"You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever." - Psalm 23:5-6 NIV
Thoughts for Today
In the culture of David's day, it was customary for the host of a feast to anoint guests with oil and to protect them from any potential enemies. David said God, his Host, honored him by anointing his head with oil. The Shepherd protected him from his enemies.
And so God does for those who follow him. He honors and cherishes us as his children. As anointed ones, we can be in the presence of the enemy but not associated with the enemy. In the world but not of the world.
Jesus lived in the world but was not of the world. Just before going to the cross, he prayed for his disciples that they might follow his example . . .
I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. (John 17:15-17 NIV)
With our Shepherd's help, we too can live in the world but not of the world.
Consider this …
As we choose to follow Jesus' example and with his help live in the world but not of the world, God's goodness and unfailing love will follow us here on earth . . . and on into eternity.
So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (Romans 12:1-2 MSG)
Father, thank you for your blessing and protection. Help me to live in this world but not of it. Help me share your love with those who are lost, but not to be so involved in the world that I fit into it. Help me embrace what you do for me and follow you in all I do. In Jesus' name . . .
These thoughts were drawn from …Knowing God My Father: Applying the Names of God to My Personal Life by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. This curriculum is designed to help people strengthen their relationship with their heavenly Father by applying His names to their personal life. Along with helping Christians know God better, it can serve as an evangelistic tool by giving a true picture of God to people who may have a distorted view of Him because of an absent or abusive earthly father who did not or does not provide for them. This group can also help men who want to be better fathers. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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