Monday, December 31, 2012
Sometimes just a large cold glass of spring water, is what is needed. Isn’t it true when working on a hot summers day. It’s refreshing! “He leads me besides still waters.” Psalm 23:2b. So last week we were in the green pastures, resting. An important part of life. But we need more than just rest, we need water; for refreshment and more. It’s a basic need we have, we can’t live without it. Now for almost all of us we really don’t have a lack of water. But that spiritual water, that flows from Jesus Christ, now here’s where some problem’s begin. As Christians we use phrases like, fill my cup, rain on me, spiritual drought…it’s true; sometimes we don’t feel God’s presence or see Him working in our life. Even when we think we are seeking Him. Have you ever read your bible and nothing, just nothing, empty words? The same with prayer, its like you were speaking… into the wind. Praise, the same emptiness. Remember, that your in the pasture, resting, you look over and there’s the shepherd. You know you can look right past Him and forget how you got there, not recognizing Him and giving credit to _____. Here’s the deal guys we do this unawares, sometimes who knows what happened. And then we go and do our own thing, even trying to find our own drink. You see it is much more than water, it’s spiritual water. A water that brings peace…that leads to eternal life, John4:13-14. Water that surpasses our understanding. The water that comes from Jesus Christ. Now are we being lead? Is it Jesus who is leading you? Isn’t it so easy to do the leading and then there we are, thirsty. So what do we do? Stop and seek Him, seeking to let Him lead us. Take the time to seek Him!
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” The last two weeks did we deal with this truth? Is the Lord your Shepherd? Are you satisfied with his provisions? You see if you are not, the next portion of the psalm will be a little bit of a struggle. You might not be able to realize that the Lord is leading you to a better place, or you may be fighting Him all the way to were He wants to bring you; jumping over to the other path…or even stopping thinking you are fine, happy…where you are now. Let’s be real here, it is not easy to allow Jesus to Shepherd. After all, don’t we have the ability to think for our selves? And sometimes we are too busy and we just go forward, side wards,…with out looking for the Shepherds guidance. But deep down have you and I let Jesus be the Shepherd? If we have, we also can say, “He makes me to lie down in green pastures.” There are several points in this statement. The first is “green pastures”. Do you believe that the Shepherd knows were the pastures are? Look it’s pastures, more than one. So as we walk here on earth, no matter where we are, what we are going through, there are pastures. Sometimes don’t we feel that they are far and few! If we trust the Shepherd, He will bring us to them and sometime when we turn around we are surprised at how close they may be. Point number 2, “He makes me to lie down”. When you get to the pasture the Lord, makes you to lie down, rest. Did you get that, rest. Oh, how we do need rest; isn’t our modern world busy? You know what’s great about His rest is that it’s in the middle of the pasture, there’s plenty of food….no worries. Even in this busy world we can have rest, knowing that God is still in control. Even when our lives seem to be upside down, we can turn to Jesus and He gives us rest. We can lay down look over, and there He is he, the Good Shepherd. Jesus says in, Matt. 11:29 “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your soul.” Sometimes when we think of rest, we only think of not having to work hard or no work. An easy life…no problems. You know, we need to find the rest of knowing Jesus. The peace that passes all understanding. It’s hard to rest if you have no inner peace. When you are trying to figure it out, life’s problems, on your own. Also sometimes we can think that being on vacation is a rest, going somewhere…but you know what’s so great about Jesus; He can give you rest while you are in the storm of life. His rest isn’t just a get a way. It’s rest on a daily bases, a peace and joy of being with God almighty, no matter what is going on around you or where you might be; you can find rest in Him.
Monday, December 17, 2012
Have you ever dreamed or thought, if only I had…, if only I was some where…If I had better…? Then we end the dream with how much better we would be…. How many of you are like me and thought about all three of the above? Sometimes even when things are going well, we can find ourselves wanting more or better. Sometimes we look around seeing stuff and others; then start thinking if I had….Isn’t it true of us in varying degrees? The old saying, the pasture seems to be greener on the other side of the fence, fits all to easily. “ The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1. Last week we talked briefly about letting the Lord be the Shepherd of our lives. That a shepherd tends the sheep (flock). That word tends, means a lot more when put into practice. Last week we added guards, guides; now here is some more.. feeds, washes, sheers (clothes), heals (sickness), comforts and seeks. The bible tells us that Jesus is the “Good Shepherd”. He knows how to tend sheep very well, let’s say that He is the best. Also let’s say that He is so good at tending sheep no one else compares. Everyone else who does do some tending goes to Him for help (wisdom). Now here is the problem, we as people have wants; be it big wants or little wants. Let’s face it, sometimes we are not satisfied when our needs are met. O.K. an example, you are going out or invited out and there seems to be not the right type of food there; at that particular time you wanted such and such or you just didn’t care for what was being served. “I shall not want” has to do with things, being content with what has been provided, not to say we can’t pray for needs and wants…its that contentment when God answers, yes, no, or wait. Or when He provides something different. Now one more point, Sometimes as believers we can get frustrated with God. We become disgruntle and start looking for another shepherd, a part time shepherd lets say, to fill our wants and desires. Like the nation of Israel following God in the desert to the promise land and then all of a sudden wanting to go back to Egypt, captivity. Another shepherd; sometime it is us who want to be the shepherd of our lives, we start to take things into our own hand…and forgetting God we go our own way…Oh, that our true want is to want Him, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, to be our/my shepherd.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
“The Lord is my shepherd,”; last week we talked about who/what do you believe. The Lord, Jehovah, is He the one you believe in? Is He your God? Now all of us need to answer that question. You see this is a statement, “The Lord is my shepherd“, this is what he believes. The psalmist is not wishy washy or maybe he believes, on some days, but on other days not so much. Our God is Lord over every thing, even time…; all the time, so for us we need to recognize this and also recognize the 3 persons of God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Then also we can say this, the beginning of Psalm 23, “ The Lord is my shepherd”. Now there is also the word, shepherd, that we need to associate with God in this statement. What is a shepherd? One who takes care of sheep; I just said that off the top of my mind. Not to far off, a shepherd is one who tends sheep. Also has the idea of, guiding and guarding…Before we go too far let’s see the word picture (allegory) that is being revealed. That is that God is a shepherd; which makes us sheep. Now sheep need the shepherd, they are lost without Him. They tend to wander and get in all kinds of predicaments. Isn’t that true of sheep? Isn’t that true of us? So we must recognize in our own lives, deep down, we need the shepherd, we need Jesus Christ. If we really think about it we all know that we can’t do it on our own…but more than that, that people and things can’t take the place of being taken care of (tended) by God, His son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. So again, are you going to let Jesus be the shepherd of you? It is some times easy to say that phrase, but is it your desire, my desire to have the Lord as our Shepherd? In John 10, the parable of the good shepherd, verses 11-14 “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me.” He is good!!!
What I would like to do, is to start a new series on Psalm 23. Yes I did some of this a while back but it would be good to go through the whole Psalm. The first would ve an introduction if you will and then we will start the Psalm 23. What do you believe? And with that we can also ask the question, what don’t you believe? Why are those 2 questions so important? Well the first is important as to believing in truth, facts….versus not believing in truth, facts…Or secondly we could believe in things that are not true, facts.. and not to believe in the truth, fact…Sometimes it is very easy to get confused in what we believe and what we don’t believe. Sometimes we believe something, a truth, but in actuality we don’t believe all of what it means…and sometimes we want to mix the truth with non-truth to fit our own desires or reasoning. Sometimes we compromise the truth, to fit in with society…compromise in some areas is not good. In Ex.3:16 “The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob has appeared to me” God tells Moses to say to the elders this; the history of the one true God. It is important that we also believe in the one true God. So often in the Old Testament we see the phrase God of Abraham….This is the God we believe in. Now let’s go forward to the New Testament and also look at the Lord Jesus. In Matt.3:17 “and lo a voice out of the heavens, saying, This is my beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.” Now we can read a lot more in the Gospels about our Lord. We must remember that He is the Son of God, He is God….and we must never diminish His position of God and the things He said or the things He has done or the things He is going to do. If we look around today we don’t see a lot of idols (statues) around; some but not many. But there are a lot of religions around pulling or trying to pull us into compromising our faith; that is to accept that there are other god’s just like the one true God. Now I’m not talking about being radical…but rather to be on guard, to hold fast to the one true God and His son Jesus Christ. To follow Him and Him alone.