The Beauty of Holiness

“Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” Psalm 29:2

What is meant by “the beauty of holiness”? How does one worship the Lord in it?

When the ark of God (representing His presence) was brought into Jerusalem, King David sang the psalm quoted above; but in I Chronicles 16:29, he added another phrase: “Bring an offering and come before him.”

Later on, during King Jehoshaphat’s reign, a time of fasting and praying was proclaimed, and singers were appointed to “praise the beauty of holiness.” (II Chronicles 20:21)

God is holy; His holiness is beautiful. Holy worship requires your best offering, a clean heart, consecration in fasting and prayer, and an excellent song of praise.

Besides your offerings of “gold and silver,” consider your “obedience, which leads to righteousness. . . Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so NOW offer them in slavery to RIGHTEOUSNESS leading to HOLINESS.” (Romans 6:16,19, NIV) (Emphasis supplied.)

Give unto the Lord the excellence in worship due His Name!

PRAY:
“Most beautiful Lord, You have blessed me beyond compare. Accept my humble offering of praise and thanksgiving in the beauty of Your holiness. I worship You. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.”

The Joy of the Lord

Well done, thou good and faithful servant. .. enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” Matthew 25:21

King David wrote, in Psalm 16:11: “Thou wilt shew me the path of life; in thy presence is fullness of JOY. . . .” After he committed his adulterous sin with Bathsheba, he immediately felt a heavy load of guilt in the absence of God’s presence and sought the Lord’s forgiveness. “Restore unto me the JOY of thy salvation . . . ,” he pleaded in Psalm 51:12a.

His son, King Solomon, followed in his footsteps and acknowledged, “For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and JOY. (Ecclesiastes 2:26a)

Jesus talked much about JOY. John 15:11 states:

“These things have I spoken unto you, that my JOY might remain in you, and that your JOY might be full.” Part of having “the mind of Christ” is experiencing His JOY. As He prayed for His disciples, He reminded the Father that He spoke the words over them so “that they might have my JOY fulfilled in themselves.” (John 17:13)

Jesus also gave His followers two promises about JOY: “. . . your JOY no man taketh from you” (John 16:22b); and, “. . . ask, and ye shall receive, that your JOY may be full” (John 16:24b).

PRAY:
“Father God, thank You for the JOY of Your salvation in my soul. Your JOY is my strength,* and my cup runs over* with it every day. Glory to Your Name! Amen.”

*Nehemiah 8:10 and Psalm 23:5c (paraphrased)

What is Your Mindset?

“Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” Romans 8:5 (NIV)

In Romans 8, the Apostle Paul mentions the “mind” several times. “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.” (Verses 6-8)

Do you make it a practice to deliberately lay your “mind” on God’s altar each morning? The “mind” is the locale at which the darts of the enemy are thrown. Once they hit their target and their poisons spread, the damage has been done. That is why it is so important to submit your “mind” to the leading of the Holy Spirit daily. His protective covering repels the evil darts (thoughts).

Ephesians 5:26 says that your “mind” can be sanctified and cleansed “with the washing of water by the word.” Deliberate and daily Bible reading allows God’s Word to sink deep into your spirit and brings you into step with the “mind” of the Spirit of God.

WHAT WILL YOU SET YOUR MIND ON TODAY?

PRAY:
“Heavenly Father, I submit my heart and mind to You today and joyfully receive Your Word. I ask for the leading and covering of Your Spirit. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.”

The Mind of Christ

“For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” I Corinthians 2:16

What does it mean to have “the mind of Christ”? For one thing, it means you have received the Holy Spirit who helps you to spiritually discern what has been given to you by God. “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (I Corinthians 2:9) The natural man simply does not understand and actually believes spiritual matters amount to a lot of foolishness.

Having “the mind of Christ” gives you access to what the Father is thinking. That is an awesome thought! You will begin to see that “[his] ways are higher than your ways” (Isaiah 55:9b), and you will begin to walk in His ways because they are so far superior. You will begin to learn His wisdom. You will begin operating in the Holy Spirit’s gifts of faith and knowledge, which will be a blessing to all those around you.

As you go about your tasks today, take on “the mind of Christ ” and ask yourself: “What does Christ think about this job or word. . . thought.. . action. . . gift. . . Bible verse. . . game. . . song.. . TV program. . . movie…dress?”

PRAY:
“Father, You are high and lifted up on the throne of my heart today. Thank You for giving me ‘the mind of Christ’ in this world which keeps me from wandering into places I should not be. Amen.”

May 1 – Hypocrisy

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of  hypocrisy and iniquity.” Matthew 23:27-28

Have you ever been stopped short by the Holy Spirit when He pointed out an attitude you entertained in your mind or heart that was not patterned after Jesus’ attitude? What was your initial response to the Holy Spirit’s correction? It is not a comfortable position in which to find yourself! The first order of business is to get on your knees before the Lord and ask Him to remove this undesirable “beam” in your mind’s eye.

Job realized the seriousness of this sin, and he also knew the remedy. In Job 13:16, he said, “He also shall be my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him.”

Jesus could spot hypocrisy in those around Him very quickly. He wasted no time in bringing it to their attention. “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:5) Here Jesus exhorts you to deal first with your own sin, and then to accept the responsibility of assisting your brothers and sisters in the Lord with their cleansing.

PRAY:
“Father, I recognize my need for Your forgiveness and cleansing. Please help me to gently assist my fellowman when I see a need in his life. In Jesus’ Name, amen.”

April 30 – Ten Keys to Killing a Giant – #10 Recover the Reward

“And the children of Israel returned from chasing after the Philistines, and they spoiled their tents. And David took the head of the Philistine, and brought it to Jerusalem; but he put his armour in his tent.” Samuel 17:53-54

Oh, sweet victory! Beyond every giant are the spoils of war. After David killed the giant, the children of Israel possessed a little more of the land of promise. Along with it came some of the wealth of the wicked. Now in the hands of the righteous, it would bring glory to God. (See Proverbs 13:22b.)

After you have watched the giant fall, do not forget to recover the reward. It is God’s blessing. It is His law of labor and reward. You fought the battle and won. You overcame the giant. (See Romans 8:37.) NOW THE BLESSING IS YOURS.

Review with me the end of the Book (Revelation). Here is what God promises: “To him that overcometh. …”

Rev. 2:7  “. .. will I give to eat of the tree of life.”

Rev. 2:26  “… will I give power over the nations.”

Rev. 3:12  “Will I make a pillar in the temple of my God.”

Rev. 3:21 “… will I grant to sit with me in my throne.”

Rev. 21:7  “…shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.”

PRAY:
“Father, I thank You for the promise of reward for my labor. Help me to be patient in battle with an expectation of victory.  I am an overcomer in Jesus’ Name

April 29 – Ten Keys to Killing a Giant – #9 Rejoice in the Lord

“And the men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued the Philistines, until thou come to the valley, and to the gates of Ekron. . .” I Samuel 17:52a

After David killed the giant Goliath, the armies of Israel rushed forward in pursuit of the Philistines, shouting and praising God for the victory! It must have been a glorious time. Rejoicing is a natural byproduct of victory; but herein lies another key to killing giants.

When you experience a VICTORY, rejoice your way to the NEXT VICTORY. Get in forward motion and do not stop! There are lots of battles to be won. . . lots of victories up ahead. Let the momentum of today’s victory help you to deal with some of the other enemies in the land.

The Apostle Paul said it this way in Philippians 3:13 (NIV): “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Now that you have tasted victory, REJOICE your way forward toward the goal line.

PRAY: 
“Dear Commander, I once marched to a different drumbeat and found myself on the losing side. Today, Your bugle has sounded in my ears. I have decided to march in step with You. Let’s go forward to the next victory. In Jesus’ Name, amen.”