HOW DID I GET THROUGH THIS DAY?
How did I get through this day? In the business of every day; in the difficulties, trials and anxieties each day brings, when we look back over the day, week or year, we wonder how we ever managed to cope.
Sadly, in the midst of everything, we are not always conscious or aware of the fact that we are not alone. Whether it is illness, financial difficulties, work pressures, bereavement or loneliness, we often feel as if we are absolutely on our own. But, be encouraged.
Someone sent me a letter some years ago whilst I was going through a particularly difficult time. The following verse was shared for my encouragement: “Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him for He shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders” (Deut.33:12) Even though this was said about the tribe of Benjamin, we believe “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:16) and hence is applicable to all who read it and obey His Word.
If all Scripture is inspired or God breathed, all the promises and encouragement is from Him. Therefore, looking at Deut 33:12 can be most encouraging:
As Benjamin was loved, so are we. John 3:16 tells us just how much He (God) loves us – “… He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”
Because we are loved, we can rest secure – live in safety - knowing that whatever happens, our Saviour will hold us in the palm of His nail-pierced hand.
Why can we rest secure? We rest secure because He shields and protects us.
When are we secure in His love? He shields and surrounds us all day long, continuously! He has promised He will never leave us nor forsake us.
Where is our security? In Christ our Saviour – “Whom the Lord loves, rests between His shoulders”. Shoulders speak of strength. Being carried speaks of support. It speaks of being able to rest. Lifted up out of the clamber, pain and torment of our situation! Being lifted high – secure and preserved from every harm.
What a precious thought. He whom the Lord loves rests between His shoulders. Thank you Jesus!
PORTRAITS OF JESUS
In most homes one finds one or many photo albums, a variety of framed photos, digital photo frames and even photos on desktops, mobile and smart phones. These all serve to trigger memories, inspire and encourage us and could even help us to get to know more about other people, for example, distant relatives.
Have you ever considered that in one way the Bible is the most wonderful photo album? It provides “portraits” of several Bible characters – Moses, Daniel, Peter, Zaccheus, for example. BUT … there is ONE person that outshines them all!! His name is Jesus. This reading and the next two will take a closer look – glimpses of Jesus in the old and new testament; an enlargement of a very special Portrait and reflecting on the Portrait – what is Jesus saying to me?
Glimpses of some of the portraits of Jesus are found in the Old Testament. Ezekiel and Daniel give us a dramatic and glorious picture of the Lord Jesus Christ (read Ezekiel 1:25-28 & Daniel 10:5-10). Isaiah looked across the centuries and saw the Coming Messiah. Of all the great Hebrew prophets, Isaiah gives us the most complete picture of the history, mission, titles and characteristics of Christ. A fascinating study indeed! (See note at end of today’s reading for further reading and study)
The New Testament provides portraits from a number of angles. Matthew describes the Kingly Messiah while Mark describes Jesus as the Wonder Worker and shows His divinity and compassion. Luke shows Him as the Friend of sinners and outcasts and John provides several images of Jesus. In fact, virtually each chapter of John’s gospel provides a different portrait or special aspect of the character of Jesus. For example, the Son of God / the Son of Man; the Divine Teacher; the Good Shepherd; the Great Physician; the Light of the world; the Comforter; the Uplifted Saviour; the Conqueror of death and much more! The final book of the New Testament is the Book of Revelation which provides a beautiful portrait of the glorified and Living Lord Jesus!
I encourage you to meditate further on His Word.
And now a prayer...
Precious Lord, how gracious You have been to provide us with so many images of Yourself throughout Scripture. Help me to study your Word with much more eagerness and in more detail in order that I may learn so much more about You, precious Saviour, and grow to be more like You in so doing.