When It’s Good to be Part of a Herd

If you find yourself in unknown territory,

or in desperate circumstances…

If you are being hounded by fearful, anxious thoughts

and don’t know what to do…

Stop for a moment

and

go to God in prayer.

………

He hears you,

so

lay down your burdens

and

ask for His help.

………

He knows what you need

He will help you

He will guide and protect you,

so

have NO fear.

Look to His word

and remember Who you belong to:

Psalm 23

1 The Lord is my shepherd;
    I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
    He leads me beside peaceful streams.
    He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
    bringing honor to His name.
Even when I walk
    through the darkest valley,[a]
I will not be afraid,
    for You are close beside me.
Your rod and Your staff
    protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
    My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely Your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
    all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
    forever.

Footnotes:

 a) 23:4 Or the dark valley of death.

Praying that the peace only God can give is yours in abundance today. Blessings.

sheep in a meadow

 

Truth, Direction and a Promise

You’ve heard the phrase, “Knowledge is power”. 

And Jesus said, …”If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:31 b-32

So here is some knowledge and truth to take to heart– which means receive it and put it into practice, because when you do, the bonus from God is the promise at the end of verse 25:

“God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.

So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters.  Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.

Listening and Doing

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls. But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.”

James 1:12-25 New Living Translation

Blessings and have a great day!

Reflections

First Things First

Good morning! It’s been awhile since my last post but I’m grateful for the time to write down my thoughts today, which are:

Seeking God First

and

The Prime Directive

…………………………………..

I have been maneuvering through a variety of circumstances and issues for the past couple of months. It’s been a challenge to keep my eyes on God and not become caught up in the circumstances or the issues…which for me usually translates into self-focus. You know, my needs, my issues, my problems…me, me, me, me, me!

Don’t get me wrong. God does care about my needs. He cares about your needs. He doesn’t want to see His children sick, broke, oppressed, depressed, bound-up, fearful or stressed out. He wants to be our Provider, our Healer, our Deliverer and our source. He is our provider, healer, deliverer and source. We just need to be sure that we are keeping Him first place in our lives:

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33 English Standard Bible

What are some of the “things” He provides?

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life–whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?…So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:25, 31-33 New Living Translation

I always wondered what Jesus meant when He spoke those words. How do I seek His kingdom and righteousness first? What IS His Kingdom and righteousness?

The Amplified Bible helps expand the meaning of verse 33:

“But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.” 

The Lord has a different way of doing things than how the world operates. His directions make no sense to a worldly focused mind.

How else do you explain praying blessings over someone who has hurt or betrayed us? (Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:27-28)

Giving to receive? (Luke 6:38)

Forgiving others to receive forgiveness for our self? (Matthew 6:14)

Receiving new life and being made right with God by accepting Jesus as our Savior & Lord? (Romans 6:23)

But to a word-focused mind, these directions are life and truth. Which is why we are instructed to renew our minds (Romans 12:2). Old thought patterns and habits won’t lead to life and peace in God’s kingdom.

So, back to the purpose of this post…

It’s a reminder to stay on track, stay the course and keep your focus on God. Go ahead and ask for what you need, but pray for others too.

Keep your eyes and ears open. Intercede in prayer for your family, your neighbors, friends and co-workers. Pray for your city, region, state and nation. Ask God to bless the leaders, pastors, teachers, churches and schools. Pray for our government. Be the bright light God intends you to be, so that others will come to know Jesus as well.

Which brings me to the Prime Directive:

“And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.” Mark 16:15

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28: 19-20

We can’t share what we don’t have. We can’t teach what we don’t know. And we can’t make disciples if we ourselves are not willing to learn. The difficult things we go through are not meant to destroy us if we are seeking God. They are meant to transform us and conform us to the likeness of Christ. This happens as we submit to God and do things His way, with the power of the Holy Spirit inside of us.

Have a fruitful and transformative day as you walk it out with God. He will provide all of your needs as you keep Him 1st place.

Blessings!

FotoFlexer_Photo Hebrews 12 1.3 2