I remember when I first had this aha. I remember how my math background with relationship to dimensions seem to make it become clear to me how God could reach in and touch someone without anyone seeing it. I remember having conversations with people and watching their eyes gloss over till I brought it from beyond the 3rd dimension down to 2D/3D comparison. Since God is outside and far beyond 3D, if we extend the story I am about to tell you from a 2D/3D perspective it seems to add up how God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine.
Here is my analogy that I share. Imagine a creator in the 3D world (you or me) and a creation in a 2D world (characters we draw on a piece of paper). The person on the paper can only see in the paper, that is it’s 2D world. They can’t see up from the paper, only within the paper. Now if we happened to draw a hand wrong or a crooked arm or some other characteristic and the 2D person was concerned because their hand was weird or their head was too big or … then we could have the ability to come in from the top (which they can’t see) erase the issue and redraw it answering their prayer. They would as would their friends in the 2D world just experienced a miracle! Might they be afraid? Sure! How would you respond if your hand disappeared? Might they freak out when a new and improved one perfectly proportioned appears? Probably! Now what if that stick person believed there was a creator because he had seen grass appear, trees appear, the sun in the sky, clouds, and more. What if when they had a situation they asked the creator and they updated and changed the picture? What if they had a relationship where the stick person trusted the creator or artist? Imagine how that would be! Trust! Hope! Love! Friendship! Intimacy!
When we extrapolate this to us in 3D world and we know God is at least beyond 4D (which most of us call time, since God is outside of time) but how many dimensions is He beyond that, we will have to wait till we get to meet with Him before we will get a chance to ask and find that out! God is able and willing to answer our prayers! His ways are not our ways and as we learned the other day He knows what is best and so sometimes His answer is yes, sometimes it is no, and sometimes it is wait He has something better planned. So we need to trust Him! We need to build up our relationship with Him! God created us to be in an intimate relationship with Him! We weren’t created to be robots who just obey commands, we were created on purpose, for a purpose, with a purpose so that we could love God and be in a relationship with Him! So we need to go beyond the He is out there somewhere and start grasping He is Emmanuel, God with us! He is right here, right now and wants to be in relationship with us! So have you started your friendship with God? Have you asked Jesus into your heart? Have you decided to follow after Him? Has your journey with God begun as a friendship and relationship rather than a concept or as something out there somewhere? If not, why not start today? Why not ask Jesus into your heart and start the journey of LOVE with Him? If not now then when? If now here then where? If now you then who? If not by asking Him in then how? So the ball is in your court because you have the freewill to choose! What are you going to do with it?
Math and Science pointed me to how God exists. Math and Science revealed to me how it makes sense. Math and Science reveal the creator. Match and Science reveal His creation! The more we learn the more we see how it is possible! Unlike math proofs, it may not be easy to prove, but from my experiences and my relationship with God, I know He is for real and I know that Jesus took me from where I was to where I needed to be to truly start a friendship with Him! He took me from the excuses to a divine encounter! He took me from too busy to bother to being even busier and need Him too much to miss going and being filled by His Word and being surrounded by His people. Thank You Jesus for making a way when there didn’t seem to be a way. Thank You Jesus for divinely putting me somewhere that would allow me to hear from You! Thank You Jesus for saving me and my family! Thank You Jesus for bringing my family to the truth of who You are so young in their lives so that hopefully they won’t have to go thru all the challenges I did because they can learn from me rather than going through it all on their own. Lord, I thank you and praise You because I love You and You deserve it!
Day 33: Bible In One Year 2017 Psalm 18:7-15, Matthew 21:33-46, Matthew 22:1-14, Job 25, Job 26, Job 27, Job 28, Job 29
Today’s devotional has two words we need to probably get out there and defined before we just jump in: Transcendence and Immanence.
Worship the transcendent God and love his awesome presence … Psalm 18:7-15
7The earth trembled and quaked,and the foundations of the mountains shook;they trembled because he was angry. 8Smoke rose from his nostrils;consuming fire came from his mouth,burning coals blazed out of it. 9He parted the heavens and came down;dark clouds were under his feet. 10He mounted the cherubim and flew;he soared on the wings of the wind. 11He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him—the dark rain clouds of the sky. 12Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced,with hailstones and bolts of lightning. 13The Lord thundered from heaven;the voice of the Most High resounded. 14He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy,with great bolts of lightning he routed them. 15The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at your rebuke, Lord,at the blast of breath from your nostrils.
–from Psalm 18
Do you hate evil? Do you get angry when you see evil taking place? Do you see the evil taking place in this world? Are you doing anything? Not maliciously but rather out of the love for people? When I think of what is taking place in this world and what impact I can make, I consider the world of foster kids and what I might be able to do for them. Do you realize the number of them who get drawn in or pulled into the world of human trafficking? Do you realize the number of them who have been abused or neglected as children? Do you realize the number of them who have been tortured? So we need to step up and step in to help them realize they are valued and they are loved! We need to keep them from people who will manipulate them and torture them. We need to provide ways for them to know they are important to God and important to us! We need to provide opportunities be it through after school programs or mentoring programs or camps to share the love of God with them! We can make a difference! Do you realize there is a crisis where the number of place open to foster care kids is shrinking while at the same time the need is growing? We need to choose to do something! We need to choose to be Jesus’ hands healing and arms embracing! We need to choose to step out of our comfort zone and into God’s mission field! A few days at camp makes a difference! It provides hope! Can you go? Can you send others? Can you support? Can you pray? How will you be a part today?
Today’s devotional speaks to today’s reading like this:
David speaks of the awesome presence of God: ‘The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook… Out of the brightness of his presence… The Lord thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded’ (vv.7,12–13).
In this psalm we see both the power and the anger of the transcendent God: ‘They trembled because he was angry’ (v.7). God’s anger (though never malicious) is his personal reaction against sin.
If we look at human trafficking, the abuse of children, institutional torture or some other terrible injustice without feeling any anger, we are failing to love. Indignation against evil is an essential element of goodness. In this psalm we see that God’s anger is the reverse side of his love.
Yet, this is a psalm in which David expresses his intimate friendship with God. It begins, ‘I love you, O Lord, my strength’ (v.1). David did not take it for granted. He understood the immense privilege of having an intimate friendship with the transcendent God.
Accept God’s invitation and enjoy his intimate friendship … Matthew 21:33-22:14
Do you realize how great and generous God is? Do you realize how great His love is for you? Do you realize the generosity He desires to share with you? Love is more than just an emotion! Love is a way of life! Do you remember what 1 Corinthians 13 said about love? Do you remember that God is love?
33 “Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. 34When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit. 35 “The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. 36Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. 37Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said. 38 “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ 39So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40 “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 41“He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,” they replied, “and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.” 42Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “ ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’ ? 43 “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. 44Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”45When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. 46They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.
–from Matthew 21
1Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: 2“The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. 3He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come. 4 “Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’ 5 “But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. 6The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. 7The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. 8 “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. 9So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ 10So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests. 11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless. 13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
–from Matthew 22
Do you realize the reverse of God’s love and mercy is judgment? Do you realize that when people reject God’s love and do evil they are setting themselves up for God’s judgment? Do you realize the invitation God has put out there to be able to have an intimate friendship with Him? Will you receive it like someone who is invited to a banquet or will you reject it? What if He keeps the open invitation out there? What if He keeps asking? Will you miss out on the future He has available for you by rejecting or coming up with excuses why you can’t or you shouldn’t? God and His ways aren’t somber, dull or boring! We just read how it was described as a party! Having a relationship with God and getting to be a friend and a part of His family is bright and cheerful! It’s interesting and clever! It’s exciting, eventful, interesting, lively, new, and fascinating! So let’s party with God! Let’s celebrate what He has already done, is doing, and will do in and through our lives! Let’s come together and be the body of Christ in this world!
Today’s devotional concludes with:
God’s invitation is not something you should take lightly or flippantly. It is an amazing and wonderful invitation. It is a huge privilege that a transcendent God invites you to have an intimate friendship with him. However, it is not enough simply to go along. You need the right wedding clothes (vv.11–13). You cannot enter the kingdom of heaven on your own terms – only on Jesus’ terms. Thankfully, through his death and resurrection and the gift of the Holy Spirit, Jesus has provided the clothes you need.
Understand the transcendence of God and know his immanence … Job 25:1-29:25
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the troubles or trials that come your way and start questioning life or God? Let’s not forget the promises of God and let’s grab hold of the things we can learn through our reading in Job!
Jesus told us that “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” We are also told that we are to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds! That’s “because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
We see how Job understood the transcendence of God! He knows God’s power! And that God is powerful enough to help us! God is powerful enough to help you and loves you enough to do so! Job shares this in revealing how he know God’s immanence!
Let’s respect and love God! Let’s live our lives in a way that shows Him the love and respect He deserves!
Today’s devotional summarizes today’s reading from Job the following way:
Job understood the transcendence of God. He says, ‘I will teach you about the power of God’ (27:11a). He points out that everything we see of God’s power in the natural world around is only ‘the outer fringe of his works’ (v.12).
God is powerful enough to help you.
God is not only powerful enough to help you; he also loves you enough to do so. Job knew all about the immanence of God. He had experienced ‘God’s intimate friendship’ (29:4) where true wisdom is to be found.
‘Fear-of-the-Lord – that’s Wisdom, and Insight means shunning evil’ (v.28, MSG). The ‘fear-of-the-Lord’ means respect for God. It is in this respectful relationship with God that we find wisdom. Now we know that Jesus Christ is the wisdom of God. It is in an intimate friendship with him that you find true wisdom.
Job describes the immense value of this wisdom: ‘Where can wisdom be found?… It cannot be bought with the finest gold, nor can its price be weighed in silver… God understands the way to it and he alone knows where it dwells… “The fear of the Lord – that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding”’ (28:12,15–28).
What kind of life does this lead to? It will lead to shunning evil (v.28) and serving the poor (29:12). Job describes a truly righteous life as helping ‘the poor… the fatherless… [the] dying… the widow… the blind… the lame… the needy… the stranger’ (vv.12–16). Job was concerned not only with poverty but also with justice: ‘I put on righteousness as my clothing; justice was my robe and my turban… I broke the fangs of the wicked and snatched the victims from their teeth’ (vv.14,17).
As you draw close to God in intimate friendship, his concerns become your concerns. Like Job, you will desire to help the poor, the fatherless, the homeless and the widows. You want to rescue victims of injustice. You will seek to look after the blind, the lame, the needy and the refugees in your land.
Job had not actually lost his intimate friendship with God. But, at the point that he was writing, he had lost any tangible feeling of it. He was going through the most appalling suffering. It seemed to him that God was miles away. You may be experiencing something like this at the moment. If you are, be encouraged by the story of Job.
When we come to the end of the book of Job, we understand that God had never left him. God was going to bless him more than he could ever ask or even imagine. God would restore to him the sense of his intimate friendship.
Now, through Jesus, all of us can experience an intimate friendship with the transcendent God and know his ultimate blessing on our lives.
So let’s read over today’s reading from Job and consider how we can build up our relationship with Jesus and glorify God!
Bildad1Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:2“Dominion and awe belong to God;he establishes order in the heights of heaven.3Can his forces be numbered?On whom does his light not rise?4How then can a mortal be righteous before God?How can one born of woman be pure?5If even the moon is not brightand the stars are not pure in his eyes,6how much less a mortal, who is but a maggot—a human being, who is only a worm!”–from Job 25
Job1Then Job replied:
2“How you have helped the powerless!
How you have saved the arm that is feeble!
3What advice you have offered to one without wisdom!
And what great insight you have displayed!
4Who has helped you utter these words?
And whose spirit spoke from your mouth?
5“The dead are in deep anguish,
those beneath the waters and all that live in them.
6The realm of the dead is naked before God;
Destruction lies uncovered.
7He spreads out the northern skies over empty space;
he suspends the earth over nothing.
8He wraps up the waters in his clouds,
yet the clouds do not burst under their weight.
9He covers the face of the full moon,
spreading his clouds over it.
10He marks out the horizon on the face of the waters
for a boundary between light and darkness.
11The pillars of the heavens quake,
aghast at his rebuke.
12By his power he churned up the sea;
by his wisdom he cut Rahab to pieces.
13By his breath the skies became fair;
his hand pierced the gliding serpent.
14And these are but the outer fringe of his works;
how faint the whisper we hear of him!
Who then can understand the thunder of his power?”
Job’s Final Word to His Friends1And Job continued his discourse:
2“As surely as God lives, who has denied me justice,
the Almighty, who has made my life bitter,
3as long as I have life within me,
the breath of God in my nostrils,
4my lips will not say anything wicked,
and my tongue will not utter lies.
5I will never admit you are in the right;
till I die, I will not deny my integrity.
6I will maintain my innocence and never let go of it;
my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live.
7“May my enemy be like the wicked,
my adversary like the unjust!
8For what hope have the godless when they are cut off,
when God takes away their life?
9Does God listen to their cry
when distress comes upon them?
10Will they find delight in the Almighty?
Will they call on God at all times?
11“I will teach you about the power of God;
the ways of the Almighty I will not conceal.
12You have all seen this yourselves.
Why then this meaningless talk?
13“Here is the fate God allots to the wicked,
the heritage a ruthless man receives from the Almighty:
14However many his children, their fate is the sword;
his offspring will never have enough to eat.
15The plague will bury those who survive him,
and their widows will not weep for them.
16Though he heaps up silver like dust
and clothes like piles of clay,
17what he lays up the righteous will wear,
and the innocent will divide his silver.
18The house he builds is like a moth’s cocoon,
like a hut made by a watchman.
19He lies down wealthy, but will do so no more;
when he opens his eyes, all is gone.
20Terrors overtake him like a flood;
a tempest snatches him away in the night.
21The east wind carries him off, and he is gone;
it sweeps him out of his place.
22It hurls itself against him without mercy
as he flees headlong from its power.
23It claps its hands in derision
and hisses him out of his place.”
Interlude: Where Wisdom Is Found1There is a mine for silver
and a place where gold is refined.
2Iron is taken from the earth,
and copper is smelted from ore.
3Mortals put an end to the darkness;
they search out the farthest recesses
for ore in the blackest darkness.
4Far from human dwellings they cut a shaft,
in places untouched by human feet;
far from other people they dangle and sway.
5The earth, from which food comes,
is transformed below as by fire;
6lapis lazuli comes from its rocks,
and its dust contains nuggets of gold.
7No bird of prey knows that hidden path,
no falcon’s eye has seen it.
8Proud beasts do not set foot on it,
and no lion prowls there.
9People assault the flinty rock with their hands
and lay bare the roots of the mountains.
10They tunnel through the rock;
their eyes see all its treasures.
11They search the sources of the rivers
and bring hidden things to light.
12But where can wisdom be found?
Where does understanding dwell?
13No mortal comprehends its worth;
it cannot be found in the land of the living.
14The deep says, “It is not in me”;
the sea says, “It is not with me.”
15It cannot be bought with the finest gold,
nor can its price be weighed out in silver.
16It cannot be bought with the gold of Ophir,
with precious onyx or lapis lazuli.
17Neither gold nor crystal can compare with it,
nor can it be had for jewels of gold.
18Coral and jasper are not worthy of mention;
the price of wisdom is beyond rubies.
19The topaz of Cush cannot compare with it;
it cannot be bought with pure gold.
20Where then does wisdom come from?
Where does understanding dwell?
21It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing,
concealed even from the birds in the sky.
22Destruction and Death say,
“Only a rumor of it has reached our ears.”
23God understands the way to it
and he alone knows where it dwells,
24for he views the ends of the earth
and sees everything under the heavens.
25When he established the force of the wind
and measured out the waters,
26when he made a decree for the rain
and a path for the thunderstorm,
27then he looked at wisdom and appraised it;
he confirmed it and tested it.
28And he said to the human race,
“The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom,
and to shun evil is understanding.”
Job’s Final Defense1Job continued his discourse:
2“How I long for the months gone by,
for the days when God watched over me,
3when his lamp shone on my head
and by his light I walked through darkness!
4Oh, for the days when I was in my prime,
when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house,
5when the Almighty was still with me
and my children were around me,
6when my path was drenched with cream
and the rock poured out for me streams of olive oil.
7“When I went to the gate of the city
and took my seat in the public square,
8the young men saw me and stepped aside
and the old men rose to their feet;
9the chief men refrained from speaking
and covered their mouths with their hands;
10the voices of the nobles were hushed,
and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths.
11Whoever heard me spoke well of me,
and those who saw me commended me,
12because I rescued the poor who cried for help,
and the fatherless who had none to assist them.
13The one who was dying blessed me;
I made the widow’s heart sing.
14I put on righteousness as my clothing;
justice was my robe and my turban.
15I was eyes to the blind
and feet to the lame.
16I was a father to the needy;
I took up the case of the stranger.
17I broke the fangs of the wicked
and snatched the victims from their teeth.
18“I thought, ‘I will die in my own house,
my days as numerous as the grains of sand.
19My roots will reach to the water,
and the dew will lie all night on my branches.
20My glory will not fade;
the bow will be ever new in my hand.’
21“People listened to me expectantly,
waiting in silence for my counsel.
22After I had spoken, they spoke no more;
my words fell gently on their ears.
23They waited for me as for showers
and drank in my words as the spring rain.
24When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it;
the light of my face was precious to them.
25I chose the way for them and sat as their chief;
I dwelt as a king among his troops;
I was like one who comforts mourners.