One Flock and One Shepherd

One Flock and One Shepherd

All who serve and follow the Lord Jesus Christ are one flock, and we obey one Good Shepherd’s voice!

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  (Gal 3:28, emphasis added)

 . . . where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.  (Col 3:1, emphasis added)

And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.  (Joh 10:16, underlining added)

As we read and meditate upon these Bible passages, we can clearly understand that in God’s flock there is no room for prejudice, hatred, nationalism or sexism.  We are all one in Christ—united in, by and through Jesus Christ.  All believers follow Jesus Christ who is our example and our Good Shepherd.

Because we are all following one Savior and we are all listening to the only Good Shepherd’s voice, the Lord desires us to dwell in unity with one another.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!  (Ps 133:1)

For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.  (1 Cor 12:12)

. . . endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  (Eph 4:3)

. . . till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ . . . (Eph 4:13)

The Lord also desires us to be in harmony with each other as well as to comfort and to edify one another!  Let us be always obedient to the voice of the Lord.

Be of the same mind toward one another.  (Rom 12:16a)

Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.  (1 Thes 5:11)

God bless you!

Our Weakness Reveals God’s Strength

Our Weakness Reveals God’s Strength

How can weakness or challenges in life reveal God’s strength to us? 

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  (2 Cor 12:9)

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  (2 Cor 12:10, emphasis added)

For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you.  (2 Cor 13:4)

Whenever we are weak in an area, it presents an opportunity for God’s strength to be discovered by us.  Our weaknesses, when exposed and humbly given to God, invite God’s love and strength to work powerfully in our situations.

Our weaknesses help us to see that there isn’t much that we can do in ourselves and by ourselves.  We comprehend our utter helplessness.  Problems and weaknesses compel us to turn to the true source of ALL help and power:  to the Lord Jesus Christ.  We must learn to rely upon God’s grace and mercy, both of which are abundantly available to us according to the Word of God.

In times of need, trial, or crisis, we reach a point where we are ready and willing to yield to God’s will in our lives.  Praise God!  As the Scriptures shown at the top of this article demonstrate, God is ready and able to meet our needs and to help us.  And when He does, it is a testimony to His love and mercy.

He loves to bless us and to solve our problems because He loves us.  (Joh 3:16; 1 Joh 4:19; Ps 37:40; 46:1; 63:7)

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  (Rom 8:26, emphasis added)  The Holy Spirit helps us in our weaknesses.

After we turn to the Lord and pray about our area of weakness and need, His power will flow into the situation and turn it around.  We then have gained genuine, first-hand experience of the love and mercy of God.  This, in turn, enables us to comfort and to minister to other people who are in similar situations.  (2 Cor 1:4)  It also deepens and matures our faith.

Rejoice in the strength and power of God that is available to you!

Use the Gifts that You’ve Been Given

Use the Gifts that You’ve Been Given

Each and every believer has been given gifts from God.  The Lord gives us the grace that we need in order to use each of these gifts.  Gifts are given to us for the advantage and the salvation of other people which is why it’s so crucial that we USE the gifts that God has given to us.

. . . for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.  (1 Cor 12:8-11)    

There are various gifts, but they all come from one God (our Father), one Lord (Jesus), and one Spirit (the Holy Spirit).  God is the giver of all spiritual blessings.  If we have any knowledge of the truth, or any ability to make it known, we must give all of the glory to God.

Whatever gifts that God wanted each one of us to have were the ones that He bestowed upon us.  As we mature in the life of faith, He may give us additional gifts.

The purpose for giving the church the gift of prophecy was to edify (build up), exhort (encourage) and to comfort the church.  (1 Cor 14:3)   We’re also to use our various, individual gifts to equip the saints for the work of the ministry.  (Eph 4:12)

In unity and dependence upon one another, we are taught to speak the truth in love and thus, we will mature into the full stature of Christ.  (Eph 4:13)  Hallelujah! 

Song in the Night

Song in the Night

I call to remembrance my song in the night; I meditate within my heart, and my spirit makes diligent search.  (Ps 77:6)

The psalmist ransacked his knowledge, his memory, his intelligence—his whole nature, and his entire soul, either to find comfort or to recall the songs of praise that he remembered singing in past times unto the Lord.  He was recalling his songs of praise, making a diligent search for them in his heart.

The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me—a prayer to the God of my life.  (Ps 42:8) 

The psalmist is trusting in the mercy of God.  His song in the night is a song of praise to God for His salvation and goodness.  It’s a remembrance of all the good things that God has done for him.

You shall have a song as in the night when a holy festival is kept, and gladness of heart as when one goes with a flute, to come into the mountain of the Lord, to the Mighty One of Israel. (Isa 30:29)

In this Bible verse, the prophet reminds the people that the song in the night arises due to gladness of heart, such as the joyous sound of a flute, when praising God and approaching Him in worship.  A wakeful, unsettled night may be relieved with a heartfelt song in the night.

At such times, it’s good for us to remember the Lord, and to know that we need Him.  When troubles, trials, or pains assail us in the night, keeping us awake and in anguish, it is the time to allow the Holy Spirit to instruct us.  It’s a time to feed upon and meditate upon the Word of God—which has the power to comfort us and to teach us. 

This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your word has given me life.  (Ps 119:50, emphasis added)

For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.  (Rom 15:4, emphasis added)

Permit a song in the night and the comfort of God’s Word to minister to your heart when illness, turmoil, or anxieties assail you and attack your sleep.  God’s loving plan for you is that you have peaceful sleep.

I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.  (Ps 4:8)

. . . For so He gives His beloved sleep.  (Ps 127:2)

Food for Meditation

Food for Meditation

Our last article was on the topic of meditation, which included a biblical promise with it.  Today, I’m going to give you suggested food or topics for meditation.  I hope that they will bless you.

The Lord is my:

  • Exceedingly great reward (Gen 15:1)
  • Rock (Ps 18:2; 31:3; 71:3)
  • Rock that is Higher than I (Ps 61:2)
  • High Tower (Ps 144:2)
  • Hiding Place (Ps 32:7;119:114)
  • Very present help in the time of trouble (Ps 46:1)
  • Intercessor (Job 16:19-21 NIV1984; Isa 59:16-17)
  • Mediator (1 Tim 2:5; Heb 8:6; 9:15; 12:24)
  • Advocate (1 Joh 2:1)
  • Teacher (Lk 12:12; Joh 14:26; 1 Cor 2:13)
  • Healer (Ex 15:26; Ps 103:3; Mt 4:23)
  • Open Heaven (Joh 1:51)
  • Comfort, Comforter (Ps 86:17; 2 Cor 1:3-4)
  • Strength (Ps 18:1; 32)
  • Fortress (Ps 18:2; 31:3; 71:3; 144:2)
  • Deliverer (Ps 18:2; 40:17; 70:5)
  • Shield (Ps 3:3; 18:2; 28:7; 144:2)
  • Horn of my salvation (Ps 18:2)
  • Stronghold (Ps 18:2)
  • Redeemer (Ps 19:14; 78:35; Pro 23:11)
  • Prince of Peace (Isa 9:6)
  • Sun of Righteousness (Mal 4:2)
  • Bright, Morning Star (Rev 22:16)

May God bless your meditations.

The Word of God

The Word of God

For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective].  It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart.  (Heb 4:12 AMP)

This verse of the Bible from the Amplified Version is quite clear on the penetrating, discerning power of the Word of God.  How often do we think about the truth that the Scriptures are imbued with God’s power?

Because they are, it is vital that we make use of the Scriptures as a tool, a medicine, a comfort, a basis for praising God, and as our weapon.

The Scriptures were fashioned by God to:

  • Accomplish their task (Josh 21:45; 23:14; Isa 46:10,11),
  • Stand forever (Isa 40:8; 46:10-11; Mt 24:35; Mk 13:31; Lk 21:33; 1 Pet 1:23-25), and
  • Never lie (Num 23:19; 1 Sam 15:29).

There are many mysteries connected with Christianity, but one thing that we can be sure of is that God honors and upholds His own Word.  Do a little studying into the various Scripture references cited above.  You’ll be impressed. 

The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations.  (Ps 33:11)

We do well to highly value the Scriptures. 

Grieving (Over Anything) Is a Process

Grieving (Over Anything) Is a Process

When tragic situations enter our lives, it’s vital for us to learn how to meet and grieve that loss. Grieving after a significant loss in a person’s life takes time.  The loss could be any one of a number of things: 

  • the death of a loved one;
  • the loss of financial security;
  • the loss of a relationship;
  • a lost career; or
  • losing a home, or any other kind of loss.

Grief is a process; and everyone grieves in different ways and heals in different ways.  So, no one can say how long it will take, or what it will look like. 

However, we can know that Jesus will be with us every step of the way for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  (Heb 13:5)  He understands what we’re going through, and His love for us is constant and unwavering.

Since each person will experience the grieving process differently, it means that they will have different needs.  Loss is a painful but unavoidable part of life.  Even Jesus mourned.  (Joh 11:35; Mat 23:37-39)  Grieving (mourning) eventually takes a person to a place of acceptance and healing. 

Some people prefer to go through this process alone, and others need someone to come alongside them to assist them through it.  Whichever way works well for a person is the route that they should take. 

Since grief is a natural, human response to pain and loss, we must accept that it serves a purpose for good in our lives.  It does not displease the Lord, and there is no reason to feel ashamed of it, or to need to defend it to anyone.

Remember to receive comfort from the Scriptures and from the presence of the Lord; and to share what you’re experiencing with trusted friends and relatives.  The Lord is with you surrounding you with His love, peace, and presence.

Joy Comes in the Morning

Joy Comes in the Morning

For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.  (Ps 30:5)

Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.  (Ps 126:5)

These verses of the Bible have been a great comfort to me many different times in my life.  I understand that the challenges and sorrows of life haven’t been a result of God’s anger, but rather because Satan is the enemy of our souls.  He and his minions are at work in this world and manifest themselves as evil works, heinous crimes, and calamitous events.

This verse reminds me that God’s favor is upon me forever; and it surrounds me as a shield. (Ps 5:12)  This truth encourages my faith when difficulties arise. 

In another way, these verses remind me that I may experience weeping (sorrow; sadness) for a season, but it will be surely followed by joy.  In fact, whenever I DO cry, the Lord tells me that He saves my tears in a bottle.  (Ps 56:8)  This indicates that God does not consider my tears wasted, and that they’re very important to Him.

In Hezekiah’s story (Isa 38:5), the Bible clearly states that God saw Hezekiah’s tears and extended his life due to Hezekiah’s tearful prayers. 

Let’s remind ourselves in times of trial, pain, or sorrow, that God sees our pain and our tears.  We sow our prayers in tears before the Lord.  They are very important to Him; and as we pray to Him and trust Him, He will reward us with deep and abiding joy.  Praise the Lord!

God’s Word: PRICELESS!

God’s Word:  PRICELESS!

Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.  (Jer 15:16)

This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your word has given me life.  (Ps 119:50)

How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!  (Ps 119:103)

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.  (Ps 119:105)

I rejoice at Your word as one who finds great treasure.  (Ps 119:162)

Let my cry come before You, O Lord; give me understanding according to Your word.  (Ps 119:169)

Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.  (John 17:17)

The Word of God should be so important to each one of us believers that it is irreplaceable to us.  The Bible speaks about itself in order to teach us the path of righteousness, and to help us to stay on the path. 

God’s Word says about itself that it:

  • Is the joy and rejoicing of our hearts.
  • Comforts us in affliction.
  • Gives us life.
  • Is sweet in our mouths!
  • Is a lamp and a light for our path.
  • Is great treasure.
  • Gives us understanding.
  • Sanctifies us.
  • Is our truth.

This list is not complete; there is much more to learn about the Scriptures and their incomparable value to us.  There’s only one way to do that:  study them!  Love spending time with the Lord by studying and meditating upon His Word.  It will enrich your life, and open rich stores of wisdom and understanding to you and in you.

You’ll wonder what you’ve been doing with your life prior to this, and why you waited so long to delve into the inestimable Word of God!  Enjoy every truth you discover and rejoice in it.  You’ll be able to feel God’s pleasure resting upon you as you do.

Blessings upon you in the New Year and always.