Mighty Hand and Outstretched Arm

HPC – Mighty Hand and Outstretched Arm 28/04/19

Reading Psalm 136

Introduction

Who had a most wonderful Easter?  We have had amazing testimony to how God has working in people’s lives this Easter – how He has touched them in some way.  He is always reaching out – not to just touch our lives (the events and happenings in our lives) – but to touch us, each personally.

I find the hand on the Cross so meaningful.  We are also told in scripture that God’s eyes are on us.  I was wondering what it would be like to have a giant eyeball up there.  Perhaps that would leave a lasting impression too.

God reaches out to us through His Son, through the Cross.  This is a hand that reaches out to put right all our wrongs at it’s own expense.

Over the Easter journey Jesus wept for us, He sweat blood for us, He was pierced for us and nailed to a Cross for us – and He rose again for us.  

They pierced Him and His Glory shone through.  We have kept the white ribbons of the Glory of God, from the Cross out over us all because God’s Glory is forever.  This white also symbolized eternal life, which is forever for everyone.  And the white symbolized the Righteousness of Jesus which is now our righteousness – that covers us from now till always.

Jesus said;

John 10:28 I give them [you] eternal life, and they [you] shall never perish;  no one will snatch them [you] out of my hand.

We are going to continue with our Easter theme right through to Pentecost.  

And what a most amazing theme for Easter – Trust!  Do you Trust God?  

I have found that, dealing with a number of things in my life, God keeps asking me the same question – “Mark, do you Trust me?”  It is such a special thing when after all the inner struggle and turmoil you can get to the place where you can say – Yes Father, I Trust you – I leave my life, I leave these things, these issues I’m dealing with, my fears, my worries – I leave it all in your Hands.

And every time that worry or fear rises up inside again – to stop it by claiming – whatever happens – I Trust God.  And in Trusting Him, then focusing on Him and looking to Him rather than at the issue or problem.

God has Mighty Hands!  And He has an outstretched arm!  This picture is given to us several times in the Bible as we have read in Psalm 136.  God’s Mighty Hand and outstretched arm – to you!

Ps 136:1 Give thanks to the Lord, for He is Good!

He is the Good Good Father.  And He is always reaching out to us.  He is kind, He is gentle, He is beautiful, He is gracious.  And, His love endures forever.  His love is never ending.  His love does not change.  And His love for you does not depend on you – He loves you because He is Good – and He will never get to the end of His love for you.  He loves you because He loves you – because He is the God of love and because He is your Father.

And His love endures forever.  Endure – His love for us will endure through all things.  God’s love will endure through all our mistakes and failings and problems.  It will never stop enduring!

There is one thing in particular that God want us to get from Psalm 136 – His love endures forever.  Why is this line repeated so often – to show us that verything He does, He does out of His love.

Some versions say – His mercy endures forever.  His goodness, kindness and faithfulness to you will also never end.  Mercy is the outworking of His love, it is His love in action.  But you cannot receive from Him all this goodness and kindness and love if you stand back from Him.  You need to give yourselves to Him fully.  You need to dare to Trust.  You need to take that one step forward to take His hand.  He is not going to grab you – you need to move into His embrace.

He is the God of gods and the Lord of lords.  

He created all things.  He created the earth and the heavens, the moon and the stars.  And, He created you!  He created all this by His understanding – we are told in Psalm 136!  God understands you!

Now, sometimes I find that the hardest thing for me to understand is myself – but thank God He understands me.  I can reach out to the God who is reaching out to me in perfect understanding.

He knows what we are like.  He knows our frailty and our weaknesses, our failings – and His response is to reach out to us with a Mighty Hand and outstretched arm.  The hand of love – His love endures forever.

And He never forgets us – not for a single moment.  He did not forget His people in captivity in Egypt.  He did Mighty things to save them and bring them out of captivity into a new life.  And there is nothing He would not do – to do the same for you and me – in fact He’s already done it.  If your focus is on something God has not done for you – rather spend time considering everything He has already done.  What He did for you at Easter – and in another million moments.

He has an inheritance for us – like He had for His people we read about that were in captivity.  But they had to Trust Him as He led them out into the wilderness.

And the wilderness was for their own good.  In the desert place they faced themselves in the face of their God – God helped them to see what was really in their hearts so that they could deal with it together.

He knows of our low estate – our humble rank.  He knows our enemies and the things that stand against us.  Nothing is too big for Him to overcome.  He knows our every need.

And He knows there is one thing above all other things that we need the most and we need first – we need to Trust Him.  We need to Trust His Mighty Hand and His outstretched arm – that He intends Good for us.

Jesus often reached out His hand to those who came to Him.  He was personal and gentle and reached out and touched them to heal and show His mercy and love.  His love endures forever.

And I am always reminded of;

Acts 17:27 – 28 God determined the exact time and place for every one of us – and He did this so that we might seek Him and reach out and find Him.  He is not very far from each one of us.

What is it that you are seeking?  That you are reaching out for?  That you desire the most?  Is it God?

Are you reaching out to God to take hold of Him as your very own – as He reaches out to you to take hold of you as His very own?

Jesus promised that if we seek Him we will find Him.  His love endures forever.  He is not far from each and every one of us.

We are told in;

Dan 5:23 God holds in His hand your life and all your ways.

We depend on God for everything – as our creator, preserver, benefactor, owner, ruler.  He formed us out of dust with His hands.  He held us and breathed the breath of life into us.  

Acts 17:28 In Him we live and move and have our being.  We are His offspring.

The way of man is not in himself – we do not find the purpose and meaning of anything within ourselves – we find all purpose and meaning in the One who made us.

In Him we live – we are totally dependent on Him.  He is our life and the length of our days.  We owe our lives to His Power and Goodness and Fatherly care.

In Him we move, in Him we have our being – because we are His offspring – we are His creation, we are His children.

Do you believe that?  Do you Trust that?  Can you say – I am a child of God?

Are His hands to you the Hands of a loving Father?

Perhaps your experience of what an earthly father is like does not endear you to this picture of God as a loving Father.  But dare to believe that God is the perfect Father.  He is Good – and His love for you endures forever.  He will never give up on you!

He is the God of gods, He is the Lord of lords – and He is our Father!

And so what then is your response?  What is your response right now?

Perhaps you could take a moment in silence – to just close your eyes and listen to what He is saying directly to you – personally to you!

I believe God is alway speaking to each of us – as Father speak to their child.  And it’s good to take time to listen.

It all comes down in the end to your personal relationship with your Father in Heaven.

And God does not leave us alone in this.

Rom 8:15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you again a slave to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.  And by Him [that Spirit] we cry, Abba, Father.

We are to no longer cringe back, there is nothing to fear – instead we are the Master’s children.  What an amazing privilege – because we are God’s children He has given us of His Spirit.  He gave us His Son, He has given us forgiveness, His righteousness, eternal life, He has given us of His Spirit that we might be in perfect relationship with Him – by His Spirit we can speak directly with Him – and He encourages us to speak to Him like a son or daughter speaks to their Dad.

Gal 4:6 Because you are sons and daughters, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out – Abba, Father.

Do you Trust God?  Do you Trust that you are a child of God?  Do you Trust your Father in Heaven?  Do you Trust His Mighty Hand and Outstretched Arm to you?