The Majesty of Christ (6)

A Six-day devotional for private and family use

We are not God

To illustrate the difference between human beings and God, imagine an empty canister about the size of a large peanut butter container. There is a label on the jar that reads: “To determine if you are in fact God use only the contents of this container to create a 1957 Corvette, preferably a red convertible model. You have ten minutes to accomplish this task. Ready. Set. Go!”

The person screws off the top of the jar and looks inside only to find it empty. The small print on the back of the container reads, “Since God was able to create all matter and every living thing in the universe in six days, it is not too much to ask of you to create one thing from nothing.” This is called the “You’re Not God” kit.

Part six of six

God possesses two types of qualities. The first type he shares with human beings. We are spiritual, able to think, and are moral beings. This is possible because God is a Spirit, possesses intellectual capabilities, and is moral (loving and just). Although we share these type of qualities with God, he possesses them perfectly while our ability to be spiritual, intellectual, and moral is flawed by sin. The second type of characteristics is unique to God. He is self-existing, unchangeable, infinite, and perfect. We possess no parts of this type of qualities and never will because God is totally other than his creation, while we are part of the things he has created.

The Majesty of Christ (5)

A Six-day devotional for private and family use

The Power of Truth

Speaking the truth is more powerful than lies. A lie requires constant deception and continuing lies to support itself. Its foundation is so weak that once discovered it is rejected. Truth, on the other hand, is powerful. Truth needs no support. Truth is the pillar of knowledge and wisdom with all of creation grounded in truth. The truth may be denied and ignored for a period of time, but it will eventually overcome all lies.

Part five of six

To understand and celebrate the majesty of Christ takes a bit of mental strength. His majesty is so enormous that the Bible uses six words that when combined explain how majestic Jesus is. We have talked about the majesty of Jesus being glorious, powerful, eternal, and triumphant. Each characteristic highlights a benefit we enjoy as we place our faith in the Majestic One. This next characteristic is not to be separated from the other six. Often we think of truth as something abstract. Truth to God is not impersonal facts. To God, truth is personal. The truth of God’s Word is the pillar upon which this world was created (2 Pet 3:5-7) and the foundation of salvation in Christ (Jm 1:18).

The Majesty of Christ (4)

A Six-day devotional for private and family use

Breakfast with the President

Meeting an important person can make you do funny things. Their presence can be overwhelming. I was invited to the President’s Prayer Breakfast in Washington D.C. a few years ago. Dignitaries, world leaders, politicians, Supreme Court Justices, and prominent business owners filled the Hilton ballroom. At this hotel’s main entrance, a few years earlier, President Regan was shot with a .22 pistol. With the recently elected President, George Bush senior in attendance security was high. Excitement and anticipation were elevated.

Part four of six

Before the breakfast, I was introduced to a mayor from a prominent city on the eastern seaboard. Initially, it was like any other greeting until she looked directly at me. She projected a confidence and composure I had never experienced. While shaking her hand I felt my knees weaken. What was happening to me? My mind was registering how powerful and authoritative she was, my heart sensed I was in the presence of someone important, and my legs couldn’t take the weight of being in the presence of an important person. Her presence had a significant effect on me.

The Majesty of Christ (3)

A Six-day devotional for private and family use

We are Temporal Beings

Eternity is a difficult concept for us to grasp because we can’t fully experience it during our lifetime. When the Bible speaks of eternity it isn’t simply a designation of unending time. It is the quality of life that God exists in and refers to the continuation and consistency of his majestic authority for all time.

Part three of six

Majesty is such a huge concept in the Bible that it requires six terms to fully describe what it means.  The third characteristic of majesty is eternity.

The Majesty of Christ (2)

A Six-day devotional for private and family use

God the Almighty

Majesty is an unfamiliar concept in Ameria. We have an elected president, not a monarchy. This makes it difficult to fully grasp a person being majestic. In the first talk, we came to the conclusion that Jesus was the most famous person we will ever meet. He is Majesty and his majesty is more glorious than any structure built by human beings.

Knowing Jesus gloriously reigns should and will make an impact on our lives. That impact occurs when we come to worship on Sunday morning.

Part two of six

Recently in South Carolina, my family and I experienced a full solar eclipse. We drove down to a rest area off of I-26 just west of Columbia. It lasted for over two hours but the actual shadow of the moon only lasted for 90 seconds.

When the moon completely covered the sun, it became so dark that the parking lights came on, the traffic on the interstate had to turn on their headlights, and the frogs began croaking as if it was evening.

As amazing as that moment was, what was even more amazing was the sun’s power to illuminate the earth. With 99% of the sun covered it still had enough power to light the earth. We often take for granted the power of the Sun until it’s hidden in an event like a solar eclipse.

The Majesty of Christ (1)

A Six-day devotional for private and family use

Introduction to The Majesty of Christ: He is glorious.

Over the next two weeks we are going on a journey, an adventure, to discover that God is majestic and to let that truth influence how you view worship.

Read these talks during your private devotions with God or print all six of them and use them for daily family devotions for the next six days. Start reading them aloud on Monday and finish on Saturday. This will prepare you for Sunday morning worship.

I promise you will not view worship in the same way after reading these devotions.

Part one of six

A woman entered a Haagen-Dazs store on the Kansas City Plaza for an ice-cream cone. After making her selection, she turned around and found herself face to face with Paul Newman. He was in town filming the movie Mr. & Mrs. Bridge. He smiled and said hello. Noticing Newman’s blue eyes caused her knees to shake. She managed to pay for her cone, then left the store abruptly with her heart pounding. When she gained composure, she noticed her snack was missing. Returning to the store she met Newman at the door. “Are you looking for your ice-cream?” he asked. Unable to speak she simply nodded. “You put it in your purse with your change.”

What Does It Mean to Be a Mature Christian?

Philippians 3:12-21 NIV

Having trouble thinking, at your age, you can change?

To mature the Christians living in Philippi, Paul wrote a letter focused on Gospel elements that bring joy to the Christian’s experience.

Paul’s encounter with the resurrected Christ began a new mission and message in his life. Yet, there was something more he worked toward; something he strove to attain; something that would mature his faith and please God. What had Paul yet to attain? Paul wanted to take hold of Jesus with the same intensity that Jesus took hold of him.

Paul’s encounter with the resurrected Christ began a new mission and message in his life. Yet, there was something more he worked toward; something he strove to attain; something that would mature his faith and please God. What had Paul yet to attain? Paul wanted to take hold of Jesus with the same intensity that Jesus took hold of him.

Paul claims to yet be made perfect.  The Greek word Paul uses is “teleioo” and means to finish or complete something.  It’s also translated “made mature.”  Paul wrote that he wasn’t fully mature; things he was to do and things that must change in him remained and needed to be overcome if he was to continue to grow and be like Jesus.  We too have things to do for God and things needing a change in our lives.

What does being a mature Christian mean?  Does it mean no longer facing problems?  Will all our earthly desires, needs, and wants be satisfied?  Does it mean we triumph over adversity; defeat our adversaries; and live in constant peace, ease, and trouble free?  If so, then not only am I not a mature Christian, I’ve never met one.

Paul defines what it means to be a mature Christian.

Church Calendar

Aligning Christian and Social Holidays into an Annual Church Calendar

Developing an Annual Church Calendar

Whether you are a new pastor, associate pastor, or a seasoned pastor, developing an annual Church calendar has become part of leading a congregation in the development of its ministry plan.

More and more churches are using annual calendar planning sessions to map out the implementation of its vision for the coming year. There also appears more interest in learning about the historic Church calendar than in the recent past. To base ministry planning around a twelve-month structure that considers historic Christian traditions and practices are becoming more popular each year as church leaders find that it saves them time in the long run. Even solo pastors of smaller congregations find it advantageous to make an annual ministry plan for the churches they serve.

For all aspects of ministry, developing an effective and useful calendar is essential. This is where worship service themes, sermon topics and series, special music, communion, and other dynamics used in worship are coordinated. Much time coordinating events, promotions, and other ministry support activities are served by a well-planned calendar.

I take one or two days each year to get away and focus on developing an annual Church calendar. Once the calendar is complete I present it the Elders for any changes they wish to make and then we vote to approve it as a tool to implement the ministry vision for that year. One side benefit of having an annual Church calendar pre-approved is that all of the activities in that schedule also are approved upon the Elder’s approval.