Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Everything Belongs to the LORD

"Therefore David blessed the Lord in the presence of all the assembly. And David said: 'Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever.  Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over allIn your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name. But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you.'"
1 Chron. 29:10-14 (Emphasis mine)

I can not even begin to imagine what 2019 will bring for us, can you?  I find it to be a collective wonder of craze and amazement!  The new year usually ushers in a bounty of things that 2018 did not.  We find ways to change our lives for the long term - resolutions, goals, and planning - that could reflect a "better way" than the year prior.  Right?
Lose Weight?
Read the Bible in a year?
Do daily devotions?
Pray more?
Pick up that instrument?
Write a book?
See Niagra Falls?
You probably have a much more romantic New Year's list than I have.  I admit, I'm rather boring in my daily excitements, and what it means for me to feel accomplished.  But, we both share a similar default: we're human.
Whether or not you're saving up for a flight to the Falls, prepping that planner, or honing a particular skill, we all fall under the same God-given purpose.  1 Chronicles 29 gives us a wonderful look at what our lives are made for: worship.  Worship of the one, true God.  And not just any God: the God who owns everything!
Here at the end of 1 Chronicles, and before handing his throne to Solomon, David is attempting to incite worship and yet
another revival among the people of Israel.  It's almost as though he's working to create resolve among Israel to hold to a particular creed and way of life.
Success! And through a glorious prayer of humility and honor to the Lord, all God's people say, "Amen."  At least for now.  I find it funny how fickle humanity can be in keeping resolutions, even back then.
But let's keep going!

It's important for us to note the particulars of this prayer, specifically the highlights that bring successful worship of the Lord of all, among the people who call Him Master, or Lord.
1.  "Yours." 
David is speaking to the Lord; of the Lord.  To God belongs something.  It's a possessive pronoun here.  To God belongs the rest of what David lists. I'm no English major, but as I read all the sentences wrapped around this word, "Yours," it seems that God is holder, keeper, owner of something. 
  - greatness
  - power
  - glory
  - majesty
  - splendor
  - everything in heaven and earth
  - the Kingdom
  - wealth
  - honor
  - strength
Woah.  To God belongs a lot.  Like, A LOT!
2.  "Everything," David says. 
Though difficult to wrap our limited minds around, we truly need to understand this concept as best as we are able. 
"Everything" means everything.  Everything in Heaven.  Everything on Earth.  Every magnification, every praise, every honor, every glorification.  Every great, every small.  Every external, every internal. 
It's this word among the powerful phrases that David uses to help ignite the people's understanding of their position before God. 
God owns all.
We own nothing.
All comes from the LORD.
We bring nothing to the table.
In light of everything that God has done for Israel's freedom and multiple redemptions, David reminds the people through prayer that to God belongs all control, power, and praise. 
This has the potential to lead to deep conviction and worship of Almighty God!  When Jesus taught His disciples how to pray (Matthew 6, Luke 11), it started similarly and contained similar sentiments.  The truth of God's Word is that He is all and in all, and from Him comes all we have.  We are not autonomous; we have a beginning; we have an end.  Our lives are dust.  Our days are numbered.  One thing that keeps us from a life of idolatry and vanity is this adhering and abiding in the Everlasting God and Father.

"Our Father who is heaven, hallowed be Your name.  Your kingdom come, Your will be done on Earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen."

We sing this prayer/doxology as a reminder. 
This rightly places the One before us on the throne within us. 
For this coming year, maybe we need to step back and analyze what we have been given.  God has given it - ALL of it.  Maybe we need to re-evaluate our heart in relationship to His kingdom; His will; His purpose.  He is all.  He owns all.  Our truest form of worship is to offer ourselves as workmen for His glory, His power, and His name.  Forever. 
It's a lofty resolution, but one that God will honor as we fight to keep!
Much love for 2019!
Stamps used are "Happy Alpha" from the January release, and
Bitty Minnie Alpha


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