The Flock Under His Care

Psalm 95: 1-7 (NIV)

1 Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.

3 For the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
5 The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.

6 Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
7 for he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.

God is in control! Did you need to hear that word, that statement of fact today? God is in control! That was something that I needed to be reminded of today. Whatever circumstance or situation you face at this instant in your life, remember that God is in control of planet Earth and He is in control of your life as well. As the psalmist so eloquently phrases it: “…for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care” (Psalm 95:7). If you hear nothing else today, please hear this: God loves you and He cares for you. He is aware of your situation at this very moment in time and if you will only trust and have faith in him, He will care for you. God loves you and He cares for you. As you read this passage from Psalm 95, I pray that you will be able to experience His love at this very moment in your life.

I woke up this morning and I was having a difficult time sensing God’s love and His care. As it happened a few days ago, I opened my Bible directly to a psalm that God led me to, it was Psalm 95. And as I began to read this psalm, my body began to literally shake and I experienced the most overwhelming sense of love and care from God that I have felt in some time. Sometimes it seems that God is so distant and other times you can know, from the very core of your being, that God exists and that you are a part of “the flock under his care.” Thanks be unto God for loving even a sinner like me! God is in control of this world and He is in control of your life as well. That’s the good news from God today – He is in charge of this world and everything in this world. Take that good news with you today and throughout your week. May God bless you and keep you and carry you in the days ahead.

Compassion

Matthew 9:35-36 (NIV)
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

We live in a society that puts an emphasis on the individual, as we are constantly bombarded with messages about taking care of ourselves first.  The “world” tells us that it’s perfectly fine to put our own desires and wishes ahead of meeting the needs of others. As believers in Christ, we must follow the example given by Jesus of being compassionate towards those in our midst who are “harassed and helpless.” We must make every effort, as followers of Christ, to find ways to show compassion to those in our community who so desperately need physical and spiritual healing.

Throughout the Gospels, we find that Jesus had compassion on all kinds of people. He healed the sick and those that were demon-possessed. Jesus had compassion on sinners and all sorts of social outcasts. He didn’t spend his time around the religious elite or powerful government officials or movie stars. Our Lord and Savior spend time with those who were lost and living in darkness. He spent time teaching, healing, and showing compassion to the “least” of society. He actually spend time talking with and listening to those whom society ignored.

That is the ministry model that Christ calls us to follow today. We can have a beautiful sanctuary in which to worship and we can have attractive buildings in which to have Sunday school and many other activities. But if we are not living out our faith and our calling by helping those in need and showing compassion to those that society has cast aside, then we are not truly living out our calling in Christ.

On the Day of Judgment we will not be asked how many church buildings we helped build or how much money we raised for the church budget. Rather, we will be held accountable for what we did for the least of our brothers and sisters who are homeless, hungry, living in darkness, sick or in prison, or who simply do not know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Jesus gave us a ministry model to follow. We are to show compassion to one another and to be aware of and care for the needs of others. We are called to see others the way Christ sees them. And in doing so, we can be a great witness to the free gift of salvation offered through belief in Jesus Christ, as Lord and Savior.

Please Hear Me Lord!

1 Hear me, Lord, and answer me,
for I am poor and needy.
2 Guard my life, for I am faithful to you;
save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God; 3 have mercy on me, Lord,
for I call to you all day long.
4 Bring joy to your servant, Lord,
for I put my trust in you.

5 You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
abounding in love to all who call to you.
6 Hear my prayer, Lord;
listen to my cry for mercy.
7 When I am in distress, I call to you,
because you answer me.

I didn’t sleep well last night, or the night before. I woke up early this morning feeling beaten down, defeated, and miserable. I tried to remind myself that God “made this day” (Psalm 118:24) and that reality alone should fill me with joy and happiness, but it didn’t. Instead of opening up my Bible, I turned on the news and that only served to depress me further, as I began to question why so many good people must endure terrible suffering and horrific deaths. I turned off the television and sat down at the kitchen table and opened up my Bible to a random page. Psalm 86 was the place where my eyes were immediately drawn to, and as it often happens, this was a passage that I needed to read and reread this morning. For those of you that are hurting in some way today, I hope that this passage will give you the encouragement that you need to push forward in your daily walk with God.

Psalm 86:1: Hear me, Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.
In this psalm, a prayer of King David, the writer is crying out for God to “hear” him and to “answer” him. David acknowledges that he is “poor” in spirit and he needs God, who alone can carry him through this particular day. Like David, we want God to answer us and we want to believe that God hears us. However, when God is silent, we tend to struggle more with our anxieties and our worries. We know deep in our soul that we need God in order to just make it through one more difficult day.

Psalm 86:2: Guard my life, for I am faithful to you; save your servant who trusts in you.
Many of us pray daily for God to guard the lives of our family, I know that I certainly do. As I live out my life, attempting to remain faithful to God in all that I do, I also trust that God is continually watching over my family.

Psalm 86:3-4: Have mercy on me, Lord, for I call to you all day long. Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you.
Many of us cry out to God for mercy throughout our day. We feel like the world that we live in is out to get us – constantly making our lives difficult, and at times – joyless. It is God and God alone, who can take away the pain and suffering of this world and bring joy and peace to our hearts. As believers, we trust that God always has our best interests in mind.

Psalm 86:5: You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.
Like David, we must pray out of confidence that God, who is eternally good and loving, will answer our prayers. Still, our prayers may not be answered in the way that we had hoped, but they will be answered in the way that is best for us, because God cares for us and loves us and He will do what is best for us.

 
Psalm 86:6-7: Hear my prayer, Lord; listen to my cry for mercy. When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me.
We all have worries, doubts, and needs. It is out of those needs that we pray to God for mercy. As children of God, we know that we can call upon God during times of distress, confident that God will answer us. For me, that “answer” usually comes in a feeling of peace and comfort that God sends upon me. That is God’s way of letting me know that He is in control of my situation and will lift those burdens from me.

1 Peter 5:7: “Cast all your anxieties on him because he cares for you.”
This is the difficult part for me, to actually let go of my anxieties, my worries and my burdens and give them over to God. Is there a worry or a burden in your life that you need to release to God? He is waiting to take that burden from you and to give you the comfort and peace that only God can provide. It may take a while to heal from the burden that you have been carrying but know that God is there with you, every step of the way. Live out your life with the knowledge that God’s love is abounding and everlasting for those who are faithful and place their trust in Him.

The following song is one that I have shared before and I am doing so again. It just fits so perfectly with what I have written today about having a strong faith and trust in God. I hope that you will listen to the words of this song to give you further inspiration and encouragement in your daily walk with God. May God bless you and keep you in His care today and every day! Amen.