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Now may the God of peace who by the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep, our Lord Jesus, equip you with every good thing to do his will, working in us what is pleasing before him through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever. Amen.
Our God is the God of peace. Bringing Jesus back from the dead made peace between us and God. Without a resurrected Christ we do not have forgiveness of sins or right relationship with God. Through the perfect life of Christ and with His miraculous resurrection, God guided us to Himself once and for all - like "that great Shepherd of the sheep". Even more, He continues this kind of shepherding work through the gift of the Holy Spirit; "working in us what is pleasing to Him through Jesus Christ." Today, know that God is your shepherd. He seeks to lead you and protect you.
As a deer longs for streams of water,so I long for you, O God! I thirst for God,for the living God.I say, “When will I be able to go and appear in God’s presence?”
God is our very life, and it is right that we "thirst" for Him. Father, we pray today that You would create a thirst in us for You, the living God. May the Holy Spirit lead us to the well of life that You offer each day; especially through the hard times. The truth is that all are desperately lost without You, and in great need of a Savior. We praise You for that Savior Jesus, and ask that we would never stop desiring more of You Lord God. Thank you Jesus for being the living water that never runs dry.
And the smoke from their torture will go up forever and ever, and those who worship the beast and his image will have no rest day or night, along with anyone who receives the mark of his name.” This requires the steadfast endurance of the saints—those who obey God’s commandments and hold to their faith in Jesus.
We are called to a courageous faith in Christ Jesus. There is a clear warning, and it articulates that there are 2 sides to the war for our souls - there's the side of those who worship the beast and his image, and the side who keep the commandments of God by faith in Jesus. The NLT says that we must, "endure persecution patiently". Let this truth be a reminder that there is urgency to our bearing the gospel message. The world and everything in it is on the clock! Share the good news and seek always to remain in the love of Christ Jesus our Lord.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and run with endurance the race set out for us, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set out for him he endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. Think of him who endured such opposition against himself by sinners, so that you may not grow weary in your souls and give up.
Across our 5 translations, this verse refers to Jesus as the pioneer, perfecter, author, finisher, and champion of our faith. Jesus is worth whatever perseverance, whatever challenge, whatever struggle or hardship we must face. Jesus did not allow the difficulty of going to the cross to stop Him from going there for our sake. This picture is to encourage us in our trials and struggles, to be strengthened in Him who is with us and who has provided us help via the Holy Spirit of God. Do not give up! Jesus is with us and He is no stranger to the roads we are on.
Yes, my spirit was bitter, and my insides felt sharp pain. I was ignorant and lacked insight; I was as senseless as an animal before you. But I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me by your wise advice, and then you will lead me to a position of honor.
God holds onto us and is faithful, even when we are at our worst.