(Part 26)


February 26, 2015

Today’s psalm:  Psalm 138:1-8

Here is a basic reality: “The Lord is on high, but cares for the lowly” (v.6a). God loves the poor. God has a preferential option for the poor. Our work with the poor stems from God’s love for them.

So here is the good news. If God cares for the poor, and we allow ourselves to be instruments of God’s care for the poor, then God will do whatever it takes to equip and empower us.

Our theme for this year is “Look at Jesus, look to the poor.” The two go together. To look at Jesus is to see the poor, whom he personally identifies with. To listen to Jesus is to hear him speak about his mission, which is to bring glad tidings to the poor.

In support of our work with the poor, we look at three things (coming from Acts 4:31-33). One, our worship of God. Two, our being of one heart and mind as a community and our being stewards of God’s resources. Three, our work of witnessing and evangelization.

David in today’s psalm spoke first of all of worship. “I bow low toward your holy temple; I praise your name for your mercy and faithfulness.” (v.2a). We must be in right relationship with God if He is to use us in the power of the Spirit. This means awe and worship. This means humility. This means holiness.

Now we are called not just as individuals but as a community. We need to share the one vision and put our efforts at the one mission. We need to be mindful that we are stewards — of the work entrusted to us, and of the resources entrusted to us to help accomplish the work. We are to be humble as God uses us greatly, for the Lord “knows the proud from afar.” (v.6b). If we become proud, thinking we accomplish things due to our own efforts and strength rather than God’s, becoming self-referential and building our own kingdom often in contradiction to God’s, pursuing our own priorities and agenda rather than submitting ourselves to God’s, then that is the start of the end. But if we take on God’s vision and humbly act as stewards, then God will bless and protect us in the midst of dangers and against our enemies (v.7). Then the Lord will recognize that we do His work, and will “never forsake the work of (His) hands” (v.8c). Then “the Lord is with (us) to the end.” (v.8a).

So God supports and sustains us in order to do His work of proclaiming the gospel. In the power of the Holy Spirit, we can bring the gospel to the ends of the earth. The gospel is powerful, and can bring people to an encounter with the living God. “All the kings of earth will praise you, Lord, when they hear the words of your mouth.” (v.4).

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