Kathy Bernard - Publisher


"O Lord, you are worthy to receive the glory and the honor and the power, for you have created all things. They were created and called into being by your act of will." Revelation 4:11

THERE is a story told about a woman in England who answered her door during a heavy rainstorm. 

A wet, rain soaked lady stood outside in the downpour and said, "Pardon me, Madam.  The wind and rain have completely done me in and I forgot to take an umbrella.  I was wondering if I might borrow one... I'll return it of course tomorrow."

"NOW who is this stranger who stands and asks me for an umbrella?" the lady of the house thought. "How do I know she'll bring it back?"   The lady of the house then reached for an older umbrella behind the door with broken spines.  She thought,  "Even if this person doesn't return it, I wouldn't have lost much."  So she hands it to the stranger, feeling proud of her clever decision.  

THE next day a fine carriage approached the house and stopped in front. A footman came up to the door and politely knocked. "Pardon madam. The QUEEN wishes to express her thanks for your kindness of yesterday," he said as he handed her the "borrowed umbrella."

"OH", she thought. "Here was the Queen, and I gave her less than the best I had."

DO you give God your best?  Or do you offer Him less than you should as the Israelites did in Malachi 1:13-14?  “When you bring injured, crippled or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices, should I accept them from your hands?” says the LORD. “Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord. For I am a great king, says the LORD Almighty, and my name is to be feared among the nation.”

GOD reads our hearts.  He knows what we are about and sees the purpose behind what we offer to Him.  If we offer worship without a pure heart, it will be like the imperfect animal the Israelites offered to Him.  And it is an abomination to Him. 

THINK about the time you spend bent over a hobby of yours, engrossed and adoring when you look at your creation.  The world recedes and only that project before you is important.  You forget the hours given to it and for the moment it is your pride and joy.  Shouldn’t that same enthusiasm belong to God on a daily basis?   For after all, without Him as Creator and Lord you would not have life or ability to enjoy all that He gives.

Does God really need anything from us?  Yes, He does.  Amazing, isn't it?  It shows us the awesome complexity of God.  It is a wondrous and incredible thought that God created us to answer that need.  He wants to connect intimately with each one of us.  He wants our love.  He wants this so much that He gave up His Son to pay for mankind's sinful ways, to purge and make us whole and worthy to live with Him eternally. 

THROUGH the gift of Free Will, He patiently waits for us to realize His sovereignty and our dependence on Him.  He wants us to come willingly to Him, giving reverence for all He has freely given.  He challenges us to come, surrendering ourselves with love and devotion. 

Have you given yourself in total submission by offering the exaltation that rightfully belongs only to Him? 

If you are really committed and serious about your faith and your walk with the Lord, there is no other option but to give recogniton and esteem to Him in all things. And if you really are serious about wanting to be closer, choices will become insignificant for you will know there can be only one choice.  There is a song written by Stuart K. Hine that expresses in words what should be in your heart and mine when we go before God in humble praise and prayer: "O Lord my God! when I in awesome wonder, Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made, I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed: Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee: How great Thou art, how great Thou art! Then sings my soul! my Savior God, to Thee: How great Thou art!"  There is a power of such magnitude when we visualize the magnificent majesty of God and we stand in terrifying wonder at His greatness.

WHAT efforts do you expend in honoring the Lord, not only for your existence but the love He extends to you and the blessings each day that He bestows upon your family?  In Isaiah 29:13, God accuses His people because they "come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men."    If we love the Lord then He is worthy to be praised with high reverence.  We honor Him by acknowledging that He is Lord, and when we proclaim His Name to others.

IMAGINE a friend you gave a very expensive gift to for a birthday gift.  That person may take it and forgot to thank you for it, running off to enjoy it, never acknowledging its worth or value.  Week after week you see this friend fully enjoying the gift, and even hearing great comments made to others about it, but never once giving credit to you for thinking of it, or spending time and money to obtain it.  Only if something goes wrong or breaks do you hear about it at all.  This is often how we treat the Lord.  We forget His gifts, His grace and the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ for our salvation.  Some of us grudgingly pinch off a margin of time from our busy schedules and consider it sufficient. We attend church on Sunday and feel we have done our duty.  During the week, we section off a few good deeds and throw those into that same pot of duty and consider our work done as Christians. 

IS this really our best?  Perhaps we do not give our best because we don't want to change.   If we get too close we will recognize that we must give up some of our earthly baggage and live a cleaner life.  The constant exposure to God through prayer and worship demands change and some of us are resistant to this.  What God is looking for is a day-to-day simplicity of heart, a forthright commitment that is a continual obedience and worship.   And He wants you to share all things with Him, so much so that He made sure that you could live forever with Him if you follow Him in faith and dutiful submission.   2 Chronicles 16:9 tells usThe eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.“  If you are in a personal relationship with the Lord, it will produce actions honoring God.  This homage flows from and is directed by a heart devoted and obedient.   

WHEN the Lord stands before us, we do not want to be like the English lady in the story who kept her best umbrella hidden for her own use, not realizing she was in the company of the queen.   What she did could never be contracted back but became a living reminder of how she behaved before earthly royalty and ultimately before the Lord.  She could only learn to move forward and learn from her experience.  

ARE we giving God one hundred percent of our best?  Is everything we do an honor to the Almighty?   It is not about OUR being the best for we stand like "filthy rags" before Him (Isaiah 64:6), but GIVING our best through God's grace each day of our lives with love and faithfulness to His teachings.  Isn’t that what God really wants?

Revelation 5:13
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth
and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing:
   "To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
   be praise and honor and glory and power,
         for ever and ever!"

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