THEME FOR THE WEEK; God’s Spirit is lavished on us, in us, and through us (part 2)
GOD PROMISES TO BE GOOD TO US
Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness. Psalm 107: 8-9
ALL PROMISES ARE FULFILLED IN CHRIST
PLEASE READ JOHN 10: 11-18
One of my favorite pictures of Jesus is visualizing Him as “Shepherd”. I go to that picture in my head of Psalm 23 with Jesus in a beautiful, green pasture with quiet waters gently tending helpless, innocent, little sheep. The word “shepherd” even sounds serene and loving to my ears. On an actual sheep farm, the difference between the hired hand and the shepherd is ownership of the sheep. A hired hand cares for the sheep in exchange for money but the shepherd cares for the sheep for love. The shepherd owns the sheep and is committed to them. In the same way, Jesus is not merely doing a job, He is committed to love us to the point of laying down His life for us. Most of the time my view of the magnitude of this love Jesus has for us is just so short-sighted. In today’s spotlight passage, Jesus speaks of “other sheep that are not of this pen”. He came to love and die for the sins of the WORLD. That means EVERYONE : even those that are not like me, don't share my same views, or ones that I may not be particularly fond of. Jesus came with a world-wide mission here, to love and die for ALL. This is His BIG goodness that is hard for me to wrap my little sheep mind around.
Goodness has been described as virtue and holiness in action. It is the sixth fruit of the Spirit as listed in Galatians 5:22. As the Holy Spirit works in our lives, our character changes. Where there once was selfishness, cruelty, and spite (to name a few ugly words), we now possess fruit of the Spirit which includes goodness. This fruit grows in us as our faith grows and hopefully spills over to others. As our Shepherd draws us near to Him, we are loved, cared for, and taught how to live. He works all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). Did you know that if sheep fall over on their backs they cannot ‘right’ themselves and can die in that position? They must have help. It’s by no mistake that the Bible refers to us sheep. We aren't even smart enough to get up off our backs alone: it is His will that we need Him to keep us upright! As a shepherd will leave his flock and go after that one little lost sheep, so does our Jesus. Without Him, we can’t find our way. He cares that much about each one of us and desires to lavish His goodness on us, in us, and through us.
For further reading : Psalm 23; Psalm 34:8; Romans 8:28
How GOOD are You to give your life for the undeserving, lost sheep like us? Thank You for refreshing our souls and guiding us on the right paths. We pray to be submissive to You everyday for You work all things for GOOD in a way we could never do. Lord, we ask that You grow Your fruit in us so our lives will reflect Your goodness. May this fruit spill out on all those that encounter us. Amen