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Monday, January 18, 2016

Bluebird (Photo by Doug Maxwell)
Our next door neighbor Marion snapped this photo of a bluebird on her back deck.
Bluebirds have recently been showing up at their house. I, Brooksyne, called as a "jealous" neighbor and told her to send them our way. We have plenty of food for them here as well.

"The Work Of God's Fingers"

Message Summary:
Thanks be to God, He is mindful of us. He loves and cares and watches over all His creation. Today He, who never changes, is concerned for each one of us. We find our rightful place when we, like the psalmist David, live with the awareness of God's greatness.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!" "When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?" (Psalm 8:1,3,4).

Children playing in puddlesWe enjoy the humorous stories about children who misunderstand adult concepts or confuse wordings that we simply take for granted. Recently Mervin, a newer friend, told us about some children who had witnessed baptisms in their church. Not long afterward they had a heavy rain downpour which left some puddles in the driveway so the children decided to practice baptisms on each other. They were overheard making this pronouncement, "I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son and in the hole you go."

Jim, a friend of ours, shared about a little girl who was asked, "What does God do?" She responded, "God is an artist." The teacher asked her where she got such an idea. Recalling the line from the Lord's Prayer, as she understood it, she replied, "Our Father who does art in heaven."

Psalm 8:1 with view of Acadia National Park in Maine (photo by Greg Schneider)

Psalm 8 is a wonderful Psalm written by David which extols God's greatness. It's only nine verses long and can be read (or listened to) in about 1 minute. It begins and ends with the phrase, "O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!" It's short but packed with majestic truths concerning God's glory and man's dignity.
(Our friend Greg Schneider took the photo above at Acadia National Park in Maine.)

Teacher and little girl fingerpaintingToday let us consider a portion that prompts me to picture God as an artist and I suppose you could call Psalm 8:3 "divine finger painting" ("the work of Your fingers"). This is "our Father who does art in heaven", the establishment of the moon and the stars, which God has set in place!

David considers, "What is man that you are mindful of Him?" In recognizing the majesty of God in His creation we sense our own puniness, a word that means "of inferior size, strength, or significance". Reflecting on God's greatness can certainly give us a proper perspective on the Almighty power of our sovereign Lord. We may wonder how such a great God would even be mindful of us.

But thanks be to God, He is mindful of us. Not only is He mindful, but He loves, cares, and watches over all His creation. Today He, who never changes, is concerned for each one of us. We find our rightful place when we, like David, live with the awareness of God's greatness.

O Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy pow'r throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art!

And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the cross my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration,
And there proclaim, "My God, how great Thou art!"

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father God, Your magnificence surrounds us from every direction. Your glory is revealed throughout Your creative design in nature, humanity, and all throughout the universe. Even as You rule over nature and the universe I am grateful that You are the Supreme Ruler of my life and indeed are mindful of me. Bring into conformity my thoughts and actions as You search my mind and know my heart. I am in awe of Your greatness and declare with the Psalmist today, "O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!"

Brooksyne's Note:
In his prayer to God, the Psalmist gives Him glory and adoration when He describes His creation as, "The work of Your fingers" (Psalm 8:3). Earlier this morning I read a similiar description of God at work, "This is the finger of God" but in a very different context. It was Pharaoh's magicians that declared they were unable to duplicate God's miracle of turning dust into gnats.

David, a man devoted to God, declared glory for the work of God's fingers. Pharaoh's magicians, men devoted to sorcery and magic arts, were forced to admit that God's power was greater than man's. Philippians 2 says, "Every knee shall bow in heaven and on earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord". Some will bow in thanksgiving, reverence, and awe while others who only used the name of Jesus as a swear word will be forced to admit, "Jesus Christ is Lord".

Ed and Barbara 1/17/16We believe it's important to esteem people in regard to their productive work that benefits their fellow man. We encourage people to identify what they do and how it benefits others and makes the world a better place. This should be a source of fulfillment. Ephesians 4:28 states, "Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need." How is the work of your hands benefitting others?

But yesterday I visited for a few minutes with Ed and Barbara. Ed told me that he hopes the labor of his hands never needs to be used. In fact he told me that in twenty-six years in his field he is not aware of a single time the product he builds has ever been used. Any idea what Ed does for a living? Contact here if you want to share what you believe the answer is.

We'll answer in tomorrow's message and elaborate on this theme.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"How Majestic is Your Name"  Video 
Acappella  This song is based directly on Psalm 8.

"How Great Thou Art"  Video  George Beverly Shea  Also includes a brief background concerning when the song was first widely introduced.

"How Great Thou Art"  Video  NewSong

"How Majestic Is Thy Name"  Video  Keith Green

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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