God Acts in His Decrees

We’ve made a good start at discovering how God acts in this world through miracles, providence, and creation.  His Lordship is demonstrated in real time now, through the beginning of time in creation, and all the way back to eternity past.  The Lordship of God in eternity past is best seen through His eternal decrees.

I mentioned the Westminster Shorter Catechism before.  Listen to what it says about God’s decrees:  (they are) “…His eternal purpose, according to the counsel of his will, whereby, for His own glory, He hath fore-ordained whatever comes to pass.”

This supports our earlier discovery, that God controls everything.  Stated this way though, we see that this control is the evidence of a plan, and the Bible calls it “his counsel, or the thoughts of His own heart.”  It seems even on a cursory reading of scripture that God has already thought this thing through.  Knows every possible nuance of every possible decision of every person who has lived, is living or will live.  And because He has a PLAN (reason, goal, and purpose for everything)… God is able to make “all things work together for good.” [Romans 8:28; Ephesians 1:11]

Let’s read how God’s plan goes back before time into eternity past…

Psalm 33:11
The counsel of the LORD stands forever, The plans of His heart from generation to generation.

Psalm 104:24
O LORD, how many are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all; The earth is full of Your possessions.

Isaiah 37:26
Have you not heard? Long ago I ordained it. In days of old I planned it; now I have brought it to pass, that you have turned fortified cities into piles of stone.

Matthew 25:34
Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

1 Corinthians 2:7
No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.

Ephesians 1:4
…just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. 

Ephesians 3:11
…also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will…


Please don’t miss the most significant and wonderful truth of Ephesians 1:4.  Jesus Christ the LORD chose me… chose YOU… before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before Him!!!  It was the PLAN.  It was the PURPOSE.  It was the GOAL.  It was the RESULT of all He decreed from eternity past!

So, in all the ways that God acts, [miracles, providence, creation, and decrees] He is LORD of ALL, and LORD throughout time.

Another way the Bible teaches us about God, and pretty clear and directly, is by describing what God is like.   The Bible’s many descriptions of God are intended to help us get past all the theoretical (theological mumbo jumbo) evidence, to see and know Him personally.

Next time, we’ll dig into the names, images, and attributes of God revealed to us through the Bible.


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Infamous Behavior

Daily Post:  Notorious


Hippias was a traitor to his Athenian heritage and conspired to work with the Persians and lead them ashore at the Battle of Marathon.  Had the Greeks lost at Marathon the nation would almost certainly have fallen, making this battle one of the most important battles in European history.

After leading a group of rebels, which grew to an army of 16,000, Robert Kett led the army to storm the city of Norwich in 1549.  By late August Kett was captured, then imprisoned in the Tower of London.  He was found guilty of high treason, and hanged in the Castle of Norwich, in December the same year.

Karel Curda, in 1942, and an elite covert team from the Czech Army parachuted into Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia, their mission to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich.  After completing the mission, Curda informed on his team, handing them over to the Nazis for a reward of 1 million reichsmarks.  Captured in 1947 he was tried, then executed for treason.

The Rosenburgs, Julius and Ethel, were found guilty, then executed for espionage (convicted for their direct involvement of providing nuclear arms information to the Soviet Union).

These notorious criminals, traitors, and all their actions combined with all the other infamous deeds in history which are too numerous to mention, do not compare with the gravest act of treason ever documented.

Judas Iscariot was one of those closest to God’s Son on earth.  Jesus of Nazareth had chosen him personally to be part of the team, the inner circle of twelve, from all the other Jewish men in Judah at the time.  It boggles the mind that Jesus would do this with full knowledge of what Judas would do just a few years later.

Image the shock and horror of the other 11 men, (while Jesus knew all along it would happen), as Judas embraces the Master and kisses him on the cheek.  The reward, a pittance,  a mere 30 pieces of silver.  This notorious action, and the evil nature of his betrayal, stands alone, in my opinion as the most unconscionable behavior of all human history.  Yet, God used this very event to bring about the saving grace for all mankind, revealed in the death of Jesus on a Roman cross.

God has a habit of taking truly evil deeds done by men and women alike, and by allowing them to happen, bring about something unseen and unknown to all involved, that would result in His own ultimate glory.  So you might say, whether famous or infamous, the deeds men do, will in one way or another bring glory to God.  We can choose this course of bringing God glory, or we can insult His authority and make truly heinous choices.  Even in these, God will reign supreme, judging the infamous actions with impunity.  We don’t always see it, others continue to debate it, but this is my solemn belief.

It is the essence of truth found in Romans 8:28

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  

verse 31 begins… “What then shall we say to these things?

My answer is:  Amen, and Amen!

God let me be famous for bringing you glory with my life!

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Perusing in Pursuit

Daily Post Pursue


I have always liked the hunt, like a hound following the scent.  Or like a detective working to take in all the facts, then assimilating the strands of information into a whole image, ultimately revealing some hidden or little known truth.  I pursue the English language in search of new expressions or meanings which are secondary rather than primary to the readers first and obvious thought about a word.  Using this method, writing becomes more challenging for me, and for you – the reader, because it demands that we get past the preconceived ideas that our language is one dimensional, or can only mean one thing.

For example, take the word “well.” It can me something “well” done, whether a behavior, or an over-cooked steak.  Well can mean a hole from which water, oil, or gas are obtained.  The hole could be maxed out at which time it becomes a dry well, like that over-cooked steak.  Well can be an expression on its own. “Well, I didn’t see that one coming!”, or just “Well!”  Fun stuff huh?  Context, and usage, are determined by the speaker/writer; but interpretation must come from the hearer/reader.  For those who use English as a second, third, or fourth language the nuances of interpretation are somewhat difficult at times.

Language and communication were designed by God to allow the human creature to interact within our species in meaningful and intelligent ways.  These tools also allow for the human creature to interact with the Creator using language He instituted for this purpose.  God’s Spirit pursued men whose hearts were tuned to His heart, and spoke to them in ways that resulted in a written record of what God wants us to know.  Not just know on a cursory level or having read it once, or listened to it being read just once.  The Bible has been given to us for the purpose of enhancing our relationship with the Creator of the universe.

When we peruse the Bible, flipping here and yon to re-read our favorite verses over and over, perseverating the same knowledge, like singing a song over and over until you sing it in your sleep, we miss the point of the whole.  There is so much more than Romans 8:28, which most people I know use interpretively incorrectly anyway.  There is so much more than Philippians 4:13 and the concept of “doing” things for God.  It’s not about what I can do for Him, it’s about what He wants to do in me that is unimaginable to me without submitting to His Lordship in my life.  Perusing is not the same as pursuing.

Yet, it is a good place to start.  Perusing the Bible for a story you’ve never heard, now that is a good pursuit.  Do you know the etymology of the words of Jesus in John 12:32, or John 3:14?  Hint, it’s an Old Testament story which some may have heard, but never seen the connection.  This is a good pursuit.  God find it, and see what God says to you through your pursuit.

In Daniel 3, there is a great story about Daniel’s friends arrested because they wouldn’t bow down to Nebuchadnezzar’s idol in worship.  They get thrown into a furnace of blazing fire, yet come out not even smelling like smoke or fire.  It makes for a great Sunday School lesson, but have you found the New Testament link in this narrative?  Who is that fourth person in Daniel 3:25, and what if any application can I make from this story to my life today?  This is a good pursuit.

One last example.  I know people who read the same book, or watch the same movie, once a year because it is their favorite.  There’s nothing wrong with this, I seem to watch the same Christmas movies over and over because I like them.  But, here’s the thing.  I don’t know anyone who watches the same movie even once a month, much less once a week, or every day of their lives, do you?  I don’t know anyone who, once they’ve read the last page of their favorite novel, puts the book down and reads the same exact book over and over every day.

When we peruse the Bible, reading only those parts that have special meaning for us, we limit God’s ability to teach us all that He desires us to learn.  My challenge to you today is to pursue all that God has in His word for you.  Try just one month of getting outside the box of your favorite Bible verses, and dive deep into the parts you seldom read, to see if God may say something new and exciting to you today!


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