Tag Archive | LORD

“And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” (Romans 13:11-12)

images-1Hello! How are you? It’ s Labor Day weekend! How crazy is that? Time is flying by. Even though time seems to be moving quickly, it also appears as other things in our lives are standing still-making it appear that we are sleeping or wasting our time on frivolous matters when we know better.

As one grows with the LORD, one should always continue in the application of His principles and apply it to their life. That is where commitment and discipline come into play. Unfortunately, people confuse “good intentions” with commitment. I wrote myself a Proverb years ago that says “Good intentions do not always bring about good results.” What do I mean? I mean, “what good are intentions without actions?” Now, there are some who are “well-intentioned” meaning they wanted to do something nice or good for another but never quite got around to it. I think that’s why the saying “well, it the thought that counts” is used with this type of implication.

In any event, with each passing day we are getting closer and closer to Jesus’ return. For those who do believe, our salvation is here and it draws closer and closer to eternity with God. For those who do not believe yet, but are inquiring and thinking they still “have time” really need to re-think what they are searching and hoping for. Some peopled have the attitude that they can always repent and call on the name of Jesus “tomorrow”; or keep doing everything they want to do because they believe they can repent once they are old or had their fun. But, scripture says “Today is the day of salvation.  “For God says,“At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2)

We are not promised tomorrow and we do not know when we will be meeting our Savior. For those who are His, He will welcome you with open arms and enter into your rest. God the Father will see His Son, Jesus when He sees you. For those who are NOT His-first you will bow before Him and acknowledge Him as King of Kings and LORD of LORDS; and then He will say “depart from Me, I never knew you! “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day,‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7:21-23)  “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire(M) prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me. Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (Matthew 25:34-46)

Can you imagine that? Eternal separation from God. There is no second chance on the other side of the grave-no matter what religion may say. That is a lie. Redemption is only on this side of the grave. Only on this side will one get chance after chance to repent from sin up until your last breath.; after that, you will be face to face with God …who will either be your Advocate or your Judge. “Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5: 9-10)

As you walk Every Day with Grace, my encouragement to you is for you to realize that salvation is here and now and that we are to walk in the precious gift of our Salvation . This means we are to come out of our slumber of complacency and daily live according to God’s word and embrace our new life in Jesus.

In His Love,

Melody

 

“From everyone who has been given much, much will be required, and from the one who has been entrusted with much, even more will be asked.” (Luke 12:48)

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Hello. How are you? Can you believe that it is August?  All I can say is “WOW!” You know what that means, don’t you? Christmas is only four months away! (Please don’t yell at me!)  Anyway, life is moving on and it’s moving fast. I personally view this year as a year of change. Interestingly, I notice a lot of “endings”  this year. Hopefully. 2015 will be filled with new beginnings in the best sense for all of us.

I kept “hearing” the above scripture this week, so, that’s why I chose it. It also provokes my thinking as to what God expects from us I believe it comes down to accountability and responsibility for whatever God has given to us. In other words, we need to be good stewards of our possessions and even look after the people who are in our lives.  That may very well include, mothers, fathers, children, siblings, coworkers, bosses, church members, etc… What’s my point? My point is this-have you ever noticed how some people only seem to care when others are watching? Or, “When the cat’s away, the mice will play”?  Do you notice how much more lax we become and “bend” the rules because we think no one is watching? You know…one may get to work a little later, come back from lunch later, or leave 5 minutes earlier than you’re supposed to, talk on the phone at work, etc…Sound familiar? Have you ever been guilty of any of that? Sadly, I know I have and that grieves God’s heart. It’s not what we do we we are seen that matters, it matters how we conduct ourselves when NO ONE sees. Either way, God sees all the time. He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” (Psalm 121: 3-40) He is not “too busy” not to notice how His children conduct themselves. I think it is horrible when a non-believers doesn’t see any difference in someone who calls themselves a Christian. As believers, we are to be “set apart” because we belong to Christ…“We have been set apart as holy because Jesus Christ did what God wanted him to do by sacrificing his body once and for all.” (Hebrews 10:10) We should not conduct ourselves in ungodly ways because we think Jesus hasn’t returned yet so there’s still time to continue to act like every one else. I don’t want to be caught with my “hair down” and not be ready for Jesus’ return. I want to be ready and unashamed when He comes back. I would want Him to find me in prayer, or reading His Word, or doing something genuine in His name.

For those of us who are Born-Again believers, God has entrusted us with His name and to spread the “Good News” which is salvation through Grace through Jesus Christ. He is our mediator between God and mankind.  We have a tremendous responsibility before God since we bear His name.  It is true that our name goes before us-which means there is an association attached to our name-which in essence will reveal our character. For example, when you hear of someone’s name you may think, “he/she is compassionate, or generous, or funny.” Or you might think ,”Oh, no! Here comes trouble!” Or, “He/she is so insensitive and mean and cheap.” I know when some people hear my name, they think I’m funny; but, I am also known as someone who is “black and white with no grey” in my viewpoint. As believers, we need to be ready for Jesus’s return every moment of every day.  For God “a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day.”  But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:8-9) That kind of time is a luxury we do not have.

As you Walk Every Day With Grace, I would like to encourage you to be ready for Jesus since we do not know His arrival “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” (Matthew  24: 36-37)know that we will stand before God and we will give an account for what God has entrusted us with.  So, I would ask that you would be the best parent, child, sibling, employee, boss, teacher, student, minister, pastor, doctor, nurse, lawyer, construction worker, police officer, butcher, baker, whatever it is that God has entrusted to you in your life at this time. Redeem your time and keep watch because the Son of Man (Jesus) is coming back for His own.

In His Love,

Melody’

“Be ready for action, and have your lamps burning. 36 Be like servants waiting to open the door at their master’s knock when he returns from a wedding. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. I can guarantee this truth: He will change his clothes, make them sit down at the table, and serve them. They will be blessed if he comes in the middle of the night or toward morning and finds them awake. “Of course, you realize that if the homeowner had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let him break into his house. Be ready, because the Son of Man will return when you least expect him.” Peter asked, “Lord, did you use this illustration just for us or for everyone?” The Lord asked, “Who, then, is the faithful, skilled manager that the master will put in charge of giving the other servants their share of food at the right time?  That servant will be blessed if his master finds him doing this job when he comes. I can guarantee this truth: He will put that servant in charge of all his property.  On the other hand, that servant may think that his master is taking a long time to come home. The servant may begin to beat the other servants and to eat, drink, and get drunk. His master will return at an unexpected time. Then his master will punish him severely and assign him a place with unfaithful people. “The servant who knew what his master wanted but didn’t get ready to do it will receive a hard beating.  But the servant who didn’t know what his master wanted and did things for which he deserved punishment will receive a light beating. A lot will be expected from everyone who has been given a lot. More will be demanded from everyone who has been entrusted with a lot.” (Luke 12:35-48)

“He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her.” (John 8: 7)

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Hello! How are you? How is life treating you? I missed writing last week- I experienced some technical difficulties which is why I did not write.  Anyhoo…I can’t believe it’s June already. It feels like somebody is just pulling the days off the calendar and not telling me.  Summer is practically here and the temperature is rising!

There are a few reasons as to why I chose the above scripture; but first, let me give you the passage in its entirety: But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”  The point of this scripture is adultery. What does it mean when someone commits adultery?  It reveals the character of the one committing the adultery-which means the alleged party is cheating, as well as being disloyal, deceitful, dishonest, etc…

Now, it’s ironic that the religious leaders found this woman in the “act” of adultery. First off, why would they know about this woman’s business; and…(more importantly) where is the man (who was probably married)?!  She obviously was not alone if she was “caught” in the act of adultery-but she was the only one accused of breaking the Law of Moses. According to the Law of Moses, this meant death by stoning.  You know, Satan also accuses us of committing adultery. For believers in the LORD, it is “spiritual” adultery.  When we become Born-Again believers, we become Christ’s bride and Jesus is our Husband.  So when we sin, Satan is right there “accusing” us before God about our sin,. And believe me-we DO sin.  Sometimes it’s unintentional…but, sometimes it is because we don’t want anyone (including God) to tell what to do.  However, it is interesting to note how Jesus responded. He never reacted! Instead, He knelt down and starting writing in the sand.  The demand for Him to judge her was pressing with their determination, but what did He do? He stood up and posed a question to them…”He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”  His question made them look at their own hearts, minds and behavior. They understood by His question that they also deserved death for their sins according to the Law of Moses. The knew that  “As it is written: There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10-12)  They also had to acknowledge they were subject to the same law they were using to condemn this woman. So what did Jesus do? He bent down and started writing in the sand again. I have heard some Pastors/Spiritual leaders say that they imagined Jesus writing the sins of those accusers in the sand. He was probably showing them the adultery they were committing against the same God they wanted justice from… and recognizing the consequences of their “secret sin.”That’s why they started to walk away one, by one. It ‘s funny that the older ones left first-they probably had a lot more sin (because of longevity) to repent from.

Now we see this woman is the only one left with Jesus. Can you imagine her fear? Her panic? Her open shame? Her reputation? What would now become of her? Everybody now knows what she did. Mind you-there  probably were whispers and gossip, but now it was all out in the open. Her sin was truly before her and her God. So, what does Jesus say to her as He lifts her up? “Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?”  She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”   Can you imagine her confusion and relief? No one could condemn her because everyone is guilty of being a sinner. She knew what her sin was-there was no denying it.  But, the surprise was that Jesus (God, in the flesh) did not condemn her either. Remember, she wasn’t “scott free” now to go back and do whatever she wanted and go back to her old ways. No, instead Jesus forgave her “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” and said go and sin no more. She had to “go” and stop choosing to sin (sin no more).  Jesus knew she was human, but, that does not give her a “get out of jail free” card. She is now accountable for the truth and forgiveness that was freely given to her. She did not have to enter a program or perform a series of tasks to be given this gift. Forgiveness is God’s gift to us if we choose to receive it.

I have been just as guilty as those religious leaders and brought accusations on others without checking out my own behavior. (Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”(Matthew 7:3-5) Self-righteousness is so hypercritical. It’s basically tooting our “spiritual horn” saying “look at me! I’m just so wonderful.” In the meantime, our self-righteousness is just a stench in God’s nostrils. True righteousness is true godliness-thats why one cannot really be “religious”. Religion is man’s way of being right with God and bring Him down to our level. Relationship with God is what we obtain when we repent and receive God’s forgiveness so His Spirit can them dwell within us.

As you walk Every Day With Grace, check your heart and ask God to remove anything that comes between you and His love.  Your bridegroom will “never leave you or never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5) Why look for another to give you what only God can? His love is pure and unconditional. It doesn’t matter what we look like, or where we have been. When Jesus sees you, He sees His bride calls you lovely.

 

“Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time Don, this disciple took her into his home.” (John 19:25-27)

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Hello! How is everyone?  I hope your week is moving along all well and good.  I cannot even believe it is Mother’s Day already! Where does the time go? To some people, it seems that “Hallmark” makes every day a holiday, but in reality, would any of us be here without our mothers?  Not everyone has (or had) a father-but everyone has (or had) a mother. We will not even go in to the types of mothers (or mothering)  but; was is for sure-we all have mothers.

I do believe without a shadow of doubt that God intended to create women to be mothers as a representation of His love. In the Garden of Eden God created man and women in His image so that we would emulate His very nature of love.  Man and woman must be the balance of God’s make-up because the two are so uniquely different-yet complementary-and then become one in flesh when married.  “and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” (Mark 10: 8-9)

I don’t think that people ordinarily think of the nurturing or “mothering” side of Jesus. Even though He and God, the Father are on, He, also has His protective instinct to protect those who belong to Him. “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. (Luke 13:34) Do you hear the unconditional love?  Do you hear the deep cry of His heart-almost like a lament over those He loves? Can any of you mothers relate to that?  God wants us to always honor our parents. “Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and you shall keep my Sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.” (Leviticus 19:3)

Jesus also has a compassionate, empathetic side that identifies with our  sorrows as well. “For thus says the Lord, “Behold, I extend peace to her like a river, And the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream; And you will be nursed, you will be carried on the hip and fondled on the knees. As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; And you will be comforted in Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 66:12-13) Comfort is usually from the mother rather than a father, but, like I said God has a nurturing side as well as a protective side-together bring balance. It is amazing to me that even on the cross, Jesus cared enough to provide for His mother’s care that He picked one of the disciple’s (John) to care for Mary as a son…and John accepted the responsibility willingly.  Mary had other children, but, Jesus choose someone else He felt was more suitable and knew would correctly care for His mother. He was being nurturing to His own mother while dying on the cross. God, in human form, prepared care for His mother-whom He created.  That’s how much God loves us-His creation. Amazing, isn’t it?

For those of you who are mothers, I wish you a Happy Mother’s Day and I hope you receive the Mother’s love that God has for you. For those who are not mothers, my wish for you is that you also truly experience God’s unconditional love for you.

As you walk Every Day With Grace

In His Love,

Melody

“The LORD will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” (Psalm 121:7-8)

 

“Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools” (Ecclesiastes 7:9)

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Hello! How are you? How is the New Year treating you? How are you progressing with your personal changes for your life? (I do not like saying resolutions. One can always change if one chooses)  I have to admit that since I have made some personal decisions, I have already encountered much opposition. I have not discussed my decisions with anyone, but there are some people out there who just want to provoke you to no end. I also know it’s not just physical-it’s also spiritual. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but  against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”  (Ephesians 6:12) The enemy of our soul does not want us to succeed in any area of our lives.

As a matter of fact, something happened to me today at work, that provoked to my core. However, I had to choose immediately how I was going to handle it. The situation made me very angry and hurt my feelings deeply, but I had to decide how I was going to process and respond.  As Kay Arthur of Precept  Ministries,(one of my all time favorite Bible teachers) taught years ago: “Do we act or react? ” I chose NOT to react. How? By recalling scripture to help ease my mind and emotions. I also shared this with a friend, (I’m only human) but, I also read my Bible at lunchtime. That’s why I choose the above scripture. ‘Believe me, I wanted to react in so many ways, I would be repenting for a very long time-that’s why I went to my Bible and looked up scriptures that had to with anger. “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.” (Proverbs 29:11)  Sadly, I spent many years venting out to everyone-even as a Born Again Believer. It didn’t matter to me-I wanted everyone to know what I had to say. It never even crossed my mind how I looked or what people thought. What’s worse is I never thought about what God thought when I reacted that way only to find out He thought I was acting like a fool. Talk about sobering!  Sometimes I wonder how I had any friends at all because of my behavior. Can anyone relate?

As I read, I came across some other scriptures that referred to anger: “A hot tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calm a quarrel.” (Proverbs 15:18) “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1) “Do not make friends with a shot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.” (Proverbs 22:24-15) I know I have been hot-tempered. I also know I have been ensnared (riled up) by someone else’s anger.  Have you ever found yourself going from calm to crazy as you join in with someone else’s emotion?

You see the real issue is not the other person. It is our personal action (or, reaction) to a matter.”Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.” (Proverbs 16:32)  “A patient man has great understanding, but a quick tempered man displays folly.” (Proverbs 14:29) How does God want us to respond? Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret-it leads only to evil. For evil men will be cut off, but, those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.” (Psalm 37:8-9)  “But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” (Colossians 3:8) “And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18-Amplified) The Spirit of God lives within those who has accepted Jesus as LORD and Savior; therefore, it would make sense that the provoking we experience effects us in our spirit, soul and body. But, God is faithful to His own; He leaves us with His instruction manual (the Bible) as to how we are to conduct ourselves as believers. He loves us so much that He wrote it down for us to study and to imitate. “But Jesus looked at them and said, with men this is impossible, but  all things are possible with God.” (Matthew 19:26)

As you Walk Every Day With Grace, please read the scripture below so you can know that only with God we can change and control our behavior and reflect His.

Clothe yourselves therefore, as God’s own chosen ones (His own picked representatives), [who are] purified and holy and well-beloved [by God Himself, by putting on behavior marked by] tenderhearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways, [and] patience [which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper].”

Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive]. And above all these [put on] love and enfold yourselves with the bond of perfectness [which binds everything together completely in ideal harmony].

And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].”

Let the word [spoken by] Christ (the Messiah) have its home [in your hearts and minds] and dwell in you in [all its] richness, as you teach and admonish and train one another in all insight and intelligence and wisdom [in spiritual things, and as you sing] psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody to God with [His] grace in your hearts.”

And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon] His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him”  (Colossians 3:12-17 Amplified)

In His Love,

Melody

 

 

“He makes me to lie down in green pastures” (Psalm 23:2)

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Hello. How are you? I hope your week is going well.  It seems apparent that God has me dwelling on and writing from Psalm 23.  Considering what I am going through, I find it odd that I kept coming back to the above scripture because the last thing I think I should be doing is lying down-green pastures or not. As I was researching “peaceful” n the Bible, I noticed a “recurring theme” God has regarding pastures and peace. They seem to go a little hand in hand.”O they went to the entrance of Gedor, as far as the east side of the valley, to seek pasture for their flocks. And they found rich, good pasture, and the land was broad, quiet, and peaceful; for some Hamites formerly lived there.” (1Chronicles 4:39-40) “My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation In secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places…” (Isaiah 32:18)

As I write to you God shows me about myself and I gain my own revelation towards what I am going through.  A pasture is where sheep rest. God calls His children sheep as well. “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27) I think it would be safe to say that it is when we “lie down” and rest, we can then rest in God-should we choose. I guess that is the place where we have to let go of ourselves and grab onto God. “Or let him take hold of My strength, That He may make peace with Me; And He shall make peace with Me.” (Isaiah 27:5)  I remember when Hurricane Sandy hit Long Island last October-First, let me say that I was no where near effected as many other people were. I was without power for 1 week; even my job was shut down for 1 week. At night it was a little chilly in my house, but, I’ll tell you-I slept the best during that time. Why do y9u think that is? Because I had no control of anything and had to rely soley on God for everything. For those who went through it, you can remember the food stores running out of bread’ gas stations ran out of gas and some stations  who had gas were gouging the people who need to buy gas for their cars and generators. During all of this, I was able shower and share meals and spend most of the days with my friend at her daughter’s house because she had power. I felt so peaceful during that crisis. “The Lord preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me  Return to your rest, O my soul, For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. (Psalm 116:6-7)

Another theme I am also seeing is this: when one is walking and trusting in God, they have peace. But, if one is not walking and trusting Him for everything, then,there is no peace so, God in His mercy and love will create opportunities for His sheep to “lie down” so we can rest in Him and His strength and not figure out and manipulate a way out of our present situation without Him. God loves and will always provide a way of escape during our trials. It is the trials that our faith gets tested. “So, as the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness” (Hebrews 3:7-8)  God allows us to grow and learn during and from our trials. I would say it is definitely harder to learn during a trial, but, when we look back and reflect at that time in our life, then we can see what God was trying to accomplish in our lives. Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt,because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” (James 1:2-8)  God is so faithful to us even when we are not faithful to Him. He always gives us an opportunity to come back to Him so we can participate in His rest throughout our spirit, soul, and body.  You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal” (Isaiah 26:3-4)

As we Walk Every Day With Grace, let us learn to “lie down” with God and possess the peace that can only come from His presence.  The Lord is my Shepard, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures.

In His Love,

Melody

‘The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.” (Psalm 23:1)

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Hello! How is everyone? I hope all is well with your soul as you go through your day to day in life. I will admit that my mind is in many places as I go through my own trials and challenges. However, my heart is still for God and I long for His perfect will and guidance as I go through my circumstances.  As my friend Amy says, our trials are big in OUR eyes even though other may know what you are going through, it does not affect them-so my intensity is not theirs and vice versa. Therefore, I stand on God’s word and promises because that is His hope to us all.

At this present time in my life, I have a need-and God is my “Jehovah Jireh”; which means “God is my provider” for my need.  During this trial, I got to see the “wants” I have experienced in my life. The “funny” thing about all of my “wants”-things I needed to have, I gave away.  I now see my trial as God’s “reminder” to me that He is all I will ever need; therefore, I shall not want. God is trying to establish contentment in my life (again). I want to be like Paul, the Apostle and always be content-regardless of   my situation. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” (Philippians 4:11-12)  “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. 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 Corinthians 12:9-10) It so easy to get caught up in the things of this world.  For example, I LOVE to watch Home Shopping and I have (2) favorite stations that I would rather watch than TV. But, all of sudden, my eyes widen and I find myself saying”oooh…aahh…wow…I have to have that. What? Free shipping? Flex pay? Where’s the phone?” I get mesmerized and become one with whatever is being sold. This what the Bible says about stuff :”Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. (1Timothy 6:6-10)  So, how do we do that? “But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (1Timothy 6:11-12)

Whether we go trials or not, one must come to know and understand that Jesus is THE Great Shepard .This is what He says about Himself: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.  The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.” (Joh 10:11-15) A true shepherd will watch over his own sheep and care for them.  He protects the sheep. He makes sure they eat properly and that they stay within the flock because sheep are so dumb that they will eat themselves right off a cliff!  Sheep are completely dependent on the shepherd.  They don’t think about what they want, or what to do, or, where to go.  They just follow the shepherd-innocently, without a care in the world because they know from their experience with the shepherd that he will watch out for them. Oh, they may complain while they “bleat away” but,they still follow. And if one wanders away, the shepherd will leave the whole flock to go after that careless (even rebellious) sheep. Jesus has said :”The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice.He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out  When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” (John 10:2-5) And He said: “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered offAnd if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.” (Matthew 18:12-13) Jesus always used analogies to make his parables easier to understand. How a shepherd feels about his sheep is how God feels about His children. Most little children are innately cautious of strangers because they do not recognize voices. It is amazing to me that God gives us such tangible  life examples and object lessons.

As I write this to you, I encourage myself because if Jesus is our Great Shepard, why do I worry about anything?  I’m  not saying to be foolish and just watch the grass grow because we must be participant in our faith with actions, but, why worry when God is in control and my own illusion (or delusion) is that I am in control of my life.  The Lord is my Shepard, I shall not want.

As you Walk Every Day With Grace, I want to leave you this word of encouragement from scripture. “Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen” (Hebrews 13:20-21)

In His Love,

Melody