Do you ever wonder if God has favourites? The Bible says no, still what do you think about people who seem to ‘love God’ more, serve selflessly, preach passionately, give generously, care compassionately, suffer faithfully? Do you ever think, surely God must have a special place in his heart for these people?
The truth is that God sees us all through the person of Jesus Christ, the redeemer, his son, his only begotten son. We that have his son, are his beloved, yes all of us have the same attention from him.
It’s on these lines that Asaph is asking God to help. He is calling Israel, the people God chose, his favourite child who needs directions and tender mercy. God loves us uniquely, that is true, but his love for us is the same. Jesus
If you knew and truly believed that you Are God’s favourite child, what would you ask him today? How you would approach him and spend time with God by that truth? Do just that, you are his favourite child!
We are created to be fruitful. I know that recently the attention is more in becoming famous then fruitful, still, we are followers of Jesus and followers are known by their fruits. To be fruitful, we need to be planted and have a good gardener who tends us. God has done that from the beginning, no matter where his people are, even if we are sojourning, he plants us to be fruitful.
He knows which soil will make us bloom. It might look rocky, and dry, full of manure and tough to us, but a skilful gardener knows where to plant us.
The tendency for us is to be always looking for an escape and ‘better’ soil, that’s why many of us are laking in fruit-bearing, for we are refusing to go deep in the soil which we are set. We remain shallow and immature.
When we accept the hands of the gardener, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control will be sprouting everywhere. ( See Galatians 5:22-23 ) we will be a people who change the world through the fruit we produce.
It has been said that our faces reflect our hearts.
God’s face on the other side reflects his loving presence. When God’s face is turned towards his people blessing and deliverance are present, when his face is hidden from us, darkness and despair rule.
Because of Jesus, the face of God it’s not hidden to us. On the cross, God turned his face away from all the sin and guilt that Jesus carried so that we could see him face to face.
This phrase is a picture of a father who is smiling and is well pleased with his child. When the Lord lifts His countenance and shines upon us he is being gracious and compassionate, loving and caring, light and life to us. Today, if Jesus is your saviour know that God is smiling upon you and his face, his presence is always with you.
This psalm was clearly written after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonian armies. It was a time of much suffering and calamity.
Still, the hope and faith in God are not extinguished. People are approaching God will repentance and sorrow. They know that their iniquity is big, and their pain is deep, but God above all moves for the honour of his name. They are his people, they want their deliverance to reflect God’s glory no their sin. God put so much power in his name that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow down and every tongue will confess that he is God. ( Philippians 2:9-11) There is power in the name of Jesus, in fact, there is no other name by which we must be saved. We can ask in his name, we can ask for his namesake anything.
I was walking with a good friend of mine the other day and together we were talking about the recent events happening around the world.
“We need a great leader, she said. A leader that will put things right.”
It’s a sincere yearning, I understand it, but more than one can count we have had our hopes and dreams about the salvation of the world dashed in men. We hoped that that president or that government will be different and better, we dreamed that the change of administration will bring the change we needed. But, sadly, it did not. Truly, there is nobody in the whole history of the world that has satisfied our desires. No government, no leader, no administration or revolution that has fulfilled all the given promises. Many great men have tried, yet not achieved. God has a habit of using mostly the people who are overlooked by all, like David and Joseph and Peter and Mary to bring change. He does that to display his power and awaken our desire for the real king and leader. Jesus.
Jesus came and although overlooked by many fulfilled all promises for us. All of them. By allowing him to lead us as a Good Shepherd, we are sure to be sure in his flock.
A lot of people think that God prevents them from having fun in their lives, yes even us who follow him think so. Deep down the lie of the snake that startled Eve batters our heads too.
“What good thing God is keeping away from us”
For this very reason, we start and walk away from God thinking that outside him we will have a more fun driven life. If we are sincere, most of us will confess that left to ourselves we do nothing but put our lives in constant trouble. Still, God is patient and ‘understanding’ he never keeps us by force to follow him, our wills are ours to operate. The Holy Spirit helps us always, still He is gentle and kind, he can be quenched and grieved by our choices. ( 1 Thessalonians 5:19, Ephesians 4:30)
We are created to live in harmony with our creator, all the time that we go our way, we abandon the only way that we can be truly fulfilled.
The idea of a ‘crooked bow,’ in Psalms 78:57, describes the people as failing to fulfil the purpose of their choice by God. As such a weapon does not shoot true, and makes the arrow fly wide, however well aimed and strongly drawn, so Israel foiled all Divine attempts, and failed to carry God’s message to the world, or to fulfil His will in themselves.” (Maclaren)
It’s about us missing the mark, trying in vain to become a ‘god’ for ourselves and abandoning the one and only God who knows us and our destiny. We all left and lead by our nature are but just one step away from making a shrine of people and things but never God. That is idolatry.
No matter how good or attractive an idol might be, eventually, it will destroy us. Until God is in the right place in our lives, we will forever be crooked bows.
I can only imagine the terror of the plagues. It’s easy to read some things, but live them is another story.
Rivers turned into blood ( no water to drink or wash the dishes )
Flies as far as the eye can see ( dirty and annoying )
Jumping Frogs everywhere ( in the bed and kitchen)
Devouring caterpillars ( fat and greedy )
Armies of locusts ( stripping bare everything eatable )
Stony hail ( killing animals and plants alike)
It was a catastrophe from every side for the Egyptians, yet, in the middle of chaos, God leads his people to a triumphant rescue. Terror and Fear gripped others, but not the children of God, they were unafraid. In the middle of the worse fear feast. What about you? What fears and agonies have encircled you right now, that the presence of God can remind you that you can stand unafraid. Emmanuel is with you.
Forgiveness is costly. We often romanticise the kindness and the redemption of God towards us, but it cost Him, Jesus.
Our Lord is patient with us, not because we deserve it, but because that’s who He is. “I am the Lord God. I am merciful and very patient with my people” ( Exodus 34:6 ESV)
God waited for the people of Israel time after time to repent and they didn’t. He waits for me and you, He is very patient indeed.
A friend of my husband told him when he became a Christian that he did not like Christians because they are so forgiving and so patient.
If we were waiting for the world to like us, that sort of seals it.
Still, as God’s children we are to be patient with one another and them who God is being patient for their salvation. We do that by being patient and prayerful. We wait and not whine. We smile when we feel like stomping the ground. We are quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to wrath. ( See James 1:19)
The world is full of ‘good people.’ People who are moral and exercise good merits all around. Some of these people even come to church and want God to keep that status, but that is not how God works I think.
You see, we are afraid of the consequences of our ‘misbehaviour’ so we restrict ourselves, we protect our reputation, we avoid conflicts. Still, when we fail we run to God to receive his forgivness, because we care about ourselves, not because we realise how that has hurt God.
When we only seek God so that he can help us to ‘be good people’, this, kind of seeking will lasts very briefly. We can admit it even ourselves that after we have gone to God to remove the pressure we have felt and he has done it, we go straight back to not seeking him as we previously were. God is forbearing, we are feeble, still, let us not test His goodness. For, in the end, we are the ones that loose.
We are not only to be ‘good people’ with our lips and leave our hearts to be far from that confession. Jesus Christ made it ‘easy’ for us to be people of goodness and mercy, for we are adopted in the family of God who is good and bound in mercy. Let us seek the Lord in Spirit and truth ( John 4:23), not becoming good people only, but godly people in word and deed.