Monday, August 31, 2015

Turn Back to the Good Shepherd

Psalm 23: 1-4 (NET) "The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

He takes me to lush pastures, he leads me to refreshing water.

He restores my strength. He leads me down the right paths for the sake of his reputation.

Even when I must walk through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for you are with me; your rod and your staff reassure me."

Verse 4 in this translation stands out to me: "Even when I must walk through the darkest valley, I fear no danger..." For I am sensing that there is danger coming to us and the life we have known so long. But if the Lord is my shepherd, I don't need to fear. In spite of what I see all around me, I repeat, I do need not to fear. Rather, I must draw close to Him as never before. For Jesus only is the Good Shepherd, who laid down His life for the sheep. (John 10:11)

In the mornings, I am fresh and ready to start my day with God, my coffee, and my Bible. But as the day wears on, I grow more irritable and seem like I have wandered from God's fold by grumbling, or falling for so called "human interest" stories that drag me away from my first love. So tonight, I want to try something different. I want to try to turn off my computer early and draw near to God once again.

Today is the last day of what I consider summer, and the month of September is slated to be unforgettable, by all I am seeing and hearing. As a nation, we have turned our back on God and on Israel, and judgment must come.This does not seem like the country I grew up in anymore. The television is full of sex and violence, and so much blatant occultism in the movies and music. Thank God we can't afford cable. The internet grabs my attention and I have a hard time disconnecting from the world wide web in the evenings. I waste time when I could be doing something much more beneficial for my own soul's sake. Lethargy creeps in as the humid last hurrahs of the season drive me away from the blinding sun outside.

And then somehow He persuades me of His love once again.

I have nothing to offer Him but only to come to Him. I am so glad to know that! He knows I am weak and utterly unable to do anything for Him that He Himself does not work in me. And so, here I come, running back to my Shepherd, who is waiting to fellowship with me. Think of it, why should the God of this universe want to have communion with any one of us down here corrupted by the Fall? And yet that is why Christ put on human flesh in the first place.

The definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over and thinking you'll will get different results. But I have a tender Shepherd waiting for me. He wants to meet with me, to talk with me. Oh, what an unspeakable privilege.

"He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we may cease from sinning and live for righteousness. By his wounds you were healed.
For you were going astray like sheep but now you have turned back to the shepherd and guardian of your souls." I Peter 2:24-25 NET

"I have wandered off like a lost sheep. Come looking for your servant, for I do not forget your commands." Psalm 119:176 NET

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