Category Archives: Wonder

Awe and Wonder

“And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.’” ~ Isaiah 6:3 (NIV)

stand in awe of GodWorship is humbling, but it is also delightful, invoking a sense of admiring awe and astonished wonder. Astonishment and wonder are always found in the presence of the Holy Spirit. The difficulty with this today is that everybody is sure of everything. The proud man cannot worship God any more than the proud devil can worship God.

Without mystery, there can be no worship. If I can understand God, then I cannot worship God. I will never get on my knees and say, “holy, holy, holy” to that which I can figure out. But the more I know of God, the less I understand about Him.

It is in the presence of the Holy Spirit that I begin to recognize what a sinful man I really am. The apostle Paul said, “Woe is me.” Isaiah the prophet cried, “Woe is me!” when he came into the presence of God. They were experiencing the mysterious wonder of that One who is incomprehensible.

~ From My Daily Pursuit by A.W. Tozer

Father God, fill us with a fresh sense of awe and wonder that we might worship you anew, amen!

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Filed under A W Tozer, Christianity, God, Holy Spirit, Humility, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality, Wonder, Worship

No reality more breathtaking!

Desiring God Book Cover“If you are a guide on a sightseeing trip and you know the people are longing to enjoy beauty and you come upon some breathtaking ravine, then you should show it to them and urge them to enjoy it. Well, the human race does in fact crave the experience of awe and wonder. And there is no reality more breathtaking than God.”

~ Excerpted from Desiring God by John Piper

Will we live in awe and wonder of God today?

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Are we still in awe of the Gospel?

The following article by Eric Geiger challenged me.

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For years, I have heard church leaders bemoan the reality that the majority of Christians never or rarely share their faith with unbelievers. Though declaring the good new of Jesus to others is the responsibility of every Christ-follower, few people in our churches embrace the holy assignment. Why?

CL_why_your_people_are_not_sharing_their_faith_320620438In his book, Contagious, author and professor, Jonathan Berger, writes about how thinking and social influence spread, or “why things catch on.” In one chapter, he shares insights from a study that sought to discover why some online articles are shared more than other articles.

Several insights were gleaned, but the strongest discovery was that articles that drove a sense of awe into readers were 30 times more likely to make the list of “most shared articles.” Readers are much more likely to share articles that evoke a sense of awe.

Quite simply, we can’t help but spread news that we find amazing.

Though the book is on every marketing professional’s shelf, the chapter was convicting for me as a believer in Jesus Christ.

According to the research, if I am not sharing the gospel, it is because I have lost my sense of awe and appreciation for it.

The reason the majority of the people in our churches don’t share the gospel is not because they haven’t been through a course. Nor is it because they failed to participate in a training seminar.

Not sharing the gospel reveals a loss of awe about the depths to which He plunged to rescue us. Not sharing the faith with others reveals a loss of amazement that He gave us His righteousness for our sin.

If we are still in awe that the holy and eternal God of the universe would pursue us in our sinfulness, humble Himself and suffer in our place, become the curse for our sin, and absorb our punishment to give us His peace, then we can’t help but share this news. If we are convinced that the news about Jesus is truly good news, we can’t help but spread it.

When the religious leaders asked Peter and John, two of Jesus’ disciples, to stop speaking about Jesus, they replied, “We are unable to stop speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). Their hearts were filled with awe for Jesus and His work for them; thus, there was no way they could be silent.

When Jeremiah considered not speaking for the Lord, he realized he could not hold the message inside without exploding: “If I say, ‘I won’t mention Him or speak any longer in His name,” His message becomes a fire burning in my heart, shut up in my bones. I become tired of holding it in, and I cannot prevail” (Jeremiah 20:9).

Whatever we find amazing, we share. We spread what we are in awe of.

If a church leader is frustrated with a lack of personal evangelism among the people in the congregation, the wisest move is to continually remind the people of God’s amazing grace.

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Are we still in awe of the Gospel?

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, Evangelism, God, Gospel, influence with the world, Jesus, Religion and Spirituality, Wonder

After All (Holy) by David Crowder

A simple worship song with a profound message. God is so much more than we can begin to comprehend…

If the video doesn’t play click here.

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Filed under David Crowder, Glory of God, God, Love of God, Music Video, Praise, Religion and Spirituality, Wonder, Worship

Keep Wonder in Your Worship

ps19-1a

Worship is a way of gladly reflecting back to God the radiance of His worth…Don’t let your worship decline to the performance of mere duty…Don’t let the scenery and poetry and music of your relationship with God shrivel up and die. You have capacities for joy that you can scarcely imagine. They were made for the enjoyment of God. He can awaken them no matter how long they have lain asleep. Pray for His quickening power. Open your eyes to his glory. It is all around you: “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1 ESV).

~ Excerpted from Desiring God  by John Piper

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Do something remarkable

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Choices, Courage, Desire, Determination, Inspiration, Life in General, Motivation, Wonder

You are unique!

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
~ Psalm 139:13-15

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Children of God, Christianity, God, Love of God, Wonder

We are small and God is big

A Russian satellite has captured what is thought to be the highest resolution picture of our planet ever taken from space.

The detail in this image is simply staggering! I don’t know what comes to your mind, but like my friend Jeff who sent this to me, I am reminded of how small we really are and how big God is!

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?  You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. ~ Psalm 8:3-5

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Do it again!

“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, ‘Do it again’; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony.

It is possible that God says every morning, ‘Do it again’ to the sun; and every evening, ‘Do it again’ to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.” 
– G.K. Chesterton

Thank You Lord, for the gift of this day!

Thank You Lord, for being strong enough to exult in monotony!

Thank You Lord, for doing it again!

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Children, Christianity, God, Gratitude, Thankfulness, Wonder

Laughter… the obvious response

Certain experiences affect the way we look at life.

Men and women who come home from the battlefield often see things differently.

Those who have survived a serious heart attack or stroke have a changed point of view.

But no one had a more radical turn of events or adjustment to his perspective than Lazarus! One moment he’s dead, the next (three days later) he’s stumbling out of a tomb!

Lazarus knew that this earthly life isn’t what we were made for.  And I think he must have laughed.  Because in the experience of dying and being resurrected, Lazarus must have discovered there was so much more to living than what he had known.  To his reborn eyes, the life he’d been attached to, the one that had seemed so fraught with difficulty, must have looked like child’s play.

From his brief glimpse of eternity, Lazarus could surely discern the counterfeit from the genuine.  The cardboard facsimiles we work so hard to build.  The papier-mâché dreams that occupy our hearts and minds.  The silly games we play.  The inconsequential things we inflate until they seem monumental.

The resurrected Lazarus surely saw life differently because he knew there was more to come.  If we could only grasp that, Lazarus wouldn’t be the only one laughing.
~ Excerpted from Lazarus Awakening by Joanna Weaver

I love the notion that Lazarus laughed more after coming back from a pit stop of pushing up daisies. A peek into eternity must have made the stuff of this life pale in comparison.

In The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis describes a busload of people from hell visiting the grassy meadows outside the gates of heaven. Among other things, these visitors come to realize that they are mere shadows compared to those they encounter.

Ever see something out of the corner of your eye and turn only to discover it was a shadow or reflection; nothing real. I wonder if that’s what all of life was like for Lazarus after his return?

If we truly came to see all the stuff of this world as temporary, would it change the way we view life? Would we laugh more?

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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