Keep Your Eyes on the Shepherd … by Moriah Rice

Today’s Passage – Ezekiel 32 – 34 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read – Colossians 1 – 4Psalms 41 – 45Proverbs 9)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 61:1 – 3

Read the “ 0909 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

The passage of Scripture that spoke to my heart follows chapter 32 and 33 of Ezekiel, but as I read through those chapters it struck me how Ezekiel 32 is a picture of death and destruction (of Pharaoh and Egypt) and Ezekiel 33 is one of repentance and hope. We continue with chapter 34, where these verses struck the hope that we see in Ezekiel 33 to life. I want to focus on the following passage and see what we can glean from it:

“For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD. I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.” (Ezekiel 34:11-16)

This passage is one of comfort. It is a picture of God (our Shepherd) searching us (His sheep) out from the world (a dark and cloudy place). It leads us to the realization that God seeks after our hearts even when we entangle ourselves in the world; He searches for us. He desires to have a relationship with us and in the following verses He promises to feed us, guide us, and protect us. What a good Shepherd we have that He would not only search for us when we are wandering and lost, but that He would strengthen us and bring us back to Him. It is easy to wander off the trail, but when we do it only leads us towards death and destruction as we can see in Ezekiel 32. But, we still have the hope of repentance in chapter 33. Repentance is not only sorrow, but rather turning away from those things that give us temporal satisfaction and lasting sorrow. And finally, in chapter 34, we can have comfort in the fact that God desires to be with us, to protect us as His sheep, and to guide us on this daily journey. Let’s keep our eyes on the Shepherd as He guides us through this journey of life!

Moriah and her brother Micah

Posted in Devotions by with 2 comments.

Spiritual Drought … by Mason Atwood

Today’s Passage – Jeremiah 14 – 17 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read – Acts 10 – 12Psalms 86 – 90Proverbs 18)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Isaiah 40:31

Read the “0818 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Are there any among the vanities of the Gentiles that can cause rain? or can the heavens give showers? art not thou he, O LORD our God? therefore we will wait upon thee: for thou hast made all these things.” (Jeremiah 14:22)

In this passage, God is speaking to Jeremiah concerning the impending drought about to come upon the land of Judah and Jerusalem. God promises to Jeremiah that because the people of Jerusalem have wandered about and become overtaken in sin, He is going to visit them. This visiting will not be one of peace and providence but one of death and destruction. 

As God reveals to Jeremiah what is about to come upon these wicked people, He makes a very odd statement. In verse 11 and 12, God said:

“Pray not for this people for their good.When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and an oblation, I will not accept them: but I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence.” (Jeremiah 14:11 – 12)

Living in the Dispensation of Grace, we do not know this side of God. Not long, and this same fate will rest upon those who have not accepted His Son. 

Next, Jeremiah tells God of the prophets in that day and how they are prophesying messages of peace. They were telling the people that they needed not to fear the sword, famine, or pestilence. How much does this sound exactly like the so-called preachers of our world today. They speak of how God is a God of love and that He would never send someone to Hell. In this specific passage in the Word of God, God is telling Jeremiah not to pray for them because God would not regard it. God does not tolerate sin. His grace is only dispensed for a short time. 

I’ve chosen verse 22 because of the light in which it shines upon who God is. God is the Alpha and Omega, Beginning and End, Creator of the universe. He controls the sword of our enemies, He controls the clouds which pour the rain, and He controls the largest of pestilences. Jeremiah points out in this verse that the gods of the Gentiles could in no way cause rain to fall. For that matter it was only God who could cause the rain to cease in the first place.

In conclusion, in chapter 15 God tells Jeremiah that even if Moses or Samuel had entreated on behalf of these people that God would not honor it. We are in a drought. Our country is ridden with sin and the only hope we have is if God sends us revival. Remember during this season of pestilence that the rain falls (or ceases) upon the just and the unjust, so let us not forget the One who controls it… even if this disease lasts until His Bride is raptured out.

The Atwood Family

Posted in Devotions by with 2 comments.

Halfway Doesn’t Cut It With God … by Mason Atwood

Today’s Passage – 2 Kings 16 – 17 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Luke 17 – 18Psalms 1 – 5Proverbs 1)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – 1 John 4:7 & 8

Read the 0501 Evening and Morning devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Note – this post is from yesterday’s reading passage.

“And he said, Open the window eastward. And he opened it. Then Elisha said, Shoot. And he shot. And he said, The arrow of the LORD’S deliverance, and the arrow of deliverance from Syria: for thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek, till thou have consumed them. And he said, Take the arrows. And he took them. And he said unto the king of Israel, Smite upon the ground. And he smote thrice, and stayed. And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice.” (2 Kings 13:17-19)

As we recall the account of Elijah’s translation, we remember Elisha as a man of God who who would stop at nothing to get the power of God. This hard work and determination to stick to his cause, is what brought a double portion of Elijah’s power upon him. 

In this passage of 2 Kings 13, while the prophet Elisha was lying on his death bed, Joash, the king of Israel, had come to see him. As Joash is weeping over him, Elisha tells him what would come to pass. Joash takes a bow and arrow and shoots out of a window. This was a symbol of God’s deliverance from Syria. Elisha was showing Joash that by shooting the arrow of God’s deliverance, Joash could consume the armies of Syria.

Next came the test. As Elisha is lying there, he tells Joash to smite the ground. Joash had already shot a random arrow out of a window. To smite, or hit, the ground probably seemed like a trifle or trivial task but Joash did it anyways. The verse says he smote the ground three times and stayed. To stay means to fix oneself where you are and to settle. 

This passage teaches us that if Joash had smitten the ground five or six times then would Israel be delivered. Since Joash had only halfway done what the man of God had told him to do, Syria would lose a few battles but the deliverance of God only went as far as the effort Joash put towards smiting the ground.

 God doesn’t appreciate it when congregations only half-way follow their pastor. Whoever that person is in your life, should have the utmost respect to the point that you will give all of your effort to whatever task you are given. What charges have come from your pastor? How many have you half-way done?

The Atwood Family

Posted in Devotions by with 5 comments.
%d bloggers like this: