Simple Instructions

 

Following the Lord is not complicated at all – it’s really simple. Please note that I didn’t say it’s easy. It really comes down to trust and simple obedience. He calls me to do things that I wouldn’t normally do if my heart is selfish and hard. He has changed my heart over the years and I think differently and act differently.

I was reading in Revelation and it sometimes feels like I’m reading a sequel of The Avengers! My brother John is seeing and hearing some crazy stuff – stuff he’s never seen or heard anything like before. If I were to see and hear what he’s experiencing, I would probably make reference to the Avengers or some other sci-fi movie. It sure sounds surreal in his descriptions. I was reading about the proclamation of the first angel of three and the instructions to the people on earth are amazingly simple. Check this out…

Then I saw another angel flying high overhead, with the eternal gospel to announce to the inhabitants of the earth—to every nation, tribe, language, and people. He spoke with a loud voice: “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship the one who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.” (Revelation 14:6-7 CSB)

Fear the Lord and give Him glory. That’s simple as can be. He made everything we see. Nothing that I can put my hands on is completely man made – it all comes from some resource that the Lord made. Man can’t make something out of nothing. I believe that when John writes that we are to fear the Lord, he’s speaking of a healthy reverence & respect. After walking with the Lord over the years, I’m not afraid of Him, but I profoundly respect and revere Him – there is a difference.

As I walk through today and seek to live out my faith, I want the joy of knowing the Lord to give me strength, direction and purpose. I want to live out the gospel from the inside out. I want to give Him glory with my life – which includes my thoughts, words and actions. This is worship – the activities of my life give honor to the One Who created me. That’s about as simple as I know how to say it.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Small & Great

Big black pawn surronnded by four little chess kings isolaged on white backgroundIn our culture, we don’t always connect great with small. I do like that computer storage that once took a warehouse is now the size of a pack of gum (almost)! Sometime great things come in small packages. I must confess that if given a choice of a large mystery package or a small mystery package, I usually choose the bigger one.

The scene is taking place in heaven. John is still blown away by what he is seeing and hearing. Nevertheless, he is writing it down and doing his best to describe all that is happening. Trumpets blowing, people worshipping God – he has quite a challenge. He quotes the 24 elders as they bow in worship. Check this out…

15 The seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven saying,

The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom
of our Lord and of his Christ,
and he will reign forever and ever.

16 The twenty-four elders, who were seated before God on their thrones, fell facedown and worshiped God, 17 saying,

We give you thanks, Lord God, the Almighty,
who is and who was,
because you have taken your great power
and have begun to reign.
18 The nations were angry,
but your wrath has come.
The time has come
for the dead to be judged
and to give the reward
to your servants the prophets,
to the saints, and to those who fear your name,
both small and great,
and the time has come to destroy
those who destroy the earth. (Revelation 11:15-18 CSB)

I love those three little words: small and great. I feel like I fit into that “small” category for sure. I’ve been a follower of the Lord since I was in 3rd grade. I needed lots of grace and mercy along the way – but the Lord is famous for that.  I’m still walking out my faith each day and I don’t need to be noticed by others. I don’t need accolades or “pats on the back”. I am striving for a reward that is unseen and way bigger than notoriety here on earth. I want to be known as someone who “fears the name of the Lord” – a profound respect for the Lord. I seek Him and worship Him daily. I walk with Him and talk with Him daily. I want to live today with my eye on eternity. The way I live my life for Him will outlast any other thing I can do. I want to be known as a man who sought the heart of God each day. It’s only because of the grace He has poured out on me during the journey that helped bring me to his place. #thankful

I believe that on that day there will be some great prophets, teachers & preachers bowing before the Lord in worship and I get to be part of that – Wow! I get to worship alongside some heroes of mine – Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Elijah, King David, Jeremiah, Peter, Martin Luther King, Jr., Zig Ziglar, Billy Graham and many more. They are great in my eyes and I’m small – but just to be there! #humbled

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Tremble

Frightened and stressed young business womanI do remember what it’s like to be scared. When I was a kid, I had quite an imagination about things in the dark or in the closet. As I grew older I realized that most all my fear was self-inflicted.  I had to overcome my fear of the dark and situations in the dark. I still like daytime much better than night. I can see clearer in the day time.  Fast forward several years and one of my work/study jobs was night-time security at my college. I had to go in the dark, out-of-the-way places to get a key to punch a clock to show that I’d been there. I had to face my fear of the dark again. It’s been a good long time since I was so afraid that I trembled. I’ve learned to trust the Lord with things I can’t explain or understand.

The Psalmist pens a cool verse speaking of the Lord’s power as the people of Israel left Egypt and traveled through the Red Sea and then crossed the Jordan River on dry land. Check this out…

Why was it, sea, that you fled?
    Why, Jordan, did you turn back?
Why, mountains, did you leap like rams,
    you hills, like lambs?

Tremble, earth, at the presence of the Lord,
    at the presence of the God of Jacob,
who turned the rock into a pool,
    the hard rock into springs of water. (Psalm 114:5-8 NIV)

The Presence of God changes my circumstances.

The Presence of God changes my view of my circumstances.

The Presence of God brings calm to chaos and clarity to confusion.

The Presence of God erases my past, helps navigate my present and builds my future.

I’m amazed by life-changing power of God’s Presence in my life. I’d be wise to tremble in His Presence out of pure respect for His Power. He doesn’t want me to fear Him, but I think it’s wise to revere Him. He has all Power over all of creation, past, present & future.

I’m no longer super afraid of the dark, but I’ve learned to have a genuine reverence and respect to be in the Presence of Almighty God.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Respect & Obedience

Obedience Respect Responsibility Words Honor AuthorityI think that these two principles were instilled into me at a very young age. I respected my parents out of love and fear. They made the boundaries quite clear and if I stepped outside the boundaries I was punished. I believe respect is a fundamental human trait. I believe the Lord wired us with respect. God loves it when we show Him respect and honor. He loves it when we show one another respect and honor.

Moses recalls a time when the people were encamped at Mt. Horeb and God gathered the assembly close and they could hear His voice. It sort of freaked them out and they thought that they would die. They approached Moses in fear and asked him to speak to the Lord and to tell them what He said. They were willing to obey fully the commands of the Lord. God hears everything and heard this. Check this out…

28 The Lord heard you when you spoke to me, and the Lord said to me, ‘I have heard what this people said to you. Everything they said was good. 29 Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children for ever! (Deuteronomy 5:28-29 NIV)

The Lord loves my reverence/fear/respect.

The Lord love my obedience.

It’s one thing to say I love and respect God – but it’s another thing all together to obey Him.

The Lord wants my commitment and obedience NOT just my flattering words.

What I do will always speak more loudly than what I say.

This simple passage reminded me of how important my respect and obedience are to The Lord.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Revere

 

God's mercy at the CrossThis word carries with it “deep respect and admiration”. I believe it’s super important to revere the Lord. He is All Powerful, All Present and All Knowing. I believe He is everything He says He is and I can’t help but revere Him. Check this out…

2 But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves. (Malachi 4:2 NIV)

The Lord is pretty jealous when I revere other people or things over Him. That is the definition of idol worship. Everything and everyone should be second place or on down the list from Him. He is the First Priority.

That word REVERE is settling in me this morning. I want to revere Him, but my actions sometimes speak of disrespect. My actions drown out my hollow words. My actions and my words should revere Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne