Sep 05 2018
God named Ishmael ‘God hears’ before he was born. Years later, God heard Ishmael’s cry when he was perishing in the wilderness and opened his mother’s eyes to see a spring of water from which she gave him drink – and he lived!
Islam claims Ishmael as a spiritual forefather. Today’s
Muslims are in the wilderness perishing and crying out for living water. Let the Church pray to the Father to reveal the well of living water, Jesus, so they might live!
No shadow of turning
The hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness” has the wonderful expression, that “there is no shadow of turning with Thee/Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not….” As I was praising God with Psalm 98 this morning, I was impacted by verses 3 & 9: “He has remembered His love and His faithfulness to Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God…He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity.” God’s never-ending faithfulness to Israel is a sign to all the nations that He is faithful and that He WILL extend His compassion to the nations with fairness and justice (i.e. equity).
The September long weekend marks the beginning of a new and busy season. Students have returned to schools, colleges and universities. Holiday mode is over, and routine sets in again – perhaps a relief, and for most of us, likely very busy. Meanwhile, current events have not given us a rest over the summer, nor should we expect that the coming fall and winter will be any quieter.
Now is a good time to remind ourselves of Who is reigning from Heaven’s throne, and to re-establish our peace and security in Him alone. Any believers confronting today’s challenges to living out our Christian faith in personal lifestyle and participation in public life need to regularly immerse ourselves in His Presence so that we fear the Lord alone, lean not on our own understanding but trust in Him, live in the shalom of God, and go out into the world as His ambassadors in full confidence of His Kingship and His victory over all.
Fear the Lord alone
Meditate on one or more of the theophanies [visible manifestations of God to humans] in the Bible: Isaiah 6:1-8; Ezekiel 1 & 10; Daniel 10:1-19; Acts 9:1-19; Revelation 1:9-18, 4 & 19:11-21. Worship Him and praise Him aloud. Psalm 25:14 reveals the reward for those who fear the Lord: “The Lord confides in those who fear Him; He makes His covenant known to them.”
Lean not on our own understanding, but trust in Him The counsel of Proverbs 3:5-6 is foundational to peace and to wisdom. If we submit to Him, “He will make [our] paths straight.” Confess areas where you’ve been acting on your own understanding or in worldly wisdom, ask Him to forgive you and repent (turn) by throwing off this hindrance and fixing your eyes on Jesus instead. Your reward will be the sure hope of joy unspeakable, endurance and authority (Heb 12:1-3)!
Live in the shalom of God
Strong’s Concordance 7965 includes under shalom completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony and the absence of agitation or discord. Shalom results only from abiding in Christ, who abides in the Father. Explore with the Lord how you can grow in His shalom such that it overflows to others.
Be His ambassadors
An ambassador is accredited by a state to be its permanent representative in a foreign nation. “We are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal [for reconciliation with Him] through us” (2 Co 5:20). Ask the Lord to remove false identities, such as those arising out of Western culture or church culture, that prevent others from recognizing Christ in us. Pray that in this coming season, we would actively and accurately represent Christ to others – including Muslims.
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