The Shepherd Who Protects {Summer Psalms ’17}

I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep  (John 10:14-15)

We are reminded in Psalm 23, that the Lord is our Shepherd. More than told, we are given specific ways God reveals Himself as our very good Shepherd.

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless (Ps. 84:11).

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, we are protected and have every need met. He is the One who faithfully cares for us no matter what is going on in our lives.

He gives us everything we need (vv. 1). I heart the “God verbs” as I call them, where we are able to see how God, our Shepherd, moves for our benefit.

He gives us rest (vv. 2). Not only does He provide physical rest for us, He gives us all the rest we need. He rejuvenates and offers peaceful rest we need to thrive. He is our God and makes sure we lack no good thing (see Ps. 84:11).

He leads us (vv. 2). God makes sure we get to the right place. He is the One who goes before us. He isn’t going to abandon us, half way through His leading us. Our great God leads us the whole way!

He gives us new strength (vv. 3). God is faithful to supply us with strength. Remember Isaiah 40:30-31, where we are taught that God renews our strength. Let’s pray for God to do this for us.

He guides us along the right path (vv. 3). He will lead us on the right path, where we are exactly where we need to be. One way He guides us, is through the Bible. As we seek Him, He will show us which way to go.

He is with us (vv. 4). Take heart in this promise that we find throughout the Bible. When we choose to follow Jesus Christ and diligently seek to obey His commands, He promises to be with us (see Mt. 28:18-20).

He prepares a feast for us in front of our enemies (vv. 5). We aren’t given mere leftovers, but God has thoroughly prepared a table for us. Knowing God’s protection and provision, we can sit down and enjoy our great God – even in the midst of the battle.

He pours oil on our head, giving us an abundance – which includes His favor and rejoicing (vv. 5). We see this lived throughout the New Testament. Despite all we have done, Jesus Christ came, has saved us and restored our relationship with God. In this new life, we are given much favor poured into our lives.

His goodness and love follow us (vv. 6). In whatever we are facing, God’s goodness and love is following those who are genuinely seeking Jesus Christ. Let’s put away the sin, seek His forgiveness, and allow Him to be the One whose love and goodness we are chasing.


Desperate for Jesus

Today, I am reminded that I have allowed my tendency of running away to affect how I pray about and handle my emotions and grief. I have allowed these things to go deeper into my spirit and even unintentionally cultivate my own emotional storage place – just for untouched emotions and grief.

If we were honest, we could say we all have one. But, how are we willfully beginning to “spring clean” in our hearts by the power of Jesus Christ – our great Redeemer?

While emotions and grieving come from living as a human in a fallen world, these are things God wants to help us process. He wants to help us to experience His peace, as we move through the darkest valleys of our lives.

I am reminded of the Mark 5 man who had many needs, and became desperate for Jesus. He knew there was only One who could help him. And, this man’s testimony is one I always need to hear.

Desperately Seeking

We have countless biblical examples of people who became sick of their circumstances and became desperate for Jesus. That’s where we need to be. At that very moment of becoming desperate for Jesus and turning to Him, their lives changed for eternity.

. . . And I doubt they ever looked back – except to say, “Look what Jesus Christ, my Redeemer, has done for me!”

I am finding myself desperate and coming to Jesus. I am letting go of this pretending nature that I am somehow fine with the way my health has acted these past several months.

After my cry of desperation, I am met with peace. The kind that only Jesus can provide. While He promises us that life will be hard, just as it was for Him, we are also reminded that He goes with us. He promises to be our Comforter (see Jn 14:16, 26; 16:33).

God’s Comfort

During today’s infusion, I was able to just sit and read the words of Isaiah 40:1-9.

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, . . . she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. . . You who bring good news. . . lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say . . . , “Here is your God!” (Isa. 40:1-2, 9; NIV)

God calls out for His people to be comforted! God wants us to know that He is coming back and making all things new. He is offering to us forgiveness of our sins, through His Son Jesus Christ – the Messiah!

Through Jesus Christ, we all can find our way back to God! My friends, let us rejoice in this. . . as we desperately run to Jesus!

As we run to Jesus, we will see God do such a renewal in our lives. He will make us new in many ways, as we bask in our new relationship with Him. Relationships restored. Shear joy and peace. Overwhelmed by His goodness. Completely satisfied in Him.

Lord Jesus, please fix us. We are all falling apart, and in desperate need of You!

Walking with you,


Renewal Despite Earthly Troubles {{Week 4}}

Welcome friends! Today is Wednesday, and we are going to do a little bit of studying. We are almost done with our Isaiah 40 study, but we aren’t done yet. I invite you to join me, as we think on today’s verses.


The Scriptures – Isaiah 40:29; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

“He gives power to the weak
    and strength to the powerless (Isa. 40:29, NLT).”

“That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever (2 Cor. 4:16-18).”

God supplies us with every single thing we need.


In His infinite wisdom, He already stands willing and equipped to help the weary and weak. We all find ourselves in the category, where we are left feeling like we are lacking – as we endure life. Yet God, never lacks in anything.

In His infinite wisdom, He already stands willing and equipped to help the weary and weak. (Click-to-Tweet)

Because of the truth of who God is, we can come boldly and expect God to share His strength and power (James 1:5; Hebrews 4:16).


This is why we never ever give up hope. No matter what we are facing, God makes it clear He will act on our behalf – as we humbly seek Him. God wants to fill us up and give us all we need.


We need to:
  • humble ourselves.
  • seek God (come before Him).
  • ask
  • expect.
  • trust God.
  • wait for the great Lord to renew us on a daily basis.
As we seek God to give us strength, wisdom, and direction, we need to remember what is going on behind the scenes. There is an eternal glory happening, as a result of our earthly troubles. This eternal glory is why it is vital to my well-being to focus on what is unseen. While what is seen is what gets stuck as my focus point, the unseen is what’s of absolute importance. The seen, ie) chronic illness, cannot compare to the glory of God. While I can never fully understand God’s glory, I need to shift my perspective to eternity and the amazingly good work God is doing in my life!


Lord, it’s tempting but I will not lose heart. Though outwardly I am wasting away, You are renewing me on a daily basis! These momentary troubles cannot begin to compare with You!

You are renewing me, Lord. Keep it going! (Click-to-Tweet)

* * *

I invite you to join us, as we embark on a brand new adventure. Starting on September 11, we will begin our “Gleaning From the Heart of Jesus” study. You can pick up your study journal over on Amazon. Bonus: As an Amazon Affiliate, you can help support this blog with any purchase you make – when you use this link (it will take you directly to our new study journal).


New Series: The Power of Spiritual Disciplines

Choose Jesus

I have been reflecting on choices that could have radically changed my life. A choice, turned into another, and another, and… Well, you get the point.

When we make deliberate choices to seek and honor God with our lives, unbelievable things happen!

How much spiritual and relational growth do I want to see by my 30th birthday? (Wow! Am I really getting that old?) That is two years away. How different do I want to be? To think about how different, better, my life could be – is inspiring. Why? Because, I want to be a better me. In order to become a better me, I need to follow the words and resolve God gave John the Baptist.

He must increase, but I must decrease (John 3:30, ESV).

But, if I may, I love the picture on display when I read John’s statement in a more contemporary language.

He, the groom, must take center stage; and I, the best man, must step to His side (VOICE).

My Hope

To live a changed life, I think Sabbath is an important component of that. When we take Sabbath, our focus is shifted back to God. We get into a rhythm of spiritual growth and deliberate – intentional seeking. Beginning this week, I want to begin to utilize spiritual disciplines. They were given to us, to help our relationship with our Creator to prosper. We need to begin really nourishing our relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

For the next 62 months, that’s a little over a year, I want to focus on one spiritual discipline per a week. I will be doing this, as I slowly go through a neglected book that has sat on the shelf for most of my ownership. This is something that can serve as a catalyst.

To fuel our relationship with Jesus.

It will fuel much of the rest of our lives, too.

It would change our lives.


I want my relationship with Jesus Christ to be changed for the better. How about you? This is choosing to intentionally seeking God each day – and week, as I apply biblical truths to my life and the way I spend my weekends on Sabbath.

Coming Soon –

With each week, my hope is to post a little bit from the readings before the Sabbath begins. For example: Perhaps tomorrow (or Friday), I will post a little bit from the section on “celebration,” which is the first discipline we will begin looking at. I will be using on the Spiritual Disciplines Handbook. If anyone wants to join me on this journey of intentional spiritual, emotional, and whole self growth, I encourage you to grab a copy of this book. Each week, we will focus on one discipline and go through the book to see how we can activate these disciplines in our lives.

How can we grow this next 62 months? We need to develop tools, to help us in our relationship with our Savior. Spiritual disciplines, including setting aside Sabbath, are part of these tools. Let’s begin unwrapping His gifts!


Prayer: To Be Saturated

I planned to get to into the Word through my reading plan yesterday. Plan: epic fail. Today? New day, today. I may be behind, but more important to be in the Word, to be present in the Word, to enjoy my time in the Word. To be saturated in the Word. Just me and God. The desire to be in the Word may not come so naturally on a day like today. Day when I am preparing to go out into the world, and do stuff. Feelings of rushing come naturally. Preparations, I must make. Aching wrist (no longer aching after time in the Word. How awesome is that?!?). Anyway, I am here. I am enjoying the stillness of the world around me (empty house), and ready to just be here.

I am not the only one with this struggle. Paul had it too. In some ways, there’s comfort in that. I am not alone. Paul knew the struggle to. In the book of Romans, Paul wrote: “For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate (vs. 15).” Paul battled the same struggle that I, and many others, do. The struggle between what I ought to do, and what I find myself doing. The physical part of illness can get in the way of my quiet time a lot more than I wish it would.

We are called to prepare ourselves for action, revamping our thoughts- only way to change our habits and help us get into the Word, and we need to be renewed. Being  renewed comes from being with God, and it happens as we spend time with the Lord. This is where the saturation process begins. I need to be saturated. So, I want to take little steps to get in the Word and surround myself with the Lord: listening to praise music and fellowshipping with other Christians is a big part of this saturation process.

Lord, forgive me for choosing things other than You. Cleanse me like only You can do. Lord, help me. Help me to want the things that You want for me. You know the ultimate good. You know the crummy things that I settle for, the things that leave me feeling empty. Help me to be saturated in Your Word. Help me to desire to be deeper in Your Word. Give me a deeper understanding for Your Word, and my need for You alone! I ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Few other Bible verses that are important on this subject for those who are interested:

Romans 12:2

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Ephesians 4:20-24

“But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Colossians 3:16

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to God.”