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Ghanaian Chronicle
3 August 2012 | Religion

Salt ana Light By Ms. Joyce R. Aryee
'His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.' 2 Peter 1:3 (NIV)

Our Saviour and Lord Jesus gives total provision – He provides for all our needs whether physical (food, clothing and shelter) emotional, psychological or spiritual.  This is because He is God our Father's appointed Messiah to give us all that we need for life and for godliness.  For example Jesus is called 'Wall of Fire' - providing us protection.

*    He is A Refiner and Purifier' providing us growth in our spiritual life;

*    He is A Great Light - providing us guidance;
·    He is the Lord of Peace - providing us comfort;

*    He is the Hidden Manna - giving us the food we need;

*    He is the propitiation of our sins - providing us forgiveness;

*    He is the Lord who heals - providing us with restoration;

*    He is the wonderful counsellor - providing us with insight;

*    He is the wisdom of God - providing us enlightment;

*    He is the Captain of the Host of the Lord - providing us riches.

Indeed Jesus Christ is our all in all - He is our Jehovah - El Shaddai - our all sufficient God and as we read in Phil. 4:19 'And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus' - Jesus is capable of providing our every need no matter what we lack because He owns everything.  The Bible teaches us in Col. 1:16-17″For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible ad invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him.  He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.' No wonder Jesus Christ call Himself the Alpha and Omega - the beginning and the end - He alone provides as the totality of all we are and even hope to be.  Jesus is the beginnings and endings of our lives.  He cares for every detail of our lives no matter how small or difficult or insignificant.

I like what Jesus says of Himself in the book of John.

*    He says in John 6:35.  He is the bread of life - bread represents food so just think about it - even in the midst of famine, God through Jesus our great provider will give us the food that will sustain us.

*    In John 8:12 and 9:5.  He tells us He is the Light of the world in the midst of the spiritual darkness that satan and the world loves to operate.  Jesus Christ is our Light!  He provides us insight, wisdom and power to live above the morass of this world - provide direction and power for godly living.

*    In John 10:7-9 He is the Door of the sheep He loves the sheep - us - under His care and provides protection and security unlike other leaders who just want to take advantage of those under His care.

*    In John 10:14 - He is the Good Shepherd - He knows His sheep and they know Him - He is intrinsically good and so the sheep learn to love Him and trust Him.

*    In John 14:6 - Jesus is the Way the Truth and the Life - providing us purpose for our lives.

*    As the Way, Jesus is with us no matter how tight or simple the situation may be.  He is our ever present Guide, stationed at every point en route to God our Father's purposes for us His children.

*    As the Truth - Jesus is the sum total of the truth He taught.  And He revealed this truth in every phase of life and guarantee for fulfilled promises.

*    As the Life - In Jesus is the embodiment of our physical and spiritual life; that is why when we have Him we have life in all its fullness - I John 5:11-12.

Let us focus on the Good Shepherd imagery and on Jesus' provision as enumerated by King David in his Good Shepherd song -Psalm 23.

This is a beloved psalm that provides many a reader with calm, comfort and a sense of security.  In fact many of us quote verse 6 '……surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord…….' to end our doxology.  It's a strong affirmation of our faith in God to give us an eternal home - what a sense of security!  But there are greater promises of numerous provisions for the Lord Jesus in this Shepherd psalm and perhaps Jesus confirmation of Himself as the Good Shepherd made His listeners to back to this great Psalm which offers us 12 promises of provision from our Lord Jesus.

The psalm affirms that we will not lack because of the assurance of the presence of the good shepherd:

1.    The promise of care - the Lord is my shepherd;

2.    The promise of provision - I shall not want;
3.    The promise of rest - He makes me lie down in green pastures;

4.    The promise of peace - He leads me beside the still waters;

5.    The promise of healing - He restores my soul;

6.    The promise of guidance - He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake;

7.    The promise of His Presence - Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me;

8.    The promise of comfort - I will fear no evil for You are with me.  Your rod and Your staff they comfort me;

9.    The promise of friendship - You prepare a table before me.  You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over;

10.    The promise of protection-In the presence of my enemies;

11.    The Promise of Hope - Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;

12.    The promise of Home - And I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

This shepherd is our Lord Jesus.  He is our great provider - nothing that we need misses His loving attention.  In fact He makes provision for us beyond what we are able to ask or imagine and Eph. 3:20 says it all too clearly 'Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.'  He gives us abundantly, over and above what we ask and even beyond what we can fathom and we are all living testimonies of such great provision in our lives at home, at church, at work and in our relationships.

And this unimaginably abundant provision is most poignantly narrated in the story of the feeding of the five thousand!  Can you imagine the feelings of awe, joy and satisfaction among the people, including the disciples?  And think of how He calmed the fears of the disciples when they were terrified in the raging storm and at the sight of Jesus walking towards them on the water 'Don't be afraid it is I.'

Jesus Christ, our Great Provider has not changed.  He stands among us even now with arms outstretched beckoning, inviting, pleading for us to come to Him so that He can take good care of us - heal our heads and our hearts, assure us of His love, give us salvation unto eternal life.

Let us
-    Turn away from sin
-    Turn to God through Christ
-    Put our faith in Jesus
-    Grow in godliness and battle for holiness.
Jesus our Great Provider is waiting to receive us - just as we are!!  He will cleanse, purify and sanctify us.

Stay Blessed!
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