Day 250

How to Love Your Lord

Wisdom Psalm 105:39-45
New Testament 2 Corinthians 8:16-24
Old Testament Isaiah 10:20, 11:1-9


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 105:39-45

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.

44 he gave them the lands of the nations,
   and they fell heir to what others had toiled for...

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 8:16-24

16 Thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same concern I have for you.

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.


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, 11:1-9

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

Thought for the Day

If you truly fear God (in the biblical sense of holy respect) you need fear nothing and no one else.



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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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