Fast And Feed!

“The Son of Man has come to seek out and to give life to those who are lost.” (Luke 19:10)

The Lord is not willing that any should perish but that ALL should come to repentance.  He is rich in mercy and abounding in love, revealing His loving patience toward us, seeking the lost, whose eyes is continually going to and fro, finding those who will receive Him as the Gift of Life.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”  (Revelation 3:20)

The very moment we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, our new and glorious journey begins.  When He died at the cross, we, too died to our old selfish self.  When He resurrected, the same power Who raised Him from the dead, the Holy Spirit, lives inside of us and gave us NEW LIFE in Christ.  A life with a NEW DNA!  It is a life that is made according to His image and likeness.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a NEW CREATION; old things have passed away; behold, ALL THINGS HAVE BECOME NEW.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Our newness in Christ can only be accessed BY GRACE through FAITH and it is He Who initiated it.  It is He Who chooses to whom He reveals Himself to, and when He does, He gives us the beauty of FREE WILL to choose, whether we open the door of our hearts when He comes, knocks and speaks to us and lets Him come in and eat with us.

“The Son of Man has come to seek out and to give life to those who are lost.” (Luke 19:10)

Jesus is The Good Shepherd Who leaves the 99 to search and seek for the 1 who is lost.

“Think of it this way: If a man owns a hundred sheep and one lamb wanders away and is lost, won’t he leave the ninety-nine grazing on the hillside and go out and thoroughly search for the one lost lamb?And if he finds his lost lamb, he rejoices over it, more than over the ninety-nine who are safe.Now you should understand that it is never the desire of your heavenly Father that a single one of these humble believers should be lost.” (Matthew 18:12-15 TPT)

Should not shepherds FEED the sheep?

This is so interesting for me when I saw how the Lord rebuked the shepherds of Israel.

“You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep.  The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them.  So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd, and they became food for all the wild beasts. My sheep were scattered; they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. My sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with none to search or seek for them.”  (Ezekiel 34:3-6)

BUT because our Lord is the Good Shepherd, He rescued, is rescuing and will continue to rescue His sheep.

“For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out.    As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.  And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land. And I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the ravines, and in all the inhabited places of the country.  I will feed them with good pasture, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing land. There they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel.  I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord God. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice.” (Ezekiel 11:16)

I was amazed when I saw the kind of FAST that the Lord chose.

Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;
When you see the naked, that you cover him,
And not hide yourself from your own flesh? (Isaiah 58:6-7)

Don’t you think how His Word described “FAST” and “FEED” are kinda similar? We fast and focus on the needy!  We feed and focus on the needy!  I believe this is what it means when He said, DENY YOURSELF (FAST), take up your cross and FOLLOW ME (FEED)!   Hmmmm … meditate on these things.

And because we are made according to His image and likeness, we are called to be shepherds in our own little ways.  “As He is, so are we.” (1 John 4:17)

Interestingly, after Jesus’ resurrection, He appeared to Peter.  Sometimes it is funny to think how we tend to focus on Peter’s denial of Jesus three times.  Little did we know that because of his denial, He powerfully restored him and took him further by commissioning him.

“So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?”He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”

He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to  Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You. ”He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”

He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”  Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep”. (John 21:15-17)

At the very end of their conversation, Jesus said to Peter, “Follow Me!” ((John 21:19)

With our encounters with Jesus Christ, we can never remain the same.   We may come to Him as we are, but we will live our lives as He is after an intimate encounter with Him.  One touch of Him changes us.  He fills our hearts with His kind of love and empowers us to love the ones around us.  He abundantly blesses and postures us to bless others.  He frees us from chains of worries and anxieties and anoints us to break bondages of those He calls us to stop by the power of His presence in our lives.  He makes us an influence of courage and tenacity by the way we live our lives.  He fills us with His presence and let His light SHINE in and through us.  IT’S TIME!

“ARISE, SHINE, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.”  (Isaiah 60:1)

 

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, thank You for choosing us and calling us by name to become Your beloveds.  Thank You, Jesus, for seeking after us while we were out of nowhere and bringing us into Your Kingdom where feeding and feasting are the norm.  Thank You, Holy Spirit, for revealing to us who we are, called to deny ourselves and follow Jesus, NOT BY MIGHT NOR BY POWER, BUT BY YOUR SPIRIT.  Amen!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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