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

Christ has it – No need to worry or fret!

Because Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead, I have untold resources and possibleriches available to me in Christ.  Once we grasp this concept of riches in Christ, a whole new world is opened to us.  As Jesus said, in Matthew 17:20, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Here are some key verses about God’s riches given to us in ChristPhilippians 4:19 philippians 4 19is a wonderful promise from God. “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”  God knows what we need and promises to supply all our needs.  When I am stressing over money, relationships or personal suffering, I take great comfort in knowing Jesus has my back and will provide all that I need whether it is physical, emotional or spiritual.  He is there with me and knows my needs before even I do.  In Colossians 2:2-3,  Paul expands the idea as he speaks to the Colossains. My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so col 2 2 3that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ,in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.   Jesus has resources that can bring me complete understanding and encourage me to work together for Him in love.

The riches available to us in Christ are for:  the strengthening of our faith, the release from worry about material provisions, the increase in understanding of His Word and the understanding of the mystery of salvation, atonement, sanctification, forgiveness, justification, Christlike living, fruits of the Holy Spirit, ……    With this increased knowledge and focus we are rich and have all we need for godly living in Christ! Like the Colossians we will  be united in purpose and love as we serve our Lord Jesus Christ.

Linda

Suggestion:  Make a list of the things you understand about Christ today that were hard or unknown to you before becoming a follower of Jesus.  You will be thankful and amazed.  Make a list ways God has provided for you in just the last few months.  You will be thankful and amazed!  Thank you Jesus.

Blessing #2- His Refuge

Today’s blessings passage is from Psalm 34.  David wrote this psalm after experiencing God’s rescue from his situation with the Philistine king seen in 1 Samuel 21.  David praises God for his deliverance and protection. David praised God for his blessing -protection and divine favor in preventing his great misfortune.  Psalm 34:4-10

I sought the Lord, and he answered me                David knew God answers prayer
and delivered me from all my fears.                          and that God delivers.
Those who look to him are radiant,                     David knew seeking God leaves 
and their faces shall never be ashamed.               one glowing with hope.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him    David knew God hears him.
and saved him out of all his troubles.                      David knew God could save him
The angel of the Lord encamps                                 David knew God protects.
    around those who fear him, and delivers them.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!        David knew God blesses.
Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints,                        David knew God supplies without fear.
    for those who fear him have no lack!
10 The young lions suffer want and hunger;        David knew by placing his trust in 
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.     God he would never be lacking.

Do you know, like David, that God answers prayer, delivers, gives hope, hears, can save, will bless, has resources beyond measure, can be trusted and will never leave you lacking for anything?  That is an amazing list that gives me hope and assurance that God in His Sovereignty will take care of me.  I am blessed if I can learn to take refuge in Him!

gratefulAs you journey through this day, praise and thank God that He alone is your refuge and receive His blessings as you trust in Him.

Linda

I AM the God who Provides

jehovah jirehThis revelation of God’s character appears in Genesis 22:14.  “Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means “the Lord will provide”). To this day, people still use that name as a proverb: “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”  Abraham was doing as God commanded on Mt Moriah, preparing to sacrifice his only son, when God provided the ram of sacrifice.  Abraham believed God’s promise that from him would come a great nation so he must have believed God could resurrect his only son if the need arose.  It is a picture of what God did in Jesus to save us all.   

God's wayThis name for God, Jehovah-Jireh, is one of my personal favorites.  Think back in your life and recall a time when God provided exactly what you needed when you needed it and it seemed impossible for that to have happened.  That was the type of moment Abraham experienced on Mt Moriah.  He trusted God, and God answered in a miraculous way.  It seems that God always answers ‘outside the box’.  I think of ways God could answer my prayers, and it is always beyond my imagining.  Isaiah 55:8  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.”   reminds us that God’s ways and thinking are not human, not like us.  His solutions or answers are always perfect in context and timing!

We can be encouraged today, as we serve a God who provides.  Claim Philippians 4:19 in your life and let the stress and pressures of life rest in His hands.  “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”  Step out today with the faith of Abraham and trust God to provide exactly what you need when you note-to-self-may-24thneed it.

Learning to walk in trust,

Linda