Friday, November 21, 2014
Based on Proverbs 29:1, Psalm 130:5-8, James 2:1-26, Ezekiel 33-34:31.
Thank You, GOD, for giving us the ears to hear Your calling us Your beloved brethren and for Your assuring us that we will be judged by Mercy as we have shown mercy to others. Thank You for bringing us out from pastures fouled by residue into Your safety and Your showers of blessing. We no longer eat what men have trampled with their feet nor do we drink what they have fouled with their feet. Under Your headship, we are gathered in good pasture where we lie down, delivered from the hand of those who enslaved us. Under Your care, we dwell in safety, and no one shall make us afraid.
For us and for our benefit, You have raised up a rich garden for us. We are no longer consumed with hunger in lands where there has been (and still is) a famine of Your Word. We are Your flock now; we are Your people, and You are our GOD. Therefore we hope in Your promise that mercy triumphs over judgment, and we pour Your Mercy forth from our surrendered hearts.
May we be Your instruments on the earth -- Your temples, Your Holy Spirit wearing skin. For as the body without the Spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. Bloom from us Your fruit, O GOD Most High! May we be like Abraham, called by You a friend of God because of his faithful and willing obedience, and like Rahab and so many other examples of faith in You, no matter the cost. In such people, we see there is an invisible difference between good works and work that are dead. Help us to discern our own evil ways and turn, turn, turn from them, refusing to trust in our own righteousness and choosing Your Wisdom instead.
Thus our arrogant strength has already ceased, and we lie down in good pasture, no longer wandering lost or broken or sick, no longer famished from spiritual starvation. Instead, by Your Mercy and Grace, we have been delivered from the hand of those who enslaved us into Your good fold, LORD Jesus, and we are safe now as Your people, and joyous and free.
This photograph is by Eric Jonas Swensson of Sound Shore Media.