Archive for January, 2017
A few years back, LifeWay began producing “Gospel Plan” materials that begin with “God Rules.” I use this approach often, especially with children, because it is imperative, in my opinion, for us to begin our understanding of the gospel from this point:
God is Creator of all things, and as Creator, He alone has the right to create the rules.
“The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack… He leads me along the right paths for His name’s sake.”
Psalms 23:1, 3 http://bible.com/72/psa.23.hcsb
One my favorite themes of Scripture is God as shepherd. One who knows us, leads us, cares for us, provides for us, and protects us. In my mind I picture a shepherd who is both rough & tough. For some reason this guy (on the right) pops in my mind.
But our God is not merely tough, He also has a gentle hand to care for and nurture his flock (Psalms 23).
On this theme there is an old hymn (circa 1875) called All the Way My Savior Leads Me, which was re-arranged by Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman in 2008. It was just a few years ago I became familiar with this song, but I love the lyrics.
Some of the lyrics that stir my heart are:
How could I doubt His tender mercy
Who through life has been my guide
Gives me grace for every trial
Feeds me with the living Bread
O, the sureness of His promise
In the triumph of His blood
And finally the chorus:
You lead me and keep me from falling
You carry me close to Your heart
And surely Your goodness and mercy will follow me
In John 10, Jesus tells us what a good shepherd looks like. Jesus says “the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out …[and] goes ahead of them. The sheep follow him because they recognize his voice.” What a picture! The shepherd wants his sheep to have an abundant, fulfilled life (John 10:10) so no matter where he takes his sheep, he can be trusted that it will lead to life.
This is a place of real struggle for me. Despite my best intentions, I speak before I think way too often, and sarcasm digs a deep hole I often fall into.