All glory to the Highest, King of Heaven and Earth. Let all the angels praise His name, for He is good. There is no one greater than God. He reigns supreme above all things. There is nothing He has not made, for He made all things. He is the beginning and the end, the creator of all, and we are in his image, wonderfully made, perfectly crafted.
“And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, ‘Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!’” (Revelation 4:8)
Give thanks to God, worship Him with arms outstretched; praise Him in the fields, praise Him in the woods, praise Him in the quiet places. Give glory to the Father of all, for His gift to us is eternal life through Christ Jesus His son.
The Lord is our rampart, He is our protector, He is our guard. His mercy is forever and His life lives in us through his Spirit. Worship God in the mountains, worship Him in the valleys, worship Him from sea to sea.
“And one called to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!’” (Isaiah 6:3)
God is good. All glory belongs to Him. Let us give Him thanks, praise Him and worship Him in all that we do. All glory to God.
God’s Word has been a light onto my path. It has rescued me from darkness. It has provided me with the encouragement to move forward, in spite of failures, in spite of defeats. The Bible has opened my heart to God’s voice. The Bible is God’s voice. When I hear it, I am comforted. It gives me hope. It gives me life. It protects me from evil. God’s Word is my rescue.
Of all the kings of Israel who lived, King David was someone who loved God deeply:
I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart;
I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
David’s love toward God and his Word was so intense that even his wife Michal scolded him for his open demonstration of affection for his creator, “How the king of Israel honored himself today, uncovering himself today before the eyes of his servants’ female servants, as one of the vulgar fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!” (2 Samuel 6:20). The truth is David was dancing with the people because he had defeated the Philistines, captured the Ark of the Covenant and had brought it back to Jerusalem. He plainly answered his wife this way, “It was before the Lord, who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me as prince over Israel, the people of the Lord—and I will celebrate before the Lord. I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in your eyes. But by the female servants of whom you have spoken, by them I shall be held in honor” (2 Samuel 6:21-22).
The next verse reveals how David’s wife carried a barren womb until the day of her death.
How wonderful God is to have looked after David this way. David’s love for God and the Ark should be an example for all Christians who wonder what it is like to give oneself wholeheartedly to his Word. The Ark was that Word, as the Bible is the Word today. Those pages speak life to me daily. They consume my waking hours. They pour into me the true meaning of love—the story of Christ’s sacrifice.
For me, God’s Word is intimate. God’s Word is personal. If it has not already done so, it is my hope the Bible becomes as intimate and as personal to you also.
“And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.’”
And I am going to be candid for what I am about to say, because I am sure you are wondering why you are reading this article on LookingtoGod.org instead of JackFlacco.com.
When I started my blog in December 2012, I was writing about zombies and I was looking to find an audience who would enjoy reading posts about the undead and the science behind it. One such post had to do with the various phases of rigor the body goes through during its decomposition. Never did I think how influential my posts would be until one night I had over 1,200 hits in an hour from people who were searching for the answer to the question, “Why do zombies eat brains?” And never did I think my first zombie book would end up as a bestseller when it came out in October 2013.
As the years went on, my measure of success was by how many followers I had on Twitter, how many likes I had on Facebook, and how many readers I had on JackFlacco.com. Everything became a numbers game. If I could grab the audience’s attention, I will have earned their loyalty. Or so I thought. That is, until February 2016. For it was then that I realized God was working with me, shaping my heart, and moving me to forgive all those who I believed had done me wrong.
I read a lot about repentance. I read a lot about forgiveness. I was going through a transformation, leaving behind old grudges to live a new life filled with Jesus. I emerged two months later as the proverbial new man. No longer was the weight of hatred holding me down, but I had the Holy Spirit guiding my decisions, showing me things in the bible I had never seen before.
Two-and-a-half years later, after having written countless articles about salvation, and having published my first Christian book, I am announcing the birth of Looking to God Ministries, an organization dedicated to drawing people closer to God by encouraging them to love others as themselves and to love Jesus. We have yet to write a mission statement, or come up with branding; but those things are on our list of things to do. The exciting news is we have a homeless outreach program already up and running; and starting with When Forgiveness Is Enough, I will be signing over the rights, royalties and proceeds to all my books to the ministry as a means to support its programs.
So I am thrilled to begin on this new journey, sharing this experience with you all, and wondering what God has waiting for Looking to God Ministries in the next little while. I am sure that whatever he has planned, it will be a time of challenges, moments of excitement, and opportunities to draw closer to him.
Please join me in prayer that I may know what his will is.
Baroque composer Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1759) wrote Judas Maccabaeus. Many might know this opera by the familiar melody See the Conqu’ring Hero Comes. But it is the piece that follows that prompts me to praise God with fervent desire.
As a budding composer in the mid-Eighties, The Great Choruses of Bach and Handel has comforted, encouraged and motivated me to look to God for answers to my problems. While the decades passed, the song Sing Unto God has been my inspiration during those trying times.
I have not found a better version than that sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in 1984:
Sing unto God, and high affections raise, To crown this conquest with unmeasur’d praise.
The song is in a constant crescendo, always growing bigger and bigger, leading to an ultimate exultation of God. When I think about the words “unmeasured praise”, I think about how the flowers in nature extend their pedals and swell with color as a tribute to their awesome creator. I think about how heavenly bodies scream across the night sky declaring God’s omnipotent reign. I think about how all the gigantic suns burst with flares throughout the universe, giving glory to his name. And I think about how I, without restraint, raise my hands to worship whenever I am in his presence.
Psalms 68 says—a portion of which Händel based Sing Unto God:
“Sing to God, sing praises to his name;
lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts;
his name is the LORD;
exult before him!” (Psalms 68:4)
God is always there with us in the desert, ready and waiting for our praise. Let us give him that praise without measure. For all that he has done for us, giving his son Jesus as a sacrifice for our sins; he deserves all of our worship.
Therefore, let us give thanks to the one who made us so wonderfully and a little lower than the angels for now. For he is the one who will ultimately crown us with glory and honor (Psalms 8:4-5).
God is leading me in everything I am doing. This recent discovery has led me to make many significant changes in my life that I would not have otherwise made had God’s spirit not been with me. The biggest of these changes is how I view Jesus’ sacrifice for my sins. No longer am I taking his suffering lightly, for I now weep when I read the prophet Isaiah:
“But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)
I become distraught by knowing just how much Jesus suffered for me, but then my sadness turns to joy when I realize that I will never have to worry about my past sins ever again. God has forgiven me.
How wonderful a God I worship because now I have hope for a future where I will be with him forever. That faith he imparted through the Holy Spirit is the delight I now have living within me. And this has brought to life the beautiful belief I experience and is spoken of in Hebrews, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).
For as I believe Jesus is the Christ, son of God, who has saved me from the penalty of sin, which is death, faith is my guarantee that my reward will be great in heaven (Matthew 5:12).
And knowing this, what an amazing God he truly is!
When I worship God, I stretch my hands in the air and thank him. I thank him for my life. I thank him for my family. But most of all, I thank him for my relationship with him. That, had it not been for him believing in me, I would not be where I am today—praising him with every breath I draw into my lungs.
David did the same, except I have yet to dance as he did when he defeated the Philistines to return the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem (2 Sam. 6:14, 16, 20-23).
That day was special. That day, the Lord God fought on David’s behalf and won (2 Sam. 5:17-25).
Now, when I praise God, I praise him for fighting for me. I have the reassurance that he will not leave me or forsake me, and just as he had done with David, he will send his armies before me to make the way clear so that it seems as if I have accomplished it all on my own.
It sounds crazy. I agree. But after seven months of God’s constant intervention in my life, healing me of my neck problem, ridding my heart of bitterness, exiling those who despised me into utter darkness, he has yet to fail me:
“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed” (Deut. 31:8).
And I will continue to praise him, lifting my arms in true thanksgiving for extending his mercy over my life and the lives of those in my family, just as it says in (Ps. 148:1-4):
“Praise the Lord from the heavens;
Praise him in the heights!
Praise him, all his angels;
Praise him, all his hosts!
Praise him, sun and moon,
Praise him, all you shining stars!
Praise him, you highest heavens,
And you waters above the heavens!”
Therefore, I pray also that he, too, may bless and fight for all of you as he has done for me because his mercy is great and his reach is infinite.