixating on the unsolved problem. It seems to be human nature to painfully focus on what is wrong, those missing pieces.
Yet we have assurance that God has not abandoned us:
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow — not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below — indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord,” Romans 8:38-39 (NLT).
What an all-encompassing promise!
Exodus explains that God’s face is hidden from view because He is so holy:
“But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live” Exodus 33:20 (NLT).
The Bible is explicit. God is not withholding his presence because he is an unkind Father, but He is so sinless that we could not survive a face-to-face encounter. Thus, enters Christ. He is why we can have relationship with this Holy God. Through the sacrifice of Christ, the penalty for our sins have been laid to rest, absolved, on the cross. Father God can now see us as forgiven and perfect in His sight!
We have been given the promise of seeing Father God face to face in heaven. As the song title says, “I can only imagine …” what that will be like.
“And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. And there will be no night there — no need for lamps or sun — for the Lord God will shine on them” Revelation 22:4-5a (NLT).
I will then be perfected, and though in awe, I’m sure, I will see Him clearly, face to face.
Even when I feel like young Cassie, searching for my Father’s face, I can say with the confidence of a child, I know He is with me. Look for His presence around you. Listen for His voice, and watch for evidence in all ways. As you search for your Spiritual Father in the middle of your unsolved puzzle, know He is near. You can encounter His presence.
“Come close to God, and God will come close to you, …” James 4:8 (NLT).
His desire is to comfort you with great love and compassion. Look up from your despair, and He will show His face when you need it most.
by Ryan Duncan, crosswalk.com
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. – Mark 12:30
A while back, some friends and I went out to lunch at a nearby restaurant. Now, I’m not much of an adventurous eater, but that day I decided to try something new and ordered a soup called, “Vichyssoise.” I now know that Vichyssoise is a thick soup made of puréed leeks, onions, potatoes, cream, and chicken stock. Also, it’s traditionally served cold. Maybe I’m just not cultured enough to appreciate this unique delicacy, but in my opinion, cold soup tastes horrible.
After one spoonful I was trying to find a creative way to spit it out without my friends noticing. The meal did make me think though, about what the Bible says about cold and lukewarm Christians.
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth. – Revelation 3:15-16
It’s funny how a bowl of soup can make you reflect on your life as a Christian. As I mulled over my actions in the past year, I realized how far away from God I had really moved. I had let my faith become a daily routine, like brushing my teeth or doing laundry, I had let my passion grow cold. God wants us to change the world, if only in our own small ways. Keep your heart and mind centered on Christ, don’t let yourself grow cold.
1 Peter 4:7-11
Any person who belongs to Christ has received a spiritual gift for God’s glory and the good of the church. Serving the Lord is not a suggestion but a command. When we waste the opportunity, we deprive both ourselves and others of the service God intended for us to provide.
In today’s reading, Peter separates the spiritual gifts into two categories: gifts of serving and speaking. However, within these two groups are an endless variety of ways service for Christ is put into action. Even if two believers have the same gifting, they will express it in unique ways—and with different results.
We should remember that though there are a variety of gifts, ministries, and outcomes, the Holy Spirit is the source of them all, and God is the one doing the work (1 Corinthians 12:4-6). For instance, the teaching gift has a wide range of applications. It can be used by one person to instruct toddlers while someone else uses it to teach seminary students. Both uses are essential in God’s eyes and bring Him glory.
God doesn’t rank the spiritual gifts, so never think that yours isn’t important. What He desires is faithfulness in employing it.
“’You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” – Luke 12:20-21 NASB
Millions of people have life insurance policies. But according to recent data, when benefits become available, more than one-quarter of these policies go unclaimed. Many people do not realize that, if they take no action, they receive no benefits.
Some have failed to notify companies when they move. One insurance company recently reported that it did not have current addresses for 400,000 policyholders. Another could not locate 1.2 million policyholders.
It has been reported that in one year alone, trustees took custody of $22.8 billion, but less than $1 billion was claimed. Many never received the funds that are due them.
Clearly, some people are foolish about their insurance. They are like the rich man whose land was “very productive” (v. 16). He tore down his barns and built larger ones. But he was trusting in his resources.
He said to himself, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.” God called him a “fool.” He had stored up treasure for himself but was “not rich toward God” (v. 19-21).
What kind of spiritual life insurance policy do you have? Are you trusting in the things of this world? Or are you trusting in God? He wants you to have peace and receive all the blessings He has prepared for you. Be sure to invest in His kingdom and then claim your inheritance.