From Handbook to Renewal
The Attributes of God
The Lord of hosts is wonderful in counsel and great in wisdom. (Isaiah 28:29)
In Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:3)
The Works of God
The Lord has said, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom He has chosen for His inheritance. (Psalm 33:12)
My Relationship to God
I know that if my earthly house, or tent, is destroyed, I have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this house I groan, longing to be clothed with my heavenly dwelling, because when I am clothed, I will not be found naked. For while I am in this tent, I groan, being burdened, because I do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed,so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now it is God who has made me for this very purpose and has given me the Spirit as a guarantee. (2 Corinthians 5:1–5)
I make it my ambition to please the Lord, whether I am at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:9–10)
The Character I Want to Cultivate
I will watch and pray so that I will not fall into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Matthew 26:41)
I will devote myself to prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. (Colossians 4:2)
My Relationship to Others
I will obey those who are in authority over me in all things, not with external service as a pleaser of men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever I do, I will work at it with all my heart, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that I will receive the reward of the inheritance from the Lord. It is the Lord Christ I am serving. (Colossians 3:22–24)
I will provide my subordinates with what is just and fair, knowing that I also have a Master in heaven. (Colossians 4:1)
From Handbook to Prayer
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. (James 1:12)
Those who suffer according to the will of God should commit themselves to their faithful Creator in doing good. (1 Peter 4:19)
I am from God and am an overcomer, because He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
Pause to reflect upon these biblical affirmations.
Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits;
Who forgives all your iniquities
And heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit
And crowns you with love and compassion;
Who satisfies your desires with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psalm 103:1–5)
Pause to offer your own expressions of thanksgiving.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God is my rock; I will take refuge in Him,
My shield and the horn of my salvation,
My stronghold and my refuge—
My Savior, You save me from violence.
I call on the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
And I am saved from my enemies. (2 Samuel 22:2–4)
From Handbook to God’s Promises
THE PROMISES IN GOD’S CREATION OF ME
Check Your Label
Read Psalm 139:13–16
Labels aren’t always helpful, but in some cases they are. For instance, in defining where we human beings fit in the grand scheme of the “animal” species, here are the labels that zoologists use to put us in our place (moving from the general to the specific).
First, human beings (Homo sapiens) are animals (kingdom Animalia) with a backbone (phylum Chordata) and a segmented spinal cord (subphylum Vertebrata). We suckle our young (class Mammalia) and gestate them with the help of a placenta (subclass Eutheria).We have five digits at the end of our limbs, a collarbone and one pair of mammary glands (order Primates). Then, we have front-pointing eyes, stereo vision, and a relatively large brain (suborder Anthropoidea). Finally, we are of the family Hominidae. A pedigree like that could be a source of pride. But, from the evolutionist’s perspective, it simply says that a human being is the most highly-evolved collection of carbon and protein on the planet. So it takes more than a Latin label to give the human creature the respect he or she deserves.
Long before research grants, tenure tracks, and textbook deals were part of the study of human origins, a simple shepherd-king living in the land of Israel was given a much more accurate perspective on the human being. He used one simple label to set humans apart from everything else he had observed: “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Through lonely nights and dangerous days as a shepherd, he had seen the world of living beings: sheep, lions, snakes, scorpions, bears, vultures, hawks, sparrows, ants, badgers—his list could stretch for pages. But in all his observation, he had found nothing that matched the humble but awesome beauty of the human being.
When David wrote this passage, he also wrote about you. You too were “knit together” in your mother’s womb under the direction and protection of God. Next time you feel a little lost in the land of living things, check your label: “fearfully and wonderfully made.
God’s Promise: Of all He has created, only human begins—including you—are fearfully and wonderfully made.