As human beings, we are wired to be social and because of that, it is natural to seek out acceptance from others.
I remember those times during physical education class when we had to line up and be chosen to play on one team or another. The captain of their respective teams would take turns selecting their team members. Eventually, only two people were left standing. One of the two would be chosen by one of the captains and the other was the the person the team got stuck with after all the selections were made.
I never knew what went on in the mind of the last one standing, but I prayed that person would understand that even though they were not chosen to be a member of one of the teams before them, they would know that they have been chosen already by someone greater than anyone on earth. They have been chosen by God.
1 Peter 2:9:
You are chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
What a wonderful thought that we are chosen to be on God’s team. We don’t have to do anything to earn our position and we certainly don’t deserve it.
Still, our Lord and Savior loves us, no matter who we are. We could be good, bad, talented, untalented, pretty, ugly, tall, short, or whatever terms the world uses to describe us.
It may sting a little when we are not chosen to be on a sports team. But, we need to learn to let it go because in the whole scheme of life, it truly does not matter. The fact is, you and I are God’s children. God chose us, each and every one of us to be members of His family. He chose us to be members of His team. And, there is no better team to be on than God’s team.
So dear teammates, the next time you are feeling unwanted, unappreciated, or unloved, remember you have the love of the Lord Almighty and there is no greater love to be found on earth than the love of the One and Only Lord God Almighty.
Today’s song is about how you are chosen by God. You are strong, precious and irreplaceable.
Song Title: Chosen
By: Sidewalk Prophets Composers: Ben McDonald, Dave Frey, Seth Moseley & Tommy Iceland
Copyright: Curb|Word Entertainment , January 10, 2020
For sure, times are tough. There is much uncertainty in the world. Granted, everyone is feeling a little beside themselves over the outbreak of the Coronavirus; add to that the general stresses of day-to-day living, financial matters, and relationships with family and friends.
It is easy to let things bring us down with worry, especially when we don’t know where to turn for answers that help us through the things we are dealing with.
On Sunday, a friend of mine delivered a sermon that delivered the words of Psalm 91. Coincidentally, on the same Sunday, the pastor of my church delivered a sermon on the same passage – Psalm 91. Although I enjoy all of the Psalms, there are several that I rely on for uplifting and extra strength. This Psalm is one of those Psalms that helps me see the promises of God very clearly. God promises not to forsake us. He promises to be with us forever and ever.
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
God is Our Protector
The thing to realize about the Almighty God is that He is not a man who might be prone to fall away from his promises for whatever good (or bad) reason he has. Our God is perfect and He does not lie. His Word is Truth. So when He makes a promise, we can trust He will deliver on His promise. And, because we trust in His Word and His promises, we can live a life unafraid of anything that is happening in our lives and around the world right now.
Verse 1 refers to the Shadow of the Almighty. I quote a portion of my friend’s sermon to share how when we rely on the Lord for protection we are under the shadow of the Almighty.
When I see the word “shadow” I think of a “shade tree” where one can be protected from the burning rays of the sun - a metaphor for care and protection. It also reminds us of a mother bird hovering over her young as they reside in her shadow.
My friend’s interpretation provides a clear picture of how God watches over us and provides a shield of protection over, around, and under us to keep us from harm and danger.
Verses 9 and 10 clearly state that if we claim the Lord as our refuge (Savior) and make Him our dwelling (reside in the Lord) He will protect us from harm.
Psalm 91 is filled with many promises, naming all kinds of danger and harm that could possibly come to us, but no matter what it is and no matter where we are, our God who is omnipresent (everywhere at all times) will be where we need Him to be and when we need Him to be there, and He will protect us.
Have No Fear
Have no fear. Have no doubt. God is your protector, your defender. In whatever you do for Him, He sends angels before you to make a safe path for you.
When you have God as your guide, you have God as your guarantee that no pestilence, no sickness, no weakness, no demon… nothing can harm you.
All you need to do is call upon the Lord. He will hear you and when you make Him your Lord and Savior, He will save you.
Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.
Title: He is With You
Copyright: UMG (on behalf of Sparrow (SPR)); Capitol CMG Publishing, ASCAP, LatinAutor - UMPG, LatinAutor, UMPI, Warner Chappell, UNIAO BRASILEIRA DE EDITORAS DE MUSICA - UBEM, Adorando Brazil, and 6 Music Rights Societies
During Sunday church services I have the opportunity to work in the media booth which is located in the back of the sanctuary. Because of my location, I am in a position to see a lot of things happening among the congregants. It is all fascinating and I learn from watching people interact with each other.
This Sunday was no different than any other Sunday, except that the government had just issued a mandate that people were not allowed to sing or chant during services. This is no big deal to me because I understand the reasons behind the mandates. It seems that singing and chanting causes us to propel the virus into the air beyond the 6-foot area of protection which, according to health officials, protects us from catching the Coronavirus. It seems this challenge of wearing mandatory masks and not being able to sing or chant brought up some scenes that I never thought I would see in a church environment. Here’s what happened Sunday…
A family (not regular members) came in without masks, and by now (in my mind) everyone on the planet knows to wear masks when entering a public place. Well, apparently, not these folks, because when they entered the church, they did not have on masks. They were asked politely, by the pastor, to put on masks. However, one of them claimed to have a medical excuse for not being able to wear a mask. No one faulted this person for that. But, we all were scratching our heads about the rest of the family. And, when the pastor asked them to put on the complimentary masks that were being handed out, they refused. They were hemming and hawing about why they would not or could not wear a mask. And, when the pastor rightfully insisted that they wear masks for the protection of themselves and others, they got up and left. As they exited, all sorts of things were running through my mind. One thought was that they would rather have excuses for not wearing a mask than to stay and listen to the word. It made me quietly ponder why they even showed up in the first place, because certainly, wearing a mask should not hinder their ability to enjoy hearing the word of God. Their dramatic exit created a memorable scene. That incident taught me that when it comes to God and hearing His word, no excuse is big enough to forgo this wonderful opportunity.
During the same service, another incident caused me to ponder. Again, I cannot imagine that anyone missed the mandate that the government issued, stating that we shall not sing or chant in church. Well, this Sunday everyone in attendance (except one person) abided by that mandate. And, when that one person began chanting (speaking in tongue) that person was politely reminded that we are not allowed to do that. Well, the person became irate, loudly blurted out a comment to show dissatisfaction of the mandate, and then excited the building in a huff.
The incidents described above are not normal activities in our church. To be perfectly honest, our church is filled with the most honorable, enjoyable, God-fearing individuals. The Holy Spirit permeates throughout and the love that pours out of that little church is undeniable.
Sunday’s incidents taught me that we can have all the excuses in the world, but none of these excuses will matter when we are standing in the ultimate presence of God. The next time you have an excuse for not being in church because you have to wear a mask, or not worshipping God because you cannot worship out loud, ask yourself this one question, “Is this excuse good enough to pass the test of God?”
In 1 John 2:28 (King James Bible) we read...
And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.
I would never claim to be perfect. I make mistakes on a regular basis. I repent every day for something I have thought, said, or done and I do try to learn from my iniquities. So, I would not judge other people for the decisions they make. Everyone has their own reasons for deciding this or that.
When I was sick with a fever, I had a good reason for not going to church. And, there are many other reasons for not going to church. Nevertheless, at the end of the day, when I'm making excuses for this or that, I've got to ask myself, "Is this excuse good enough to pass the test of God?"
Today's Video: Here in Your Presence
Copyright: 2014 Integrity Worship Music