Today I needed to focus on God and remember to be thankful. I love Psalm 100. Its simple message is timeless and always uplifting.
A Psalm for giving thanks.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Serve the Lord with gladness! Being in the Lord’s presence
Come into his presence with singing! always brings joy to the believer.
3 Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his; He is creator God and He
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. cares for me.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise! His name is above all names
Give thanks to him; bless his name! and worthy of our praises.
5 For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever, God is good and He will love
and his faithfulness to all generations. us faithfully forever.
I pray the joy of the Lord will be yours as you worship our creator, caretaker, good, loving, faithful, eternal and Almighty God.
Multiple times in scripture God refers to himself as LORD. When the name Lord is written all in capital letters, it refers to the name ‘Yahweh’, YHWH which was so revered that it did not even say it aloud or write it completely as they left out the vowels. Another translation of this is Jehovah. In Exodus 3:14-15, Moses is called by God to return to Egypt, confront Pharaoh and lead the people. Moses voices several concerns to God and asks, What do I say when the people ask who sent me? “God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.” God refers to himself as I AM and also The LORD. God repeated His name in Exodus 6:2-3 “God spoke to Moses and said to him, “I am the LORD. 3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them.” The people did not have the full revelation of God yet and did not fully know Him. The full revelation of God came with Jesus Christ.
David often refers to God as LORD in the Psalms. Psalm 91 has several verses that point out the complete trustworthiness of the LORD and how He loves and cares for those who love Him. Psalm 91
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.” God is my refuge.
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge; God is my protector.
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night, God’s presence dispels fear.
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you God cares for me.
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; God desires our love.
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; God is omnipresent.
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.” God has salvation plans for me.
Today meditate on the completeness of your LORD and how HE reaches down and touches you.
“I am the good shepherd.” Jesus made this bold statement in John 10:11 and 14. He knew the people understood the job of a shepherd and the sacrifice it entailed. They were to guard their sheep with their life both during the day and night against wolves, bears, and any disaster that might come their way. He was their first and only line of defense against the outside world. Jesus was identifying and claiming this same relationship and responsibility with those who were following Him then and those of us who would follow Him in the future. I love the passage in John 10 as it gives me comfort and assurance of who Jesus is to and for me.
“11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.”
Jesus promises that He is the good type of shepherd that will stick with us always. He was not hired to watch over us but is committed to us because He loves us. He affirms that He has a relationship with us in verse 14 and He knows us and we know Him. Jesus says He willingly sacrificed His life to save us and bring us into a close relationship with Him and the Father. Romans 5:8 puts it this way, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
The attribute of being good belongs to God alone. It is His nature to be good where our nature is rooted in sin. So when Jesus says He is the good shepherd, He alone can claim this as He is God. Here are a few verses extolling God’s goodness: Psalm 34:8 “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” Lamentations 3:25 “The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.” Nahum 1:7 “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.” Titus 3:4 “But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,” God’s goodness was truly shone when He sent Jesus to redeem us. He desires to know us and love us. Through Jesus we can be brought into the arms of our loving Father.
Jesus rightly claims to be our good shepherd, do you know Him? He knows you and desires to embrace you with His love and care. Step into His arms today and receive His love and protection and find that safe harbor in Him for eternity.
David saw God as His shepherd and wrote about him in Psalm 23.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. The shepherd provides.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. The shepherd guides.
He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul. The shepherd restores.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me; The shepherd protects and comforts.
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me The shepherd knows the future and
in the presence of my enemies; prepares for me.
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me The shepherd is with me eternally.
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
Do you regard the Lord God as your shepherd? The shepherd was the one who tended, cared, protected, defended and loved his sheep. God is described as the shepherd of the nation of Israel in Isaiah 40: 10-11 “See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power,….He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” Jesus described himself as the good shepherd in John 10:11 “ “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Then in John 10:14-16 “ “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. (Here Jesus was referring to those who were not Jews, the Gentiles.) I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.” Jesus is the perfect image of the good shepherd. The sheep listen to Him, know Him and He sacrifices Himself for this beloved sheep. What a beautiful pictures of our loving God.
Today as you reflect upon God, consider the 23rd Psalm and Jesus’ words in John. Know that you are loved and cared for by your loving heavenly Father and that your good shepherd, Jesus, will guide, protect, defend, hear, and love you.
Because Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, I have access to God’s wisdom. In James 1:5 we learn that though Christ we have the ability to ask God for wisdom. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom [to guide him through a decision or circumstance], he is to ask of [our benevolent] God, who gives to everyone generously and without rebuke or blame, and it will be given to him.” James makes it known that God gives wisdom to help us in our daily decisions and won’t put us down in any way for asking. James also assures us that God generously wants to give us wisdom for living. We can trust that all God’s advice is good. Nahum 1:7 assures us of God’s goodness and Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us that all God’s plans and purposes for us are good. Therefore, we can be assured that good advice always comes from Him. Nahum 1:7 “The LORD is good a refuge in times of trouble, He cares for those who trust in Him.” Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” God is good; it is an integral part of His character. We can trust Him and know that He will not give us bad advice or lead us in the wrong way. I don’t know about you, but it comforts me to know that God is willing to share His wisdom with me and guide me.
How do I get godly wisdom? Proverbs 1:7 tells us “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Having the right heart attitude that shows reverence for God and His great wisdom is the place to start. Then look into God’s Word, spend time in prayer fellowshiping with Him allowing God the opportunity to lead you in His way. If we are diligent and patient, God will reveal His perfect will to us. God tells us “We do not have because we do not ask. We do not receive because we ask with wrong motives.” James 4:2b-3 Prayer that is honest, sincere and heartfelt is required. One other thought, the Lord promises to give us wisdom generously. We won’t get just a little bit of wisdom but enough to do what God has for us to do!
Suggestion: Think of a problem that is coming up this week, a relationship that needs work, or a task that needs to be accomplished. Pray and seek God’s wisdom in how to specifically proceed. Then wait and be amazed at the results.
He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young. Isaiah 40:11
This prophecy in Isaiah points to the coming Messiah as a shepherd who will tend His flock with care and love. Jesus called himself the good shepherd, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep, John 10:11. A few verses later in 10:14 He said, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me”. Some of the most tender and reassuring verses about Jesus’ love and care for us are found in John 10:27-28 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” No one, nothing, nowhere and at no time can anyone or anything snatch us away from Jesus. Once we belong to Him we are His eternally. He is with us 24/7 and is always accessible instantaneously through prayer.
Let the assurances of the good shepherd carry you through this day and bring you comfort.
Because Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, I am sustained by Christ. This assurance of faith is one of my favorite promises stated in Philippians 4:19. “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” God knows what I need and Jesus reminded us that He will provide for us in even greater measure than the sparrows. Luke 12:6-7 “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.” We are valued by God and He will take care of our needs. Jesus said this in Matthew 6:28-30 “And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
So it would seem that God will take care of us because he loves and values us. Why do we worry over our needs? Being human it is difficult to set aside worry and replace it with trust in God. God desires to take care of us and He loves us. 1 Peter 5:7 says “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” Jesus said in John 16:27 “for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.” How will you show your trust in Jesus today? Prayerfully present your needs to God and then leave them with Him. Let Him do the heavy lifting and care for you. Be encouraged today- He will provide!
Learning to trust in Jesus more and more each day,