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Saturday, April 25, 2020

We are God's People


We are God’s people – a simple statement, four simple words but what a profound, amazing, life changing concept and expression of truth.

David asks a very appropriate question in Psalm 8 – He asks:

   “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet,…”

   What is man that God, the creator of all things – Would be mindful of him? His notice and caring is an honor that we should never take lightly or take for granted.

Psalm 100 says:  “It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.”

   David, the writer of the 100 Psalm was a shepherd in the early years of his life and when he wrote that “we are His people -  the sheep of his pasture.”,  he knew very well what that meant. The sheep in David’s pasture belonged to him just as we belong to God. He was responsible for their every need, their safety, their nourishment, their health. THE SHEEP DEPENDED ON DAVID FOR EVERYTHING.

  This is a beautiful picture of the relationship that God wants to have with each of us.  He wants us to know that we are His people and that we can 100% depend on Him for everything we need.

1 Peter 2:9 says
   “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…”

   So, not only are we His people, we are “His own special people.”
We are the people that He has called out of darkness into His marvelous light;-- We are the people that He is caring for, working with, teaching His ways, looking after even when we walk wide eyed into all sorts of difficulties. Just as David went out to pull a single stray sheep out of a thicket, God is always there to pull us out of our thickets of life.

   There is a hymn that we frequently sing entitled “We Are God’s People”.

   This hymn is one of the more contemporary hymns that we have in our hymnbook. We usually consider that hymns were written way back many years ago and preserved through generations. But this one was written only 44 years ago in 1976 by Bryan Jeffery Leech. Mr. Leech died on June 30, 2015, in California, but left us this beautiful reminder of our precious relationship with God. We are God’s people.

   I encourage you to look at the words of this hymn and to visualize the truths he conveys through his metaphoric style of writing. As an assistance to get the most out his lyrics, note that each verse describes certain biblical attributes using beautiful pictures and metaphors –  and then in the last line of each verse , he gives us instructions, as God’s people to follow.

   The first verse is my favorite.
We are God's people, the chosen of the Lord,
Born of the Spirit, established by the Word;
Our cornerstone is Christ alone, and strong in Christ we stand;
O let us live transparently and walk heart to heart and hand in hand.*

   We are God's people, the chosen of the Lord. When we really think about this statement, it is mind boggling that He loves us so much. How much does He love us? He allowed His perfect, sinless son to be tortured and put to death so that we can live and be made right in His sight and be the recipients of His grace and blessings.
   Christ was born of the Holy Spirit – The Son of Man - and was predicted by the prophets many years before His birth.
   The family of faithful believers is built on the foundation of Christ "our cornerstone is Christ alone", The Biblical picture of Christ as the cornerstone of the Church and of each of us as living stones is a study that would take more space than I have in this writing so I will simply quote.
"You are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone"   Ephesians 2:19-20
   The last line, as is his style, gives us our instructions. The picture he relates is a beautiful one. “O let us live transparently”.
   Something is transparent when you can see right through it, clear like glass. Our lives, my life, should be transparent to the point where people around me can see right through the “me” and only see the Christ in me.
“And walk together heart to heart and hand in hand”.
   What a great picture of people so united together that their hearts are as one and they are inseparable.  
   Being God’s chosen people is because of the free gift of His grace - but it comes with this responsibility.
“Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another.  If any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the LORD forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the LORD Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”  Colossians 3:12-17
 Hymns are a window into God’s word.                

                                                                                                   Br. Richard

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