Monday, September 11, 2017

Psalm To See Me Through: Psalm 27: Courageous Trust

A Psalm of Fearless Trust in God.  A Psalm of David. 

The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life;
Whom shall I dread?
 {v.1}

When I was fourteen, I chose this verse for my confirmation graduation. I did not realize it at the time, but as I look back, this verse radically described my life. Elementary school is hard for most kids, but I had a particularly rough time. I spent my grade school years being ruthlessly picked on. My memories of second through eighth grades are miserable, with few exceptions. I remember feeling at the time, that God was my only friend.

As terrible as grade school was, and as mean as some of the kids were, they did not make death threats against me; I did not fear for my life. David faced real threats—threats that would have proved fatal had they succeeded. But David knew that the Lord was his light and salvation, he knew with all his heart that God was his defense. His confidence dispelled all fear. Whom shall I fear? is a rhetorical question. God was the defense of his life; nobody could harm him.



When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell. Though a host encamp against me, My heart will not fear; Though war arise against me, In spite of this I shall be confident {vv.2-3}.

The reason David has full confidence in God to protect Him, is that the Lord has proven Himself faithful time and again. He is speaking about those who came against him in the past tense. He is declaring what God had done for him before in defeating his enemies; this fuels his praise and bolsters his conviction. The imminent threat will not move him, he remains confident that even if his enemy broke through the wall and came in, he trusts the Lord without fear. I shall be confident—the Hebrew means literally “in this I trust.”[1]

One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord And to meditate in His temple {v.4}. 



When I read verse four, it causes me to think of a beautiful place, with a gorgeous view, one in which I could gaze for a long time, one that brings me rest and peace. David speaks of God’s sanctuary in this way. The house of the Lord is a place of peace and rest, and is also a place of refuge—a place to feel safe. David desires to spend the rest of his days in this beautiful house of peace and safety, and to gaze on the beauty of the Lord. To gaze on the Lord does not mean to catch a glimpse of Him once or twice, but it is rather a steady, sustained focus on the Lord and who He is—His person, not His hand; who He is, not what He can give. This is the best antidote for the fears that try to take our eyes of the One True God.  

“Note the singleness of purpose (one thing)—the best answer to distracting fears (cf. 1-3)—and the priorities within that purpose: to behold and to inquire; a preoccupation with God’s Person and will. It is the essence of worship; indeed of discipleship.”[2]

For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock. And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, And I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord {vv. 5-6}.

The sanctuary is a hiding place; a place of refuge. David knows the Lord will hide him there from the raging chaos of the world; the evil men that come against God’s anointed king. You and I should think of God and His sanctuary in the same way. It is His sanctuary where we gather to praise and worship Him for all He has done for us, and all that He will do in the future. We too, can trust Him without fear and in full confidence. It is by worshiping the Lord and praising Him for His faithfulness, and coming before Him in awe and wonder at who He is, that we are lifted up on a rock, above our enemies. Those who come against us lose when we approach the sanctuary, offer sacrifices to the Lord, and sing His praises with joy. The tent David speaks of is the Tabernacle of David which he pitched on Mt. Zion—it housed only the Ark of the Covenant—the place where God’s glory dwells.
Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice, And be gracious to me and answer me. When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, O Lord, I shall seek.” Do not hide Your face from me, Do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; Do not abandon me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation! For my father and my mother have forsaken me, But the Lord will take me up {vv.7-10}

David began his prayer with confident trust and unswerving faithfulness, even though his life was being threatened by a host of enemies. Something changed in David’s disposition {v.7}; he began to pray anxiously that God would not forsake him. Who has not encountered a day like David? One moment we are full of faith, and the next we are crashing on the rocks. I have. But David reaches inside and encourages himself in the Lord in whom he has placed his trust many times. He prays that God not forsake him as his mother and father had. Most scholars agree that David’s mother and father forsaking him is most likely hypothetical. But it speaks to David’s mindset, he truly believes the only refuge he has is the Lord—everyone else has left him. How can a mother forget her son? Isaiah’s words come to mind:

Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you {Is. 49:15 NASB}.

The Lord will take him up. This promise should encourage you as well. God will not forsake you or forget you. His love is far-reaching and never-ending.

Teach me Your way, O Lord, And lead me in a level path Because of my foes. Do not deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries, For false witnesses have risen against me, And such as breathe out violence. I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord {vv. 11-14}.

David’s confidence once again surfaced in the face of adversity. He encouraged himself to wait on the Lord. He knows God is faithful—and this goodness kept him from fainting under the oppression of the attack. David is not only a worshiper who seeks God’s face, but he is also a committed to following His statutes. He wants to live the way God wants him to, and he prays for the Lord to keep him on the right path.


David holds on to his faith in the Lord. Many of the psalms end with a victory praise, or an answered prayer, but here the psalmist stands in God’s sanctuary with his faith—his trust—to wait on the Lord. Here David exhibits courageous trust. There are times in life when it seems like all you have to hold on to is your faith; believing and trusting in God’s faithfulness. It takes courage to stand on your faith, and have confidence because you know the Lord and trust that He will not forsake you, even when you face adversity. Be strong and take courage…wait on the Lord.




To read all the Psalms in this series click here: Psalms To See Me Through


[1] Craig C. Broyles, Psalms (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1999), 142.
[2] Derek Kidner, Psalms 1-72 (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2008), 138.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Sabbath Sanctuary: For The Love Of Sunflowers

I love sunflowers. They have always been a favorite of mine, next to hydrangeas and lilacs! My grandmother used to paint sunflowers quiet often; a couple of her paintings hang on my walls.


This summer I planted red mammoth sunflowers, and I instantly fell in love! 


I love that the backs of the reds are a colorful mixture of red and yellow
The yellow and red mammoths' growing together are beautiful, and gives a gorgeous preview of fall (though I am not quiet ready to let go summer)!

I think the reason I am so obsessed with my sunflowers this year is that creation amazes me. I Have been posting on InstaGram about them. The creation story has been long on my mind. God is glorious, and wonderful, and His wisdom is displayed in creation. I have long wanted to write a study on the creation story, so look for that soon on the blog. 

Rest this Sabbath in God's sanctuary; you are surrounded by the beauty of His hand. 

Here is a pretty ending to the weekend---a small preview of my sunflowers: You can view it here: Piper's Farm .




Monday, July 3, 2017

Happy Independence Day!

So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” John 8:36 NASB
We have this day restored the Sovereign to Whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His kingdom come.” Samuel Adams
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

 
I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.” John Adams
Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight'
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming.
And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave? 
On the shore dimly seen, thro' the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream;
'Tis the star-spangled banner: oh, long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash'd out their foul footstep's pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Oh, thus be it ever when free men shall stand,
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Power that has made and preserved us as a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust";
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.


The Declaration of Independence


The National Anthem

Happy Independence Day! 



Sunday, April 16, 2017

Why do you weep? He is not here! He is risen!

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” 
So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb.  The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first; and stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in. And so Simon Peter also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself.  So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed. For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.  So the disciples went away again to their own homes.



But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying.  And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus.  Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher).  Jesus *said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and that He had said these things to her.

Garden Tomb: Jerusalem 1992


Friday, April 14, 2017

The Wonder of God's Word: The Prophecies of Christ’s Death

The Bible contains a plethora of prophecies over hundreds of years concerning the Messiah. These prophecies were fulfilled completely in the thirty-year precious life span of  Jesus of Nazareth; many being fulfilled in one day. These prophecies truly accomplish the purpose of the Lord for the earth and mankind. These prophecies carefully pointed to the person, words, and works of Christ.

The following Old Testament prophecies deal with events surrounding the crucifixion of Jesus Christ including His betrayal, trial, death and burial. They were uttered by many different prophets over a period of 500 years, yet they were all fulfilled within twenty-four hours on the day that He died for the sins of the world (Bible.org).



Prophecies Relating to Christ’s Crucifixion

SOLD FOR THIRTY PIECES OF SILVER

Prophecy:
And I said to them, “If it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if not, never mind!” So they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as my wages {Zechariah 11:12}.

Fulfillment:  
Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests, 15 and said, “What are you willing to give me to deliver Him up to you?” And they weighed out to him thirty pieces of silver {Matthew 26:14-15}.

 BETRAYED BY A FRIEND

Prophecy
For it is not an enemy who reproaches me, Then I could bear it; Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me, Then I could hide myself from him. 13 But it is you, a man my equal, My companion and my familiar friend. 14 We who had sweet fellowship together, Walked in the house of God in the throng {Psalm 55:12-14 See also Psalm 41:9Zechariah 13:6}.

Fulfillment:  And immediately he went to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. 50 And Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you have come for.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and seized Him {Matthew 26:49-50}.

THE MONEY CAST TO THE POTTER

Prophecy:
Then the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them.” So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the LORD { Zechariah 11:13}.

Fulfillment: 
And he threw the pieces of silver into the sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself. 6 And the chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the temple treasury, since it is the price of blood.” 7 And they counseled together and with the money bought the Potter’s Field as a burial place for strangers {Matthew 27:5-7}.

THE DISCIPLES FORSOOK HIM

Prophecy: 
“Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, And against the man, My Associate,” Declares the LORD of hosts. “Strike the Shepherd that the sheep may be scattered; And I will turn My hand against the little ones” {Zechariah 13:7}.

Fulfillment: 
“But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left Him and fled {Matthew 26:56; See also Mark 14:27}.

ACCUSED BY FALSE WITNESSES

Prophecy: 
Malicious witnesses rise up; They ask me of things that I do not know {Psalm 35:11}.

Fulfillment: 
Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, in order that they might put Him to death; and they did not find any, even though many false witnesses came forward. But later on two came forward {Matthew 26:59-60}.

SMITTEN AND SPIT UPON

Prophecy: 
I gave My back to those who strike Me, And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting {Isaiah 50:6}.

Fulfillment:
And they spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head {Matthew 27:30}.

DUMB BEFORE HIS ACCUSERS

Prophecy: 
 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth {Isaiah 53:7}.

Fulfillment: 
And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He made no answer. Then Pilate said to Him, “Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?” And He did not answer him with regard to even a single charge, so that the governor was quite amazed{Matthew 27:12-14 }.


WOUNDED AND BRUISED

Prophecy: 
But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed {Isaiah 53:5 }.

Fulfillment: 
Then he released Barabbas for them; but after having Jesus scourged, he delivered Him to be crucified. . . . And after weaving a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they kneeled down before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” {Matthew 27:26, 29}.

CARRYING THE CROSS

Prophecy: 
My knees are weak from fasting; And my flesh has grown lean, without fatness {Psalm 109:24}.

Fulfillment: 
They took Jesus therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha {John 19:17}. 

And when they led Him away, they laid hold of one Simon of Cyrene, coming in from the country, and placed on him the cross to carry behind Jesus {Luke 23:26}.



HANDS AND FEET PIERCED

Prophecy: 
For dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and my feet {Psalm 22:16}.

Fulfillment: 
And when they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left {Luke 23:33}.

CRUCIFIED WITH THIEVES

Prophecy: 
 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors {Isaiah 53:12}.

Fulfillment: 
And they crucified two robbers with Him, one on His right and one on His left. (And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And He was numbered with transgressors.”) {Mark 15:27-28}

PRAYED FOR HIS PERSECUTORS

Prophecy: 
Isaiah 53:12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors {Isaiah 53:12}.

Fulfillment: 
But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves {Luke 23:34}.

PEOPLE SHOOK THEIR HEADS
Prophecy: 
I also have become a reproach to them; When they see me, they wag their head {Psalm 109:25}.

Fulfillment: 
And those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads {Matthew 27:39}.

PEOPLE RIDICULED HIM

Prophecy: 
 “Commit yourself to the LORD; let Him deliver him; Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him” {Psalm 22:8}

Fulfillment:
 In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking Him, and saying,  “He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we shall believe in Him. “He trusts in God; let Him deliver Him now, if He takes pleasure in Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God’” {Matthew 27:41-43}.

PEOPLE ASTONISHED

Prophecy: 
 I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me {Psalm 22:17}

Fulfillment: 
 And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One” {Luke 23:35}.

GARMENTS PARTED AND LOTS CAST

Prophecy: 
 They divide my garments among them, And for my clothing they cast lots {Psalm 22:18}.

Fulfillment: 
The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part to every soldier and also the tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece. 24 They said therefore to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be”; that the Scripture might be fulfilled, “They divided My outer garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots” {John 19:23-24}.

BEING FORSAKEN

Prophecy: 
For the choir director; upon Aijeleth Hashshahar. A Psalm of David. My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning {Psalm 22:1}.

Fulfillment: 
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “ Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? “that is, “ My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” {Matthew 27:46}.

GALL AND VINEGAR

Prophecy: 
They also gave me gall for my food, And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink {Psalm 69:21 }.

Fulfillment: 
 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop, and brought it up to His mouth {John 19:28-29}.

COMMITTED HIS SPIRIT TO GOD

Prophecy: 
 Into Thy hand I commit my spirit; Thou hast ransomed me, O LORD, God of truth {Psalm 31:5}.

Fulfillment: 
And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Thy hands I commit My spirit.” And having said this, He breathed His last {Luke 23:46}.

FRIENDS STOOD AFAR OFF

Prophecy: 
 My loved ones and my friends stand aloof from my plague; And my kinsmen stand afar off {Psalm 38:11}.

Fulfillment: 
And all His acquaintances and the women who accompanied Him from Galilee, were standing at a distance, seeing these things {Luke 23:49}.


BONES NOT BROKEN

Prophecy: 
He keeps all his bones; Not one of them is broken {Psalm 34:20}.

Fulfillment:
But coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs; . . For these things came to pass, that the Scripture might be fulfilled,” Not a bone of Him shall be broken {John 19:33, 36}.

HEART BROKEN

Prophecy: 
 I am poured out like water, And all my bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It is melted within me {Psalm 22:14}.

Fulfillment: 
 but one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water {John 19:34}.

HIS SIDE PIERCED

Prophecy: 
 “And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born {Zechariah 12:10}.

Fulfillment:
But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water. And he who has seen has borne witness, and his witness is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. For these things came to pass, that the Scripture might be fulfilled,” Not a bone of Him shall be broken. “And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced” {John 19:34-37}.

DARKNESS OVER THE LAND

Prophecy: 
 “And it will come about in that day,” declares the Lord GOD, “That I shall make the sun go down at noon And make the earth dark in broad daylight {Amos 8:9}.

Fulfillment: 
 Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour {Matthew 27:45}.

BURIED IN A RICH MAN’S TOMB

Prophecy: 
His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth {Isaiah 53:9}.

Fulfillment: 
And when it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given over to him. And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away {Matthew 27:57-60 }.




Friday, April 7, 2017

The Attributes Of God: His Transcendence and Immanence

What is it like for God’s holy transcendence to appear on this unholy planet? [1]

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9, NASB).

I have written before, that I love creation. I love witnessing the character and attributes of God displayed in creation. I love the beauty of creation waking up out of the winter, into the arms of spring.





Though I love creation, I love the Creator, who transcends it all. He is wonderful and beautiful. He is magnificent and glorious; He is the incomprehensible Creator who exists outside of space and time. Transcend means to exist above and independent from; to rise above, surpass, succeed. The Lord {El Shaddai} created the mountains, the oceans; He created the stars and named each one. Everything seen and unseen are the work of His hand. God did not have to create anything, He chose to do so as a sovereign act; nothing outside of Himself caused Him to do so. Eph. 1:11 declares that God works all things after the counsel of His will. The Lord is unique; He is the only transcendent Being. He is above and distinct from all He has made.  Ephesians 4: 6 declares that there is one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Psalm 97:9 says, For You are the Lord Most High over all the earth; You are exalted far above all gods {cf. 108:5}. All things are upheld by His mighty power {Heb. 1:3}, yet He is upheld by Himself alone. The whole universe exists in Him and for Him that He may receive glory, honor, and praise.


God’s transcendence is illustrated for us through the Word by His holiness and righteousness; revealed to us in Jesus Christ. How can a holy God, who transcends all that He created, be present with such a lost and broken planet, filled with lost and broken people? Closely tied to His transcendence is His immanence (nearness). It is in His immanence that God chooses to draw near to His creation and to sustain it through the Son:

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 {Col. 1:15-17 NASB}.

Jesus Christ tore the veil {Heb. 10:20; Eph. 2:14} of separation to draw all mankind into a close, personal relationship with Him. He who transcends His creation, in His love chose to not only draw near, but to dwell with His creation, in Christ, the Word made flesh {Jn. 1: 1-5, 14-18}, to break the bonds of sin, and to live in our hearts and minds through the indwelling power of His Holy Spirit.

God’s transcendence is vital to our lives. He is bigger than any problem or trial that we face. How can we not trust Him? He holds the universe together. He is powerful and mighty enough to create and hold all things together, He is powerful and mighty enough to hold you and me together through every trial.  We experience His mighty power when we trust in Him, and when we worship Him with our whole heart; acknowledging His greatness, power, and magnificence. We experience His immanence when we draw near to Him, through Christ and His Spirit dwelling in our hearts. James encourages us to draw near to Him, and He will draw near to us {4:8}, and Peter encourages us to cast all our cares on Him {1 Pet. 5:7}, because He cares for us! This great, big, transcendent Creator of the universe cares about you and loves you—so much that He came to dwell with you, and take care of you.

The Disciples who walked the earth with Jesus, broke bread with Him, were His closest companions, witnessed His transcendence and immanence. They are with Him to feed the five-thousand {Matt. 14:13-21} or to heal a woman bound by Satan for eighteen-years {Luke 13:15-17}; He washed their feet {John 13:1-17}. They see Him in His immanence, drawing near to care for all mankind, to give hope to the hopeless and to release the captives {cf. Is. 61:1-3 ; Lk. 4: 17-19}. He displayed His transcendence and divine power when He transfigured before them, drawing them to their knees in awe and wonder {Matthew 17}.  He is their Rabbi and friend, but He is also the Lord Almighty, all-powerful and glorious.










We, too, can experience both God’s immanence and transcendence through our relationship with Jesus, and in our prayers and worship. We must worship Him, acknowledging His transcendence, that He is the One True God, all-mighty, and all-powerful, who created and holds together the universe, and His immanence by approaching the Throne of Grace {Heb. 4:16}, to receive the grace we need, and cast our cares on Him{1 Pet. 5:7}, because though He is the transcendent God, in His immanence He truly cares for you.


 [1] D. Brent Sandy, Plowshares And Pruning Hooks (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2002), 77.