The Stress-Taker

There are many stress-makers in the world, but only one Stress-Taker.

As with most people, stress was an integral part of my life as a child and into my young married life. But, at a very young age, I was given the knowledge of how to handle the stress that comes from this world. At the time, I did not realize what God had given me, so, could not use this knowledge. He gives the gift and treasure from His heart to ours. It starts in the mind and takes root in the heart as He nurtures the seed of His Word in us. Even before He gave me a new heart and a new spirit for a new spiritual birth, the seed of life was doing its work. Humbling and preparing a fertile heart for His Word to take root was His continual work.

Words from Many Sources
Words from any source can fill a void and produce the fruit thereof. Much more so, the Word of God is the most powerful to do its transforming work in the mind and heart of man. Never underestimate the work of God’s Spirit to bring forth the fruit of His Word when we spend time with Him in His Word; when we teach our children the rudiments of true life that are recorded there.

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

The child may be a senior citizen before the Lord brings the fruit of the seed He plants in his heart.

Continuing in His Word
Over the years, the Lord has written more of His Word in my mind and my heart, but the ones I remember from so long ago are preeminent in my thinking and in my life.

Psalm 23 and Psalm 100 were two that I have treasured since childhood ~ more precious and more powerful now than ever.

Psalm 23
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’s 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 for ever.

Psalm 100 is one of our album of Scripture Tunes, and helpful to teach young children to remember this Psalm. We are working with a musician to record accompaniments for these.

In the meantime, here is Psalm 100, vocal without accompaniment.

Are you a stress-maker or do you point others to the Stress-Taker, our Lord Jesus Christ?

Dear Heavenly Father, how blessed we are as your children, for you to train us in your Word to know you, love you, trust you and obey you. Thank you for loving us, for adopting us as your own; planting your seed, watering and bringing forth the fruit of your own work in us. Teach us to lay all the world’s ills and our concerns at the feet of Jesus our Lord and in so doing, witness to others of His love and care for us, always ready to share your Word of life with them. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Fran

Grazing in the Right Pasture

Like sheep, my thoughts often wander. When the Lord gets my attention, I realize that I have left the green pastures to dwell on what is going on around me. My thoughts take me wherever they want to go. They must be trained by the Shepherd, so that I stay close to Him.

The apostle Paul tells us, “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

When the things of the world come to mind I am easily led into the barren fields among the rocks and thistles. In the cares and distractions of this world, I forget that my thoughts should be on that which is true, honest, just and pure, that which is lovely, of good report, of virtue and worthy of praise.

When my thoughts dwell on what I hear of the world, I am negating the Word of God, nurturing the seeds of the tares and wasting time that I could be sharing the good news of God’s grace.

Our Lord teaches us to remember whose we are. Once we were sheep without a shepherd going our own way, led by the god of this world through a barren wilderness, but now are returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls.

Jesus, our Lord, has prepared green pastures and still waters; He restores my soul and leads me in the paths of righteousness.

Yes, we pray for our enemies and those who despitefully use us, but we don’t take up their lament, captive to the lost region in this world. Instead, we bring our thoughts captive to Christ so that we may speak the truth of God’s Word in love and compassion to those who live in this wilderness. This is our weapon against the stronghold in which the enemy would keep us bound. We focus on and praise our Lord for His goodness and His wonderful works to the children of men (Psalm 107:8).

The less we speak of what is happening in the world, the opinions and arguments ~ its grazing habits ~ the more we experience the obedience and happiness in our own pastures. Through our witness of Him, He draws others to Himself.

Gracious Father, we praise you that you have bought us, sought us, caught us, and brought us to Christ and taught us how to live as your children, your sheep in your pastures. Let us proclaim the legacy of your kingdom, so that you may draw more of your sheep to Christ where you have every good thing prepared for us. In Jesus’ name we pray and praise you. Amen.

Related Article: A Sheep’s View

Image

A Day to Worship

Who and Why We Worship                                        Where and How We Worship

                                                                PSALM 100

“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD,
all ye lands.
2Serve the LORD with gladness:
come before his presence
with singing.
 

3Know 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.

 4Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,
and into his courts with praise:
be thankful unto him,
and bless his name.

5For the LORD is good;
his mercy is everlasting;
and his truth endureth to all generations.”   MusicMake a Joyful Noise

Dear heavenly Father, by your own heart and word, draw us to worship.  Lord Jesus, “declare His name to your brethren.”  Lead us “in the midst of the congregation.” (Hebrews 2:12-13)  Holy Spirit, fill us; “inhabit our praises.”  Keep our hearts, minds and focus on you today.  In Jesus name I pray.  Amen