A Glimpse of His Glory

February 10, 2016 at 1:10 pm | Posted in Matthew | 8 Comments
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In Matthew Chapter 17 the King gives His closest followers a glimpse of His glory. In Chapter 16 He had told them:

For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

Matthew 16:27

They would get a preview of this glory very soon.

Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

Matthew 16:38-17:2

This is what is known as the “Transfiguration.” Transfiguration is change, but not from outward forces, like remodeling a building or plastic surgery. It is change from within – transformation, not conformation.

Christ is God, so all His glory is self-generated. We cannot produce our own glory; only He can.

While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

Matthew 17:5

Part of God’s glory is His holiness. No one is like God. Here, He says that we should listen to and obey Christ because He is God incarnate.

And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.

Matthew 17:6

“Glory” also speaks of the “weight” of God – the magnitude of God. No one can stand in His presence – not even angels. We talk about “weightier” and “lighter” matters, and God is the “heaviest” subject about Whom we could ever speak.

The King’s glory helps us to understand the King’s power. The nine Disciples who had not gone up into the Mount of Transfiguration were now faced with a demon they couldn’t handle.

And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.

Matthew 17:14-16

They could not handle this demon because they had been guilty of a lack of discipline. They had not been praying and fasting. If the glory of the King – Who Himself was disciplined – doesn’t motivate us to be disciplined, then we can’t be trusted with the power of the King.

Now the Holy Spirit inspires Matthew, the former tax collector, to tell about what happened when the King was challenged to pay taxes. (Normally kings receive taxes!)

And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.

Matthew 17:24-27

The King not only disciplines Himself, but makes Himself a servant, paying taxes He does not rightfully owe, just to keep from causing trouble. Have you ever been asked to do something you really shouldn’t have to do? To put up with some nonsense you shouldn’t have to put up with? Remember the King – the GLORIOUS King – Who didn’t even have a half-shekel to pay His taxes.

The glory of the King is a necessary motivation to being a follower of the King – to doing what God said, and learning of His ways, and living His principles. This is the only recorded miracle in Jesus’s earthly ministry involving money, and the only miracle I can think of where the Bible doesn’t confirm that it actually happened. The King said He was going to do it, and Matthew, having understood something of His glory, just expects us to take it for granted that He did it. We are not even told if the precise miracle is that Jesus caused a fish to swallow a coin, and then caused that exact fish to be the one caught, or if He just created the coin, and exercised dominion of the fish to make it be caught.

Catechism Question 3

March 17, 2014 at 10:50 am | Posted in Children's Bible Catechism | 6 Comments
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Question 3: Why did God make everything?
Answer: For His Own glory.
Prove it.

For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

Romans 11:36

God was not bored. He was not lonely. One of His attributes is true “perfection.” He lacks nothing. He is complete. He is joyful now, so He has always been joyful. He has always known perfect triune fellowship within the Trinity. In our sinful flesh, we must admit that there is not a single person with whom we could dwell eternally and never get bored or aggravated, but God is not like us in that way. He is eternally fascinating.

One of the attributes of God that we seldom talk about is His beauty. He is eternally beautiful, and we will never discover the end of His beauty, and we will never get tired of pursuing it or marveling over it.

Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works. All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name. For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.

Psalm 86:8-10

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Revelation 4:11

This catechism question-and-answer is a good opportunity to explain to children that God was good to give us the opportunity to glorify Him because that is the best thing for us.

Confession and True Revival

November 15, 2013 at 11:05 am | Posted in Nehemiah | 3 Comments
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Nehemiah Chapter 9 contains one of the great prayers of confession found in the Bible. (Ezra 9 and Daniel 9 are two others.)

As the the people remembered God, they remembered that:

God is good.

And didst see the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heardest their cry by the Red sea;

Nehemiah 9:9

God is great.

Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.

Nehemiah 9:6

God is gracious.

And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not.

Nehemiah 9:17

God is generous.

And they took strong cities, and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all goods, wells digged, vineyards, and oliveyards, and fruit trees in abundance: so they did eat, and were filled, and became fat, and delighted themselves in thy great goodness.

Nehemiah 9:25

God is glorious.

Then the Levites, Jeshua, and Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, Stand up and bless the LORD your God for ever and ever: and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.

Nehemiah 9:5

God governs.

Therefore thou deliveredst them into the hand of their enemies, who vexed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and according to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them saviours, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies. But after they had rest, they did evil again before thee: therefore leftest thou them in the hand of their enemies, so that they had the dominion over them: yet when they returned, and cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and many times didst thou deliver them according to thy mercies;

Nehemiah 9:27-28

Nehemiah Chapter 10 presents the evidence of the sincerity in the prayer of Chapter 9. Are you asking God for a revival in your nation? In your church? In your family? In your own heart? A revival is not a religious show or a religious exercise. It is a surrender to the Word of God.

They clave to their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God’s law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the LORD our Lord, and his judgments and his statutes;

Nehemiah 10:29

We must approach the Bible with humility, willing to admit there is much we do not yet know. We must also be willing to separate from the world as we immerse ourselves in the Word of God.

And if the people of the land bring ware or any victuals on the sabbath day to sell, that we would not buy it of them on the sabbath, or on the holy day: and that we would leave the seventh year, and the exaction of every debt.

Nehemiah 10:31

The test of whether you are experiencing a true revival is not what you “feel” during a church service. The test is in how we live afterward. Many of us study Bible lessons on a regular basis – and that’s good – but then we quit. We need to study a Bible lesson, and then live a Bible lesson. We expect God’s blessings for keeping “part” of the covenant, but we ignore the fact that God isn’t likely to bless a disobedient child.

Finally Finishing Five Hundred

December 14, 2011 at 11:30 am | Posted in A Little Alliteration | 8 Comments
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This is the 500th post on this blog. Managing enough consistency to accomplish this insignificant little feat probably shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same breath with the famous missionary, William Carey, and some of the great things God used him to accomplish for the the Kingdom of Christ, but I am reminded of this particular Carey quote: “I can plod. I can persevere to any definite pursuit.”

I don’t know if “plodding” is considered to be a spiritual gift, such as the gifts of mercy, giving, evangelism, administration, and the like, but, if it is, then maybe that is my one spiritual gift. I have managed, by God’s grace, and by His power, and hopefully to His glory, to plod my way through 500 blog posts. Hopefully He will allow me to continue. I give Him all honor, credit, and praise, in the Name of His holy Son, Jesus, for allowing me to be a steward of what I consider to be His blog, The Deep End. For anything good or encouraging or helpful that has come of it, all glory must go to Him alone.

I say a special “thank you” to everyone who has stopped by to read a post from time to time, leave a comment, or to click a “share” or a “like.” Thank you especially to those of you who subscribe and/or read regularly.

One time, when I was in elementary school, one of my teachers explained to us what “alliteration” meant by using the example of former Vice-President Spiro T. Agnew. Apparently, he was prone to using strange little phrases of words that all started with the same letter. Referring to the media as “nattering nabobs of negativism” was the one my teacher used as an illustration, and for some reason, that phrase has always stuck in my head. When I am preparing to teach Bible lessons there are times when I am apt to attempt an alarming amount of alliteration. The purpose is that I find it to be a helpful mnemonic device which hopefully doesn’t make me seem like I’m trying to be too “clever” while I’m engaged in the serious business of Bible-teaching.

In honor of the occasion, I’m posting the links to the category, “A Little Alliteration,” for your reading pleasure, or as a cure for your insomnia – you decide:

1. Wholly Holy
2. Noisy Neighbors
3. Acts and the Apostles: Activated, Authorized, Audible, and Accountable
4. Friends or Foes?
5. Panicked Pressing

6. Naming Neighbors
7. From Power to Proclamation to Prayer
8. Pouting Pastoral Pathetic Pity Party Permanently Postponed
9. From Frequent Formal Faithful Following, Flows Full Foundational Fellowship
10. Preaching, Pressing, and Pushing On
11. Insincerity, Inaccuracy, or Incompletion?
12. Porcine Predilection Predates Powerful Prevailing Pardon, Prompting Personal Purity
13. Falling, Flooding, and Facing Facts
14. Lord, Leader, and Ladder
15. Comparisons, Calculations, and Christophany
16. Beware of Fabrics, Frolicking, and Friends
17. Rehearsing Repetitive Roman Reigns Really Recognizes Right Reckoning
18. Bold Mouths, Beautiful Fee, and Blindfolded Eyes (*)
19. Mysteriously Meaningful Marriage Part 1
20. Mysteriously Meaningful Marriage Part 2
21. Sacrificially Submitting Surrendered Sanctified Service
22. Doubtful Disputations Deter Doxological Demonstrations Displaying Desired Decorum
23. Leavnless Lump
24. Heaping Helpings of Holy Hatred? Or Refusing Revenge for the Right Reasons?
25. Saved, Sure, and Serving? Or Suspicious, Sedentary, and Slothful?
26. Preaching and Praying in Prosperity and Predicaments
27. Fresh, Frail, or Fruitful?
28. Prayer, Protection, Praise, and Posture
29. Indulgent, Incompetent, or Industrious?
30. Quick Quiz Quietens Questioning Qualms
31. Inhabiting and Investigating Your Marriage
32. Influence, Intercession, and Inheritance in Marriage
33. Delaying Dutifully During Deliverance
34. Scorn, Schemes, Scoundrels, Schizophrenics, and Scares
35. Learning, Loving, and Living the Word
36. Condemning the Princes, Prophets, and Priests
37. Clear Calls for Christians: Pure Upgrade
38. Clear Calls for Christians: Proper Unity
39. Clear Calls for Christians: Point Upward
40. Omniscience, Obstacles, Opportunities, and Overruling Oversight
41. Properly Promoting the Principle of Personal Property
42. Purity, Prayer, and Possessions 
43. Corrupt Curving off Course (Exodus 32:7-9)
44. The Meaning, Majesty, Ministry, and Maintenance of the Mediator (Hebrews 8)
45. Decrees on Discipline and Divorce (Matthew 18-19)
46. Unveiled Glory and Unguarded Giving (Exodus 34; II Corinthians 3)
47. Don’t be an Abusive, Angry, Absent, or Addicted Parent
48. The Problem with Popular Parenting (Genesis 21:1-11; Ephesians 6)
49. The Problem with Pecuniary Parenting 
50. The Problem with Petulant Parenting 
51. The Propriety of Paragonal Parenting 
52. No More Wondering, Working, and Waiting 
53. Forgiveness, Fulfillment, and Freedom (Mark 2-3)
54. Ministers Must be Managers (I Corinthians 4:1-5)
55. Ministers Must be Meek (I Corinthians 4:6-13)
56. Ministers Must be Mild (I Corinthians 4:14-21
57. Wise Watering (I Corinthians 3:5-6)
58. Winsome Weeding (Matthew 13:7-10)
59. Wary Watching (Luke 12:35-40)
60. Willful Waiting (Lamentations 3:25-26)
61. Disciples, Defilement, and Division (Mark 7)
62. Doubting Disciples Duped by Demonic Distractions (Mark 8:27-36)
63. A Pair of Paradoxes (Mark 10)
64. A Second Pair of Paradoxes (Mark 10)
65. Role Reversal Ransom (Mark 10:45)
66. Blind Beggar Boldly Beats Bandwagoners (Mark 10:46-49)
67. Adiaphora and Analyzing Ambiguous Activities (I Corinthians 10)
68. A Fawning Farewell (Exodus 12)
69. The Cause, Confusion, and Consequences: Problems with the Lord’s Supper (I Corinthians 11:17-30)
70. Designer Disaster and Divine Destruction (Jeremiah 6:1-5)
71. The Determination, Demonstration, Distribution, and Designation of the Spiritual Gifts (I Corinthians 12)
72. Obstacles, Others, and Ourselves (Luke 6:12-46)
73. A Compassionate Centurion and Contradictory Crowds (Luke 7)
74. Reunion, Restoration, Regeneration, Reconciliation, and Rejoicing (Jeremiah 31)
75. Defiled, Destitute, Discouraged, and Desperate (Luke 9)
76. Suffering, Sin, and Sobriety (I Peter 4)
77. The But Chapter: Incomprehension, Indecision, and Ignorance (Luke 9)
78. The Joy of Service, Salvation, and Sovereignty (Luke 10)
79. Power Foretold and Prophecy Fulfilled (John 1)
80. Don’t be Duped or Deceived by the Diviners and Dreamers (Jeremiah 29)
81. Prayer for Preparation, Provision, and Perfection (Luke 11:4)

* most-read post in series

Don’t Let Distraction Lead to Division

September 16, 2009 at 7:24 am | Posted in Biblical Parenting | 5 Comments
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The prophet Joel had a message from God, and it was not restricted to certain age groups. In Joel 2:15-16, God convened the most serious kind of church service there was, and nobody was to be left out. From senior citizens, to children, to little babies, to young adults of marrying age, He wanted everybody present.

Joel didn’t even kowtow to the religious leaders of his day.

Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?

Joel 2:17

When God’s people go astray, they need to be cleansed before they are restored. This is because God loves His people, but His chief concern is for His Own name. God alone is worthy of praise and worship, and for Him to seek glory for any other – even His beloved creations – would be a form of idolatry.

Let us pray that we never send a message to our children, or to any group of our church family, that our comfort, our convenience, or our own concerns are to be sought above God’s Own glory.

Trusted with the Treasure

June 16, 2009 at 4:02 pm | Posted in parables, Uncategorized | 11 Comments
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If you are a born-again child of God, saved by grace, though faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, you have been entrusted with a great treasure. What is this treasure? It’s the Gospel message!

But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.

I Thessalonians 2:4

We have a responsibility to be keepers of, and stewards over, this treasure. That means we are to protect it, and put it to work, spreading it around, and causing it to multiply.

O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:

I Timothy 6:20

In our finite minds we might wonder why Almighty God would ever entrust something as important as the Gospel into the care of the frail and faulty care-takers we so often are. However, God in His wisdom decided that such an arrangement best serves His glory.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

II Corinthians 4:7

In Christ’s parable of the faithful and the unfaithful servants found in Luke 19:11-27, we see that all the servants were given a treasure. The ones who recognized the importance of this treasure were rewarded. We must never fail to recognize the significance of working for Christ. We do not work for our salvation, but as faithful stewards, we certainly ought to work because of it.

Jonathan Edwards Was a Heavenly “S.W.I.M.”mer

April 8, 2009 at 11:24 am | Posted in Quotes | Leave a comment
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There in Heaven this fountain of love, this eternal Three in One, is set open without any obstacle to hinder access to it. There this glorious God is manifested and shines forth in full glory, in beams of love; there the fountain overflows in streams and rivers of love and delight, enough for all to drink at, and to swim in, yea, so as to overflow the world as it were with a deluge of love.

Jonathan Edwards


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