The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.
But those who hate him he will repay to their face by destruction; he will not be slow to repay to their face those who hate him. Therefore, take care to follow the commands, decrees and laws I give you today. If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the LORD your God will keep his covenant of love with you, as he swore to your forefathers. He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers. He will bless the fruit of your womb, the crops of your land—your grain, new wine and oil—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks in the land that he swore to your forefathers to give you.
And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the LORD's commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good? To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. Yet the LORD set his affection on your forefathers and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations, as it is today. Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer.
For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing. And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt. Fear the LORD your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name. He is your praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes.
“ God chose Israel out of all the nations of the world to be his adopted son. He chose one of the most insignificant groups of people and, in the process, made them the most significant nations in history. He took a very ordinary community of people and conferred on them the most extraordinary purpose. Why? Because our God is an adopting Father. Out of sheer grace he chooses to embrace people in the enfolding circle of his love.”
Mark Stibbe , Orphans to Heirs
“ When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son… I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them.” [Hosea 11:1,4]
“ In Egypt, the Israelites were driven by whips. In the exodus, they were drawn by cords of love.”
Mark Stibbe , From Orphans to Heirs
He who dwells in the Shelter of
the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
The owl will nest there and lay eggs, she will hatch them, and care for her young under the shadow of her wings..
Exodus 19:4 `You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.“
Micah 6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
“ The best argument for Christianity is Christians; their joy, their certainty, their completeness. But the strongest argument against Christianity is also Christians – when they are sombre and joyless, when they are self-righteous and smug in complacent consecration, when they are narrow and repressive, then Christianity dies a thousand deaths.” Sheldon Vanauken [Cited in Leonard Sweet, Carpe Manana]
“ A prominent Hindu once said that he would believe in the Christian Saviour if Christians only looked a little more saved.”
Church of Scotland [A Church Without Walls]
if you want the light to shine out, you have to let the light shine in... the mirrorball principles - 1 in the areas of mercy and love
the mirrorball principles - 2 in the areas of mercy and love when you see what God is really like, you will really like what you see...
the mirrorball principles - 3 in the areas of mercy and love light needs to bounce to be visible: you see God in the people he bounces off...
“ God is not looking for people who will work for him, so much as he is looking for people who will let him work for them.” John Piper