Our Shepherd and God

Ezekiel 34:31   (KJV)   31 And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord God.

Ezekiel 34.31 - Our Shepherd and GodBecause the Lord is our shepherd, we’re one blessed flock.

The most caring, most loving, most powerful being is watching over us. We’ll find no greater assurance and comfort than that.

Either as sheep or as human beings, we’re wonderfully blessed to have the LORD as our Shepherd and our God.  We are not always as wise; we’re very dependent; we have lots of limitations; we get lost very easily; we need lots of help. Praise God, our Shepherd is the best Shepherd there is. He’s a good Shepherd. Where He leads us, we follow. Why not? He feeds us, guides us, leads us, protects us, loves us…

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Happy People

Psalm 144:15   (KJV)   15 Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.

Joy characterizes the life of God’s people. There’s a lot of unhappiness going on around us. There’s a lot of unhappy situations people find themselves in. There’s a lot of people who cause pain and sadness. There’s a lot of ways to respond.

Psalm 144.15 - Happy PeopleWe as God’s people act and react to people and situations in our lives in godly ways. Yes, we experience tough times, but our joy is untouched. It’s our choice whether or not we’ll rejoice; and we choose to rejoice—always, no matter how bleak the circumstances and how nasty our surroundings are.

We can’t control what others do and we don’t want to control people either, but we have full control over our own actions and attitudes. We have a beautiful perspective about life. True, we’re treated unfairly and we suffer for being godly, but even that becomes a joy for us.

Danger makes people worried and scared; we have the Lord Who is our impenetrable shield. Wars and rumors of wars frighten others; but the Lord is our victory; He trains our hands and gives us the skills necessary to live victoriously. The mightiest of our attackers are but a mist before God.  He Who hurls lightning bolts from the heavens can scatter our most powerful foes very quickly.

So yes, we live in joy—it’s very reasonable for people like us whose God is the LORD.

Mercy, Blessings, Pleasure

Psalm 67:1   (KJV)   67 God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah.

Psalm 67.1 - Mercy, Blessing, PleasurePraise God, He’s willing to grant us mercy, to bless us, to delight in us. We come to Him humbly and boldly and pray for those things knowing that our loving God and Father desires to give them to us.

To live in His mercy, blessings, and pleasure is to live an incomparably and indescribably wonderful life. We don’t live under God’s judgment, lack, and rejection. He ably spares us from continuous pain-filled tears and utter restlessness. We don’t fear destruction, displacement, and disaster.

Those of us who fully trust in God fully rest in Him, surrounded with comforting and encouraging songs of deliverance, we bravely face every situation in life; we don’t cower from our enemies; in fact, we love them. The threat of terror may abound, but because God is within us, those who insidiously plan evil against us are the ones caught in their own snares.

Because of God’s mercy, we don’t have to fear a nation’s or even this world’s impending doom. The slowest among us run swiftly, the weakest among us are infused with divine strength. Because of God’s blessings, we are not in want. We don’t fear famine or plague. We may be laid-off from our jobs, our businesses may not pick-up, our friends may turn their backs from us, but our God provides us all our needs. Because of His pleasure, we live above pressure. We don’t live for the pleasure of people. We can’t please everybody all the time anyway. We don’t need to please everyone, we just please One, and that One is more and greater than everyone.

Through us, others see the beauty and wonders of God, His handiwork, His ways, His salvation.

God’s Surprising Ways

Habakkuk 1:5   (KJV)   5 Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days which ye will not believe, though it be told you.

Our God is a sovereign God. He is a creative God. He’s not bound to anything or anyone, not even to the ways He’s done things in the past. In fact, the Lord will do something new Habakkuk 1.5 - God's Surprising Waysin our nations, something wonderful and marvelous. It will be so amazing that it will be so hard to believe if we are told about it now.

Godlessness pervades our nations. We find it in every corner and facet of society. Lies, deception, and fake news are everywhere. But our just and loving God don’t just sit idly by. He won’t allow the righteous to be caught in insidious plots and deadly traps of the enemy.

The wicked trusts in their own devices; they glory in their ability to deceive; they don’t realize that God watches over His people. They march boldy brandishing their banner of evil while gleefully setting up the righteous for a fall, not realizing that they’ll be caught in their own snares. The harm they plan for God’s people will boomerang to them.

God, our heavenly Father Who created this big, vast, inscrutable universe surprises His enemies. They can’t predict how He does things. We as His people, though surrounded by evil, live in peace. Our confidence is in the LORD. We’ve tasted and seen that the LORD is good. He never leaves us defenseless. We may not be sure as to the ways He delivers us, but we’re sure He always delivers us.

Even though lawlessness may exponentially increase, even though our economy may suddenly collapse, even though our freedom may be greatly threatened, even though God’s people are constantly harassed, we will neither fear nor be dismayed. We will find our joy and our peace in the God of our provision and protection. He is our strength; He establishes our steps. After all is said and done, everyone will recognize: God is God. He continually governs in the affairs of man. He rules over all nations. The lives of kings and queens, presidents and rulers are in His hands. Every knee will bow, and every eye will see: He is Lord. So yes; we’re at peace—always ready to be amazed by our Father’s new yet always astonishing interventions.

Fall Not

2 Peter 1:10   (KJV)   10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

2 Peter 1.10 - Fall NotWe are humbly grateful to the LORD our God and heavenly Father for giving us assurance of our salvation. We don’t have to guess; we don’t have to doubt; we rest in it. We don’t take this lightly; instead, we “give diligence to make our calling and election sure.”

How do we do that? Praise God, he makes it very clear: “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity” (2 Peter 1:5-7).

Diligence as a believer is of tremendous importance. Resting in Jesus isn’t the same as being lazy and passive. We bear the Spirit’s fruit by diligently working out what He’s working in. We’re told repeatedly by people not to doubt our salvation; we’re also admonished by the Scriptures to test whether or not we’re in the faith, and to confirm our calling and election. By doing so, through His empowerment, we stand strongly and walk faithfully.

In God is Our Hope

Psalm 39:7   (KJV)   And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.

We are satisfied about today and we’re excited about our tomorrow. We have great expectations. We’re not as those who live without hope. In Jesus, we not only have hope, Psalm 39.7 - In God is Our Hopewe live in hope. This keeps us going and growing. We all need hope. Those who lose hope lose passion for life, even the very desire to live. Praise God, in Him is our hope.

God has proven Himself and His faithfulness many times over. He has given us great and precious promises and we know He won’t disappoint us. He has never and will never break one word of all His promises. That’s just Him; He’s naturally dependable. He’s truthful; He’s excellent in everything He does; His timing is impeccable. Who needs better anchor than that? Where can we find better reason for hope?

For sure, there are many uncertainties; things change; we don’t know much of the future. There are many threats to our future—especially our future as believers. Even our Lord warned us about growing evil and persecutions. But He also told us that the gates of hell won’t prevail against His church. What do we have to lose? Even the experience most feared—death, is a transition towards our most glorious change and existence.

 

Love and Confidence

1 John 4:17   (KJV)   17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

Like a lovely plant; love can grow and love can wilt.

Love needs to be cared for and fed. Left to itself, it will die.

1-john-4-17-love-and-confidenceIt’s amazing how in some cases, love just strikes; it appears without notice. It happens without any effort on our part. That’s why we hear of love at first sight.

Puppy love often springs up instantly, so do weeds.

When love makes a commitment, there comes moments when what keeps love going is the commitment.

Our love for others grows when immersed in the love of God. The more we live in God; the more we live in love.

The more we love God, the more we love others. It just makes sense: to love God is to love those who bear His image.

To live in love for God and others is to have confidence in our salvation and boldness in the day of judgment. This means that true believers love, and true love bears fruit of righteousness.

Faith, works, love—all three are present in a real believer. Simply: faith works love, or genuine faith produces acts of love.

To love is to be like God (God-like or godly).