September 27

Psalms 8:3-5 (NIV) 3When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? 5You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.

The clear night sky is awe-inspiring. One of my favorite places is a canyon lake far from big cities. The night sky appears to be entirely filled with stars. The band of the Milky Way glows with the light of a million stars. We count the shooting stars until we fall asleep. Now we know so much more about the enormity and complexity of that night sky than David did. It should awe us even more when we consider that our God set all that in place. He decreed the laws by which it all functions. Man is increasingly wondering at the mysteries and beauty we see there.

Considering that seemingly infinite space and vast number of worlds, what is man that God is mindful of us? He thinks of each of us continually. Why? What a great priority He has placed upon us as small as we are. He made us a little lower than elohim. The Hebrew word is used for God or angelic beings, and that is why you find some variations in the translation. You could say "a little lower than God", since we will judge angels and they are sent to minister to us. The author of Hebrews chose "angels". Either way, it seems that David is in awe of the position God has given man in the order of creation. As small and insignificant as we seem, He has put great priority on us, crowning us with glory and honor.

That makes our sin all the more abhorrent. To think that we would rebel against the Almighty, our Maker, who gave us such a lofty position, shows the depravity of our ingratitude. What is man? We are so honored and offered such glory that our minds can scarce conceive it. Look up into the night sky.

Consider: How should I respond to such a gracious and loving God?

September 27

Ephesians 2:6-7,10 (NIV) 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

10For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Those who place their faith in Christ Jesus identify themselves with Him in His death, burial, resurrection and ascension. We are in Him, so when He suffered on the cross, our sinful nature was there dying His death. When we were baptized, we related His burial to the burial of our old nature. When we came up from the water, we related to His resurrection to new life. He ascended victorious to sit at the right hand of God, and yet He is with us always. We are seated with Him, in Him, with all the rights and privileges His victorious life merited, yet we are here working out our salvation with fear and trembling.

Why would God choose to take such fallen, wicked creatures and redeem and transform them, giving them such privilege and honor? In the ages to come, He will show the incomparable riches of His grace that expressed itself in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. In that day, we will look at where we came from, and see our former depravity clearly, and at the same time, see the finished work of Christ in us. We will be overwhelmed with a sense of the incomparable riches of His grace. We understand just a fraction of it now. Then it will cause us to fall on our knees in worship and praise.

It is all by grace. It has nothing to do with what we have done. There will be no boasting of any works when we are in heaven. We will be in awe of the poem He created with our rebellious lives. Every poem will be unique, and yet every one will cry, "Incomparable riches of His grace". Every good work He orchestrated, every good deed performed, will then be recognized as coordinated and empowered by God. Then we will finally realize the depth of Jesus saying, "Without Me, you can do nothing."

Consider: Are you relying on His power today?