God Is a Great King
"I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen." (Malachi 1:14b)
Eric's heart pounded as his followed his father toward the large display case in the center of the room. This was what he'd been waiting for, ever since their plane landed in London two days ago. His dad had promised to bring him here to the Tower of London to see the British Crown Jewels – the crowns, scepters, and swords that had belonged to England's kings and queens through the centuries.
Eric's mouth hung open as he stared at the gem-studded objects. Rubies, sapphires, emeralds, pearls, and diamonds gleamed from silver and gold settings. His father pointed to a huge heart-shaped diamond in one of the crowns. "That's the Star of Africa," he whispered. "The largest diamond in the world."
"Dad," said Eric, "why do the kings and queens have to wear such expensive stuff? I mean, aren't they afraid someone's gonna steal all these things?"
A guard standing near them cleared his throat and smiled at Eric. "That's why I'm here, young man," he said in a crisp British accent. "Our kings and queens are royalty. They deserve only the best our land has to offer. They wear these jewels because it's only fitting. They're kings and queens, you know. It's only fitting that they have the finest and the best."
In the book of Malachi, God rebukes His people because they have not been bringing Him the best and the finest that they have to offer. Instead, they have been bringing lame and sick lambs. Don't you understand, God tells them, that I am a great King? All the nations fear My name!
Do you give God the finest and the best you have to offer? Do you give time to His Word when you feel wide awake and alert, or do you put off your devotions for times that you are rushed or tired? Do you sing songs and hymns to God as an act of worship, or do you sing them without thinking about the words? Do you give God your complete attention when your pastor explains His Word to you? Do you put your whole heart into your chores, schoolwork, and other things He has given you to do? Remember that God is a great King. He deserves our finest and our best gifts.
God is a great King who deserves the best we have to offer Him.
» Am I giving God my best?
» Are there any areas of my life in which I'm not giving Him what He deserves as my King?
Truth In Real Life
“I care not where I go, or how I live, or what I endure, so that I may save souls.”
David Brainerd – who came to be known as the “pioneer for modern missions” – was born on April 20, 1718, in Haddam, Connecticut. The year that he was born, Jonathan Edwards was 14 years old, and Benjamin Franklin was 12. The world was being prepared for the Great Awakening.
Brainerd did not have an easy life. His father died when Brainerd was 9, and his mother died when he was 14. After his mother’s death, he was sent to live with his married sister. Incredibly, by age 20, he was beginning to desire to be in the ministry, yet he wasn’t even a Christian yet!
At age 21, Brainerd genuinely trusted Jesus Christ and gave his life to Him. He enrolled in Yale University, where he studied hard. He was often sick, yet he did his best. While he was in college, the First Great Awakening began, and the famous British evangelist George Whitefield visited to preach in the British North American colonies.
Before he finished at Yale, Brainerd was expelled for refusing to apologize for something he believed. He left Yale and became a missionary to the Indians. It was not his idea of the best timing or how he had planned to go into ministry, but for him, it was God’s leading in his life.
During the month of his 25th birthday, Brainerd moved to a reservation and began preaching the Gospel to the Native Americans, specifically the Delaware tribe. He lived alone in a small wigwam and traveled around to preach. In less than one year, he was pastoring a church of over 130 Native Americans who had become Christians – an amazing exhibit of the grace and power of God’s Gospel!
Sadly, Brainerd became ill (probably with tuberculosis) and died when he was just 29 years old. He died in the home of Jonathan Edwards, whose daughter he had planned to marry. David Brainerd was actually a Christian himself for only eight years and a missionary for only four years! And yet he is known now as the most influential missionary to Native Americans ever. His story serves to remind us that God uses those who trust Him, even when it is hard.
Are you willing to serve God even when you face tough times? Do you find yourself forgetting sometimes that God can make His strength perfect even in your weakness?
Isaiah 40:29 – He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.