Guest teacher, Nels Tate, shares with us the nuances of God’s love as depicted in Psalm 107 and as experienced in his own life – God as father, family-member, and friend.
Around here today at the table, Cody and Christy are gone with the kiddos to Texas for this weekend and then on the Arizona from there. So again, if we can be lifting them up in their travels, but anyways, I’m here today
just to hang out with you guys to chat a little bit. And so a little bit about me a little bit of my background, I got to be involved.
During my my college career, I moved over here for college in 2010. So about eight years ago 2011 excuse me a bigger, better math there and ended up never leaving but in the process got involved in a church around here was on staff at that church. And in the process of being on staff at that church. Me and another friend that was associated there, started a theological podcast in the process. And Cody and I were touching base on this and he’s like, Oh, you know, like you did a podcast with you totally talk. So that’s part of the reason I’m up here today is the podcaster
Translated to the live version, which is exciting. And we would talk a lot about a lot of different interesting topics, like most of the idea was, what if we could talk about some of the unorthodox questions in the Bible? Like, what if Jesus was married? For instance? What would that mean? You know, scripture Lee, or like how we live today? We’re like, okay, that’s kind of an interesting or like, what is God’s actual view on the use of drugs or anything like that. So it’s kind of like across the board, but it was, it was really fun at the same time. But we’re today at the table, we are going through a series called words of wisdom, which is an examination of the Psalms, and specifically looking at how those songs impact us in our day to day life and what we can do with that. And so, today, we’re going to be looking at Psalm 107. And I think this is there’s some Bibles on the table if you guys want to follow along, I don’t know the exact number of the page on there. But we’re going to look at Psalm 107 verses one through 21. It’s also going to be on the screen behind me and
starts off by saying it’s Thanksgiving for God’s deliverance. If thanks to the Lord for His good, his faithful love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord proclaim that he is redeem them from the power of the foe, and he has gathered them from the lands from the east and the west from the north and the south. Some wandered into the desolate wilderness, finding no way to a sea where they could. They were thirsty and hungry, their spirits failed within them. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, he rescued them from their distress he led them by the right path to a city where they could live. Let them give thanks to the Lord for His faithful love. His wondrous works for all humanity, for he is satisfied the thirsty and filled the hungry with good thing. Other set in darkness and gloom prisoners in cruel chains because they rebelled against God’s commands and despise the counsel of the Most High. He broke their spirits with hard labor they stumbled, and there was no one to help. Then they cried out to the Lord.
Trouble, he saved them from their distress. You brought them out of darkness and gloom and broke their chains apart. Let them give thanks to the Lord for His faithful love and His wondrous works for all humanity. For he has broken down the bronze gates and cut through the iron bars. Fools suffered affliction because of their rebellious ways and their iniquities. They load all food and came near the gates of death. And they cried out to the Lord and they’re in trouble and he saved them from their distress. He sent His word and healed them, he rescued them from the pit. Let them give thanks to the Lord for His faithful love and His wonders works for all humanity.
God, we just,
we thank you for the opportunity to be here today in your presence. We thank you for being
in this place. For being here to refresh us being able to fill us here Lord, I just pray that we come to understand you more understand who you are who you’re with.
Your love is and what you desire for us in our lives. God, I just pray that you are truly working in our lives today. And that our understanding of you as we leave this place is more vast and greater than having energy.
We just thank you for being who you are and for loving us so immensely well.
This is a I love this. I love this passage because there’s so much depth to it. There’s so many. There’s there’s the same ideas conveyed over and over again in the passage, but at the same time, there’s an immense level of depth to it. That really is like wow, it’s amazing. And it is just absolutely fascinating. But I feel at the same time like I’ve I’ve heard it before I’ve seen this over and over in the Bible, who who all in this room grew up in church who was involved in church growing up or was like it Sunday school or PBS or a wanna Did anybody do a one in the room?
There’s a couple of want two people. I was in Tijuana kids. So I did a couple of those. And I ended up memorizing a lot of verses. And coming to know scripture relatively well, I would say, I, I could name all 66 books of the Bible really quick within I think 23 seconds, which is a record in a wanna there.
But I feel like, as I grew up, as I matured in my faith, and came to understand, you know what it was to follow Christ more, the less, I, the more I kind of took the love of God for granted. The more I kind of looked at who what it was to follow God and understand His love, and I kind of understood this as a broad view, like God loves us more than anything else. And I kind of put that in the back of my mind, and then explored other aspects of the Christian faith. And looking back at that I feel that at the very core of what it means to follow Christ isn’t conceptual understanding of what his love for us is.
I would say, you know, a lot of the time we become accustomed to seeing miracles in Scripture. And it’s easy to gloss over them. It’s easy to just take them for granted to see that, oh, it’s Jesus doing this. It’s God working in this way. And we just naturally assume it the way I assume it to be that way. And that is just how life goes in a way.
I would say I’m not a deeply theological person. But a lot of the times in Scripture, I’m blown away by the fundamentals of what the Bible has to say, I think different than any other book that you’ll ever read. When you look at the Bible, the complex ideas are less interesting than the very fundamentals, one that’s there. So what I’m hoping to do today is I would love to take a more specific view of what it means to follow God in the in the context of understanding his love for us, and our specific types of relationships that we have with him. I think in a lot
ways that we experienced the love of God in three different ways. And one being, it’s really interesting that Daniel sang that song wrote that song because he named all three of them right in there. I think we look at we see the love of God as a father. We see it as like a family member, like a spouse or a brother or sister. And then I think we also see it as a him as a friend. We see that love on a friendship level, I’d love to look at all three of those today. If you look at God as a father, there’s this big idea that kind of comes out there. And that’s the idea of redemption. And Charles Spurgeon, he was talking about this passage, this psalm 107, specifically, verse 21. And and that’s all that men would praise the Lord for His goodness and for his wonderful words to the children of men. And Charles says this, it is marvelous that men can be restored from sickness and yet refuse to Brett bless the Lord. It would seem impossible that they should forget such great and mercy for we should expect to see both themselves and friends to whom they are restored. United.
In a lifelong act of Thanksgiving, yet, when 10 are healed, it is seldom that more than one returns to give glory to God, alas, where the nine when a spiritual cure is wrought by the great physician praise is one of the surest signs of renewed health. That’s what for Charles is saying there. And to me, that reminds me a lot of being a child, in a way is, you know, going back to the night of the, the innocence in of being a child, you know, not being necessarily afraid of a lot of things and having a father there who would watch over and make sure you know, I wouldn’t hurt myself that, you know, when I was going to jump off this fence, he would say, No, no jump from a hot lower point. And looking back I’m like, Man, that was great. That was that developed a sense of trust and respect and know and knowledge that he had, he had me covered he had this love around me.
And I think
For me, I mean, on a personal level, this view of God, this view of the love of God is probably the hardest one for me to know and understand well.
And it’s, it’s difficult for me because at when I was 18, my dad left, he left me, he left my family, and I went off to college and we didn’t have a relationship basically at all for a couple years. And that, you know, eventually it came back together. But I mean, during that time, that really skewed my perspective in a way of what it meant to be to have God being a father, because I projected my experience onto my relationship with God.
I saw it as being he wasn’t, I couldn’t trust him. He might have a plan for my life, but I don’t know if I like that plan. I’m not sure that it’s it’s a good plan. I he may have had this love and this trust this relationship in the past, but now like, I’m not sure
I think it’s something in time that I had to learn.
To trust him again. It’s something I had to learn.
Some I had to learn to understand more, how to follow him again, how to trust him again, and look and say, he is a completely loving, perfect father.
He could never leave. There’s nothing that can keep him apart from me.
It reminds me a lot of the times, I’m sure if you’ve been around church, have you been around the table? Or if you’ve heard scripture before, you probably heard the story of the prodigal son. And the prodigal son is one of these famous parables that Jesus says he talks about, he says, the idea of it is there’s this father, and he’s a, you know, wealthy father. He has two sons, and one of those sons says, before it was this time to take his inheritance, anything like that. The son says, Hey, I want my inheritance now.
I want my portion of that. And I just I want to be, I want to be out of this family, I want to be out of this relationship and the father, strangely enough granted to him. And so he goes off. And he goes into this state of wild living. And it doesn’t go into the examples of what wild living is. But I mean, you can only imagine what that would really entail and eventually gets to a point where he hits rock bottom, and he says, the only option I have is to go crawling back to the Father. And he says, I will go back I will do anything I will be you know, the keeper of your of your pigs like I will work for you like I will put myself below far below any other position, I will be like a slave. And the father says, No, no, no, no, no. He sees him from a long way off and says, I’ve seen you the whole time. There is nothing that can keep you from me. There is no nothing that can defy My love for you. And this is amazing example that Jesus says and and we’re like, wow, it’s absolutely fantastic.
But I think it’s really cool because we get to see that a lot in day to day in our culture. So I’m curious who in the room is a fan of the Marvel movies? Or has seen any of the Marvel movies? Okay, there’s a couple of fans in there. I’m a comic book nerd, I grew up a comic book nerd. So I’ve always been really interested in them. But I think you see this in a lot of movies specifically as this idea, and this concept that’s at the core of our culture, in a way this concept of redemption. And I think I got to go see the most recent Marvel movie with Cody and Justin, and we got to go check it out. And there’s this moment in there, and I won’t spoil it for you if you haven’t seen it. But there’s this moment in there and it absolutely captures my attention. And it brings you to, you know, it’s a very emotional moment because there’s, it’s at the pinnacle of the movie, and the villain is about to triumph. The villain is about to
One of the heroes, and the hero is barely hanging on. And then
at the same moment, there’s this.
Trying to do this without going into any details spoilers for anybody here.
But at the same moment that another hero comes in, saves him at the last possible second there. And it’s this, you’re left with this sense of I’ve tried. He’s come back, there’s this moment of clarity of perfect redemption. And I think at our core, I think when we see this in movies, or books, or even in music or other art forms, we love the sense of redemption when the, you know, finally, like when Rudy gets to go play in the movie, or when, you know, Rocky comes back. It’s this perfect redemption.
It reminds me my favorite, probably my favorite song
After the whole Bible is in the book of Hosea and Hosea was a prophet which basically I was thinking about I was like, what’s a good definition of a prophet? And really it was like a traveling pastors what it was. So Jose is this olden times traveling pastor, and he goes up to the Israelites. And here’s what God has to say and conveys that to them. And God has a very interesting thing to say that Hosea Israel has rebelled against. God has destroyed in a way the relationship that God has with the Israelites. And what Hosea does is very unique and it’s that God calls him to take a prostitute as his wife, which is completely unorthodox completely against anything you would expect and you’re like, this is this is weird. And so as it goes on, God’s saying, in Hosea chapter two you have fallen from me you have broke like you are dirty, you are filthy, you are away from me. And he’s saying this to the Israelites, you saying you are not a part of me. You have broken this
perfect relationship that we had. And you have just absolutely thrown it in the trash, put it aside.
And it’s this moment that you’re like, Ah,
I’m like, it’s almost depressing to read through because you’re like, this is so
totally true, but hard to read like it’s tough. It’s not enjoyable. But at that moment, there’s a page break. And it’s probably my favorite thing that happens in all Scripture, scripture. There’s literally this paragraph change and it goes into and God says, and yet, I will take you into the desert. I will make you mine. You are perfect. There is nothing that can keep me from you. My love for you. I’ve never seen anything more beautiful. You are absolutely amazing. To me.
I love you.
redemption, perfect. redemption. There is nothing in the father’s eyes.
that can keep you from him. There is nothing, no ball too great. No ocean too deep. No anything that can keep his love from you.
I think we see God as a as a father a lot of times I think we also see him as a family member. And this is interesting. The unique characteristic of being a family member is that it’s a predetermine love. And I say that because it’s, it’s a love that you are as when you are born into a family and you have siblings or you have whatever.
I have a couple siblings, and I didn’t have to love them. Or they didn’t have to love me necessarily, but we were siblings naturally and we grew in a way to love each other. It’s really interesting. So if you look at
David in the Psalms, well, not specifically in the Psalms in the life of David. He talks about
A lot about his relationship with Jonathan. And Jonathan was the son of King Saul. And King Saul did not get along well with David whatsoever their entire.
Actually, I take that back early on, they got along well, later on, they did not get along well, but him and Jonathan had a very special relationship. And they said he had a, it was a very brother like love, and it’s closer than a brother. When you talk when the Bible talks about brotherly love. It says, It is interesting because David refers to Jonathan and says I grieve for your job when Jonathan died, said I grieve for you, Jonathan, my brother, you are such a friend and me. Your love for me was more wonders than the love of women. And he says this because
their relationship was incredibly unique. It was close. It was like a family member in that regard.
And I love looking at this as God being a family member in this regard having a relationship
the way in which relationship is defined as the way in which two or more concepts objects are
People are connected, or how this or the state of being connected.
It’s interesting because I believe that God didn’t necessarily create the relationship
between him and us when he created humanity. I don’t necessarily think that he created the relationship between God and people
understand how to relate with other people. I think he created other people to help us understand how to relate better with him. Especially like when you look at Adam and Eve, that great example, he creates Adam from the dust. He has this relationship with Adam, but to better define how to relate with Adam. For Adam to understand God’s love for him. He creates Eve, his partner, his companion, so that they have this relationship to define how to relate better with God.
I think this is really true of marriage. I’ve been married to grace for two and a half years now. And it’s been an amazing in sometimes frustrating, honestly, two and a half years.
She’s a great partner. She’s a really good friend. And I think one of the things I appreciate most about our marriage in a way, is the fact that it has allowed me to see how to better relate with God, how to more how his love for me, and my love for him. My my love for Grace has been defined in a way by how I relate with God and vice versa, which is really a cool experience is it? That level of intimacy in a relationship showcases so much more? what God’s love for me is like
I think one of the things about it is it’s it’s an incredibly transparent and incredibly vulnerable, intimate love. When you’re, you and your spouse are, are together. It’s a very close
relationship. And that is the type of relationship that God desires with us a very close knit relationship intimate knowing each other well, I think it applies really well. Looking in the same of the relationship from a brother and sister, you’re going to tell your brother or sister things, they’re going to know things about you that no one else knows about you. You’re going to be totally yourself with them, because you’re around them all the time. You’re with him all the time. So they’re going to know exactly who you are. And that’s the same thing that God desires for us is to have this relationship of a brother or a sister or a family member or a spouse, so that we understand how to be close to him better his love for us there.
God desires this love of relationship.
I think the last way we really see
God’s love projected towards us is that of a friend, and Daniel touched on this as well that the
unique characteristic of a friend, the relationship of having a friend is that you are, it’s a, it’s a love that’s chosen. And I mentioned that for the life of a brother or a sister and the love of a brother or sister. And you have that love there, which is your, you go into, you’re already in a part of it. And then you can choose to love that. But it’s interesting when you look at the how humanity works as a whole, and what the human mind is capable of. As far as the social aspect.
It’s interesting to see because
the human brain can handle on average up to 1500 social connections that’s people you can just know of know about know their name is about 1500 is about the maximum before it starts tail off of it and you don’t you start to forget after that point effectively,
but you obviously aren’t close with 1500 people
down when you go to about 200 is about the maximum amount of people that you can know relatively well. A and that I say that relatively well, those are going to be your co workers, those are going to be the people you’re going to see maybe once a year, you’re going to hang out with them, see him at a event or anything like that. It’s about 200 people is that that closer circle. And then there’s the that actually the group of people that you’re going to see more often that you know them really well. They’re going to be your extended family. They’re going to be the people that you have your your good family friends, you’re going to have them over, you’re going to
have dinner with them, go out to a movie with them. They’re going to be your closer friends. But then there’s that inner circle. And that’s only about three or four people that you can actually your brain is able to handle having a deep relationship with at a time there’s only about three or four people that you can really truly have a deep close relationship with as a time. These are your best friends there
You know, oftentimes you’ll run in a group that lasts for ages and ages, you’re going to always go back to them, you’re going to tell them things about what’s going on in your life, and hear about what’s going on in their life in a way that’s totally different than we experience most of the time.
And I think it is that it’s that level of relationship that God desires with us as a friend. It’s a reference in a way because really, these are the people that you’re going to go and refer to, you’re going to ask their advice on things. Why because you trust them more than anybody else. They’re your closest friends that you’re going to be able to tell your, your greatest excitement and also your greatest frustrations to they’re going to be your closest, closest people. I think this is my favorite view of God. In a way.
It is so rewarding to be able to talk to God in a way as a friend like he calls me Fred. The amazing thing about that you guys is we’re talking
About the God of the universe, the guy that created absolutely everything.
In the blink of an eye, he made it all.
He has more power, more ability than anything else that we can even comprehend. Literally, our minds are not capable of understanding everything that he is fully capable of.
Yet he says, I want to be a friend with you, I want to walk beside you, I want to be with you. It reminds me in a way after Jesus was resurrected from the dead when
there’s the disciples walking on the path, to forget the name of the place, but they’re walking on the path, and he shows up beside them. And he’s walking and talking with them. That’s the vision that I have a lot of the time is God is just walking there beside me. And we can have this conversation about whatever it is going on, whether I’m excited or frustrated, or whatever emotion I’m experiencing, what whether it be miniscule or huge, being able to have that conversation with him. Amazing. Absolutely amazing. And that
is a relationship that he desires for us he desires to walk beside us.
The unique characteristic of having a friend is that you choose who your friends are.
The fun thing about that is that God already wants to be your best friend. He desires to be your best friend all the time. His love for you is such that there is no greater love than it. It is completed his whole It is always there. It is truly on our end for us to just choose it. Do we want God to be our best friend? Do we want him to walk beside us? Do we want to tell him everything? He’s totally willing to tell us everything he feels
his excitement, his joy, his pain, his frustration, everything.
That’s the relationship that he totally desires with us.
I think it’s it’s interesting and it’s made me ponder this. A lot looking at
What it means to be loved by God because, to me, it really begs the question, if God truly loves us as he claims he doesn’t scripture if he loves us as a father, a family member and a friend, what does that mean for us? What? Where does that leave us? what point does that? Where do we need to go from there with that?
Do we just understand that as you know the concept and walk through life in that regard, or do we have to change something about who we are?
I don’t know about you guys might. When when I think about my love language, there’s five primary lot of love languages they talk about, and two of mine. One is physical touch. The other one is gifts, and I’m a huge gift person. And the reason why I’m a gift person is because when somebody gives me an amazing if grace gets me the exact thing I wanted for my birthday or whatever. It tells me that she loves me and here’s why. It tells me that she knows me well enough to know exactly what
I want to without me necessarily telling her and it says that she was willing to take the time out of her day to go get this thing to spend her money on it, to bring it to me and give it to me and say this is for you.
This is totally, I knew you wanted this. I know it’s a total surprise, but you wanted it. I wanted you to have it. And to me, I’m excited about the gift because it’s something that I wanted. But you know what it prompts in me? I naturally because I’m a GIFs person, I naturally turned to her and say wow, I love you. You’re amazing. How did you do that? How did you know that? I’m, I’m amazed by it. Because she did such a good job. loving me. I can’t help but pour out the natural response of emotion of love. We as humans are wired in a way that when we feel love, we have a natural outpouring response to love in return.
I think when we understood
Stand more of who God is, when we understand who he is, and how much he loves us, we have to have a natural response. We have a natural response to love him in return, to want to draw closer to Him to want to be with him, and beside him.
That’s the response. It’s interesting because I don’t think, I think a lot of times we get confused. I got confused for a long time because I, I always read the scriptures. God said, If you love me, then you’ll live for me and I read that as if you love me, then you’ll die for me.
You’ll you’ll give up your life for me. And really, when he’s saying give up your life for me in the Scripture, he’s not saying Go go be a martyr, go die for me now. He says change the way that you live your life. Give your life, your 70 8090 hundred years on this planet. Give that for me.
Show me because I gave I gave my most important thing in the world. My son
And there is nothing, no greater relationship than that.
that he gave his only son because he loved us that much, john 316, and probably the epitome of the Gospel says,
space out of my head. How does it start? For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son.
Thanks for your help on that.
See, you know this better than me.
It’s a love that we can’t necessarily comprehend. But when we experience it, it changes the way that we live our lives. It changes who we are at our core. It changes what we care about what our motivations are, and what we want to do.
That’s about to be about.
We’re going to break up into tables here and we want
discusses. I want to go into depth a little bit more with you guys. And there’s a couple questions, I think on the tables there. If not, I can I can read them out for you here. But the biggest things are like I want to talk about what does it mean to be loved by God? What does it mean specifically to you to be loved by God? You know, how do you view God best?
Is it best as a father, as a family member, maybe a spouse or brother or sister or as a friend?
And ultimately, if God loves us, as scripture describe, what does that mean for us in our lives today? Let’s, let’s get around some tables here. If you’re not at a full table, go fill one up. Let’s talk about this. Let’s discuss this a little bit.
And Daniel closes in a little bit after that.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai