HIS VOICE

Before I spoke a word, You were singing over me
You have been so, so good to me
Before I took a breath, You breathed Your life in me
You have been so so kind to me

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the 99
And I couldn’t earn it
I don’t deserve it, still You give yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God

Jesus told stories to help us understand who loves us best, wants the best is us because of the love God has for us.  Jesus uses this particular story to tell us that as “His sheep”, we who follow Him through mountains and valleys, will know His voice.  When we stray, He leaves the flock to come and find us because of His great love for us.  He is the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for ours.

When I was Your foe, still Your love fought for me
You have been so, so good to me
When I felt no worth, You paid it all for me
You have been so, so kind to me

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the 99
And I couldn’t earn it
I don’t deserve it, still You give yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending reckless love of God

“The shepherd walks right up to the gate. The gatekeeper opens the gate to him and the sheep recognize his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he gets them all out, he leads them and they follow because they are familiar with his voice. They won’t follow a stranger’s voice but will scatter because they aren’t used to the sound of it.”

“Jesus told this simple story, but they had no idea what he was talking about. So, he tried again. “I’ll be explicit, then. I am the Gate for the sheep. All those others are up to no good—sheep rustlers, every one of them. But the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for—will freely go in and out, and find pasture. A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”

“I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd puts the sheep before himself, sacrifices himself if necessary.” –Jesus (John 10, the Message)

“I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own sheep and my own sheep know me. In the same way, the Father knows me and I know the Father.”-Jesus (John 10, MSG)

There’s no shadow You won’t light up
Mountain You won’t climb up
Coming after me
There’s no wall You won’t kick down
Lie You won’t tear down
Coming after me

I am reminded of what Jesus told us about knowing Him and hearing His voice above all others as I read this last passage of Psalm 119.  Because of Jesus, we can “come right into God’s presence”, make our requests known, asking for anything in Jesus Name.  God will listen to our prayers for wisdom, protection, healing, provisions according to His promises to always be with us and help us.  “And should I wander off like a lost sheep”, like the Psalmist prays, we will recognize the Voice of the Shepherd who comes to find us and bring us back all because of His love, mercy and grace!  Wow.

Yes, the song ringing in the background of my mind this morning is Reckless Love by Cory Asbury…

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the 99
I couldn’t earn it, I don’t deserve it, still You give yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending reckless love of God

Worship and Wisdom, Psalms and Proverbs

Part 22 – Psalm 119, The Message

169-176 Let my cry come right into your presence, God;
    provide me with the insight that comes only from your Word.
Give my request your personal attention,
    rescue me on the terms of your promise.
Let praise cascade off my lips;
    after all, you’ve taught me the truth about life!
And let your promises ring from my tongue;
    every order you’ve given is right.
Put your hand out and steady me
    since I’ve chosen to live by your counsel.
I’m homesick, God, for your salvation;
    I love it when you show yourself!
Invigorate my soul so I can praise you well,
    use your decrees to put iron in my soul.
And should I wander off like a lost sheep—seek me!
    I’ll recognize the sound of your voice.

TRUTH:  And should we wander off, He will seek us if we ask.  We will find and follow Him because we will recognize the sound of His voice! 

EPILOGUE

This is the last stanza of Psalm 119.  It is good that we can revisit it often because of the gift of God’s Word to us.  During the spiritual journey recorded in this psalm, the psalmist had experienced his ups and downs, but he had always stayed himself on the Word of God, and he did this to the very end. He opened the psalm with a benediction, but he closed it with a warning, and both are important to the balanced believer’s life.

God gives us promises and assurances so we will not despair, but He gives us warnings that we might not presume. He was still the servant of God and not the servant of sin, and he still remembered God’s Word, so he would not stray for long. The Good Shepherd would find him and lead him back to the fold. He would anoint his wounds with healing oil and give him a long, refreshing drink of water all because he could hear His Voice and follow Him.

Proverb 2, The Message

Tune your ears to the world of Wisdom;
    set your heart on a life of Understanding.
That’s right—if you make Insight your priority,
    and won’t take no for an answer,
Searching for it like a prospector panning for gold,
    like an adventurer on a treasure hunt,
Believe me, before you know it Fear-of-God will be yours;
    you’ll have come upon the Knowledge of God.

WISDOM: 

And here’s why: God gives out Wisdom free,
    is plainspoken in Knowledge and Understanding.
He’s a rich mine of Common Sense for those who live well,
    a personal bodyguard to the candid and sincere.
He keeps his eye on all who live honestly,
    and pays special attention to his loyally committed ones.

Abba, Father,

We are the sheep of Your Pasture.  We hear Your Voice when you call us.  Help us to listen and obey when you call.  There has never been I time when I trusted You completely that You failed me.  Thank you, Lord for leaving the flock to come and find me.  Thank you for loving all of us the way you do.

In Jesus Name, Amen.  I believe. 

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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