Is God your Shepherd?

good shepherdDavid saw God as His shepherd and wrote about him in Psalm 23.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.          The shepherd provides.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.       The shepherd guides
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.                                          The shepherd restores.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
    for his name’s sake.

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.

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.
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
    forever.

 

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.

good shepherd 1Today 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. 

Linda

Are you tapping into God’s wisdom? If not, why not?

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 james 1 5wisdom. 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!

Lindaneed wisdom

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.

 

 

 

Assurances of Our Shepherd

isaiah-40-11-1He 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 John10 28found 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.

Linda

I am sustained by Christ.

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 phil 4 19pennies? 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 loves and cares“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,

Linda