July 01, 2019
Other than Christ Himself, there is nothing that brings me greater joy and delight than my children and grandchildren. By God’s grace, all 16 of my kids and their spouses are walking with God and serving Him and raising our—soon to be 18—grandkids in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord.” To seem them prosper spiritually brings great pleasure to my soul.
SATAN’S GREAT PLOY
… is to seek to get us to think wrongly of God. Not only of God’s actions, but what God’s heart feels and believes. Our great Enemy wants to attack the love of God, deceiving us to assume that God could surely take no delight in us. If he succeeds in this, we will pull back from God, never fully trusting Him. Hiding from Him in the garden just as our First Parents.
But here again is where the Scripture helps us so dramatically. Listen to the TRUTH about God’s affections.
GOD’S GREAT DELIGHT
“For the Lord takes pleasure in His people. He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation. Let the godly ones exult in glory; let them sing for joy on their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth.” (Psalm 149:4-6a)
God delights in His children, those who been adopted into His family by grace through faith. When we see our daily sin and failures (which are many) we cannot fathom that God could take anything but displeasure in us. But we misunderstand two things: the perfection of His love and the depths of His mercy. He has chosen to send His Son to take care of our sin problem. He understands our frailty in this life. He trains us as necessary, calling us to turn back to Him when we stray. It grieves His heart at times, but this is the grief of a Father who loves His son or daughter perfectly and longs for the best for them.
God “takes pleasure in His people.” Read that statement over and over again. Make it your morning confession until it is absorbed deeply into your soul. It is no affront to His holiness for Him to proclaim this. No lessening, but a magnification of His glorious nature.
For us to know this in the depth of our hearts releases us. It frees us from fear and a timid, awkward approach to God. God’s “perfect love casts out fear” as John, the beloved apostle said. We are his sons and daughters! We have been bought twice over by His creation of us and the redemption we have experienced at the cross, as we have come to follow Him.
This growing realization will lead us to a depth of intimacy we have not realized before. A security in His presence. An affection for Him that is deeper than we have known as we realize the greatness of such a Father. And we will find ourselves giving eternal praise to the One who could love imperfect people so perfectly.
March 29, 2023
As a pastor for the last 55 years, I have had the joy of being encouraged and blessed and prayed for by so many people. It is what carries you in your task of shepherding people. As I look back over five decades of ministry, their love has dramatically enriched my life.
But also, a pastor leads. And when anyone leads, there are almost always some who disagree.
March 28, 2023
March 27, 2023