Human Effort

Everything Depends on God's Mercy

The Lord is my Shepherd

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I love Psalm 23. It is one of my favorites because God has shown me how to live life through this psalm. It is a Psalm about allowing Jesus to be the leader. The opening verse acknowledges His leadership and then states that “I shall not want”.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. Psalm 23:1 ESV

I shall not want. Well that very statement is the exact opposite of who I am, the culture I live in, and how I live my daily life. I want an awful lot of stuff. I want many things and I have plans to secure the things I want. I even look to Jesus for help to secure the things I want. Jesus however made an interesting point to the disciples one day when they were at the temple and got a good view of the treasury where people were bringing their gifts to God.

And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.” Mark 12:41-44 ESV

She gave out of her poverty and put everything she had into the offering. Have I ever given all that I have? Monetarily no. I have given monetarily I would even say I have given a fair amount monetarily, but what I have given has been out of abundance. God has blessed the work of my hands so out of abundance I give. Have I ever given, my life, my being, all on the line to Jesus? Jesus said this woman gave all that she had to live on. She had nothing left to give. I suspect that those coins were all that she had left save the cloths on her back. She put herself totally at the mercy and grace of God. In the back of my mind when I give up some part of myself, I have an alternate plan. I rationalize that if it all falls apart I might go to plan b or plan c. This woman had nothing left to fall back on. She was at the complete mercy of her savior at that moment when she let go of the coins. Could I dare to allow myself to be at His mercy by letting go of the life I want to live?

But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:22-23 ESV

Yes I can dare to put everything on the line for Jesus. He wants to be the Shepherd in my life, but I need to trust him and turn everything over to him. Francis Chan in his book Forgotten God challenges the contemporary, nominal Christianity that many of us try to live. You know the Christianity where we try to add Jesus in, like a good luck charm, or better yet a god that will give us our heart’s desire in the here and now. Chan wrote “Jesus Christ did not die in order to follow us. He died and rose again so that we could forget everything else and follow Him to the cross, to true Life.”

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. John 10:27-28 ESV

Do you hear Jesus calling? Has he spoken to you? There is no plan B or plan C. The widow understood who would provide to for her. Do you understand? Have you yielded to the only name under heaven which can save, the name of Jesus? Jesus is here now speaking to you. Rebellious slaves to sin look up. God the Creator of the universe has taken your shame away. Submit to Him. He will accept you, listen to His voice your shepherd is calling and he has the only plan for you.

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