February 16

Numbers 22-24, Psalm 47

The New Age movement is popular and growing. The term began in the 1970's and 1980's, and was widely popularized by actress, Shirley MacLaine. It's roots are in Eastern mysticism. It's extremely popular now because it is attractive to those who want to be "spiritual" but don't want to give up materialism, deal with moral issues, or submit under any authority. Through their philosophy they believe they can become their own God, through their own efforts. They mix in Christian terminology and believe they are inclusive rather than being exclusive. Though this might seem to be an extreme stance, how often do all of us try to view God through our human eyes? How often do we diminish how different His ways are than our ways? We read in Isaiah 55:8-9, "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways, " says the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts."

Our memory verse in the One Year Bible Challenge for this week, and one that we should truly ponder is Numbers 23:19, "God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?" Our descriptions of God in human terms always fall short, because He is not a man, and cannot be brought down to our level. We forgive but not like God does. We love but not like God does. We know but not like God does. How many times have we heard people mistakenly say, "If I were God, then I would do this or that?" Look at the words of God through the false prophet Balaam in 23:21, "He has not observed iniquity in Jacob, Nor has He seen wickedness in Israel. The Lord his God is with him, And the shout of a king is among them." Though Jacob was full of iniquity and wickedness, God saw this all, but because of His grace He wouldn't act on it, since their sins had been forgiven.

Though our little children are cute and adorable, one of the first things they learn to say are "no" and "mine". They are full of wickedness and sin even at a young age. Yet we as parents and grandparents don't see this or focus on this. We act in grace, love and mercy with these young children not holding them responsible for each infraction. For those of us who have accepted Christ's payment for our sins, we can be comforted to know that this is how God sees us. We read in Romans 3:23-24, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,". When God looks at us, He doesn't see us as wicked sinners but as forgiven and clothed in the righteousness of Jesus." We read in 2 Corinthians 5:21, "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." We may all put our best outward appearance on and think we can fool the world into thinking we are righteous by our own merits and goodness. Any who feel this way are lying to themselves. Though God knows us best, we know the reality of ourselves better than anyone else. The thought of one day coming before God in our own strength and being judged for how we chose to live our lives, knowing that nothing could be hidden from His eyes should terrify all of us. We read in Hebrews 4:13, "And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account." Jesus said in Luke 8:17," For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light." So, though I would have no leg to stand on, covered head to toe in the fullness of my sins, like the prophecy in Numbers 23:21, we can take comfort that He does not see our iniquity or wickedness. He doesn't see them because they have been covered by the blood of our Savior, and each and every one of our sins have been paid in full by the only sacrifice capable of doing so, by the perfect, unblemished, Lamb of God.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster