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This week in Review

This year I have been challenged to do something new. Each day, as I meditate on His Word, I have been challenged to share my daily thoughts from the word. A gentleman I recently met was challenged to do this last year and I saw the result was a passion for Jesus that poured out of his very soul. Seeing his desire to be #likeJesus made me want to dig in even more. So, as I share these daily with a few, I thought I would share each weeks thoughts as I go along. So here is this past weeks reflections.

This weeks lessons from the word

Sunday, January 15, 2017

So today I read Genesis 29-30 and Matthew 15. In Genesis 30 Jacob makes a deal with Laban to accept as payment for his work all the speckled and spotted sheep and goats. In other words, he was willing to take what was considered second best. Laban agreed but then immediately removed all the older sheep and goats with spots and stripes from his flock that would tend to have these type offspring. In other words he was trying to cheat Jacob and keep him around longer. But Jacob was able to redeem a great fortune in spite of this, taking to himself a great wealth of spotted and speckled (not acceptable as sacrifice to God) lambs and goats. Then, I read in Matthew 15:30 how they brought to Jesus the lame, crippled, blind, and mute people which Jesus accepted and redeemed by healing them. What an amazing picture in Genesis that Jesus surely learned from as a child that there is great wealth in redeeming the spotted and speckled sheep like us! If the one God chose to be the father of the nation of Israel chose to accept the spotted and speckled sheep/goats, how this surely reflected the love of God toward his speckled and spotted 2 legged sheep/goats. What a beautiful picture!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Today was a difficult day for me as I read in Genesis and Matthew. Nothing really seemed to grab hold of me. Nothing really stood out except when Jesus asked, "Who do you say that I am?" Of course Peter jumped up and said "Christ the Son of the Living God!" It wasn't really until I read Psalm 16 that this seemed to tie in for me. David is singing out a song that starts out, keep me safe oh God for in you I take refuge. He repeats several times that fact that God is his LORD! Then he finishes the Psalm with "my body shall rest secure, because You will not abandon me to the grave, nor will You let the Holy One see decay . . . You will fill me with joy in Your presence with eternal pleasure at your right hand." I then imagined Jesus learning this song and committing it to memory. In this song Jesus confesses with his mouth that His Father is his LORD and through it his faith is cemented in knowing His Father would not leave him in the grave. But first, before Peter could answer the question of "Who do you say that I am?" Jesus himself had to believe he was the Son of God! He dedicated himself to studying the writings of the Old Testament. He listened as His mother told him of his conception and birth. Then at some point He asked His Father, "Who do you say that I am?" To which God answered eventually on a river bank, "You are my Son" and Jesus believed it and all that those words meant. That is why He could face the cross with determination and not call on the angels, because God had already told him in a song, His body could not be held by the grave and it would not see decay! Now I have to answer this question today, "Who does God say that I am in His Eyes through Christ?" Then I must believe it and live my life in faith daily carrying my cross, knowing the grave has no eternal hold on me.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

I was drawn today to the Transfiguration story as it connected with Psalm 17. How Jesus must have consistently prayed these words to His Father, "Hear my righteous cry oh LORD! Give ear to my prayer...." then down to verse 8, "Keep me the apple of your eye, hide me in the shadow of your wing." Only to have the Father respond there on that mount by once again confirming, "You are my child, in you I am well pleased!" And to know that in Christ, our Daddy says the same words to us!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

My time this morning was in Genesis 35-36. My usual 6am on Wednesday had canceled at 5:15am so I went to read. After reading of Jacobs return and Isaacs death, I was going on to Matthew 18. However, my team me was interrupted by a firm sense that I needed to go outside. With urgency I dressed and went to the field. There stood Sarah, our oldest ewe with a new born lamb (5:35am). As I watched closely, I noticed she had feet sticking out of her, but they were pointed the wrong way. Long story short, I had to pull lambs 2 and 3 for Sarah. Had I left when I usually do, or not gone out when prompted, Sarah and her lambs could very well have died. I do not have a great word from the Word today, but I know today He spoke to me to go to the field, and while there He displayed his glory and truths to me again through the birth of these lambs. Psalm 18:1 "I Love You LORD , my strength!"

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Matthew 19:17 Jesus said if you want to enter life, obey the commandments. Here he is talking to the rich young ruler who had asked how he could have eternal life? Jesus referenced that staying inside the laws of the Lord were life giving. Amazingly I also read Psalm 19:7-11 which states "The law of the LORD is perfect, Reviving the soul!" In other words, abundant life is found in following Him! His law's are His paths, the ways in which he leads. He never strays from that path, for in it is where his flock can experience the best life has to offer! If we really look at Jesus' conversation with the rich young ruler, his answer to how to have eternal life is found in three simple words; "Come, Follow Me!" My heart longs to experience the joys and abundance of life found in that simple command!

Friday, January 20, 2017

However, today I read of Joseph's peril as he was cast away by his brothers, yet God blessed him in Potiphars house. He was then cast away because he stood for righteousness, yet he was blessed in the prison. He was cast away again when he was forgotten about by the cupbearer, yet he continued to serve. I am sure he daily cried out to God for answers to questions like, "Why me?" And "Are you ever going to deliver me?" But even in that he determined to serve the Lord in whatever his role was! Because of his faithfulness in "Being The One" who sat at his shepherd's feet (remember he tended flocks as well so he knew the power of trusting the Great Shepherd) God lifted him up high, but not for his sake, but rather for the redemption of all his people! How the story of Joseph must have radically impacted a young boy/man named Jesus as he grew in his understanding of why he had been "cast away" from childhood up even to the cross. Yet he too was lifted up, not for his own sake, but for the redemption of his people. I love thinking through how each of these OT stories formed Jesus into the Son of Man who is our Lamb/Shepherd before God!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Again, looking at Joseph this morning when his brothers came to Egypt to get food for the family. It said he recognized them, but they did not know him. Then he hid his identity from them until "it was time" to reveal himself to them for their redemption, restoration, renewing of their relationship. How deeply this must have impacted Jesus as a young man, learning the necessity of revealing his true identity to those who had cast him away only at the perfect time in order to redeem, restore, and renew their relationship with him. Remember when he said at the wedding to his mother, "My time has not yet come!" Through Joseph story he learned that there was a proper time in which to reveal his true identity, and waiting for that perfect time would lead to a marvelous renewal of the relationship his Father longed to have with his sons! #EnjoyTheShepherd

Sunday January 22, 2017

Wow, what a morning in the Word! Matthew 22, Jesus is tested by the leaders after he told them they had been invited to the wedding, but would not make it. Angry, they came to test him in his knowledge of Scripture, doing everything to try and make him say something that would incite the people against him. His answers of course left them silent, but it was the truth of how well he knew the Scriptures that struck me because I also read in Genesis 44 of Judah's guarantee that Benjamin would return home and then how it played out. Benjamin had been found to hold the cup and Joseph was going to take him as a slave, but Judah, the leader of the tribe Jesus came from, laid himself out as a replacement sacrifice for his brother(s). His reasoning found in 44:34 "do not let me see the misery that would come upon my father." Jesus knew these words and had put them deep in his heart. He knew the Lion of the tribe of Judah would also have to be like the patriarch and offer himself as a sacrifice for his brothers. Jesus held these final words close to his heart, for his greatest desire was/is to please the Father. When faced with the opportunity to save himself (temptations), these words from Judah's mouth would have rung loud and clear for Jesus did not want to see misery come upon his Father!" How amazing how deeply these words of old impacted Jesus, may they also take deep root in us. (As a bonus, I read Psalm 22, the passage on Jesus' mind and lips while on the cross, finishing with "he has done it!" aka "it is finished!" #EnjoyTheShepherd

I pray you have been encouraged as I have been. Seeing how these stories impacted Jesus and prepared him for the work ahead is amazing to me.

Ray Carman

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