“The earth is the LORD’S, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it.” Psalm 24:1
The thought that you are God’s posession will do either one of two things: 1. Fill you with joy. or, 2. Fill you with anger. I guess there could be a third response, which is the scariest of all; you could care less . . .
I read the above verse this morning, and the knowledge that everything is the Lord’s filled me with great joy and peace. Knowing that I am a part of His eternal plan is a joyous thing indeed. Realizing that God created me to be in relationship with Him and knowing that I exist by and for His pleasure is a delight to me!
Don’t you agree?
If you don’t, it may be that you haven’t been properly introduced to your heavenly Father. May I introduce you to Him through His Word?
“Lift up your heads, O all of you gates; and be all of you lift up, all of you everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O all of you gates; even lift them up, all of you everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory.” Psalms 24:7-10
“See how great a love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God! For this cause the world doesn’t know us, because it didn’t know him. Beloved, now we are children of God. It is not yet revealed what we will be; but we know that when he is revealed, we will be like him; for we will see him just as he is. Everyone who has this hope set on him purifies himself, even as he is pure.” 1 John 3:1-3
“For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned outside of the camp. Therefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people through his own blood, suffered outside of the gate. Let’s therefore go out to him outside of the camp, bearing his reproach. For we don’t have here an enduring city, but we seek that which is to come.” Hebrews 13:11-14
Pontius Pilate had it right when he nailed the sign to Jesus’ cross proclaiming that here was “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews”. It infuriated the Pharisees and the Priests. It made them gnash their teeth at Him and yell derogatory things in His face. One of the things they yelled at Him was this:
“He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him” Matthew 27:42
What they didn’t understand was that it was precisely because he was the King of Israel that He continued to hang upon the cross. What they couldn’t comprehend was that He was perfectly able to come down from that cross. Only two things held Him there, His obedience to His Father and His love for you and for me.
Even though He told His disciples many times, with great detail, that this would happen to Him, they just could not believe it was of God, and their faith was shattered when they saw Him die upon the cross. Jesus had even prayed for Peter (and in praying for him, He was praying for them all) that:
” . . . I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not: and when you are converted, strengthen your brethren.” Luke 22:32
When we follow Jesus outside the camp we are excited, because we believe we are doing a most noble thing. But, we soon find out that the world believes we are doing an ignoble thing! Just as the religious Jews mocked Jesus and were blind to what He was accomplishing upon the cross, the world mocks us as being fools and weak, and needing a crutch to get through life. They cannot comprehend that following Jesus outside the gate, leaving the security of the approval of family, friends and the world, is indeed, the bravest thing a person can do.
Jesus accomplished the forgiveness of sins for all mankind, and ended our impending punishment, by being punished in our place. He set us free. We become His messengers of the Good News when we choose to follow in His footsteps. We follow Him, not just for ourselves, but for others as well. At times, the suffering that goes along with this calling can discourage us, but we must remember how important it is to bear His reproach and keep our eyes fixed upon the prize that is to come: The new heavens and the new earth, the home of righteousness. It takes time for us, as believers, to truly understand that this world is not our home. We are foreigners, living in a foreign city, and waiting patiently to be brought to our new city which is to come!Jesus accomplished the forgiveness of sins for all mankind, and ended our impending punishment, by being punished in our place. He set us free. We become His messengers of the Good News when we choose to follow in His footsteps. We follow Him, not just for ourselves, but for others as well. At times, the suffering that goes along with this calling can discourage us, but we must remember how important it is to bear His reproach and keep our eyes fixed upon the prize that is to come: The new heavens and the new earth, the home of righteousness. It takes time for us, as believers, to truly understand that this world is not our home. We are foreigners, living in a foreign city, and waiting patiently to be brought to our new city which is to come!
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have ordained;what is man, that you think of him? What is the son of man, that you care for him? Psalms 8:3-4
In the above photograph provided by NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft in 2013, we see Saturn in the foreground and way, way behind it we see a blue speck highlighted by an arrow, otherwise we would miss it. I’m sure you may have guessed by now; that this little blue dust mote is the planet Earth. It is you and me. It is our home. Think of the billions of people that are alive right now, upon that little blue dot. Think of the endless magnificence of the universe, with billions of galaxies containing billions of stars.
And . . . There we are . . . lost in insignificance.
But . . . Not to the heart of God.
No, we are not lost to Him. It is His way. What is exalted will be brought low. What is humbled will be exalted. What mankind sees as incredible is nothing in God’s sight. What mankind sees as worthless is invaluable to God.
You are invaluable to God.
He would trade all the stars in the firmament of the heavens for you. Indeed, He would trade His very self for you. For your freedom. For your liberty from the slavery of sin and your deliverance from the grave.
In truth, God has done just that, sending His only begotten Son as a ransom for you and for me. Men worship many things and they give their souls away for what will, one day, be lost. But, God, not wanting us to be lost in the insignificance of these ‘things’ has offered us Life!
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made, and without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:1-5