Do You Hear The Shepherd’s Voice?

A time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done good will rise to live.… JOHN 5:28–29 NIV

A day is coming when everyone will hear [Jesus’] voice. A day is coming when all the other voices will be silenced; his voice—and his voice only—will be heard.

Some will hear his voice for the very first time. It’s not that he never spoke, it’s just that they never listened. For these, God’s voice will be the voice of a stranger. They will hear it once—and never hear it again.

They will spend eternity fending off the voices they followed on earth.

But others will be called from their graves by a familiar voice. For they are sheep who know their shepherd. They are servants who opened the door when Jesus knocked.

Now the door will open again. Only this time, it won’t be Jesus who walks into our house; it will be we, who walk into his.

In the Eye of the Storm

A Strange Time for Fear

1 Kings 19:1-4

Normally, we think of fear in terms of failure. We tend to become afraid when we experience a major setback and feel inadequate. Or we may be shaken when we’ve made a big mistake and believe that our judgment is flawed. At such times, we would almost expect fear to strike, right?

We find a radically different situation in 1 Kings 18, where Elijah experienced one of the most dramatic triumphs in all of Scripture. Armed with only his unflinching faith in the Lord, he faced down 850 priests of the local false deities. God moved mightily, destroying the idolaters and bringing glory to Himself throughout Israel. It was a fantastic win.

But right after this confrontation, when the exuberance of his faith should have been at its height, Elijah became scared. In 1 Kings 19, the prophet learned that the evil queen Jezebel had called for his death. Apparently forgetting God’s mighty victory just moments before, Elijah ran away. How could this be?

Elijah’s story reminds us that our failures may not pose the greatest danger to spiritual growth after all; potential for destruction may actually lie hidden within our successes. That’s when our confidence is at its peak, which often leads us to turn our eyes away from the Giver of strength and toward our self.

Your victory is always in God’s hand. Don’t be fooled: He may work in, around, or through you to achieve His purpose, but it is always His victory. Have you been distracted by success? Turn your eyes back to the Lord. All praise and glory are His. And fear need not be yours.

Love Thy Neighbor

“But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29)

This question was asked Jesus by a “lawyer” (one who specialized in the interpretation and application of the more than 600 commandments of the Old Testament) in response to Jesus’ affirmation that the greatest commandments of the law were, first, to love God, and second, to love “thy neighbour as thyself” (Luke 10:27; Matthew 22:39).

The Lord Jesus answered his question by telling the famous story of the good Samaritan, concluding by saying: “Go, and do thou likewise” (Luke 10:37). From this parable are derived several important principles concerning neighbors and what it means to love them.

In the first place, a neighbor is not necessarily someone whose home is near ours, or even one who is an acquaintance. The Samaritan had never met the traveler who had been robbed and wounded, nor was he even a fellow countryman.

However, there were three criteria which, in the mind of Christ, did make him a neighbor: (1) he was someone whose path had crossed that of the Samaritan; (2) he had a real need; and (3) the Samaritan had the ability to meet that need. Since all three criteria were satisfied, then there was such an obligation, and the Lord has told us to do likewise.

It is such an action that is involved in “loving” one’s neighbor in the same way we love ourselves. It is doing what we would want to have done for us, if the roles were reversed. However, there is still something more to it than that: The “love” of which the Lord spoke here is the well-known agape love, which describes an unselfish love—one which serves the best interests of the recipient without regard to any benefit for the one who loves. In the highest sense, therefore, a genuine love for one’s neighbor would mean seeking the will of God in and for the one who is loved. HMM

The manner of love the Father has for us to call us sons of God

Behold what manner of love the Father hath he-stowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.—1 John 3:1.

DOST think thy prayers He doth not heed?
He knows full well what thou dost need,
And heaven and earth are His,
My Father and my God, who still
Is with my soul in every ill.
HANS SACHS.

BEHOLD and see thy Lord thy God that is thy Maker, and thy endless joy. See thine own Brother, thy Savior, my child; behold and see what liking and bliss I have in thy salvation; and for my love, rejoice with me. How should it now be, that thou shouldst anything pray me that pleased me, but that I should full gladly grant it thee—for my pleasure is thy holiness, and thy endless joy and bliss with me. JULIANA.

Did not Jesus say, “I am the door of the sheepfold”? What to us is the sheepfold, dear children? It is the heart of the Father; where-unto Christ is the Gate that is called Beautiful. O children, how sweetly and how gladly has He opened that door into the Father’s heart, into the treasure-chamber of God! And there within He unfolds to us the hidden riches, the nearness and the sweetness of companionship with Himself. JOHN TAULER.

What communion hath light with darkness?

What communion hath light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14

Men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. — Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

Darkness hath blinded his eyes. — Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

The dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty. — Love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble. The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness Ye were sometime darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.

John 3:19. 1 Thessalonians 5:5. 1 John 2:11. Psalm 119:105. Psalm 74:20. 1 John 4:7,8. Proverbs 4:19,18. John 12:46. Ephesians 5:8.

My God shall supply all your need according to His riches

My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all … things shall be added unto you. — He that spared not his Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him freely give us all things? — All things are your’s: whether Paul or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come: all are your’s: and ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s. — As having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. — The LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will be withheld from them that walk uprightly. — The living God, … giveth us richly all things to enjoy. — God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.

Matthew 6:33. Romans 8:32. 1 Corinthians 3:21-23. 2 Corinthians 6:10. Psalm 23:1. Psalm 84:11. 1 Timothy 6:17. 2 Corinthians 9:8.