Saturday, April 16, 2016

Going Out & In

Repeat and or meditate on this verse until your thoughts are centered on God.
Because the solemn vows I made
I know, O God, that you did hear;
you've given me the heritage
of those who whole your Name in fear.
 —Psalm 61:5 (Tune: O Waly Waly LM)
Anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.
—John 10:1-5
To follow the advancing Christ means that our whole lives and all our works be in the faith of Christ—a constant exercise of faith, wherein we recognize and are assured that because of this dear Shepherd we have favor with God. Thus our works and lives, weak and imperfect in obedience as they are, are also under the wings of the mother hen, and are pleasing to God because of the Shepherd. In this confidence we now begin to be obedient, to call upon him in our temptations and needs, to confess his Word and serve our neighbors. And thus, both in the inner and the outer life—which Christ here calls going out and in—we are to find pasture; that is, comfort, strength, help, the increase of faith, and everything good. To this end Christians constantly need the Word of Christ as their daily bread; he needs to learn from it and to exercise himself in it.
 —Martin Luther
In gratitude I listen to and obey your voice, Lord Jesus. Call me into paths of compassion and service, into ways of praise and joy, into places of hope and salvation...
 —Eugene Peterson, Praying with Jesus
Allow the above to help guide your own confession, praise, thanksgiving, and/or petition.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
 —Matthew 6:9-13

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