Psalm 23:4 (NKJV) 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.

In the much-loved Psalm 23, David wrote, “Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” The rod and the staff were shepherd’s tools. The staff was a long, crooked instrument the shepherd would use when a sheep was going astray. But the rod was simply a club that was used when the staff wasn’t working anymore. Can you hear my heart today people of God? We can take the Lord’s grace for granted and become immune spiritually to God.

We may think that a club is extremely cruel to use on a poor sheep. But better to get whacked with a club than eaten by a wolf! Sheep are incredibly dumb. They will actually line up to die. If one sheep goes over a cliff, the other sheep will say, “Get in line. We are all going to die today. Let’s go, Single file.” The shepherd sometimes has to use extra corrective measures on a wayward sheep that could otherwise lead others astray. Do you see where God maybe using extra corrective measures in your life?

I have seen the Lord use the rod of suffering or sickness to get someone’s attention. The Lord will say, “You really shouldn’t do that” and then convicts them by His Spirit. But they might ignore the Lord. So the Lord tells them, “Don’t do that. I don’t want you to do that.” If they continue to ignore Him, BAM! God will use His rod: “I told you, don’t do that.” I have met a lot of people in hospitals who have come to Christ. Unfortunately, a lot of them don’t stay with Christ. But others continue to walk with the Lord. How has the Lord dealt with you lately?

Point to ponder- Maybe God has recently whacked you with His rod to get your attention. Maybe the Lord has given you a wake-up call in the one form or another, and you maybe wondering why.
The book of Hebrews tells us, “My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline, but don’t be crushed by it either. It’s the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects” (12:5-6, MSG). Don’t ever doubt it: if God has allowed hardship or suffering into your life for a season, it is only because the Lord loves you.

Honor and Love,
Pastor James Baker

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