Psalm 23: The Lord is my Shepherd

The Lord is my Shepherd

I had the most amazing experience last night. I was sitting in bed repeating Psalm 23 over and over, trying to memorize it, when I felt God’s presence. I read this psalm again and realized how deep His love is for us, it is unfathomable.

When we feel spiritually empty and alone, we have Him to turn to. If we let Him in He will lead us, protect us, comfort us and love us.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters

He restoreth my soul

He leadeth me to the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death

I will fear no evil for thou doest protect me

Thy rod and thy staff comfort me

You preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies

You anointest my head with oil

My cup runneth over

Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever

I’m memorizing the King James version but I also included the New International version which is easier to understand.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,

he leads me beside quiet waters,

he refreshes my soul.

He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.

 Even though I walk

through the darkest valley,

I will fear no evil,

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff,

they comfort me.

 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

When I googled this psalm I found an interesting website http://www.purposecity.com/

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The Serenity Prayer

Th Serenity Prayer

God’s Love is Pure, His Message is Simple, so Why don’t We get It?

Cloud - He first Loved usWith many Christian churches out there, I sometimes wonder which one has the true message. It seems we like to make God’s message complicated but it’s God who keeps it simple.

I grew up in a ‘fire and brimstone” church; sombre, stern, legalistic. I was on a pre-destined road that most likely would lead me to a pit of hell-fire. Salvation was for the chosen of which there were very few. Every Sunday was a reminder that I was another day closer to burning for all eternity.

I never found comfort at church, just fear, fear of God, fear of dying, fear of burning forever. But then I discovered the song, Jesus Loves Me. 

 

Jesus loves me this I know,

For the Bible tells me so,

Little ones to Him belong,

They are weak but He is strong,

Yes, Jesus loves me, yes, Jesus loves me, yes, Jesus loves me

The Bible tells me so!

My heart absorbed this message like a sponge. Jesus loved me, the girl walking the road that leads to hell. This simple, beautiful message reinforced by my kindergarten teacher just before Easter. My classmates and I sat in a circle while our teacher, Mrs. Roland, read us the story of Jesus, dying for us because He loved us! My eyes welled up and I quietly wiped my tears away. At the age of five, I already had several years of church doctrine under my belt, but I had never heard this message in church. This message of hope and love, so much love.

In Matthew 19:14, the Bible says,

But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

How does a child believe? They accept what they’re told without question; they simply believe. This is so different from adults who question and pick apart scripture turning the meaning, the message, into something more complicated. God builds up and we tear down.

In 2 Corinthians 12:9

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

The definition of Grace is:

  1. The free and unmerited favour of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessing

We have found favour with God, not because we deserve it but because He loves us. He loves us with all of our flaws. His message is simple, I love you, believe in me and you will have eternal life. But wait, is grace really enough for us?

We pick the scripture and our fellow Christians apart, creating chaos and strife where love and fellowship should be.

The Bible warns us in Matthew 7:2

For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured toyou again.

We all judge. I hate being judgemental, I know when I’m doing it and still I judge. Ironically, I  judge writers who blog their judgement of others. I know I’m not alone but why I wonder, do we do this? We have enough flaws of our own to work on so why point out others?

I recently read a blog post about the pope promoting a false religion. Really? Is that what the pope is doing? I had the misguided idea that he was sincerely trying to do the work of God, you know, like the rest of us slogging through this life. We don’t know what is in the hearts of other people. Maybe we should be careful of whom we judge, for the one we judge could very well be our sister or brother in Christ.

Judgement, like hate, is a waste of energy, when we could be reaching out with God’s love. If we rewrote stories with love instead of judgement, how different our stories would be.

This Easter my focus is on God who loved me so much he sent His Son to die for me. Jesus who willingly suffered and died so I could live in the kingdom of heaven forever and ever.

God’s message is about love, pure and simple.

What’s that? Jesus loves me, you say?

The best way to talk is with our hearts! Thank you.