THEME: CHRIST OUR STRONGHOLD
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.”
-As our good Shepherd, Christ offers us protection from all danger. We are His sheep and He knows us and laid His life for our salvation. We are not the good sheep but He is the good Shepherd, and when we are weak; then we are strong because He is in us and with us. From the parable of the lost sheep we see that, Christ is our refuge and stronghold, and calls us to rely on Him alone. He is the Rock upon which we stand, and reminds us to stand upon Him despite the turbulent times that we might be going through, and we will always find pasture for our souls.
A stronghold is a place that has been fortified so as to protect it against attack. According to Joshua 20:7-9, there were six cities of refuge that offered asylum to both the Jews and foreigners when they unintentionally committed murder. These include:- Kadesh, Shechem, and Hebron which were to the west of the Jordan River and Golan, Ramoth-Gilead, and Bezer that were to the east of the Jordan River. All these cities bring our distinct attributes of Christ as our Stronghold. For instance; Kadesh speaks of Christ as our righteousness, Shechem as our Living water and Hebron as our Friend etc. King David ran to such cities when pursued by king Saul. He later captured the stronghold of Zion and called it the city of David, where many including the lame and blind found refuge. As our Stronghold, we are called to run to Christ where we find joy, peace, health, provision, safety, love, salvation and abundant life. Like the cities of refuge, Christ offers us the free gift of salvation as He shed His blood for the remission of our sins. Jesus then offers us protection from eternal death if we repent and believe in Him. As our Stronghold, we are called to stand firm upon Him who is the Rock of our salvation and our life.
Praise be to the name of the Lord for ever and ever; wisdom and power belongs to Him. He changes times and seasons; but He changes not. All glory, honor and power belongs to Him. He deposes kings and raises up others, His power and authority endures forever. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning, His wisdom endures forever. He reveals deep and hidden things to His sheep; He knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with Him, His righteousness endures forever. Jesus You are the Rock of our salvation, our fortress and deliverer. Our God and Strength, in whom we put our trust. Our Shield and the horn of our salvation, our stronghold, in You we put all our trust. May Your beauty be upon us Lord our God, that You may establish the work of our hands. Establish the work of our hands and prosper all our ways our Good Shepherd. May Your favor always be upon us, our families and nation that You may establish the work of our hands. Restore unto us double Lord and establish the work of our hands. We know that all things work together for good to those who love You God, to those who are the called according to Your purpose, establish us in Your truth and grace. Nothing is impossible with You Lord our God, establish us in Your righteousness and grace. Worthy are You Jesus Christ to take the scroll and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and You have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth. Lord You are our good Shepherd, our Stronghold and Shield, establish us in Your wisdom and purpose. Amen
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