We are God’s people

girl-175927_640Psalm 100:3: Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

It is one thing to be made by God, it is another to recognise that and walk in the light of it. Isaiah said: oh house of Jacob let us walk in the light of the Lord, the revelation of who he is to us, in the flow of his power and his grace.

The psalmist started that verse by saying: know that the lord, he is God. Our response to God starts with our recognition of him, recognising that it is by his loving kindness that we are not consumed because his compassion fails not, recognise that every good and perfect gift comes from heaven (James 1:17), from the father of lights, recognition that in him we live, breath and have our being (Acts 17:28); and our essence is derived from him. When we recognise him, we will acknowledge him. To recognise him as Lord is to bow to him as such.

We need to make a statement of allegiance to him. That is why part of the package of being saved is the confession of faith (Romans 10:9-11). Paul said that we need to confess that Jesus is Lord.

You cannot have dual allegiance. Jesus said that you cannot have allegiance to two masters, you cannot serve two masters, you will love one and hate the other, and so he gave the example of Mammon and the Lord, saying you cannot serve God and Mammon (god of money) (Matthew 6:24).

I dare say you cannot serve yourself and God at the same time, you cannot serve your own will and the will of God at the same time; you have to choose (Luke 22:42). And the way you make that switch is through the confession of your mouth. In whatever you say, we know that your will is at work, setting the course of your life, and with the confession of faith in Jesus we are set in the direction of allegiance to Him.

That is why James compared the tongue to the rudder of the ship (James 3:3-6). The ship is big but the rudder is small, but whatever direction that the rudder turns that is where the ship will go. The turn may be slow, but the ship does not argue, it has to go.  A word spoken can direct a life for lifetime. A word can reverse a lifetime, nay generations, of error. Jesus the word (John 1:1-3) reversed the death-curse from the disobedience of Adam.

After recognising the Lord, and acknowledging him, we now need to cooperate with him. That is where the rubber meets the road. It is a daily occurrence; which involves recognising him in the separate situations, and acknowledging him in them.

Solomon wrote: trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6); in all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your path. That is the day to day, all the time, repetitious process of connecting and reconnecting with the reality of God, expressing our need for him and then seeking and yielding to his guidance along our path of life. Jesus is our example in this. He maintained constancy in his fellowship with God, and lived out that reality in his day to day life. He said that whatever he sees the father do that is what he does (John 5:19).

We are his

The fact that we are is means we should serve him. Without the orientation that we are his, we would merely be running in various directions and getting burnt out and taking up various habits in a bid to find fulfilment, running with the wrong groups to find acceptance.

It is in him that we have rest. In him we are in our element, outside of him we dry up. Jesus said that if we are not abiding in him and bearing fruit, we would be taken away and will dry up (John 15:1-5).

Our greatest identity is derived from our relationships, and since the greatest of our relationships should be with God, Jesus introduced him to us as our heavenly Father (Matthew 6:9). Though we cannot see him, we can embrace him, embrace his life. To embrace him is to embrace ourselves, to discover him is to discover ourselves. We are made in his image, and we would not know who we are without knowing who he is. We are his tool, his means. So he is free to shape us the way he wants (Jeremiah 18:1-5), to achieve his will through us.

We are his people

That is a statement of community. The church exists as the body of Christ. We exist in connection with each other. Equipped with many and varying gifts, we should benefit one another (Romans 12:1-8), helping one another the best we can, not just with our natural goods (1John 3:17) but by our spiritual gifts.

As a community we are glued to each other with the love of God. It is a serving love.  When Jesus stripped, wore a towel and poured water in a bowl to begin to washing the feet of the disciples, he told Peter, if you do not allow me to wash your feet; you have no part in me (John 13:1-8). So serving others is the way we facilitate the sense of oneness, one with another.

As parts of the body of Christ, parts of Christ, it means we need to recognise what we are fit for and walk in that divine purpose, where God wants us to be, how He wants us to be and doing what He wants us to do.

The sheep of his pasture

Being the sheep of his pasture means he is our shepherd (John 10:7-18), our provider. We get to enjoy his largesse. As sheep he is the one who gives us direction. Jesus said that he is the good shepherd and he leads us (sheep) in and out for us to find pasture. It also means we develop under his guidance and the influence of His power.

The sheep need food and drink daily, meaning we need the spiritual food, which is the word of God; and we need spiritual drink which is the Holy Spirit.

Jesus said at a gathering: if anyone thirsts let them come to me and out of their belly will flow rivers of living waters (John 7:37-39), i.e. we get to be satisfied by satisfying others.



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