Monday, March 19, 2012

Feed My Sheep!

Psalm 37:23-26 23 The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; 24 though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand. 25 I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. 26 They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be a blessing. Exodus 25:10-40 8 “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. 9 Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you. The Ark 10 “Have them make an ark of acacia wood—two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. 11 Overlay it with pure gold, both inside and out, and make a gold molding around it. 12 Cast four gold rings for it and fasten them to its four feet, with two rings on one side and two rings on the other. 13 Then make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. 14 Insert the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry it. 15 The poles are to remain in the rings of this ark; they are not to be removed. 16 Then put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law, which I will give you.17 “Make an atonement cover of pure gold—two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. 18 And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover. 19 Make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends. 20 The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the cover. 21 Place the cover on top of the ark and put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law that I will give you. 22 There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the covenant law, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites. Matthew 24:45-51 45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48 But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ 49 and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Reflections: Today, God gives the Israelites specific instructions of how they are to build the Tabernacle, where God will dwell with them and His presence will be with them. Each part He has revealed is to be built with precision and the finest materials reflecting the holiness of God. The ark of covenant contains the Ten Commandments, and the further instructions God gave them to be set apart as His people. The Table was the place of daily bread, where they would be fed by His presence. It is where Jesus got the words in the Lord’s Prayer, “give us this day our daily bread”. Though we pray for God to feed our bodies, our souls need to be fed each day by His presence. And finally, the Lampstand reflects that Israel would be a light to the nations so that all would know that their God was the one true God. As we follow similar instructions and feed on His Daily Bread and Presence we too will be a light for the nations. In Matthew, Jesus gives instruction on how to be ready for His return. He says to be properly prepared it would be wise for the servant to be feeding His servants when the master returns. This is similar to the call Jesus gave to Peter when Peter said he loved Jesus three times. Jesus replied, “Then feed my sheep!” The best way for any of us to be ready for Jesus’ eventual return is to love those who He called us to love. Anyone who would think, “Well Jesus is not coming back real soon, I will just live for myself and then sober up when I think he will come back” is foolish. And secondly, missing the point! God has given us His grace so that we can love others and show them the grace that saved a wretch like us. Meaning if we truly understand the depth of God’s love for us and the kindness He has shown us in His Son, it would be impossible to not want to give back in some measure to those around us! Jeremiah said, "For the hurt of my poor people I am hurt. Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there?" Jeremiah 8:21-22 She felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. Mark 5:29-30 (NIV) Healing God, you can bring wholeness to your people. Our sin is known by you and, as we confess it, you bring forgiveness and healing. We pray in the name of Jesus who loves us and who gave himself for us. Amen.

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