Are We Talking About The Same People?

One of the highlights of the year is our church picnic, which was this past Sunday.

It was wonderful to see folks fellowshipping and reaching out to new people, to see guys laboring over a smoky grill cooking burgers and dogs, to see young people painting children’s faces and playing kickball with them.? I was reminded of Psalm 16:8:

As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent (or majestic*) ones, in whom is all my delight. (ESV)

It?s amazing that God calls his children the ?excellent? or ?majestic? ones. Often I don?t feel particularly majestic.? I picture Jesus pointing me out to Gabriel saying, ?Look, Gabriel, there?s one of my majestic ones,? then I hear the angel say, ?Who, him?? Look at him nodding off in his devotions.? And wait till he sees the dent his son put in his car.? Then you?ll really see how majestic he is.?

Sometimes our brothers and sisters don?t appear so excellent to us.? Look around any church and you?ll find a motley collection of ?majestic ones? struggling with a whole potpourri of sins and weaknesses. Like the new believer you spend three hours trying to encourage, who leaves you singing the ?Halleluiah Chorus,? only to call you 3 hours later from the pit of despair.? Or the son of Eeyore who whines that there?s no love in the church after 45 people helped him move last week.? God calls them “excellent ones” – yes, we’re talking about the same people.

Not only does God declare believers to be his excellent ones, but the ones ?in whom is all [his] delight.?

God sees us as excellent and delightful because he redeemed us with Christ?s blood, clothed us with Christ?s righteousness and is transforming us by his Spirit into Christ?s likeness.? And since the Father?s delight is in his Son, he now delights in his children who are one with that Son.

If God sees his children in this way, then I need to as well.? If God so delights in the saints, then so should I.? May I never view a brother as a bother.? If the saints are delightful, I should long to fellowship with them, serve them, and give my life for them.


Photo by

Mark Altrogge

I’m a pastor at Saving Grace Church in Indiana, PA. I’m married to Kristi, have 5 kids, and a growing number of grandkids. I enjoy songwriting, oil painting and coffee, not necessarily in that order.