“Our personal fellowship with God”

  • Dearly beloved in Jesus Christ,

    Greetings to all of you!

    The Theme of my message is “Our personal fellowship with God”.

    There is a beautiful Psalm in the Bible which is familiar to all of us

    Psalm 23 talks about King David the King of Israel who penned this beautiful psalm, recalling himself as a Shepherd boy tending his father’s sheep’s in the fields on the slope of the hills of Bethlehem. It is an illustration about the personal relationship between God as the shepherd and the person who worship’s the Heavenly Father as his Sheep, just as the psalmist describes in Psalm 100:3 and also in Psalm 95:7. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

    The Psalmist is acknowledging God as the Good and faithful Shepherd, the Provider, the one who gives rest, the one who leads, the restorer, the one who guides, the comforter, protector, healer and omnipresent.

    Today the whole world is facing an unexpected pandemic causing extreme fear and death and an uncertain future, it is as though we are walking through the valley of the shadow of death, yet in the midst of this darkness there is the Light of Life appearing at the end of that dark tunnel, the voice of our loving savior calling out to each one of us saying, as it is written, ‘In the Gospel of John 10:7-15 Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them, I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

              I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But the hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the Good Shepherd and I know my sheep and am known by my own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My Life for the sheep.

    Here is a wonderful parable told by Jesus as recorded in the Gospel of Luke 15:1-7 to illustrate God’s love and compassion for every person. This parable is in response to Jesus being criticized and attacked by the religious leaders for "eating with sinners". It also displays beautiful meaning of God seeking out the lost sinner and rejoicing when they are found. His heart is for us to be found, rescued and renewed.

    Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

    In Isaiah 53:5 it is written

    But He (Jesus) was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. 6 We all like sheep have gone astray, each one has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

    My dear friends Jesus Christ the Great Shepherd of our souls is inviting us to know Him more personally and intimately than ever before.

    There’s an old story about a priest who was celebrating his 50th Anniversary of Ordination.  For this occasion he had invited his personal friend, Richard Burton, to come and recite his favorite Psalm 23.  Richard Burton agreed to do this on the condition that the priest would also recite it after him.

    At the appointed time, Richard Burton stood and proclaimed the popular psalm with such oratorical mastery the congregation immediately applauded.  And then this humble pastor stood up and began to recite, from heart, this beloved Psalm.  After he had finished his not nearly so professional recitation, the congregation was in awe, and some moved to tears.  Someone in the front pew with Richard Burton leaned over and asked him, "Why did people loudly applaud you and yet were silently moved by the pastor?"  Burton replied, "Because I know the Psalm, but he knows the Shepherd."

    We therefore should ask ourselves, do we really know Jesus Christ personally. Or do we just know about Him?

    So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts. Revelation 3:2 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

    Therefore let us draw nearer to God and have a close fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ and with the Holy Spirit- the Triune God that your joy may be full.