Enthroned

Psalm 102: 12 – 22

But you, Lord, sit enthroned forever; your renown endures through all generations. You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to show favor to her; the appointed time has come. For her stones are dear to your servants; her very dust moves them to pity. The nations will fear the name of the Lord, all the kings of the earth will revere your glory. For the Lord will rebuild Zion and appear in his glory. He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea. Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord: “The Lord looked down from his sanctuary on high, from heaven he viewed the earth, to hear the groans of the prisoners and release those condemned to death.” So the name of the Lord will be declared in Zion and his praise in Jerusalem when the peoples and the kingdoms assemble to worship the Lord.

This is a large selection of text today, but hopefully it reveals a central truth and comfort. You might be interested to know that the title of today’s psalm is, “A prayer of an afflicted person who has grown weak and pours out a lament before the Lord.” What a title! However, this segment of the psalm does not sound like it is written by a person in despair and that is the key lesson. From despair, we lift our heads and see God’s glory.

The author may have wondered, like many other saints, “Where is God?” In times of trouble, it may seem God has abandoned us. However, as the psalmist indicates, our God is still on the throne and He reigns. He will save Zion, and your town, and rain down upon it His compassion and favor. Though the author was afflicted and had grown weak, yet he says of God, “He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea.” Then he tells us that this is recorded for a future generation, i.e. for us, that we might have courage and confidence in our time of need.

We are not abandoned, and God is not ignoring our plight. He attends to the prayer of the destitute, the needy. We will not ignore our cry for help. God will save us. He is with us and we will yet praise His name as we assemble to worship His name. His love surrounds and keeps us. He is Lord Protector and Father. Let us leave a testimony for a future generation too, that our Father lifted us and showed us His favor in our time of need.

Glory to God! Let the earth sing. Praises be to Yahweh; Father, Lord and Savior. Come Lord Jesus, show us your grace; shower us in your mercy and favor. Lift our heads that we might praise you with a joyful voice. Let the world see the beauty of your countenance as you touch and bless through your presence, your glorious, shining presence with your people. Amen.

National Day of Prayer

Exodus 33: 18

“I pray You, show me Your glory!”

This is my prayer today. The theme for the National Day of Prayer is “Pray God’s glory across the earth.” Whomever chose the theme for this year must have had divine inspiration because it is the perfect prayer. It is curious that the National theme has a world-wide scope. This isn’t just about praying for our national leaders. It is about praying for God to show up across the whole world.

So, what is the glory of the Lord? You may have seen the term “Shekinah Glory” before. The Shekinah glory is the radiant presence of God. We have never needed His light and His presence more than today. His presence is His goodness. When Moses asked God to reveal His glory, God responded, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.” God’s goodness and compassion are always in His presence and His presence is His glory. Isaiah wrote, “They will see the glory of the Lord, The majesty of our God.” In other words, the glory of the Lord reveals His majesty. One cannot be in the presence of the Lord, witness His glory and not be awed by His majesty.

God’s glory called to Moses from a burning bush which was not consumed by fire. His glory led the Israelites on their great exodus in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (Exodus 13:21). Ezekiel wrote, “The temple was filled with the cloud and the court was filled with the brightness of the glory of the Lord,” (Ezekiel 10: 4). On the Mount of Transfiguration, the radiance of God’s glory was described as splendor (Luke 9: 29 – 35). On the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2: 2 – 3) God’s glory appeared as tongues of fire. More recently, in 1906 at a little church on Azusa Street in Los Angeles, the building appeared to be on fire, but it turned out to be God’s glory. People actually called the fire department but one cannot quench this fire.

The idea I want to sow into you today is that God’s glory has dwelt on earth. People have, on many occasions, seen the Glory of God. In modern times, we may have lost touch with the exact nature of God’s glory, but it is nothing less than God’s manifesting presence in the earth. We need God, we need to see God. When Moses asked to see Yahweh’s glory, God answered, “Yes!” Never in our lifetimes have we needed God’s radiant presence more than we do today.

In my studies, I have discovered that God’s presence hearkens to a praying people. Do you want God to show up on planet earth? Prayer and praise are the forerunners of God. My heart cries out, “Father, I need you. Father! I need more of you.” Our world needs hungry hearts who will cry out to the Father with passion and determination, people who will meet at the foot of the cross and call upon the blood of Christ to redeem and rescue us. We need pray-ers desperately! We need leaders to turn their faces to God and ask for God’s wisdom even as each and every one of us does the same. We need a nation of people who will make prayer a priority. I pray, and I know that you do too, but this is a time for us all to increase. We need increase in our compassion, conviction and maybe the third word should be contrition. We need more than our morning prayers before we rush out the door or to our “work at home” computers. We need time of praying from the depth or our hearts and listening to the voice of the Lord. What is He saying to us? How is He leading us?

I hope that today you will put aside some of what you have planned and will make quiet time to call out to the Lord. Put your heart on your sleeve and let the Lord lead you by the heart. Let us all be united today and “Let us Pray.”

I have included links to all the scriptures I quoted today so that you can easily go and see them for yourself. Just click on the scripture cite and you will be teleported to that glory filled moment in time. Enjoy.

Glory Land

Psalm 85:9

Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land.

Sorry if this seems redundant or is boring but I couldn’t resist this verse after yesterday’s Word of the Day. What struck me about this is that when we live in His saving grace, as we discussed yesterday, then God’s glory shines in our land.

If we take a more precise, modern-day language reading of the word “fear” we would render that phrase “revere Him.” We just don’t use the word fear in that context anymore. Therefore, the relationship is that God’s glory can dwell in the land when there are people who revere Him. His salvation is near, as we saw yesterday, to help in every situation while His glory leads us and shines upon us.

If you think there is nothing you can do about the current situation with coronavirus, think about this verse for a while. All of us can grow in our spiritual life. We can develop and grow during this crisis time and when we do, God’s glory will come to settle upon our land. Wherever you live, this is your personal moment when you can stand for your country. You can do more for your country than even its political leaders because your faith brings the help we all need. Diving into a deeper relationship with God, a reverential awe of who He is, brings salvation near.

I have been hearing about how some people are getting really bored being at home while others are experiencing increased anxiety from cabin fever. There is something we can offer to eliminate both of those problems. Pursue God with vigor. Study, pray, meditate and just chat with Him. Seeking God can easily fill a day and invigorate life. The end result is that as we do this as a body, God’s glory inhabits or land. That’s cool and I think it would be great for people who don’t know God to get to see His glory.

Jesus is close at hand to save those who love him, and he longs to make us, and our land, his dwelling place.

Shekinah Glory

Psalm 97: 3

All around him burns a blazing glory-fire consuming all his foes.

This passage reminds me of the Shekinah Glory of God. What is that, you ask. Do you remember the burning bush? It was engulfed in flame but did not burn up and the voice of God spoke to Moses from it. Then there was the pillar of fire that the Israelites followed in the desert. In the second book of Acts, “flames or tongues of fire” appeared to the assembled (v. 3 TLB). The Shekinah Glory of the Lord is His presence and often appears as fire. In the Azusa street revival of 1906 passersby actually thought the building was on fire and alerted the fire department.

God’s presence was often experienced as fire and also represented as fire in verses like today’s. The author tells us that this “glory-fire” consumes all the enemies of God. That is in keeping with the vision God showed me recently, (See the Word of the Day for March 19, 2020). The blazing glory of God’s presence defeats all foes. I would say that includes viruses because a virus certainly works against God’s desires. It is an enemy and is burned up in the all-consuming fire of God. That fire burns out every impurity. It cleans and sanitizes like nothing else can.

Wherever there is the presence of God, there is victory. So, you can see that our job is to carry the presence of God into every corner of the earth and into every situation. We do that through prayer, through confessing Jesus and with all the words of our mouth and, importantly, through the gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12: 4 – 11). The presence of God is powerful for healing and for setting captives free. That power is resident in us, and it is what the entire world needs. Don’t criticize the Chinese for what they may have not done well. Pray the power and presence of God into China. Pray the glory fire presence of God throughout the world carrying His healing power which defeats all foes.

Let us pray for you.  Click this link to go to the Ivey Ministries prayer request page and leave us a prayer request. You may post it anonymously if you like.  

Let Us See

Psalm 90: 16 – 17         TPT

Let us see your miracles again, and let the rising generation see the glorious wonders you’re famous for. O Lord our God, let your sweet beauty rest upon us and give us favor. Come work with us, and then our works will endure, and give us success in all we do.

This is my prayer. How can it not be? Oh, dear Lord, let your glory fall in our presence and show us the wonder of you. Revive our hearts with and by your grace. Let the radiance of your presence fill us and rejuvenate our spirits.

God is known for His glorious works. Let us praise Him for them but let us also pray for them, pray for their return to our everyday existence. Let us be the people, the generation, who lives by His Word and according to His grace. Call His fire upon us through prayer, servitude, generosity, and devotion. Beg, plead if we must, for his sweet beauty to rest upon each one of us daily and yes, dear Lord, give us your favor so that everywhere we go and everything we touch is blessed and anointed.

Let the work of our hands, Lord, be established in you. In all we do, let us first seek you and then proclaim you. We are but the dust of the earth without you Lord. Fill us with your presence so that we may live a justified and worthy life. Let me see your miracles again. Don’t let your servant die without the sweep of your Spirit through the land. Let your glory fill this place Lord. Let your might and graciousness be seen. And Lord, let them be seen in me.

Glory to God

Luke 2: 14             1599 Geneva Bible

Glory be to God in the high heavens, and peace in earth, and toward men good will.

Before we jump into verse 14, let us recall what happened in verses one through thirteen. Shepherds were near the town of Bethlehem keeping the night watch over their flocks. An angel of the Lord appeared to them and the Sh’khinah glory of the Lord shone all about the angel and the shepherds. The angel’s purpose was to announce the birth of the Lord. Immediately upon telling the shepherds the good news of the Messianic coming, a multitude of heavenly beings appeared with the angel and began singing and praising God. Verse 14 is what they sang.

Glory be to God in the highest! So, the angels’ song first describes the condition in heaven since the Savior is born. This is the angels’ declaration of how things are now that the holy birth has occurred. In heaven, angels sing praises to God. Glory is to be shouted unto the Lord and praises lifted up into the highest reaches of heaven. It sounds lovely.

On earth, a different result was realized. The Lord, our God, sent the Prince of Peace to earth, to us. Therefore, peace had finally come to the earth. The Tree of Life Version rings with Jewish revelation, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth shalom to men of good will.” Shalom was sent to earth. Shalom is wholeness. It is perfect peace. It means that everything that was broken, is now repaired. Every shortage or lack has been filled. Nothing is missing, nothing broken. It does not mean “lack of wars” although that is what some people read into this verse. War is a man-made conflict. God sent His peace, His Shalom, but people do not have to receive it and they certainly do not have to reflect that love and acceptance to other humans. It does mean, though, that God has accepted us, that He loves us and that He has provided everything we need to heal, first, our own hearts, then our relationships, and even eventually our land. If we let God’s peace and love, which has been shed abroad in our hearts, multiply then there could be peace among men. Father God sent restoration, wholeness. The word Shalom brings to our understanding that in the baby’s birth God sent His peace to us on earth. He has given us the ability to be whole in every aspect of life and to be at peace in our hearts; no lack, no unrepaired emotions or bodies, just perfect, quiet completeness in all things.

The last phrase may be the greatest news of all for it tells us that the Messiah’s insertion into the earth carried with it God’s good will towards humanity. The Messiah came to restore us to God. We were estranged with no way to reach God and no way for God to live with us. We were separated, but He sent Jesus so that we could be restored to Him, so that He could have His kids back. The birth of the baby savior heralded God’s good will towards humanity. Because of Jesus, God was able to reunite with people. He was restored to us; His good will and good intentions having come to reside on the earth.

That is what the angelic host sang. Hallelujah in the heavens! All praise and Glory to the Great One. And, on earth – peace, Shalom, and God’s good will, love and good plans for all humanity.

What a Day!

Luke 2: 8 – 13           Complete Jewish Bible

In the countryside nearby were some shepherds spending the night in the fields, guarding their flocks, when an angel of Adonai appeared to them, and the Sh’khinah of Adonai shone around them. They were terrified; but the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, because I am here announcing to you Good News that will bring great joy to all the people. This very day, in the town of David, there was born for you a Deliverer who is the Messiah, the Lord. Here is how you will know: you will find a baby wrapped in cloth and lying in a feeding trough.” Suddenly, along with the angel was a vast army from heaven praising God.

This is the familiar Christmas story but from a version you may not have read before. Today we get to look at this passage through Jewish eyes. Imagine, then, what it was like to be a Jewish shepherd 2000 years ago. Everyone had been taught about the coming Messiah. They were looking for him. As God sent Moses when the nation was in slavery in Egypt, they looked to heaven for God to send His savior to free them from the occupying forces of Rome. Behold, an angel appeared from God, Adonai, announcing that the savior, the deliverer has come.

You would expect bedlam to breakout. The long awaited deliverer had come. Any message brought by an angel is sure to be important but what of this Sh’khinah of Adonai? We would usually call this the “glory” of God, but the Jews have a bigger vision of the word. It is more than a shining light. It is more than a bright glow. This is the radiant presence of the Lord. The Sh’khinah glory of the Lord is what preceded and accompanied the Jews in the desert during the Exodus. When the angel appeared to the shepherds this “glory” enveloped everyone, not just the angel. The shepherds were bathed in and encompassed about by the light which was the sheen that radiates off of the Father. He was there, in that moment, to bring the good news about His son being born. Of course, the shepherds were overwhelmed by this presence and the angelic messenger. They were in the midst of an other worldly kind of event. Many times when an angel appeared to someone in scripture their first words were “Do not be afraid,” because people can be very startled by the appearance of spiritual beings. The shepherds apparently recovered themselves, though, because they stood there and received the angel’s message. Then, as if they had not been witnesses to a most amazing event, the host of heaven joined with that angel messenger in praise to the Lord. This version tells us that suddenly there was a vast army of heavenly beings there with the angelic messenger.

What a day in those shepherds’ lives. I bet they were never the same again. I wonder what the sheep did. Could they see the angels, the glory and the huge, heavenly entourage? Imagine those sheep as the ones selected for the sacrifice. That must have been some sacrifice after the Sh’khinah got all over the sheep.

It’s fun picturing these events as we read our Bibles. It’s also a fabulous way to receive revelation. Once you begin to run the movie suggested by the words the scripture comes alive. Imagine yourself as one of the shepherds sitting out in a field, bored to tears, watching a bunch of sheep when all of a sudden an angel appears, especially the angelic herald of the Savior, Messiah, Deliverer. That was a day to remember for them and one we still marvel over all these years later.