People of God

Once,  when I was a little girl hiking in the mountains with my family, I suddenly discovered I was alone.  The family was only a few yards up the trail around a bend, but I panicked. In the deafening silence of those massive mountains, I ran screaming down the trail until I saw my mama.

 “I alone am left, and they seek to kill me,” cried Elijah to God (1Kings 19:14). In truth, only the last half was correct, because King Ahab and his wicked Queen Jezebel wanted Elijah dead.

But Elijah wasn’t alone, for God never left him. He never does. As Jesus promises us, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20).

God also reassured Elijah that there were several thousand loyal believers, and there was a special friend he was soon to meet, Elisha.

Just to clarify, we are speaking of the God of the Bible: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The people of God are defined as, “all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:2). People of God have placed their faith in Jesus and depend on His mercy and power for everything in this life and eternity.

In Hebrews 11, there is a list of several people of God who called on the Name of the Lord. Known as the cloud of witnesses, their lives testify of their faith, for which they received God’s approval. In the centuries since then, more have joined them with their own stories of faith–hymn writers, great preachers, Christian authors, missionaries, and millions of others.

Today there are still many who walk by faith in Jesus–people living on your street, sitting in your pew at church, sharing Christ on radio and TV. Like giant redwood trees that can withstand the forces of nature simply by the intertwining of their root systems, so Christians can intertwine and support each other.People of God

A wonderful example in the Bible is the dramatic story of Joshua leading the new little army of Israelites against the fierce Amalekites, while Moses interceded on the hill, holding up the staff of God in prayer. When his arms grew heavy, Aaron and Hur came along and supported him (Exodus 17:8-13).

A recent true story is told by a missionary who was telling some Chinese home-church pastors about the Christians in Muslim countries who also face persecution. What a surprise and delight for the isolated Chinese pastors to learn of their Christian brothers–and they committed to pray an hour a day for them.

The New Testament calls God’s people the “one anothers,” a wonderful gift God has given us, and with instructions on how we should treat one another. Among the long list, we are to love, forgive, accept, and thank God for one another.

So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith. (Galatians 6:10)

About the Writer:
Ruthe Turner loves serving as the Director of Truett Library at First Baptist Church Dallas, a church where a person can be “firmly rooted and grounded in love” through the testimony, teaching and preaching of our pastor and leaders.  You are invited to visit the library, where resources are made available for you to learn more of God and the People of God.

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