Can You Feel the Power?

The Stars

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
  Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
  Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

How Great Thou Art
By: Carl Gustaf Boberg (1859-1940)

Listen to this awesome electric guitar version as you read.  And be sure to experience the worship-cultivating podcast below.

The glory of God is ever on display around us, but often we simply fail to take the time to acknowledge it.  I pray today’s blog helps you carve our a few minutes to cultivate a greater awareness of the greatness of our God.  That’s why Resonant 7 exists.  May He give your the perspective you need to see, hear and feel His power on display all around you today.  Let’s think about this.

Seeing the Stars

Just seeing the stars is not enough.  Many look into the night sky and quickly realize just how small they are.  But fewer see beyond their stature and gaze into the grandeur of our God.

He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names. Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. Psalm 147:4-5 ESV

The Psalmist saw the stars, and in them something more.  One paraphrase of Psalm 8 says, “When I gaze in to the night skies and see the work of your fingers, the moon and stars suspended in space, o what is man that your are mindful of Him?”  Our smallness makes sense against the backdrop of God and His glory, but making sense is not enough.

We must choose to respond to this greatness revealed.  

I want to point you to someone who has done that for some time, and in some very creative ways.  Louie Giglio has long been a proponent of calling people to respond to God’s greatness.  As  significant person in the Passion movement, he has influenced many people to offer their worship to the One who is worthy.  In the clip below, he describes some the response of the stars and other parts of creation which not only display God’s glory, but respond to it in their own ways.

This clip is 9 minutes long and climaxes in a crafted response of worship that is truly unique.  You may not have time to view it all right now, but I would encourage you to carve out 9 minutes today to have your awareness of God’s greatness stirred in an unusual way.

How Great is Our God

You see, we not only see God’s power displayed, we hear it as well.  We will consider some other aspects of that in the next stanza, but for now let’s consider for a bit the sound, and the feel, of thunder.

Rolling Thunder

Feel the Thunder

Again to the Psalmist.

The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind; your lightnings lighted up the world; the earth trembled and shook. Psalm 77:18 ESV

Thunder is a remarkable demonstration of the power of our God which we can feel. It flows from the lightning which we can see.  According to the Library of Congress, Thunder is caused by the rapid expansion of the air surrounding the path of a lightning bolt.”  Another interesting article explaining this with a few pictures can be found here, courtesy of the National Weather Service.

Think for a moment of a memory of some powerful storm.  Maybe you have seen up close the damage that a bolt of lightning can do.  You have probably at one time or another not only heard thunder, but felt it.  

In the face of that demonstration of power, do you recall our you felt.  Was it awe?  Terror?  Ambivalence?  Did you notice in the Scripture the natural response of the earth?  It trembled and shook.  If the earth trembles and shakes at something, we should probably take notice and either be cautious, or worship, or both.  It really is not enough to simply hear and feel the thunder, we should respond to it for what it is.

Ask Him to fill you with a reverence similar to that which the earth demonstrates.  The earth has no choice.  You do.  Choose to worship the greatness of our God.

 

Everywhere You Look

The Universe

Stars and thunder…just a couple examples of different things in our universe which display the power of God.  Frankly, everywhere you look His glory is revealed.  If you have read this far it is likely because you know it is only by His grace that you can see, hear and feel any of this for what it truly is.

Think about that.

There are millions, even billions of people walking around unaware that everywhere they look God is revealing Himself.  Through a trillion stars in the sky, and then some, and countless storms raging, but many fail to comprehend the One behind it all.

First, give God praise for helping you see His power, and giving you the grace to respond.  Second, ask Him to help you assist others to develop ears to hear and eyes to see the greatness of our God.

 

Jesus, thank You for revealing Your power to me and helping me respond to me.  I am in awe of You.  May I live a life of awesome wonder, always considering all that You have made, but never keeping it to myself.  In Jesus’ name.   Amen.

Awe-ful Thinking!

Are these thoughts helping you to develop greater spiritual awareness?  Sign-up in the form to the right above to get updates of new tools to help you be Resonant.

Below is content always available to Subscribers, sometimes to Free Members, but today to everyone.  Want to learn more about accessing all the additional material in the Subscriber Content Library, click here.  Or check out some other samples at our Free Member Content Library.  We have lots of tools and lots of options designed to help you be Resonant!  Check them out today!!

Enjoy this podcast and the transcript below! It features meditative music and moments to contemplate the Scriptures shared.

Podcast 10.1 Transcript

Welcome to Thursday Thoughts at Resonant 7, where we reflect on the reality of God and resolve to let it resound in our lives, repeatedly. Let’s think about this.

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,

Exodus 15:11 ESV

“Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?

I like rhetorical questions.  You know, those ones where everyone knows the answer.  Only, not everyone knows the answer here. Who is like our Lord? No one. If you know that answer, thank Him, and let that privilege fill you with wonder. 

   Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;

Nehemiah 9:6 ESV

“You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.

That is a pretty comprehensive description of what He has made.  In short, everything. Our time here does not permit us to consider it all, but simply ponder this.  He made it and preserves it and invites you to join worship.

I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,

Psalm 77:18 ESV 

The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind; your lightnings lighted up the world; the earth trembled and shook.

Thunder is a remarkable demonstration of the power of our God which we can feel, flowing from the lightning which we can see.  Ask Him to fill you with a reverence similar to that which the earth models.

   Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Psalm 147:4-5 ESV

He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names. Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.

The stars in every universe numbered and named.  Order beyond comprehension. Power unfathomable. Greatness unsearchable.  Give glory to our great God for the way He reveals Himself in His creation!

Take a few moments to talk to Jesus about what has come to your mind, or listen to what He is saying to you, then I will read our text once more.

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
  Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
  Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Take the awareness of God’s presence cultivated in these last few minutes into the next ones and beyond.  Until next time, be Resonant.

Image Attributions
The Stars – https://pixabay.com/photos/universe-galaxy-space-atmosphere-2250310/
Rolling Thunder – https://giphy.com/gifs/storm-timelapse-qRY3cPYRkyQh2
The Universe – https://pixabay.com/illustrations/universe-sky-star-space-cosmos-2742113/

A Promise Which Prompts Our Praise

I’ll Sing

In mansions of glory and endless delight,
  I’ll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow,
  If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

My Jesus, I Love Thee
By: William Ralph Featherston (1848–1875)

Listen to this simple piano arrangement as you read.  Members, be sure to experience the worship-cultivating podcast below.

As we close out our look into how we love Jesus in different moments we consider the ones that will go on forever.  It is the last great “ever”, and like every now before it, this one will also be filled with our response of love to Jesus.  Tuesday we considered the place this will happen, (read that here) and today we consider the promise.  Let’s think about that.

I’ll Sing

In the previous stanza we committed to speak our love to Jesus as we came to and beyond the end of our life.  We find ourselves in this stanza breathing in the celestial air of our forever home and exhaling not in a speech but a song.  We will sing.  Oh, how we will sing!

When we finally find ourselves walking the hallways of those eternal mansions, realizing the fullness of our inheritance come to pass, we will sing as never before.  I have often remarked at how different our lung capacity will be in our glorified bodies, not to mention the fact that our musculature will be able to control that breath with much more efficiency.  All that joined with overwhelming desire to glorify our Lord which will consume our entire being will bring us to an utterance of praise beyond imaging.

If you have been on this journey with us for long, you know that our desire here at Resonant 7 is to remove the hindrances in our lives to our reverberating with God’s praise.  When we get to heaven every single thing that inhibited our praise in any way in this life will be gone.  We will unhindered be!

I am sure you are looking forward to that day, but I want to encourage you to consider what those first moments of praise will be like.  Imagine that scene as you are confronted with the awe-evoking presence of Jesus, when you can finally take a breath and then begin offering your adoration.  Ask the Spirit to help you render that in your mind.

Glittering Crown

Glittering Crown

As if the place and the presence of Jesus were not enough to stimulate your worship, imagine this.  Jesus walks over to you with a crown in His nail-pierced hands, a crown which has been prepared for you, not because you earned it but because you are a child of God through faith in Jesus.  As He draws near He lifts it up to gently place it on your head.

Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.  2 Timothy 4:8 ESV

If you were not singing before, you must be by then.  But not only you.  Your voice echoes with all who have longed for His appearing.

Before we move on I want you to wrap your mind around one more reality.  Two stanzas before another brow is mentioned.  In that second stanza as we considered the sacrifice of our Lord, we declared our love for Him which was prompted by wearing a different crown on His brow, a crown of thorns.  Juxtapose that against the image created in this last stanza at you are left with a startling truth: you will wear a glittering crown because Jesus wore a thorny one.

Are you longing for His appearing?  That is the criteria mentioned in Timothy to be able to be awarded that crown.  Ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart and reveal how strong your longing is, then ask Him to make it even stronger.

If ever…it’s now!

My Jesus

From the first moments of our walk with Jesus, and then over time as we understood better what that even meant, we love Him.  We have already committed to speak in the previous stanza and then sing in this final one.  For me this alludes to a natural crescendo that is occurring as this hymn progresses.  I think it beautifully portrays what happens in the life of the believer.

Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 1 Peter 1:8 ESV

In those earliest moments, we are overwhelmed with love for Jesus, our Savior.  As we grow in that love, it matures through a deeper sense of His sacrifice.  This prompts us to commit to love Him while living, and even while dying which requires an even greater level of maturity.  Finally we come to a place of rest in the fact that our best love will likely be offered beyond this life.

Even as you long to offer your highest praise in that Day, commit to loving Jesus in every “now” until that one comes.  Across more than four stanzas, but whatever days remain ask the Spirit to help you declare with your lips and your life more and more each day, “If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus ’tis now!”

Jesus, I love You.  Even as I long to see You face-to-face, help me to believe in You and rejoice with a joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory.  Even though I may fail to truly express it, since it is inexpressible, help me to try. In Jesus’ name.   Amen.

Joyful Thinking!

Are these thoughts helping you to develop greater spiritual awareness?  Sign-up in the form to the right above to get updates of new tools to help you be Resonant.

Below is content always available to Subscribers, sometimes to Free Members, but today to everyone.  Want to learn more about accessing all the additional material in the Subscriber Content Library, click here.  Or check out some other samples at our Free Member Content Library.  We have lots of tools and lots of options designed to help you be Resonant!  Check them out today!!

Members and Subscribers enjoy this podcast! It features meditative music and moments to contemplate the Scriptures shared.  Everyone else the transcript below.

Podcast 9.4 Transcript

Welcome to Thursday Thoughts at Resonant 7, where we reflect on the reality of God and resolve to let it resound in our lives, repeatedly. Let’s think about this.

In mansions of glory and endless delight,

John 14:2 ESV

In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?

Jesus is indeed preparing a place for us, a place of endless delight.  We often get caught up on the many roomed mansions, but simply being in His presence eternally will create a rest unlike we can even fathom now.  Take a moment and imagine what endless delight feels like.

  I’ll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;

Revelation 21:23 ESV

And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.

He will be our light, and we will adore Him forever.  Does that mean that all that we will do is sing praises?  I don’t think so. We will have the light of His presence to praise Him, but it will also give us the illumination and inspiration to engage in every pursuit with an undivided purpose, to adore Him.  Think about that.

I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow,

2 Timothy 4:8 ESV

Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.

As I ever adore Jesus, no doubt some of that will be singing His praise.  No doubt some of our songs will be thanksgiving for placing a crown of righteousness on our brows, and that is only part of the award He has in store for us on that Day.  Give Him praise.

  If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

1 Peter 1:8 ESV

Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,

We have not seen Him, yet we love Him.  Imagine how our love will expand when we finally lay our eyes on Jesus.  We will have loved Him in many different moments for many different reasons but surely we will love Him in those moments with an inexpressible and glorious joy.  Commit to do so now.  

Take a few moments to talk to Jesus about what has come to your mind, or just listen to what He is saying to you, then I will read our text once more.

In mansions of glory and endless delight,
  I’ll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow,
  If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

Take the mindfulness of God’s presence cultivated in these last few minutes into the next ones and beyond.  Until next time, be Resonant.

Image Attributions
I’ll Sing – https://pixabay.com/illustrations/women-face-reflecting-elegance-1003240/
Glittering Crown – https://pixabay.com/photos/crown-gold-royal-luxury-golden-2661334/
My Jesus – https://pixabay.com/photos/faith-love-hope-fog-forest-clouds-4045660/

Loving Through the Living, AND the Dying

And say

I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
  And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow,
  If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

My Jesus, I Love Thee
By: William Ralph Featherston (1848–1875)

Listen to this simple piano arrangement as you read.  And be sure to experience the worship-cultivating podcast below.

Today we consider the “now” of those moments surrounding our death.  Maybe just before, maybe just after, but either way, we declare our intention and even expectation that we will continue to express our love to Jesus.  Let’s think about that.

And Say

The previous line was a declaration that as long as Jesus lends us breath we will use it to give Him praise.  This next line is the natural next step in that process, the moments when He no longer lends breath to our mortal body, and its existence ceases.  Having no breath to praise, the writer now affirms he will still somehow speak forth his undying love for Jesus.  That is an incredible confidence.  So let’s consider that.

When this life is over, the Scripture teaches there is much more.

In fact, we are confident, and we would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.  2 Corinthians 5:8 (CSB)

When this physical body dies, the spiritual does not. We will live on past the expiration date of our earth suit.  You see, even when we no longer have the breath here, we will still be able to say to Jesus we love Him as we breath in the air on celestial shores.  When we are absent or away from our body, we will finally be at home with the Lord.

Thank Jesus that there is more than what our eyes can see and our ears can hear.  That even when life here ceases, there is much more to come.

Death Dew

Death Dew

Having established that we fully expect to be able to continue to tell Jesus we love Him even after we die, now let’s take a few moments to consider this very curious imagery of “death dew”.  Obviously it is a poetic rendering of the last throes of death, and the body itself growing cold along with the possible perspiration exerted in those last heated moments of battle with death.  Someone has referred to this phenomenon as a cold, clammy, waxy moisture left after a person goes through their death agony and dies.

From the air in our lungs to the sweat on our brow we are determined to keep the praise going, even after we die.  This is extraordinary imagery utilizing very ordinary things.

Having just evoked the awareness that our lended breath provides the means to give praise, the writer goes a step further in declaring our dependency on eternal life in God by squarely putting the possibility of our continuing to speak our adoration to Jesus upon it, even when the death dew goes cold on our forehead.  Otherwise, when the breath stops, so does our praise.

Stop and ponder that marvelous hope for a few moments.  Even when your breath runs out, your praise can continue.  Ask Jesus to drive that truth deep into your being, and commit to eternally let it take root and bear fruit.

If ever…it’s now!

Tis Now

Not only is there the confidence that we will be able to love Him through our death, but it is accompanied by the willingness to do so.  Many of the hymns deal plainly with the reality of death as a part of this age and our hope for life beyond it.  This stanza continues the crescendo of our affection which started with that moment of salvation, deepened with our growing understanding of Christ’s sacrifice, and now builds through our living and even past our dying, into an ever intensifying cacophony of delight.

We will leave this existence behind one day and enter into an experience of endless delight.  That is what the last stanza speaks about and we will press into that next week.  Before we go, linger in the “now” of these moments of living, loving Jesus, even as we draw daily closer to the love etched into our hearts and written in the skies.

Tell Him, “If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus ’tis now!”

Jesus, I love You.  I loved you in that moment when I yielded to Your redeeming grace.  I loved in all those moments You have taken me deeper into my understanding and appreciation of Your sacrifice.  I love you in these moments I am living with You now, and will continue to love You through my death and into what lies beyond.  Help me to live out that love today.  In Jesus’ name.   Amen.

Eternal Thinking!

Are these thoughts helping you to develop greater spiritual awareness?  Sign-up in the form to the right above to get updates of new tools to help you be Resonant.

Below is content always available to Subscribers, sometimes to Free Members, but today to everyone.  Want to learn more about accessing all the additional material in the Subscriber Content Library, click here.  Or check out some other samples at our Free Member Content Library.  We have lots of tools and lots of options designed to help you be Resonant!  Check them out today!!

Everyone enjoy this podcast! It features meditative music and moments to contemplate the Scriptures shared.

Podcast 9.3 Transcript

Welcome to Thursday Thoughts at Resonant 7, where we reflect on the reality of God and resolve to let it resound in our lives, repeatedly. Let’s think about this.

I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,

Philippians 1:21 ESV

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

We love Jesus is the different “now’s” of this life, and the one to come.  Our lives should be lived as one great offering of love to Jesus, one that continues on after this life.  Death will not bring an end to our praise, but rather the fulfillment of our hope in Him. Thank Him that even death will be gain for us in Christ.

  And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;

Psalm 150:6 ESV

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

If we are going to live for Christ then we should the breath He gives to offer praise.  We respond to the command in this Scripture and the commitment in this stanza to praise Jesus by determining to do just that, “Praise the Lord!”

And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow,

Romans 14:8 ESV 

For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.

We live to the Lord, to give Him praise, and we die to the Lord as well, because we belong to Him, bought at a great price. We must all face death, but we can do so with the confidence that we will still be able to love Him even when this life is over.  Think about that.

  If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

1 Corinthians 15:55-57 ESV

“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

We will still be able to praise Him, even when the death dew becomes cold on our brow, because He has given us victory over sin, death and the grave through His finished work on the cross.  GIve HIm thanks!

Take a few moments to talk to Jesus about what has come to your mind, or just listen to what He is saying to you, then I will read our text once more.

I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
  And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow,
  If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

Take the mindfulness of God’s presence cultivated in these last few minutes into the next ones and beyond.  Until next time, be Resonant.

Image Attributions
And Say – https://pixabay.com/photos/say-goodbye-old-man-man-away-2890801/
Death Dew – https://pixabay.com/illustrations/fairy-tale-portrait-night-girl-1081151/
Tis Now – https://pixabay.com/photos/heart-sky-clouds-blue-sky-love-1213475/