The Revelation of God

Bible Study

My heart has been bursting all week! First, we started Women’s Bible Study at our church for the new school year last Wednesday. It is thrilling to study God’s Word together in fellowship with others. We are studying the Psalms. I believe it’s the first time in 13 years, since 2004-05, that I have been able to attend the morning session. Though I love the evening session, too, I was often tired or had a hard time sticking with it after work. There’s something special about starting my Wednesday mornings in this way, both in our small group, where we go over the week’s lesson, and then in the large group session where we hear a message tying it all together.

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Just for Today

There’s nothing quite like the awareness of our own mortality to give us a change in perspective. I remember being hospitalized for nearly a month before my daughter was born three months early. Life had become complicated by a rare, life-threatening pregnancy. Each day the hospital chaplain would visit, and she would say, “Just for today.” We took things one day at a time. We couldn’t project the outcome for my daughter or for me. We could pray and hope while we waited to see. If we looked too far into the future, it might overwhelm us. So the chaplain would remind me each day, “You made it another day. Just for today.”

How often and easy it is for my focus to be fixed far off into the future, planning and dreaming, counting on certain experiences and outcomes. Already, I am looking to the fall with my son starting college. I am joyously, if not somewhat anxiously, anticipating taking him to college. But two months lie in between now and that trip. I don’t want to lose these days, these last two months. So while I look forward with gratitude, I also don’t want to run past these moments and how we can make them more significant.

We live in such a future-oriented world, thinking of what we might do and be, which—though sometimes necessary to plan, and even a good thing when done with a proper motivation and recognition of God’s plan for us—can keep us from living this day. And while I do want to live with an eternal perspective with eyes fixed on God, I also want to remember that I’ve been given the gift of today and ask how I can use it for His glory.

Living This Day Highlights God’s Provision

I love these words from the Lord’s Prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11).

Like the manna in the wilderness that God provided each day for the Israelites (Exodus 16), there was enough just for that day. If they gathered more than they needed to store it up, it would spoil. If they gathered less than they needed, there was no shortage. (On the sixth day, they would gather two days’ worth so they could honor the Sabbath on the seventh day, thus providing them rest.)

There was an intended result in their hunger being daily filled: “Then you will know that I am Yahweh your God.” In this miraculous provision, they would see God’s glory, and God would see if they would follow His instructions. They had to trust God that His provision would be there again each day, and it indeed was for the 40 years they spent wandering in the wilderness. God faithfully provided just for the day.

In the New Testament, we come to find that Jesus Himself is the bread of life. Jesus said:

“I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that anyone may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever. The bread that I will give for the life of the world is My flesh” (John 6:48-51).

So when we ask God to give us our daily bread, we think of His provision for today in that new light. The One who laid down His life for us with that ultimate provision of salvation will also provide for our needs today.

Living This Day Guards Us From Anxiety About the Future

Later in Matthew 6, Jesus tells the multitudes not to be anxious for tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. We can trust God for today by seeking first His kingdom and righteousness and trusting that all the other things we might worry about (life, the body, clothing, what we will eat and drink) will be provided for us as well.

Living This Day Reminds Us of God’s Faithfulness and Love

In Lamentations 3:22-23, we are told that God’s steadfast love and mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning. Each day gives us a fresh supply of God’s love, mercy, and faithfulness. As sure as the sun rises, God demonstrates again his faithfulness to us in bringing about that new day, in holding together the world he has created, and in supplying us with His mercy and love that never ends. When we awaken to a new day, it’s good to remember this stunning truth.

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What if today, I rejoice in God and His faithful provision for me, resist the temptation to be anxious for the future, remember that He is God and that His mercy and love are new this day?

What if today, I simply ask: Will I trust God with this new day? What can I do today to follow God and do His will, to bring Him honor and glory? How can I love and serve those around me today? Where do I see God showing me His glory and providing for my needs?

Just for today.

SaveSave

SaveSave

Know the Word

But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.” Matthew 22:29

When my husband was in seminary in Dallas and in graduate school in Virginia, we were part of different small groups from our churches. We would sometimes be studying a passage of Scripture or a pertinent biblical topic. I rarely prepared by reading my Bible beforehand. I was always ready though with an answer and to share what I thought! This was based on what I had been taught or on my own logical interpretation of the subject in that moment, not from what I had studied on my own.

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Lift Up Your Eyes

Several years ago, I noticed while studying Genesis the repeated phrase, “lifted his eyes and looked” or “I lifted my eyes and saw.”

  • In Genesis 18:2 “Abraham lifted his eyes and looked” when three men stood at his tent door, one maybe being the LORD, to tell him that he and Sarah would have a child in their old age.
  • When Abraham had Isaac on the altar, after God stopped him from sacrificing Isaac, it says in Genesis 22:13-14, “Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns.”
  • In Genesis 24:63-64, Isaac went out to meditate in the field and “lifted his eyes and looked“; Rebekah also “lifted her eyes” as God had provided a wife for Isaac.
  • In Genesis 31:10, Jacob said, “I lifted my eyes and saw in a dream. . .” and in the dream, the Angel of God said to Jacob, “Lift your eyes now and see. . .” as God provided and increased Jacob’s herd. God blessed Jacob as he called him to return to the land of his family.

Each time, it seems to indicate God’s provision. It has made me wonder what I would see if I would just lift up my eyes and look, if I would remove my eyes from the circumstances around me and look up to God and see how He might be providing for the need at hand.

This theme of looking up continues throughout the Bible. Looking up might also astound me with the greatness of God! Isaiah 40:26 says, “Lift up your eyes on high and seewho created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing.” 

Looking up might show me the needs around me. In John 4:35, Jesus tells his disciples, “…lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.”

In John 17:1, Jesus “lifted up His eyes to heaven” when His hour had come. When the time had arrived that He came to this earth for—to do His Father’s will, to give His life for ours, to bring eternal life to those who believe on Jesus—Jesus lifted up His eyes to heaven.

Hebrews 12:1-2 shows us that it’s in “looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” that we find endurance to run the race set before us. It enables us to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us.”

I wonder today if we would lift up our eyes and see what we might find.

  • Could God have a provision for us in a difficult situation that He wants to give us but that we can’t see if we don’t look to Him?
  • Could we find endurance in running our race and freedom from sin which wants to entangle us?
  • Could we discover new opportunities to point others to Jesus?
  • Could we behold the glory of God as we see differently those things that otherwise might seem just ordinary or that we might take for granted?
  • Could we look up in prayer and in reading the Bible to help us know and do our Father’s will?

The fall schedule is upon us, schools are starting back. For our family, I start back in my normal work schedule today, my husband and I are going to his faculty dinner to kickoff the new year, the kids are preparing for school, finishing their summer reading and more.

As we go through the routine, we don’t want to miss the glory of God, the opportunities before us, the provisions He makes for us, the ways He can transform our hearts and enable us to do His will. We want to lift our eyes and see! I pray we will all behold Him anew and catch a greater vision of our God as we begin another school year and a new season.