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Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 27:4’

If I asked you, “What’s the most popular flower?”, you’d probably get the answer right. It’s the rose. En masse on the bush, they provide a striking sight—dozens of large blooms framed by dark green leaves.

 

Rose-bush

 

But most of us can’t pass by a rose-bush without leaning in close to view the soft petals, and breathe in the singular scent. To study a blossom up close enhances our appreciation.

 

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We notice the varying colors, the delicate curl of each petal, the intricate, spiraling pattern. Our sense of wonder increases the more we gaze.

Might the same be true as we study the beauty of our God? That’s what David wanted to do:

 

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(“One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple” (Psalm 27:4).

 

But how can we gaze upon an invisible God? By contemplating all his glorious attributes. One commentator described the beauty of the Lord as the harmony of his perfections. I like that.

Just as the petals of a rose create a harmony of color, pattern, symmetry, and form, so the traits of our holy God manifest a harmony of perfect grace, holiness, triunity, and power.

And though we may be acquainted with a number of God’s attributes, appreciation of their beauty expands with a close-up view—through the lenses of scripture and personal experience.  For example:

God’s beautiful grace becomes visible in the story of the prodigal son, as we witness the father actually running to welcome his wayward son home.  He throws his arms around the filthy youth, even kissing him (Luke 15:11-20).

prodigal-son

God’s glorious holiness (purity, righteousness, and separateness from everything else in the universe) is highlighted in Revelation 4:1-11 as John strains for words to describe the Lord of heaven…

… ”Seated on the Throne, suffused in gem hues of amber and flame with a nimbus of emerald…Lightning flash and thunder crash pulsed from the Throne. Seven fire-blazing torches fronted the Throne (these are the Sevenfold Spirit of God)” — vs. 3-5, The Message.  

God’s harmonious triunity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is celebrated in Ephesians 1. Paul reminds us that:

  • God the Father bestows all spiritual blessings upon us (v.3).
  • God the Son provided redemption and forgiveness of our sin (v.7).
  • God the Spirit guarantees our inheritance in heaven and gives us assurance (vs. 13b-14).

And God’s magnificent power is on display throughout scripture and creation, even in our personal lives.  Our Heavenly Father is a God of infinite wisdom, unfailing guidance, strong empowerment, attentive care, competent help,  rich blessings, and more.

We can contemplate each of these attributes as we would the individual petals of a perfect rose.  We can remember occasions when he has demonstrated each trait in our lives.  And perhaps we’ll burst into song as Moses did:

 

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(“Who among the god is like you, O Lord?  Who is like you–majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?” — Exodus 15:11).

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

My heart fills with wonder and praise, O Lord, because you are a beautiful, holy God.  No one is your equal in power, wisdom, creativity, splendor, or love.  No one else is perfect in all he does.  And you, in all your holy glory are  My.  Heavenly.  Father.   Such statements are too glorious to comprehend!  

But oh, how grateful I am that they are true.

(Photo & art credits:  www.dorsetcereals.com; http://www.flickr.com; http://www.ameliarhodes.com; http://www.luke-15.org; http://www.praisejesustoday.com.)

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Christmas is a season of lights.

Candles glow and twinkling lights glimmer from houses, buildings, and trees.

People love all the flickering and shimmering!  Some spend weeks decorating their yards and rooftops in spectacles of light.  If you asked them why, they might be hard-pressed to express more than, “They’re beautiful, that’s all.”

 

 

But perhaps it’s more than just aesthetics.  Perhaps it’s a heart-response.

Light is symbolic for:

  • Beauty.  Light grabs our attention, whether it’s  soft and luminous, or sparkling and dazzling. It can also be refracted into a glorious spectrum of colors.
  • Safety.  Where there is light, we can see our surroundings.
  • Comfort.  A nightlight offers just that for many a child who is afraid of the dark.
  • Hope.  Light gleams triumphantly over the darkness, at the end of a tunnel.
  • Guidance.  Light illuminates the way.

Might it be that people are drawn to the lights of Christmas because the human spirit is drawn to the Light?

Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world (John 8:12).  He is Light because God the Father is Light (1 John 1:5).

And the Light of God the Father and God the Son is not merely symbolic.

God the Son is safety, because he offers eternal life.  “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:28-29).

God the Father is comfort, because he is loving and compassionate.  “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4a).

God the Son is hope, because of his resurrectionHe was raised from the dead, and we will be also.  “In his great mercy [God] has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:3b-4).

God the Father is beauty, because of all his glorious attributes.  “I’m asking God for one thing…To live with him in his house my whole life long.  I’ll contemplate his beauty; I’ll study at his feet” (Psalm 27:4, The Message).

God the Father is guidance.  “He will guide you always” (Isaiah 58:11a).

Christmas lights cast a soft glow; spotlights illuminate large areas.  But Jesus said, “I am the Light of the World.”   To every person in every corner, he offers his Light.

Let’s make time to linger in his dazzling Light this season!

“Blessed are those…who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord” (Psalm 89:15)!

(photo and art credits:  www.onebestwall.com, http://www.moyerlawncare.com, http://www.8thfire.net, http://www.naturewatcher.wordpress.com)

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As I set the dish washing soap down on the counter, a small cluster of bubbles burst from the open top.  Playfully they danced upward in front of the window.  And I didn’t just smile; I giggled.

Memories associated with bubbles floated through my mind as I watched those drifting bubbles—memories of our children, and now our granddaughter–gleefully capturing bubbles that family members provided for their popping pleasure.  As they grew older, the children took on the challenge of slow and steady blowing, to make the biggest bubbles possible.

 

 

But it’s just a pocket of air surrounded by a film of soap.  Why is it that a bubble grabs our attention?

First, no one can refute their beauty:

  • Bubbles reflect light and sparkle with iridescence.
  • Bubbles refract light into brilliant pastel hues.  Ever-changing ribbons of color pirouette over the surface in rainbow swirls.
  • Bubbles gracefully glide across space, undulating on the air currents.

Each of these aspects can also draw attention to another form of beauty: the beauty of the Lord.

 

 

(“One thing I ask of the Lord,

this is what I seek: …

to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord.”

–Psalm 27:4)

 

But what does the beauty of bubbles (of all things) have to do with God?

Bubbles remind me that:

1)  God is light (1 John 1:5).  Ezekiel saw him “as if full of fire…Brilliant light surrounds him” (Ezekiel 1:27).  “The Lord is my light” is also a symbolic statement, referring to his truth and goodness.

2)  The refraction of light into glorious colors is reminiscent of the first rainbow (Genesis 9:15-17).  God told Noah that never again would he send a flood to destroy all life on earth.  The rainbow was a sign of this promise.  To this day, a rainbow—even a rainbow on a bubble—is a reminder that God keeps his promises.

 

 

3) The grace with which bubbles move brings to mind the grace of God.  He, too, moves in gentle ways within our spirits, like a loving shepherd tenderly gathering the lambs to his heart (Isaiah 40:11).

Perhaps God’s whole intention for creating bubbles (and many other phenomenon in nature) was to grab our attention and turn our thoughts to him.

So the next time bubbles escape from the bottle of the dish soap, you may wish to send up a prayer of praise, as they merrily bob through the air:

 

You are resplendent with light, O God (Psalm 76:4)!

You are faithful to all your promises (Psalm 145:13c)!

You are compassionate and gracious, slow to anger,

abounding in love and faithfulness (Exodus 34:6)!

 

But why wait for serendipity bubbles?  Take some of that dish soap and create your own!

 

 

Revel in the sparkling light, the whirling rainbows, the graceful dance…

 

…and worship!

 

(photo credits:  www.flickr.com; http://www.pixabay.com;  www.dailyverses.net; wikimedia.com; http://www.pixabay.com.)

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