Majesty of God-Part Two of Doxologies

In Your Bible: Jude 25

After Jude discloses many challenges that the unfaithful bring into the church, he encourages the faithful to remain steadfast in what they’ve been taught. He affirms God cares for true believers all the time. Jude closes his letter with powerful words of praise. Look upward to the God of glory and seek his face.

God’s Attributes

To God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory, majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen (Jude 25 New King James). When we acknowledge these wonderful truths about God, we glorify God. We must recognize and declare it. Selah.

Jude also does an amazing job communicating the greatness of God too.

  • Yes, our only Savior
  • The only Wise One
  • Look and see his glory and majesty
  • He has dominion and awesome power
  • Now and forevermore

Interestingly, the words now and forevermore, could also be translated “unto all ages” which is eternity. Indeed our victory and triumph is in God forever.

Stay Connected

This doxology reveals God’s glory and our destiny in him. If we keep connected we cannot fall. Believers do not have to slink shamefully into the presence of God. We are presented to him with exceeding JOY! Look upward to the God of glory and seek his face.

Prayer: Father, what a wonder you are, Savior, Wise One, Awesome One. Glorious One, you are Messiah.

God is Able – Part One of Doxologies

In Your Bible: Jude 24

Jude the-half-brother of Jesus, likely the writer this book, warns believers against falling away from the faith. Especially in challenging times we must press in and fully trust in our mighty God. Jude encourages believers concerning God’s ability to help the faithful. God cares for all believers all the time.

He Is Able

Jude’s doxology encouraged believers then as well as it does us today.

To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen (Jude 24,25 NIV).

Yes, he is able and desires to manifest our character as one with Him and we must be recognized as in him. Paul’s letter to the Colossians also says it succinctly, Christ in you the hope of glory (Col 1:27 NIV).

How can we keep from stumbling . . . with God’s help?

  • We must obey Him and keep His Word in our heart, mind and soul,
  • We must keep near him in prayer and listen to him, and be alert to what He is doing
  • We must show His mercy through Jesus’ love

He Presents us Faultless

Yes, we know we have faults, fears, doubts, and sorrows. Yet the Redeemer says his people are faultless in him. Let us look to Him who is able to keep us from falling. He desires to improve and maintain the work he has created in us. Then we will be presented before him and all his glory. God cares for all believers.

Prayer: Father, what a wonder you are. Sin does not have victory over me. I readily accept your transforming work in me for your glory.

New Topic – Doxology

Today we begin a study on insights from several doxologies in the Bible. Before the 17th Century, a doxology was often spoken out loud before a congregation by a pastor and then repeated by the congregation line for line. Simply put, a doxology is a hymn or song of praise to God. *

Protestant Doxologies

In Protestant traditions, The Doxology or The Common Doxology, is normally sung as a hymn. The following doxology, written by Thomas Ken in 1674 ** is still sung in churches today.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Catholic Doxologies

In Catholicism, doxology is a liturgical formula (or hymn) to give glory to God.

  • The Gloria in Excelsis (an expansion of Luke 2:14) is sometimes called the Greater Doxology.
  • The Gloria Patri (Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, world without end, Amen). It is often called the Lesser Doxology.

Wonderfully, three types of prayer are used, vocal, meditative and contemplative. Here, the focus reflects on Jesus’ life as the words of the church’s basic prayers are repeated.

My focus will be on Scriptures. We’ll find several doxologies in the Old and New Testaments. Simply put, a doxology is a hymn or song of praise to God.

Prayer: Father, every living creature on earth yearns to praise you. With heartfelt thanks, I too praise you.

* Webster’s’ New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition, Michael Agnes and David B. Guralnik, 2001, IGD Books Worldwide, Inc., p 431.

** Thomas Ken, britanica.com,17th-century Anglican bishop and hymn writer.

Used for the Lord’s Purpose

In Your Bible: Acts 28: 30,31

This is the last blog on the study of Acts. Paul spent his remaining two years in Rome ministering to any who came to see him. In his overall ministry, he traveled extensively and wrote letters to churches he planted. Paul was chosen by God to travel, tell and teach about the risen Lord.

From Persecutor to Proclaimer

Saul persecuted Christians and put fear in the hearts of the followers of Jesus. He experienced God’s grace through a face to face encounter with Jesus himself! The Holy Spirit empowered Saul (now Paul) to tell Jews and Gentiles about Jesus. His path was difficult, but he accomplished much.

Paul Taught in Rome

Paul spent his final years in Rome in his own rented quarters. He welcomed all who came to him and taught them about the Kingdom of God with unhindered teaching. Paul was chosen by God to travel, tell and teach about the risen Lord.

Prayer: Father, what a joy it is to know you care for me. I need your help to keep my hands open to share with others the love you shower on me.

Questions: You have seen the Holy Spirit work through the disciples. In what manner does the Holy Spirit work in your life? How was the fall of the Holy Spirit crucial to the birth of the Church?

Paul Challenged in Rome

In Your Bible: Acts 28: 12-30

Paul possibly understood more of what Jesus said and did through his encounter with the Lord on the road to Damascus. He knew well the Law and the Prophets as a “Pharisee of Pharisees” (see Acts 23:6). God gave Paul added time in Rome to instruct Gentiles and Jews about the Messiah—Jesus Christ.

Before the Jewish Leadership

In Rome, Paul called the Jewish leaders together and said, “My brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. They examined me and wanted to release me, because I was not guilty of any crime deserving death” (Acts 28: 17b, 18 NASB).

The Roman Jews declared they’d not heard any of this . . .  “But we want to hear what your views are, for we know that people everywhere are talking against this sect” [followers of Jesus] (Acts 28:22 NASB). What a door God opened here. Paul explained about the Kingdom of God and about Jesus from the Law and the prophets.

Isaiah’s Prophecy Fulfilled

Some believed but most of the Jews did not. * Again rejection by the Jewish leadership deeply disappointed Paul. Then he quoted the same Messianic Prophecy that Jesus did (see Matthew 13:14 and John 12:40):

“The Holy Spirit rightly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to your fathers, saying, ‘Go to this people and say,
“You will keep on hearing, but will not understand;
And you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive;
For the heart of this people has become dull,
And with their ears they scarcely hear,
And they have closed their eyes;
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
And hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart and return,
And I would heal them”’ (Acts 28:25b-27 NASB).

Paul spent two full years, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching about the Jesus the Christ openly. God gave Paul added time in Rome—to instruct Gentiles and Jews about the Messiah—Jesus Christ.

Prayer: Father, please help me respond when opportunities to share the gospel arise. I want to be your spokesman.

Questions: In what manner do you react to rejection? How can you better allow the Holy Spirit speak through you in times of confrontation.

* Bible Commentary, McGarvey and Pendleton, Acts: 28:24, online at christianity.com

Shipwrecked

In Your Bible: Acts 28:1-11

The large grain ship from Alexandria ran aground on the island of Malta. Miraculously all 276 onboard survived. Paul, Luke and others were guests of the island chief. In God’s hands and safekeeping Paul ministered in Malta for more than three months.

Hospitality with a Surprise

The natives on Malta showed extraordinary kindness. They built a fire for the visitors due the rain and cold weather. But, when Paul added wood to the fire, a venomous snake bit him, Paul shook it off unconcerned. The natives watched to see if he would instantly die, he didn’t! They were amazed—Paul must be a god.

Hospitality and Healing

Publius, the Island’s Chie Official, was likely a Roman representative. * He revealed to Paul that his father was seriously ill. So . . . Paul went to him, and after he had prayed, he laid his hands on him and healed him. After this occurred, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases were coming to him and being healed (Acts 28:8b,9 AMP).

Luke says more about the generosity they received in Malta: They also gave us many honors [gifts and courtesies expressing respect]; and when we were setting sail, they supplied us with all the things we needed (Acts 28:10 AMP). In God’s hands and safekeeping Paul ministered in Malta for more than three months.

Prayer: Father, thank you for turning shipwrecks in my life into times of ministry. Help me see opportunity when I face difficulties.

Questions: Have you faced situations that looked extremely dangerous? What results came from your response from the way God carried you through it?

* The Daily Bible Study Series, The Acts of the Apostles, William Barclay, Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1955, p. 207.

The Tempest

In Your Bible: Acts 27: 1-40

With his appeal for a verdict from Caesar granted, Governor Festus readied a ship to send Paul to Rome with guards and several other prisoners. Amidst a disastrous storm, a messenger from God encouraged Paul. God can strengthen hearts of those who call on His Name in any circumstance.

Sail for Rome

On their sail they stopped in Sidon where Paul was allowed to go ashore to receive kindness and provision for his needs from friends. The entire journey took many months. In Myra they changed to a grain ship * from Egypt and had 276 people onboard.

This was a larger ship, possibly as long as 140 feet, 36 feet wide, and a draft of 33 feet. With no rudder at the stern as we now have, it was steered by two great paddles from each side – very difficult to manage.

Luke thoroughly documents time frames i.e. noting rulers, feasts, and festivals. In Acts 27:9 NIV he states the challenging storm was just after the Day of Atonement, most likely in early October on our calendar. ** Truly a challenging time to travel by sea!

Paul admonished the crew . . . “Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also.” But the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and of the owner of the ship (Acts 27:10,11 NIV). They sailed into the storm

The Tempest

For days, the storm caused chaos and fear for all onboard. The crew had serious safety tasks:

  • Gird the hull with ropes – to gain strength
  • Place sea anchors – for stability
  • Jettison excess ship tackle and grain – to lighten the load

They were so busy that they failed to eat! This enraged Paul, so he strongly urged all onboard to eat for their own safety and well-being.

Stay in God’s hands

To assure the crew and all onboard, Paul revealed what a messenger of God (an angel) told him . . . “Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you. So, keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God” (Acts 27:24, 25a NIV).

It was determined by God that Paul should go to Rome. God chose the route and difficulties to be encountered. He encourages all who trust him to know they will also suffer for him. God can strengthen hearts of those who call on His Name in any circumstance.

Prayer: Father, it’s comforting in times of trial to know that you have me in the palm of your hand. You know my upcoming successes and troubles long before I encounter them. I trust You.

Questions: When have you encountered seemingly impossible challenges? Did this build or diminish your trust? Why/how?

* The Daily Study Bible Series, Acts of the Apostles, William Barclay, The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1955, p 201.

** Note from John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible, Acts 27:9, website christinity.com.