Steady Rain

“By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness,
    O God of our salvation,
the hope of all the ends of the earth
    and of the farthest seas;
the one who by his strength established the mountains,
    being girded with might;
who stills the roaring of the seas,
    the roaring of their waves,
    the tumult of the peoples,
so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs.
You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.

You visit the earth and water it;
you greatly enrich it;
the river of God is full of water;
you provide their grain,
for so you have prepared it.
You water its furrows abundantly,
settling its ridges,
softening it with showers,
and blessing its growth.
You crown the year with your bounty;
your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.
The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
the hills gird themselves with joy,
the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
the valleys deck themselves with grain,
they shout and sing together for joy.” Psalm 65:5-13

“Rain in abundance, O God, you shed abroad.” Psalm 68:9a

Steady, soothing rain envelops the dark before dawn, tick ticking softly on leaves, tile, water, metal roof, wooden dock. Constant, punctuated occasionally by alto notes of a wind chime, a squirking frog, it falls, soaking further into a nearly saturated ground. But it’s silent there, where it soaks, taken in and down. No splash, no puddling, no run-off, only quiet absorption. Like God’s word, it may be audible in the falling, even loud in contact, but when it falls on a ready heart it often silently goes deep and does its good work giving, restoring, furthering life.

Messages from the Almighty are all around us. They twinkle in clear black skies, or arc in a prism bow. They unfold in a knowing smile of recognition or a quickening heart connection, an explosion of taste or a sudden discovered understanding. They speak from a pricked conscience, a stoked imagination, ignited creativity, a divine inspiration. And they drop like rain: awesome deeds and acts of mercy that softly shower our days with joy and enrich our lives.

O soul, are you in a drought of psyche or spirit, of health or direction? A constant drip drip of God’s word will make a difference. His river of wisdom is full for the taking, His insights settle ridges of uncertainty and rancor, and fresh mercies soothe frenzy, fear, and irritability. Steady rain of His truth revives the heart, enlightens vision, and gives joy in the most mundane of circumstances. Are we standing with eyes, mouths, hands open to receive? (Psalm 19:7-11; 81:10; Lamentations 3:22-23; James 1:5)

Are we daily in awe at the constant downpour of God’s works? Each one is worthy of it. Do we readily invite His visit to enrich our thinking and loving and giving, so we might overflow to the people around us? Does what we build, the way we travel, and all we endure, bear the mark of the abundant rain of His favor?

Lord, crown my days and years with Your gracious bounty, that I may spread joy and make You known in and through them all. (2 Corinthians 9:8)

The Importance of Song

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Behold, you are about to lie down with your fathers. Then this people will rise and whore after the foreign gods in the land they are entering, and they will forsake me and break my covenant that I have made with them. 17 Then my anger will be kindled against them, and I will forsake them and hide my face from them, and they will be devoured. And many evils and troubles will come upon them, so that they will say, ‘Have not these evils come because our God is not among us?..’

“’Now therefore write this song and teach it to the people of Israel. Put it in their mouths, that [it] may be a witness for me against the people of Israel… And when many evils and troubles have come upon them, this song shall confront them as a witness (for it will live unforgotten in the mouths of their offspring). For I know what they are inclined to do even today, before I have brought them into the land...’ So Moses wrote this song the same day and taught it to the people of Israel…

“The Rock, his work is perfect,
    for all his ways are justice.
A God of faithfulness and without iniquity,
    just and upright is he…
But the Lord’s portion is his people,
    Jacob his allotted heritage.

“He found him in a desert land,
    and in the howling waste of the wilderness;
he encircled him, he cared for him,
    he kept him as the apple of his eye.
Like an eagle that stirs up its nest,
    that flutters over its young,
spreading out its wings, catching them,
    bearing them on its pinions,
the Lord alone guided him,
    no foreign god was with him.
He made him ride on the high places of the land,
    and he ate the produce of the field,
and he suckled him with honey out of the rock,
    and oil out of the flinty rock…

“‘See now that I, even I, am he,
    and there is no god beside me.'” Deuteronomy 31:16-17,19,21-22a; 32:4,9-13,39a

In this poignant preparation for his pending death, God plants in His servant Moses a song to leave with the nation he’d faithfully led for forty years. Israel would soon enter the promised land, but would turn from their God who had steadfastly loved and protected them. Their ensuing troubles would be the result of their own rebellion, and the fulfillment of God’s word of warning. Their judgment would be a glorious upholding of His holy justice, not capricious anger.

It is human nature to expect God to bestow prosperity and favor no matter our spiritual aloofness, and to blame Him for difficulties and suffering. The song of Moses would remind Israel who God was, and why they’d get tangled in predicament. It’s vital for an enlightened mindset to be reminded of accountability and proper position under divine, benevolent authority.

What songs ring true in our hearts? What biblical melodies do we oft recite and share? Truth in doctrine and scripture guards and guides our minds in Christ Jesus, and is the proper lens for making choices and perceiving the world around us. It is our very life that fortifies us. (Deuteronomy 32:46-47; Philippians 4:6-8)

Father, keep me singing songs of truth all the day that remind me of Your mighty deeds and righteous character, and adorn You with the honor and praise You deserve.

Even the City Treasurer

“I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.  For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

“Timothy, my fellow worker, greets you; so do Lucius and Jason and Sosipater, my kinsmen.

“I Tertius, who wrote this letter, greet you in the Lord.

Gaius, who is host to me and to the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the city treasurer, and our brother Quartus, greet you.

“Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery thathas now been disclosed and made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.” Romans 16:17-27

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

As Paul addresses the churches throughout Rome, he includes admonition, warning, encouragement, hope, and greetings from a cascade of others, communicating that both messages and individuals are helpful for the strengthening of believers. His was the part of teacher/writer, but others also had necessary, God-given roles. The fellow worker, the scribe, the hospitable host, and the city treasurer are each a part of God’s assembled and providential Body.

The Christian life is full of tests and challenges as part of the assault of the world and the believers’ sanctification. We get bumped and bruised by obstacles and obstinate nay-sayers, but we do not go it alone. God sprinkles the people of His invisible kingdom throughout His visible world, and we are here to avoid the enemy and strive forward together, encourage one another, and make an eternal difference in our specific place. It is important we accept our place in His Body, and exercise the unique qualities He’s entrusted to us for the building up of many. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

To what unique place has God called me to serve His people? Who has He given to come alongside and advise, for whom I can give thanks? And whom would He have me pray for, challenge, greet, or uphold? How well am I fulfilling my particular part to bless God’s people, and contribute to the purity, endurance, sanctification, and fortitude of His church?

Father, may I understand and do my part faithfully, specifically, and generously for the building of Your kingdom and honor of Your name.

My House or His House?

“The king said to Nathan the prophet, ‘I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.’ And Nathan said to the king, ‘Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you.’

“That night the word of the Lord came to Nathan,  ‘Tell my servant David, “Would you build me a house to dwell in?  I have not lived in a house since the day I brought the people of Israel from Egypt, but I have been moving about in a tent for my dwelling…  And I have been with you wherever you went… I will make for you a great name…  And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more… Moreover, the Lord… will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you,.. and will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son… my steadfast love will not depart from him…”‘

“Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and said, ‘Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?..  Because of your promise, and according to your own heart, you have brought about all this greatness…  There is none like you, and there is no God besides you… And who is like your people Israel, the one nation on earth whom God went to redeem to be his people, making himself a name and doing for them great and awesome things by driving out before your people, whom you redeemed for yourself from Egypt, a nation and its gods?.. And now, O Lord God, confirm forever the word that you have spoken concerning your servant and concerning his house…  And your name will be magnified forever, saying, “The Lord of hosts is God over Israel,” and the house of your servant David will be established before you… O Lord God, have spoken, and with your blessing shall the house of your servant be blessed forever.’” 2 Samuel 7:2-6,9-10a,11c-14a,15a,18,21-23,25-26,29b

David of earth had the best intentions to build a house for God, a temple where the ark would reside and His people could gather, worship, and sacrifice. But God of heaven had a different idea of the house He would build and had begun to establish in David. Godly desires on the part of man are not always God’s design for His plans for man. The Lord made clear His specific roles for David to build a spiritual house, and his son Solomon to construct a temple. (1 Samuel 13:14; 1 Chronicles 22:7-12)

We want physical, the Lord wants forever. We make plans, the Lord determines our steps. We see in a mirror dimly, the Lord sees and knows all, present and future. In our strategizing and scheduling, are we building for this life or the next? Do we stop and pray over plans that feed not just body but soul, that align with God’s eternal good, not just temporal gain? (Proverbs 16:9; Matthew 6:19-20; Mark 8:36; 1 Corinthians 13:12)

Lord, engage my every effort to build Your house and kingdom, for the good of Your people and glory of Your name.

How, When Weakest and Least?

“The angel of the Lord appeared to [Gideon] and said, ‘The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.’ And Gideon said, ‘Please, my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds..? But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.’ And the Lord turned to him and said, ‘Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?’ And he said, ‘Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.’  And the Lord said to him, ‘But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man…’

“‘Peace be to you. Do not fear; you shall not die.’ Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and called it, The Lord Is Peace… The Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon…

“The Lord said to Gideon, ‘The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, “My own hand has saved me.” Now therefore proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is fearful and trembling, let him return home…’” Then 22,000 of the people returned, and 10,000 remained.

“And the Lord said to Gideon, ‘The people are still too many…’  So he brought the people down to the water… And the Lord said, ‘With the 300 men who lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hand.’” Judges 6:12-16,23-24a,34a; 7:2-4a,5,7a

The Lord knew Gideon’s valor before the man had an inkling. He chose him to reveal His might and care for Israel in a unique way, and persevered with him to develop his faith through questions and insecurities and need for reassuring proof. He whittled away at every prop that would bring human security to show Gideon and Israel that His presence with them was their forever Shalom and victory. (Judges 6:17-22; 36-40; 7:9-15; 18-22)

God sees us as the people we are in Christ and will become in Him. He is patient with our questions, learning, and doubts, and perseveres to sanctify us as people of valor and godly purpose. He intentionally plants us in situations where we must rely on Him and not ourselves, training us to use our gifts in His power and for His glory alone. (1 Peter 2:9-10; 1 John 3:1)

It is the mysterious way of Christ to confound our thinking to exalt Himself. He upturns worldly wisdom into foolishness, just as He divinely turned the horror of crucifixion to effect salvation and eternal life. He takes our small and least and makes them great to bless the masses. His ways are not ours; they are so much higher and better! (Isaiah 55:8-9; John 6:5-14; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31)

What present weaknesses and doubts are opportunities to experience God’s powerful presence? What gnarling temptations can give way to His victory? How can my inability and meager be used to bring glory to the able, bountiful God? For whom can I intercede to grow in faith and deepen in worship by seeing God’s marvelous hand, opened way, or provision?

Lord, release me from limited thinking and weak faith. Please work in such a way that it is obvious You have done it, so You receive all the praise.

Hear the Heavens?

“The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
    and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
    whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
    which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
    and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
    and its circuit to the end of them,
    and there is nothing hidden from its heat.” Psalm 19:1-
6

“The Mighty One, God the Lord,
    speaks and summons the earth
    from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
    God shines forth.

Our God comes; he does not keep silence;
    before him is a devouring fire,
    around him a mighty tempest.
He calls to the heavens above
    and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
‘Gather to me my faithful ones,
    who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!
The heavens declare his righteousness,
    for God himself is judge!’
 

‘Hear, O my people, and I will speak;
    O Israel, I will testify against you.
    I am God, your God.'” Psalm 50:1-7

After a long day weighted with rain that pelted into a night split with lightning, dark morning brings an ink sky spotted with unruly clouds that part to present Orion, regal as ever, ready for hunt. The drumbeat of rain is replaced by squeaking thrumping frogs and cricket chirp. Spinning earth, changing weather moods. Dawn turns day blows into afternoon, and another thunderstorm rumbles, advances over the expanse of water, roiling and streaking blue grey against the pristine clear of green edged in white frill.

Behold God’s power and beauty! Hear the clarion call of His glory, handiwork, order, judgment, and righteousness! There is much to hear and learn if we would just hush. God Almighty has given us several senses to observe and absorb His creative majesty, eternal qualities, and marvelous ways, but wagging tongues and fretting, flickering screens and flirty-with-frenzy eyes distract us from taking it all in. How well do we listen? How would reminders of these attributes help assuage the impulse to express insulting opinion, or enable us to release the stresses of urgent, or throes of irritation or bitterness? When will we contemplate God’s magnificence spread before us? (Psalm 46:1; Romans 1:19-20; James 1:19)

“O worship the King all-glorious above,
O gratefully sing his power and his love:
our shield and defender, the Ancient of Days,
pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise.

O tell of his might and sing of his grace,
whose robe is the light, whose canopy space.
His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form,
and dark is his path on the wings of the storm.

Your bountiful care, what tongue can recite?
It breathes in the air, it shines in the light;
it streams from the hills, it descends to the plain,
and sweetly distills in the dew and the rain.” ~Robert Grant (1833)

O God, my God, please attune me to listen to all Your Spirit tells me this day, and to hold and sing of a higher view of You because of it.

Store it up, speak it out

“He said to me, ‘Son of man, eat whatever you find here. Eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.’ So I opened my mouth, and he gave me this scroll to eat. And he said to me, ‘Son of man, feed your belly with this scroll and fill your stomach with it.’ Then I ate it, and it was in my mouth as sweet as honey.

“And he said to me, ‘Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with my words to them. For you are not sent to a people of foreign speech and a hard language, but to the house of Israel… But [they] will not be willing to listen to you, for they are not willing to listen to me: because [they] have a hard forehead and a stubborn heart. Behold, I have made your face as hard as their faces, and your forehead as hard as their foreheads. Like emery harder than flint have I made your forehead. Fear them not, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house. [A]ll my words that I shall speak to you receive in your heart, and hear with your ears. And go to the exiles, to your people, and speak to them… whether they hear or refuse to hear…’

“[Then] the Spirit lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness in the heat of my spirit, the hand of the Lord being strong upon me. And I came to the exiles, who were dwelling by the Chebar canal, and I sat where they were dwelling… overwhelmed among them…

“And at the end of seven days, the word of the Lord came to me: ‘Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me.'” Ezekiel 3:1-5,7-11,14-17

In order to pronounce truth, we must know it. We must open mouth, take it in, and digest it. We must receive God’s warnings and promises and revelations of who He is and how He works, into heart and mind. Sometimes we have to wait for comprehension and specific direction. We must have ears that listen and thoughts that absorb and hands and feet willing to apply and adorn His word.

Why is it that some of the loudest people voice opinions from ignorance or vitriol? Why is it that those transformed by biblical truth are often timid and hide it away? Entrusted and changed by life-giving words, we must go and speak, obedient to the One who convicts and commands, not inhibited by those who complain or condemn.

How faithful am I to sow God’s word into my conversations? To listen for specific needs and respond in kind with provision God offers? To share biblical insights on world and personal events? Am I taking time to ingest his Word and praying through it to have discernment and discretion? No good watchman is not alert or unwilling to act. How would I rank?

Lord, connect all my synapses to hear, study, and understand your word. Honor and enable my resolution to give it out appropriately with boldness and joy. Keep me diligent in my responsibility no matter the response, trusting You with every result.

Who Holds the Shields of the Earth?

“Clap your hands, all peoples!
    Shout to God with loud songs of joy!
For the Lord, the Most High, is to be feared,
    a great king over all the earth.
He subdued peoples under us,
    and nations under our feet.
He chose our heritage for us,
    the pride of Jacob whom he loves. 

God has gone up with a shout,
    the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises!
    Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the King of all the earth;
    sing praises with a psalm!

God reigns over the nations;
God sits on his holy throne.
The princes of the peoples gather
as the people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God;
he is highly exalted!” Psalm 47

“For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
    and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

Nation fights nation, each strutting political, economic, or military swagger to establish their supremacy and to best or destroy another. Tribe attacks tribe, party battles party, institutions wage conflict against institutions. But the King of kings reigns over all, as Ruler and Shield against dark forces and the forces of men. Men of earth are subdued in a moment by the God of heaven. (Ephesians 6:12)

In unsettled times, under shaky authorities, on crumbling moral or trembling economic foundations, we can hold secure in the Most High. As Shield He hems in His own, guarding our eternal inheritance and keeping our lives. He is a trustworthy Ruler who reigns in infinite power, wisdom, and goodness. (Psalm 11:1-5; 91:1-6,11,14-16; 139:5; 1 Peter 1:3-4)

Has our worldview shrunk to provincialism, where we think God is all about us? How need we expand our understanding of the King of kings and ages, and more widely intercede for and trust His sovereignty and care? Has my scope of prayer narrowed on only my life, my people, my interests, or am I worshiping, and seeking, the Lord of every nation and tribe? The shield of His promises and banner of His love cover His children of every tongue and generation. (Philippians 2:10-11; Revelation 7:9-10)

To broaden our view and knowledge of the Ancient of Days is to expand our love and concern for His world. Taking time to familiarize ourselves with His hand through history and way with nations as revealed in His word will aid us in recognizing His work in the world today. Paying attention to His expansive majesty in creation helps us recognize our smallness against the vastness of His love and realm. Would we, with confidence, plead for keen spiritual sight, heart willingness, and Spirit-heightened awareness to promote and exalt His supremacy in all the earth? (Psalm 8:3-6; Daniel 7:13-14)

“Beautiful Savior! Lord of the nations!
Son of God and Son of man!
Glory and honor, Praise, adoration,
Now and forevermore be Thine!” ~Joseph A. Swiss (1823-1904)

Lord, cause me to be still and know that You are God over all nations. May my life exalt You in my corner of the earth so Your praises extend to its end. (Psalm 46:10; 48:10)

To Everything a Season

“David lamented over Saul and Jonathan his son:..

‘Your glory, O Israel, is slain on your high places!
    How the mighty have fallen!..
You mountains of Gilboa,
    let there be no dew or rain upon you…
For there the shield of the mighty was defiled,
    the shield of Saul, not anointed with oil.
..

‘Saul and Jonathan, beloved and lovely!
    In life and in death they were not divided;
they were swifter than eagles;
    they were stronger than lions.
..

‘How the mighty have fallen
    in the midst of the battle!

‘Jonathan lies slain on your high places.
    I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan.'”

“After this David inquired of the Lord, ‘Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah?.. To which shall I go?’ And he said, ‘To Hebron.’ So David went up there, and his wives… David brought up his men who were with him, everyone with his household, and they lived in Hebron.  And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king…

“When they told David, ‘It was the men of Jabesh-gilead who buried Saul,’ David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh-gilead and said to them, ‘May you be blessed by the Lord, because you showed this loyalty to Saul your lord and buried him. Now may the Lord show steadfast love and faithfulness to you. And I will do good to you because you have done this thing.  Now therefore let your hands be strong, and be valiant, for Saul your lord is dead, and the house of Judah has anointed me king over them.’” 2 Samuel 1:17,19-21,23,25-26a; 2:1-6a,7a

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (2-8)

David was a skillful shepherd, poet, musician, warrior, and leader. God had anointed Him with an upright heart as well as discernment to know his place and assignment at any moment of time. Though he fell into grievous sin in particular instances, he moved from one occupation and exercise to the next with commendable focus and insight. As a man after God’s heart, his senses and will were engaged in God’s plans in all seasons. He moved from deep grief to military strategy, from righteous judgment to gracious blessing as the Spirit led him. (1 Samuel 13:14; 16:7,11-23; 17:34-37; 2 Samuel 1:4-16; Psalm 23; 34)

It is a grace to know both the gifts with which God has endowed us, and the paths He intends for us to employ them. We may prefer certain activities and people over others, and resist His prompting to switch gears to engage in specific duties or ministries, but His will should trump our feelings and excuses. It’s vital to seek and know His personal assignment for me at this time, in this season. His call to me is not His call to another; I’m both responsible and accountable for my personal obedience. (Esther 4:14; John 21:22; Acts 17:26; Romans 12:1-2)

How maturely do we move through God-given seasons? Are there divine appointments we’ve neglected through apathy or unwillingness to change direction? Skills we’ve let atrophy by laziness? How are we practically and actively utilizing the resources God’s entrusted to us for such a time as this?

Lord, give me wisdom, grace, and zeal for every season.

I am His, He is Mine, but We’re No Equals

“My beloved is mine, and I am his.” Song of Solomon 2:16

“Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you.” 1 Kings 8:27

“When I look at 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,
    and the son of man that you care for him?

Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
    and crowned him with glory and honor.” Psalm 8:3-5

“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” John 10:27-28

There is a great and glorious knowing as a Christian that the Lord and I belong to each other. Intimacy. Security. Mutual love. Permanence. Unbreakable covenant. Eternal I do. By grace I’ve been pursued and wooed, spoken for and taken and forgiven, adopted into an everlasting family. I’m now in Christ, and He is in me by His Spirit, my seal and guarantee of present sanctification, forever union, and heavenly glory. (Romans 8:15,29-30; Ephesians 1:13-14)

But we are not equals. Mutual belonging has been made possible only by inequality of substance, nature, and will. This One who is like none other, infinite in every perfect attribute, whose glory is above the heavens, has condescended to make me His own. Savior equals not slave, Spirit equals not flesh, righteous equals not sinner, Redeemer equals not enemy. Who God is loves and redeems who we are unto glorious union. (Psalm 86:8; 113:4; Romans 5:10; Galatians 5:1; Ephesians 2:1-8; Philippians 2:5-8)

So why do we keep playing god, allowing ability or accomplishment or success inflate our egos? The less focus on Him, the more puffed up our view of self. Gaze at the Holy One, high and lifted up, to be undone, astounded by His amazing grace. From the vantage point of humble servant to Master, we understand the infinite measure of His love and favor toward us. This is the love- of forever belonging- we must cherish an exhibit in return. (Isaiah 6:1–5; Ephesians 3:17-19)

Daily life as a child of the King is exciting and bears great responsibility. Do others recognize our Father’s eyes in the way we wisely perceive present culture, or look compassionately into hungry souls? How might our mannerisms, and choices, and interactions reflect the grace and practices of God Almighty?

The hope of every Christian is that one day, when we see Jesus face to face, we will be like Him. Alleluia! (1 Corinthians 15:49; 1 John 3:2)

“O worship the King all-glorious above,
O gratefully sing his power and his love:
our shield and defender, the Ancient of Days,
pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise.

Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail,
in you do we trust, nor find you to fail.
Your mercies, how tender, how firm to the end,
our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend!” ~Robert Grant (1833)

Father God, may I live as a reflection of You, so all I encounter recognize that I am Yours and You are mine, to the praise of Your grace and glory.