Bible, Boasting, Conceit, Glory, Scripture, Thanksgiving

HIS GLORY SHOWS 

HABAKKUK 2:14

“‘For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.’”

When you read “the glory of the LORD,” what do you think about? I picture the baby Jesus lying in a manger surrounded by the shepherds. I envision Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. I can almost see the empty tomb.

When the Chaldeans are judged by God, everyone will see His glory. There will no mistaken what happened. This was God’s action against a pagan nation for thinking they deserved any glory. They had simply been used by the Lord as His instrument for a season. There was no reason to gloat.

APPLICATION

We have the privilege to reflect God’s glory to the world. When He blesses us, we need to point heavenward and give Him all the praise. When He chooses to heal us when we are sick, all the glory goes to Him.

And when things are going bad and you can’t see a way out, we still give Him the glory. God deserves our glory in good times and bad. There is not a day that goes by that we cannot find at least one reason to reflect His glory.

Of course, we are tempted to take credit, like the Chaldeans. Our flesh loves being praised. Don’t fall into that trap! Keep your focus on Jesus. He deserves all our praise every day. Will you give Him praise today? If you have selfishly taken credit for His work in your life, repent of that now. Give Him all glory.

Lord, help me keep my focus on You and not my flesh. You are worthy of all my praise.

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Bible, Reward, Scripture, Service, Works

BECOMING WEARY

HABAKKUK 2:13

“‘Is it not indeed from the LORD of armies that peoples labor merely for fire, and nations become weary for nothing?’”

To what purpose is our labor? I don’t know about you, but I have worked all my life. I began at an early age mowing lawns with my brother in our hometown. Even before that, I was tasked with household chores (washing windows, vacuuming, washing dishes, etc). I hope I am able to labor until God calls me home.

God is speaking here of the weariness of our labors if they are not directed in laboring to please Him. He says they labor just making fire. They get weary doing nothing. The pagans knew nothing of working to please God. They were only concerned with themselves. It is all weariness!

APPLICATION

As I am writing this blog, I am attending Pastors’ Conference in Kenya. I warned them as I was teaching to not get too busy “for God.” We can become so busy “doing” that we don’t focus on “being.” Sure, we need to labor. We need to do God’s work, but we can’t become so focused on working that we forget why we are working.

It is true that the harvest if plentiful, but the laborers are few. We need more people to serve the Lord to reach this world for Christ. We have to labor together. Isaiah 26:12 tells us, “All that we have accomplished, You have done through us.” Don’t forget that. He is the One who gives us our marching orders.

As I have gotten older, I have had to learn to work smarter, not harder. I just don’t have the physical stamina I used to have. That does not mean I can just sit on the porch in my rocker and watch others do all the work. I desire to be used by the Lord until I can’t be anymore. How about you?

We’ll work til Jesus comes, we’ll work til Jesus comes

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Bible, Reward, Scripture, Service, Works

BECOMING WEARY

HABAKKUK 2:13

“‘Is it not indeed from the LORD of armies that peoples labor merely for fire, and nations become weary for nothing?’”

To what purpose is our labor? I don’t know about you, but I have worked all my life. I began at an early age mowing lawns with my brother in our hometown. Even before that, I was tasked with household chores (washing windows, vacuuming, washing dishes, etc). I hope I am able to labor until God calls me home.

God is speaking here of the weariness of our labors if they are not directed in laboring to please Him. He says they labor just making fire. They get weary doing nothing. The pagans knew nothing of working to please God. They were only concerned with themselves. It is all weariness!

APPLICATION

As I am writing this blog, I am attending Pastors’ Conference in Kenya. I warned them as I was teaching to not get too busy “for God.” We can become so busy “doing” that we don’t focus on “being.” Sure, we need to labor. We need to do God’s work, but we can’t become so focused on working that we forget why we are working.

It is true that the harvest if plentiful, but the laborers are few. We need more people to serve the Lord to reach this world for Christ. We have to labor together. Isaiah 26:12 tells us, “All that we have accomplished, You have done through us.” Don’t forget that. He is the One who gives us our marching orders.

As I have gotten older, I have had to learn to work smarter, not harder. I just don’t have the physical stamina I used to have. That does not mean I can just sit on the porch in my rocker and watch others do all the work. I desire to be used by the Lord until I can’t be anymore. How about you?

We’ll work til Jesus comes, we’ll work til Jesus comes

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Accountability, Apologies, Bible, Confession, Forgiveness, Guilt, Repentance, Scripture

A SECOND WOE

HABAKKUK 2:12

“‘Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed, and founds a town with violence!’”

Any abuse of others to further your own agenda is frowned upon by God. He not only disapproves of it, but He will punish the wrong doers. Unfortunately, in my 40+ years of ministry, I have seen this take place over and over. I have to trust that God will seek His vengeance when His time is right.

The Lord states His second woe against the Chaldeans and states that because they have built their cities large and strong on the backs of others, they will suffer His wrath at the appropriate time. We do not understand why God tarries in His judgment, but we have to be faithful during the times of testing.

APPLICATION

Are there people in your life you have wronged? Have you done them an injustice and you think you are getting away with it? Take note of today’s verse. You have time now to make amends. You can make things right. You can confess your sins and seek forgiveness.

Too many of us, myself included at times, look right past those we have hurt. We either are not aware of the pain we have caused or we are just calloused to it. Jesus tells us to go and make things right with those we have hurt before we bring our offerings to God.

Will you ask the Lord today if there is someone you need to ask for their forgiveness? Go to them and do that. Perhaps you can’t recall anyone you have harmed. Then pray for all those you know who have been harmed by others. Ask the Lord to convict the wrong doer(s) to make things right.

Father, show me my sins against anyone I have hurt unknowingly so that I can confess that and do what is right.

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Bible, Glory, Majesty, Praise, Scripture, Testimony

ALL CREATION GROANS

HABAKKUK 2:11

“‘For the stone will cry out from the wall, and the rafter will answer it from the framework.’”

Just the other day, my little sister (whom I affectionally call Nappyhead) and I were talking about her recent drive up to TN from South Georgia. She said, “How can anyone see the beauty of the mountains and rivers and not believe in God?” I agree. Truly, all creation does cry out to Him.

In this last verse before the second woe, God is saying that very thing. All creation cries out to Him. Even the stones and rafters of the buildings cry out to God. Just like the stones and beams are “imprisoned” in the buildings, the prisoners of Chaldea have cried out to God.

APPLICATION

Luke 19:40 says, “Jesus replied, ‘I tell you, if these stop speaking, the stones will cry out!’” We see the same thing being exclaimed by the Psalmist in Psalm 19:1. “The heavens tell of the glory of God; And their expanse declares the work of His hands.”

As believers, we should not be outdone by creation. We should exclaim loudly how great a God He is and tell all about the great things He has done for us. Proclaim His majesty. Extol His greatness. He is worthy of all our praise. Don’t hold back. Don’t let that rock beat you, lol.

As we enter this Advent season, find a reason each day to proclaim His glory. Tell someone each day about how He has saved you and that He can do the same for them. Join me today in doing that. There is no greater joy than to lead someone to the saving knowledge of Christ.

I will glorify the King of kings. I will glorify the Lamb. I will glorify the Lord of lords, who is the great I AM.

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Accountability, Alone, Bible, Blessing, Boasting, Commands, Sin

SINNING AGAINST YOURSELF

HABAKKUK 2:10

“‘You have planned a shameful thing for your house by bringing many peoples to an end; so you are sinning against yourself.’”

I have to admit that I do not like pain. So, given a choice, I will choose every time to avoid pain. Some of the things people voluntarily do to their bodies amaze me. I do not understand why anyone would willingly let someone hurt them or cause them pain. Not me!

God is still talking in today’s verse. He is addressing the Chaldeans, whom we have described fully in previous blogs. But here God says they are sinning against themselves. They are inflicting themselves with the pain. They are only harming themselves with their actions. However, they were not listening.

APPLICATION

Today’s verse reminded me of 1 Corinthians 6:18-20. “18 Flee sexual immorality. Every other sin that a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought for a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”

Did you catch that? “sins against his own body.” Who wants to do that? We need to pursue God with all of our heart. Do not let some people try to influence you to do      evil. It’s not going to affect them a bit, but it could cost you dearly. Do not sin against yourself.

Think of the ways we could possibly do that. Now run the other way. We are told to accept the inevitable. Don’t believe that. Satan will do all he can to put us out of on our own. Who you have as allies determines the outcome. Allow them to point you in the right direction when you seem lost.

I am thankful for the way You direct me and for the fellow brothers You have placed in my life to confront me of sin.

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Bible, Consequences, Discipline, Evil, God's Will, Modeling, Scripture

SCHEMERS

HABAKKUK 2:9

“‘Woe to him who makes evil profit for his household, to put his nest on high, to be saved from the hand of catastrophe!’”

Some people will stop at nothing to advance their own schemes and plans. All they care about is themselves and their family. Sometimes even the family falls prey to the schemes. It may seem they are getting away with it. They are not. They will face retribution at the hand of God one day.

God is still blasting the Chaldeans in verse 9. All those Chaldeans who are making “evil profit” will get what is coming to them. They think they are going to escape the coming catastrophe, but they won’t. God’s long reach of justice will catch up to them.

APPLICATION

There is nothing wrong with making a profit. The world economy depends on that. Businesses make profits so they can hire employees and expand their business. But to make evil profits is against all that is good. God cannot and will not bless any business or the owners who are harming others to line their own pockets.

There are hundreds of verses about money in the Bible. Do a word search for yourself. You might be amazed. God does not disapprove of us having money. He wants to bless us. Just don’t let your desire for money bring you to ruin.

I know His Word says that the love of money is the root of evil. Use it. Pursue it. Just don’t let it become your sole aim in life. Paul goes on in that passage to say those who are eager for money have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many grieves (1 Timothy 6:10). Don’t be a schemer!

Father, save me from worldly lusts of money. Show me how to use it wisely and obediently.

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Accountability, Bible, Confession, Forgiveness, Repentance, Salvation, Scripture, Sin

YOUR SINS WILL FIND YOU OUT

HABAKKUK 2:8

“‘Since you have looted many nations, all the rest of the peoples will loot you—because of human bloodshed and violence done to the land, to the town and all its inhabitants.’”

When I read today’s verse, I was reminded of Numbers 32:23. This was the story of Moses telling the tribes (Reuben, Gad and Manasseh) who wanted to live on the other side of the Jordan that they needed to keep their word to fight for the other tribes. He told them, “But if you do not do so, behold, you have sinned against the LORD, and be sure that your sin will find you out.”

The Chaldeans were ruthless and unforgiving in their conquests of other nations. Their cruelty knew no bounds. So, God tells them here that they would suffer the same fate as all the nations they had conquered. They would face bloodshed and looting. Their chickens were about to come home to roost, as the old saying goes.

APPLICATION

I have committed many sins in my past. To the best of my knowledge, I have confessed those sins and made things right with my Lord and with others. If anyone reading this blog has been hurt by me in the past, please forgive me. I do not want any unconfessed sin to come between me and my heavenly Father.

How about you? Do you have a sin or sins you need to confess right now? They say confession is good for the soul. Indeed, it is. God’s Word will direct you in this confession. If you are a child of the King, all those sins are already forgiven, but He still wants you to clean the slate with Him. He wants to hear you confess those, to say the same thing about that sin that He does. That is what confession is.

I am so thankful the Lord forgives us. I am thankful He doesn’t hold any grudges. I wish more of His children were that way. I know of far too many Christians who struggle with confession and forgiveness. May you make things right with others and with the Lord today.

Redeemed, redeemed, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Redeemed, redeemed, His child and forever I am.

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Abiding, Affliction, Bible, Enemies, Hope, Power, Scripture, Security, Strength

THEY’RE COMING

HABAKKUK 2:7

“‘Will your creditors not rise up suddenly, and those who collect from you awaken? Indeed, you will become plunder for them.’”

We have all heard stories from friends who have suffered financial hardships. The creditors start calling and don’t let up. Answering the phone is scary. Even knocks on the door cause fear to enter. Knowing creditors are literally at your door is a frightening thing.

The Lord is telling Habakkuk that these Chaldeans, who think they are so strong and terrible, will be trembling as their enemies fall on them suddenly. They will collapse under the hand of those who they had so cruelly reigned. They will become the plunder. Their “creditors” are going to destroy them.

APPLICATION

Are you living in fear of something? What or who is knocking at your door? If we are not relying on Jesus, we are living dangerously. There is nothing that can protect us outside of Him. He is the only One Who can! He not only knows what is coming. He knew it before they did.

If that doesn’t calm your heart, nothing will. The God of Ages has your back. I do not mean to imply that you won’t go through hard times. We all do. But knowing that the Lord is there to defend you should give you the confidence to forge forward.  I am not trying to paint a rosy, pie-in-the-sky picture. I know this to be true because His Word tells us.

He tells us He will never leave us nor forsake us (Dy 31:6; Heb 13:5). He is our strong tower and the righteous run to Him (Pr 18:10). I could go on and on, but there are literally hundreds of verses that tell us He is there. Trust Him. Let Him defend you.

You are my strong tower, Lord. I will run to You.

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Advice, Bible, Debt, Payment, Rescue, Scripture, Sin

DECEIT OF DEBTS

HABAKKUK 2:6

“‘Will all of these not take up a song of ridicule against him, even a saying and insinuations against him and say, “Woe to him who increases what is not his—for how long—and makes himself rich with debts!”’”

I really hate debt of any kind. I know it is hard to avoid it, especially when you are buying a home. Most people don’t have that much cash. I am trying to pay off my home as quickly as I can. Debt deceives you into thinking you have more than you really do.

God speaks the first of five “Woes” here. The Hebrew word recorded by Habakkuk for “debts” is only used right here in all the Bible. Some translations translate it as “thick-clay.” It is weighty. It slows you down. Debts are one thing God warns about here.

APPLICATION

Don’t go and say Carl said all debt is bad. I am just saying we need to be careful. Proverbs 22:7 says, “The rich rule over the poor and the borrower is slave to the lender.” That’s pretty plain, isn’t it? Sometimes we cannot avoid debt. Medical bills pile up after a lengthy illness. As I mentioned earlier, buying a home usually requires debt. Just be careful.

But aren’t you thankful that the one debt that we could never repay was paid for by Jesus. You may have heard the saying, “I owed a debt I could not pay, and He paid a debt He did not owe.” Jesus rescued us from a certain damnation. We could never pay the debt of sin which was on our life.

I am debt free spiritually. I owe nothing to the wrath of God. He is satisfied with the shed blood of His precious Son. There are so many around us who are drowning in debt spiritually. They have no hope. No banker on earth can satisfy that debt – only Jesus. Let’s share with them God’s plan for debt relief.

Jesus paid it all. All to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain. He washed it white as snow.

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