When the Shepherd Anoints the Sheep – Daily Devotional for Friday September 30th 2016

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When the Shepherd Anoints the Sheep

Daily Devotional for Friday September 30th 2016

Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.…Psalm 23:5

As we continue to look into the life of the shepherd, we see many things that relate to our walk with the Lord.  In the shepherd’s bag, there were many things for the sheep.  The horn of oil was a very important commodity as it was useful in so many ways.  Sheep became vulnerable to flies, bugs and other insects.  The insects would attempt to crawl into the ears and nose of the sheep to lay eggs a lot like many dogs and cats are prone to ear mites.

Not only does Jesus; our Shepherd, watch out for evil spirits to bombard us from the outside, He also protects us from things seeking to destroy us from the inside.  According to 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, it is made very clear to us that Satan attacks us in our minds.  More often than not, if the devil does get victory over the child of God, he will accomplish it through the mind. 

Many imaginations and lies can buzz around us, if we allow them to be planted into our minds, pain and heartache will result.  Once the insects enter into the sheep’s head, there is literally no relief until the shepherd anoints the head with oil.  The devil takes pleasure in planting thoughts, imaginations, and other lies into our minds that will drive us literally crazy.  The sheep will lose sight of everything else and be driven to seek for anything to bring relief.  The sheep will literally beat their heads against rocks and trees in an attempt to sooth the torment. 

The anointing oil was applied beforehand, but was just as effective after the insects had made their way into the cavities of the sheep.  David said this his cup ran over when the Lord anointed his head with oil.  This meant that the shepherd did not ration the oil.  He poured it out liberally.  The oil smothered out the insects and destroyed the eggs bringing much needed relief to the sheep.  There is no wonder why we rejoice so much when the Lord touches us.  The devil’s lies of deceit have to leave when the shepherd anoints us will His oil.  One touch of Jesus can heal so much.  Will you allow the Lord to pour in the oil and fill your heart and mind?  The devil cannot remain in the presence of the oil!  Praise His name forever!

Does Jesus not care about me? – Daily Devotional for Thursday September 29th 2016

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Does Jesus not care about me?

Daily Devotional for Thursday September 29th 2016

And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.  And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, “Master, carest thou not that we perish.”  Mark 4:37-38

Master, do you not care that we perish?  Isn’t that a strange question to ask?  Do you know that an unbelieving world wonders the same thing today?  There are so many people in our world that see the affection that we have for Jesus Christ and God the Father, but they cannot be comforted in their situation with just the benefits that we enjoy.  The world doesn’t believe that Jesus cares about them or what they’re going through.  But this could not be further from the truth. 

With the entire New Testament Church in a sinking ship, it looked as though their future was bleak.  The ship was just about to sink and uncertainty filled their hearts.  Things seemed hopeless except for one thing; Jesus was in the boat with them.  Today, it seems as though the church of Jesus Christ is under attack.  We see that Christian people are targeted all over the world.  Make no mistake, Jesus sees and cares.  As a matter of fact, if you’re a child of God then Jesus never leaves.  He never forsakes!  He’s still in the ship with us!  He’s in the midst of your storm today.  Jesus takes ownership of His children.  Have you ever noticed when people pick on your kids, the whole family gets involved?  The whole clan rallies around them.  When the world persecutes Christians, they are actually persecuting Jesus himself.  Think about this for a moment.  When Saul of Tarsus was persecuting the church, Jesus appeared unto him saying, “Saul, why are you persecuting me?” 

The disciples were in a ship with the command to pass over to the other side.  They were never destined to perish at sea.  Jesus said, “Let us pass over to the other side.”  There was a great need on the other side of the sea.  A man of the Gadarenes who was so bound by Satan that he was an outcast without God, without hope in the world.  He needed the touch of Jesus too.  He needed to know that Jesus loved him.  Have you ever wondered why you go through the trials and troubles you go through?  Could it be that there is a great victory just around the corner?  Could it be that Satan had generated a storm to try and distract Jesus and His disciples from getting to Legion? 

Not only did Jesus care about the disciples at sea, but the very reason they were in the ship sailing to begin with was that Jesus cared.  He saw afar off Legion and cared.  If you ever question Jesus’ love for you, just look at the Cross!  The greatest display of God’s love for the world is at the cross!  There were three things that held Jesus to the Cross that day but it wasn’t the three nails. The love of God, the grace of God, and the Mercy of God held Him there.  Let the question never be asked again, “Does Jesus Care?”  Friend, Jesus cares!  He cares about everything that goes on in your life whether it be big or small.  Whatever your struggle is today, bring it to Jesus.  Whatever your hurt, whatever your sorrow, bring it to Jesus.  Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.  1 Peter 5:7.

The Shepherd’s Provision in Adversity – Daily Devotional for Wednesday September 28th 2016

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The Shepherd’s Provision in Adversity

Daily Devotional for Wednesday September 28th 2016

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:  Psalm 23:5

How do you presently look at times of opposition?  How do you view adversity?  Most of us cringe at even the thought that our adversary is either present or about to attack us.  All too often we find ourselves avoiding trouble at any cost.  We so often run at the slightest sound from our enemy.  The Lord is interested in turning these events that you dread the most into experiences you long for.

Not only does the rod and staff comfort the sheep, but the presence of the shepherd also brings a comfort and confidence.  Young sheep may tremble at every sound, but the older sheep have grown to understand the comfort of the shepherd.  In what would seem like the most unusual place to be fed, filled and refreshed, is in the presence of our enemies.  This makes facing opposition a welcoming experience. 

With a good shepherd, the wolves and lions oftentimes resort to look upon the sheep but not be able to get to them.  Jesus our Shepherd has provided for us many times while the devil is reduced to watching us feed upon God’s provision.

When the enemy comes at us, we do not have to fear.  As a matter of fact, God has promised that in what would seem like the most uncomfortable circumstances, he would feed you and I.  Your life is safe with Jesus.  It does not matter how loud the devil growls.  If you are following Jesus, then the devil must make it passed your Shepherd before he can get to you.  In the family of God there is peace from the enemy.  No weapon that is formed against you can prosper. 

Do you find yourself without the spiritual nourishment you need?  It could be that when the enemy roars, he causes you to run from the very place where the Lord’s next provision is set waiting for you.  The devil doesn’t matter.  His growls are lies.  Trust the Lord especially during these times of opposition.  A table is spread in the very presence of our enemies. 

The Comfort of the Shepherd – Daily Devotional for Tuesday September 27th 2016

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The Comfort of the Shepherd

Daily Devotional for Tuesday September 27th 2016

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.…Psalm 23:4

To sheep, there is a natural fear of predators.  The valley of the shadow of death represents a path through which many types of trouble and death are possible.  It is virtually impossible to be evade every possible predator, but thank God for the shepherd who will lay down his life for his sheep.

Shepherds carried a rod and a staff for the purpose of protecting the sheep.  The staff was carried so that he could retrieve the sheep out of the clutches of the predator.  The rod was for the primary purpose to attack the predator.  With the sheep held out of reach of the predator with the staff, and the rod in the other hand inflicting attacks toward the predator, there was sure comfort to the sheep.  You and I are guarded by a strong shepherd Jesus who leads us through this life.  There is protection and comfort walking close to the shepherd. 

After being rescued once or twice in his own life, David came to realize that even though he was an earthly shepherd with a rod and staff, he also knew that the Lord was his Shepherd would likewise protect him.  We fear many things while walking this path to follow the Lord.  However, if we are following the Lord, you should never fear the things that may be encountered because your Shepherd will protect. 

The devil takes pleasure in making us tremble in fear, but the devil fears more the rod and staff of the Chief Shepherd.  God’s protective hand is on His children.  Why then does the enemy seem to succeed in attacking us at times?  According to this Psalm, it is because we leave the sheep fold.  There is always comfort and protection when the sheep follow the shepherd.  The Holy Spirit is the comforter to us today.  The abiding presence of God is so real that when He is near, the shadows must flee away.  There is absolutely no fear where Jesus abides.

Are you wandering from the fold?  Beware, we are nothing without Jesus.  The roaring lion is seeking whom he may devour.  The safest place to be is in God’s sheepfold close to Jesus.  We cannot defend ourselves without the Lord and He has made a way where we don’t have to.  We can run to the shepherd and enjoy the comfort that His presence provides.  Today if you have wandered from Jesus, call out to Him.  He will hear your heart’s cry.  He will even leave the ninety and nine and journey after you and bring you back into the fold. 

The Shepherd Restores Me – Daily Devotion for Monday September 26th 2016

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The Shepherd Restores Me

Daily Devotional for Monday September 26th 2016

He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in paths of righteousness for his namesake.  Psalm 23:3

Our lives get so busy at times in our toiling and laboring.  Our day jobs keep us running as well while our spiritual battles.  This constant labor is much of the reason for our burnout.  But not just weariness that comes from the journey, there are also times when the adversary actually lands some of his fiery darts and harms us.  We are left wounded, discouraged, depressed and defeated.

Out of all of the things the shepherd does for the sheep, one of the most important is restoration and recuperation.  To a wounded sheep, the shepherd knows that restoration and healing are essential.  If a sheep was injured by either an attack of a predator or falling into a steep place, the shepherd had to be a doctor to that sheep.  The sheep wouldn’t have the strength or the ability to keep up with the rest of the fold, so the shepherd will carry the sheep.  The sheep would then be able to move along with the fold while being restored.

The majority of the time, we attempt to walk in paths that the Lord never intended.  But all too often we choose those roads because they appear the best way for us to travel. Many of us are broken from the paths we attempt to walk.  We have all fallen victim to the devil’s snares at some point or another.  We find ourselves worn out talking up jagged cliff sides and down steep mountains that leave us without strength.  The truth is that these paths have predators and snares of those who seek the sheep’s destruction.

There is restoration in walking in paths of righteousness.  The shepherds path will not leave you without strength.  It will not leave you hungry.  The shepherd’s path will bring restoration.  Are you weary and wondering why your strength is gone?  Could it be that the spiritual path your walking is not the path God intended?  Could it be that you’ve been led down a path that catered to your own desires?  Restoration comes in walking paths of righteousness for His namesake.  He will restore your soul when your ever walking with the shepherd in the lead.

The Shepherd leads me-Daily devotional for Friday September 23rd 2016

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The Shepherd leads me

Daily devotional for Friday September 23rd 2016

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. Psalm 23:2

To every Christian who has any history living for the Lord, we have come to know the love of our Shepherd. His every act toward us is driven by His love and concern for us. There is such a wonderful comfort in abiding wherever the shepherd leads because no ill or danger will come where He leads.

He also leads us beside the still waters. This means that the shepherd follows the edges of creeks, lakes, rivers, and ponds so that there is an ever present and constant supply of waters for his sheep. Jesus has promised to supply us with living water. He gives the refreshing that we need in our lives. He told the woman at the well that He would give her water that she would never thirst again. Along the edges of the waters are flourishing fields. The shepherd knows the best of green pastures and leads us to those places so that we may graze in His provision.

Why is the Lord leading me in this direction? There is a temptation for us to examine our path and attempt to tell the Lord where a better path would be to travel. The greatest reason why people are led astray is because they do not agree with the leading of the shepherd and go their own way. This is also the reason why most of us are not spiritually fed or watered continually.

Our survival depends on our faithfully following Jesus. He knows where we need to go. He knows your needs. Examine your life this morning. Are there areas where you’ve chosen to go your own way? Is your spiritual strength at a low point? Can you look at your walk with God and tell you have drifted? Your lack of nourishment is a sign you may have drifted from the Shepherd. If you will trust His leadership, He will lead you beside the waters and pastures you need. Proverbs 3:5-6.

When the Shepherd makes you lie down -Daily devotional for Thursday September 22nd 2016

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When the Shepherd makes you lie down

Daily devotional for Thursday September 22nd 2016

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures…Psalm 23:2

In the shepherd’s caring for his sheep, he leads his sheep in regions the sheep may not understand. The sheep will follow the shepherd relentlessly. Along with providing for the sheep, the shepherd keeps continual examination of his sheep. He reviews each one and sees when they are getting tired.

In our daily walk with the Lord, there are times when you get tired and worn out from spiritual battles, long journey’s through dark valleys, up rugged mountains. Most of our weariness thought, comes from toiling in ministries, laboring in fields and running into areas where the Lord has not led us to go.

The children of Israel were lead through the wilderness by a pillar of a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. When the cloud moved, Israel moved. When the cloud stopped, Israel stopped. The Lord had no doubt stopped them in order for them to rest from the journey.

There are even instances where the sheep will continue moving even after the shepherd has temporarily stopped the fold. In our efforts in ministry work, studying, witnessing etc., we tend to go far beyond the leading of the Lord. There will be times in your spiritual walk when you will feel the Lord is causing you, making you to lie down.

For many pastors, preachers, all those in ministry work, burnout is very real and can be very devastating. Burnout is the area where many people end their Christian life. Sometimes we are asked to be still and know that He is God. Psalm 46:10. We are instructed in Isaiah to wait upon the Lord as it will renew our strength. Isaiah 40:31.

If you are at this state in your walk with the Lord and may be wondering why the Holy Spirit is not leading you onward, it could be that the Lord is forcing you to lie down and rest. Don’t fight the rest. It is very needful. The Lord knows when you need to slow down and take some rest. Spiritual rest will cause refreshing to come to you from the presence of the Lord.