CSR Daily Devotion

A lot of amazing new music came out of the Christian scene yesterday. New albums from Micah Tyler, Relient K, Josh Baldwin of Bethel, Chris Renzema, and the great Jesus Culture led a handful of great singles. I’ll be sharing some of these talented artists in the days ahead. But to start, I want to share a hot new single from the group “We The Kingdom.”

April 25

7Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.  8All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them.  9I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.  They will come in and go out, and find pasture.  10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  (John 10:7-10)

Oh, little sheep, how you must humble yourselves to realize that Jesus is in control and controls everything.  American machismo has grown exponentially during the age of the War on Terrorism.  Many Americans like to think of themselves as the “Sheepdogs,” protecting all the general “sheeple” population, or stockpiling their doomsday bunkers so they will be able to hide in their shelters if the world ever were to truly fall apart.   Well, for the humble heroes, we know that even the sheepdog looks to the Shepherd for strength, security, and guidance.  So whether you are a sheep or a sheepdog, the Shepherd is always in control.

Today we see that Jesus explains that He is the gate for the sheep.  All those who enter through the narrow gate (Matthew 7:13) that is Jesus will “find pasture.”  This means that if you follow Jesus’ teachings in how to love, forgive, and show everyone compassion, and you love God and all His creations, you will pass through the gate.  Finding pasture could refer to both this life or eternal life in Heaven.  What I learned in researching this passage was that the term “finding pasture” originated from this verse.  There is some discussion about what Jesus means when He says the sheep will come in and go out, some feel this refers to people finding salvation and then falling out of favor with Jesus.  Honestly, I do not believe you can ever fall out of salvation once you TRULY understand it, you are baptized and reborn.  Once you leave the old life of sin and are born again into Christ, you will never go back, because you realize how marvelous being saved is.  But many don’t understand the true nature of being saved and do not give themselves fully to Christ, so they do not walk through the gate.  But I believe, and this is just my understanding of this verse, that once you pass through the gate, you go out and the finding pasture is the peace that you live with as a born again Christian.  You have found pasture because you recognize the truth in salvation, grace, forgiveness and love.  And, of course, you are allowed to go out from the gate back into the sheepfold, because you need to help lead the rest of the flock through the gate.  Don’t pass through and selfishly hold your spot in the pasture.  There’s plenty of space to share, go out and bring the flock to the place where the grass is always greener on the other side!

Reading plan:  John 19:28-42

Deeper reading plan:  2 Chronicles 1-6

Prayer and meditation:  Pray for the sick, pray for the lost and their loved ones.  Pray for redemption for this lost world.  Pray for a reviving rattle to shake COVID off this planet.  And continue to pray for all those in medical professions, grocery stores, supply chain operators, first responders, and the amazing teachers still doing all they can to teach the students they love so much.

Fitness challenge:  This is your last week running the 2-mile!  Get out there and crush your time from last week.

Service Challenge:  the challenge to serve has never been greater, and the challenge to be able to serve has never been more complicated.  There are plenty of ways to serve, especially at food outreaches that need all the hands they can get to help distribute food to those in need.


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