November 25 Esight, 2007

Enoch lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Methuselah. Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years. —Genesis 5:21-22Last Monday at 1:00 p.m. (give or take a few minutes), my wife gave birth to a beautiful baby son, Christian Journey Montgomery. He came into this world at a whopping 7 pounds and 5.6 ounces. Each time we have had the privilege of experiencing this joy, something inside me clicks, and I begin to feel a depth of love toward this little human being that I have never felt toward any other. Love that words cannot describe. Love that can only be experienced and understood by other parents who have felt the same.

Maybe this is why Moses stated that Enoch became a father then he walked with God. If what Enoch felt toward Methuselah, if what I feel toward my children is anything remotely kindred to what God feels toward me as His little one, then truly I can understand why the Bible states that I am the “apple of His eye” (Zechariah 2:8).

It is also interesting to watch my peers who have not had children yet. They look at all the sacrifices a new little one brings and can’t imagine why we would be so happy. But when love awakens in the heart of a parent, when that mysterious bond surfaces between a little boy or girl and that child’s father, every duty becomes a delight and every sacrifice a pleasure, and I truly can’t imagine my life without them. I begin to grasp why God would make such great sacrifices for me, his son.

“Look upon that wounded head, the pierced side, the marred feet. Remember that Christ risked all; ‘tempted like as we are,’ he staked even his own eternal existence upon the issue of the conflict. Heaven itself was imperiled for our redemption. At the foot of the cross, remembering that for one sinner Jesus would have yielded up his life, we may estimate the value of a soul.” (Ellen White, General Conference Bulletin, December 1, 1895, par. 22)

For me, “God permitted His Son to come … at the risk of failure and eternal loss. The heart of the human father yearns over his son. He looks into the face of his little child and trembles at the thought of life’s peril. He longs to shield his dear one from Satan’s power, to hold him back from temptation and conflict. To meet a bitterer conflict and a more fearful risk, God gave His only-begotten Son. … Herein is love. Wonder, O heavens! and be astonished, O earth!” (Ellen White, Desire of Ages, p. 49).

But God did not take this great risk and make this great sacrifice just for me. He did it for you, too, dear reader. This week, spend some time contemplating the glorious truth that you are God’s little boy or girl and that He is your Daddy. You are the most precious thing in the universe to Him. To save you, He has and will continue to risk all. He will stop at nothing, for He considers “no sacrifice too great” for you. (Ellen White, Christ Object Lessons, p. 282) Wonder, O heavens, and be astonished, O earth.

November 18 Esight, 2007

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. —Matthew 5:48.

Thank you so much for your patience this past week. We have received so many emails wondering where their daily and weekly emails were, it was a tremendous blessing to see how many are actually out there reading and being blessed. Sincerely, my wife and I were catching up on some last minute preparations for our soon to be born son. Please forgive the lapse in emails. By Monday we should have a new baby boy!

This week, rather than writing a devotional, I would simply like to share with you one of my favorite selections from a favorite author of mine. May you be blessed by her as I have been. I will be writing again by next week, but until then, please keep my wife and I in your prayers. We will be headed to the hospital Sunday evening. We’ll keep you all posted!

The word “therefore” implies a conclusion, an inference from what has gone before. Jesus has been describing to His hearers the unfailing mercy and love of God, and He bids them therefore to be perfect. Because your heavenly Father “is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil” (Luke 6:35), because He has stooped to lift you up, therefore, said Jesus, you may become like Him in character, and stand without fault in the presence of men and angels.

The conditions of eternal life, under grace, are just what they were in Eden–perfect righteousness, harmony with God, perfect conformity to the principles of His law. The standard of character presented in the Old Testament is the same that is presented in the New Testament. This standard is not one to which we cannot attain. In every command or injunction that God gives there is a promise, the most positive, underlying the command. God has made provision that we may become like unto Him, and He will accomplish this for all who do not interpose a perverse will and thus frustrate His grace.

With untold love our God has loved us, and our love awakens toward Him as we comprehend something of the length and breadth and depth and height of this love that passeth knowledge. By the revelation of the attractive loveliness of Christ, by the knowledge of His love expressed to us while we were yet sinners, the stubborn heart is melted and subdued,and the sinner is transformed and becomes a child of heaven. God does not employ compulsory measures; love is the agent which He uses to expel sin from the heart. By it He changes pride into humility, and enmity and unbelief into love and faith.

The Jews had been wearily toiling to reach perfection by their own efforts, and they had failed. Christ had already told them that their righteousness could never enter the kingdom of heaven. Now He points out to them the character of the righteousness that all who enter heaven will possess. Throughout the Sermon on the Mount He describes its fruits, and now in one sentence He points out its source and its nature: Be perfect as God is perfect. The law is but a transcript of the character of God. Behold in your heavenly Father a perfect manifestation of the principles which are the foundation of His government.

God is love. Like rays of light from the sun, love and light and joy flow out from Him to all His creatures. It is His nature to give. His very life is the outflow of unselfish love.

“His glory is His children’s good;

His joy, His tender Fatherhood.”

He tells us to be perfect as He is, in the same manner. We are to be centers of light and blessing to our little circle, even as He is to the universe. We have nothing of ourselves, but the light of His love shines upon us, and we are to reflect its brightness. “In His borrowed goodness good,” we may be perfect in our sphere, even as God is perfect in His.

Jesus said, Be perfect as your Father is perfect. If you are the children of God you are partakers of His nature, and you cannot but be like Him. Every child lives by the life of his father. If you are God’s children, begotten by His Spirit, you live by the life of God. In Christ dwells “all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9); and the life of Jesus is made manifest “in our mortal flesh” (2 Corinthians 4:11). That life in you will produce the same character and manifest the same works as it did in Him. Thus you will be in harmony with every precept of His law; for “the law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul.” Psalm 19:7, margin. Through love “the righteousness of the law” will be “fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:4.

(Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings, p. 76-77)

November 4 Esight, 2007

May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written, ‘THAT YOU MAY BE JUSTIFIED IN YOUR WORDS, AND PREVAIL WHEN YOU ARE JUDGED.’—Romans 3:4

As I travel this globe, I am deeply convinced that no one has been lied about, misunderstood, accused, blamed, misperceived, and in need of vindication more than God. Looking at the books of Daniel and Revelation, I sense a pervasive theme surfacing. First, each chapter in Daniel points forward to the final vindication of God’s character:

Chapter 1 – God’s Earthly Kingdom Attacked / God’s Kingdom Vindicated

Chapter 2 – World’s Kingdoms Revolt / God’s Kingdom Triumphant

Chapter 3 – God’s Earthly Kingdom Attacked / God’s Kingdom Vindicated

Chapter 4 – World’s Kingdoms Revolt / God’s Kingdom Triumphant

Chapter 5 – God’s Sanctuary-Kingdom Attacked / God’s Kingdom Triumphant

Chapter 6 – God’s Earthly Kingdom Attacked / God’s Kingdom Vindicated

Chapter 7 – God’s Heavenly Kingdom Attacked / God’s Kingdom Restored

Chapters 8-9 – God’s Heavenly Kingdom Attacked / God’s Kingdom Restored

Chapters 10-12 – God’s Heavenly Kingdom Attacked / God’s Kingdom Restored

Second, the theme of Revelation is very easy to decipher as well, if you will go through and simply read the worship statements therein. Many times, we gloss over these as just flowery statements about God by beings in heavenly places, but go back and reread them. Use them as signposts. Then go back and let the rest fill in the spaces between. What you will begin to sense is that the whole book is about the decimation and then restoration of God’s character not simply on earth, but before the entire unfallen universe as well.

Chapter 8 shares that when the seventh seal is opened, there will be a space of silence in Heaven (Revelation 8:1). I personally believe that this will be when all eyes finally see, in the moments of God’s full, undiluted disclosure, the magnitude of His character of love, when every knee should bow and every tongue will confess that God is what He has always said He was (Isaiah 45:23, Romans 14:11, and Philippians 2:10). Just before the seventh angel sounds his trumpet, Revelation states that the “mystery of God” will be finished (Revelation 10:7)! This is the same time when the angel of chapter 18 will lighten the earth once again with a revelation of God’s character unequalled since the days of Calvary (Revelation 18:1).

In light of all this, I am reminded, in the context of the times in which we live, of those in the scriptures who made a decision to live on intimate terms with the God of this universe. God speaks of these individuals as “My friends” (Isaiah 41:8). Today, I believe we are to “understand the times,” perceiving what we are to do (1 Chronicles 12:32). It is time for the friends of God to cry out, to proclaim from the rooftops, “Behold your God” (Isaiah 40:9).

I have met many people in my life, but none has ever loved me the way I feel loved in the moments when I catch a glimpse, when I receive a glimmer of a right perception of what God was doing for me on the cross. The revelation of God’s love for me at Calvary astounds me. For this and this alone, God is my best friend. Even if there were nothing in it for me, His love has so deeply affected my life that it has won me at such a heart level that I feel resonance when I meditate on this week’s theme. I want to do something for Him! I want to give my life, my all, to Him for His cause! I want to be used by Him to rescue His person from all the lies perpetrated in His name. Especially in these closing hours of earth’s history, I hear God’s whisper in my heart,

“My son, be wise, and make My heart glad, that I may answer him who reproaches Me” (Proverbs 27:11).

God, I hear You, this week. You have my vote. Take my life and use it to “lighten this earth” with Your glory once again.

“Some have been asking how long, and I am telling you, it will not be long.

Truth pressed down to the ground will rise again. No lie can live forever.”—MLK Jr.