November 22, 2020
Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
Our Rescuer Comes
…so will I tend my sheep. I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered when it was cloudy and dark.
Ezekiel 34:12

It’s late November and we are entering the cloudy and dark days here in the Midwest. In San Francisco, where my daughter lives, the most frequent forecast is “overcast and foggy.” Even my son, in sunny Tucson, has his monsoon seasons. No human life is without “cloudy and dark.” It descends in times of grief, marital struggles, loss of meaningful work, health challenges and natural disasters. In such times, we seem to lose touch with our principles, our guiding lights. We may wonder, “Where is God?” We scuttle into corners of fear and despair.

The Lord is coming; we are not forgotten! Ever! Like a shepherd, he tends his sheep. We are only temporarily lost. He comes to rescue us and to invite us back into the light of his love. The clouds will part; the wounds will heal, the challenges will untangle, and new opportunities will unfold. Be on the lookout for the shepherd who is coming to you today!

- Jennifer Christ

Comments

November 22, 2020 at 01:14 PM

Amen.

November 22, 2020 at 12:38 PM

Dear Living Faith Family, thank you for all of your extra prayers for Patrick, Terri and myself as we now navigate around this terrible disease. Know that all of you are and will always be in our prayers as well. Amen

November 22, 2020 at 10:37 AM

Amen! Thank you for this reminder.

November 22, 2020 at 09:22 AM

“Christ is our King” God says in today’s first reading that he is our shepherd that he tends his fields. God’s promise is that he looks after us sheep even when we scatter and scatter we do. He is our God. He will go and look for us when we are the lost sheep and strongly suggest that we come back to the heard and follow his word. For the sheep do know the shepherd’s voice. We will face our God’s final judgement, let us all hear our shepherd’s voice. Amen. Psalm 23 is the most favorite of my Psalms, maybe because we used it at my dad’s funeral. For my dad does not walk in the shadow of death for his God is at his side he will guide my dad down the right paths and we shall see each other once again. Amen. “The Judgement of our King, Jesus”. We again are his sheep, no problem there. He is our shepherd, no problem there. “WARNING” he will come again to judge the living and the dead, again no problem there. His sheep hear his voice, even though they sometimes have wandered off for what they think might be a better pasture ahead, they hear the shepherd’s voice. If they have wandered, the shepherd’s voice might be hard and harder to hear. Oh do I wish all of the sheep come back and hear his voice. During the time we are with the shepherd, do we hear the call and see the need of others. In today’s Gospel Jesus the King, our King is reminding us again “WARNING” to do for others as you would do for your shepherd. If we do not we are not his sheep that hear his voice, we are the goats who he does not allow in his kingdom when he comes back to judge. For we have learned many weeks ago now, for we do not know when the hour or day that our King will come back, it could be in a minute, it could be in 10 years, we just do not know. Why not be overly prepared as we are with the many things in our lives that are less important than these. Let’s be on guard, let us not wander off, let us be his sheep that hear our shepherds voice. Let us go out into this world now and seek ways to help others in need and in this year 2020, there more need that ever before. If we still say, that we do not notice this need all around us, let us pull out of our eye the beam that is restricting our sight. Let all of us take a moment and pray with our shepherd this day, let us pray for all of the souls in Purgatory, let us offer up prayers for others who do not have anyone to pray for them, and lastly let us pray for all of our Living Faith Family here today. Amen.

david
November 22, 2020 at 09:46 PM

Thank you, Tim.

November 22, 2020 at 09:18 AM

Yes!!! I finished my BSF Bible lesson 10 for the students last night and I will leave for Raleigh tomorrow :-) Sharing with you...it will interesting to see if all the formatting is gone when I hit submit? * 11/25/20 BSF Student Bible Lesson #10 Genesis 15-16 * God’s Attribute: Provider * Aim: To learn that God gives all we need to follow His Word! * Dear God, Your Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our paths. Speak Lord to each of us, for Your servants are listening. Now may the God of peace equip us with all we need for doing His will. May He produce in each of us, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to Him. All glory to Him forever and ever! Amen. * Introduction • What do you think is going on with God when He doesn’t seem to be answering our prayers of the last 7 months for the COVIN-19 virus to go away and disappear? • When God promises something, we can always believe Him. God never lies! God always keeps His promises and He wants us to believe His promises. • Does that mean God always gives us what we want, and exactly when we want it? I think you know the answer to that question. What if believing God means trusting Him when His answer is different than the prayer I prayed, and sometimes it seems the waiting is forever? • Can God be trusted when what He promised seems impossible or not happening in what you have to deal with right now, or His path is not really the one you want? • When we trust God, we learn that (PPT slide #1) God gives all we need to follow His Word which is our Aim this week. His attribute this week is “God is our Provider”. Let’s open our Bible to Genesis 15. A. Abram’s Covenant Reaffirmed (Genesis 15) • Abram won the battle against the four kings, rescued his nephew Lot, and recovered all his possessions, together with the women and other people in Genesis 14 last week. Now Abram must be thinking about God’s promises to him and his family which is not growing at all because he and Sarai have no children. • God reaffirmed His promises to Abram! How did He do that? He spoke to Abram! What did He say? He told Abram Who He is…that He Himself is his shield and his reward! In today’s English, it may sound like this, “No worries, Bro! I have your back! And I am right here with you!” • I can totally understand Abram’s reply at this point when he basically said to God, “Really God, I don’t see how You are going to fulfill Your promises? I have no children since You haven’t given me any! You must be talking about a servant in my household being my heir, right?” • God then gave Abram more details about His promises from Genesis 12. That Abram’s son will be his own flesh and blood. Abram believed God even though it seemed impossible for an old man to have a son. And God credited it to Abram as righteousness because Abram was right with God when he believed by faith! • Faith in Jesus is not wishing or hoping that the Bible is true and that everything will turn out okay. Faith is believing that Jesus can do everything He says. God provided the faith Abram needed to believe. God is our provider and He gives all we need to follow His Word! A. First Principle Truth: (PPT slide #2) Faith and righteousness are gifts from God! • How does God speak to us today? He does it mostly through His Word, the Bible! Do you believe in God’s promises in His Word? Is God your shield and your reward this week and everyday? • God has given His children the promise of forgiveness and eternal life because of their faith in His Son, Jesus Christ! Are you His child? Do you believe in His Son, Jesus Christ? Faith and righteousness are gifts from God for His children!  B. Abram and Sarai Sin Against Hagar (Genesis 16:1-6) • Abram believed God’s promises, right? So how long did Abram and Sarai expect to wait? Sarai and Abram struggled with waiting. Instead of waiting, they decided to help God out by making their own plan! • Have you ever tried to help God out by doing your own thing in order to answer your own prayer? Like the saying goes, “God helps those who help themselves, right?” Nope, not exactly! Let’s see how Sarai and Abram helped themselves… • Sarai told Abram to have a baby with her slave, Hagar. Consequences of sin began to happen with Hagar hating Sarai, Sarai blaming Abram, Sarai mistreating Hagar and Hagar running away! Not a pretty picture! B. Second Principle Truth: (PPT slide #3) True faith waits for God’s timing! • How difficult is it for you to wait for God’s timing! Yup, me too! Very difficult  • Will you choose to seek God’s best for you? Ask Him for encouragement, contentment and strength to wait for His timing? • When you ask God for His help, He gives all you need to follow His Word! God is our provider! And true faith waits for God’s timing! C. The Lord Cares for Hagar and Ishmael (Genesis 16:7-16) • Hagar ran away from Sarai and Abram. The angel of the Lord found her in the desert! • God promised Hagar great blessings of numerous descendants through her son, Ishmael, which means “God hears!” God knew Hagar’s hurt! And God knows all about your hurts too… • God knew it was hard for Hagar to go back to Sarai and Abram after all the hate and fights happening after she was pregnant. But God gave her all she needed to follow His Word! • Hagar showed her faith by believing it was God Himself speaking to her. Out of love and joy in her heart she said to God, “You are the God Who sees me!” • Have you talked to this God Who sees you lately? C. Third Principle Truth: (PPT slide #4) God gives all we need to follow His Word! • Everyone has times when we are sad like Hagar. Sometimes it is when people have been unkind to us or we have been unkind to others. We can feel alone. But God is with us. He has a plan and we have His promises! • Do you know His plan and His promises for you? They are in His Word! • We can trust God to give us all we need to follow His Word! * Conclusion – God Himself is a shield and reward to every believer who risks earthly security for His cause! The only place to find true security is in God Himself. On Christ alone is the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. Faith trusts God’s plan and timing, not human solutions! Do you find comfort knowing God understands you better than anyone else, even yourself? He sees you and He seeks you! Will you run to Him? He gives us everything we need to follow His Word. To that I say Amen!

david
November 22, 2020 at 09:45 PM

Thank you, Salina. Your message is exactly what is happening in my life, I can relate to every bit of the message. What an encouraging message.

Tim
November 22, 2020 at 01:08 PM

Great message, thank you for sharing your studies with all of us. I so look forward to getting into, walking into your message. Sincerely, thank you. Amen

November 22, 2020 at 09:06 AM

What a picture we see in today's readings :-) Why do I worry about anything when my God and my Lord takes care of everything? Why do I get affected by the weather, my environment or my circumstances? Why don't I trust my God and my Lord in everything? Let's see if His promises in Ezekiel 34 help redirect my focus from myself to Jesus, the One Who holds it all 1) I Myself will look after and tend My sheep 2) I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered when it was cloudy and dark 3) I Myself will pasture my sheep 4) I Myself will give them rest 5) I will seek out the lost 6) I will bring back the strayed 7) I will bind up the injured 8) I will heal the sick 9) I will destroy the sleek and the strong shepherding them rightly 10) I will judge between one sheep and another, between rams and goats! I just love these "I will" statements not just in Ezekiel but throughout Scripture :-) We learn that God provides everything we need to follow His Word (the aim for this week BSF Bible lesson #10)! Here are our example responses to follow (except one at the end which is inappropriate) in today's readings to all these "I will" statements: 1) The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2) I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for years to come 3) everything is subjected to Him 4) so that God may be all in all 5) Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord 6) whatever you did for one of the least brothers of Mine, you did for Me 7) what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for Me :-( So what have you decided? Stay with the "overcast and foggy" and "cloudy and dark" or believe that the Lord is my Shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life? Joshua 24:15, "But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods (everyone serves in the news), or the gods of (your dire circumstances), in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord :-) :-) :-) Amen!

Tim
November 22, 2020 at 01:13 PM

One Big Amen. Thank you Salina for pointing out that we need to do, at the end of the day, is put our trust in him, God our shepherd. Where he leads, we must follow. We must be his sheep and hear his voice. Be interconnected with him, so we are not too far off, we miss hearing his voice. Thank you Salina, AMEN!

Alyssa Peacock Respond to comment
November 22, 2020 at 08:04 AM

Amen

Angela Harrigan Respond to comment
November 22, 2020 at 07:51 AM

Praise be to God that we have such a loving and joyful God that is with us always every second! Thank you Heavenly Father for always loving us. I Love you with all my heart God❤

November 22, 2020 at 07:13 AM

Thank you Jennifer for this timely reflection. This is indeed a”cloudy and dark” time. The challenges will untangle-we must have hope and trust in the Lord! Praise God from whom all good things flow!

Lia
November 22, 2020 at 07:20 AM

Amen. I love the song "Praise God From All Good Things Flow" :)

November 22, 2020 at 06:24 AM

Amen.

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