The Tower

The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The Righteous run to it and are saved. Proverbs 18:10

I used to work in the Hancock Tower in Chicago. It was 95 floors straight up. There was an express elevator that went from the Ground Floor to 95 in about 45 seconds. When you looked out over Lake Michigan to the east, and the city and suburbs to the north, south and west, you felt invincible, like nothing could ever shake your world.

The name of the Lord is like that. You don’t have to defend it; it’s solid. You don’t have to excuse it nor do you have to run from it. In fact, this verse tells us that we should run to it.

When you’re afraid, it’s your safe harbor. When you’re lonely; it’s your friend. When you’re hurt and wounded, it’s the salve that will heal.

Run to the Tower of the Lord; run often.

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Central Character

And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Mark 9:4

So much could be said about the Transfiguration: the dazzling brightness, two Bible characters we have read about all our lives, His disciples’ reaction, and The Voice.

To be certain, all of those are important and could cover many in depth lessons and sermons. I could see myself as one of the three disciples who came with Jesus, looking in awe at the Elijah, Moses, and Jesus after Jesus was transfigured.

The important entity in this story isn’t Elijah, Moses, James, John, or Peter. That’s right, the most important person in this passage is Jesus himself. We lose sight of that when we’re in the nitty gritty of the Bible.

Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the central character in the Bible.

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Scattered by Persecution

Now those who had been scattered by the persecution in connection with Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message only to Jews. Acts 11:19

Church history books are filled with stories of the growth of the Church because of persecution. It’s a paradox that Satan himself must still be puzzled over. If he persecutes and kills many in the Church, it should die. He couldn’t be more wrong. The more the Evil One persecutes and kills those in the church, the more there is growth, and sometimes in great numbers!

We have this idea that those in the early Church were filled with the Spirit and tirelessly proclaimed the Gospel far and wide. They did. But in some instances, they were forced to go (and persecution is what drew them out).

We in the Western world find ourselves in a similar situation. For the most part, we’ve become lax and lazy. We don’t sense the urgency. We like our creature comforts. A day will come, though, when we may be persecuted for what we believe. I don’t wish it to happen; I don’t want it to happen, but it may nonetheless happen.

It will also be a time when those who are true followers will be weeded out from those who are religious and have no desire to be persecuted for him. When will that time be? I don’t know, nor does anyone know. Pray that when that time comes, we’ll hold strong and steady to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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Tap on That Door

…knock and the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7

The previous two devotionals are related to this one. We ask; we seek, and we knock. Not much difference really. The idea is one of being desperate for God. Not asking for the sake of getting; not seeking for the sake of getting; not knocking for the sake of God opening the door for a prize in return.

God Himself is the prize.

When we get that prize, the rest pales in comparison. No amount of wealth, no mirage of fame, not the most beautiful appearance could compare to the ultimate prize of God. A newer car and bigger house seem so shallow and meaningless.

Sure, we get the First Place prize of salvaton when God truly enters our life, but the Grand Prize awaits us daily. The door to His study, so to speak, is cracked open and awaits our little knock. He’s waiting for us to knock.

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Seek

…seek and you will find… Matthew 7:7

To seek is to search, to overturn things, and to look for. People seek many things: peace, truth, riches, fame, popularity, things, God. Even as Christians we seek things: wisdom, counsel, peace, truth.

What do you seek from God in prayer? That your life will go well and that there will be no problems? Do you question the things that God does or just accept them blindly? Of course we question God, though we don’t easily admit it. We’ve been taught that it’s a weakness to question God. After all, the world does enough of that, right?

But throughout Scripture, God wants his people to seek Him. David sought after God hard. Elijah sought God and found him in the still small voice, and quickly after that questioned God’s very existence. He thought that God had forsaken him (1 Kings 19).

There is more to be gained by seeking and searching and hunting Him down than by having all the answers handed to us on a platter.

Now read Genesis 3:9 and tell me who is actually doing the seeking.

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