shepherding the shepherd


Mountaintop Experience

“But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” (v. 22). There before us, all around us, is not only the city of the living God but our true home. Here is the “city with foundations” that our faithful forefathers yearned to see. And here is the bright backdrop to the voice that calls for our holiness.

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Gatekeepers of Holiness

To most people holiness is a foreign, incomprehensible word. If it weren’t for foolish oaths, I can’t imagine the word holy ever passing their lips. But holiness is our daily, lifelong work. We guard and nourish those whom God has made holy—set apart as his own—through Christ Jesus.

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‘God Granted His Request’

Here was a prayer handed to the whole beleaguered nation on a silver platter. Handed to us, too, and all our churches, a fore-prayer of the one Jesus taught us. To ask God to bless us is to pray for grace, for God to freely give us more than we deserve and what we could never earn. For us, all the blessed promises of God are now Yes in Christ.

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Free from Harm

A false security system got Israel in deep trouble. “They were taken captive to Babylon because of their unfaithfulness” (1 Chron. 9:1). When God eventually allowed them to return to their homes they needed to reconnect to his protection. That’s why the Chronicler taught them Jabez’s prayer…

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The Hand of God

God’s hand connotes something more active than God’s presence. God’s hand “shattered the enemy.” It is also our hiding place. When Moses blessed Israel for the last time he said, “All the holy ones are in your hand” (Deut.33:3). Jesus promised, “no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:28-29).

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‘Enlarge My Territory’

Pain, or for that matter, success, sin, or fear, can define and confine us or our church to a kind of walled compound. Beyond is the land of God’s promises, all “yes” in Christ, but we haven’t taken what God assigned to us. That changes when we pray.

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