Day 250

How to Love Your Lord

Wisdom Psalm 105:37-45
New Testament 2 Corinthians 8:16-9:5
Old Testament Isaiah 10:20-13:22


What was wrong with these people? Were they weird? Was it a cult? What was this strange expression they seemed to use?

Of course, I knew that God or even Jesus could be called ‘Lord’, but never before had I heard God referred to so often by a group of people as ‘The Lord’. In the years since then, as I have studied the Bible, I have begun to understand why these Christians, whom I first met at university, used this expression so often: they loved their Lord! Now he is my Lord. I, too, love the Lord.

‘The LORD’ is the most common way of referring to God in the Old Testament. When written in capitals, this word translates the Jewish covenant name for God, YHWH. Out of respect for God, Jews do not use the word. Historically, we have often pronounced the word as ‘Jehovah’, when in fact it sounds more like ‘Yahweh’. When the Old Testament was first translated into Greek (c.250 BC) the name YHWH was translated as Kurios (the Lord). This translation is then reflected in the New Testament.

The New Testament gives us a more Trinitarian understanding of ‘The LORD’. It makes the remarkable claim that Jesus is the Lord. In fact, whether someone can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ becomes the test of Christian authenticity (1 Corinthians 12:3). It also makes the claim that the Holy Spirit is Lord: ‘Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom’ (2 Corinthians 3:17).

God the Father is Lord. God the Son is Lord. God the Holy Spirit is Lord. But there is only one Lord: ‘One Lord… one God’ (Ephesians 4:5–6). The one Trinitarian God is Lord. The New Testament understanding of the Lord helps us interpret the Old Testament use of ‘The LORD’. The Old Testament enriches our understanding of what the New Testament means when it speaks of ‘The LORD’.

How can you love your Lord?


Psalm 105:37-45

37 He brought out Israel, laden with silver and gold,
   and from among their tribes no one faltered.
38 Egypt was glad when they left,
   because dread of Israel had fallen on them.

39 He spread out a cloud as a covering,
   and a fire to give light at night.
40 They asked, and he brought them quail;
   he fed them well with the bread of heaven.
41 He opened the rock, and water gushed out;
   it flowed like a river in the desert.

42 For he remembered his holy promise
   given to his servant Abraham.
43 He brought out his people with rejoicing,
   his chosen ones with shouts of joy;
44 he gave them the lands of the nations,
   and they fell heir to what others had toiled for—
45 that they might keep his precepts
   and observe his laws.

Praise the LORD.


Praise your Lord in worship

Praise the LORD’ (v.45b) sums up this whole psalm. The psalmist worships and praises God for who he is and all he has done for his people: rescue (v.37), protection (v.39a), guidance (v.39b), answered prayer (v.40a), satisfaction (v.40b), faithfulness (v.42), joy (v.43) and hope (v.44).

He writes, ‘They fell heir to what others had toiled for’ (v.44). Of course, this originally referred to the exodus. However, it is so often true in our own lives that we ‘fall heir’ to, or take possession of, what others have toiled for.

I often think of this in relation to Alpha. So many people worked extraordinarily hard over many, many years to lay the foundations of Alpha – Charles Marnham, John Irvine, John Collins, Sandy Millar and Nicky Lee, to name but a few. Those of us involved now have fallen heir to what others have toiled for.

Are there people like this in your life? Are there parents, friends, pastors or others who you can thank God for today because you have fallen heir to what they have toiled for?

Supremely, we see this verse fulfilled in Jesus. You have fallen heir to everything that Jesus achieved for you through the cross and resurrection. He did the toiling. We are the heirs.

Don’t forget to praise and thank your Lord for all his blessings.


I praise you, Lord Jesus Christ, that you have brought me forgiveness, peace, joy, purpose, satisfaction, fullness, hope, fellowship, freedom, love, power, guidance and light. Praise the Lord!

New Testament

2 Corinthians 8:16-9:5

Titus Sent to Receive the Collection

16 Thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same concern I have for you. 17 For Titus not only welcomed our appeal, but he is coming to you with much enthusiasm and on his own initiative. 18 And we are sending along with him the brother who is praised by all the churches for his service to the gospel. 19 What is more, he was chosen by the churches to accompany us as we carry the offering, which we administer in order to honour the Lord himself and to show our eagerness to help. 20 We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. 21 For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.

22 In addition, we are sending with them our brother who has often proved to us in many ways that he is zealous, and now even more so because of his great confidence in you. 23 As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you; as for our brothers, they are representatives of the churches and an honour to Christ. 24 Therefore show these men the proof of your love and the reason for our pride in you, so that the churches can see it.

9 There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the Lord’s people. 2 For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action. 3 But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove hollow, but that you may be ready, as I said you would be. 4 For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to say anything about you—would be ashamed of having been so confident. 5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given.


Honour your Lord in giving

Money matters. It can be a curse or a blessing. It can bring honour to the Lord or dishonour.

Paul’s desire is to ‘honour the Lord himself’ (8:19). Here ‘the Lord’ seems to be referring to Jesus Christ (see v.23). He wants to do what is right in the eyes of the Lord (v.21).

In his handling of the offering (v.19) he is determined, first, to honour the Lord himself by ‘taking every precaution against scandal’ (vv.19–20, MSG). This includes any chance that someone might suspect him of using the money for himself (vv.20 –21).

Second, he is at pains to do what is right not only in the eyes of the Lord but also to be ‘as careful in our reputation with the public’ (v.21, MSG).

One way in which we can do this is to ensure that those who handle money in the church are like Titus, whom Paul describes as ‘rock-solid trustworthy’ (v.17, MSG). This is a good test for those involved in handling money in the church. Are they ‘rock-solid trustworthy’?

Another way in which we can honour the Lord with our money is through generosity.

God has been so generous to us. Paul expects the Corinthians to be generous. He speaks of the ‘generous gift you had promised… a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given’ (9:5).

The enthusiasm of one group of Christians spread to others, hundreds of miles away, even at a time without modern forms of communication. St Paul writes, ‘… your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action’ (v.2). How much greater is the impact that you can have now with global communication. What huge potential there is for any church to bring honour to the Lord.


Lord, may my generosity reflect your extraordinary generosity to me. May it bring honour to your name.

Old Testament

Isaiah 10:20-13:22

The Remnant of Israel

20 In that day the remnant of Israel,
   the survivors of Jacob,
will no longer rely on him
   who struck them down
but will truly rely on the Lord,
   the Holy One of Israel.
21 A remnant will return, a remnant of Jacob
   will return to the Mighty God.
22 Though your people be like the sand by the sea, Israel,
   only a remnant will return.
Destruction has been decreed,
   overwhelming and righteous.
23 The Lord, the Lord Almighty, will carry out
   the destruction decreed upon the whole land.

24 Therefore this is what the Lord, the Lord Almighty, says:

   “My people who live in Zion,
   do not be afraid of the Assyrians,
who beat you with a rod
   and lift up a club against you, as Egypt did.
25 Very soon my anger against you will end
   and my wrath will be directed to their destruction. ”

26 The Lord Almighty will lash them with a whip,
   as when he struck down Midian at the rock of Oreb;
and he will raise his staff over the waters,
   as he did in Egypt.
27 In that day their burden will be lifted from your shoulders,
   their yoke from your neck;
the yoke will be broken
   because you have grown so fat.

28 They enter Aiath;
   they pass through Migron;
   they store supplies at Mikmash.
29 They go over the pass, and say,
   “We will camp overnight at Geba. ”
Ramah trembles;
   Gibeah of Saul flees.
30 Cry out, Daughter Gallim!
   Listen, Laishah!
   Poor Anathoth!
31 Madmenah is in flight;
   the people of Gebim take cover.
32 This day they will halt at Nob;
   they will shake their fist
at the mount of Daughter Zion,
   at the hill of Jerusalem.

33 See, the Lord, the Lord Almighty,
   will lop off the boughs with great power.
The lofty trees will be felled,
   the tall ones will be brought low.
34 He will cut down the forest thickets with an ax;
   Lebanon will fall before the Mighty One.

The Branch From Jesse

11 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
   from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
   the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
   the Spirit of counsel and of might,
   the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
3 and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.

He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
   or decide by what he hears with his ears;
4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
   with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
   with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
5 Righteousness will be his belt
   and faithfulness the sash around his waist.

6 The wolf will live with the lamb,
   the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
   and a little child will lead them.
7 The cow will feed with the bear,
   their young will lie down together,
   and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8 The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
   and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
9 They will neither harm nor destroy
   on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
   as the waters cover the sea.

10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious. 11 In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the surviving remnant of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands of the Mediterranean.

12 He will raise a banner for the nations
   and gather the exiles of Israel;
he will assemble the scattered people of Judah
   from the four quarters of the earth.
13 Ephraim’s jealousy will vanish,
   and Judah’s enemies will be destroyed;
Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah,
   nor Judah hostile toward Ephraim.
14 They will swoop down on the slopes of Philistia to the west;
   together they will plunder the people to the east.
They will subdue Edom and Moab,
   and the Ammonites will be subject to them.
15 The Lord will dry up
   the gulf of the Egyptian sea;
with a scorching wind he will sweep his hand
   over the Euphrates River.
He will break it up into seven streams
   so that anyone can cross over in sandals.
16 There will be a highway for the remnant of his people
   that is left from Assyria,
as there was for Israel
   when they came up from Egypt.

Songs of Praise

12 In that day you will say:

“I will praise you, Lord.
   Although you were angry with me,
your anger has turned away
   and you have comforted me.
2 Surely God is my salvation;
   I will trust and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense;
   he has become my salvation. ”
3 With joy you will draw water
   from the wells of salvation.

4 In that day you will say:

“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
   make known among the nations what he has done,
   and proclaim that his name is exalted.
5 Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things;
   let this be known to all the world.
6 Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion,
   for great is the Holy One of Israel among you. ”

A Prophecy Against Babylon

13 A prophecy against Babylon that Isaiah son of Amoz saw:

2 Raise a banner on a bare hilltop,
   shout to them;
beckon to them
   to enter the gates of the nobles.
3 I have commanded those I prepared for battle;
   I have summoned my warriors to carry out my wrath —
   those who rejoice in my triumph.

4 Listen, a noise on the mountains,
   like that of a great multitude!
Listen, an uproar among the kingdoms,
   like nations massing together!
The Lord Almighty is mustering
   an army for war.
5 They come from faraway lands,
   from the ends of the heavens —
the Lord and the weapons of his wrath —
   to destroy the whole country.

6 Wail, for the day of the Lord is near;
   it will come like destruction from the Almighty.
7 Because of this, all hands will go limp,
   every heart will melt with fear.
8 Terror will seize them,
   pain and anguish will grip them;
   they will writhe like a woman in labour.
They will look aghast at each other,
   their faces aflame.

9 See, the day of the Lord is coming
   —a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger —
to make the land desolate
   and destroy the sinners within it.
10 The stars of heaven and their constellations
   will not show their light.
The rising sun will be darkened
   and the moon will not give its light.
11 I will punish the world for its evil,
   the wicked for their sins.
I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty
   and will humble the pride of the ruthless.
12 I will make people scarcer than pure gold,
   more rare than the gold of Ophir.
13 Therefore I will make the heavens tremble;
   and the earth will shake from its place
at the wrath of the Lord Almighty,
   in the day of his burning anger.

14 Like a hunted gazelle,
   like sheep without a shepherd,
they will all return to their own people,
   they will flee to their native land.
15 Whoever is captured will be thrust through;
   all who are caught will fall by the sword.
16 Their infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes;
   their houses will be looted and their wives violated.

17 See, I will stir up against them the Medes,
   who do not care for silver
   and have no delight in gold.
18 Their bows will strike down the young men;
   they will have no mercy on infants,
   nor will they look with compassion on children.
19 Babylon, the jewel of kingdoms,
   the pride and glory of the Babylonians,
will be overthrown by God
   like Sodom and Gomorrah.
20 She will never be inhabited
   or lived in through all generations;
there no nomads will pitch their tents,
   there no shepherds will rest their flocks.
21 But desert creatures will lie there,
   jackals will fill her houses;
there the owls will dwell,
   and there the wild goats will leap about.
22 Hyenas will inhabit her strongholds,
   jackals her luxurious palaces.
Her time is at hand,
   and her days will not be prolonged.


Know your Lord in relationship

The astonishing truth is that, thanks to Jesus, you and I can know the Lord. We can all know the Lord.

God calls his people into a relationship with him. The expression ‘The LORD’ appears twenty times in this passage alone. The prophet Isaiah foresees a time when ‘the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea’ (11:9b). The kind of relationship God calls you into is a:

  1. Relationship based on faith
    The prophet Isaiah looks forward to a time when his people ‘will truly rely on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel’ (10:20). He goes on to say that on that day they will say, ‘Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation’ (12:2).

    Here, at the heart of the Old Testament, we see that faith (‘I will trust’) and salvation are strongly linked. The New Testament makes it abundantly clear that you are saved by your faith in the Lord (Jesus).

  2. Relationship based on respect
    Isaiah speaks of ‘the fear of the Lord’. Isaiah calls the people of God to fear God but says ‘do not be afraid of the Assyrians’ (10:24). If you truly fear God (in the biblical sense of holy respect) you need fear nothing and no one else.

  3. Relationship brought about by the Holy Spirit
    Knowing the Lord involves watching and listening to the Holy Spirit, allowing him to lead you in your heart. Isaiah writes:

    ‘The life-giving Spirit of God will hover over him,

  the Spirit that brings wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit that gives direction and builds strength,
  the Spirit that instils knowledge and Fear-of-God’ (11:2, MSG).

When the Holy Spirit comes to live in your life he brings you into a relationship of knowing the Lord. For me, it was only when I experienced the Holy Spirit that the expression ‘the Lord’ became among the most precious expressions in the world.

Isaiah’s words were fulfilled in Jesus: ‘A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him’ (11:1–2a, see also 53:2).

Isaiah goes on to speak about how God will be the perfect judge (11:3b–5). His reign of justice and peace will reverse the results of the fall (see Romans 8:19–22). ‘The wolf will live with the lamb’ (Isaiah 11:6). This promise strains our imaginations in a conflict-ridden world – one day ‘neither animal nor human will hurt or kill’ (v.9, MSG).

God has a global vision: ‘The whole earth will be brimming with knowing God-Alive, a living knowledge of God ocean-deep, ocean-wide’ (v.9, MSG). So should we. William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, said, ‘I am thinking up a plan, that when it is hatched, will bring blessing to the whole wide world.’

Jesus has made it possible for you to know God. The same Spirit of the Lord who rests on Jesus is given to you. He will give you wisdom and understanding, counsel and power so that your life can have a huge impact.


Lord, fill me with your Spirit that I may seek justice on behalf of the poor and needy. Help me to be a peacemaker and to play my part in spreading knowledge of the Lord until it covers the earth ‘as the waters cover the sea’ (v.9).

Pippa adds

In 2 Corinthians 8:19, we see how seriously St Paul takes the handling of money. There seems to be something quite reverential about carrying and administrating the offering. They were very aware that money can cause huge problems – corrupting, deceiving and bringing misunderstanding. Many church leaders and churches have found themselves in trouble. Paul and Titus were ‘taking pains’ not only to do the right thing under God, but to be seen to do the right thing and not to bring the church into disrepute. I know I need constant wisdom and a pure heart in all my money dealings.



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Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version Anglicised, Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 Biblica, formerly International Bible Society. Used by permission of Hodder & Stoughton Publishers, an Hachette UK company. All rights reserved. ‘NIV’ is a registered trademark of Biblica. UK trademark number 1448790.

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