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Tag Archives: lead

The Joy of Forgiveness

I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding, whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle, else it will not stay near you.

(Psalm 32:8-9, NRSV)

The Lord will show you His ways and teach you how you should live. Listen to His good counsel and heed His teaching. For we are not like horses or mules who need a bit and griddle to follow directions. God has made us to discern His leading and to follow.

He will guide you and watch over you. Are you ready to heed His leading?

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The Gate Keeper

“Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go 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. (John 10:1-10, NRSV)

This picture shows what many think is the way sheepfolds were in Jesus day, 3 complete walls, and a 4th with a hole. And the shepherd would be the gate to keep the sheep in and other animals out.

But notice in out text that it doesn’t say the shepherd keeps other sheep out, but that the sheep of a shepherd know his voice and they follow him. When the shepherd goes into the sheepfold and calls his sheep, the follow him. They follow Him out.

And that is where Jesus is calling us, out. It isn’t about keeping us safe in the sheepfold, or the confines of our worship spaces. It is about us going out. Having life abundant and sharing that with the world!

So don’t see the gate as a way to keep bad things from you, but as a way to the world that the shepherd is calling you to go to, to share the life He has given you and show them He can do the same for them!

 

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trust

170327Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise from the end of the earth! Let the sea roar and all that fills it, the coastlands and their inhabitants. Let the desert and its towns lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar inhabits; let the inhabitants of Sela sing for joy, let them shout from the tops of the mountains. Let them give glory to the LORD, and declare his praise in the coastlands. The LORD goes forth like a soldier, like a warrior he stirs up his fury; he cries out, he shouts aloud, he shows himself mighty against his foes. For a long time I have held my peace, I have kept still and restrained myself; now I will cry out like a woman in labor, I will gasp and pant. I will lay waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbage; I will turn the rivers into islands, and dry up the pools. I will lead the blind by a road they do not know, by paths they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I will do, and I will not forsake them. They shall be turned back and utterly put to shame—those who trust in carved images, who say to cast images, “You are our gods.” (Isaiah 42:10-17, NRSV)

God is going to turn darkness into light and rough spaces into flat land.

God is going to lift up those who follow Him and will utterly put to shame all the rest.

So trust not in carved images but trust in God!

 

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watch out

170308I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them, and they were struck down in the wilderness. Now these things occurred as examples for us, so that we might not desire evil as they did. Do not become idolaters as some of them did; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and they rose up to play.” We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did, and were destroyed by serpents. And do not complain as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. These things happened to them to serve as an example, and they were written down to instruct us, on whom the ends of the ages have come. So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall. No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:1-13, NRSV)

Do not desire evil and give not yourself into temptation.

Even when we think we are standing we could fall over. We are tested by things around us every day. We can endure when we hold fast to what God has given us and to His love. He walks with us through everything and guides our steps. Follow after God and give not into the temptations of the flesh, but hold to the glory that He gives us all.

God is faithful and He will not let us fall when we trust in Him and follow His lead.

 

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Lead me

170225Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes, and I will observe it to the end. Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart. Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it. Turn my heart to your decrees, and not to selfish gain. Turn my eyes from looking at vanities; give me life in your ways. Confirm to your servant your promise, which is for those who fear you. Turn away the disgrace that I dread, for your ordinances are good. See, I have longed for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life. (Psalm 119:33-40, NRSV)

This section of Psalm 119 reminded me of the hymn Lead Me, Guide Me and I do not think I could expound on this better than that hymn, so here is the text of the hymn.

Lead Me, Guide Me

Lead me oh Lord, won’t you lead me
I am tired and I need Thy strength and power
To guide me over my darkest hour
For just open my eyes that I may see
Lead me oh Lord, won’t you lead me

Lead me, guide me along the way
For if you lead me I cannot stray
Or just open my eyes that I may see
Lead me oh Lord, won’t you lead me
I am lost if you take your hand from me
I am blind without try light to see

Lord just always let me Thy servant be
Lead me oh Lord, won’t you lead me
Lead me, guide me along the way
For if you lead me I cannot stray

Lord just open my eyes that I may see
Lead me oh Lord, won’t you lead me

 

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rise in the darkness

170211Praise the LORD! Happy are those who fear the LORD, who greatly delight in his commandments. Their descendants will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in their houses, and their righteousness endures forever. They rise in the darkness as a light for the upright; they are gracious, merciful, and righteous. It is well with those who deal generously and lend, who conduct their affairs with justice. For the righteous will never be moved; they will be remembered forever. They are not afraid of evil tidings; their hearts are firm, secure in the LORD.  Their hearts are steady, they will not be afraid; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes. They have distributed freely, they have given to the poor; their righteousness endures forever; their horn is exalted in honor.  The wicked see it and are angry; they gnash their teeth and melt away; the desire of the wicked comes to nothing. (Psalm 112, NRSV)

Rise in the darkness as a light for the upright!

Show all the love of God in your life and freely give what you have been given.

We are the beacon, the city on a hill that will show the way for the world to come to God.

Allow God to shine through your life and show the world His love!

 

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Out

170105When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. The more I called them, the more they went from me; they kept sacrificing to the Baals, and offering incense to idols. Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, I took them up in my arms; but they did not know that I healed them. I led them with cords of human kindness, with bands of love. I was to them like those who lift infants to their cheeks. I bent down to them and fed them. They shall return to the land of Egypt, and Assyria shall be their king, because they have refused to return to me. The sword rages in their cities, it consumes their oracle-priests, and devours because of their schemes. My people are bent on turning away from me. To the Most High they call, but he does not raise them up at all. How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, O Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim? My heart recoils within me; my compassion grows warm and tender. I will not execute my fierce anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim; for I am God and no mortal, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come in wrath. They shall go after the LORD, who roars like a lion; when he roars, his children shall come trembling from the west. They shall come trembling like birds from Egypt, and like doves from the land of Assyria; and I will return them to their homes, says the LORD. (Hosea 11:1-11, NRSV)

So who is called out of Egypt? Jesus or Israel?

Well the reading starts with when Israel was a child… So it is about Israel, who as a nation was held in slavery in Egypt.

But Jesus was called out of Egypt too after Herod died and it was safe for him to return to Nazareth.

God’s children are watched over by him, and he leads them to the places they need to be.

So heed his calling and follow where he leads, even when you don’t understand. He will always be there!

 

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