We keep looking to the LORD our God for His mercy, just as servants keep their eyes on their master.
~Psalm 123:2, NLT
Faith is the spiritual vision of the believing soul that looks beyond this present reality and circumstances.
~Steven J. Lawson
Faith is looking up to God. It is seeing beyond the visible to the invisible, peering beyond the temporal to the eternal, squinting beyond the physical to the spiritual. Faith keeps it’s eye on Christ the way a servant or slave kept their eye on their master. I know that some folks are offended by any analogy that involves slavery but in ancient times, slavery was a common phenomenon in practically every culture. The Israelites, who were slaves in Egypt, became slave owners in Canaan. Sometimes these slaves were other Israelites. Slaves had no rights: they belonged to their masters. They were totally dependent upon these masters for everything: instruction, provision, shelter and protection. Even their purpose was determined by the master. Likewise, Jesus is our LORD and Master: we are totally dependent on HIM. He saves, guides, protects, provides–He fulfills our every need. As a slave kept their eye on their master, we are to keep our eye on Jesus.
The first verse of Psalm 123 goes like this…I lift my eyes to you, O God, enthroned in heaven. We live is a world of sin, darkness and chaos so how can we see God enthroned in heaven? How can we see heaven at all? We cannot see it with our physical eyes; it is only by faith that we can see heaven. It takes FAITH to see beyond this present reality. Note the definition of faith in Hebrews 11...Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Faith enables us to see the unseen. I have been to the Jerusalem in Israel: I have seen it with my eyes. I have not seen the New Jerusalem, not with my physical eyes and yet I do believe that it exist. Why do I believe such a thing? Because I believe the bible and the bible tells us about things we have never seen. If I can see it with the physical eye, no faith is needed. This is why God keeps these things out of our sight: He wants us to trust HIS WORD. He demands faith; it is impossible to please Him without faith. God does not give empirical evidence for a reason and that reason is–He wants us to live by faith. Faith is not empirical knowledge or physical proof; if it was, it would not be faith. Faith is believing something is so, even though it doesn’t appear to be so, simply because God said so.
A word that I come across and use often is the word transcendent. When I say that God is transcendent, I mean HE is beyond or above the range of normal or merely physical human experience. He existed before creation and therefore He is a separate entity. God is not dependent upon creation: He is above and beyond creation and not subject to the limitations of the material universe. In order for our sin to touch HIM, He had to become a man which He did in Christ. God is light, pure light. Light is a substance, darkness is not. Darkness is simply the absence of light. Light is also uncontaminatible. You cannot corrupt light. A part from the incarnation, our salvation from sin would be impossible. If you want to know why CHRISTMAS is a big deal to me, this is why. Had Jesus not come to this planet, we would have no hope. Our sin debt would have to be paid by you and I personally in hell.
Tuesday night, those kids heard the gospel and they responded in faith, they believed, they put their trust in Jesus and none of them has ever seen HIM. They responded not to a visible manifestation but to the WORD OF GOD.
Psalm 123 ends with a prayer…Have mercy on us, LORD, have mercy, for we have had our fill of contempt. Nancy Leigh DeMoss has a great analogy about mercy that I want to share with you.
A young man is murdered in a random act of violence; the father of the victim hunts the murderer down and kills him: we would call this vengeance. If however, the father called the police, and the murderer was arrested, tried, convicted and executed: we would call this justice. If however, the father pleaded before the court for the murderer to be spared: we would call this mercy. Although highly improbable: imagine that the father not only pleaded for mercy in behalf of the man who murdered his son but let’s say he tells the judge, give him a pardon and I will adopt him as my son and I will take full responsible for his actions. We would have to call this grace. We are not the FATHER nor the innocent SON, we are the murderer. You do the math.
- Today’s veteran is Jon Erik Loney. Jon is a graduate of DHS. He was killed in combat in 2006. His body is buried at Oak Ridge Cemetery.
- What a GREAT REVIVAL! THANK YOU JESUS!!! I think this was our best meeting in a long, long time. I am not going to complain about 15 POF’s.
- Josh Jenkins was injured in an accident yesterday, He has severe burns on both arms. He is at UAB. Joe David and Anthony are going down today.
- Took the plunge yesterday: did something I don’t like to do…bought a brand new vehicle. I now have my own truck for my ministry [grass cutting and leaf mulching]. I can now pull my rig to Ashville or Athens without anxiety. If it breaks down, I am calling Bill. I got a new truck for more than a thousand less than a nice second hand truck would have cost me. You probably think I am exaggerating but you go price a second hand truck. They are asking for 30,000 bucks for trucks with 100,000 miles and no warranty. I kid you not.
- DBC is blessed: We have the best dentist and the best car salesman in the country–they are second to none. Doc Holladay is as slick as goose greece. I went to her last week for a filling and I didn’t even feel the deadening shots. She is the best I’ve ever seen. If your dentist is causing you pain, you need to give Doc a shot at your teeth.[did you catch that play on words…a shot at your teeth.] If you need a reliable automobile, you need to see Bill “Bubby” Harrison, but you will have to wait until next week…the Harrison are headed for the Smokies.