Thursday, October 6, 2016

Day 171: John 10:22-42 & Psalm 29 - Where Do We Find our Security?

Today's Reading: John 10:22-42 & Psalm 29

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Where Do We Find our Security?

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. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.” - John 10:27-30, ESV

In the current presidential election, in between rounds of mud-slinging and trash-talking, the candidates have been talking a lot about security. It seems the American people want two things from their new president: protection from terrorists and from economic disaster. This world certainly poses many threats to our financial and physical well-bring, not to mention our mental, emotional and spiritual security. (Elections do often discuss education, health care and freedom of religion, too.)

As Christians, we have come to find forgiveness or our sins and reconciliation to God through Jesus Christ. We have hopefully come to see that our relationship with God is the most important and truly life-giving aspect of our lives. Yet we can sometimes worry about the security of our salvation, in addition to concerns over the economy, terrorism, health care and education. Where can we find security in a world of turmoil and in our souls, still so plagued by sin?

Well, yesterday we learned that Jesus is the door for the sheep and the good shepherd of the sheep. These metaphors drive home the access to God we have through Jesus and the guidance and protection we find in Him. Today, as we continue to read in John 10, we learn that Jesus is not only our door and our good shepherd, but that He holds us in His hands.

Sheep can wander away, even from good shepherds. Sheep can get lost and go hungry, get tangled in thorny bushes and be vulnerable to fierce attack. What's to keep us from meeting with such disasters, even if we've gained access through the door and are following the good shepherd? Our security is found in one place and one place only: We are held in the hands of Jesus.

Not only does our good shepherd lead us and lay down His life for us, but He hold us securely in His hands. No one will snatch us away from Him. To re-assure us even more, Jesus says, "Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one." Because God the Father has sovereignly given us to Jesus by election and because He is almighty, we are secure. Because Jesus and His Father are actually one God Almighty, we are perfectly secure.

So we can rest. The world is tumultuous. Our souls are still sin-wracked. Our doubts and fears rear their ugly heads, but our Good Shepherd holds us in His hands. We are safe.

Prayer Based on Psalm 29:

Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,
    ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
    worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.

Heavenly Father, You are indeed full of glory and strength. You are radiant and splendid, holding all things together by Your power and might. You are awesome and majestic, reigning as King and doing all Your holy will. No one can compare with You. No one can approach You. No one can match You in any of Your attributes - not Your wisdom, not Your power, not Your holiness, not Your love. 

The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
    the God of glory thunders,
    the Lord, over many waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
    the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
    the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf,
    and Sirion like a young wild ox.
The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
    the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth
    and strips the forests bare,
    and in his temple all cry, “Glory!”

Father, Your voice is powerful indeed. You speak and by Your word all things are ordered and sustained, created or undone, established or overthrown, filled with joy or brought down into sorrow. Only Your voice can accomplish such great and mighty things. I need Your voice to speak peace, righteousness, faithfulness and fruitfulness in my soul, to my heart. Jesus is Your voice and I need Him more than I could ever express or know. 

The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
    the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.
May the Lord give strength to his people!
    May the Lord bless his people with peace!

O Lord, not for me alone, but I pray that You would give strength and peace to all of Your people - strength to overcome the enemy and all of his deceptions and peace to guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Hear my prayer, Father, in the matchless name of Jesus, Amen!

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