Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
John 1:14 – The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
As we read today’s passage, this is the reality and power of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection—that we now dwell in the shelter of the Most High, for He has made His dwelling among us! May our hearts be filled with hope, joy, and assurance for our God is in our midst, and we find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
Today, what are the concerns of life that you are faced with? Whether they are like the terror that comes at night or the arrows that fly by day, may our assurance be in the risen Lord.
Today pray for your concerns as you find rest and shelter in the Most High. Worship with the song, “Psalm 23” (click here) by The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.
1 Timothy 6:13-16 – In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you 14 to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.
“As we wait for that day, we are not to spend our time peering into the sky wondering when Jesus will arrive. We are not to create fanciful scenarios about how Jesus will come. Instead, we are to invest our energy and time in caring for his creation, loving each other, sharing his grace, seeking justice, celebrating beauty, and living with confidence that Jesus will return one day. Until that final consummation, we live each day with a profound awareness that Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” (N.T. Wright)
What are some practical ways in which you can invest our energy and time in caring for his creation, loving each other, sharing his grace, seeking justice, celebrating beauty?
Lord we declare that you are the King of kings, the Lord of lords. To you and you alone belongs all the honor and might. Today we pray for your strengthening and empowering in our inner beings during these times, for we live under the shelter of your wings. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Ephesians 1:7-10 – In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
“As we learn to walk with Jesus and live as God’s people in this world, the kingdom plan of God continues to unfold and be revealed. We are not waiting to fly off to heaven one day, but heaven is breaking into our present circumstances with each passing moment…One of the ways God brings his kingdom, “on earth as it is in heaven,” is through his people. You and I are invited to be vehicles God can use to bring his love, justice, and beauty to a world desperate for all of these things. What God did for Jesus on the first Easter Day, he has promised to do for each one who is in Christ, each one indwelt by the Spirit of Christ. That is the biblical and historic Christian expectation in terms of ourselves as human beings.” (N.T. Wright)
Today let’s worship with the song ‘Come and See’ (click here) by Matt Redman as we invite His presence into our present circumstances.
1 Corinthians 15:32 (NIV) – If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”
NT Wright describes it like this, “The point [Paul’s] making is that if he went through all that [not actually fighting wild beasts, but what he did suffer in facing opposition/persecution] in order simply to die, with no hope of resurrection, he would be just like those gladiators, eating, drinking, and making merry the night before the big show, knowing that this was the end.”
If Christ has not been raised from the dead, our lives’ meaning would simply be “eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” It is interesting to note how real this must feel for us in light of what is happening in the world today. However, as Paul and the cloud of witnesses that have gone before show us, we don’t live by mere human hopes, for our hope is in Christ and His resurrection. Hence, we always live in hope, in worship, in the building of His church, and in the mission of God.
Lord Jesus, may we live in your resurrection power and reality. May there be an awakening of love for you and for one another, for praise and worship to spontaneously arise from our hearts and lips, for our hearts to be filled with compassion for the broken. May your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
1 Corinthians 15.16-20 – For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. 20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
“The resurrection narratives in the gospels never, ever say anything like, “Jesus is raised, therefore there is a life after death,” let alone, “Jesus is raised, therefore we shall go to heaven when we die.” Nor even, in a more authentic first-century Christian way, do they say, “Jesus is raised, therefore we shall be raised from the dead after the sleep of death.” No. Insofar as the event is interpreted, Easter has a very this-worldly, present-age meaning: Jesus is raised so he is the Messiah and therefore he is the world’s true Lord; Jesus is raised, so God’s new creation has begun – and we, his followers, have a job to do! Jesus is raised, so we must act as his heralds, announcing his lordship to the entire world, making his kingdom come on each as in heaven!” (NT Wright, Surprised by Hope, p. 55)
Lord, may your kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. May we act as your heralds, announcing your lordship everywhere we are—whether it is at home, or with others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.