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Revelation 7:9-10

Mark 11:9

My wonderful husband, John, pointed me to a place with palm branches last week so we could celebrate Palm Sunday in Children’s Church today.  As I started to pass out palm branches this morning, one boy asked if he could have two.  I gladly gave him two and then of course the other kids wanted (and got) two too.  As we sang, “Hosanna, Loud Hosanna,” it felt so good to see everyone praising God waving those branches.  I told them they could take them home where they could continue to praise Jesus.

In the third verse of “Hosanna, Loud Hosanna” it says, “…O may we ever praise Him with heart and life and voice, and in His blissful presence eternally rejoice!”  Today this verse reminds me of Rev. 7:9-10, where the disciple John saw a colossal crowd before Jesus and the throne.  They held palm branches, and with a deafening shout, shouted, “Salvation comes from our God upon the throne, and from the Lamb.”  They were praising Him loudly.

Will you give Jesus a shout-out today?  HOSANNA!

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John 14:2-3, Isaiah 11:6-7, Revelation 21, 22, 4:3-5

My family has a habit of reading the devotional, Our Daily Bread each day.  Recently, one writer wrote about someone who assumed Heaven is boring.  The writer quickly mentioned that when they went to the Grand Canyon, they were in awe at one part of God’s creation.  The author concluded that Heaven would not be boring.  I would like to add reasons I think Heaven will not be boring:

  1. Jesus will be there!
  2. Wolves, lions and bears can reside there (like a beautiful zoo with no cages).
  3. The sun is not needed because God Himself provides all of the light with no night.
  4. The River of Life is in front of God’s throne.
  5. Lightning and thunder come from God’s throne.
  6. There is a rainbow encircling His throne (no more waiting for the weather conditions to be just right for a rainbow).
  7. The main street is made out of GOLD.  God doesn’t have to mine for gold, since He can just make it.
  8. New Jerusalem’s walls will be decorated with jasper, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, amethyst (my favorite), etc.  Is that enough precious stones for you?
  9. There are lots of mansions in Heaven.
  10. Jesus said He’d “prepare a place for you” which implies individual things might be included, like your favorite wild animals.

Will Heaven be boring?  Maybe one day’s highlights would be strolling down the golden street, hugging a lion, and doing a backstroke in the River of Life while watching lightning shoot out from God’s throne.  That sounds exciting to me!  Why would God make Himself a boring place to live?  That’s an insult to Him.  God is GOD and everything will be perfect.  Trust Him to provide eternal entertainment.

Daniel 1:3-14, 2:46, 3:23-30, 6:23

I read Daniel for the third time yesterday after watching the movie, “The Book of Daniel.”  This movie mostly adheres to Scripture with some minor differences:

Scripture:  A court official was too afraid to grant Daniel’s food and drink request, but a guard agreed.
Movie:  Daniel only talked to the court official.

Scripture:  After Daniel interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s statue dream, Nebuchadnezzar “fell prostrate before Daniel…”
Movie:  After hearing the interpretation, Nebuchadnezzar walked toward his throne and sat down.

Scripture:  Royal advisers and others looked for evidence of fire on Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and Nebuchadnezzar didn’t mention the word, “fire.”
Movie:  Nebuchadnezzar examined them and said the word, “fire.”

Scripture:  Daniel had to be lifted up out of the lion’s den.
Movie:  King Darius said to Daniel, “Come forth” and Daniel simply walked out.

Daniel and his friends were steadfast in their loyalty to God.  They probably had God-fearing mothers.  If their mothers still lived and found out about their applied love for God, they would have been pleased.

 

If you listen to Christian radio, you’ve probably heard the song, “What Do I Know of Holy.”  With more than a dozen spiritual questions, the song has stressed me out every time I hear it.  Well, I finally got a chance to try to find Scripture to answer some of the questions dangling unanswered out there for months (or longer) on the airwaves.  It’s likely that the singer is not the only one seemingly wondering what the answers could be.  There are other irritations I have with the words,  so it’s time to analyze this song.

“I made You promises a thousand times.”

Promises to God (or anyone) shouldn’t be treated lightly.  In Nehemiah 5:12, an oath was required for what was promised.  And in 2 Peter 3:9, we read that God keeps His promise.

“I never feared you at all-No”

Ecclesiastes 12:13 says we must “Fear God.”  Proverbs 2:5 says, “…understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.”

“What do I know of You who spoke me into motion?”

The singer is referring to Creation, so what does she know about her Creator?  She seems to know that God created people (and land animals) on the 6th day of Creation.  Genesis 1:24-31

“Are you fire?”

Exodus 19:18 says that the Lord came down in fire.  Revelation 1:14 says, “…eyes were like blazing fire.”

“Are you fury?”

Isaiah 66:14 says that He’ll show fury to enemies.

“Are you sacred?”

If you do a search on the word, “sacred” in biblegateway.com, you’ll get 126 results.  1 Corinthians 3:17 lets us know that the temple of God is sacred.

“What do I know of holy?”

I searched the word, “holy” in biblegateway.com and got 551 results.  Exodus 3:5 is about God letting Moses know he’s on holy ground.  1 Peter 1:16 commands us to be holy.

“I knew all the stories and I learned to talk about how You were mighty to save but those were only empty words on a page.”

I’m annoyed by the past tense of this sentence.  God IS mighty to save Isaiah 63:1.  Even though the Bible was written long ago, it uses the present tense in Zephaniah 3:17, saying He is a, “…Mighty Warrior who saves.”

 

“What do I know of wounds that will heal my shame?”

The singer seems to know that Jesus, “…was wounded for our transgressions,…And with His stripes we are healed.”  Isaiah 53:5

“What do I know of holy, of the One who the angels praise?”

We don’t know the extent of what she knows about God, but since some may know little or nothing of Him, Exodus 34:4-8 says God is merciful, gracious, longsuffering, etc.  Also, Isaiah 6:1-3 gives us a peek into God’s heavenly life, revealing to us that He has a throne, a robe, and winged seraphim saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;…”

“What do I know of this love?”

The singer may mean she’s amazed by God’s great love, but for any unsaved people listening to the song, they need to know about John 3:16.  In addition, 1 John 4:7-9, which says, “God is love” would be helpful to the unbeliever considering conversion.

Maybe the artist of this song intended for people to focus on God’s mercy for undeserving sinners.  Whatever was intended, it’s my opinion that our culture is far from holy, and for some hearing this song, it may seem like it’s okay not to know about being holy.  It’s not okay.  God wants us to learn to be holy like Him.

 

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