We Are So Loved by God

Bishop Paul Lanier  |  May 7, 2023

Bishop Lanier prayerfully looks on Old City
(Photo: IFCJ)

I’m sure you are familiar with the extraordinary story of Moses and the burning bush, in the biblical book of Exodus.

It happened when Moses was taking care of his father-in-law’s sheep. He saw something that wasn’t uncommon out in the hot, dry desert: a bush that was on fire. But this particular bush caught Moses’ attention, because it didn’t burn away. The branches were never consumed. The fire kept going.

As Moses approached the bush, God said to him, “‘Do not come any closer … Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground’” (Exodus 3:5).

The bush kept burning because of God’s miraculous presence! Moses was indeed on holy ground.

This story is prophetic to the children of Israel. It’s as if the briars of the bush are the bondage of the Jewish people, and the fire their persecution. Yet the fact that the bush is never consumed symbolizes their perseverance, perseverance that could only come from the power of the Lord.

Time and again, enemies, dictators, disease, and calamities have come against them, yet the Jewish people are never consumed. Through every obstacle, the Jewish people have emerged and persevered thanks to the glory of our almighty Father.

This touches my heart and is such a testament to the glory and power of our Lord!

God Wants Space in Your Life to Dwell

Moses’ story is about a particular people in a particular place and time, but it’s also about all of us. It reminds us that not only does God want to protect His people, He also wants to be a part of our lives and spend time with us.

Scripture tells us that God asks Moses to build a tent that could go with the children of Israel throughout the desert. This tent will be a place for God to dwell and be with His people. God gives Moses exact specifications, all the way down to the particular thread needed for sewing. Some of it will be made of gold, silver, and brilliant, colorful stones. And God says to Moses that he must take up an offering from the children of Israel to build this tent.

But, hold on. Where do you find all these luxuries in the middle of the desert?

Well, you’ll remember that even before God parted the Red Sea and before He let the Israelites walk on dry land, He said to Moses that the Egyptians will favor the children of Israel. The Israelites had lived in Egypt for over 400 years as slaves, and God knew the Egyptians would bless and prosper them. And they did – they gave the Israelites all these extraordinary luxuries, and the Israelites carried them throughout their long trek in the desert.

You see, God knew that He wanted to be with His people. He knew He would ask for an offering. He knew that the children of Israel wouldn’t have anything to give Him. And God planned for His people to give to Him for the sake of building His house, so that there could be a place where He could dwell among them.

In the same way, God continues to show us time and again that He wants to be a part of our lives, our home, our families, our marriages. I find this so profound and I hope it touches your heart like it does mine.

God’s Blessings Are Meant to Be Given Away

Today, we are met with the challenges of sickness, loneliness, and economic hardship. But I am hopeful because I know God is a constant presence in our lives and He wants to help us persevere even amid all this uncertainty.

God is always blessing us. He has a special plan to prosper His people.

If you are Christian, maybe you’re familiar with the Scripture in the Christian Bible that says: “Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness” (2 Corinthians 9:10).

When you have a giving heart, God will give you seed. Not for the keeping, but for the releasing. There is an assignment for every one of God’s blessings.

I thank our loving Father for the amazing men and women that support The Fellowship. You are an extraordinary group of people because you have giving on your mind. I appreciate that you think about Israel and feel the biblical responsibility to take care of the children of God.

I pray that when you are blessed by the Lord, that you ask Him: what do you want me to do with this blessing?

I hope you continue to open your hearts to the children of Israel, and that together, we continue to help The Fellowship’s beautiful ministry grow and prosper. May you continue to be blessed, so that you may continue to bless others through the glory of our almighty God.

And know that He is always present and always has his hand over you in protection and with extraordinary love.

-Bishop Paul Lanier, Chairman of the Board, The Fellowship

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