In the spring, shepherds in Idaho move their flocks from the lowlands into the mountains. Thousands of sheep move up the passes into the high country to summer pasture.
My wife and I came across a flock on Shaw Mountain last week. It was bedded down in a meadow by a quiet stream—a picturesque scene that evoked memories of Psalm 23.
But where was the shepherd? The sheep appeared to be alone—until a few broke away from the flock and began to wander toward a distant gully. Then we heard a shrill whistle from above. Looking up, we saw the shepherd sitting high on a hill above the sheep, keeping watch over his flock. A mountain dog and two Border collies stood at his side. The dogs, responding to the shepherd’s signal, bounded down the hill and herded the drifting sheep back to the flock where they belonged.
In the same way, the Good Shepherd is watching over you. Even though you cannot see Him, He can see you! He knows you by name and knows all about you. You are the sheep of His pasture (Ezek. 34:31). God promises that He will “seek out” His sheep, “feed them in good pasture,” and “bind up the broken” (vv.12,14,16).
You can trust in God’s watchful care.
I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him. (Ephesians 1:17 NRSV)
Prayer is the spiritual dialogue that takes place between us and God. Our prayers are not just about listing our wants. Prayer is about building a relationship with God. How do we build stronger relationships with our spouses and friends? We do it through conversation and spending time together. We build our relationship with God through prayer.
When Sally in the PEANUTS cartoon strip was called on in Sunday School to lead her class in prayer, she adapted the only prayer she knew: "Now I lay me down to sleep...." I often have people tell me they don't know what to say in their prayer time with God. If you fall into that category, remember that prayer is a conversation. Have a conversation with God like you would with your spouse or a close friend. If you still have trouble, recite the Lord's prayer. There are also prayers and meditations in books you can purchase. A good devotion guide can also be very helpful in having a conversation with God. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, "Pray without ceasing." To me, this scripture means that we are to live our life as a prayer.
When we live by prayer. We live in God's grace and presence.Loving God, help me to spend quality time in getting to know you. In Jesus name, Amen.
Throughout my life there have been times when I denied a closed relationship with God. One of the times in my life when I denied this relationship was when I was in Jr. High school. I grew up in the church, and I went to church every Sunday. But, when I wasn't in church I was constantly turning away from God. One of the ways I turned away was pick on Ron Brown. He was a short stature man of about five foot. The meanest thing I did to him was pick him up by the neck. He usually didn't give me any trouble, because he knew what would happen if he resisted. He would get hurt.
Hurting Ron as a Jr. Higher was one of the ways I denied God. How do you deny God?
When I became a Christian and stopped denying God, Ron Brown became my best high school Christian friend and was my best man in my wedding eight years ago.
God of all, move me to quit denying you. In Jesus name, Amen.