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Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Refreshed and Strengthened in God's Presence

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I was reading from Psalm 150:1-6 NLT this morning which is composed of just six verses of heart-felt praise! It’s a Psalm exhorting us to praise God for all His majesty and greatness. Verse 2 saying, "Praise Him for His mighty works; praise His unequaled greatness!" 

As I was reading Psalm 150, suddenly the Lord brought another verse to my remembrance. It was from Colossians 3:2 NKJV that says, “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”  I knew the Lord was telling me to read Psalm 150 with my heart instead of just my head. "Set your affection on things above..." seemed to shout out to me. I read through Psalm 150 differently. I began to meditate on each verse. Verse one says,”Praise the Lord in His Sanctuary.” I began to think about God in His Sanctuary—in His Heavenly Home and our future home. Jesus said before He arose into Heaven, “I am going to prepare a place for you…”

Then I remembered that the Apostle John had described God’s Sanctuary in a vision in Revelation 4:2-11 NLT saying, “And instantly I (John) was in the Spirit, and I saw a throne in heaven and someone sitting on it! The one sitting on the throne was as brilliant as gemstones—jasper and carnelian. And the glow of an emerald circled his throne like a rainbow. Twenty-four thrones surrounded him, and twenty-four elders sat on them. They were all clothed in white and had gold crowns on their heads. And from the throne came flashes of lightning and the rumble of thunder. And in front of the throne were seven lampstands with burning flames. They are the seven spirits of God. In front of the throne was a shiny sea of glass, sparkling like crystal. In the center and around the throne were four living beings, each covered with eyes, front and back. The first of these living beings had the form of a lion; the second looked like an ox; the third had a human face; and the fourth had the form of an eagle with wings spread out as though in flight. Each of these living beings had six wings, and their wings were covered with eyes, inside and out. Day after day and night after night they keep on saying, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty— the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come." Whenever the living beings give glory and honor and thanks to the one sitting on the throne, the one who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down and worship the one who lives forever and ever. And they lay their crowns before the throne and say, "You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created everything, and it is for your pleasure that they exist and were created."
As I read these things, it began to stir my love and affection for God even more. It made me want to truly worship the Lord from my heart. It isn’t important that I perfectly understand every little thing. What's important is when I look and mediate on the reality of Heaven and God’s throne and where every believer will spend eternity, then the cares of this world begin to shrink, and the majesty of God begins to grow. It makes me feel and want to be more reverent. It draws me into the reality of how short this life is and how long eternity is. It reminds me that it's not any person but Jesus I serve and live for. This is where and with whom I will spend all my eternity—a place of glory that is beyond my comprehension. It helps me live out my life in reverence to Him. It strengthens me in my resolve to represent Jesus as I purpose to be a light. It reminds me that what seemed so important today will be a fading memory tomorrow.

He tells us to "set our affections on things above..." Why? So that we remember that Almighty God who created this universe, is also our loving Heavenly Father—the one who promises us He will never leave us nor forsake us.  His miracles and power are still for today and most often manifest through true heart faith and trust in Him. When we set our affections on His greatness, faith grows within us.

There are things on this earth and in our life that do deserve attention and affection—things that will make our life better for doing so. But even then, they don’t compare to the greatness of God or His love and gift of redemption and eternal life through Jesus Christ. They don't compare to our eternal home and future with the Lord. When we set our affection on these things, they are what will shape our lives with greater purpose and strength to overcome and with great resolve to make a difference in this life—not become its victim.

Next time life’s circumstances are weighing you down, open God's word and meditate on verses of His greatness and love toward you. The Holy Spirit will minister to you, strengthen you, and lift you up as you lift Him up!

Psalms 150:2 (NIV) "Praise Him for His acts of power; praise Him for His surpassing greatness."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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