Thursday - Daily Devotions - Logos
February 27: Reality Can Bite
Leviticus 23–25; John 10:1–21; Song of Solomon 8:6–9
Reality shows are all about people who are known or want to be known—they have celebrity syndrome. The root cause of this obsession is probably, like most things, a disconnect from our Maker. As people disconnect from the God who made us, we seek affirmation from other sources. And as wrong as this desire may be, our culture makes it feel like second nature.
The Jewish people Jesus spoke to also felt displaced. They were people who had lost touch with their guide—their shepherd. Jesus is the answer to their call.
Echoing Ezekiel 34:11–24, He says, “I am the good shepherd, and I know my own, and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father.” But Jesus goes one step further by adding, “and I lay down my life for the sheep” (John 10:14–15). Jesus promises that He will know us, and by echoing the very words of God, He is claiming that He is the God of Israel—He is the way God will know us. He offers the affirmation we’ve been looking for; He essentially says, “I chose you.”
But lest we understand this passage only to be about Jesus fulfilling what God had promised to the Jewish people, He remarks, “And I have other sheep which are not from this fold. I must bring these also, and they will hear my voice, and they will become one flock—one shepherd. Because of this, the Father loves me, because I lay down my life so that I may take possession of it again” (John 10:16–17).
Jesus came as our good shepherd, as the one who guides us back to God. When we have the urge to obsess over those who are known to the world, or when we desire to be known ourselves, we can be assured that Jesus knows us. He knows you, and me, and He was still willing to die for us.
In what ways are you seeking to be known by people or obsessing over those who are well-known? What can you do to change that?
John D. Barry
Barry, John D., and Rebecca Kruyswijk. Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012. Print.
Morning, February 27 Go To Evening Reading
“Thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation.”
The Israelites in the wilderness were continually exposed to change. Whenever the pillar stayed its motion, the tents were pitched; but tomorrow, ere the morning sun, had risen, the trumpet sounded, the ark was in motion, and the fiery, cloudy pillar was leading the way through the narrow defiles of the mountain, up the [hillside], or along the arid waste of the wilderness. They had scarcely time to rest a little before they heard the sound of “Away! this is not your rest; you must still be onward journeying towards Canaan!” They were never long in one place. Even wells and palm trees could not detain them. Yet they had an abiding home in their God, his cloudy pillar was their roof-tree, and its flame by night their household fire. They must go onward from place to place, continually changing, never having time to settle, and to say, “Now we are secure; in this place, we shall dwell.” “Yet,” says Moses, “though we are always changing, Lord, thou hast been our dwelling-place throughout all generations.” The Christian knows no change with regard to God. He may be rich to-day and poor to-morrow; he may be sickly to-day and well to-morrow; he may be in happiness to-day, to-morrow he may be distressed—but there is no change with regard to his relationship to God. If he loved me yesterday, he loves me to-day. My unmoving mansion of rest is my blessed Lord. Let prospects be blighted; let hopes be blasted; let joy be withered; let mildews destroy everything; I have lost nothing of what I have in God. He is “my strong habitation whereunto I can continually resort.” I am a pilgrim in the world, but at home in my God. In the earth, I wander, but in God, I dwell in a quiet habitation.
Go To Morning Reading Evening, February 27
“Whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting”
The Lord Jesus had goings forth for his people as their representative before the throne, long before they appeared upon the stage of time. It was “from everlasting” that he signed the compact with his Father, that he would pay blood for blood, suffering for suffering, agony for agony, and death for death, in the behalf of his people; it was “from everlasting” that he gave himself up without a murmuring word. That from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot he might sweat great drops of blood, that he might be spit upon, pierced, mocked, rent asunder, and crushed beneath the pains of death. His goings forth as our Surety were from everlasting. Pause, my soul, and wonder! Thou hast goings forth in the person of Jesus “from everlasting.” Not only when thou wast born into the world did Christ love thee, but his delights were with the sons of men before there were any sons of men. Often did he think of them; from everlasting to everlasting he had set his affection upon them. What! my soul, has he been so long about thy salvation, and will not he accomplish it? Has he from everlasting been going forth to save me, and will he lose me now? What! Has he carried me in his hand, as his precious jewel, and will he now let me slip from between his fingers? Did he choose me before the mountains were brought forth, or the channels of the deep were [dug], and will he reject me now? Impossible! I am sure he would not have loved me so long if he had not been a changeless Lover. If he could grow weary of me, he would have been tired of me long before now. If he had not loved me with a love as deep as hell, and as strong as death, he would have turned from me long ago. Oh, joy above all joys, to know that I am his everlasting and inalienable inheritance, given to him by his Father or ever the earth was! Everlasting love shall be the pillow for my head this night.
Spurgeon, C. H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings. London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1896. Print.
The impoverished ministry of Jesus
From whence then hast Thou that living water? John 4:11.
“The well is deep”—and a great deal deeper than the Samaritan woman knew! Think of the depths of human nature, of human life, think of the depths of the ‘wells’ in you. Have you been impoverishing the ministry of Jesus so that He cannot do anything? Suppose there is a well of fathomless trouble inside your heart, and Jesus comes and says—“Let not your heart be troubled”; and you shrug your shoulders and say—‘But, Lord, the well is deep; You cannot draw up quietness and comfort out of it.’ No, He will bring them down from above. Jesus does not bring anything up from the wells of human nature. We limit the Holy One of Israel by remembering what we have allowed Him to do for us in the past, and by saying—‘Of course I cannot expect God to do this thing.’ The thing that taxes almightiness is the very thing which as disciples of Jesus we ought to believe He will do. We impoverish His ministry the moment we forget He is Almighty; the impoverishment is in us, not in Him. We will come to Jesus as Comforter or as Sympathizer, but we will not come to Him as Almighty.
The reason some of us are such poor specimens of Christianity is [that] we have no Almighty Christ. We have Christian attributes and experiences, but there is no abandonment to Jesus Christ. When we get into difficult circumstances, we impoverish His ministry by saying—‘Of course He cannot do [anything],’ and we struggle down to the deeps and try to get the water for ourselves. Beware of the satisfaction of sinking back and saying—‘It can’t be done’; you know it can be done if you look to Jesus. The well of your incompleteness is deep, but make the effort and look away to Him.
Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest: Selections for the Year. Grand Rapids, MI: Oswald Chambers Publications; Marshall Pickering, 1986. Print.
I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me
Heaven often seems distant and unknown, but if He who made the road thither is our guide, we need not fear to lose the way. We do not want to see far ahead—only far enough to discern Him and trace His footsteps.… They who follow Christ, even through darkness, will surely reach the Father.
Henry Van Dyke
Hardman, Samuel G., and Dwight Lyman Moody. Thoughts for the Quiet Hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing, 1997. Print.