Tag Archives: sheep

Evil always loses

We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
Isaiah 53:6

I can imagine how the Jewish religious leaders who were responsible for convincing the crowd that demanded Pilate the indignant crucifixion of the righteous, once having witnessed the bloody execution and confirmed that the humble carpenter would not be any longer a nuisance to them, returned to their homes to begin the Sabbath that Moses had instructed them to follow by orders of God himself. They should have arrived home minutes before sundown to start the day of rest. They must have felt very pleased to have achieved the goal that they had long had committed themselves to take the life of the humble but popular and dangerous (for them) Galilean leader. They should have eaten that night with great pleasure and joy because they believed that their problems had been solved once and for all. Little could they imagine that him who had died on the cross a few hours before was whom they had been waiting for so long and who was the fulfillment of the promise of freedom given to the people by God.

Just the night before they had held the annual ritual of the Passover, that is the commemoration of the protection with which God covered the people of Israel when the Angel of the Lord fulfilled the ultimate measure of pressure on Pharaoh to let free the people chosen by God. Little could they imagine that lamb that they were chewing on the night before was the sign of the true Lamb of God that few hours before had been sacrificed for all, Jews and non Jews. Like Satan, their guide, they were glad to see how things were going. By no means they came to suspect that the next day, the death that they had used to get rid of the teacher from Nazareth would be defeated forever. May the glory of the resurrection of the Lord always prevails over the sadness of the painful and bloody sacrifice which the Lord had to go through to rescue us from sin and death. Only to God be the glory!

Today’s word for July 10, 2011

They are like sheep and are destined to die;
death will be their shepherd
Psalm 49:14a

The sheep mentioned in this psalm are not the same sheep that we usually remember from some well known passages of the Word of God. For example, referring to Jesus we are told that “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” And of the children of God the word says: “Yet for your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” These would be the good sheep. But the sheep mentioned in Psalm 49 were destined for death because their heart was always ruled by pride and haughtiness. Today, these sheep accumulate wealth and possessions and they are convinced that money is going to protect them from death. They rely only on themselves and their wealth; they boast of their many possessions. They appear to be happy and they continually receive praise for their achievements but this will serve for nothing when death knocks on their door.

The word of God is very insistent that we should not depend on wealth and possessions. We brought nothing into the world and nothing we will take with us when we leave. Our strength is the Lord and not the number of digits on our bank account balance. Let’s not put our eyes on money or we will end up falling in love with it and we know that the love of money is the root of all evil. Let us seek to depend on God for everything, both in complex and in simple things. Relying on God will give us the peace and quiet we need. To God alone be the glory!

Today’s word for June 29, 2011

Our barns will be filled
with every kind of provision.
Our sheep will increase by thousands,
by tens of thousands in our fields;
Psalm 144:13

Many times we get carried away by criticism and judgment and we forget the blessings. The word blessing means to say a good word, that is, to speak well or wish well. Our language should be filled with blessings at all times and we must be specific with what we are wishing for our neighbor. Blessings are given or received, but no one can give what he has not. Also one can be a blessing to others. Blessings come from God and they are distributed to others through our lips and our good deeds. You can also return blessings to God in the form of praise. I read nowhere in the word of God that blessings are declared and much less upon oneself. Some people say: “I declare blessings on my life or the life of such and such.” This is not biblical. It would be like giving instructions to God. Blessings come through obedience and especially obedience to God. When Moses instructed the tribes to give blessings to the people from Mount Gerizim, he said, “All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God.”

Are you receiving the blessings that come from living in obedience to God? Are you sharing with others the blessings you have received from the Lord your God? Have you blessed the name of the Lord this morning? Are you being a blessing to someone else? Moses told the Jewish people: “See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.” The answer is in your mouth. To God alone be the glory!

Today’s word for May 29, 2011

Our barns will be filled
with every kind of provision.
Our sheep will increase by thousands,
by tens of thousands in our fields;
Psalms 144:13

True prosperity can only be achieved when one is under God’s protection. For this we must be fully dependent on him and this is the most difficult part of all. This is so, mainly because we were raised in environments that encourage individual effort and competitiveness. We ended up believing that everything we are, we do and we have is a product of the fervor of our efforts and we forget that even our breathing depends entirely on God. Of course, we can not confuse the concept of freedom in Christ with independence. Independence is the goal of the selfish and the proud. We need to understand that for anything and in everything we depend on the perfect will of God. Of course this does not mean that we will lie down on a bed waiting for God to send us everything we need to live. God wants that our sustenance come as a result of collaboration between him and us. He provides us with life, strength, ability, talent, gifts, resources and opportunities and we chip in with faith, hope and love, things that we certainly have because we have received them from him. In short, everything is given by God but our participation is required to produce our prosperity, always recognizing our total dependence on God.

Having recognized this dependence on God for everything we can render to him the true worship and praise that he expects of us. Let us understand, then, the reason and purpose of our existence in this world and let us know the provenance of the resources available to carry out our task. This knowledge will allow us to be more effective and efficient in carrying out our work for God. To God alone be the glory!

Today’s word for April 29, 2011

Our barns will be filled
with every kind of provision.
Our sheep will increase by thousands,
by tens of thousands in our fields;
our oxen will draw heavy loads.
Psalms 144:13-14a

“God helps those who help themselves” an old adage goes. No, it is not a quote from the Bible as many believe, just an old adage. Prayer and Action! Pastor Dario Silva-Silva would say. We can not ask God to fill our barns before having watered the fields and having reaped the fruit of the earth. We can not ask God for an abundant harvest without first planting the seed or tending the vines. We can not ask for rain without having first prepared the ground. We can not ask that our herds increase their size without first taking care of them, bringing them to graze in the right places. We can not ask that our wagons be loaded with plenty of products without having worked for it. In other words, there can be no prosperity without effort. When riches come the easy way, they go away by the same path they came.

I love the way the wise King Solomon described it: “Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds; for riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations. When the hay is removed and new growth appears and the grass from the hills is gathered in, the lambs will provide you with clothing, and the goats with the price of a field. You will have plenty of goats’ milk to feed your family and to nourish your female servants.” Let us not limit ourselves, then, to hope that everything will arrive as if by magic, without requiring an effort on our part. The effort required is not as great as one might think. Our Lord Jesus told us: “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” That is, a yoke and a burden are required, albeit light. Let us not continue dreaming of winning the lottery jackpot to meet our needs. Let us pray and act and our barns will be filled … Only to God be the glory!