Mindful of God

Are you mindful of God? Do you stand in awe of His creation? Are you mindful of Him as you stand on the summit of the mountains? Are you mindful of Him as you gaze at a rainbow or watch the sun set over the lake?

Yes, yes, yes, you most likely answer to all those questions. It is an incredible moment when you’re standing in awe of God’s creation, 100% mindful of God in every little detail you see. Maybe it’s the great outdoors that brings you speechless or full of praise. Perhaps it’s holding a newborn baby, examining their fingers and toes, and thinking about their tiny hearts beating. How wonderful it is to feel God’s presence and know that all things are created God.

“And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Gen. 1:31).

But let us always be mindful of God. Not only when earthly emotions stir up feelings of love toward our Lord. Be mindful of his glory, mindful of his power. Mindful of his love, and that we are His people. Mindful that he created us to love Him and serve Him, and that we are loved by Him. Mindful that He is always watching, and mindful that He is always with us. Mindful even when nothing seems majestic and beautiful. Mindful even when we don’t see any reason to be thinking of God. Mindful during our prayers and devotions… or mindful when we don’t do our prayers and devotions. Be mindful in our thoughts, and be mindful when nobody is looking.

It is easy to be mindful of God while you’re in the Rocky Mountains, and it’s hard to be mindful of God when we’re with our friends. But is either more important?

“That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour” (II Pet. 3:2).

Averly Kikkert

Knowing God as Lord

How can we know that God is Lord?  Do we know Him as Lord through the creation around us?  Through His revelation to us in His Word?  Through the earthly blessings we receive from Him?  These are all legitimate answers to the original question.  However, while they are probably the most obvious, they are not the only options.  One answer that particularly stands out to me is one that may at first seem paradoxical, especially in our current church world: we know God as Lord through His seemingly unfair actions in the world around and through His chastising of us.

For some time now, I have been working through the book of Ezekiel in my personal devotions.  One thing that I have come to notice is the frequent use of the phrase, “and ye shall know that I am the Lord,” or similar such phrases.  This line often concludes a verse in which God proclaims that he will send judgement on the people of the earth.  One example is Ezekiel 12:20: “And the cities that are inhabited shall be laid waste, and the land shall be desolate; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.” Another example is Ezekiel 30:26 “And I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and disperse them among the countries; and they shall know that I am the Lord.” And there are many others.

This is an idea that is very unpopular in the nominal Christian world.  Saying that God causes the hardships in our lives and the seemingly evil events in the world around is seen as unfairly doing harm to the reputation of God as good and loving.  Many Christians refuse to acknowledge that God is the cause of our trials or of natural disasters, seeking instead to attribute these things to the devil.  I recently read a book entitled Against Calvinism in which this was a frequent point of discussion for the author.  His main point was that making God the cause of what seemingly to us is evil detracts from His loving nature – after all, God is love, is He not (I John 4:8)?

What this author and others like Him forget is that our human understanding is very limited – even the least of God’s wisdom far transcends that of man (I Cor. 1:25).  We are often unable to understand why He causes certain events to take place.  However, this does not make Him automatically unloving and unjust; on the contrary, it makes Him exactly what He claims Himself to be in I John 4:8.  Proof of this can be seen in James 1:2-4.  In verse 2, the word “temptations” can be understood as trials.  The idea is that God sends seemingly evil events (whether a natural disaster or a simple trial in one person’s life) to strengthen the faith of His people through patience. By these trials we are taught to rely on Him and trust more fully in Him.  In so doing, God manifests His love for us.  Meanwhile, for the wicked, God sends such events in just judgement for sinfulness.  Many would object to this, but our response ought to be God’s response throughout Ezekiel: “And they shall know that I am the Lord.”

Throughout this week, then, think of how you know God to be Lord.  See Him as Lord in His Word, certainly, as well as in creation and in your blessings from Him.  But, fellow Christian, forget not to see Him as Lord in the difficult events as well.  Remember that your trials work patience and that patience leads to us being made “perfect and entire” (James 1:4), and thus know that God is Lord.

Matt Koerner

Reflections

“No man can survey himself without forthwith turning his thoughts towards the God in whom he lives and moves.” (John Calvin, The Institutes of the Christian Religion).

I recently stumbled across this quote and have been stuck on it ever since. Every time I start looking at who I am, I can’t help but see my Creator. He is the one who made me. He is the one who knows everything about me. I see Him in every aspect of me.

First of all, I think of God when I consider the physical me. I have the same thoughts as David did in Psalm 139:14: “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” Who am I? A 5’10” woman with curly brown hair and blue eyes—and God has given me each of those attributes to make me Grace, His chosen child. Before the world was even created, God knew who I was and what I looked like because He lovingly chose me! That gives me goosebumps! How great a God I serve! He created me perfectly so I can glorify and serve Him my whole life long. I can even say God created me just to remind me that He is God, the Holy One who deserves all praise!

Then I look at the people I am surrounded by. I have a godly father and mother who do all they can to make sure I am raised in the fear of God, and because of that, I am brought to my knees to thank my Father in heaven. I have ten younger siblings to be an example for and to help along this pilgrim path that we all are on. Being the oldest of a large family often reminds me of Ecclesiastes 3: there are often times of weeping, times of laughing, times of getting, times of losing, times of loving, and times of hating. Yet I am reminded in all these times that God put me in these situations for a reason, and that is so I can learn to glorify Him at all times. He gave me all my siblings because He loves me and knows what is best for me. My God works everything for my good! So once again I am moved to consider God by examining myself.

An investigation into my life reveals how poorly I actually measure up to all of God’s requirements. I sin constantly, and I even go back to sins I know are wrong! I struggle with loving my siblings all the time. I make excuses so I don’t have to do personal devotions. I complain about people in my college classes. I can surely say with Paul that I am the chief of sinners. Now after this investigation, I could just continue looking at myself and have no hope because I am a such a lawbreaker. However, I can (and not only can, but must!) look to God and praise Him, even in all my sins! Because He loves me so greatly that He punished His Son on the cross to satisfy His wrath. God has forgiven each and every one of my sins and does not even look at them anymore because Jesus paid for them all! What an amazing reality! What an amazing God!

I can do nothing after these considerations but praise God. Praise Him for eternity! I am nothing without Him. I can do nothing without Him. I would have nothing without Him. I owe my Father everything, and so I will glorify and serve Him with my whole being for my whole life.

I know that these thoughts are mine, and tailored to me. However, every single person that reads this should do the same thing. Survey yourself, and you will discover that you will see God in every aspect of who you are. It is amazing to realize that God has directed and is directing everything in your life…for your good!

Grace Medema