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Green Pastures Today

Shepherd blues.

Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates;and the gates shall not be shut; I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: Isaiah 45:1-2.

The relationship between the sheep and shepherd is a beaut. It’s intimate, active and personal not general. The shepherd calls his sheep by name and every sheep answers to his name. There are no mistaken identities, nor confused names. The names are fun, it’s one of the high points of the relationship. The sheep hears the voice of his shepherd and knows his name. The name is not known to another, no wonder they flee from strangers. It’s pure bliss for the sheep to be called by the name. Where Cyrus was in the verse above your name can be inserted. That unlocks this verse of scripture and lightens up your life. He not only call your name, he holds your right hand.

“But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice:and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him:for they know his voice.”John 10:2-4.

The sheep is led by the voice of the shepherd. Some have surmised that the sheep is blind, she can only see his voice. No wonder he holds his right hand and leads him out. One thing is sure, the shepherd is with, by and before the sheep. The sheep is too defended to be a victim. The possibility of going left is rare as the right hand is held. The pastures are on the right places along the right paths. It’s also a path of conquest; nations subdued, the loins of kings loosed. Fortune obtained, pleasant places received; that is the green pastures. The shepherd is the password to fortune; the lord is my shepherd!

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.”Psalms 23:1-2.

Ninety nine for one!

 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Psalms 23:1-3.

Ever seen a sheep all alone? The sheep is most likely lost. A lost sheep is easy to spot, she’s an open target. Her frantic effort is to reconnect to the fold. Destination unknown, direction lost; similar to many lives. While the sheep tries her best albeit frantic to find her rest. The shepherd is working much more to reconnect to the fold. In the fold lies her rest, alone makes her a prey. Never walk alone, the shepherd is your surety to be far from want. Your path in destiny is the shepherds responsibility. The shepherd ensures you never walk alone!

“For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.” Matthew 18:11-13.

The Lord Jesus is the son of man and son of God; the good shepherd. While the sheep is seeking the fold, the lord is seeking the sheep. The sheep is not only missing, her place is also lost. It’s not common sense to leave ninety nine for one. The voice and sight of the shepherd is the comfort of the sheep. One lost sheep is too valuable to be replaced; she must be found. You will never walk alone nor walk astray; destiny too precious to be lost. The shepherd ensures you are never lost nor missing out. The lord is your shepherd; ninety nine for one. That is the sure direction for your destiny; one fold, one shepherd.

“I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” John 10:14-16

A shepherd, not a Mallam.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. Psalms 23:1-2.

Whenever the idea of a shepherd is mentioned in our setting, we remember the herdsmen or Mallam. That comes to mind as an example of a shepherd. Unfortunately it is not a very good one especially lately when they became a menace destroying crops and killing innocent citizens. My shepherd is not a Mallam! The shepherd leads to green pastures, not dry or dead grasses & recession. Green is the lush and fruitful vegetation where grasses grow. Green also represents location, countries and pleasant places. The grasses don’t just grow, they are nurtured to luxuriant blossom. Other peoples farms are no pastures, they are the labour of men. My shepherd is not a Mallam, he leads you to greener pastures. The shepherd leads with his voice, allam coerces from the rear.

“To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice:and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him:for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him:for they know not the voice of strangers.”John 10:3-5.

The Mallam’s green pastures are located south, migration southwards is the norm. No wonder their nomadic nature especially in dry season. Many people behave similarly during the dry seasons of life, they go south. Everybody is going so lets go. Please don’t go south, it’s overgrazed. As soon as the sheep moves ahead of his shepherd he is lost. The wolves move in and have a field day. Stay in the fold, don’t move an inch until the shepherd says so. The green pastures are not south, they are where the shepherd leads. The land is green because it drinks from the rain above. Moving can be risky without direction instruction. The rain is from above south is not green; it’s from above not from abroad. Please don’t go south. The lord is my shepherd not a mallam. The mallam leads to recession & bust but the shepherd leads to fortune.

“For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey; A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass.”Deuteronomy 8:7-9.

Strength for the stress!

He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.Isaiah 40:29-31

Every time I travel abroad, I feel drained spiritually. Am not sure that is the experience of everyone. From jet lag to spiritual lag, I have to do more to recharge everyday. Many may take that for granted but it means much to me. Inspiration is not casual, it’s everything to me. It’s not a feeling or a falling; its Grace for the race. When inspiration is lost everything crumbles and many wonder why. The helper grants strength for everyday living even on the move. Strength is not good enough, his might is a necessity for survival. Grace is the strength to run and not weary and walk and not faint. We are not strong, we are strenghtened. we are not mighty, The almighty is our strength. Superman died a long time ago, those that are strengthened end up as winners. Lord i need help! Is their cry.

“For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope:for a living dog is better than a dead lion. For the living know that they shall die:but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.“Ecclesiastes 9:4-5.

Living is everything, strengthened in God. If you could ignore the dog in the verse, the message will be clear. Don’t die spiritually because of your location. Live and not die. The strength to live is spirit given. Youthfulness is energy not strength; it fails in the day of battle. Just watch the news and see the great becoming weaklings. But those that were termed weak made strong by the hands of the almighty. Strength is the help to live and not die. The Holy spirit Quickens for that extraordinary strength. It’s spiritual oxygen for everyday living. Strength or stress. Receive strength to miss the stress today and forever. Strength is received, not generated.

“That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;”Ephesians 3:16.

Signs or sigh!

 “And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.”1 Samuel 1:11.

Its strange and new to many that the covenant requires an oath for performance. Many with the fatalistic view of an oath switch off and wonder. It’s amazing that some believers have lived without deep commitment to Christ. Most employers ensure a sign-in daily, and a letter of appointment issued at employment which is signed for. Salvation is signed-up for actively by a prayer of commitment. Every deeper walk with God is signed into actively. Without these signing-up moments, many have lived as freelance Christians. Check your commitment chart, check what is signed-up for in Christ. Fruitfulness is a covenant, healing is a covenant, protection is a covenant. When the blood is the seal, a deal must be cut actively not passively. This is why many confess Christ and yet end up disappointed. They have no deal, covenant responsibilities apart from church attendance.

“If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.”Isaiah 1:19-20.

Unless a covenant is cut, the affliction continues. God has sworn by himself, brethren you’ve got to swear to partake. If you do not subscribe, the goods cannot be delivered. It’s for the willing and obedient, nothing for observers or spectators. Only covenant partners are entitled to covenant goodies. Without a covenant with God, the gospel becomes a second hand document. God deals with sons not with strangers! The covenant is the restriction to free lance Christianity. Without covenant responsibilities, a dearth of testimonies occur. Worship becomes routine and the gospel is viewed with suspicion. The good of the land is subscribed to by the covenant actively not passively. Sign up to become a sign or sigh through life. The choice is yours.

“For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.”Malachi 4:1-2.

God’s signature

“And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;Genesis 22:16-17.

Everyday, piles of document pass before many of us. Some require endorsement others are for comments. What is in the mind is unknown, only what is written is referenced. Your opinion does not count, only what is written is for consideration. Some persons’ writing is characteristic, their opinion is the solution. That is the covenant signature; God has not only spoken, he has sworn! Every signature is a sworn blessing; sure and guaranteed. Every word from God has his signature already appended. It’s not an opinion, it’s the solution, it’s not a comment, it’s a commandment. The communication link ends there; your signature please? Until you sign in, the promise remains; covenants are for partners. It’s time to move from a promise to a covenant; sign in please.

“And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.”1 Samuel 1:11.

Until a signature is in place, the covenant is not activated. By the singular act of Abraham, he appended his signature to the covenant. God was provoked to swear in return and the covenant was enforced. Hannah did the same thing and the covenant of fruitfulness was game on. Don’t assume a covenant, activate you covenant with God. God is generous, he signed up before you showed up. Every word in the book is backed by his signature and activated by yours. Move from a promise to a covenant! Responsibility is the price. Take responsibility for the shift by cutting a covenant with God. Hannah’s vow was a commitment and a sign-in to the bargain. Please sign here, God is waiting for you. His oath is his signature. The covenant is too faithful to lie or fail; the covenant is God’s signature.

“Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:”Hebrews 6:17-18

It’s a deal!

For men verily swear by the greater:and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Hebrews 6:16-18.

Oath taking is a culture that is known to many from childhood. It is has a negative perception due to the diabolic content and effect. For those that swear falsely, the untoward effect on their family is grievous. Tales of death, destruction, strange diseases are the norm. The covenant with God is confirmed by an oath to give life & value to living. An oath is the highest form of assurance, an end to every argument. God has sworn to bless, fruitfulness is a sworn inheritance. The oath of blessing supercedes every curse or negative oath. The covenant is the cure of barrenness; fertility assured. By this oath God is eternally committed to your fruitfulness. The oath makes the deal with God sure.

“And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;”Genesis 22:16-17.

Every covenant intervention is a product of responsibility. An oath makes a promise; God has sworn irreversibly to bless & multiply. “It takes two to tango” your commitment activates the covenant. The only person involved in this covenant is God, he has signed up first. Jesus is God’s signature to every covenant commitment. Until the two parties involved append their signatures, the deal is pending. An oath is sure, just as the signature is the seal to every deal. A vow or an oath is the end of every debate; that is the covenant platform. Hannah understood that, she made a vow. When the deal is done, your goods arrive; fruitfulness for sure. God that cannot lie desire your commitment for performance; it’s a deal. A covenant with sworn inheritance is sure. Make a deal with God.

“And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.”1 Samuel 1:11.

So shall your seed be.

And, behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them:and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. Genesis 15:4-5.

The covenant declares the status of his seed long before they are born. Abraham had the promise of stars as sons. Everyone connected to this covenant is a star, they give birth to stars. Fruitfulness is included, it’s a must; status defined before conception. God is not cloning children but making stars as children, plenty in stock. Quality is emphasized, it is better not to live than be counted as a number. God showed Abraham stars, quality children; uncountable stars as sons. Many do not believe that a world of stars is possible; star world. That is the picture of the future that is guaranteed by the covenant. The covenant has fruitfulness as its emblem; so shall thy seed be! The easiest way to be fruitful is to connect to this covenant. That was what Hannah connected to for her change of story.

“And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.”1 Samuel 1:11.

Until you vow, you shall not be avowed. God is not a joker, his covenant is sure. The covenant terminates the affliction of barrenness and gives stars as sons. If the root is not barren, the leaves cannot be barren. Abraham enjoyed assisted conception by the covenant, so shall your seed be! God has vowed to give stars as children, he’s awaiting your vow. The covenant is a vow by God, you connect by a vow; sworn seeds. The covenant is the surety to have children as stars. This is fruitfulness with a plus; having seeds as stars. A guaranteed future, sure and defined paths, greatness on every side. The covenant grants children with a mission; so shall thy seed be! Stars are coming out of your bowels! The seed is sure, blessed and a blessing to nations and generations.

“That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.”Genesis 22:17-18.

The lord is my shepherd

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Psalms 23:1-3.

This Psalm is one of the first I knew and committed to heart. This is the same with many that grew up in Christian homes. It was fun reciting this psalm daily, we made a religion of it. A day without this Psalm is regarded as incomplete for some persons. This psalm is incomplete until the lord becomes your shepherd. Contact is key to a contract with God. Without a shepherd the sheep is lost; direction without destination. The path of destiny is not known, it is shown. The shepherd is the way, the truth and the life; everything to the sheep.

“I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father:and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” John 10:14-16.

Identity is a key factor to avoid being a nonentity. The shepherd is the lord Jess Christ; every sheep is lost without him. There is one fold, the church and one shepherd, the lord. The shepherd knows his sheep personally, not generally. You never walk alone when the shepherd is in you and with you. No one with an in-built compass misses his way, ever! The shepherd leads not coerces the sheep; good is his franchise. The sheep hears and sees the shepherd; mistakes are impossible. Fortune is available when the shepherd leads. One sheepfold, one shepherd. The shepherd is everything needed for living.

“The preacher sought to find out acceptable words:and that which was written was upright, even words of truth. The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.”Ecclesiastes 12:10-11

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