If God never did another thing for us after giving us the gift of salvation, it would be more than sufficient reason for us to praise Him forever. Yet, He just keeps on giving and giving. Every breath is a gift. “Every good and every perfect gift is from above”. Those gifts come from the Father in whom there is no variation. He has always been a giver, He is a giver now and He has no plans to change. He is the Solid Rock, whatever good there is comes from Him and that will not change. Every day is a day that He has made just for us. He doesn’t need day and night, they are a gift for frail humans whose minds are too small to grasp an eternity with no seams. He gives us “a time for all things”. He is never more than a thought away from us. He is our constant companion so that we are never alone. If we were in heaven with Jesus, we would be praising Him constantly. Yet, here on earth we live every day in His presence and spend little or no time praising Him and offering up thanks for all that He does. We should praise the Lord daily for saving us and tell the world about our salvation. Our tongues should be like the “pen of a ready writer” and tell the story over and over. “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
I wish I had never said that! Sound familiar? Unfortunately, our spoken words are like our texts and our emails, once we have hit the send button, we can’t get them back. Words can pierce us to depths of our heart and the wounds are slow to heal, if they heal at all. In the carpenter trade (which Jesus was very familiar with), they have a saying” “measure twice, cut once”. Of course, the implication is that if you take the time to measure correctly, you want have to cut the lumber again. That would be a good rule for us to follow in our conversations. Think twice about what we are about to say before we say it and maybe no one will get cut to the bone. We should choose words that build up and create rather than destroy. We need to show our faithfulness to Jesus by caring for those around us that need our help. Not just physically and materially, but also spiritually. We need to walk carefully so that we are not corrupted.
1On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place.2 Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. 3 Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them.4 And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability. — Acts 2:1-4 NLT
Pentecost is the Greek name for Shavout (Hebrew for “Weeks”). Shavout was the celebration for the giving of the law to Moses at Mount Sinai. That occurred fifty days after the Passover in Egypt. It was now the fiftieth day since the Passover had been celebrated in Jerusalem. The Holy Spirit was given at this time confirming the New Covenant of Grace and the beginning of what we call the “church” age. When the Bible says that we can do nothing without Jesus (John 15:5) but we can do all things through Christ (Phil 4:13), the verses are referring to the strength and direction that we receive from the Holy Spirit who abides in us. He gives us the words to say and the ability to say those words. We need to make plans, study and be prepared to always give a reason for our hope in Jesus Christ, (1 Peter 3:13), but we should always be flexible enough to make an adjustment in our plans. Why? Because we can’t plan for every conceivable event but the Holy Spirit can and does. It is He Who will give us the exact words to speak and the strength to speak them in any situation. (Luke 12: 11-12). Just be obedient and trust the Holy Spirt for strength and safety.
9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11 All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying:
“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom,
Thanksgiving and honor and power and might,
Be to our God forever and ever.
Amen.” — Revelation 7:9-12 NIV
While John was on the Isle of Patmos, Jesus Christ gave him a vision of things that are happening in heaven and things to come. This passage is a scene that will happen after the great tribualtion. All of God’s children are now gathered home. The celebration is in full swing and what does John see that is going on in heaven? Everyone is worshipping and praising God and Jesus! We will be standing before the Lamb and praising Him with a loud voice. All the elders and the angels fall on their faces and worship God. We do not know a lot about heaven, God has chosen to keep most of it a mystery. But one thing we do know is that we will spend time praising and worshipping Jesus, the Lamb Who was worthy to be slain. My guess is that the celebration will go on for a few million years before we get involved in whatever else God has prepared for us. After all, time, as we know it, means nothing in eternity. So, it is a good idea to practice praising Him every day here and now, so that we can join in with all the tribes and nations in heaven!
1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.–1 Cor. 12:31-13:1 NIV
In chapter 12, Paul has been explaining the importance of each individual in being part of the body of Christ. He ends chapter 12 with the instructions to desire the greater gifts. Before the translators came up with divisions of chapters and verses, this would have been a continuation of Paul’s words without an interruption. Paul immediately launches into an elongated definition of love, giving us the “love” chapter of Corinthians 13. This a pretty strong hint in what Paul considers to be the most important aspect of Christianity. Unless our words are backed up with actions of love, we are just making noise and creating much ado about nothing. Then Paul starts chapter 14 with this verse
Paul continues his letter with a discussion of gifts and their use in the church. Remember that Paul wrote these two letters to the Corinthians because they were having issues in the church about gifts and who was the most important. So, right in the middle of this discourse on the body of Christ and the gifts God has given us, he pauses to emphasize that none of this is about us. It is about serving God in love and unity. Use your gift in love to edify others, but don’t think that it makes you any more important than anyone else in the congregation.
19 How great is the goodness, you have stored up for those who fear you.
You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world.
20 You hide them in the shelter of your presence, safe from those who conspire against them.
You shelter them in your presence, far from accusing tongues.–Psalm 31:19,20 (NLT)
God lavishes His blessings on us everyday. Every new breath is a gift from Him. And yet, we still cannot imagine all the good things He has in store for those of us who love and obey Him. The Bible tells us that it has not even entered into the mind of a human all the things that await us in heaven. But we are also told that Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly in the here and now. We live in God’s presence and we are hid in that shelter from all dangers. Blessings, security, and joy. Let us smile, make music in our hearts and rejoice because God is good all the time!