who look to other gods

Then the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by a lover and is committing adultery, just like the love of the Lord for the children of Israel, who look to other gods. . .” Hosea 3:1 

Something caught their eye. Maybe they were curious. . .maybe the other gods looked appealing. They weren’t fully content or satisfied in what they had, so they were aware to the possibility of something – or someone – else.

Looking at something compels a thought and maybe an action. Looking at the mountains will probably make you want to go visit them. Looking at an ice-cream sundae will make you want to eat it. Through the eye, our souls behold – when we look at God, we will be compelled to worship Him. Let our eyes be turned upon Him. Let the focus of our gaze be Him. Let us be filled and satisfied in Him until there are not any other options.

Do you know what happens when you turn to look at something? You turn away from everything else. When you are turned to God, you lose sight of all that is not God.

Every moment of your day, you have a choice of what or who you are going to turn to. It is a constant exercise of soul and mind to turn ourselves TO God, and to STAY turned to God.

Are you satisfied in God?

. . .or are there other options for you?

turn your eyes upon Jesus
look full in His wonderful face
and the things of earth
will grow strangely dim
in the light of His glory & grace.

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worth it all.

I’ve been pondering the truth lately that Christ is worth it. Worth it all.

“For this light affliction which is but for a moment is working in us a far greater eternal weight of glory. . .” (2 Corinthians 4:17)

Honestly, all fades when we truly focus on Christ and evaluate. I realize that yes. . .indeed, He is worthy. “Find in Me thine all in all,” He says. Because all in all IS found in Him – and because of that He is worth and worthy of everything we are and everything we have.

He is worth skipping meals for.
He is worth being a “servant of all” for.
He is worth late nights and early mornings.
He is worth physical pain and physical suffering.
He is worth missing time with friends.
He is worth not getting married.
He is worth a season of serving and waiting.

He is worth it all. There should be nothing that I’m not willing to do for Him – whether that be “indirectly” for other people, or whether that be simply sitting at His feet, worshiping Him. There should be no hesitation.

He is worth _________. Does anything not fill in the blank?

what are you willing to give up. . .

“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know Him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like Him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” {Philippians 3:7-14}

WHATEVER gain I had, I count it as loss. Why? For the sake of Christ. EVERYTHING I own, everything I treasure, everything I esteem; I count it as rubbish. Why? Because knowing Christ is of far surpassing worth. ALL THINGS I have suffered the loss of – even counting them as dung. Why? So that I may gain Christ. . .and not just gain Him, but also be found in Him. I count it all as loss so that I may know Him. 

One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; 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 inquire in his temple. {Psalm 27:4}

It should actually be our greatest joy to leave all behind to follow Christ. It was for the joy set before Him that He endured the cross; why wouldn’t it be for the joy set before us that we count everything else as trash?

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.” {Matthew 13:44}

Our mindset? There is treasure – precious treasure – that is attainable. So let me go and give up, with joy, all of these temporary things – these pilgrim possessions –  and trade them in for something that is lasting and of eternal worth.

Gladly would I leave behind me
All the pleasure I have known
To pursue surpassing treasures
At the throne of God the Son
Worthy of unending worship
Love and loveliness is He
By His precious death were millions
From the jaws of death set free

Gladly would I give to Jesus
All affection, everything
For the washing of His mercy
Makes my ransomed heart to sing
“Holy, holy!” is the chorus
Rising up from those who see
Christ exalted, bright and burning
Full of pow’r and purity

Where else can I go? 
Jesus, You’re the One 
That I was made to know 
What else can I do? 
Jesus, You’re my all 
I gladly run to You 

Gladly would I flee temptations
For their troubles fill my life
Turn and seek my God and Savior
For His goodness satisfies
Earthly treasures, all are passing
Thieves break in and rust destroys
But in God are awesome splendor
Love, and everlasting joys!

{Gladly Would I Leave Behind Me | Sovereign Grace}

what are you willing to give up for more of Christ?

immanuel: God with us

“But will God indeed dwell with men on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. . .” (1 Chronicles 6:18)

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)

“In the And the word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:14)

ImmanuelGod with us.

God. He created the world. He created you. He holds his enemies in contempt and laughs at them in derision. He scorns the wicked and has conquered the wicked one. He is the Almighty Defender; the Son of God; the Holy, Holy, Holy One. He is the Shield, the Strong Tower, the Mighty One. He is the Perfect Father. He is the One who causes the sun to rise up every day and decides where the lightening should strike; His voice is like the thunderings of many waters. His name is Faithful and True. He is love. He is mercy. He is truth. He is strength. He is peace.

With.  “In what sense then, is Christ GOD WITH US? Jesus is called Immanuel, or God with us, in his incarnationGod with us, by the influences of his Holy Spirit, in the holy sacrament, in the preaching of his word, in private prayer. And God with us, through every action of our life, that we begin, continue, and end in his name. He is God with us, to comfortenlightenprotect, and defend us, in every time of temptation and trial, in the hour of death, in the day of judgment; and God with us and in us, and we with and in him, to all eternity.” (Clarke)

Us. The sinner, the unrighteous, the undeserving. The one who has spurned Him and held Him in contempt. The powerless and the utterly weak.

In light of the fact that God is with you, should you live differently? Should you speak differently? Should you share the gospel differently?

Jesus is Immanuel – God with us.  The Almighty Conquerer alongside the undeserving. Let us live in this beautiful truth!

let all mortal flesh keep silence

Let all mortal flesh keep silence
And with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly minded,
For with blessing in his hand
Christ our God to earth descending
Comes our homage to demand.

King of kings yet born of Mary,
As of old on earth he stood,
Lord of lords in human vesture,
In the body and the blood,
He will give to all the faithful
His own self for heavenly food.

Rank on rank the host of heaven
Spreads it vanguard on the way
As the Light of Light, descending
From the realms of endless day,
Comes the powers of hell to vanquish
As the darkness clears away.

At his feet the six winged seraph,
Cherubim with sleepless eye,
Veil their faces to the presence
As with ceaseless voice they cry:
“Alleluia, alleluia! Alleluia, Lord Most High!”

When In Christ We Come To God

When in Christ we Come to God

When in Christ we come to God
His life in exchange for our sin
We fall at His feet with tears on our face
And say, “Lord, I am thine”.

When in Christ we come to God
We’re seen as perfect righteousness
Tenderly robed in the garments He gave
We’re clothed in His holiness.

Peace through the blood of His cross
Is given for all who believe
A solace of comfort and rest
Because of His nail-scarred feet. 

When in Christ we come to God
We’re seen as mighty conquerors
By faith we have seen the triumph of Christ
And speak of His victory sure.

When in Christ we come to God
With He in us, and we in Him
We’re found as one, joined in covenant true
A love bonding friend to friend.

When in Christ we come to God
That day when His judgment is giv’n
He’ll say, “Well done, my beloved begotten;
You’re in Christ; welcome into heav’n.”

“…having made peace through the blood of His cross…” -Colossians 1:20

seeking Him

“But He turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” Matthew 16:23

Let me just ask this question…do you have more understanding of the things of men or the things of God?

What is your thought process throughout the day – does it reflect the things of God or is it constantly fixed upon the temporal things of the world? What flows easily out of your mouth; facts about sports, celebrities, country music or the things of the Lord? We know from reading the Scripture that a constant gaze and focus on the Lord will cause an outflow of the fruit of the Gospel in our lives.

Do you know God? I know that you know about God, but do you know Him? I think that if we truly knew God, He would be all we talked about and thought about. Do you spend more time just basking in His presence, getting to know Him, than you spend on the internet reading the news, listening to country music, or on Facebook?

I want to leave you with encouragement. No matter how busy you are, if you are doing what the Lord has called you to do, His presence is always with you (Ps. 46:1). He is always there. And, without fail, He will fill your mouth if you open it to Him (Ps. 81:10). He is not a dead God. He is alive, and He knows those who seek Him.

So seek Him. Seek Him with all that you have. Don’t waste your life on chasing the temporary. Go for the eternal.