Sunday, June 2, 2013

June 3, 2013

"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." Psalm 23

Even though things are getting very scary around the world and the US ecomony is tetering on the brink of collapse, the future is your friend if the Lord is your Shepherd. I showed you that is true because He is a personal Shepherd. He knows you intimately and loves you unconditionally.

Not only is He a personal shepherd, He is a powerful shepherd! When you think of a powerful superhero you think of a Batman, or a Spiderman or a Superman, you don't think of a shepherd. But you should! Jesus as the Shepherd is not just powerful, He is seven-fold powerful! What do I mean by that?

Our Father has many, many names in the Hebrew bible (some say as many as 144!), each describing a different aspect of His greatness and power — from Adonai (The Lord; mentioned 360 times) to Yahveh (“I am that I am”; mentioned 6,800 times). Jehovah is an Anglicized translation of Yahveh. In Psalm 23 we see seven of the names of God that show us that our Shepherd might just BE a superhero!

1. “The Lord is my Shepherd”

"Jehovah Rohi" (The Lord is my Shepherd and my Guide) – “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will GUIDE you into all truth” John 16:13.

2. “I shall not want”

"Jehovah Jireh" (The Lord is my Provider, so I do not want) - "He supplies all my need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" Philippians 4:19

3. “He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters”

"Jehovah Shalom" (The Lord is my Peace — my calm in the midst of a storm) – “Now may the God of PEACE Himself sanctify you completely” 1 Thess. 5:23.

4. “He restores my soul”

"Jehovah Rapha" (He is my Healer) – “And by His stripes we are healed” 1 Peter 2:24 (and Isaiah 53:5)

5. “He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake”

"Jehovah Tsidkenu" (The Lord is my Righteousness; in Him I have right standing with God) “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God in Him” 1 Corinthians 5:21.

6. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me”

"Jehovah Shammah" (“The Lord is There”; He is our Ever-Present God) - “For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’” Hebrews 13:5.

7. “Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies”

"Jehovah Nissi" (“The Lord is my Banner,” my standard, He covers me) – “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD will lift up a STANDARD against him” Isaiah 59:19.

“You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs 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.” Amen!

The future is your friend when this God is your Shepherd! He is powerful times seven! There is nothing that can come against you that will be more powerful than Him! When this Good Shepherd is for you, who can be against you!

Sure sounds like a superhero to me!

June 2, 2013

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,  but fools despise wisdom and instruction."  Proverbs 1:7
You are prone toward doing foolish unwise things from time to time. So am I?
Just to reassure you we are not alone in out foolishness, consider:
A psychology student in New York rented out her spare room to a carpenter in order to nag him constantly and study his reactions. After weeks of needling, he snapped and beat her repeatedly with an ax leaving her mentally retarded.
In 1992, Frank Perkins of Los Angeles made an attempt on the world flagpole-sitting record. Suffering from the flu he came down eight hours short of the 400 day record, his sponsor had gone bust, his girlfriend had left him and his phone and electricity had been cut off.
Two animal rights protesters were protesting at the cruelty of sending pigs to a slaughterhouse in Bonn. Suddenly the pigs, all two thousand of them, escaped through a broken fence and stampeded, trampling the two hapless protesters to death.
A man in Taormina, Italy was hospitalized after swallowing 46 teaspoons, 2 cigarette lighters, and a pair of salad tongs.
The Chico, California, City Council enacted a ban on nuclear weapons, setting a $500 fine for anyone detonating one within city limits.
Iraqi terrorist, Khay Rahnajet, didn't pay enough postage on a letter bomb. It came back with "return to sender" stamped on it. Forgetting it was the bomb, he opened it and was blown to bits.
John Ortberg says that there’s a simple reason that God put Proverbs in the Bible – it’s because we’re stupid! Let’s face it; we all do dumb stuff, don’t we? This book can help us become wiser in many ways.
Proverbs is a concentrated graduate course in the art of living. It’s not enough simply to be educated and have knowledge, as important as education is. We also need wisdom, which is the ability to use the knowledge that we have. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for “wise” is used to describe people who are adept at working with their hands. Those who have wisdom have the ability to face life honestly and to live it so that God’s purposes are fulfilled in their lives. Wisdom is not theoretical but practical. A wise person does not just say wise words, he or she is skillful at living life to its fullest. Here are some of the life skills presented in Proverbs: Training for parents, purity principles, money management, relationship building, the power of words, the honor of humility, the dangers of strong drink, decision-making, the importance of hard work, peace-making principles and how to care for the poor.
Proverbs is a survival guide for people like us in times like these.
The Proverbs are good to know! Very good! But what you really must know is the God Who inspired them and His wisdom is reflect in them! The only way you can know Him is through a personal faith in His Son Jesus Christ.
If you have not trusted Him as your Savior - you REALLY need to wise up!