Jesus says about His little flock:
They shall never perish,
no one will snatch them out of My hand.
Jesus likes to compare His disciples with a flock of sheeps. The Israelites knew much about sheeps at that time, lived with them and handled them well. They were much aware of what a good shepherd is, what set them apart from a normal wage laborer. They knew all the dangers to which the sheeps were exposed and were ready and able to protect them. So they understood what Jesus was talking about.
Ezekiel 35 wonderfully describes how God sees His small flock in this world. You definitely should read it.
We often fear to be left alone. We are getting older, good friends are dying. Our children are working far away,in foreign countries. Nobody is there with whom we can talk. In addition the social situation, we live in, does not make life easy for us. You have just enough not to starve to death. Bad news everywhere, accidents around us. There is a hidden fear deep in us. But Jesus wants to pull us out of that darkness into his small flock. There we are at home, safe, accepted, and protected. He cares for us, He is Lord! As He loves us so we also should love each other which often is not the case. Therefore we always should look at Jesus and trust Him. He died for us, gave His life for us on the cross, so that we can live and are free!
Yes, my dears, you are precious, worthy as Jesus. He will never admit it, that anybody snatch you out of His strong hands. And if it is you who negligently forget the protecting hands of Jesus, run without Him, then He will seek you to bring you back to the safety of His strong hands so you do not perish. There is nothing, even not the death, which can separate you from Him, from His love and His life. He is our Lord, our good shepherd!
Thank You, Jesus, that You care for me so much. You freed me from captivity and are always at my side. You see everything, are my Lord, my good Shepherd, to whom I belong.
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.
James 1, 19
We know the saying and think it’s good. Better to hear quickly than talk quickly …. Sure, as long as it’s about others.
It is also about God here. He never demands anything from us that He hasn’t done Himself for a long time: Listening.
But He also wants us to listen more to Him. He has much to tell us, but He only tells us what is really necessary. If we miss it, we quickly have problems. Those who only talk to God and have not learned to listen always have problems.
One sage was characterized by the fact that he could listen and only talked himself after some reflection. You only learn that in the course of the years. Humility does not grow overnight!
When I was ten or twelve years old, I knew everything and could give lectures about everything. It must have been bad for my fellow men. How good that most of them had a lot of patience! When I was a child of God for ten or twelve years, it was just like that. I had read some books and was an expert. There was no subject about which I did not know everything, above all I knew it better …. Bad! How good that I had friends who had a lot of patience and thought it would get better with him! Today I know nothing more so exactly and determined; – I am dependent on the Lord who brings me clarity in many things. But one thing I know: The truth is no dogma, no teaching, but the living Lord! Often you can’t really determine it, for some it’s good, for others it’s something else. That gives a wide heart.
How good that God has so much patience with us! He knows us very well and hopes that our eloquence and wisdom will one day be replaced by wisdom. HE is this wisdom. And the more space He gains in our hearts and minds, the more wise and wise we are. Be slow in speaking and fast in hearing!! And never give room to anger. For God never gives room to His wrath on us either ….
Thank You Jesus, You can listen to me when I pour out my heart to You. Help me to hear You when You have important things to say to me!! I need Your wisdom in life!
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Gospel of John 3, 16
How much I love this verse! It shows me again and again the complete love of God! How much He loves me that He sent His Son Jesus to the Cross for me! How He longs for me not to perish! How much He wants to be with me so that I live forever, and live properly and not just vegetate! Ah, my Father in heaven is love personified!
If only I could always understand and remember that. So often the worries return, or the self-reproaches, the self-condemnation, or the old self rises again and makes great words and is proud, independent, wild and refuses to listen to reason …. How good that God does not always immediately turn to punishment and discipline, but rather has patience and mercy. – He knows how to deal with children.
God wants us to live. That is why Jesus came and paid a high price: The cross. He suffered it as a human being, He did not stand as God above all things and felt no pain, no thirst, no heat. He suffered unspeakable torment for us. And the worst was the temptation: If He had called the angels, they would have taken Him from the cross immediately. Then He would have become King at once, but our redemption would not have happened. He suffered through everything voluntarily and could have broken it off at any time. – Where else is there such a strong love?
God also loves me so much. And if it had been only for me, God would have sent Jesus, and Jesus would have come – only for me. Dear child, let it be said to you: He also died for you, so that you may have life, so that you may not perish, so that you may be saved and be with God forever. He loves you infinitely. Answer Him with a yes!
Yes, Jesus, I accept Your sacrifice for me personally. I give You all my guilt and sin, forgive me! Accept me as a child of God and fill me with Your good Holy Spirit! I want to be Yours, for You mean well with me. Thank You, my Lord and God!
Look, the hand of the Lord is not too short,
His ear isn’t hard of hearing,
so he won’t hear.
No, what stands between you and your God,
these are your offenses;
your sins cover His face,
so He won’t hear you.
Isaiah 59, 1f.
A hard word! – and this is supposed to be a promise? Yes, it is a promise, because He wants to help so much, He wants to hear, and He wants to forgive our sin so badly! It is a description of the state of affairs, an inventory of why so little of God can be noticed in our lives and in our churches. And that is to change, that is what God wants!
It is rarely the gross sins such as theft, not paying debts, slander, lies,
Adultery or murder. These sins are always equally obvious to us and we know immediately that we are living in sin.
It is often something completely different. We do not keep the first commandment: I am the LORD your God. Thou shalt have no other gods beside me.
We have created for ourselves a multitude of other gods, unfortunately, on whom we place our trust.
Imagine the wheel of a bicycle. In the middle is the hub or axle, there are the spokes running around and outside is the round tire. The axle, the center and the goal is Jesus Christ. If we are in the center, everything is good. The spokes are our way to the Lord or away from Him. And the tire is the course of the world with its religions.
Some convert from a totally unbelieving life to Jesus and are immediately in the center. And after a few years they cultivate the traditions, no longer thank Jesus alone, but find many other things interesting as well. Jesus is still Lord, but only 30 or 50 or 80 percent. Jesus is very sad there and the Holy Spirit grieves and inhibits. This is the main reason for so much powerlessness of the individual Christians and churches.
There is only one solution: repentance, to the center, back to 100% Jesus! This is not always easy and can cost a lot of struggle with our surroundings and in our thoughts. But HE is worth it! Think from what height you fell, how hot your love for Him was! Think of the full life when you were still 100% with the Lord!
Thank You Jesus, You are waiting for me to come back to You completely. You forgive me, for You are patient, patient, kind and merciful. You want me back! Lord, show me where I have compromised!!
So give Your servant a discerning heart.
1 Kings 9
God asked Solomon what kind of gifts he would like to have. A discerning heart was the answer after a long careful consideration. Not richness, not success, not the death of his enemies, not a long life, health, but an open heart listening to justice. Solomon was convinced that he could rule the people justly only in this way. God was pleased about this request and said that He will give him in addition richness, success, a long life and honor.
A man with an open heart is humble, restrain himself and give honor to the next. He like to know and to understand what the other person is thinking, want to learn more about him. There are too many who are answering with a too quick tongue. They do not let you finish your sentence. They seem to know everything, talk, comment everything… a bad fruit of a presumptious heart.
If we want to walk in God
s ways in our life, wish to have a good marriage, want to run a family well, want to avoid insincerity in our daily work, if we want to be a living building block in the church if Jesus, we must have an open discerning heart. God truly speaks to us but we do not listen. Instead we talk about our own views and thoughts. How then you can go the right way?s voice. Moses obviously needed 40 years to hear God
Jesus seeked the silence in the early morning to hear God
s voice. John the Baptist lived in the desert with a listening heart. Also Paul received an open ear for Gods purpose in the desert of Arabia. How you want to be a true Christian, want to follow Jesus without being able to hear God`s voice?
The silent, the people with the open heart are the friends of God blessed by Him richly and cordially welcomed before His throne. He hardly can decline their prayers. I learnt many great persons in the Kingdom of God who were all wonderful listeners. They were great preachers and had an open ear at the same time in personal conversations. The Lord blesses the humble and lift them up.
It is truly very difficult for us to trust and listen. How many of my useless activities could have been avoided if I only would have contacted my Lord before. Never I had time for that….
Lord, I want to listen to You! And will take time for that. Yes, Your opinion, Your reply is of absolute importance for me. Please speak and I will follow!
Is not my word like fire
and like a hammer,
that breaks a rock in pieces? –
Saying of the Lord.
Jeremiah 23, 29
Yes, that’s God’s Word. It is powerful enough to crush fortresses, like the Berlin Wall. It is powerful enough to create the whole earth. It is powerful enough to call things into existence out of nowhere, like our ministry. It is HE, the living Word.
His Word is not powerless like our words. His Word is pure energy.
I have experienced Him speaking loud and clear in the midst of the greatest noise; it now reminds me a little of Saul when he was on his way to Damascus and Jesus spoke to him. (Such personal talk of God with man is not common, however.)
His Word is also gentle and quiet, as Elijah experienced the Lord. He was not in the storm and not in the fire, but in the silence He came.
Is that why we have such a hard time withstanding the silence, because that is when He speaks? But if we want to hear Him, we must endure the silence! There He forms us, there He shows Himself, there He speaks to our hearts.
He also speaks through the Holy Scriptures. The verses that He wants to show me look at me strangely, totally different from all the other verses. (I cannot describe it any other way). When I then look at them more closely, they speak to me and God shows me many things.
And yet another way to hear His voice is in fellowship with the brothers and sisters. You yourself are often blind to new, unfamiliar things. And the brother is sometimes able to open your ears to new thoughts, or pour still immature thoughts into form, or renew your wrongful thinking through a short question.
God has so many possibilities to speak! HE likes to talk to us! Let’s use all possibilities so that we don’t become one-sided or just keep going in circles! He wants to create something new and go forward; – are we ready?
Lord, give me courage to seek You and to hear Your Word! It is often uncomfortable for me, yes, but it is so necessary for me! Thank You for speaking out of love, not to punish. Thank You, I am safe and secure with You. You take me to my goal.
You are Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.
Mark 1, 11
God said this to His Son Jesus when He was baptized. He will have used it, this word of confirmation, encouragement and love of the Father. God Himself has taken pleasure in Jesus, He is God’s beloved child!
We can also take this word for ourselves personally, because it is true: God has taken pleasure in us and we are God’s beloved children!
This is solely due to Jesus, who cleansed us from all dead works, from dirt and dirty fantasies, from sin and guilt. Jesus now lives in our heart and God sees Jesus in us. Jesus sacrificed Himself so that we might live; we are worth so much to Him! – shouldn’t God accept the sacrifice of Jesus.
Only because of Jesus are you a beloved child of God. If it were because of our own works, then we would not have many chances. Who is so perfect that God is satisfied? You can be as good as that and exert yourself as hard as you want, it won’t work, it’s never quite enough. Please, stop trying so hard for God to like you! Rely on Jesus and accept peace!
There are many Christians who struggle to make this verse personal. They condemn themselves because they cannot be what they want to be. They think that God condemns them just as they condemn themselves. But that is not true, it is a lie of the devil.
Please, choose the love of God. Decide to believe Jesus who makes you righteous. And thank Him for that. And then you ask Jesus to give you the Holy Spirit in your heart, who makes these truths alive in you. Listen to Him and no longer to doubt. He will make it wonderful!!
Thank You, Father, that I am Your beloved child! I am not perfect, but You know that. And yet You said yes to me and accepted me. Thank You, I can refer to that when doubt comes!
Go away, for the girl is not dead but sleeping.
Mathew 9, 24
When his daughter died, the head of the synagogue did the only right thing: He immediately ran to Jesus and asked Him to bring her back to life. He does not want to admit the obvious, for he knows one who is above things. He is not satisfied with the normal diagnosis of normal people, he wants to know exactly: Jesus is LORD .
Such a faith the Lord must put in our hearts, we cannot develop it alone. We can become fanatical and convince ourselves of something. But we cannot produce the faith that the Lord wants. The girl’s father had it; – it is like a tender plant that is planted in our heart and that we can immediately tear out or that we nurture until it is a strong tree, a strong faith.
It is no problem for Jesus to heal the dead and bring them back to life. When the Lord returns, thousands will come out of their graves. He has made everything, should it be too difficult for him to put the molecules and atoms back together correctly?
When the girl died, it was as if she fell asleep. And when Jesus called her, it was as if she woke up. How much time lies between falling asleep and waking up, we cannot know. We will all wake up at the same time and be with Jesus when He comes again. Let us get ready to face our Lord! Let us purify our hearts and hands! Let us live for His glory and no longer for ourselves! Let us stop the greed for money, the addiction to luxury and honour! Let us confine ourselves to Jesus alone and leave out philosophy and church traditions if they rob Jesus of his honour! HE alone, that is how it should be with us.
Let us order our lives! Let us give back what we have lent or what we owe! Let us speak the truth, even if it is unpleasant! Let us seal our mouths so that the tongue does not cause harm! Let us cleanse ourselves through Jesus from all guilt, sin, defilement and filth!
One day He will call us; – are we ready?
Thank You Jesus, You are the LORD over life and death. You are above things. You have the last word always and everywhere. You are wonderful!
Out oft he ground that the Lord has cursed, this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the painful toil of our hands.
1.Moses (Genesis) 5, 29
Lamech had a son and called him Noah, which means “rest”. For he longed for rest from all the work that had been done on the land that the LORD had cursed. But Noah was not the one who brought this rest; the promise refers to Jesus. We may hope for Him.
The Lord wants us to work and provide for ourselves with our hands of work. He certainly does not want us to lie on other people’s pockets. Nor does he want us to shamelessly exploit the social systems. He is against “idleness”, sitting around gossiping about others. HE knows that we need meaning and purpose in life and no idling that leads to nothing but dissatisfaction.
Therefore, in order to please the Lord, we want to be active and feed ourselves and our loved ones. Paul was also not a burden to anyone, but worked with his own hands to earn his living. I myself notice that when I do nothing, bad thoughts and bad mood spread. A hobby is no substitute for a job. And if you want to live from donations as a missionary or evangelist, you especially need God’s Yes to this way.
And what if I have lost my job? Maybe even out of your own fault? Then I can come to the Lord and lament my suffering and problem to Him and at the same time thank Him for helping me. I will have to bury all pride and be ready for every work. Humility is the order of the day….
Jesus wants to get us a job. It is like with Joseph, who had to go to prison and learn to serve there before he became vice-president of Egypt.
Jesus always has work for us. Let us trust Him to guide us on the right path! Let us remember His great deeds with us, let us use the time for dialogue with Him! Then our faith and gratitude grows and also the anticipation of the next answer to prayer. Hallelujah! – He will rule everything right and powerful.
Thank You Jesus, I can rely on You. Sometimes it’s hard in life and my worries are pressing me. But so far You have always saved me and shown me my way. I build on You.
Compare.: 2. Thessalonians 3, 12; Mathew 6, 31ff; 1. Timothy 5, 18; 1. Peter 5, 6f.
Praise the Lord, all you nations;
extol Him, all you peoples.
For great is His love towards us,
and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord!
It is a question of perspective whether we praise God or whether we mope. I can see the sky when I lift my head, and I can see the dust at my feet when I let my head hang.
Where I turn my eyes depends not only on my mood and feelings, but on my will and decision. And as soon as I see the glory of creation or the imperfection of human beings, my mood rises or falls; – so I myself determine my mood ….
Of course it is hard to praise God when one is moping and the mood is bad all day long. It’s hard to get out. That’s why we should begin to thank God in the morning and see His good works. Once we have fallen, it’s difficult to get up again.
From time to time I have to look out into the distance, into the woods, to the sea or at night to the stars. I need this reflection on God’s omnipotence, on His creation and miracle power. He is glorious!! In life we are surrounded by sin and the consequences of sin. Or why do people die in war? Why do fanatics blow up other people? Why is there environmental pollution? Why do some people have to die of overeating and others of hunger? It is sin and its consequences.
I need a clear view of the Lord, my Saviour. I need to look up when I’m in the hustle and bustle, when I’m working, when I’m stuck in traffic jams on the street, when the boys are making trouble, when they want something bad for me, when the flu comes, when …. when … when. He is there, my Helper and Saviour.
Thank you, Jesus!!