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Continued Grace in Strength

The Lord is the strength of His people; He is the saving refuge of his anointed. Oh, save your people and bless your heritage! Be their shepherd and carry them forever.”

-Psalm 28:8-9

How sweet it is to know that God has only begun his work in his people! For all the blessings a believer has received thus far, which result from being chosen in Christ, one can know with confidence that the good work of Salvation is bound to eternity and will know no end! Being found in Christ is the fountain through which God delivers countless blessings to his people as they sojourn towards their eternal home where his presence is perfectly manifested apart from sin and debauchery.

David knows this well when he attributes the strength of his armies and people to YHWH. David is a participant in covenantal relationship with YHWH, and as such, he refuses to be a fool who gives honor and praise for his military victories and kingly success to mere human effort. Instead, David declares that the source and sustenance of his person, kingship, and kingdom comes from YHWH himself and YHWH alone. Human efforts are what they are, but David knew success was based on God’s gratuitous favor.

Today, New Covenant participants would do well to see the dominance of this truth in the life of the Church. Method, machinery, and program are what they are, but the Church must know to find her strength in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is a shepherd to his people with clear intentions to carry them forever. Jesus himself spoke to this point in saying, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:27-28). The Church cannot fail because she is wed to a groom that refuses to give her over to perishing. There is no circumstance that the sheep face without the support and strength of their shepherd who carries them forever. This extends from daily inconveniences to horrific tragedy. Cancer, political unrest, physical persecution, financial pressure, dreadful depression, militant anxiety, nor anything else can convince the shepherd to flee from his sheep. He intends to be their strength, blessing, and source of joy. So he is, and so he will always be!

Therefore, may the Church corporately and it’s member individually, like David, say unto the Lord, “You are our strength, YHWH! You are our saving refuge and we have no safety apart from you! Save us and bless your mission in order that your heritage might extend to all the people groups of the world! Shepherd your church and carry us forever!” If the Church only knew how dependent she truly was on His continued grace in strength I doubt she would ever feel comfortable taking a single step out from underneath His wings.

Grace prevails in the giving of strength to the people of God for purpose of carrying out the mission of God to the nations. The church must learn to rest in the grace of her shepherd daily, while he carries her by his strength alone into the world in order to retrieve those who belong to him by his free and sovereign choice. To God be the glory for the goodness of grace and the intentionality of shepherding shown to the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

-Taylor Hartley

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