Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Lying Down in Green Pastures

“They (God’s goodness and plenty) drop upon the pastures of the wilderness” Ps 65:11-12
I may live in a crowded old neighborhood in a crowded old city but I am a country boy at heart.  I remember from my childhood the vast, to a child, open field of waving green grass behind our house.  I still love to walk through prairie grass and slip into some pasture beyond just to enjoy the beauty and fragrance and peace to be found there. 
Green pastures mean a different kind of refreshment to sheep.  It is lush food that will refresh and strengthen their bodies.  It is food safe from the many weeds that can be toxic to sheep.  It is abundant food compared to the sparse dry grass of desert places.  All of this is what God gives us in His word.  Our spiritual bodies will be strengthened and refreshed.  We will not confront any errors that will endanger us.  It will be sweet to the taste and easy to chew as cud (meditate on). It is an abundant and endless supply of goodness for us, the sheep of His pasture. 

Precious Shepherd, Thank you for the abundant pasture provided for us in Your word.  Amen.    

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

I Shall Not Want

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:19 NKJV
What did the shepherd boy David want when he was sitting on the hillside singing this song?  He might have wanted someone with him because shepherding is lonely work. Jesus said, “I am with you always.”  He might have wanted protection from bears and lions.  The book of Job says, “The Almighty shall be thy defense.”  He may have wanted strength for the hard work he did each day.  Isaiah said, “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.”  He may have wanted a good night’s sleep so he sings elsewhere, “I will both lay me down in peace and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” 
When God asked Solomon what he wanted he wisely answered that he needed wisdom from God to do his task.  If all we want is the lust of the flesh and lust of the eyes and the pride of life, we will be disappointed with God.  If what we want is what we need, however, we will find Him never to fail.  Praise God that in and through Him we are truly never in want. 

Thank You, Almighty God, that You are the sure provider for the sheep of Your flock. Amen.  

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Monday, March 27, 2017

The Lord Is My Shepherd

I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep” John 10:14 NKJV
God is often depicted in Scripture as a shepherd.  One of my favorite passages is found in Isaiah 40:11, “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.”  His compassionate care for the sheep of His pasture is clearly evident here.  Jesus said, “I know my sheep.”  He is intimately acquainted with us from both the standpoint of God and man. 
The work of a shepherd is exhausting.  Jacob said of this work, “In the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from mine eyes.”  The psalmist tells us that the Lord neither slumbers nor sleeps but that His watch care is constantly over His children.  We have a blessed Lord who is our shepherd.  He knows us, carries us, feeds us and watches over us day and night.  We have such abiding comfort in just these five simple words.  We can rest in Him.

Precious Shepherd, Grant me the peace found in being a sheep of Your pasture.  Amen. 

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Forever, Amen

And the truth of the LORD endures forever. Psalm 117:2 NKJV
Our meditations on the Lord’s Prayer have daily revealed to us the great treasures God has given to His people.  Each phrase has revealed a jewel that adds great value to our daily walk with God.  That is no less so in what we find at the end, a simple word that means so much and assures us of such great promises.  When Jesus pronounced the Amen He wasn’t just telling us to open our eyes and get on with our day; He was making a powerful declaration to His Church.
Amen means “So be it”.  In the modern vernacular it could be expressed by saying, “All the goods promised are signed, sealed and delivered.”  Jesus said that the jewels of this prayer are true and that He had put His own stamp of authority on them.  “Count on it”, He says. We can carry these jewels with us every day, hold them in our hands, use them and remind ourselves that we are not paupers.  We are repeating to God His very own words and promises and God’s word is true forever.  Amen. 

Precious Father, We thank You for this precious casket of jewels and please help us to treasure them as we should.  Amen.  

  The Friday Benediction
Until Monday, my friends, may the good God envelop you with His grace; may you prove the common confession of faith, “I believe in the holy Christian church and in the fellowship of the saints”, and may you be enriched with joy and hope as you exercise that confession this weekend.  Amen

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

And the Power and Glory

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”  Revelation 4:11 KJV
A childhood discussion about super-heroes always comes to the concluding question – if super hero A got into a fight with super hero B, who would win?  In ancient pagan religion there was often conflict between the gods.  When two gods go to war, which is going to win?  What actually happened in these conflicts was that man always lost.  But joyfully there is but one true God and He is all powerful and He wins.  In His victory He offers man to win with Him. 
This one true God has the power to defeat all man’s enemies.  He has given us the treasure of His Son to defeat for us the enemy of death.  He has given us the treasure of His Spirit to defeat in us the power of the flesh.  He has given us the treasure of the promise of the resurrection from the dead and eternal life forever with Him in heaven.  Who wins?  Our blessed Triune God wins!  And with Him, all who believe in His Son will also win.  To Him be the glory forever. 

Precious Father, Grant us joyful confidence in Your victory for us today.  Amen.  

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

For Thine Is the Kingdom

Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.”  Psalm 145:13 KJV
What do you give as a present to a person who has everything?  Whatever you may give him he may already have a dozen of already and each of better quality than your gift.  No treasure that is brought to him can match the treasure he already has.  We would have to think long and hard as to what treasure we could bring as a gift to such a person.
God does have everything.  He is the Sovereign of earth and heaven.  The psalmist said that He owns the cattle on a thousand hills.  What can we bring to One who has it all?  We can bring Him the gift of praise.  We can bring Him the gift of proclaiming to everyone His eternal honor.  We can bring Him the gift of ourselves as truly humble servants of His kingdom.  Our life springs from the eternal King and so we can give back to Him that which is most precious to us – ourselves.  

Precious Father, Truly all things are Yours, including us.  We give You this day ourselves as the greatest gift we can bring.  Amen.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

But Deliver Us From Evil

“The Lord is my refuge and my fortress” Psalm 91:2
The wealthy and prominent often spend vast amounts of money on security.  We live in an evil world and they know that they are targets.  Good security is expensive.  God has promised us security in Him.  That is a gift of immeasurable value. We need His security because we live in an evil world with the very prince of darkness as our chief foe.  Satan is described for us as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.  He has been described as the chief thief and the murderer of body and soul.  God says our only hope against this adversary is God Himself.
I was doing a ride along with a friend of mine who was a police officer. We went on a call to a home with a vicious dog.  As we approached the house I stood behind my friend.  He was much bigger than I and he had a gun.  It was assumed that such protection might be needed.  God is much bigger than my friend.  He alone can deliver us from the evil one.

Precious Father, Help me to confidently stand firmly in the shadow of Thy protection. Amen.  

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