Category Archives: Faith Practice, the Exercise

God Does Not Ignore Those Who Ignore Him

I am the Lord; that is my name;
my glory I give to no other.
Isaiah 42:8

Whether people love God, hate him, or deny his very existence, they should be aware of this fact: God does not ignore attempts to usurp his place.

The number of people who choose to deny that God exists grows daily. Likewise, the number who so trivialize God’s role in their lives that he might as well not exist. God is out of fashion Continue reading God Does Not Ignore Those Who Ignore Him

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Tell the good news

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works! <br,
Psalm 105:1-2

Psalm 105 is a celebration Continue reading Tell the good news

Think About a Hymn

Open Hymnal

1 My God, how wonderful you are;
your majesty, how bright!
How beautiful your mercy seat
in depths of burning light!

2 How wonderful, how beautiful
the sight of you must be,
your endless wisdom, boundless power,
and awesome purity!

3 O how I fear you, living God,
with deepest, tenderest fears,
and worship you with trembling hope
and penitential tears!

4 Yet I may love you too, O Lord,
almighty as you are,
for you have stooped to ask of me
the love of my poor heart.

By Frederick W. Faber
Text in the public domain
Source: http://www.hymnary.org/text/my_god_how_wonderful_thou_art

  • The author of this hymn worships a God who is powerful and magnificent. He compares God with light. Why does a comparison with light evoke a worshipful image of God? Where in the Bible do you see this same comparison?
  • This hymnwriter describes God as beautiful, wise, powerful and pure. Which of these traits is most in keeping with your own image of God? Why would someone sing of such traits? Why are they important to our understanding of God?
  • How does the fear of God correlate with hope in God? Why is the experience of the fear of God a good thing? How does our fear of God lead to our hope?
  • The hymn writer says that God asked for his love. How did God make that request? Do you feel included in that request? Why?
  • How does the God described in this hymn differ from a god who thinks everybody ought to be nice,
  • and it wouldn’t be fair to shut some people out of heaven?

 

Think About a Verse

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

—-Deuteronomy 6:4-5

 

  • What difference does it make that the Lord is one, not many?
  • The founder of Islam, Mohammed, claimed that Christians are polytheists. Why do you think he said that? This is supposedly the reason he founded Islam. How would you explain to a Muslim that we believe that God is one God?
  • Why do you think Jews consider this verse so important? Do you think this verse has any special importance?
  • Why do you think the Lord asks for love in this verse rather than some other form of attachment such as loyalty or obedience?  How does a request for love differ from loyalty or obedience or even submission?
  • Where in the New Testament do you find an explanation of the love that comes from God? How does that call forth the response of love for God?
  • If this verse were hidden in your heart, when might you want to take it out and cling to it?

Think About a Hymn

Open Hymnal

Lord Keep us Steadfast in Your Word 

Lord, keep us steadfast in Your Word;
Curb those who by deceit and sword
Would wrest the kingdom from Your Son
And bring to naught all He has done.

Lord Jesus Christ, Your pow’r make known,
For You are Lord of lords alone;
Defend Your holy Church that we
May sing your praise eternally.

O Comforter of priceless worth,
Send peace and unity on earth;
Support us in our final strife
And lead us out of death to life.

By Martin Luther
Text is in the public domain
Source: http://www.hymnary.org/text/lord_keep_us_steadfast_in_your_word

  • The hymn addresses the three persons of the Trinity in sequence, but each verse focuses on a specific element of godly living. What three things does Luther consider essential to the Christian life?
  • In your daily life, where do you see people who work by deceit to destroy Christ’s kingdom on earth? In a choice between deceit and sword, which weapon do you think does the most damage to the people of God’s kingdom?
  • What does Luther think is the best way to resist enemies of God’s kingdom?
  • Where do Christians find the power to stand strong when under attack?
  • What Bible verse comes to mind when you read the second verse of the hymn?
  • Who is the Comforter mentioned in the third verse? What essential role does this Comforter fill when we read the Word, mentioned in the first verse?

By Katherine Harms, author of Oceans of Love available for Kindle at Amazon.com. Watch for the release of Thrive! Live Christian in a Hostile World, planned for release in the winter of 2016

Image: Open Hymnal Source:http://foter.com/
License: CC BY-NC-SA