Category: From OS Hillman Today God is First

Like a Shepherd
December 26

He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart (Isa 40:11a).
Sometimes we can see Christ modeled in the most unusual ways.
Gerry, our neighbor, is a shepherd to the neighborhood dogs. Once Buddy, the roving black lab of the neighborhood discovered that Gerry was a wellspring of treats by simply pushing open his broken front door, he began bringing other dogs on his visits. They made themselves welcome in his front foyer.
One of them was an older cocker spaniel named Joe Cocker. But unlike Buddy, Joe didn’t leave after thirty minutes. He ended up staying for two days! Finally Gerry called the name listed on his dog tag and found out that his owner lived up the road. As Gerry started to walk him home Joe stopped as soon as he reached the hill because he was too weak to climb it. So Gerry picked him up and carried him home. It was not a short walk and Joe was not a small dog.
Day after day this routine continued and I was amazed at how much Gerry grew to love that dog. He’d let him stay at his house for days at a time and Joe was content to just hang out with him and loved to sleep on top of his dirty laundry. Then one day Gerry got a call from Joe’s owner to let him know that Joe had died. When we called Gerry to see how he was, he choked back the tears as he talked about him.
Jesus is often referred to as the good shepherd in the scriptures and his followers are referred to as His sheep He carries close to His heart. There are times in our lives when Jesus knows that we cannot make it up our own hill in life. It may be because we are facing financial ruin, debilitating health or insurmountable grief. But no matter what the reason, we can trust that Jesus is there to carry us.
Allow Him to pick you up so you can find rest in His arms and comfort in hearing His heartbeat as he carries you close to his heart.


Unlocking the Power
MON,DEC 26,2011

“I in them and You in Me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me.” – John 17:23

There have been certain breakthroughs in the world that have changed the course of history: electricity, the automobile, the atom, and the telephone, to name just a few. If we never recognized the applications of these inventions, we would still be sitting around in the dark, riding horses, and communicating by pony express. However, we have seen the opportunities and the applications, so the world is a different place now.

Jesus made a profound statement that has the potential to change the world if we simply apply the truth. What if I told you that this one truth would allow people to see Jesus and respond to the gospel like nothing we have ever experienced? It is the key to unlocking the door of salvation to so many that remain lost. Yet it is the one thing we, as His children, fail at the most.

What is this one thing? It is unity. Lack of unity among His Body of believers prevents Christ from being revealed to so many. Efforts have been made, but our Body remains fragmented and weak. Consider that there are more than 24,000 Christian denominations in the world today and five new ones beginning each week, according to the 1999 September issue of Moody Magazine. Does this sound like unity?

God has called each of us individually and corporately to represent Christ to the world, but our independence, pride, and ego prevent us from becoming unified in the purposes of Christ.

Are you a catalyst for unity in His Body, or an instrument of division? Are people seeing Jesus because of the unity they see in your family, your church, and among your workers? The old adage, “United we stand, divided we fall,” is not just a good battle cry; it is a spiritual truth that will determine the fate of many souls. Pray that God will allow you to be an instrument to unify His Body.