“Like a Lost Sheep” 12/07/2019 Posted by David Kitz for “I Love the Psalms”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

                Image result for Image we are all like lost sheep"

Posted by David Kitz for “I Love the Psalms” @  https://davidkitz.wordpress.com/

Original post found @  https://davidkitz.blog/2019/12/06/like-a-lost-sheep/

 

Like a Lost Sheep

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Reading: Psalm 119

ת Taw
(Verses 169-176)

May my cry come before you, LORD;
give me understanding according to your word.
May my supplication come before you;
deliver me according to your promise.
May my lips overflow with praise,
for you teach me your decrees.
May my tongue sing of your word,
for all your commands are righteous.
May your hand be ready to help me,
for I have chosen your precepts.
I long for your salvation, L
ORD,
and your law gives me delight.
Let me live that I may praise you,
and may your laws sustain me.
 I have strayed like a lost sheep.
Seek your servant,
for I have not forgotten your commands 
(NIV).

shallow focus photography of white sheep on green grass

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

Reflection
This is the final reading from Psalm 119. Today’s reading features Taw, the final letter in the Hebrew alphabet. Day by day we have been making our way through this acrostic poem—reading as it were from A to Z in the Hebrew language. All of it is written in praise of God’s word and His promises. It is difficult to fully appreciate the structural beauty of this lengthy poem, when it is translated into English.

This line from today’s reading is typical of the psalmist’s praise for the word of God: May my tongue sing of your word, for all your commands are righteous.

At times the psalmist appears to be proud, even boastful of his obedience to God’s word, but here at the conclusion of this magnificent poem, he takes on a more humble stance. I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands.

There is something very human about this prayer—about this ending. We are very prone to stray. The prophet Isaiah reflects on this human characteristic. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him [Jesus] the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6).

Jesus is our carrier—our iniquity carrier. He carried our sins to the cross where he suffered and died, so that his blood could cover those sins—my sins—your sins. But our sin carrier is also our Good Shepherd, who goes out to find those who are lost. He is the answer to the psalmist’s prayer. This is the purpose for his coming. “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).

Response: Father God, I confess I am prone to stray. Help me to stay to the straight and narrow way that leads to life. I thank you, Jesus, for seeking me and saving me by your shed blood. Amen.

Your TurnAre you a wandering sheep? Have you been found by the Good Shepherd?

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P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com/

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

Picture credit: https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1SQJL_enUS832US832&sxsrf=ACYBGNRGdNFSfKmO–FhPXOiyZywB4E2pg:1575653431869&q=Image+we+are+all+like+lost+sheep&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiovOG4xqHmAhVJ2FkKHbfbCrMQsAR6BAgJEAE&biw=1272&bih=873#imgrc=w3SEMzTBnIfuAM:

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“LUKE 5 – FOLLOW ME” 12/06/2019 Written by Kathy Boecher for “atimetoshare”

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The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional   

 

Image result for image come follow me, I will make you fishers of men

                                 

Written by Kathy Boecher for “atimetoshare” @   http://atimetoshare.me

Original post @  https://atimetoshare.me/2019/12/05/luke-5-follow-me/

 

LUKE 5 – FOLLOW ME

Laborers   READ LUKE 5

Jesus was beginning to gather large crowds.  His message was one they’d been longing to hear for ages.  The promised Messiah was in their midst and they were eager to hear what He had to say.

It was the end of the work day for the fishermen of lake Gennesaret.  Jesus had been pressed by the crowds and saw a boat, which belonged to Simon and asked him to pull out from shore so He could speak to all the people. When He finished speaking, He requested that Simon take the boat out further and let down the fishing nets.

Simon had been fishing all day without success. He was tired, sweaty and parched by the sun, but he followed the Master’s instruction.  The nets became full to the point that some had broken through.   They had to call on others to help them bring in the abundance of fish.  This miracle frightened Simon, because he didn’t feel worthy to be blessed in such away, but his faith in the Master was what caused it to be.  Jesus assured  that this was just the beginning.  He said to all of them, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men. Thus the first disciples gave up everything and followed Jesus.

The group of vagabonds covered a lot of territory.  Jesus did many healings, including those with leprosy or diseases which had disabled them from birth.  The crowds continued to grow and even the leaders of the church were anxious to hear what this man had to say.  They became suspicious at the faith of the people and the words of the man.  How could this Jesus heal the body and mind? He also claimed to forgive sins.  This wasn’t acceptable.  No one can forgive sins except God.  It was probably then that the leaders began their plot to kill Jesus.

Levi, the tax collector, was the next disciple to be called.  Obviously tax collectors had a bad reputation in those times, because they often skimmed off the top and pocketed a great deal of those taxes.  A letter from the IRS, can cause us to go into panic mode. Imagine how these poor citizens felt being overtaxed by thieves.  Jesus’ mission was to bring the grace of God to all sinners – which means all of us.  We’ve all sinned and fallen short of His expectations.  We are equal in His eyes.  It’s by God’s grace that we have forgiveness.

Each of the disciples had their own gifts and talents and Jesus knew exactly how they could serve the work of His Father.  We’re called to be disciples of Christ.  Are you ready to answer that call?

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P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com/

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

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“Christmas Presents – or Christmas Presence” 12/05/2019 Written by Beth Andrews for “Deeper Roots”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

                        Image result for image Christmas Presents – or Christmas Presence

Written by Beth Andrews for “Deeper Roots”  @  https://dbethandrews.wordpress.com

Original post @  https://dbethandrews.wordpress.com/2019/12/05/christmas-presents-or-christmas-presence/

 

 

Christmas Presents – or Christmas Presence

O Immanuel . . . God is with us.  Isaiah 8:8, 10

My best friend and I are separated by almost a hundred miles.  We chat often on social media and text and talk with one another on the phone, but when I have the chance to see her face-to-face my heart rejoices.  There is something about presence—about being together physically that touches the heart more than a phone conversation ever could.

In the beginning, in the Garden, God and His first children, Adam and Eve enjoyed one another’s presence regularly.  The Bible tells us that they delighted in spending time together “in the cool of the day” (Genesis 3:8).  But sin forever altered that.  The fellowship was broken by disobedience and man was physically separated from God. A few select people encountered God for specific purposes, like Noah, but God no longer walked with His creation like before. After Noah, the Bible shows no interaction between God and man throughout many generations, until Abraham.

God promised His presence with Abraham and his descendants and He was faithful through their escape from bondage and their desert wandering and settling in The Promised Land. He was with them, but still not in the same way as He had been with Adam and Eve. The Israelites built a temple where He could dwell among them, though still separated from them by walls and heavy curtains.  When Israel’s apostasy reached a certain point, the Lord withdrew His presence from the Temple—and the people.  But He promised His presence would one day return to them, in the person of the Messiah.  And as He always does, The Lord kept His promise.

The hope of Christmas is the hope of God with us – in the flesh. It is the fulfillment of the promise of His presence. God – in the person of Jesus was born as a flesh-and-blood baby in a stable in Bethlehem. He had tiny toes and tiny fingers, and He cried for the comfort of His mother.  He walked with His creation. He talked to them. He touched them – healing, comforting, and cleansing them. Imagine being able to reach out and touch God’s own hand. The most wonderful Christmas present is the presence of God. That is the promise of Immanuel—God with us.

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P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com/

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

Picture credit:  https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1SQJL_enUS832US832&sxsrf=ACYBGNSpNGxP_CX09U_h3pS2LSm2g3S3FA:1575552357545&q=image+Christmas+Presents+%E2%80%93+or+Christmas+Presence&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiasuL0zZ7mAhVCc98KHUSgBcoQsAR6BAgKEAE&biw=1272&bih=922#imgrc=TUhC6y_dWaV42M:

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“Giving Thanks-Psalm 100” 12/04/2019 Written by Wally Fry for “Holly Springs Missionary Baptist Church”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

                    Image result for image give God the glory for all things

Written by Wally Fry for  “Holly Springs Missionary Baptist Church

Original post @  https://hollyspringsmbaptistchurch.wordpress.com/2019/11/27/giving-thanks-psalm-100/?fbclid=IwAR1klRbSfoqxq1QPjqkoVvscYkS_fhpKhbOU2iLQP7TCuK2HiGkMVDjetoA

Giving Thanks-Psalm 100

Psalm 100 is a great one. Okay, they are all great, but right about now it seems extra great!

So, just what should we be thankful for? The answer is all things whether good, bad or indifferent. Did you put your feet on the floor this morning under your own power? Give thanks. Were you only able to open your eyes and look up at the ceiling? Give thanks.

Thank Him for the fact that we are even here. Remember that little verse, “In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth?” If He had opted not to do that, we would not even be here.

Obviously, thank Him for the blessings in our lives. Food, clothes, jobs, family and this list goes on and on. If we believe what we say we believe, then we have to acknowledge they all came from God. Remember this?

James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

Thank God for the not so seemingly blessed things. In other words, thank Him for the trials. They likely have a purpose, even if we don’t understand it. Again let’s go to the Book of James:

James 1:2-4  My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Finally, the thing for which we should be most thankful is the gift of salvation God offers through His Son Jesus Christ. Did you know that God loves you? Did you also know that without His Son we are all doomed? Did you know that the famous John 3:16 actually doesn’t stand alone but has some very important information following? Read and see:

John 3:16-18 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

God loves us with all of His divine heart. If fact, He loves us this much; knowing from eternity past we would be rebellious sinners, He made away for us to be saved anyway:

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Yes we have all failed Him and we are all sinners by nature and choice:

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

The outlook is grim, “For the wages of sin is death“, but God made us a solution,”but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” That was all Romans 6:23. It’s easy, confess your sin, repent of it, and ask for His salvation. It’s that easy. Who can be saved? See Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.“

I would say that is something to be thankful for; that is if you have it. If not, you can today, just read above my friend.

Let’s go back to our Psalm briefly.

Psalm 100

 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

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P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com/

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

Picture credit:   https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1SQJL_enUS832US832&sxsrf=ACYBGNTtB_So3YiKF_y3oykw-cFTPWttGg:1575460815717&q=image+give+God+the+glory+for+all+things&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi2y5zy-JvmAhXDMd8KHbIVDx8QsAR6BAgHEAE&biw=1272&bih=922#imgrc=X1KFqevQAFcwfM:

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“How can we have our sins forgiven, and forgotten ??” 12/02/2019 Written by Louis Mize, a Facebook friend

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Image result for image jeremiah 31:34

 Written by Louis Mize, a Facebook friend  @  https://www.facebook.com/louis.mize

“How can we have our sins forgotten ??”

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
Psalm 103:12

Most distances can be calculated and measured. They can be measured in inches, feet, yards, and miles. But there is one distance that is immeasurable. That distance is the space between the east and the west. That distance is an infinite number that defies measurement. For you see, once a person sets out traveling east, he can never go west until he turns around in that direction. It is different from the northern and southern poles of the earth.

When Christ shed His sinless blood on the cross at Calvary in payment for my sins and the sins of the world, He made the only way a person can have their sins removed. He made total and complete restitution to God the Father for our sins. And He separated us from those sins with the greatest distance possible. He has promised that when we approach Him by faith and repent of our sins, that He will not even remember those sins.

In life, man travels great distances. This morning, I thanked and praised God that He has chosen to reveal how far He has gone to demonstrate His love for us, by showing us that you and I can’t begin to measure His mercy, His grace, His kindness, His compassion, and His love. God has removed our transgressions from us in the greatest of all ways and all distances. And this my friends, is something to give Him thanks for!

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P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com/

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

Picture credit:   https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ACYBGNSB_lKUYHPj5S3pkz0ob-6hLdCebA:1575227644032&q=image+jeremiah+31:34&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjgoKahlJXmAhUNd98KHYnvC-oQsAR6BAgKEAE&biw=962&bih=552#imgrc=hMBI3pfTf4slRM:

 

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“This Sunday at Church: Pray for the preaching” 12/01/2019 Written by Pastor Jim Lee for “THE DOMAIN FOR TRUTH”

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The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Written by Pastor Jim Lee forThe Domain for Truth” @  https://veritasdomain.wordpress.com

Original post @  https://veritasdomain.wordpress.com/2019/12/01/this-sunday-at-church-pray-for-the-preaching/

 

This Sunday at Church: Pray for the preaching

 

This Sunday at Church I want to encourage you to do the following:  Pray for the preaching.

This passage stood out to me.  Hear 2 Timothy 2:15: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”  The command here is that those who do ministry should handle God’s Word carefully.  They should handle it in such a way that would not be ashamed.

Consider how important this is.  Given how important this is for those of us hearing preaching we should pray for those who are preaching and teaching.

Pray for the preacher.  Pray for the moral and spiritual life of those teaching and preaching God’s Word.

Pray for the preparation before you go to church.  Pray for God’s Word to have been handled and studied with care.

Pray for the during preaching during the preaching.  Yes, pray for God’s guidance and also for the right insight and application.

Pray.  Because God’s Word is important.

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P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com/

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

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“Be Prepared” 11/30/2019 Written by Elihu Anderson for “Elihu’s Corner”

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Image result for image 1 peter 3:15

Written by Elihu Anderson for  “Elihu’s Corner”  @   http://elihuscorner.com/

Original post @  https://elihuscorner.com/2019/09/13/be-prepared/

 

CHRISTIAN LIVING · STUDY · THE WORD OF GOD

Be Prepared

“…in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.”

1 Peter 3.15-16, ESV

We are on day 13 of this month’s scripture writing plan about “The Armor of God”! Within the plan, we are currently focusing on the “shoes of readiness.” These spiritual shoes are pretty important. Without them, we will be stumbling in our faith.

In today’s passage, Peter tells us to “be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” As I read this (or write it out), the question I must ask myself is, “Am I prepared to answer anyone?” and “How do I prepare???”

Preparing to Defend the Faith

The phrase, “give a defense” is translated from the Greek word apologia which means “a speech in defense.” A deeper definition would be: “properly, a well-reasoned reply; a thought-out response to adequately address the issue(s) that is raised.”

If I had to stand in court and supply evidence or a reasoned response for my faith, could I do it? If a friend asks me, for instance, why I trust the Bible, could I supply a response beyond, “because it’s God’s word”? If someone asked why I decided to follow Jesus, what would I say?

Honestly, I have learned many of my responses throughout the years simply by finding myself challenged by real people. It’s not the ideal way to begin, but it does force you to reflect on what you know and dig deeply into what you do not know.

Soon after being baptized into Christ, my eighth grade science teacher started saying things like, “Christians are stupid because they don’t believe in Evolution.” Thirteen-year-old-me didn’t know enough to challenge him, but it forced me to do some digging and answer my own nagging doubts about faith and science. Another teacher engaged me in a discussion on existentialism during my senior year of high school. Thankfully, I had been a student of the Bible for a long time and was able to form logical responses. I don’t think I made any difference to that teacher, but it did help me to grow in my experience on how to respond to some of the philosophical challenges to Christianity.

If we are living for Christ, we are going to be challenged by people who are not. Sometimes they’ll simply be curious and sometimes they will seek to destroy us. Begin your preparation by asking yourself questions you’ve heard people ask, then write or run through a scenario in your mind as to how you will respond.

Some questions/comments include:

  • How can you believe in a loving God when bad things happen to good people?

  • Why do you believe Jesus was anything more than a man?

  • Doesn’t your faith reject science since you don’t believe in Evolution?

  • How can you say what I’m doing is sin if truth is relative?

  • How can you believe in the Bible when it’s just a book written by men?

  • Do you need a crutch? Is that why you’re a Christian?

  • Too many bad things have happened to me in my life. I can’t believe there is a God.

There are, of course, many more questions. Responding effectively, with “gentleness and respect,” is our job. How we answer these questions may plant the seed of the gospel in someone’s heart. We may never see the growth of that seed, but someone else might!

Here are some additional things you can do to prepare:

  1. Pray for wisdom daily (James 1.5-8)

  2. Commit to reading and internalizing the Bible

  3. Prepare answers!

  4. If you don’t know how to answer, start researching. Ask a brother or sister in the faith with experience how to answer the question.

  5. Practice quietness, gentleness, and humility so that you will be able to compose yourself when faced with rage and disrespect.

This last point is vital. People do not want to be treated like the dirt beneath your feet. We need to listen to their words and what is behind their words and we must remember that we are talking to a soul. That soul is often held captive by Satan’s deceit. Do we love that soul? Do we care about that soul? When we speak, are we communicating that love or are we simply wanting to prove ourselves “right.”

Don’t let your pride or laziness hinder the gospel.

Put on those shoes of readiness!

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P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com/

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

Picture credit:  https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1SQJL_enUS832US832&sxsrf=ACYBGNTrf-J8Dnkhf4HPIrX5ZbpJGmkeAg:1575118862135&q=image+1peter3:15&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiTp4aC_5HmAhUEw1kKHZB2AmMQsAR6BAgKEAE&biw=1272&bih=922#imgrc=fMqrBozzplj8ZM:

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