The rebellious sheep

The rebellious sheep

What is Jesus saying personally to me today – the rebellious sheep

Shepard and sheep, a great analogy of relationship that Jesus says we are worthy of having. Being cared for, being protected, provided for and taught just like the relationship Jesus and his father have. Jesus says we are entitled to same relationship as a he does with God the creator, not more and not less. So if we are listening to his voice and are teachable then we are too are looking down the barrel of an intimate and special relationship with Jesus.

Thank you for speaking to me Jesus

How do I respond to what Jesus is saying personally to me today?

Being a sheep is probably not a very esteemed goal in todays society, perhaps not even back in Jesus’ time either. So it’s going to take a piece of humility to take this disposition and instead of being the annoying rebellious sheep that goes off on his own way, doesn’t listen and gets himself in to all sorts of trouble, something has to change. All week I have heard my Shepard’s voice and still I wonder off on my own being rebellious. It’s time to come back in to line and start listening again and not just to pretend to do it. I am actually annoying myself by not listening, lucky my Shepard is patient!

Prayer:

Lord,
I hear your voice, take away my rebellious behaviours and give me a compliant heart.
I don’t know better than you.
The easy path is a lie, let me change direction back to you.
You are my protector, guide teacher and provider of all.
May I treat you with much more respect.
Amen

John 10:11-16

Jesus said:
‘I am the good shepherd:
the good shepherd is one who lays down his life for his sheep.
The hired man, since he is not the shepherd
and the sheep do not belong to him,
abandons the sheep and runs away
as soon as he sees a wolf coming,
and then the wolf attacks and scatters the sheep;
this is because he is only a hired man
and has no concern for the sheep.
‘I am the good shepherd;
I know my own
and my own know me,
just as the Father knows me
and I know the Father;
and I lay down my life for my sheep.
And there are other sheep I have
that are not of this fold,
and these I have to lead as well.
They too will listen to my voice,
and there will be only one flock,
and one shepherd.’

Don’t deny my true nature

Dont deny my true nature

What is Jesus saying personally to me today – Don’t deny my true nature

We may be unfaithful but Jesus is never unfaithful to us even when we fail him. Why? Because he lives within us, we are a part of him and to turn away would be to abandon a part of our humanness. Jesus as a man understands this and as God has unlimited patience compassion and love for us. If this is the truth, then we have the same nature of God, full of patience, love and compassion, it is the very foundation of our being and everything that distracts us from this is just that, a distraction.

Thank you for speaking to me Jesus

How do I respond to what Jesus is saying personally to me today?

Stop pretending that I am not all of the things that are like Jesus. It is untrue to believe that being loving and forgiving is soft, that being harsh and judgemental is justified. To turn away from all these beautiful attributes is to deny my true nature. At the very heart of my being is Jesus, I am created for love, so when I am feeling vulnerable I will say, to be soft is strong, to be harsh is soft, soft is love and compassion, harsh is judgemental and lie to myself self. There are a few people that I am dismissing because of self protection and I need to go closer not pull away, time to get back in to the love game!

Prayer:

Lord,
May I be as faithful to myself as you are.
Help me to understand mine and your true nature more fully.
Teach me more about love and compassion
Help to accept all that you tell me.
Amen

2 Timothy 2:8-15

Remember the Good News that I carry, ‘Jesus Christ risen from the dead, sprung from the race of David’; it is on account of this that I have my own hardships to bear, even to being chained like a criminal – but they cannot chain up God’s news. So I bear it all for the sake of those who are chosen, so that in the end they may have the salvation that is in Christ Jesus and the eternal glory that comes with it.
Here is a saying that you can rely on:
If we have died with him, then we shall live with him.
If we hold firm, then we shall reign with him.
If we disown him, then he will disown us.
We may be unfaithful, but he is always faithful,
for he cannot disown his own self.
Remind them of this; and tell them in the name of God that there is to be no wrangling about words: all that this ever achieves is the destruction of those who are listening. Do all you can to present yourself in front of God as a man who has come through his trials, and a man who has no cause to be ashamed of his life’s work and has kept a straight course with the message of the truth.

Follow the instructions

What is Jesus saying personally to me today – Follow the instructions

I wonder what Jesus saw and thought when he looked at all the people waiting for him to speak. Perhaps he saw desperation, pleading eyes, lost souls that were seeking instructions and guidance on how to live a good, happy and meaningful life and thus he provides the beatitudes. He gives us all the way, the disposition to hold and aspire to, the results of what be if we follow the instructions. It’s worth a try I think.

Thank you for speaking to me Jesus

How do I respond to what Jesus is saying personally to me today?

I have really struggled to follow through with an act of forgiveness and haven’t put pen to paper. I have felt stuck, vulnerable and apprehensive as there is so much going through my mind. Today Jesus provides me with the road map and instructions on what to include. I first need to acknowledge my mourning of a lost relationship and poor spirit. I need to do this because it is righteous, it needs to be merciful, it should be written to bring peace and have a gentle tone. I will use these elements to write today, no more excuses or distractions.

Prayer:

Lord,
provide in me a peaceful heart so that I can follow your instructions.
May your words be my guide.
Please be present when I do this work.
May the results be more of you and less pain and suffering.
Amen

Matthew 5:1-12

Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up the hill. There he sat down and was joined by his disciples. Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them:
‘How happy are the poor in spirit;
theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Happy the gentle:
they shall have the earth for their heritage.
Happy those who mourn:
they shall be comforted.
Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right:
they shall be satisfied.
Happy the merciful:
they shall have mercy shown them.
Happy the pure in heart:
they shall see God.
Happy the peacemakers:
they shall be called sons of God.
Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right:
theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
‘Happy are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven: this is how they persecuted the prophets before you.’

Sometimes it tastes like vinegar

Sometimes it tastes like vinegar

What is Jesus saying personally to me today – Sometimes it tastes like vinegar

Jesus fulfilled everything that He has been asked to do knowing that it was going to be excruciatingly difficult. If we look at Gods instructions or the act that he asks us to do in isolation, we could say its unfair or even unreasonable, but what we don’t see always see is what the end goal might be. We have to trust that all the things that God asks us to do, believe they are justified and that it leads us to one place and one place only, to Him, even if it tastes like vinegar.

Thank you for speaking to me Jesus

How do I respond to what Jesus is saying personally to me today?

He asks me to forgive my father and to write to him after not hearing from him for 22 years, further more he is asking me to tell him that I love him. This is going to taste like vinegar that’s for sure. I have to do this and trust that this request from Jesus leads me closer to him and ignore the taste that is already in my mouth. I have hesitated and today Jesus provides me with a reminder, no more putting it off.

Prayer:

Lord,
I have said yes, then I have hesitated.
Fortify me, encourage me,
and strengthen me to become your instrument of love.
Give me the words, provide for the message that you yourself would say in this instance.
Guide me and I will obey
Amen

John 19:25-34

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. Seeing his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, ‘Woman, this is your son.’ Then to the disciple he said, ‘This is your mother.’ And from that moment the disciple made a place for her in his home.
After this, Jesus knew that everything had now been completed, and to fulfil the scripture perfectly he said, ‘I am thirsty.’
A jar full of vinegar stood there, so putting a sponge soaked in the vinegar on a hyssop stick they held it up to his mouth. After Jesus had taken the vinegar he said, ‘It is accomplished’;
and bowing his head he gave up his spirit.
It was Preparation Day, and to prevent the bodies remaining on the cross during the sabbath – since that sabbath was a day of special solemnity – the Jews asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken away. Consequently the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with him and then of the other. When they came to Jesus, they found he was already dead, and so instead of breaking his legs one of the soldiers pierced his side with a lance; and immediately there came out blood and water.

Chosen, now choose and choose again

Chosen now choose and choose again

What is Jesus saying personally to me today – Chosen, now choose and choose again

We have been chosen by God and if I reflect on this for just a moment then it becomes clearer that this is the greatest gift that could be ever given and received. Me, chosen by God!! So what do we do with this gift and how do we exercise our free will? Judas chose not to receive the gift and others chose to receive, fell away and chose again and again. In the small and the big moments of choice we are to you our free will to take a path, a path that leads us towards or away from Jesus. A life of continual choice and free will.

Thank you for speaking to me Jesus

How do I respond to what Jesus is saying personally to me today?

I keep going on this round about of choice and falling, getting back up and coming and goings. Thank goodness Jesus is patient and forgiving. Sometimes I wonder why I make the choices that stop me from coming closer to Jesus and why it feels so hard to make the right choice. I might not ever work that one out, just like I might not work out many mysteries and that might be OK. What I do need to do is not stop choosing to come back to what He has asked me to do and to be. It is actually harder to resist than to reject his advances. Today I go back to the fasting and prayer as he has asked me, and instead of falling, I will stand tall in this choice.

Prayer:

Lord,
I keep coming back to you as all the other paths and choices do not satisfy me as you do.
Amen

John 17:11-19

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said:
‘Holy Father,
keep those you have given me true to your name,
so that they may be one like us.
While I was with them,
I kept those you had given me true to your name.
I have watched over them
and not one is lost
except the one who chose to be lost,
and this was to fulfil the scriptures.

But now I am coming to you
and while still in the world I say these things
to share my joy with them to the full.
I passed your word on to them,
and the world hated them,
because they belong to the world
no more than I belong to the world.
I am not asking you to remove them from the world,
but to protect them from the evil one.
They do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
Consecrate them in the truth;
your word is truth.
As you sent me into the world,
I have sent them into the world,
and for their sake I consecrate myself
so that they too may be consecrated in truth.