Many are not aware that the song, ‘Welcome to My World’ was co-written by John Hathcock and Ray Winkler in 1961, but it was first made popular by Hathcock and Winkler’s good friend, Jim Reeves (Gentleman Jim).
Reeves was one of the most well-loved country artists of his time. He became internationally famous and the song, ‘Welcome to My World’ went international. Seems the world is still waiting for the next Jim Reeves.
The list is endless of other artists who took it up. It includes such notables as Dean Martin, Elvis Presley, Rikki Hendersen, Faron Young, Eddy Arnold, Charlie Pride, and the Anita Kerr Singers.
However, there is a secret to this song that not everyone picks up on. Welcome to My World is a Christian based song. For you who know your Bible, you will quickly pick up on direct quotes from the Bible and/or allusions to the love of God that is found in Jesus Christ.
So, using that song as a prelude to this study let me share something about God’s world.
Let’s begin with…
God’s Secret World
In Psalm 31, David expresses sorrow over the strife and struggles of life. Have you been there? Sure you have.
“In You, O LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be ashamed; in Your righteousness deliver me. Incline Your ear to me, rescue me quickly; be to me a rock of strength, a stronghold to save me.” (Psa 31:1-2)
What is the answer? The answer is when David breaks out into praise that speaks of God’s love for His people.
Listen to the man after God’s heart:
“How great is Your goodness, which You have stored for those who fear You, which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You, before the sons of men! You hide them in the secret place of Your presence, from the conspiracies of man; You keep them in the shelter from the strife of tongues.” (Psalm 31:19,20 nasb.)
Where David says, ‘the secret place of Your presence’, the literal is equally translated, “the secret of Your face.” The idea is that God hides His people from the view of their enemies by bringing them to the very place that He Himself dwells.
There has always been a secret hiding place for God’s people.
Our Hiddenness Through the Ages
The secret place of God would take in all His people from ancient time on. The Old Testament saints somehow knew in their hearts that the Lord Himself was their ever-present security in life.
“Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were born or You gave birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.” (Ps90:1 ,2 )
Moses uses the same word that David used with regard to the ‘secret place’ of the tabernacle.
Listen again to David:
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, `My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.” (Ps91:1,2)
This truth of our hiddenness finds it fulfillment at the cross. Paul said when a person calls upon Jesus as Lord, the Father takes the total of that person’s life and places it in Christ.
The Secret Love of God
Here is where we come to the great mystery of God’s love for His people. The Psalmist Asaph speaks of God’s people as His ‘treasured ones.’ He writes,
“They make shrewd plans against Your people, and conspire together against Your treasured ones.” (Ps83:3)
The Hebrew for ‘treasured ones’ speaks of that which is covered by God, that which is hidden, or that which is kept secret. But it especially speaks of the secret of one’s heart. God has a secret. God’s treasured ones are the secret love of His heart.
The Psalmist puts things together when he writes,
“One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple.
“For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; in the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock [the Rock is Christ]. And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.” (Psalm 27:4-6)
The Concealment of God
The Hebrew for ‘conceal’ is the same word the Psalmist uses for God’s ‘treasured ones’. God’s people are His treasures in the earth and for all eternity. This allows us to have a better understanding of a kingdom parable of the hidden treasure.
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field [world], which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” (Matt13:44)
The treasure has to do with the hidden kingdom of heaven. The story is the story of the cross. Jesus Christ gave His life for the hidden treasure. Jesus came to seek that which was lost. Now the treasure is hidden again, but this time it is hidden in Christ.
“For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” (Col3:3,4)
All that David said about the secret place of God have their fulfillment in the finished work of the cross. Being hidden in Christ means that every believer is eternally secured from the power of darkness. We can never be separated from God’s love. Our life is placed in the Light of God’s very being. Peter said that our calling was into, “His marvelous light.”
Raised Up and Seated
While this truth of our hiddenness may seem difficult to grasp, one fact remains – Our faith should always rest upon God’s truth of our redemption in Christ Jesus. Our place in Christ is secured.
The truth is that every believer in Jesus Christ has already been raised up and seated with Christ in the heavenly. This is our place in Christ. And while we yet walk this earth in our natural state, the Father takes of heavenly life, places it in our hearts as a foretaste of eternity. Heavenly life is God’s presence and His oversight of our lives.
The Father never takes His eyes off believers. Listen to this conversation between David and the Lord:
[David] “You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance.”
[Lord] “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.”(Ps27:7,8)
The Joy of the Cross
The reason Jesus endured the cross was because of the joy that was set before Him. The joy set before the Lord Jesus was all those whom the Father would give Him from eternity.
“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. … This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.
“For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:37,39,40)
The Only Question You can Answer for Yourself
There is one question that needs to be answered – Are you now trusting in Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior? A heart-faith and trust in Jesus is proof positive that you belong to Him. And if you belong to Him, then you are most certainly one of His treasured ones.
This is what the great apostle said:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Eph2:8-10)
Think about these things.
The Invitation Stands – Whosoever will may enter into God’s World
The Lord God offers every person on the planet the key to His world and His kingdom. The key is found in Jesus Christ, God’s only-begotten Son. Call on Jesus. He will answer. In fact, He is standing at your door now. Won’t you invite Him in?
I want to share songs that will minister to your heart. The first one is ‘Welcome to My World,’ by Elvis Presley (1973)
The following worship songs are for your spiritual strengthening. Listen to them. The Lord will speak to your heart.
You Are My Hiding Place/As the Deer
In Christ always,