Monday, January 28, 2019



[Photo of the measuring of the circumference of a baby's head]

“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom
and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his
judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!”
—Romans 11:33

We humans get stuck on measurements. We describe our world that way. We compare and make sense of things with numbers. From the measuring rod and the scale or tape measure in the delivery room to our obsession with our weight and an obituary giving our age at death, we describe and understand ourselves by the numbers.

Yet, numbers alone do not apply to God. In fact, He simply cannot be measured. He is limitless in His being, in His power, in His understanding, and in His love.

I like the way that A. W. Tozer explains it:1

Is it not plain that all this [measurement] does not and cannot apply to God? It is the way we see the works of His hands, but not the way we see Him. He is above all this, outside of it, beyond it. Our concepts of measurement embrace mountains and men, atoms and stars, gravity, energy, numbers, speed, but never God. We cannot speak of measure or amount or size or weight and at the same time be speaking of God, for these tell of degrees and there are no degrees in God. All that He is He is without growth or addition or development. Nothing in God is less or more, or large or small. He is what He is in Himself, without qualifying thought or word. He is simply God.

This understanding of our God, calls for worship of Him and a renewal of our faith. The One who has called us to Himself can capably care for us. He can see us, understand us, have compassion for us, and send help to us when we have no stores of our own.

We may be out of wine at a wedding. But, with Him in the room, we have all the resources we need to fulfill our responsibilities. (See the Parable in John 2:1-11.)


1 Tozer, A. W. The Knowledge of the Holy. New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers, 1961. Pp. 45-46.



Monday, January 21, 2019

All Things Hold Together


[Photo of a woman struggling to assemble a chair]

“He is before all things, and in
him all things hold together.”
—Colossians 1:17

God has gifted some people with the ability to put things together well and to even maintain them in proper working order. For me, things rarely work as I envision them. And, they certainly would not hold together through years of use and misuse.

Do you ever wonder how God keeps the runners’ legs from falling off in an Olympic race? Or, how He keeps a person’s heart from exploding when he or she gets overly excited? What about the way He can keep a child’s “feet on the ground” at Christmas time?

The Scripture verse above tells us that not only does God create everything, He also holds all things together!

I used to teach the song, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” at this time every year. I did so because history tells us that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. loved this particular spiritual. The song also certainly touches on the sovereign power of our God in holding everything in our world together.

Sometimes it feels like our personal “worlds” will surely blow apart. In response to such feelings, God speaks through the Psalmist Asaph in Psalm 75:3 and tells us:

“When the earth and all its people quake, it is I who hold its pillars firm.”

Ahh! What an assurance that verse brings. We can likewise say:

“When my world quakes, it is God who holds its pillars firm.”

We should say that sentence over and over until we realize that the Sovereign Lord holds us in His hands! Because He does so, we will not fall apart.



Monday, January 14, 2019

A Spoonful of Sugar


[Artist's rendering of a mom and two children]

“For men are not cast off by the Lord forever.
Though he brings grief, he will show
compassion, so great is his unfailing love.
For he does not willingly bring affliction
or grief to the children of men.”
—Lamentations 3:31-33

You have undoubtedly seen the Disney character, Mary Poppins, in the movie with that name, trying to get the Banks children to clean the messy nursery. She finally sings a song to them with the lyrics: “A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.”

An account records1 that after a struggle to come up with a song for the movie, lyricist Robert Sherman went home one evening to find that his children had just taken the Sabin polio vaccine. In asking if it hurt, his son explained that he had felt no pain because the nurse had given him the vaccine on a tiny sugar cube. This gave Sherman the inspiration he needed for the lyrics to the now-famous song.

When they suffer various problems and afflictions in their lives, I truly believe that God devises all kinds of “sugar” for His children. Though our troubles cause us great pain and anguish, God still sends His grace to help us bear the suffering. Our God pours into us as much—or even more—mercy as He may pour into us His discipline.

When I read the Old Testament Book of Judges, it always amazes me. Over and over again, God gives Israel a judge with His Word for them to follow. Once the judge dies, they begin to increase their sin and things go awry again.

The author of the Book of Judges records the length of time the children of Israel have to deal with their disobedience Then, God calls another judge. Each time, I read the words, “So the land had peace for ?? years,” I take particular note that the years of peace always exceed the years that they suffered war and turmoil.2

As we look back over the years of our lives, and as we move forward into the future, we must search for the grace that God sends us during our trials. We then must write the instances of His grace down! This little exercise will encourage us to see that God really does care, that He walks with us, and that He has gifts beyond our imagination to help us through the pain.

The Puritan writer, Thomas Watson, says it this way:3

He [God] will not over-afflict. He mixes mercy with all our afflictions. If he gives us wormwood to drink, he will mix it with honey. In every cloud a child of God may see a rainbow of mercy shining.


1 Sherman, Robert. A Spoonful of Sugar Online Disney Wiki.
2 For example: Judges 3:11, 3:30, 5:31, 8:28
3 Watson, Thomas, as quoted in Rushing, Richard, editor. Voices. Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2009. p. 228.



Monday, January 7, 2019



[Photo of woman praying]

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given to you as well.”
—Matthew 6:33

With what do you concern yourself the most? I can honestly say I spend most thought on those things that I can do nothing about except to pray. Jesus knew we tend to suffer most over things it would actually take a miracle of His grace to resolve.

In His Sermon of the Mount, Jesus used as His illustration the worries about food and clothing—something we would all commonly worry about if we didn’t have them. But, rather than telling His disciples to pray about those things, or giving them solutions to those potential problems, He tells us to put our minds first on His kingdom requirements and on the righteousness He expects of us.

Sometimes, in order to get our lives straightened around after a deeply embedded sin and its consequences, we think most about the consequences. Instead, Jesus turns this idea on its head and tells us to first take care of the sin problem. He is the very embodiment of righteousness. And, He has graciously made a way, through His death on the cross, to make us righteous, too. He speaks peace with the words, “I will take care of the other problems.”

Do we put His Kingdom first? Are we anxious about living righteously in our New Year? In each new day? At the beginning of a new venture? When we are faced with troubles?

I was interested to see that in James 5:13-16, where the Apostle teaches us about praying for a sick member of a congregation, he admonishes those praying to confess their sins one to another. Would we consider that important when a man’s or woman’s life hangs in the balance? Certainly God does.

As we begin another new year, whatever worries we may have, if we start by first dedicating ourselves to His kingdom work and His righteous requirements for our lives, we can remain assured that God has the power to act in our behalf. I love the way that Charles Spurgeon addresses this verse:1

What a promise this is! Food, raiment, home, and so forth, God undertakes to add to you while you seek Him. You mind His business, and He will mind yours. If you want paper and string, you get them given in when you buy more important goods; and just so all that we need of earthly things we shall have thrown in with the kingdom.


1 Spurgeon, Charles H. Faith’s Checkbook. Chicago: Moody Press, 1980. p. 150.