God is great

While we did not meet last night for our Fight Night Study, 
the Fighter Verses are always good to look at and review.

Music & Visual Art to Help People Memorize & Meditate on Scripture

This week's Fighter Verses are Psalm 96:4-5

For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.

God is great.

God is to be praised.
All other gods are worthless idols.
God made the heavens.

Click HERE for this week's FIghter Verses devotional.

Below is the Verses Project devotional for these verses.
This world is full of greatness. Just open your eyes and look around! Think about all the great and amazing things we each experience on a day to day basis: a breathtaking sunrise, the aroma of a perfectly roasted cup of coffee, a visual artist in his/her element creating a masterpiece, an athlete at their prime, a chef combining ingredients and flavors that dance in our mouths, a musician finally putting words to thoughts and emotions we had felt but hadn’t been able to express, etc. In this verse, the psalmist teaches us that God is great and his greatness calls for two things. 
First, God’s greatness demands from us great praise! We praise greatness wherever we see it! CS Lewis said, “But the most obvious fact about praise -- whether of God or anything -- strangely escaped me. I thought of it in terms of compliment, approval, or the giving of honor. I had never noticed that all enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise. ... The world rings with praise -- lovers praising their mistresses, readers their favorite poet, walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favorite game. ... I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation.” Not only should we praise God, but our praise should be equivalent to the greatness of the object we are praising. Of course a cup of coffee is praiseworthy, as is pulling off a last second buzzer beater shot in a game of basketball, but if we are more excited about praising those things than God, then we have not truly seen the greatness of God! Oh, that God would give us eyes that first see His greatness and in turn, hearts and lives that praise Him greatly... 
Secondly, not only are we called to praise God greatly, but also fear Him. This is not a “I’m scared of you” fear, but rather an issue of respect, reverence, and allegiance. Have you been fearing other things as over God? Do you care more about what a boss or someone else thinks about you than what God does? Fear God, not man. Man’s greatness is fading & failing, while God’s greatness is infinite & supreme. May your allegiance to God always conquer any lower and lesser allegiance for He is greater and more worthy! 
In verse 5, David explains verse 4 in more depth by making two statements: first that all the gods of peoples are worthless idols and secondly that God made the heavens. David boldly stands against the common belief of other nations in his day that there are many gods, but rather declares there is but One and He made the heavens. Before you write off verse 5 claiming that in our day and age, we no longer have “gods” or “idols” and therefore it doesn’t apply, think again! Every generation and culture has their own set of gods and idols that generally control the market. Idols and gods are not merely physical statues or pagan idols, but rather anything (physical or immaterial) that takes the place of God in our affections. They can even be good things (like a spouse, sports, family, money, influence, or a job) that become “God things”. How do they become “God things”? By becoming the ultimate things that we believe give us our worth as over our relationship to God. They tell us that if we didn’t have (fill-in-the-blank) like would cease to have meaning. What do you spend your free time thinking about? What, if taken away from you, would cause you to crumble beyond repair? May God strip us away from any competing lovers or allegiances we may be giving praise and fear to more than Him. These lovers will always over-promise and under-deliver, but God will always satisfy and follow through with His promises. Because He is Creator and sovereign, He is faithful and able to do what creation cannot and was never intended to do. Praise Him greatly, and honor Him with your life.


Emotions of Easter Love

Originally this was going to be a 5 part series on the Emotions of Easter.
In putting together the post, I began to think "How could I not post anything on Resurrection Sunday?"
Part 5 on Saturday was the Sadness of Saturday
Part 4 on Friday was the Anger of Good Friday
Part 3 on Thursday was Disgusting Feet
Part 2 on Tuesday was the Fear of the Pharisees
Part 1 on Sunday was the Joy of Palm Sunday and an introduction to the Emotions of Easter posts.

So today is Easter, Resurrection Sunday!

Bonus Post:  Emotions of Easter:  The Love of God

Let me begin with a clarifying statement.  Love is not an emotion.  
It is not a feeling that fades.
Love is sacrifical.
Love is a determined act of the will.
For more about this idea go to Is Biblical Love a Feeling or an Action?

Why I love Easter

From www.paultripp.com
Originally posted on March 28, 2018 at

Why I Love Easter

I love Easter. I love the celebratory music we sing at church. I love the passages of Scripture we read during worship.
Most of all, I love the visual image of the Empty Tomb.
In one culminating and specific moment in history, Jesus Christ summarizes and finalizes the salvation narrative.
There are 6 things in particular that I love about the Empty Tomb.

1. The Empty Tomb reveals that God is faithful.

Centuries earlier, after Adam and Eve rebelled, God promised that he would crush wrong once and for all (Genesis 3:15). He vowed to send his Son to defeat sin and death by his crucifixion and resurrection. For thousands of years, God neither forgot nor turned from his promise. He didn't grow weary, nor would he be distracted. He made a promise, and he controlled the events of history so that at just the right moment, Jesus Christ would come and fulfill what had been promised.

2. The Empty Tomb reveals that God is powerful.

Think of the authority you would need to have to control all the situations, locations and relationships in order to guarantee that Jesus would come at the precise moment and do what he was appointed to do. Also, could there be a more pointed demonstration of power than to have power over death (1 Corinthians 15:55)? By God's awesome power, Jesus took off his grave clothes and walked out of that tomb. Human beings are capable of some pretty amazing things, but we'll all die, and there's nothing we can do about it.

3. The Empty Tomb reveals that God is loving.

Why would God go to such an extent to help us? Why would he care to notice us, let alone rescue us? Why would he ever sacrifice His own Son? Because not only is God loving, but he himself is the definition of love (John 3:16, 1 John 4:8). You and I need to remember that his love was not motivated by what he saw in us, but by what is inside of him. Even when we're unloving and rebellious, full of ourselves and wanting our own way, God is still loving. He delights in transforming us by his grace and rescuing us by his love.

4. The Empty Tomb guarantees eternity.

No matter how mundane, routine, and slowly progressing your story seems to be, it's marching towards a glorious conclusion. There will be a moment when God will raise you out of this broken world into a paradise where sin and suffering will be no more (1 Corinthians 15:52, Revelation 21:4).

5. The Empty Tomb guarantees security.

No matter how unpredictable and out-of-control your life feels, Jesus is reigning, and he will continue to reign until the final enemy is under his feet (1 Corinthians 15:25). That doesn't mean you will avoid the groaning of life in a broken world (Romans 8:22), but it does mean there's nothing that can separate you from the loving and protecting hand of God.

6. The Empty Tomb guarantees delivery.

No matter how hopeless and weak you think you are, you've been provided with all the grace you need to make it to the end. Future grace always carries with it the promise of present grace. God will provide everything you need until you see him face to face (2 Peter 1:3).
Image may contain: text

So this Easter Sunday, celebrate the Empty Tomb and the right here, right now benefits of the Resurrection that it provides!


  1. How has God shown himself to be faithful, powerful and loving in your life recently? Find specific examples for each of those 3.
  2. How can the guarantees of eternity, security, and delivery change the way you approach life this week? Be specific in your application of each of those 3.
  3. How can you celebrate the Resurrection all year long, instead of one Sunday a year? Think of real ways to remember this event in the mundane moments of everyday life.