Journey to the Cross
Tuesday, February 16
Carlton Stott, member of RPC since 2011
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. - Psalm 23:1
In my personal life, my early years were very rich in a Christian learning experience. As I matured into an adult, my faith did not falter but it did not continue to grow at the rate that my earlier years enjoyed.
In recent months, I have felt something moving in my life but have not been able to identify its source or direction until now. Self-reflection, discussions with my beloved wife, the invitation to participate in this Lenten devotional, the approach of Lent, the last 40 days of Jesus' life on earth, his crucifixion on the cross, and his resurrection from the tomb have all spirited in me a desire for a closer relationship with God and his son Jesus Christ. Why is this happening to me at this time? Only God knows, and I can only say that I am blessed for the opportunity. Indeed, God really does work in mysterious ways!
The Lenten devotional tool asked what I value the most about the life that Jesus lived. To me, his compassion for others answers this question. His divine ability to make a difference in others' lives through God exemplifies our faith. It may be his teachings, his miracles performed, or his presence through the Holy Spirit. In any event, Jesus only asks that we believe in God (Holy Trinity), ask for forgiveness and our transgressions will be forgiven, and we will live with him forever.
Although Psalm 23 comes from the Old Testament, in my own mind I see a striking relationship to its words and Jesus' teachings and ultimate death on the cross. Psalm 23 was written from the perspective of a sheep, not the Shepherd. The sheep are led by the Shepherd and the words "The Lord is my Shepherd..." are symbols of how Christians only need to listen, do, and follow just like the sheep. Jesus' teachings will direct me along his path, I only have to be his sheep and follow.
God, I recognize that my ability to become closer to you is only limited by me. I humbly pray to you to lead me through the teachings and compassion of your son and my savior Jesus Christ. Amen