Have you ever thought about what you most want to be known for? Parents, what do you want to be CERTAIN your children know about you? It comes as no surprise that God has thought about these questions. Please give this wonderful gospel song a listen, and come back here for more.
First things first
The prophet Isaiah had a tough job. He had to deliver to his own countrymen God’s charges of disobedience and warnings of coming destruction.
We can learn a remarkable truth from the first charge that opens the Book of Isaiah:
Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD has spoken:
“I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. The ox knows his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel does not know, my people do not consider.”
What opened the door for Israel’s destruction? “The ox knows his owner, but my people do not consider.” They kept sacrifices and burned incense as rituals, but had no interest in knowing the character or will of God their Father. They viewed it as their birthright that God’s power and majesty would always be there to defend them from enemy attacks, but they had no interest in knowing, loving or serving God as their Friend, Father, Guide or Redeemer.
God knows the hearts of men. In His wisdom and love, He designed His Word and life itself so people could know His character as Father of love, light, and care for His creation FIRST, before requiring He be honored as Monarch or Lawgiver. Among many examples of this, consider that in the beginning of the Bible, we see man enjoying fellowship with the Father God in a place called Paradise. What a wonderful place to begin a relationship with God the Father, and what a great way to begin God’s written revelation.
History as recorded in the Bible and elsewhere shows many examples of how hard and harsh people can become who know God ONLY as Sovereign Ruler, but have no knowledge of His great, personal lovingkindness to all who reach out to Him.
Want examples? “In the name of God” they rejected Isaiah’s admonitions. Those that survived the enemy attacks went into captivity. In Acts “in the name of God” they stoned Stephen to death. In the Gospels “in the name of God” they crucified The Messiah. It would be an understatement to say that when God’s character is not known, actions done “in His name” can be way off the mark.
This supports the idea that the third commandment (“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain”) is not talking about saying naughty words, but IS about doing evil in the name of God. Sobering truth.
“He who has seen me has seen the Father”
Jesus Christ’s ministry included helping reset people’s understanding of the loving character of God as our Father. Jesus Christ was certainly up to the task! Jesus taught and demonstrated God’s love, paving the path to obeying God. He showed the joy of fellowship and the deliverance that accompanies honoring God for His great goodness.
Paul’s Epistles also show remarkable examples of God’s gracious approach to His people. Romans 12 can be considered the first place God requests something from new Christians. The request does not begin with, “I demand” — rather, “I beseech you”. Ephesians 4:1 is another pivotal request to Christians, also opened with “I beseech you”. This “tone” from God to His beloved children speaks volumes. We serve an awesome — and LOVING — God.
A song that says it all
This brief, upbeat song is a recipe for a successful life:
The first verse of “Somebody Loves Me” sets how fun it is to
have a loving two-way relationship with The Savior.
The second verse directs us to
engage in joyful service to the Lord by helping His people.
The third verse gets us to
anticipate the glorious days coming soon and forever to God’s people.
Three times, the refrain cheerfully celebrates our loving relationship with the Lord.
What more could we want? What more can God do for us? How can we not love Him Who first loved us?
Wouldn’t it be wonderful for God to know you and me as someone who accepted His gift of life given through His Son, Jesus Christ? No need to wait a minute longer. It’s available now!
God bless you lots!
LYRICS: Somebody Loves Me
Words: W. F. Crumley Music: W. F. C.; Marjorie Crumley
I love my Savior and He loves me,
He is with me from day to day, what a friend is He,
Watches over me while I sleep, hears me when I pray,
I’m as happy as I can be, and I can say:
Somebody loves me, answers my prayers,
I love Somebody, I know He cares;
Somebody tells me not to repine*,
That Somebody is Jesus, and I know He’s mine.
You’ll be happy if you will let Jesus have His way,
He has work for us all to do every passing day;
Feed the hungry and cheer the sad, for the sinner pray;
You’ll have joy that you never had, and you can say:
Then at last when our work is done, He will call us home
To a mansion He has prepared, nevermore to roam;
We’ll sit down by the riverside, cares all passed away,
And with never a pain to bear, what a happy day.
(*repine means “to be fretfully discontented; fret; complain.”)
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THANKS! – Dale R.