Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Our Providing Shepherd

Chuckle: "What servant of God was the most flagrant lawbreaker in the Bible? Moses -- he broke all ten commandments at once."
Quote: "God gives us the ingredients for our daily bread, but He expects us to do the baking." --William Ward

"The Lord is my shepherd; I have everything I need. He lets me rest in green meadows, he leads me beside peaceful streams, he renews my strength" (Psalm 23:2-3a NLT).
I remember well when Dotse and I were newlyweds. Neither of us had any money to speak of, and our parents weren't able to help us much. As we began our lives together as students in college, we were amazed every day by the way God met all our needs, both physical and spiritual. We're living testimonials of God's love, mercy, goodness, guidance, and provision.
The Bible tells us that God will provide for our needs if we have placed our faith in Him through His one and only Son, Jesus Christ. Note: Let's not confuse "wants" with "needs." What a comforting thought to realize that you are important to Almighty God, that He cares what happens to you, and that He promises to provide for your needs if you trust Him to do so.
In Matthew 6:31-33 NIV, Jesus said, "So do not worry, saying, 'what shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' . . . But seek first His (God's) kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you." Notice that our priorities should be the things of God if He is to provide our needs. Jesus even taught us to pray like this, "Give us this day our daily bread" (Matthew 6:11).
God delights in supplying what we need each and every day. He gives us what we need to meet the demands of the day and to do His will. We can pray each morning with complete confidence that God will fulfill His promise. This should cause us to live with confidence in a state of dependence on God and to give thanks continuously for His goodness.
our Psalm passage emphasizes both the physical and spiritual provisions that God, the "Good Shepherd," makes for us. Our Shepherd fully understands the "green meadows" and "peaceful streams" that will restore us, give us renewed strength, and give us peace. We will only reach the refreshing and restoring places by following Him obediently. When we rebel against the "Shepherd's" leading, we are really rebelling against our own best interests. This is a good lesson to remember the next time we are tempted to go our own way rather than following our Shepherd.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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