Growing up I was surrounded by men who were major cowboy fans. Fathers and uncles who had a keen interest in watching cowboy shows and movies. So naturally the apple does not fall far from the tree as they say.
There were several TV shows and of course movies that my father and uncles were big fans of. When it came to TV shows they were fans of Gunsmoke. As far as movies were concerned there were quite a few. High Noon was one of my father’s favorites. Another favorite of my father and uncles was Gunfight At The OK Corral.
One afternoon my father and uncles and I watched a cowboy picture called The Magnificent Seven. The premise speaks to seven cowboys who come to the rescue of a small village in Mexico.
In looking back to that afternoon during which we watched that picture, what has always stuck with me is the title of the picture. The Magnificent Seven. As I have grown older and grown in my walk with the Lord I have found myself again and again coming back to two words, Magnificent Seven.
The number seven is of course a special number in the eyes of God. It has been said that the number 7 represents completion and perfection. Throughout the Bible many scriptures make reference to the number 7 thus underscoring the importance of this number. It has been documented that the number 7 appears in the bible several hundred times. This number 7 is presented in many different ways. In 6 days God brought about the creation of the world and of course on the 7th day rested. It was for 7 days as an example that Joshua marched around a city called Jericho. In studying the bible we can all speak to many different times where this number 7 comes into focus.
On of my favorite examples of 7 comes from the book of Galatians. In my time of studying the bible what has always spoken directly to my heart is Galatians 5:22. This scripture speaks to the fruit of the Spirit.
This scripture reveals to us the very essence of God. In particular it focuses on 7 special qualities that should be reflected in each of us as Christians. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and faithfulness.
Love. A four letter word which stands alone as truly the greatest thing of all. Our bible speaks eloquently about love. Many people in our world are in search of what they perceive as being the greatest story of love of all time. Be it through great novels, plays or even cinema, their search is on going. And yet for those of us who are a part of the body of Christ, we know that our bible itself stands alone as the greatest love story every told.
For love does not think of itself first; it always considers the needs of others first. What greater example of love at it’s finest is there than God himself sending his own son to die on a cross for us. Truly this stands as the ultimate example of love unlimited.
Joy. What is this thing called Joy? It has been described as being able to see the son shine even during the midst of the darkest storm. Some have said that joy is also being able to smile while your heart may be breaking. But most of all joy is knowing that no matter what may come, or what ever we face, we do so knowing that God has promised that he will never leave nor forsake us.
Peace…..when it would seem that life itself is like waves crashing against us, and it is almost to the point of being overwhelmed, there is that peace in knowing that God is in control and that he never puts more on us than we can handle.
Patience.….Romans 8:25 encourages us that if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. In a day and time when we live in this “I want it right now world” patience is becoming more than just a virtue; it is becoming more and more rare with each passing day. But even when the world around us may find our actions to be puzzling we know to be still before the Lord and to wait patiently on him.
Kindness….the word itself is by definition very simple, and yet for so many hard to display. Our Lord and Savior has shown us that kindness is not random nor merely circumstantial, but is a daily commitment to treat others as you would have them treat you, with love.
Goodness……so often in times like these what is emphasized are the flaws and shortcomings that this world looks at. It has been said that there is a silver lining in all things. But as Christians we know that we embrace the fact that in all things the goodness of God is manifested not just on occasion but on a daily basis. We know that no matter what that the goodness of God will follow us all the days of our life. His goodness is a promise to all of those in this the land of the living.
Faithfulness……is to stand firm even in midst of doubt. It is to remain unmoved when life itself is like quicksand moving beneath us. Our faithfulness in God is such that we are anchored in his word and promise to be with us always, as his faithfulness is displayed daily. For even during those times we may be unfaithful God always remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself.
The Magnificent Seven……this magnificent seven has been called the character of God. A magnificent seven that is looking to come to the hearts of each and every one of us. A magnificent seven that challenges each of us to on a daily basis to grow in our relationship with the Lord, to mirror in each of our lives the essence of God, his Magnificent Seven.
To God Be The Glory
Alan T. Black