Psalms 23:3-4

He restoreth my soul:  he leadeth me in the paths of righeousness for his name’s sake.  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

The Lord leads us in the paths of righteousness and sometimes those paths lead through the valley of the shadow of death.  Though it is hard to walk through these valleys, we can praise Him because He leads us into the valley of the shadow of death nd not the valley of death itself.  Take heart that even in these tremulous times, the Lord’s hand is mighty.  And truly, we need fear no evil!
Courtesy of Blue Letter Bible and Sowing Circle

To be sure – we seem to be living in a world teetering on the edge of destruction. Believers know that we are nearing the midnight hour. People are engulfed in fear over their finances and otherwise. Their hearts, minds and souls are filled with anxiety over their future. Most people cannot cope with the uncertainty of their present circumstances. How about you? What would God have you do with your worry and anxiety?

Psalm 23 – a psalm of David – seeing God as shepherd; God as guide; and God as host. He is our faithful Shepherd. He provides for us – taking care of every last detail. He guides us into a righteous life (even when we don’t want to cooperate) for the sake of His very own reputation. He protects us. He does not shield us from difficult circumstances. He permits in our lives only what is beneficial for our growth (his good purpose for us). We MUST trust him as our faithful Shepherd.

Blessed be HIS name.

Judy

 

Jude 1:24-25

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever.  Amen.

By God’s great grace and mercy, we (Christian believers) are kept from stumbling to our destruction during the long and sometimes painful journey of this life.  It is so amazing to know that we will be presented blameless and pure before the throne of God some day.  Jesus Christ will keep us from falling when we stay focused on Him and Him alone.  It is hard to understand that Christ is going to present us to the Father – faultless (Lord I have so many faults), pure and holy – and he will do it with great joy.  As Christ followers, we must keep ourselves in the love of God as we anxiously wait for His return.  During this season of waiting, we are promised that God will keep us in His hands and we will not stumble away from His great purpose for us.  Nothing can or will snatch us away (John 10:29*) and we will reside with Him forever and ever! 

I, like so many others, struggle, doubt and worry about my dedication and steadfastness – does my life reflect that of a Christ follower?  Can I finish the race?  Will I have many crowns or just a paper crown?  The forces of darkness seek to destroy us and constantly pull us down.  The world, the flesh and satan – they are powerful adversaries.  I have learned that I cannot keep myself from falling – the forces are too strong and the temptations are too great; however, there is One who is exceedingly able.  He stood against all the powers of evil and he has triumphed!  Blessed be HIS name. 

*John 10:29:  My Father, who has given [them] to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch [them] out of My Father’s hand.

The Harp – 2 Corinthians 11:2

I am jealous over you with God’s own jealousy.

How an old harper dotes on his harp! How he fondles and caresses it, as a child resting on his bosom! His life is bound up in it. But, see him tuning it. He grasps it firmly, strikes a chord with a sharp, quick blow; and while it quivers as if in pain, he leans over intently to catch the first note that rises. The note, as he feared, is false and harsh. He strains the chord with the torturing thumb-screw; and though it seems ready to snap with the tension, he strikes it again, bending down to listen softly as before, till at length you see a smile on his face as the first true tone trembles upward.

So it may be that God is dealing with you. Loving you better than any harper loves his harp, He finds you a mass of jarring discords. He wrings your heartstrings with some torturing anguish; He bends over you tenderly, striking and listening; and, hearing only a harsh murmur, strikes you again, while His heart bleeds for you, anxiously waiting for that strain–“Not my will, but thine be done”– which is melody sweet to His ear as angels’ songs. Nor will He cease to strike until your chastened soul shall blend with all the pure and infinite harmonies of His own being. –Selected.

“Oh, the sweetness that dwells in a harp of many strings,
While each, all vocal with love in a tuneful harmony rings!
But, oh, the wail and the discord, when one and another is rent,
Tensionless, broken and lost, from the cherished instrument.

“For rapture of love is linked with the pain or fear of loss,
And the hand that takes the crown, must ache with many a cross;
Yet he who hath never a conflict, hath never a victor’s palm,
And only the toilers know the sweetness of rest and calm.

“Only between the storms can the Alpine traveler know
Transcendent glory of clearness, marvels of gleam and glow;
Had he the brightness unbroken of cloudless summer days,
This had been dimmed by the dust and the veil of a brooding haze.

“Who would dare the choice, neither or both to know,
The finest quiver of joy or the agony thrill of woe!
Never the exquisite pain, then never the exquisite bliss,
For the heart that is dull to that can never be strung to this.

Courtesy of:

John 8:12

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world:  he that follweth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Walk in the light.  Forsake the deeds of darkness.  God has promised life to those who will put away their old lives and trust on His life.  His Son will send all darkness scurrying to the uttermost parts of the earth.  He will be a lamp unto thy feet.  It is Christ Himself who will lead His people from the very shadow of death unto the Light everlasting.  Hallelujah ! What a savior!

Compliments of Blue Letter Bible

 

1 Thessalonians 5:8-9

But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.  For God hat not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.

By the gracious salvation in Christ, we are separated from the dark as His Light shines through us.  This separation changes our destination from eternal condemnation to everlasting joy and peace.  This magnificent hope for all followers of Christ causes us to rejoice in the glorious splendor of His majesty. 

Psalms 147:6

The Lord lifteth up the meek; he casteth the wicked down to the ground.

We thank You O God, for the pleasure You take in humbling the proud and exalting those of low degree.  Keep us from pride.  Let us not be as the wicked, who conduct themselves insolently towards You and scornfully towards all mankind.  Let us not be as those who lift up themselves in pride and folly!  Rather make us further into Your holy image day-by-day as we trust upon Your sanctifying Spirit!
Courtesy of The Blue Letter Bible

This verse and accompanying devotional really spoke to me.  This is a GREAT reminder that even though I am surrounded by fault-finding, pride-filled and scornful people on an every day basis – I, as a daughter of the King, am called to keep my eyes always focused on Jesus Christ and what he did for me on the Cross.  I am to be His Ambassador in this lost and dying world.  My confession however is that I easily loose my way – thank you Lord for always pulling me back on track.  Come quickly Lord Jesus. 

Isaiah 25:4

For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones [is] as a storm [against] the wall.

The Lord God Almighty is ever our bastion and bulwark of defense.  As we marshal to the fore go join battle against our raging enemy, ever does the Lord’s banner fly before us.  As we take up the call to arms and muster to the field of our spiritual war, we take our courage in His strength – for by Him, we are become far more than mere conquerors.  We are children of the King and shall ever be victorious against our foe.