Tag: provision

Our Father’s Smiling Face

Scripture Reading for February 12th: Numbers 5-8

Everyone loves a blessing!  Blessing assures us of something good coming our way that costs us nothing and that sometimes is the opposite of what we really deserve.  God’s grace is a blessing to us who really deserve His wrath and punishment.  As a pastor, I have often spoken the Aaronic blessing found in Numbers 6:22-27 “The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites.  Say to them: “The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you;  the Lord turn His face towards you and give you peace.” ‘ “So they will put my name on the Israelites and I will bless them.”

This was God telling His priests how to speak a blessing over God’s people.  He wants them to experience His provision and protection.  He wants them to enjoy peace with Him and with each other. He wants to be in their midst, enjoying their love and fellowship. He promises to provide for their needs cheerfully. He gives them His Name, rich with provision and power and comfort. He desires to forgive their sins and restore each one to His family. There is joy and peace in Father’s House seeing His smiling Face!

Think of someone with a smile that radiates love, warmth and acceptance.  My mother had that kind of smile!  God is telling us that His face is smiling at us and His grace is being poured out on us.  When He is looking at us and smiling, we have peace that passes understanding.  God is not angry with His people when they come to Him for forgiveness, fellowship and favors.  This pleasing doesn’t come from our perfect behavior, but in spite of our sin and rebellion!  Jesus Christ has pleased the Father by His perfect obedience.  When we trust in Christ and believe on Him, we are given a gift of right standing and the smile of God’s face can be turned toward us!  May the Lord bless and keep you today, may His face smile lovingly on you and your family!  May His peace fill your lives!  May His name be upon you!

Do you picture God the Father with a smile or a frown as He sees you? Have you responded to His invitation to come to Jesus? Do you know someone in your family or among your friends that needs a smile or blessing today? Let’s reflect God’s smile in our world!

Tags : , , , , ,

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

Scripture reading for June 29th: Psalms 120-127

Today’s reading is a set of psalms that were known as the “songs of ascent”.   These were songs sung by pilgrims as they traveled on their three required yearly visits to the temple for the celebrations of Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles.  The pilgrims usually came up the road from Jericho to Jerusalem and experienced  an elevation change from 1200 feet below sea level in the Dead Sea and Jericho area to over 2600 feet above sea level in Jerusalem.  The climb was difficult for several reasons.  It was a dry area with little water and the terrain was rough.  It was also an area known to be inhabited by robbers and marauders who would prey on the pilgrims.

The first psalm in this series begins with the pilgrim in a place where he is in distress.  He is in a place where he is living among those who hate peace.  They are deceitful people and have lying tongues.  The lying tongue hates those it hurts!  He is far from God’s house and God’s people and realizes his need to call on the Lord and begins his journey to the city of God.  This journey may be what you need today, take time to call on the Lord and decide to move towards Him!

Psalm 121 is a favorite psalm of many.  I memorized it as a child in Sunday School.  As the psalmist begins the journey upward to Jerusalem, his eyes see the hills and he realizes that this journey is impossible in his own strength!  The climb is difficult and there are many dangers. He confesses that his help comes from the Lord, who is Maker of heaven and earth.  (Psalm 121:2)  The Lord will keep him safe and watch over him.  God will keep him safe during the hot sun of the daytime and the treachery of the darkness!  In fact, God will keep him from all and any harm, not only now but forever!  What an encouragement for us today!  No matter what obstacle or hazard or mountain of difficulty, God is with us to help us!

The central goal of the journey is Jerusalem, the city of God and God’s covenant community!  Psalm 122 is a song that  reminds the traveler of the joy that awaits him and his fellow-pilgrims when they arrive.  They long to stand in the gates of that city and can actually see themselves there.  It’s a city closely compacted, a tight-knit community centered around the temple and worship of the Lord, this Maker of Heaven and Earth!  The tribes go up to praise the Lord according to His statutes! (Psalm 122:4)  Jerusalem is the city of ‘peace’ and all are encouraged to pray for the peace of the city.  In a world where war, hatred, lying and deceitful tongues form the social context of where we live every day, peace is the norm in God’s city.  It comes by prayer and consistent seeking.  We must maintain that peace by centering on God Himself!  Take time today to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and to seek it’s prosperity!

Tags : , , , , , ,