March 24: Green Pastures: They Require Action
Numbers 28:1–31; 1 Corinthians 10:23–11:16; Psalm 23
Love and complete reliance on God are interrelated concepts. When we discover what love really means, we want to praise God for it. When we learn to rely on God for all our needs, we see just how loving He is as He takes care of all aspects of our lives. And this love makes us want to show love to others.
It’s those who don’t have who are most apt to come to Jesus. They’re most in need of love. For this reason, it’s hard for us who do have—a home, a car, enough food for a week—to fully understand reliance on Christ. It takes a different type of discipline.
This is why it’s still shocking to me how many people absolutely love Psa 23. It’s comforting, I suppose, and that’s why: “Yahweh is my shepherd; I will not lack for anything. In grassy pastures he makes me lie down; by quiet waters he leads me” (Psa 23:1–2). I think so many of us love it, though, because we’re aware of how frail and vulnerable we really are. It could all be gone in a moment. Disease catches up to us, and death will eventually get us all. We often forget just how important love is in all this, and we fail to recognize why Psa 23 has a special place in our hearts.
We are in the top percentile of wealth in the world. Many of our families own more than one car. Nonetheless, the death around us and the diseases we see show just how quickly it can be gone. And for this reason, we can recognize how crucial love is. Love carries people through hard times. It brings them to depend on God. Paul tells us we could have all sorts of incredible spiritual gifts, but if we don’t have love, there’s no point (1 Cor 13:1, 13).
And when Paul speaks about love, he’s not talking about something we say or even feel; he’s talking about something we do. Love requires us to give all things; or in Paul’s words, it “rejoices with the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor 13:6–7). So, those of us who understand relying on Psa 23, even in our wealth, must help those who rely on its promises but are yet to experience them. They are people all over the world, waiting for us to “bear” their burdens with them. They are the hurting, the voiceless—the people who need us to show real love.
How can you show love to the hurting and voiceless in the world today? God has called us all to action—that is what love means. So how will you act?
JOHN D. BARRY
- And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Command the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall observe to offer unto me in their due season mine offering, and my bread for my sacrifices made by fire for a sweet savor unto me. Also thou shalt say unto them, This is the offering made by fire which ye shall offer unto the Lord, two lambs of a year old, without spot daily, for a continual burnt offering. One lamb shalt thou prepare in the morning, and the other lamb shalt thou prepare at even. And the tenth part of an Ephah of fine flour for a meat offering mingled with the fourth part of an Hin of beaten oil. This shall be a daily burnt offering, as was made in the mount Sinai for a sweet savor: it is a sacrifice made by fire unto the Lord. And the drink offering thereof the fourth part of an Hin for one lamb: in the holy place cause to pour the drink offering unto the Lord. And the other lamb thou shalt prepare at even: as the meat offering of the morning, and as the drink offering thereof shalt thou prepare this for an offering made by fire of sweet savor unto the Lord. But on the Sabbath day ye shall offer two lambs of a year old, without spot, and two tenth deals of fine flour for a meat offering mingled with oil, and the drink offering thereof. This is the burnt offering of every Sabbath, beside the continual burnt offering, and drink offering thereof. And in the beginning of your months, ye shall offer a burnt offering unto the Lord, two young bullocks, and a ram, and seven lambs of a ear old, without spot, And three tenth deals of fine flour for a meat offering mingled with oil for one bullock, and two tenth deals of fine flour for a meat offering, mngled with oil for one ram, And a tenth deal of fine flour mingled with oil for a meat offering unto one lamb, for a burnt offering of sweet savor: it is an offering made by fire unto the Lord. And their drink offerings shall be half an Hin of wine unto one bullock, and the third part of an Hin unto a ram, and the fourth part of an Hin unto a lamb: this is the burnt offering of every month, throughout the months of the year. And one he goat for a sin offering unto the Lord shall be prepared, besides the continual burnt offering, and his drink offering. Also the fourteenth day of the first month is the Passover of the Lord. And in the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast: seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten. In the first day shall be an holy convocation, ye shall do no servile work therein. But ye shall offer a sacrifice made by fire for a burnt offering unto the Lord, two young bullocks, one ram, and seven lambs of a year old: see that they be without blemish. And their meat offering shall be of fine flour mingled with oil: three tenth deals shall ye prepare for a bullock, and two tenth deals for a ram: One tenth deal shalt thou prepare for every lamb, even for the seven lambs. And an he goat for a sin offering, to make an atonement for you. Ye shall prepare these beside the burnt offering in the morning, which is a continual burnt sacrifice. After this manner ye shall prepare throughout all the seven days, for the maintaining of the offering made by fire for a sweet savor unto the Lord: it sall be done beside the continual burnt offering and drink offering thereof. And in the seventh day ye shall have an holy convocation, wherein ye shall do no servile work. Also in the day of your firstfruits, when ye bring a new meat offering unto the Lord, according to your weeks ye shall have an holy convocation: and ye shall do not servile work in it: But ye shall offer a burnt offering for a sweet savor unto the Lord, two young bullocks, a ram, and seven lambs of a year old., And their meat offering of fine flour mingled with oil, three tenth deals unto a bullock, two tenth deals to a ram, And one tenth deal unto every lamb throughout the seven lambs, And an he goat to make an atonement for you: (Ye shall do this besides the continual burnt offering, and his meat offering) see they be without blemish, with their drink offerings . Numbers 28:1–31
- All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s welath. Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, eat ye, and ask no question for conscience sake. For the earth is the Lord’s, and all that therein is. If any of them which believe not, call you to a feast, and if ye will go, whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake. But if any man say unto you, This is sacrificed unto idols, eat it not, because of him that showed it, and for the conscience (for the earth is the Lord’s, and all that therein is.) And the conscience, I say, not thine, but of that other: for why sould my liberty be condemned of another man’s conscience? For if I through God’s benefit be partaker, why am I evil spoken of, for that wherefore I give thanks? Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Grecians, nor to the Church of God: Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they might be saved. Be ye followers of me, even as I am of Christ: Now brethren, I commend you, that ye remember all my things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. But I will that ye know, that Christ is the head of every man: and the man is the woman’s head: an God is Christ’s head. Every man praying or prophesying having anything on his head, dishonoreth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth bareheaded, dishonoreth her head: for it is even one very thing, as though she were shaven. Therefore if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: and if it be shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For a man ought not to cover his head: forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man. For the man was not created for the woman’s sake: but the woman for the man’s sake. Therefore ought the woman to have power on her head, because of the Angels. Nevertheless, neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, so is the man also by the woman: but all things are of God. Judge in yourselves, Is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? Doth not nature itself teach you, that if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a praise unto her: for her hair is given her for a covering. But if any man list to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the Churches of God. 1 Corinthians 10:23–11:16
- The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to rest in green pasture, and leadeth me by the still waters. He restoreth my soul, and leadeth me in the pasths of righteousness for his Name’s sake. Yea, though I should walk through the valley of the shaow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me: thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. Thou dost prepare a table before me in the sight of mine adversaries: thou dost anoint mine head with oil, and my cup runneth over. Doubtless kindness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall remain a long season in the house of the Lord. Psalm 23