Being Part of The Herd (Guess Blogger)

Hi, my name is Laurie, sometimes I go by the nick-name Lulu. I am a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ and proud of it, yup, I am a Jesus girl. I am married to my first husband, Richard. Richard is an amazing man and father and has been putting up with me since we tied the knot in 1994. We have two amazing boys that are wonderfully amazing young men that have been a pure joy to raise thus far. We also have two fur babies. Ike is a handsome Chawiener (half long hair chiwawa and half wiener dog) and Stella is the sweetest cat I have ever had, she loves kisses and snuggles under the covers with us. I live in the Mid-West where I enjoy 3 of the 4 seasons, I could really be fine with skipping summer. In my spare time I am a writer, reader, quilter, student and employee. Thank you so much for visiting my blog, please leave me comments, my love language is Words of Affirmation and I am not ashamed to beg! Welcome Laurie

Being Part of the Herd

“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 in the paths of righteousness for his name sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou 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.” Psalm 23 (KJV)
I grew up learning, memorizing and reciting this Psalm. If I had to guess, this is probably one of the most memorized passage in the Bible.
As we continue in our “Little Golden Book” series, I thought it would be fun to take a closer look at Psalm 23, and if you have not memorized it yet, I challenge you to do so.

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As a child I remember this Psalm bringing me so much comfort and a feeling of God’s protection over me. I would recite it anytime I was anxious or worried about things. I would dream of walking beside Jesus in a meadow of flowers and resting near a pretty stream. I could imagine Him catching me when I fell, and I could feel His presence with me as I would pray this Psalm.
I never once thought about what it would cost me to be one of His sheep or what it meant to be part of the herd. These thoughts didn’t occur to me until I was an adult.
So, what does it mean to be part of His herd? Why does God repeatedly refer to us as His sheep? Let’s start by looking at what it means to be one of His sheep and why we need Him as our Shepherd:

First, sheep are conformists. They enjoy being in a herd. They find protection in numbers. Sheep are good this way, but people often are not. (Nathan Tabor)
So let’s learn a little more about sheep and how we may be like them. Like sheep, we are a bit dense. While researching sheep I found a story about a sheep that fell off a cliff and the other 400 sheep in the herd followed him to their death. We tend to follow the herd people! Think about it and I bet you can find at least a dozen examples in your life where you followed the herd. We need a shepherd!
Sheep are defenseless. They cannot fend for themselves and they cannot fight off the attacks of other animals. They are the wooly snack food of the wild. Ok, I know what you are thinking right now….YOU are not defenseless. Hmmmm….are you sure? Can you really handle ANYTHING that comes your way?

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
But the most dangerous thing sheep do is wander. And they tend to wander off for no good reason. They can have everything they need right where they are but they still wander off.
We as a human race are prone to wander too. The bible is full of examples of people, cities and nations who wander away from God. It has been that way since the beginning, Adam and Eve wander over to the tree of Knowledge. The whole human race wandered so far from God that a flood came and took over the earth.
You see, we are prone to wander in our faith and that is the greatest tragedy we could suffer. I am so thankful that I have a good shepherd who will leave the 99 and rescue me!

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? Luke 15:4
I think that it is obvious that we are in desperate need of a Shepherd, someone who will watch over us and protect us from ourselves. Someone who spends all of his time with us, His sheep. Someone whose voice we will be able to discern above all other voices.

“My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of My hand.” John 10:27
So what does it mean to be part of the herd? It means life, it means freedom from death, it means assurance that we are loved and looked after. It means experiencing goodness and mercy all the days of our life and finally, it means that we will dwell in the house of the Lets end our time now by praying through Psalm 23:
Lord our shepherd, you leave me wanting for nothing. I walk with you through green pastures and lie with you by the still waters. You restore my soul and lead me in the path of righteousness. Your protection is with me as I walk through the valley of death, I fear no evil. Your rod and your staff they comfort me. When the enemy attacks, you prepare a table before me and anoint my head with oil. My cup is running over with your goodness and mercy and I delight in you as I dwell in your house forever. Amen

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God’s Love

Psalm 62.pngTruly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock ad my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.                    Psalm 62:1-2

God’s love for his children is never changing, he is the same as yesterday, today, and all of our tomorrows. Praise His Name that he doesn’t not change like we as humans can, sometimes we change daily. I have read one of Sarah Young book called Jesus lives, it is a daily devotions that all can benefit from. We find comfort in knowing God. He is perfectly good and infinitely strong. If God were good but lacking in strength, we would not have any stronghold in times of trouble. If God were strong but not totally good, his massive strength could be terrifying. In fact, God’s power is threatening to those who oppose. However, He is the Good Shepherd, Jesus knows his sheep and his sheep knows him. Sheep have nothing to fear from a shepherd who is good. On the contrary, they feel safe in his protective presence. So it with him, we can feel safe and secure in his sheltering presence. The best way to avail yourself of his protection is to trust Jesus wholeheartedly. His unfailing love surrounds all those who trust in him. So your most important task as a sheep in his pasture is to keep on trusting him-the perfect Shepherd of our soul. Find rest in Jesus alone, for he is a surrounding stronghold of unfailing love. Sarah Young shares these words with you and me, and devotions book as well as reading scriptures daily continues our walk with the Master the “Great I Am”, and I encourage all to listen for our Shepherd’s voice as he guides our every step in our journey.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD

I Am The Good Shepherd.png As we continue the series by Lysa Terkeust we come to read the next thing Jesus tells his disciples and others. “I am the good shepherd” The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd 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 hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, I know my sheep and my sheep knows me and I know the Father–and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”                                                         ( John 10:14-18 NIV)

Lysa tells us as we dig deeper into the Greek word of good in John 10:14, we find that it is not simply the opposite of bad. This specific word kalos also holds the connotation of noble, honorable, worthy. It points us to a sense of awe that suggest Christ is not just good, but He is captivating and deserves praise. As we consider what the Good and Great Shepherd does, we can be encouraged in knowing that He is the perfect shepherd we are His sheep are drawn to follow. Not only is Jesus the Good Shepherd who gives and lays down His life for his people, but He is also the Gate for the people of God to access and enter into the presence of God. Jesus gives us access to the Father so that we can live in intimacy and relationship with Him. Perhaps you feel like you are wandering this world with no shepherd, no one to guide or invest in you. Please know that Jesus himself wants to be your Shepherd. And not just any shepherd—but the Good Shepherd.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

 

By His Stripes We Are Healed

by his stripes.pngThe scripture in the New Testament in the gospel of Matthew 27:11-26 as well as Mark 15:1-15  talks about the night in which our Lord and Savior Jesus was be trade by one of his disciples name Judas of Iscariot. Both gospels talk about Jesus being flogged or scourged after Pilate committed him to be crucified. One essential difference between Mark’s version and Matthew’s however, is that Mark suggests the ‘envy’ of the chief priests as being their primary motive is seeing that Jesus be put away. The priests presumed that if the mob could be incited fervently enough to achieve Pilates sanction and/or allowance of scourging, torture, and mockery, the fate of this mysterious and threatening ‘Jesus” would be sealed. In Biblical times, a person condemned to crucifixion was usually first scourged with a whip of leather thongs, typically with bits of metal or bone attached. The scourging tore into the victim’s flesh and greatly weakened him before the victim was subjected to the even greater torture of hanging from a cross. Jesus was scourge forty times minus one by the Roman soldiers. Can you even try to image the pain that Jesus endure for you and me. Have you ever had crack hands or feet, that bleed and the pain was so intense, well I had that happen to me within the last month. With the winter cold  my feet became dry, I never thought about it until one of my heels crack open and bleed, the pain was so bad I had trouble walking on it. At first I couldn’t understand what I had done to it and why the pain was so bad until I went to put some cream on and look at it and then I realize the skin had crack open. The first thing that came to my mine was this, the pain that my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ endure for me, I often wonder why, it is because of his love for me his child.  As you go back to the Old Testament Isaiah foretold what would happen:

Isaiah Chapter 53:1-7

Who has believed our message, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces, he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shears is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

My friends if you have ever wonder sometime in your own life if anyone would or could ever love you in spite of your short comings. I am here to tell you Jesus does, you don’t need to be smart enough, rich enough, you don’t need to be short or tall, thin or not, he loves you just the same. Jesus loves you so much because you are his child, just as much as any parent would love their own child, he loves you. All you need to do is to believe that he loves you enough to die on the cross, he was beaten for you and me, a crown of thorns place on his head, he spread out his arms to show all of us how much he loves us, so that one day we all can live with him eternally, and that is good news.

 

Grace and Peace to you my friends