Tag: good shepherd

God speaks all languages!

Scripture reading for June 6: Psalms 19-24

Psalm 19:1-4 “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above His handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.  There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth and their words to the end of the world.”

God speaks to all mankind through nature. In addition to nature, God also gave man His Law or Word.  (Psalm 19:7-11) The Law of the Lord is perfect and reveals God’s holiness and glory.  Those who will be instructed by it and warned by it will find revival of true life.  Light will enter their souls and wisdom for right living will bring joy to each heart.  It is truly more precious than pure gold and sweeter to the soul than honey.  It is able to discern hidden errors and keep man from willful sins that would cause him to be forever lost.  God truly has spoken our language and provides for our deepest needs.

Psalm 20 and 21 remind those who trust in the Lord that He will defend and protect them and that they will ultimately triumph over their enemies.  Life here on earth has warfare.  It often appears that the wicked and our enemies have power and equipment stronger than ours.  They trust in ‘chariots and horses’!  We, however, trust in the name of the Lord our God!  When we do, we enjoy victory!  (Psalm 20:7-8)  God is our strength and the source of all victory and blessing!  We can only praise Him Who will defeat our enemies! (Psalm 21:8-13) 

Psalm 23 tells of a Great Shepherd, the Lord, who will lead and protect his people.  This Shepherd will provide safety and green pastures to His people.  They will not need to fear, even when the ‘valley of death’ is ahead of them.  God our Shepherd is with us and leads us forward to a table of eternal blessing! 

Psalm 24 tells of God’s ownership and rulership over all the earth and universe.  He is the King of Glory!  This King wants all who come to Him to have clean hands and a pure heart! (Psalm 24:3-5)  When we go humbly to the Lord and ask for forgiveness, He shows us mercy.  He has provided the sacrifice for our sins in His Son, Jesus Christ!    The doors of heaven open for the King of Glory!  Will you open your heart’s door for this amazing King to come in?  (Revelation 3:20)

Tags : , , , , , , , ,

The Father prepared a ‘table’!

Scripture reading for February 1st: Acts 7, Psalm 23, Proverbs 23

Acts 7: 51-55 “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, Whom you have now betrayed and murdered, you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.” Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God. But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him.. Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him.”

Stephen was one of seven men chosen by the apostles to help serve widows in the early church. He was taken before the Sanhedrin and charged falsely of blasphemy. When asked to defend himself, Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, laid out the history of the Jews and their hard-heartedness towards the law of Moses, the prophets and Jesus Christ, God’s Son. He confronted those involved in the crucifixion of Jesus. God was offering them grace. This angered them and they ground their teeth! God opened heaven to show Stephen Jesus Christ standing at the Father’s right hand awaiting his home-going! It is almost as if the Father, in His great mercy, prepared the ‘table’ for Stephen’s martyrdom! The Father and Son were rejoicing in Stephen and his wisdom and courage in the face of enemies.

Psalm 23:5-6 “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Prayer: Father God, You are the Good Shepherd that leads Your people in every situation of life. Belonging to You, we are given grace to endure even death. Thank You for preparing this ‘table’ of glory in Your presence that we look forward to. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit that I might boldly proclaim truth to those who mock and scoff. With Stephen I declare, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”

Proverbs 23:24-25 “The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him. Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice.”

Tags : , , , , ,

The blasphemous beast

Scripture reading for December 19th: Job 12-14, Psalm 100, Revelation 13

Revelation 13:1-4 “And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth like a lion’s mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast. And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?””

John is given a vision of a beast-ruler rising out of the sea of humanity. This ‘beast’ has ten horns and seven heads and crowns on the heads and blasphemous names on the heads. This beast was a combination of leopard, bear, and lion and was empowered by the dragon, Satan, that old serpent. The beast had a fatal wound but was healed and restored to life and this miracle caused those left on the earth to marvel and worship him. The lie that they believed was that no one could stand against this powerful beast. They exalted him and the dragon that gave him his appearance of power. This was all a description of the war on earth between the dragon and those holding the testimony of Jesus and cleansed by His blood during the final great tribulation.

Psalm 100:1-2 “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into His presence with singing! Know that the Lord, He is God! It is He Who made us, and we are His; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.”

Prayer: Father God, I joyfully worship You alone and serve You with gladness! You, Alone, are God! You are my Creator, Lord and Savior and I am one a sheep of Your pasture. Through faith in Jesus Christ, I await Your trumpet call and the rapture if I am still on earth or the resurrection of my body. Use me to reach out to those still in Satan’s beastly grasp with good news of a Good Shepherd and rejoicing.

Job 14:14-15 “If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my service I would wait, till my renewal should come. You would call, and I would answer You; You would long for the works of Your hands.”

Tags : , , , , , , ,

“One flock, One Shepherd!”

Scripture reading for November 4th: Ezekiel 28-30, John 10

John 10: 14-19 “I am the Good Shepherd. I know My own and My own know Me, just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice. So there will be one flock, one Shepherd. For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from My Father.” There was again a division among the Jews because of these words.”

Jesus used a familiar illustration for His instruction of the Jews concerning His role and mission on earth. He was the “Good Shepherd” who knew and loved His sheep. His sheep would listen to His voice and knew Him as their “Shepherd”. As a Good Shepherd, Jesus stated plainly that He would lay His life down for the sake of the sheep, a reference to the crucifixion to come. This would protect them from the ‘wolf’, or Satan. Jesus plainly stated that His Father loved Him and this obedient sacrifice was assigned to Him by the Father. These amazing words brought division among the Jews. Some said Jesus was demonically possessed or insane and others refuted them with the fact that Jesus had opened the blind man’s eyes. And Jesus had a bigger flock as well–His sacrifice was for the whole of mankind!

John 10:4-6 “When He has brought out all His own, He goes before them, and the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what He was saying to them.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for the loving and merciful gift to us ‘sheep’ of the ability to hear Your voice and know Your Son, Jesus Christ, as the “Good Shepherd” Who laid His life down on the cross for me and all who will choose to believe on Him. Protect me always from the voices of strangers and assure me daily of Your precious love and promises of eternal life in Your presence.

Ezekiel 28:25-26 “”Thus says the Lord God: When I gather the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and manifest My holiness in them in the sight of the nations, then they shall dwell in their own land that I gave to my servant Jacob. And they shall dwell securely in it, and they shall build houses and plant vineyards. They shall dwell securely, when I execute judgments upon all their neighbors who have treated them with contempt. Then they will know that I am the Lord their God.””

Tags : , , , , , ,

The Good Shepherd!

Scripture reading for November 4th: John 10

Key Scriptures: John 10:14-18 “I am the Good Shepherd. I know My own and My own know Me, just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice. So there will be one flock, one Shepherd. For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from My Father.”

Jesus further revealed His identity to His disciples by using the metaphor of the ‘Good Shepherd’ and a willingness to lay His life down for the sake of the sheep. A good shepherd trains the sheep to know his voice and follow him. A good shepherd takes care of all his sheep, and Jesus had other sheep, the Gentiles, that He would also lay His life down for. Jesus also had authority from the Father to lay His life down as a part of the plan of salvation for lost sinners (sheep) and He also had authority because of a sinless life and perfect obedience to take His life back up again in resurrection power by the Spirit of Holiness. (Romans 1:4) This was all given by the Father to His Son because He loved Him (and us)! We are eternally safe in His amazing care.

John 10:27-28 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand.”

Faith Confession and prayer: Father God, Your amazing plan of salvation through sending Your Son, Jesus Christ, to lay His life down for me, a sinner, is humbling and beyond full understanding. Jesus’ death and resurrection from the grave is also amazing and exciting because He is alive forever and ever! I receive eternal life and will never perish and the fear of death has been forever vanquished! Open doors that I might share this Good News today!

Psalm 23:1-3 “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.”

Tags : , , , , ,

Entering the Abundant Life

Scripture reading for November 4th: Ezekiel 28-30; John 10

Key Scriptures: John 10:7-11 “So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the Door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good Shepherd. The good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”

Jesus used the analogy of sheep and a shepherd to illustrate His ministry to His true followers. A “good shepherd” would lay his life down for his sheep. He would stretch himself out over the door of the sheepfold during the night hours, protecting them with his own body. Any sheep entering the fold had to pass under his rod of authority before entering. Any wolf would be beaten back. The good shepherd speaks to his sheep and they know his voice. He leads them to green pastures and by still waters. This analogy brings great understanding and comfort to God’s sheep!

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, You are my Good Shepherd and the Door to eternal life and peace. Speak to me daily and lead me through this wilderness of this world to my eternal home with You.

Ezekiel 28:25 “”Thus says the Lord God: When I gather the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and manifest My holiness in them in the sight of the nations, then they shall dwell in their own land that I gave to My servant Jacob.””

Tags : , , , , ,

The priority to obey God!

Scripture reading for April 21st:  1st Samuel 3-5, Psalm 23, Acts 5

Key Scriptures:  Acts 5:29-32 “But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.  The God of our fathers raised Jesus, Whom you killed by hanging Him on a tree.  God exalted Him at His right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.  And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, Whom God has given to those who obey Him.””  

The apostles had been arrested for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The Sanhedrin admonished them never to speak in Jesus’ Name again.  Peter spoke up for the group, telling the Sanhedrin that they would obey God and not men.  Peter then exalted Jesus as Savior of these men who had crucified Jesus, calling on them to repent!  What amazing grace God gave to those Israelites through the apostles!  Their example of obedience to God beacons to us to follow that all men might be saved by our merciful Savior and Leader!

Faith Confession and prayer:   Lord Jesus, thank You for the example You set of obeying Your Father God and not men.  Thank You for the apostles who imitated You. As my Shepherd, help me to hear Your voice today and do Your will in me and through me.

1st Samuel 3:10  “And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”  And Samuel said, “Speak Lord for Your servant hears.”” 

Psalm 23:1  “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.”  

Tags : , , , , , , ,

Paths of Righteousness!

Scripture reading for August 29th:  Ephesians 5, Psalm 23, Proverbs 19

Key Scriptures:  Ephesians 5:8-11 ” . . for at one time you were darkness, but now your are light in the Lord.  Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.  Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”  

All believers were once sinners, walking in darkness and doing deeds of those who live in darkness and ignorance of God’s will.  But now believers have been made “children of light” and are called to walk in the light of God’s Word and life.  We are to study God’s Word to find out what pleases Him and do that.  We are to expose the darkness by letting our light shine brighter each day as we follow our Good Shepherd in His paths of righteousness.

Faith Confession:  I am light in the world because Christ lives in me.  As I walk in the light of Christ’s love and Word, I please God and expose the fruitless deeds of darkness that I once lived in.

Psalm 23:1-3 “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures.  He leads me beside still waters.  He restores my soul.  He leads me in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.”  

 

Tags : , , , , ,

The Good Shepherd!

Scripture reading for April 18th:  John 10, Psalm 78, Proverbs 16

Key Scriptures:  John 10:7-11 “So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.  All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.  I am the door.  If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”  

Jesus, still speaking to the Pharisees, who were struggling to believe that He was the Messiah, told them that He alone was the ‘Good Shepherd’ and also the ‘Door’ that God’s sheep may enter and find safe pasture and care.  Jesus said that others had come before Him, but they were only thieves and robbers.  The thief came only to steal, kill and destroy.  The ‘Good Shepherd’ came to bring abundant life.

Faith Confession:  Jesus, I believe that You are the Good Shepherd who laid Your life down for Your sheep.  I am one of Your sheep.  You are the Door that I go through to find provision and safety and eternal life abundant and free!

Psalm 78:70-73 “He chose David His servant and took him from the sheepfolds; from following the nursing ewes He brought him to shepherd Jacob His people, Israel His inheritance.  With upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand.”  

Tags : , , , , , ,

The Good Shepherd

Scripture reading for April 18th: 2nd Samuel 7-9, John 10

Key Scriptures:  John 10:9-11 “I am the door.  If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.  I am the Good Shepherd.  The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”  

Jesus claimed a title that was in the history of His family line going back to King David.  As David was a shepherd who was willing to lay down his life for his sheep against the lion and bear, so Jesus declared His intention of laying down His life for all the lost sheep of mankind.

2nd Samuel 7:8-9  “Now, therefore, thus you shall say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of Hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over My people Israel.  And I have been with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies from before you.  And I will make your name great . . .”

Prayer:  Lord, thank You for shepherding me today.  Deliver me today from my enemies and lead me to green pastures.  Amen.

Tags : , , , , ,