KICKSTART DEVOTIONAL

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On every Mission Discovery mission trip, we begin the morning together in God's word. One speaker is chosen to give the word of the day so that everyone else can meditate on the Scripture. Our hope is that volunteers engage in group discussions throughout the day and in their small groups.

Since the way ministry is being done has shifted, our goal is to serve by creating resources that will help others focus on God throughout the day, and influence family and small group discussion.

Join us every weekday as we explore God's word together. We will have speakers from all over the US and the world. Here is today's Kickstart Devotional.

 

Video: Danny Spano //   Our Good Shepherd

 

 

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Our Good Shepherd

Mission Discovery Mission Trips with Danny Spano

 

Danny Spano is a local Outreach Pastor for Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tennessee. He has some great inspirational words for you today.   

Well blessings Mission Discovery. My name is Danny Spano, I serve as local outreach pastor for Long Hollow Baptist church and I just want to take a minute this morning do a little quick devotional and also want to tell you on behalf Long Hollow, we love you and we're praying for you and really appreciate what you've doing for our world internationally and here as well. So today's little devotional is Psalm 23.

I'm sure you're familiar with it. But I want to read it and then kind of break it out how it applies to us today. So 

“the Lord is my shepherd I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures he leads me beside still waters. He restores my Soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil. For you are with me, Your rod and your staff they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.  You anoint my head with oil, my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever and ever. Amen."

This Psalm is really important in times like these, when times are uncertain when we can kind of focus on the Lord's Our Shepherd. Jesus is our good shepherd and you know we're really like sheep.   Sheep are just dumb and helpless and without the care of a shepherd, they'd just be in a bad way quick.  And so you know, we would keep our eyes focused on our good shepherd then we can't say "I shall not want" or some translations say "I have everything I need" and we do have everything we need and our good shepherd.   

You know, verse 2 says that he makes me lie down in green pastures. Well you know as humans we're always thinking the pastures greener somewhere else and usually it's not. But if we trust our good shepherd he's going to help us lie down in the best green pasture.  Then it says then "he leads me beside still waters". Sheep are, as I said they're really dumb. They would literally stand beside a running stream of water and die of thirst.

The water moving just makes them skittish. So in those days, a shepherd would take their staff and they would dig out a little canal from the stream to where the water would pool up, so that the sheep could come and drink it. And that's just a beautiful picture of our good shepherds provision. How He always provides for us.

As I said like dogs and cats they have a real keen sense of smell and sight and hearing and direction you know, sheep don't. They really don't. They get along the side of a hill just 20 yards away and they wouldn't know how to get back.  So our good shepherd is so important for us,  so weak wandering sheep.  Verse four says as well,  

He says, “he restores my soul" that's verse three and when you look at that, I mean he is our good shepherd and he is our provider and that restores my soul. You know and he leads me on paths of righteousness for his name sake. You know I want to tell everybody what the Lord Jesus has done for me.  Because He is my comforter, and my good shepherd.  Verse four says "Yea, though I walk through the valley shadow of death".  It says we walk through the valley, right, we don't stand in it frozen in fear.

We walk through the valley.  We go through the valley.  Really better said, we grow through the valley of shadow of death. When we go through the valley with the strength that he provides, one step in front of the other one, we get to the other side, we look back and we realize we're on a higher spiritual plane than when we walked into the valley and that's where our Christian life is.

It's just a series of peaks and valleys, but we keep our eyes on the good shepherd and go through the valley we grow through the valley. And you know, we can say with confidence that I will fear no evil for you are with me,  Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.  You are comfort,  You're our Good Shepherd.  And you know, the rod the staff, the staff is a symbol of Moses when you know,  would enact the wonders in Egypt to free the children of Israel.  I love this next imagery, verse five says 

"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies." Well those days, you know, before a shepherd would take the sheep into a new pasture he would take a flask of oil and he would go out and survey the new pasture and he would find all the pit viper holes and he would pour fresh oil in the hole and all round the edge.  As long as that oil was fresh, those pit vipers, those snakes could not come out of that hole because it was slick. And so literally the Good Shepherd was preparing a table in the presence of their enemies. And to me this is a beautiful picture. 

And then says “you anoint my head with oil”, you know sheep man, they'll bust their head on a rock. And you know, dogs and cats lick the paws and kind of keep it clean.  Sheep they just stand there and let the flies get in it. And the Good Shepherd would you know, clean the wound, and keep it with oil,  so it would heal.  Again, just the provider. You know when we look at all that, we can say with confidence that my cup runneth over. And surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever, and ever. Amen.

And I'm just wanted to share that Psalm with you, and kind of go through some of the things I've learned.  And how we really are in a lot of ways just like a dumb scared sheep, we have trouble finding our way.  And you know, if we keep our eyes on the Good Shepherd, we're going to be Okay. We'll get through this dark scary time, this valley that we're in and when we come through we're gonna be stronger and better than ever.

And so I just won't take a minute and pray for you and your staff because we do really appreciate the work that you're doing. You know Jesus gave us our marching orders, and we're to go into all the world. And I'm so grateful for Mission Discovery and I'm just pray for you now and I hope that you know, we get through this plague soon.  And the gavel lifted and when get back to doing God's work as we're accustomed to, instead of virtually. So anyway let's pray. Dear Father in Heaven,

Thank you Lord, that you are Our good shepherd and that you provide for all our needs Lord. You're always watching over us Lord and I thank you for Mission Discovery Lord.  I pray that you continue to bless them, increase their area of influence Lord for you.  I pray that you would continue to financially support them. I pray for the staff and for their families Lord to protect them from this virus Lord, that you keep them healthy and safe. And Lord that you would just continue to bless.

Mission Discovery.  Lord, we love you today and we can't live without you. And in these uncertain times, I just don't, I hurt for those who don't know you Lord.  And I pray that you would give us all spiritual eyes and spiritual ears so that we might see those around us, the need, the lostness, the uncertainty, that we can comfort and love and point them to you.

Lord I just pray that you lift this plague from us and restore the land and to be prosperous again. That we would all be able to get back to meeting together in church.  And Lord, I just thank you for the opportunity that we can boldly come before your throne and in there find mercy and grace in our time of need.

We love you, we pray all these things in Jesus name, and all God's people said Amen. You all have a blessed day and thanks for let me share.

 

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