Delivered By
C.C. Risenhoover
Delivered On
June 18, 2017
Central Passage
Deuteronomy 32:1-9
Attached Document
Open Document
Description

 

In Deuteronomy 32:9 we read, “…for the LORD’S portion is His people.” We…The Church…are the Lord’s portion.

 

The church is the ultimate creation of God…His supreme work of art. The church is the essence of His infinite wisdom…a wisdom that is demonstrated in our worship…in our singing…in our praying…in our proclamation of the gospel…and in our love for one another.

 

For Satan and his evil angels, the church is the most frustrating entity in the world …especially as they watch the church triumph over both trial and pain. And that is what the church is called on to do…just as Job did.

 

Satan’s goal is to have the church curse God when it encounters difficulties…so when we worship God instead… even during the worst of trials…he becomes frustrated.

 

The unbelieving world is always looking at us and trying to find fault. But the true church is transparent. All the buildings of a true church are in a sense made of glass…enabling the world to look in to see what we’re doing. A true church has nothing to hide. That’s why it’s critical that we know who we really are and act accordingly.

 

Peter wrote, “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God that you may declare the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9).

 

The church is God’s inheritance and His most valuable treasure. All of God’s dealings with the world are directed toward the well-being of His people…and you can find the meaning of all history in Jesus Christ and in His church.

 

When we look at the stars…or the cells in our bodies…or the beauty of the flowers…or the history of nations…there is no question that all things declare the glory of God.

 

But, it’s only the church of Jesus Christ that declares the greater glory of God. Ephesians 3:10 tells us, “His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms…”

 

It is through the church that the wisdom of God is made known to the world. That is why it is so important for us to reveal the truth of Jesus Christ through both word and deed. And we can’t properly do that when there is dissension in the body.

 

The true church is the light of the world…and the people of God are the book from which everyone can read and learn about God’s infinite wisdom. Whenever and wherever we worship…preach the gospel and love one another…we’re teaching everyone in the world about God’s wisdom, mercy and grace.

 

 

Christ died for the church…and those outside it are in eternal darkness. They face a meaningless existence and the judgment of God. They’re in a flood that drowns people and in a fire that consumes people. They’re separated from the covenant God has with His people and the most beautiful creation of God…the true church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

God’s greatest joy is found in the church…not in the stars or in any part of the cosmos that He created…but in you and in me. We are His treasure and His inheritance. That truth is put forth in several Old Testament passages…as well as in the New Testament.

 

In the Old Testament, we find the Hebrew word “segullah” used…which means “one’s personal treasure.” God said in Exodus 19:5-6, “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all the nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests, a holy nation.”

 

God doesn’t find as much pleasure in the rest of creation…or in the rest of the people of the world…as He does in His church. We are God’s treasured possession…separated from the rest of his creation…a people in whom He takes delight.

 

The word “segullah” is also used in 1 Chronicles 29:3 to refer to earthly treasures. David said, “…in my devotion to the temple of God, I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God over and above everything I have provided for this holy temple.”

 

David authorized resources for the temple in his official capacity as king…but he also gave abundantly from his own prized possessions…his “segullah” …so that the temple of God could be built.

 

We are the “segullah” of God. This estimation of our value is not made by the great people of the world…but by God Himself. We bring delight to God’s heart…and He considers us to be His treasure.

 

Peter said it best: “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God” (1 Peter 2:9).

 

In Ephesians 1:18, Paul called on the Holy Spirit to help us recognize how God feels about His church. “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know of the hope to which He has called you.”

 

As God’s people, we will dwell with Him forever and ever in a new heaven and a new earth…where righteousness reigns…and where there is no sin, no evil, no sickness, and no tears. And as God promised in Revelation 22, “I will be their God and they shall be my people.”

 

We may not be very glorious now…but don’t worry about it. When God is finished with us…we will all be glorious…a radiant church without spot or wrinkle…suited as a bride for his Son, Jesus Christ.

 

In Titus 2:13-14, Paul referred to “…our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are his very own.”

 

God also said we’re His jewels. In Zechariah 9:16 we read, “The LORD their God will save them on that day as the flock of His people. They will sparkle in His land like jewels in a crown.”

 

It’s time to think God’s thoughts about us. That will help us praise him more. “Like jewels in a crown, they will sparkle,” God said about us.

 

Each person in the Body of Christ is a jewel…sparkling as the light of the world. And He’s not talking about using diamonds, jewelry and designer clothes to augment our appearance. Peter wrote: “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight” (1 Peter 3:3-4).

 

That’s what is being produced in us. From glory to glory He’s changing us. The likeness of God is being produced deep within us.

 

Isaiah 62:3 tells us, “You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD’S hands, a royal diadem in the hand of your God.”

 

You’re a crown of glory…a crown of splendor in the Lord’s hand…a royal diadem in the hand of God. He’s fascinated with you…the supreme creation of all His creation…and you’re secure in Him.

 

Deuteronomy 32:10 tells us, “In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; He guarded him as the apple of His eye.”

 

And in Zechariah 2:5 God tells us that He will be a wall of fire around us. That’s why we have nothing to fear except fear itself.

 

The church is engraved upon the palms of God’s hands so that He can never forget her. His nail pierced hands remind Him continually of His church…what He went through for us…and how much He loves us…especially in our times of trial.

 

Speaking through Isaiah…chapter 49, verse 15, God said, “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands; your walls are ever before Me.”

 

It would be unnatural for a mother to forget the birthing of her child. But God tells us that even if that could happen…it would be even more unnatural for Him to forget us. He tells us, in fact, that it’s impossible for Him to forget us.

 

Engraving means to cut into something…to leave an indelible impression. That’s how our names are cut into the hands of God…indelibly engraved upon the palms of His hands…and impossible to erase. If you are a Christian…you are and ever will be…a part of God’s very being.

 

Think about the pierced hands of our Lord Jesus Christ at His crucifixion…and what He later said to Thomas in John 20:27: “Put your finger here; see My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Stop doubting and believe.”

 

In His resurrection body Jesus Christ still had holes in His hands…made on behalf of those for whom He came to die. We are truly engraved on the palms of God’s hands. John wrote: “Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne” (John 5:6).

 

Throughout all eternity, the nail holes will be there. They are convincing truth of how much God loves us.

 

Is your name in the crucified palms of our Lord Jesus Christ? The indelible marks in His hands…His side…and His feet spell the names of all the elect who are the treasure of God.

 

I pray you have no difficulty seeing God’s love for us…especially as demonstrated in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. He chose us for all eternity…and so loved us that He gave Himself up in sacrificial death for us.

 

We’re God’s treasure…indelibly engraved in the palms of His hands with an everlasting love. The only thing we need in this life is Christ Jesus Himself. The question you must answer is: Have you chosen that one needful thing?

 

Life is found only in Christ. So hopefully we can say with the psalmist: “One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek Him in His temple” (Psalm 27:4).

 

This is what will happen in the new heaven and the new earth: God will dwell with His people and His people will dwell with Him. We will be totally fascinated with God and He will be totally fascinated with us.

 

Psalm 73:25-26 states: “Who have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

 

The Lord’s portion is His people…and our portion is the Lord. The rich young ruler asked Jesus, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus told him, “One thing you lack. Go, sell everything you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me” (Mark 10:17, 21).

 

The young man refused. Christ was the one thing he lacked in life…but he wasn’t willing to pay the price of discipleship. Few people are…but before condemning the rich young ruler we need to ask ourselves if we’re ready for the kind of commitment that Christ asked of that young man?

 

There is no hope…no life…no joy and no purpose outside of Christ. With Him there is eternal life, hope and joy.

 

But we need God’s help in understanding this indescribable, unfathomable idea that we are His delight…His treasure and His inheritance. And we should be eternally grateful that He is our delight…our treasure…and our all in all.

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