Wednesday, January 16, 2019

THE GOOD SHEPHERD

In John 10:14-15, we read: “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.”

“Sheep come in all sizes and some are tough.”

“What do you mean, Grandfather? Little lambs are cute and soft."

“Lambs grow up, Timmy. Some of them become pretty mean.” Grandfather chuckled. “Like the encounter my sister had with old Bessie.” Timmy leaned back, ready to hear the story.

“Janie crept across the back porch, tip-toed down the steps and made her way to the lot. This was her morning to feed the chickens and collect the eggs. She hoped old Bessie wouldn’t hear her. 

"So far, so good. As she bent over to go in the henhouse, she heard the sounds of hoofs behind her.  Before she could get out of the way, the head of old Bessie had made contact. “WHAM.” She lay sprawled on the ground, fuming.

"Bessie stood triumphantly. She won again.” Timmy giggled.

“She was plenty mad, huh?” 

“You better believe it. When you think about it, the flock is made of every kind and shape of sheep. Yes, soft and nice ones but also tough ones, old crippled ones, and just downright mean ones. But sheep nevertheless.

The flock of our Lord Jesus is much the same. Every type of personality. I  had a problem with this when I first came to know our Lord. I thought all of His believers would be the same, of like mind.

Not true. Living in the flock of our Lord Jesus, He teaches us through the lives and efforts of each other. No need for all to be the same. Sometimes we’re not nice or fun to be around. But we are His flock.

Kingdom Thinking. The one thing that the flock has in common--being a sheep. Once we are brought into the fold, we belong to the Lord Jesus and He is the Good Shepherd. He is the one who loves us with an everlasting love. He never leaves us nor forsakes us. Won’t you come to Him. 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

SOLD. BOUGHT. FREE.

In Genesis 37:28, we read: “Then Midianite traders passed by; so the brothers pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. And they took him to Egypt.”


“Wait, Grandfather. They sold their brother?” Grandfather lowered his Bible. “How could they?”

“The brothers thought if they could get rid of Joseph, their lives would be so much better. They looked on Joseph as their father’s favorite.”

“Were they right?”

“The Bible tells us, Jacob, their father, did favor Joseph.”

Timmy was quiet for a minute. “Why would God let that happen? Couldn’t He make them love their brother?”

“He could have. Timmy, the Bible shows us the good and the bad. We look at the story from down here on earth. God sees it all from above and His plan is for His glory and our good.”

“What good could come from selling your brother?”

“For one thing, the Lord taught Joseph to trust Him. It’s easy to trust God when everything’s going great but when things go bad, we tend to blame God. Then, too, the Lord was in the process of moving Jacob and his family to Egypt.”

“I don’t understand.”

“A famine was coming that lasted for seven years and God was in the process of showing how He could take care of His people in the midst of famine. He had Joseph on site as prime minister to arrange for the storage of grain so no one would starve.

“When the famine came, his brothers heard food was available in Egypt so away they went. They didn’t recognize Joseph. He looked like an Egyptian but Joseph recognized them.”

“Did he give them food?”

“He did. He also found out about his father and arranged for all of the family to move to Egypt.”

“Seems like a hard way to learn to trust God,” Timmy mumbled. Grandfather chuckled.

“Indeed it does, son. Indeed it does. But the Lord knows exactly what we need to bring us to Him.”

Kingdom Thinking. In desperate times, I’m like Timmy. I don’t understand. The Lord Jesus promises to love me and never forsake me. He’s with me no matter what’s going on in my life...even when I don’t recognize Him. He was sold for thirty pieces of silver so He could pay the price and set me free. Would you like to be set free? Come to Him.





Thursday, January 3, 2019

YOUR CHOICE

In Joshua 24:15, we read: “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the god of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

“Grandfather, we had the best lesson ever. Our Sunday School teacher taught us about choice.”

Grandfather lowered his paper. “Tell me about it.

“Miss Minna had three cups on a silver tray. A white china cup and saucer decorated with gold, a white mug decorated with blue flowers and a battered tin cup. She held each one up for us to see the outside. Then she poured clean water from a crystal pitcher into each cup.

“Now. I want each of you to choose your cup,” she said.

“The china cup and saucer decorated in gold was first choice. Second, the mug with blue flowers. Last choice, the battered tin cup.

“Look what you chose,” she said, as she held the cup and saucer trimmed in gold for the children to see inside. The outside was beautiful but inside? Mud covered the bottom. Next she held the blue-flowered mug for them to see. Coffee grounds tainted the water. Last she held the battered tin cup, filled with sparkling clean water. The last choice became first.”

“Grandfather’s paper slipped to the floor, elbows on his knees, he said. “So. What did you learn?”

Timmy thought for a minute. “I guess everything’s a choice. When I don’t choose something, I’ve made a choice. Miss Minna said nothing was wrong with the cups. The stuff on the inside made it clean or dirty."

“You’re right. It depends on what we put inside that makes us who we are. But because I choose right things doesn’t make me clean. When I realized the Lord Jesus knew all the stuff in my cup and loved me in spite of it, I chose to give my cup to Him. He cleans my cup and fills me with clean living water. I don’t deserve it but He does it because He loves me.”

“He love me like that, too?” Grandfather nodded and pulled his grandson into a bear hug.

Kingdom Thinking. In this journey of life, choices confront us constantly. But the most important choice for now and eternity is to choose the Lord Jesus Christ. He alone is worthy and able to cleanse us from our sins. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He loves you. Won’t you come to Him?