The Author of Unity

A bag over the head of a handcuffed black man until he suffocated to death… a knee on the neck of a black man until he suffocated to death… a black man shot in the back seven times in front of his kids and passersby… these and many more are the headlines that plaque the media. As my husband jokingly (or maybe not) says “the black race is going extinct!”

These past few days I have asked questions…well to no one in particular… if the rest of the world is not seeing the craziness happening to black folk! Where is the justification in treating a fellow human being with so much disdain and inhumanity! How can people justify the senseless profiling based on race when we are all from the same source, God Himself?

Many, in trying to justify such atrocities among many other unbelievable things that have happened in 2020, have made comments alluding to fact that perhaps God is no longer in charge of the earth. Sometimes it feels like God has just left mankind to their wiles whilst he sits and watches in complete silence. Perhaps this year it has made the most sense to ask “where was our God when (fill in the blank) happened?”

This week I came across a scripture that gave me reason to pause:

Also in Judah the hand of God was on the people to give them unity of mind to carry out what the king and his officials had ordered, following the word of the LORD.

2 Chronicles 30:12 NIV

The hand of God was on the people to give them unity of mind… that does not sound like a God that is passive about the affairs of his creation. God was the author of the unity the Israelites enjoyed.. He was the one who orchestrated their unity and this is what our world so desperately needs today… UNITY and particularly THE GOD WHO AUTHORS UNITY!

We need God more than ever! Its not too late! We need to pray for the unity among the human folk which can only come from God. We need to ask God to make good his promise from Zechariah 11:7 by infusing his creation with mercy (so we can be merciful) and unity (so we can truly love each other).

So I became a shepherd of those sheep doomed to be slaughtered by the sheep dealers. And I gave names to the two sticks I used for tending the sheep: One of them was named “Mercy” and the other “Unity.”

Zech 11:7 CEV

God please make good your promise to shepherd us with Mercy and Unity and let your hand be upon us to give us unity of mind. This we ask through your son Jesus Christ. Amen.

If you prayed this prayer with me don’t stop there… keep praying for unity and share this with others so together we can gather momentum to call upon God to unite us as one!

Yours Truly.

…Surely Goodness and Mercy Shall Follow Me All the Days of My Life

Referencing The Lord is my Shepherd…

The last part of Psalm 23 is the most popular part of the Psalm. It serves as a benediction in many churches. But have you ever stopped to think about what constitutes the goodness and mercy of God and how they are manifest? I will attempt to describe this from the following scriptures.

Then Moses said, “Please show me Your glory.”“I will cause all My goodness to pass in front of you,” the LORD replied, “and I will proclaim My name—the LORD—before you. I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” Exodus 33:18-19 Berean Study Bible

Moses asks to see God’s glory and God’s response is I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you and if you read further God says to Moses but you cannot see my face because no one can see my face and live! Two things can be inferred from this: All of God’s goodness is the physical manifestation of  God and is also the embodiment of His glory.

So when the psalmist says goodness shall follow him he is referring to the glory of God accompanying him wherever he goes. Now get this: Jesus is the very essence of God’s Glory and represents the Glory of God.

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. Hebrews 1:3a NIV

The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 Berean Study Bible

So if you have a daily relationship with Jesus, Our shepherd, you have a daily encounter with God’s glory which is manifested as ALL OF GOD’S GOODNESS.

In the scripture from Exodus 33, we see that God’s goodness evokes His mercy and compassion. Where God’s goodness goes, mercy follows. The Bible records that wherever Jesus went, he was moved with compassion [mercy] for the people he encountered and He demonstrated this mercy by healing the sick and broken-hearted, delivering the oppressed, and setting the captives free. If Jesus is your Shepherd it means that you have 24 hr access to mercy and all of God’s goodness. Now let’s talk about what that looks like:

How great is [Your] goodness you have stored up for those who fear you. You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world. You hide them in the shelter of your presence, safe from those who conspire against them. You shelter them in your presence, far from accusing tongues.Praise the LORD, for he has shown me the wonders of his unfailing love. He kept me safe when my city was under attack. I had said in my alarm, “I am cut off from your sight.” But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy when I cried to you for help. Psalm 31:19- 22 NLT

This is my definition of a stress-free life. This is a good life. A life that is accompanied by goodness and mercy. And finally, the best part is that these benefits are for as long as you are on this earth: all the days of your life. Not some; but all.

If Jesus is not your shepherd yet, all hope is not lost. He is always moved with compassion for sheep without Shepherd. He wants everyone to benefit from the shepherd-sheep relationship.

Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:36 NASB

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. All the days of your life is a long time and you want to live it well; with goodness and mercy following you!