From Redemption to Royalty
Barnabas, “son of consolation” (Acts 4:36)., a person Luke described as “a good man” (11:24), was chosen and sent by the Jerusalem church to investigate the mixed congregation of Jews and Gentiles in Syrian Antioch.
Jesus once asked his disciples, “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am” (Matt 16:13)? Who was Jesus anyway? Most people of His day viewed Him as some sort of prophet (John
Most of us live hurried lives. We are hard pressed at work, at home, and at church to accomplish more than a twenty-four hour day seems to allow. The demands are overwhelming. In fact, full
In the first half of Psalm 103:4, God redeems us. Then, with only the separation of the pause of a comma, in the second half of the same verse, He crowns us. In other words, He takes us from redemption to royalty in virtually once motion. None of us would blame the Lord if He required us to serve some probationary period before rising to the level of royalty. Who would fault the Lord if He forced us to start from scratch and work our way up to His favor? Of course, He would have every right to do so.
Nevertheless, His characteristic lovingkindness would not allow it. Like the prodigal son who went from the pig pen in a foreign land to a party at his father’s house and the thief next to Jesus who went from the pain of the cross to paradise in one day, the Lord wastes no time in redeeming us and then crowning us. If the fact that we are crowned is not enough, God crowns us “with lovingkindness.” He does not do it with an attitude. He does not do it reluctantly. He does not do it against His better judgement. It is as if He just can’t wait and He does it with lovingkindness.
The Hebrew word which is translated as “lovingkindness” is hesed. David Arzouni of Hesed.com defines the word this way: the consistent, ever-faithful, relentless, constantly-pursuing, lavish, extravagant, unrestrained, furious love of our Father God. This is what God crowns us with and how He crowns us. Such love is beyond what we imagine that we deserve and so are the tender mercies which accompany them. This double benefit of lovingkindness and tender mercies proves that the heights to which we have risen are much more because of Him than because of us.