God’s Universal Love; August 6, 2019


Psalm 47:1-2 Clap your hands, all you nations;
shout to God with cries of joy.
How awesome is the Lord Most High,
the great King over all the earth!

From beginning to end, this Psalm proclaims that it’s not just Israel that belongs to God, even though verses three and four mention the special treatment Israel has received. Actually the whole Bible proclaims this, from Genesis 1:1 on. From Genesis 12 we have the story of Abraham, but a careful reading makes it clear that Abraham and his descendants were to be God’s messengers to the whole world, not just some “Club Med” that delighted in being better than everybody else. God’s universal love was forgotten by Israel throughout its history, and it is forgotten by many in the Church today. God’s choice of Israel was in no way negated by the Gospel, but there are sadly some who use false “Replacement Theology” to justify antisemitism. As John so rightly points out, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.” (1 John 4:20-21) And we’ve got to realize that our “brother” may not look like us or talk like us. Anyone who does not have a heart for the nations does not have a heart for God.

Raised in a missionary family, this has been ingrained in me from birth. As a Caucasian in Japan, I have been on the receiving end of discrimination, and at the same time I have seen plenty of Americans – even missionaries – who thought they were “better” than the Japanese. I have learned that if you think God’s love for someone else in any way diminishes His love for you, or that His love for you in any way keeps Him from loving others, you have the wrong god. I have learned that our ability to receive God’s love and all its benefits is governed by the obedience that comes from faith, so that’s why I have dedicated myself to give the opportunity for faith to as many people as possible. It is heartbreaking to see people choose things that shut them off from God. I need to remember that it is just as heartbreaking for God, and offer myself as His instrument to correct that situation for as many people as possible.

Father, thank You for this reminder. I am continually amazed at our human capacity to be nearsighted and self-centered. Help me have Your heart, so that as many as will may be delivered from the lies of the enemy, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

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About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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