Psalm 23

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Jesus is my Shepherd, my guide and the One who takes care of me.
What else would I ever need?

He leads me to places I will flourish and grow – to where I can find strength through Him.
He stops and makes me rest, and drink in the cool waters of His Spirit.

He makes me new.
He takes me down paths where I can learn what is right and how to live for Him and His name.

When I turn and walk into the darkness, and sin begins to swallow me, He doesn’t give up on me. He stays with me, when no one else does. He convicts me, corrects me and disciplines me, because of His great love. When I find myself lost and unsure, He reminds me I have nothing to fear, because He is greater. I can trust Him completely.

In the midst of conflict, when the world comes against me, they come against Him. And, He has the victory.

He has set me apart, He fills me so full of His peace, His faithfulness, His loving-kindness and His grace, it spills over and soaks those around me.

Surely, God will showcase His goodness and His mercy today, tomorrow and every day. That’s who He is. And because He is God, I will trust Him with my forever.

Useful

What’s the use? What does it matter?

Every once in a while, we wonder if what we are doing is making a difference. We need encouragement and are receiving none. Or, we grow weary in our pursuit and question our methods and purpose.

Maybe you have been there or are struggling right now.

Let this Scripture answer your questions and propel you forward:

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge,  knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness,  godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.  For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:5-8

During a time where results seem nebulous and your footing seems unsure, take the Apostle Peter’s words of wisdom to heart. Swallow this spiritual nutritional supplement and wash it down with a fresh glass of living water.

Focus your energy, not on your uncertainty, but on these seven pursuits:

  1. Goodness: excellence in praise and virtue. Worship God and praise His name for His goodness. Let that worship spill out in virtuous living.
  2. Knowledge: knowing and understanding God. Choose to spend time with God, digging deep in His Word and talking with Him in prayer. Place priority on learning about the character of God.
  3. Self-control: temperance. Say no to what drains your spiritual drive. Pass on time-wasters and distractions from the worship and study of your loving Creator.
  4. Endurance: cheerful, hopeful and patient continuance. Stay true to your calling. Ask God everyday for a cheerful spirit and strength to continue on. Cling to the hope He has promised.
  5. Godliness: holiness. Confess the sin in your life. Pray God would reveal to you where He desires to cleanse and make you new.
  6. Brotherly Affection: love, affection and kindness toward others. Show affection to those God has placed around you. Take the initiative to shower kindness on your family, co-workers and church family members. Look for ways to encourage and extend friendship.
  7. Love: sacrificial and selfless love. Continue to give of yourself, without expectation. Place others needs above your own, demonstrating the love of Christ, who went to the cross willingly to save mankind. Love lavishly, freely and undeservedly.

Notice the promise when we make every effort to increase our faith in these seven ways. If these attributes are ours and are increasing, we will NOT be useless or unfruitful in Christ. God WILL use us and produce fruit in our life.

Claim 2 Peter 1:5-8 when the questions come and discouragement plagues your heart. You matter to God, and His will for your life is to be useful in His fully capable and strong hands. Add to your faith goodness, knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, brotherly affection and love. Know that in this pursuit, your life will bear spiritual fruit for God’s glory.