The Sheep of His Hand

Psalms 95:6-7 ESV

“Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand.”

In today’s modern market-driven churches, the word “worship” is often closely associated with emotional experiences which take place during a time of singing worship songs. So what has happened is that those professing faith in Jesus Christ have largely accepted such emotional experiences as true worship of God or as the only expression of true worship. So, what I am saying here is that singing songs of praise to the Lord, especially as this evokes the emotions, has become synonymous with true worship.

Now is true worship of God taking place in some people’s lives during these times of singing worship songs? Surely! But singing songs of worship of God does not naturally equate true worship of God. And that is of concern because far too many people professing faith in Jesus Christ have accepted that singing songs of praise to God does equate true worship of God and so they do not go beyond that to learn and to experience genuine worship of God. And thus they don’t become true worshipers of God.

For true worship of our Lord is not in lip service only. True worship of God involves us humbling ourselves before our Lord and us turning away from our sins, and us forsaking our idols, and us submitting to Christ as Lord (Owner-Master) of our lives. It involves surrender of our lives to Jesus Christ to do his will, and not our will, and us walking in obedience to his commands (New Covenant). We now become God’s possession so that we will now honor God with our lives and so we will no longer live for ourselves.

And this is not a one-time experience that takes place in our lives, nor is this some kind of religious ritual or performance. For true worship of God involves true submission to Christ as Lord, and it involves daily dying with Christ to sin, denial of self, and us following our Lord in obedience day by day and moment by moment. Every day we must see our lives as belonging to the Lord and not to ourselves, and that our lives are to be lived for him in obedience to his will. Our lives are to be given to God as living sacrifices.

And this means that we are to be living holy lives separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are being conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ in character. We are to be living in moral purity, godliness, faithfulness, honesty, integrity, uprightness and self-control. And we are to no longer be living to please our flesh, living like those who have not been set free from our slavery to sin. So, we should no longer be liars, thieves, the sexually immoral, the unfaithful, and the hateful.

For if we are his true sheep, Jesus said about his sheep that we listen to him, which means we heed what he says, and we follow him, meaning we obey our Lord in practice, and sin is no longer our practice (John 10:27). Now righteousness and holiness and obedience to our Lord are to be what we practice. Yet, it doesn’t mean we are perfect people (1 John 2:1-2), but we also do not use lack of perfection as an excuse to continue in deliberate and habitual sin. Now we walk in obedience to our Lord as our life course.

Also, we are no longer to be conformed to the ways of this sinful world. We are not to immerse ourselves in our culture. We are not to become like the world to attract the world to our “church” gatherings. “Church” is supposed to be the body of genuine believers in Christ getting together to encourage and exhort one another in the faith so that none of us will stray from our pure devotion to Christ and so none of us will be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness, but so we will all walk in holiness and in righteousness.

And then we are supposed to go out into the world, not to become like the world, for we are to live lives that are different from the world, but in order to love the people of the world as Jesus loves us, and in order to share the truth of the gospel of Christ with the people of the world who are still walking in darkness, whether or not they profess faith in Jesus Christ. We are to talk with them about sin, and call them to repentance, and call them to walks of obedience to our Lord, for this is what salvation is all about.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Psalms 95:7-11 ESV

“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah,
as on the day at Massah in the wilderness,
when your fathers put me to the test
and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work.
For forty years I loathed that generation
and said, ‘They are a people who go astray in their heart,
and they have not known my ways.’
Therefore I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall not enter my rest.’”

We read in 1 Corinthians 10 that these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. So we are not to be idolaters and revelers, as some of them were. We are not to be those who indulge in sexual immorality, as some of them did. And we must not be those who grumble against our Lord and who put Christ to the test by our sinful behaviors and rebellion, as some of them did. For those who did such things were destroyed and they did not enter into God’s eternal rest.

And these things happened to them as an example to us, and they were written down for our instruction. So we are to take heed if we think we are in right standing with God and that we are secure in our salvation lest we fall. For Jesus said that not everyone who says to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven but only the one DOING the will of God the Father in heaven. And he said many on that day will tell him of all the things they did in his name and he is going to say to them, “I never knew you. Depart from me you workers of lawlessness” (see Matthew 7:21-23).

So, what this is saying to us is that just because we claim Jesus as our Savior and Lord and heaven as our eternal destiny, it is no guarantee that we have salvation from sin or eternal life with God. For the New Testament Scriptures teach that if sin is what we practice, and if righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, that we will not inherit eternal life with God regardless of the faith we profess with our lips. So don’t put God to the test. Believe his word and obey his word.

[1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13; Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; 1 Jn 1:5-10; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:23-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

When in The Stillness

An Original Work / September 26, 2011

When in the stillness of this moment,
Speak to me, Lord, I humbly pray.
Be my desire, set me on fire,
Teach me to love always.
Help me to walk in fellowship with You,
Listening to You; sit at Your feet.
Whisper Your words to me,
Oh, how gently, guiding me in Your truth.

While we are waiting for Your blessing,
Lord, in our hearts be King today.
Help us to live for you ev’ry moment,
List’ning to what You say.
May we not stray from your word within us,
Help us obey You, Lord, in all things,
Walking each moment, Lord, in Your presence,
Our offerings to You bring.

Help us to love You, Lord, our master;
Be an example of Your love,
Helping the hurting, lift up the fallen,
Showing them Your great love.
Teach them to love You, follow You always,
Bearing their cross and turning from sin;
Walking in daily fellowship with You,
Making You Lord and King.

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