Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Beauty In The Battle

Psalm 89:11-15 The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; the world and all it contains, You have founded them. The north and the south, You have created them; Tabor and Hermon shout for joy at Your name. You have a strong arm; Your hand is mighty, Your right hand is exalted. Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; lovingkindness and truth go before You. How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! O Lord, they walk in the light of Your countenance.

Today Sarah writes about our God who created beauty, and of those things she mentioned that proclaim His presence in the world are the magnificence of the rose and a “hauntingly glorious sunset.” Living in the cloud of smoke from forest fires we are strongly presented this week in southern Oregon with the destruction that comes with these fires. The smoke that fills our air, even many miles away, represents things that once were and now have been consumed with fire, and it reminds us that a battle is being waged to bring those fires under control. Yet throughout our day we are presented with a bright orange orb placed in the sky above—the sun. This is especially evident in the morning sunrise and the evening sunset. When the fires first started we had a contrast between the skies above and the smoke below, but as the fires have continued their advance the distinction has given way to a constant gray filled with ash.

In our lives it is so easy for things that press in on us to choke out the beauty that surrounds us, and more importantly even lead to our losing sight of the Son of God—Jesus Christ who reigns at the right hand of God the Father and who rules in our lives, providing us with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It is when the smoke in our hearts gets thick that we need to be mindful that the smoke will pass, but our God won’t. His faithfulness endures forever, and His strong arm is our salvation. It is here that we need to stop and reassess the battle and to place our trust in the One who gives us daily victory and in whom we have our hope.

Psalm 146:5-6 How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, Who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever;

Walking outside it is recommended that we wear a mask to filter out the dangerous particles in the air. As we walk through the struggles of our days, that mask dwells in us and is our constant help and protection. We would be wise to wear the mask outside, and we would be even wiser to trust in the power of Christ who gives us life as we take our every breath.

Colossians 1:13-18 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.

Today in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young (7/30)

Worship Me in the beauty of holiness. I created beauty to declare the existence of My holy Being. A magnificent rose, a hauntingly glorious sunset, oceanic splendor – all these things were meant to proclaim My Presence in the world. Most people rush past these proclamations without giving them a second thought. Some people use beauty, especially feminine loveliness, to sell their products.

How precious are My children who are awed by nature’s beauty; this opens them up to My holy Presence. Even before you knew Me personally, you responded to My creation with wonder. This is a gift, and it carries responsibility with it. Declare My glorious Being to the world. The whole earth is full of My radiant beauty – My Glory!

Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. Psalm 29:2 (NKJV)

And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” Isaiah 6:3

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