PSA 8:1-9 ESV
O Lord , our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger.
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.
You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under his feet,
all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
O Lord , our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Oh, to have faith like a child.
This world around us breeds doubt and lays tricks for us.
When we see how tiny we are compared to the lengths of this earth, when we see how far the expanse of the heavens extend, when we see how wonderful your design is even at the microscopic levels, when we learn the sciences of the amazing physical world that surrounds us – it is hard for us to understand why you would be mindful of us, mere mortal human beings. But even that is not trusting in your creating us originally with that purpose in mind, when you created us in your image and breathed life into us.
Yes, you made us with a purpose.
Faith like a child. Isn’t that who we are if we are yours? We are like children, clinging to you in faith. We are your chosen, elected, and adopted children. You have extended your mercies to us, and we have accepted your offer of grace, of salvation, of a renewed life in Christ.
And yes, there is a difference in accepting this offer of grace and in loving and serving our of grattitude and our of a changed attitude on the inside, which is the whole point of this Good News of the gospel – a cleaning of the inside of the cup – a relationship with Christ alive in us –
Instead of just outward action striving to earn favor or rewards under our own power, making a presentation to others that we are clean and worthy, playing the part on the outside with works and words, while dead and empty of fruit on the inside, this is religion.
And sadly, many will see the two and confuse one for the other, because the enemy is a trickster, and he tries his best to imitate the things of God and lead others astray.
But like a child who knows the voice of his father, I listen for that voice of love – because that is the voice of my father. Even in his correction, He corrects me with Love and patience. He does not crush me under the stone, He sets me on it as my firm foundation.
And I fear for where I would be if I was not in His hands, because He protects me, and He guides me, and He loves me, and He rescues me from those traps the enemy lays before me.
I do not know His wrath, I only know His love – so it is difficult for me to share that other voice that I hear many so often using to talk about God. The consequences that I have faced in this life were of my own choosing, and He has even rescued me from so many of those. The love and peace and joy heavy always come from walking in His ways.
So I don’t know this God of wrath and punishment and anger that many fear and run from. No, my Father is there with open arms, waiting for me. And I don’t run into His arms because I fear His wrath and punishment, I run to His arms because I know His love, and His mercy, and His forgiveness, and His grace, and His honor, and His glory, and His power.
I’m not a hired hand, working to try and earn favor or build up treasures for myself – a hired hand will desert the flock in times of trouble because they are working for their own gain and honor.
No, and I am not a shepherd myself, and I am not a teacher, but the Good Shepherd walks with me, and He lives in me, and He guides me when I follow, and He teaches me when I listen, and He loves me and protects me.
So I follow Him, because He is my Father, and I know His voice.
If you do not hear that same voice of love, surrender your life to Christ, see past the religion that focuses on a life of self. If I’m only worried about:
How do I keep from going to hell?
How do I get to go to heaven?
How do I earn favor with the Lord?
How do I avoid the wrath of God?
How can I get the Father to love me?
I might only know a religion that is focused on ME.
But there is a relationship that was purchased for YOU and ME with the blood of Jesus Christ, God come in the flesh:
Lord, I know that I deserve eternal separation from you by the worthless works of my life, but I trust in your promises, please remember me.
Lord, my time spent with you, learning from you, praising you, worshipping you, is such a blessing, thank you for the opportunity to experience a foretaste of your kingdom even now.
Lord, use me however you see fit, let me be salt and light in this world of darkness, let them see you in me, so that they might hear your voice and see your love and we might fellowship together as your children even as a foretaste of your kingdom.
Lord, please have mercy on those still held in captivity, those that do not know your voice and your touch – those that need your renewal – those that need to be healed from their spiritual blindness – those that need to be healed from their deafness to your truth – so that they too will hear your voice, the voice of a loving Father.
Lord, please have mercy on us when we stumble, and correct us gently in your loving hands – but apply the pressure necessary to crush the will of those in opposition to you so they might repent of their evil ways and know a full life. And who can refuse you, Lord, if they are yours and encounter your voice? Who would turn away your love and mercy and forgiveness?
Lord, you are worthy of all honor and praise. My works are worthless rags in your eyes, but your works done through Christ living in me are wonderful. Those works are Yours, not mine, and that is why I lay down any crowns at the feet of Christ, because I do not deserve any honor or glory or title or exaltation – You alone, Lord, deserve honor and praise.