TODAY IN HIS WORD COMES FROM
"He takes care of his people like a shepherd.
He gathers them like lambs in his arms and carries them close to him.
He gently leads the mothers of the lambs."
THOUGHT TO PONDER:
God is a merciful God and He hears us when we are crying. He sees us when we are suffering. And He knows what hinders us from being with Him and having a relationship with Him. So when we finally reach that part in ourselves when more than anything else we just want HIM and we cry out to Him, God reaches out and liberates us from whatever bondage and “prisons” we are in that keep us from being who He has created us to be and what He intended.
TODAY’S INSIGHT INTO HIS WORD:
I would like to share a “story,” so to speak, with you. Bear with me because you will have to use your imagination to envision what I want to describe. I picture myself in a mud hole, and I have been there several times. (No, unfortunately I did not learn the first time, which is why I want to share this vision of a story with you.)
Anyway, in my mind I can picture my God charging in and lifting me up out of this mud hole. However, it’s not so much me as a person that my mind sees, but a sheep. Well, really a lamb as it seems more fitting as a “child of God’s”. In my mind, I see this lamb in a massive mud hole with its head barely sticking out crying for all he’s worth, “Help.” Then I see the Son of God, our shepherd, reaching down and lifting it up and holding it to His chest. He doesn’t mind the dirt, the mud or all the muck He is now wearing on behalf of this lamb.
After cleaning His precious lamb up and feeding him, He says gently, “Now follow me.” And for a while this lamb does. The lamb is so thankful to be free and clean and unburdened. He follows the shepherd for a while but then he starts looking around at the scenery and taking in how pretty it is in the meadow with this shepherd and then an interesting dragonfly comes flittering by and like a child, this lamb takes his eyes off the shepherd and starts watching this dragonfly. Then a cute little bird flies past and soon, this little lamb is off playing and frolicking around. A little while later, the lamb comes to a tall and very long brick wall. When he tries to see down the side of it, the wall just seems to go on forever.
This little lamb thinks to himself, “I don’t want to go backward!” But since he can’t see past it, he decides to try to go over it. So, he backs up a little to get a running start, leaps, and BAM, right into the brick wall! “Well, that hurt,” he says to himself. He backs up a little bit farther and goes running with all his might and leaps a second time. BAM goes his head again. Laying there sprawled out with his head spinning, he thinks, “Okay, let me try this again.” Just as he is about to go head first for the third time, he hears a soothing voice, a voice he remembers, and he looks around. There is the shepherd! He has come looking for His lost sheep and tells His precious sheep, “Not like that, come this way. Come around, here is the path to follow.”
The little lamb is very happy to see his shepherd again! So at once, he follows. With each new step the little lamb is growing and learning. But, alas, distraction comes along and again he takes his eyes off the shepherd. Before he knows it, they are separated. Now the lamb comes to a barbwire fence. He looks at this new obstacle. It’s not like the brick wall, this one he can see through so surely he can get through it! And there he goes. He gets his head through, then a left front leg and now a right front leg…so far, so good. OOPS! Now he’s caught on the fence and the barbwire is digging into his skin. He tries to pull himself out, but that only hurts more. He can’t get the rest of himself past it either. Every time he tries to move, the sharp points dig in further. So he stops. And, while he is hung up on this fence, he begins to remember. He remembers the mud hole and how his shepherd rescued him. He remembers the brick wall and how the shepherd came and got him. He wonders and thinks, “Just maybe, He can still hear me.” The little lamb puts his head back and cries, “HELP me, Lord God.” And after a minute, which seemed like forever to this little one, off in the distance he sees a light and it gets brighter and brighter. Then he hears it: His shepherd’s voice! “Be still little one.” Obediently, the lamb quits striving. Jesus kneels down next to him and untangled him from the fence. But the lamb notices this time His savior is not alone! God’s Holy Spirit is protecting them from behind, and God Himself is up ahead covering them and protecting them with His mighty hand!
When Jesus frees the little lamb, He notices that His precious one is all cut up and hurt. He carefully soothes His lamb with oil and bandages the wounds, but He doesn’t put the lamb down! Nope, Jesus cradles His lost one to His chest and whispers lovingly in the lamb’s ear: “I am so happy to find you! I have come for you.” And this time as they travel, the lamb is tucked safely in his shepherd’s arms and the mighty light of God leads them ahead while God’s Holy Spirit protects them from behind. They all travel together, the lamb, his shepherd and his mighty God.
♥ Your Thoughts: Have you been in any “mud holes” lately? Can you picture the little lamb? Or better yet, can you picture yourself? What has God freed you from? What have your “Egypt’s” been that God has taken you out of? Or is it maybe liberation you are crying out for now?
PRAYING IN FAITH:
Father God, we praise You as our Liberating God. Lord, thank You for your willingness to tear open the skies on our behalf. Thank You, that You rescue us and carry us in Your arms close to You. Lord, thank You, that if need be, You will move heaven and earth to get to us. Lord, we praise You for there is no place Your arm cannot reach. Father God, thank You for this time spent studying Your Word with my friend who is reading along with me. Lord, I pray for this friend and ask that whatever holds this reader captive, and any bondage around this reader, be removed. I pray that You will liberate this precious child of Yours from whatever strongholds hinder them from You and all that You would have for them. Lord, I ask You to go after them and set them free from any fences they may be caught upon. Thank You, Lord God, for listening and hearing our cries to You. In Christ Jesus’ name I pray,
~ My friend, have a blessed and Christ filled day.
Today's devotional is taken from "The Very Heart of Worship" from Cypress Ministries.
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