Praise to the Lord, the FIRST and the LAST
“Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me.”
Sometimes spiritual concepts are difficult. Not so with God’s announcement about Himself. God’s words are simple, direct, and clear. We don’t have to analyze anything or ponder God’s statement to understand it. We simply need to respond in faith. (Hebrews 11:6)
Lord God, You make it clear that there is no God besides You. You are the FIRST and the LAST!
I’m speaking at FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, MIDLAND, TX tonight. If you’re in the area, I’d love to have you join me, 6-9 p.m. If you’re not, please pray for an outpouring of God’s Spirit on all there.
Praise to FINISHER OF OUR FAITH
“…looking unto Jesus, the author and FINISHER of OUR FAITH, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Have you ever considered how much Jesus despised the shame of the cross? Yet, He suffered through it in order to not only give us a start in our Christian walk, but to also make sure that our faith is perfected, complete, finished. It is with tremendous gratitude each of us should look heavenward in praise of our Lord and thank Him – the author AND FINISHER of OUR FAITH!
Lord Jesus, we praise You, the FINISHER of OUR FAITH!
Praise to the FATHER OF SPIRITS
“We had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the FATHER OF SPIRITS, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.”
God. FATHER OF SPIRITS. The ways in which God the Father, Son, and Spirit reveal themselves is incredible, isn’t it? In Hebrews 12:9-10 we’re told that God is the FATHER OF SPIRITS. Not only did He birth our existence, He also assumes responsibility for our discipline so that we share in His holiness. The next time we sense conviction for something we did that we know went against the will of God, let’s pay attention rather than ignore His voice. It’s the FATHER OF SPIRITS calling to us.
FATHER OF SPIRITS, thank You for loving us and calling us to holiness. We praise You!
Praise to FATHER OF MERCIES
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the FATHER OF MERCIES and God of all comfort,”
What was or is your father like? Strong? Caring? Harsh? Absent? In today’s verse, God reveals Himself as the FATHER OF MERCIES. As Father, He is the the “originator and transmitter”* of mercy. So when we think about our Heavenly Father, we can be assured that He not only thought about mercy, He actually transmitted it to us in the gift of salvation. Does that cause you to sing His praises?
FATHER of MERCIES, we praise You! Thank You for not just thinking about being merciful, but for extending it to us. We love You.
Praise to FATHER OF LIGHTS
“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the FATHER OF LIGHTS, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.”
Are you going through a dark time physically, emotionally, or spiritually? It can happen to even the most dedicated follower of Christ. What are we to do during dark trials, temptations, and despair? Remember the truth: God is the FATHER OF LIGHTS. Regarding this verse, Charles Ryrie writes, “God is the source of all light – physical, intellectual, moral, and spiritual – and He does not change.”* If we need a change, then we do well to look to the FATHER OF LIGHTS and follow His advice on moral, physical, intellectual, and spiritual matters. That’s where we’ll regain the light we desperately need.
Lord, we praise You, Father of Lights! Fill us with the Light of Your Presence.
*Charles Ryrie, the Ryrie Study Bible Expanded Edition, New American Standard Bible 1995 Update, The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, page 1969.
Praise to Our FAITHFUL Creator
“Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a FAITHFUL CREATOR in doing what is right.”
The apostle Peter doesn’t sugar coat what it means to be a disciple of Christ. He explains that Jesus suffered and we will suffer. Jesus drew a line in the sand. He said we are either with Him or against Him. If we are with Him, there will be people who call us names and attack us for the sake of their cause. But, in the midst of suffering, we are encouraged. To do what? To entrust our souls – not to the changing culture, but rather to our Faithful Creator.
FAITHFUL CREATOR, we praise You that we can trust You and entrust our souls to You!
Jesus! the EXACT REPRESENTATION of God’s Nature
“He (Jesus) is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature,”
“I wonder what God is like.” Have you ever had that thought? If so, you have your answer in Jesus. Look at the Son and you’ll know what the Father is like. Why? Because Jesus is the “spitting image” of His Daddy. Or, as Scholar William Barclay explains, “Jesus is the shining of God’s glory among men.” He is the stamped image of God.
Christ Jesus, we look at You and see our Heavenly Father… and all His love, grace, and glory. We praise You, Lord.
FIND MORE encouragement HERE.
We worship You, Lord, You are EVERYWHERE
“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there. If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me.”
I was in high school when these verses first caught my attention. They were so beautiful that I took my guitar in hand and wrote music to the words. “If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me.” Which of the verses are your favorite? Which provide you the most comfort; knowing God is everywhere and that He is always with you?
Lord God, I praise You that You are EVERYWHERE, and there is no place I can go and be apart from Your presence.
Thank you, ETERNAL FATHER
“His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, ETERNAL FATHER, Prince of Peace.”
Bible scholar Charles Ryrie provides insight into the description ETERNAL FATHER. In his Study Bible he explains that this literally means, “Father of Eternity; i.e., Messiah is eternally a Father to His people, guarding, supplying, and caring for their needs.” Isn’t it wonderful to know that our ETERNAL FATHER is guarding, supplying, and caring for us and all who call on His name?
ETERNAL FATHER, thank You for guarding, supplying, and caring for all who call You Father.
Thank you, EVERLASTING GOD
“Before the mountains were born or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.”
Our day comes to an end. Our weekends come to an end. Vacations end. Time ends with loved ones when they join Jesus in heaven. But one thing never ends: God. He is EVERLASTING. He existed before He “gave birth to the earth and the world.” He will exist no matter what happens to the earth and world. If you’re feeling a sense of loss or loneliness; or if it feels like everything in your world is changing too quickly, you have a reason to praise. God is EVERLASTING!