Psalm 23. We all know it (or we should). I learned it as a little girl in Sunday School. And almost 20 years later, it's significance keeps growing.
The Lord is my Shepherd, I SHALL NOT WANT
He makes me lie down in green pastures
He leads me beside still waters
He restores my soul
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
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord, forever.
How refreshing to hear these words AGAIN! Here are a few things I get from this passage:
1) God PURSUES US. This was the theme of my devotional---God will follow us around until we finally follow Him. How many people can you say that about? The world is full of 'leaders' who use all types of means, often unethical, to get us to follow in and submit to their 'power'. But, God, the Almighty and all powerful, quietly follows us and whispers to us, until we submit. Amazing, isn't it?
2) Last Sunday, I had a 'moment' that I can't describe as anything else than God speaking to me and putting a desire on my heart to share that message. And so, share I did, in church. I was scared to death but I knew it was from God and it needed to be said. What was it? That God loves us sooooo much and that if we could only realize how MUCH He loves us, that alone would be enough motivation to stop doing whatever it is that we do to separate us from God...low and behold, this was EXACTLY the pastor's sermon for the day :)
3)He leads me beside STILL waters---not waters of stress and turmoil and depression and a need to 'earn' His love for us...STILL waters. God can't meet us until we slow down enough to meet Him
4) Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I WILL FEAR NO EVIL. My pastor talked about valleys that separate us from God that WE create (aka, SIN) but I'm talking about actual death. Just in the past week, a friend lost a grandparent, another friend lost a pastor, a family member lost a husband, and certainly, many other people to whom I'm unaware, lost loved ones. Sometimes, all we see is sin and death around us. But, I know that there is life after this death, for those who love Jesus Christ. And, even though these deaths remind us of the brevity of life, they also remind us how close we are to an eternity with an loving, pursuing, patient, eternal, God. "death has lost it's sting" comes to mind. Praise God!
That's it. Those are my thoughts. My theme this month seems to be "less of me, more of Him". I hope I've encouraged at least one person. No, I hope God has encouraged you. Remember this month, despite what anyone might say to you or things you might see or hear about, that God is in control, God loves you, and He values you HIGHLY, despite anything that you could do.