What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? Psalm 8:4
When Denise began dating her boyfriend, she attempted to maintain a slim figure and dress stylishly, believing she would be more attractive to him in that way. After all, it was what all the women’s magazines advised. It was only much later that she discovered what he really thought: “I liked you just as much when you were heavier and didn’t worry about what you wore.”
Denise realized then how subjective “beauty” was. Our view of beauty is so easily influenced by others. It’s often focused on the external, forgetting the value of inner beauty. But God sees us in only one way—as His beautiful, beloved children. I’d like to think that when God created the world, He left the best for last—us! Everything He created was good, but we’re extra special because we’re made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27).
God considers us beautiful! No wonder the psalmist was filled with awe as he compared the greatness of nature with humans. “What is mankind,” he asked, “that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” (Psalm 8:4). Yet God chose to give mortals a glory and honor that nothing else had (v. 5).
This truth gives us an assurance and reason to praise Him (v. 9). No matter what others think of us—or what we think of ourselves—know this: We are beautiful to God.
Reflect & Pray
How do you see yourself? How do you think God sees you?
Father, You know how insecure we can feel about ourselves. Thank You for the assurance that You love us!
Psalm 8 • How Majestic is Your Name!
From Genesis to Revelation, God’s wisdom is seen through His interactions with mankind. But there’s one supreme event in human history where we clearly see how He meticulously worked all the details together to reveal His role in our redemption.
The Conception. Jesus was no ordinary baby because His life didn’t begin at conception. He has always existed as the eternal Son of God (Mic. 5:2; John 1:1-2), but He came to earth as a baby, conceived in a virgin’s womb by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:34-35). His conception was a divine miracle.
The Town. Why did God choose the small, insignificant town of Bethlehem for Christ’s birthplace? A clue is found in the name, which means “house of bread.” Later in His life, Jesus would refer to Himself as “the true bread out of heaven” (John 6:32-33).
The Setting. A manger may be quaint at a Christmas pageant, but it was not an ideal place for an infant to sleep. Jesus was born among livestock because He is “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
The Announcement. Instead of broadcasting the news of the Messiah’s birth to the religious or political leaders, the angel came to shepherds that night because the Good Shepherd had arrived (John 10:11).
The common thread in these details of Christ’s birth is His identification with the lowly. Although He is King of Kings, He didn’t come to exalt over us, but to live with us and die for us. Since God’s wisdom is displayed in humility, we, too, must humble ourselves in order to become wise.
“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (2 Timothy 3:5)
Included in Paul’s graphic description of the “perilous” characteristics of the “last days” (not the church age, since the prophesied last days were still future when he wrote of them in his last epistle, 2 Timothy 3:1-3) is this warning concerning the religious leaders of the last days. They would observe the outward form (church buildings, sacraments, religious services, etc.) of “godliness” (that is, “religion”), but would reject its supernatural aspects. They would desire the trappings of religious professionalism since they would be “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” (v. 4).
Such specifications aptly describe the modern world of scientism and liberal theology, which pervades practically all religious denominations and overlaps with all kinds of liberal social movements (women’s liberation, gay rights, “New Age” pantheism, and others). Although these are widely diverse in structure and purpose, they all share one vital feature in common: They reject supernatural Christianity, especially literal creationism. Many liberal preachers give nominal allegiance to the teachings of Christ and the Bible, but they invariably deny the mighty power of God in special creation, as well as the great worldwide miracles of the Bible—the Flood, the dispersion, etc.
This prophecy is not given in Scripture simply as a matter of information. It contains a warning urgently needed by Bible-believing Christians who are under pressure today to compromise with humanistic liberals on this great doctrine of God’s creative power. Many have accepted the evolutionary system of “ages geology,” and this is tragic and dangerous. Instead of compromising with evolutionary naturalists and religious liberals, as many evangelicals today are inclined to do, Paul warns: “From such turn away!” HMM
Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.
Here in the New Testament was Philip the Calculator—Philip the Mathematician, Philip the Clerk. There was need for a miracle, and Philip set out to calculate the odds. Probably every Christian group has at least one person with a calculator. I have sat on boards for many years, and rarely is there a board without a Philip the Calculator among its members. When you suggest something, out comes the calculator to prove that it cannot be done….
As I say, I have been sitting on these boards for many years, and there are always two kinds of board members: those who can see the miracle and those who can only see their calculators and their strings of calculations….
The people with the calculators have seen the problem, but they have not seen God. They have figured things out, but they have not figured God in.
Philip the Calculator. He can be a dangerous man in the church of our Lord Jesus Christ. Every suggestion made in the direction of progress gets a negative vote from this man. FBR137-139
Lord, deliver us from the control of the calculator. Increase our faith. Amen.
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord; and He delighteth in his way.—Psalm 37:23.
So her life was full of sunshine, for in toiling for the Lord
She had found the hidden sweetness that in common things
He has strewn the earth with flowers, and each eye their
But He filled their cups with honey for His humble working bees.
The occupations of every day seem often trifling; we may do them without thinking as ordinary things, yet they are the scenes of our appointed lot—appointed by God for you and me. The ordering, the application of these ordinary occupations, is the appointing of the Diving purpose; it is for ourselves to carry them out. And secretly our character forms according as we handle them. Give thy heart to God Eternal, since thou art thyself eternal. Join thy heart to what He has given thee to do. Join thy heart to His teaching, and thou becomest of a will like to His own will. Nothing comes by pure accident, not even the interruptions in our busy day! And such as follow on to know God’s will see in all events what may lead to good, and so trust grows into a habit, as habit grows by perpetual use, till every circumstance may be seen to be but a fresh manifestation of the will of God working itself out in us.
T. T. Carter.
“For I will surely deliver thee, and thou shalt not fall by the sword, but thy life shall be for a prey unto thee: because thou hast put thy trust in me, saith the Lord.” Jer. 39:18
Behold the protecting power of trust in God. The great men of Jerusalem fell by the sword, but poor Ebed-melech was secure, for his confidence was in Jehovah. Where else should a man trust but in his Maker? We are foolish when we prefer the creature to the Creator. Oh, that we could in all things live by faith, then should we be delivered in all time of danger! No one ever did trust in the Lord in vain, and no one ever shall.
The Lord saith, “I will surely deliver thee.” Mark the divine “surely.” Whatever else may be uncertain, God’s care of believers is sure. God Himself is the guardian of the gracious. Under His sacred wing there is safety even when every danger is abroad. Can we accept this promise as sure? Then in our present emergency we shall find that it stands fast. We hope to be delivered because we have friends, or because we are prudent, or because we can see hopeful signs; but none of these things are one half so good as God’s simple “because thou hast put thy trust in me.” Dear reader, try this way, and, trying it, you will keep to it all your life. It is as sweet as it is sure.