“Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.’” ~ Psalm 16:1-2
I write this having just come into my office from the auditorium here at the church building of the Calhoun Church of Christ where, minutes ago, I led the children of the Northwest Georgia Christian Academy Early Learning Center in song during their chapel. We sang “Jesus Loves Me,” “Jesus Loves the Little Children,” “I’ve Got Joy In My Heart,” and several other beautiful songs kids commonly sing to God. The last song we sang before we prayed and were dismissed to class was God Is So Good. Every time I sing that song I’m reminded of my father, who himself led children in song, including me. God Is So Good was one song he never failed to sing at every opportunity.
Thinking about God’s goodness and His love for you and me prompts me to think of every good thing in my life. I encourage you to do the same right now. I think of my family, my wife and my daughters, the love I have for them and the joy they bring into my life. I think of my home, the roof over my head and the warmth and security it provides my family and me. We have food on our table every day, jobs which provide us income, schools which teach our children, clothes on our backs. I also think of God’s love and mercy which prompted His Son to die for you and me and the salvation from hell He freely offers to all. Yes, James was right when he wrote, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights…” (James 1:17).
God’s goodness reminds me of another biblical passage: Psalm 16. The author, David, was far from perfect…but God was good to him anyway and he loved God for it. That’s why the relationship he had with God was more important to him than anything else. As he said, “I have no good apart from you” (Psalm 16:2), and again, “The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot” (v. 5). David also strove to put God before Him and depend on Him for everything. He wrote, “Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge” (v. 1), and then, “I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol (the grave), or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (vs. 8-11).
This psalm not only tells of David’s love for God; it also prophesies of Jesus’ love for His Father. Peter cited verses 8-11 of this psalm in reference to Christ being resurrected from the dead when he preached the gospel on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:25-28). Like David, Jesus also set His Father before Him at all times and trusted Him to preserve Him. It was His Father’s will that He die for us (John 10:17-18). Jesus knew this. The night before He died He asked His Father for another way to save us, but was ready to obey His will regardless (Matthew 26:36-44). He thus proved that He, again like David, had His relationship with His Father as His top priority. His mission was to do His Father’s will rather than His own (John 6:38).
What about you and me? God is so good. He is so good to you and to me. Do we truly realize that? Are we thankful for it? Because of His love and goodness towards us, do we love Him in return…with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength? (Mark 12:30) To love God completely is to obey Him in all things (1 John 5:3). Do we strive to do that?
Think on these things this week, friends.