Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 03-24-23

Intro: During this Lenten season, every devotional will begin with a quote from C.S. Lewis (author and theologian), followed by two readings: 1) A passage from the Psalter and 2) a writing from one of the Old Testament prophets or New Testament authors. We will look at both passages as a whole through the fulfilling work and wisdom of Christ—Truth.

Jesus is the Perfect Sacrifice, Shepherd, and Spirit who came from heaven to earth in order to reveal the Truth about Satan’s destructive nature of sin and God’s healing Gift of righteousness.

“You have described the downward journey well, but of the realm of light, have you no word? Nothing but that which all mankind have heard.” (CS Lewis; Poems)

In our passage from the Psalter, David shares a song that people even today continue to hold deeply in their hearts. The imagery of the Lord as our loving and caring Shepherd brings comfort for our weary souls [mind/will/emotions]. Only the Lord can bring genuine restoration for humanity. David served God as a shepherd of flocks and people, but he always knew it was the Lord who was the true Shepherd of the heart; the Shepherd of Truth. I have chosen to share this familiar passage from an unfamiliar translation, so we can bring a fresh listening ear to the Truth. God’s love is immeasurable and his grace more than sufficient for every need, so trust the Lord and invite the Spirit to fill your spiritual cup again and again.

Psalm 23:1-6 (VOICE)
The Eternal is my shepherd, He cares for me always.

He provides me rest in rich, green fields
    beside streams of refreshing water.
    He soothes my fears;

He makes me whole again,
    steering me off worn, hard paths
    to roads where truth and righteousness echo His name.

Even in the unending shadows of death’s darkness,
    I am not overcome by fear.
Because You are with me in those dark moments,
    near with Your protection and guidance,
    I am comforted.

You spread out a table before me,
    provisions in the midst of attack from my enemies;
You care for all my needs, anointing my head with soothing, fragrant oil,
    filling my cup again and again with Your grace.

Certainly Your faithful protection and loving provision will pursue me
    where I go, always, everywhere.
I will always be with the Eternal,
    in Your house forever.

Jesus, the visible image of God, came from heaven to lay his life down in order to ransom us from slavery to sin. He now lives to Shepherd us into righteousness. No longer must we be bound by this world’s wicked ways against God, we can live to bring honor and glory to the Name above all names. To accept Christ’s forgiveness is to accept him as the High Priest [Holy One bringing Atonement for sin] and Shepherd [Holy One bringing Righteous Guidance]. We can now live as worshipers with clean consciences, free from the fear of death by the gift of eternal Life, and free from the power of sin. Let’s think about it this way, we are free to live for Jesus! We do not have to follow the world or our sinful flesh. Instead, we can chose to follow the Son who leads us into the promises of the Father.

Hebrews 9:11-15 NLT Christ Is the Perfect Sacrifice
11 So Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come [or about to come]. He has entered that greater, more perfect Tabernacle in heaven, which was not made by human hands and is not part of this created world. 12 With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever.
13 Under the old system, the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer could cleanse people’s bodies from ceremonial impurity. 14 Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds [dead works] so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. 15 That is why he is the one who mediates a new covenant between God and people, so that all who are called can receive the eternal inheritance God has promised them. For Christ died to set them free from the penalty of the sins they had committed under that first covenant.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for putting everything for the world’s salvation into place. As well, we thank you for our salvation and liberty found only in Jesus our High Priest. We pray for the world to hear the Truth and receive salvation from your Righteous Hand. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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