25–31 January 2015.
Psalm 24 gives us a great message to start the week with: “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” (v. 1). This is easy for us to say – so easy that we may miss just how important this sentence is. Everything belongs to God, everything: the whole world, all the oceans, and every single piece of land.
We often think that the powerful own the world: countries fight each other for land, nations go to war to own the seas, and the rich go through our cities buying up the land and calling it their own. But here the psalm is clear: There is no other person or god who can claim ownership over this world. There is only one Owner and Lord and Ruler, and that is God. Everything belongs to him.
But God’s ownership also covers every single person in this world. Christians often like to divide people up into those who belong to God and those who don’t. But this is a very wrong way of thinking. Everyone in this world belongs to God.
This doesn’t mean there aren’t differences between people. Some people understand that God is our king and that he is so much greater than we are. So they want to be close to God and obey God in everything they do. As verse 4 tells us, they have a heart that is purely focused on God, and they have clean hands because all their actions are just and good. They don’t trust in idols, such as their own strength and their own power to control or own the world. Instead, they come to seek God at his temple, at his church.
This week we went into the church to be with God; we went to seek God. But did we go in with clean hands and a heart completely focussed on God? Did we go in remembering that God is the one in charge of all things? If not, let’s take that as our task for this week. Let’s ask God to keep us focused on him, and to help us use our hands to build up his kingdom in this, his world.
Pastor Stephen Lakkis