John the Baptist came on the scene declaring that the Kingdom of God was near. He preached a message of repentance and baptized those who confessed their sins. However, he had a different towards the Pharisees and Sadducees. He called them brood of vipers! He saw them as individuals who had false security in their state of spirituality! They should have been showing evidence of repentance by the fruit they produced rather than relying on their status or family history. It is easy to develop false security based on external factors but not have a close relationship with the Lord. …
The Good Shepherd’s goodness and mercy
A shepherd thinks and cares about his sheep all the time. He knows that he cannot afford to forget about his responsibility in taking care of his helpless lamb. Similarly, God knows the helpless state of humanity and desires to shepherd His people! Do you recognize that His goodness and mercy follow you? Are you dwelling in the house of the Lord?
Isaiah had a vision of the Lord, and He saw the angles declaring God holy, holy, holy! It seems like someone should be ecstatic and speechless having this amazing experience! However, in the light of God’s holiness, Isaiah saw himself undone! …
Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor. John 12:23-26
The above passage occurred after triumphal entry. Many came to see Jesus and brought their palm branches declaring the entrance of the King of Israel to Jerusalem! However, Jesus knew that the true triumph was waiting for Him on the other side of the cross! He had to defeat the enemy and redeem man from the power of hell, sin, and destruction!
While Jesus’ disciples must have felt good about Him being acknowledged by the people, Jesus likened His life to a grain of wheat that has to fall to the ground and die before it produces much grain and becomes fruitful. Even though Jesus lived a perfect and sinless life, His true reproduction began after going to the cross!
Jesus endured the accusations, scorns, and sufferings before the eyes of His family, disciples, friends, and His enemies. The cross may have made Jesus look weak and guilty to the world, but He was meek and pure, and His strength was under the control of the Holy Spirit. He was not derailed by the voices around Him and neither did He bow down to the demands of others. Despite people’s expectations of Him to be the king of Israel, Jesus knew that the nation of Israel as well as humanity needed a Savior for its redemption and reconciliation! This must have disappointed His disciples, but Jesus knew His assignment and what the Lord had required of His son! If He had not died for the sins of humanity, He was going to remain alone, and He could not bring the many sons and daughters to salvation and reconciliation to the Father!
In this hour, many look to government and experts to be the savior of humanity. There are many demands on them to have answers for the current situation, but Jesus has the answer to man’s true condition. People may be temporarily focused on the pandemic, but the world including our nation is need of spiritual restoration and deliverance! There is no peace unless the Prince of Peace is invited into our lives. Our marriages, families, communities, and our nation are in need of healing, and the answer is in the cross of Jesus.
True healing begins with us admitting that we are incapable of fixing our problems. We need to ask for forgiveness for our sins, our selfishness, and our stubbornness that has caused so much disorder in our lives and in our communities. We also forgive others. Jesus paid the full price for all our sins to set things right with the Father and with one another. He also taught us that we can experience the power of resurrection through repentance and denying our old nature. When we allow our carnal nature to die to unbelief, pride, division, animosity, strife, hatred, and anger, we give room for the resurrection power to bear fruit of the spirit and restoration in our lives. Jesus paid a high price, so we can have the privilege of living a life of freedom, peace, love, and reconciliation. Thank you Lord for sending your son to the earth! Thank you Jesus for your great sacrifice and redemption! Thank you Holy Spirit for being with us and for your conviction and revelation!
When God comes through for us, sometimes He is recompensing what was stolen and at other times he is looking for our repentance! There is a difference between God’s recompense versus us repenting from some behavior or pattern in our lives. When we have been wronged and God has seen our faithfulness in the midst of it, the Lord has no problem recompensing us for what was lost in the injustice. On the other hand, God sometimes blesses us in the midst of us being wrong, and in those cases, He hopes that His mercies lead us to repentance! In this devotional, I will share about God’s recompense and in the next devotional about our repentance!
According to Strong’s Dictionary (H7725) Recompense: to return, to turn back, to turn back to God to repent, to restore, refresh, give back.
Then David spoke to the Lord the words of this song, on the day when the Lord had delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. 2Samuel 22:1
The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness;
According to the cleanness of my hands
He has recompensed me.
For I have kept the ways of the Lord,
And have not wickedly departed from my God.
For all His judgments were before me;
And as for His statutes, I did not depart from them.
I was also blameless before Him,
And I kept myself from my iniquity.
Therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness,
According to my cleanness in His eyes. 2Samuel 22:21-25
In the above scriptures, David spoke of God’s faithfulness for delivering him from the hands of Saul. David had not sinned against Saul! His hands were clean from any evil against this man, but Saul had made David’s life miserable and had tried to take his life to ensure that he was would not gain the throne someday. David wrote this song as a testimony of how God delivered him from the hands of his enemies. It was the Lord who recompensed him and gave him what David deserved. In the turbulent times, David did not stop doing the right thing and keeping his life clean from being polluted by hatred, revenge, and dishonoring Saul. David was innocent in this matter. Therefore, God brought about justice by giving back to David what Saul had tried to steal from him.
There are times that we may not have done anything wrong but someone because of hatred, jealousy, or insecurity tries to undermine us. They may try to steal our reputation through gossip or false accusation, or try to block some opportunities. In those cases, we can turn to the Lord and look to Him for His deliverance! We can be confident that God is the one who will recompense us, and we don’t have to fight our battles in the flesh. We don’t have to gossip about them or ensure everyone knows about the character of this person. The Lord sees all things, and He expects us to keep our lives, mouths, and hands clean from polluting ourselves with hatred, bitterness or revenge.
Are you in a situation that you have been wronged? Are you able to show self-control and not pollute yourself with iniquity? Leave room for God’s recompense and for Him to bring about justice on your behalf!
In the next devotional, I will share about, what if we were the ones who were wrong!? What should our response be?