Categories
Characteristics of God Devotions Godly Living Serving

The Good Shepherd’s Love {{Devotion}}

I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep (Jn. 10:14-15, NLT).

My favorite passages are those who acknowledge God as my Shepherd. I am someone who has both been led astray by other humans and one who has heard my Shepherd’s Voice and still ran away.

Maybe, you can relate? It’s easy to find ourselves in either position, isn’t it? Our great God is the Perfect Shepherd. He knows how to lead us and is the Shepherd with the strongest ability to lead us in the way we ought to go.

Our Lord Jesus is declared as our Good Shepherd in John 10. As our Good Shepherd, He shows us the way to eternal life. He lives out what we are taught in Isaiah 30:21 – which says:

Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left.

Jesus is the Good Shepherd who has passionately, loving – laid down His life for His sheep – who are actually those who believe and follow Him. As we follow the Lord, we are loudly declared as His very own. And over time, He even gives us ways to impact the Kingdom of God. We are given ways to passionately love, in a similar way to how Christ Jesus has loved us. While we will never be able to show the exact love He has shown, we can passionately love just as He has loved us.

Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God (1 Peter 5:2, NLT).

We are invited to feed the Kingdom of God. God has assigned to each of us a particular place of ministry. Maybe it is in our homes, through our blogs, or on the soccer field (or in the stands). Wherever you are: If you are a follower of our Lord Jesus Christ, then, this verse is for you.

You may not feel important “enough”, or equipped. But the truth of the matter is: God has a purpose for  your life. Before you were born or became engulfed in your trial, God set you aside with a specific purpose in mind. That purpose still stands.

We are invited to join our great Lord at work, and share the Good News with others. While every day isn’t our best day, we have been given many new opportunities to share with others that our God is the absolute best God and Savior! He is far greater than we could ever imagine, and He is working all things together for His good (and ours).

And the really good news is: we don’t have to actually see God’s hands moving – to know He is most definitely working. When things get tough and we begin to doubt He is working, may we remember faith is choosing to trust what we know about our great God – through His written word, the Bible!

Unsplash Photo: Scott Webb

In Him,
Stacey

Categories
Chronic Illness Godly Living Journal Serving

Shepherding + Obedience

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Ohh friends,

I want to share with you our “focus verse” for the rest of the week. It is soo late in the week, to call it a “memory verse”. But, I really appreciate the truth found in this verse.

The saying is true and irrefutable: If any man [eagerly] seeks the office of bishop (superintendent, overseer), he desires an excellent task (work). – 1 Tim. 3:1, AMPC

I have much to say on this verse, but I want to keep today’s blog post shorter than normal.


Friends, let us consider how we can draw nearer to our Risen Lord today.

I don’t know what you have going on. You may be crazy busy, or physically weaker than normal. Let us consider how we can seek the Lord.


Finding Wholeness in Him

When I seek Him, He fills me up with His Holy Spirit. I don’t want to miss this experience of being full of Him – and feeling complete.

And you are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life (Col. 2:10, AMPC). .

Normally people give themselves “one word” for 2018, I am finding out what mine is. A bit late? Drawing nearer is my goal for this year. I want to be drawn nearer to our Lord Jesus Christ – despite the circumstances of today.

Plant Based Eating

Today, I am on day 9 of being completely compliant on my new way of eating. I slipped up a bit last night, but overall it is going very well. This is something I am doing out of obedience.

I just want to obey the Lord and follow the direction He is leading me. I am realizing just how much I need to stay on this plant based way of eating.

As of yesterday, I “reappeared” on Instagram. I am hoping to be more vocal about this new way of eating, and maybe share recipes I am coming across and loving. Plenty of things going on, and as the Lord leads – I will share them here.

A Place to Minister

One of the reasons I love our verse is – it reminds me of the gift we have to shepherd others in the faith. As the Lord leads, He allows us to be there to love on and guide others.

This blog is an opportunity for me to live out this passion of mine – to shepherd and lead others closer to our Lord Jesus. Even if my days are filled with sickness or housework busyness, I can meet here and share what the Lord is putting on my heart.

Thank you all for being here, and allowing me to share.

In Him,

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Categories
Ambitions Goals

February Goals {& My “Why”}

In December, my goal was to practice Titus 2:5 in my own life. Honestly? =] Still working on it. Some days, it is more reflected in my attitude and choices than others. To add onto Titus 2:5, Philippians 1:27 is this month’s focus.

Women are “ to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled (Titus 2:5, ESV).”

Click here for full passage.

“Above all else, you must live in a way that brings honor to the good news about Christ. . . (Phil. 1:27, CEV).”

Do

  • Continue to cultivate a plant based way of eating, which is helping POTS a lot! My goal is to get back on track 100%. It’s been four months, but I can keep going strong and get better at it. IE) Make sure to have good food on hand like baked sweet potatoes. Prepare for intense temptation, when out.
  • Continue our Pressing On Toward Faithfulness study and blog series. God is speaking loudly through these sacred time, and showing me His presence. How could I miss this?!? 
  • My #OneGoal is still the same: to draw nearer to the Lord, despite health “flare up’s”. I need to keep “showing up” for this quality time with my loving Savior.

Learn

I want to learn how to live a stronger faith in our Risen Lord Jesus Christ, despite the hardships I face.

Read

I have several books on my “to read” list!

Blessed are the Misfits by Brant Hanson
Anchored In by Micah Maddox
Get Lost by Dannah Gresh

Be . . better

I just feel like things are messier than they need to be. These are my goals for Feb, and I want them to lead me into a closer relationship with the Lord. Things just feel messy right now due to poor choices.

Yet, I know the Lord Jesus is here. He is reminding to just not give up. He is giving me the strength to keep moving and tearfully cry out to Him. He is reminding to just hang onto Him and His precious words! . . . Because He is working in the midst of the pain.

Lately, my heart has been holding onto Psalm 23, where the Lord declares that He is my Shepherd and He is the One to restore my achy soul.

The Lord is my shepherd; I have what I need.
He lets me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside quiet waters.
He renews my life; he leads me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me (Ps. 23:1-4, CSB).

My why is simple: If I can feel better, I want to. I want to be able to function at a better level. And if routines and way of eating help me to do this, then, I want to do this.

This is partly about wellness, but it is about something else too: Obedience. I want to honor the Lord in what I say and do, including eating, reading, and all things.

In Him,

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Categories
Godly Living Updates

Memorable Posts of 2017

As we prepare the new year and the many possibilities awaiting us, I invite us to reexplore five handpicked articles from Gracefully Overcoming. 

  1. The Most Humbling Worship Offering {Romans 12:1}
  2. The Shepherd Who Protects {From “Summer Psalms ’17” series}
  3. Finding Captivating Love
  4. Alone with God {From our “Meeting the Thessalonians” Study}
  5. Learning About His Love {From our “Meeting the Thessalonians” Study}

While I excluded the “Inspiring Women” post, every one of those posts seemed memorable or life impacting (at the very least). Each delivered some home hitting message, that influenced me as I poured out my soul in words. Here are just three from that meaningful series.

  1. Praise Before Panic
  2. Strength in the Fight {My Testimony}
  3. That One Compliment

There are soo many things that we can learn from. In 2018, my hope is for us to become more of a heartfelt community of Jesus followers and lovers.

My hope is. . .

to share more genuine words – helping us to draw near to the Lord and keep picking up our Bibles, but to weigh my words (Prov. 15:28) as well.

Don’t forget to pick up your eight week journal for our newest study! {It’s only $6.25 on Amazon} Starting January 15th, we will be studying the Timothys and Titus – using a brand new journal for our time together. Every ounce of support we receive, helps keep this blog running. And, we are so thankful for you all!

Image by Brigitte Tohm.

In Christ,

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Categories
Chronological Bible Study

Genesis 27-29; Psalms 51-52

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Assigned Reading: Genesis 27-29; Psalms 51-52

Psalms –

Chapter 51 – The psalmist cried out for God’s great mercy, because he was faced with his sin. When we sin against God, there is nowhere to hide from the sin or its consequences, or from God. We need to become like the psalmist who runs to God, and confesses his sin. Not only does he rely on God’s mercy, he prays fervently for a big change to take place in his heart.

Create in me a clean heart, O God; restore within me a sense of being brand new. Do not throw me far away from Your presence, and do not remove Your Holy Spirit from me. Give back to me the deep delight of being saved by You; let Your willing Spirit sustain me (vv. 10-12, VOICE).

What sacrifice I can offer You is my broken spirit because a broken spirit, O God, a heart that honestly regrets the past, You won’t detest (vv. 17)

Chapter 52 – God’s unfailing love is what truly lasts. His love outshines every good and bad deed we will see on this earth. Not only is His love unfailing, we are reminded how perverse the heart can become, seeking only to be evil. While we could be like these wicked people, we have something they don’t – Someone they refuse: Jesus Christ, our Shield and the One True God. He gives us Himself, and shows us what His love is really like. And His love changes us completely, as we begin to enjoy sweet fellowship with King Jesus.

Genesis –

Chapter 27

Jacob stole Esau’s blessing, and this was a crafty decision that was not only premeditated but also one with many consequences. It would take years for reconciliation to occur between Jacob and Esau. The moment Jacob stole Esau’s blessing, he was on the run. Today, there are many families who face divisions like this. As a result of a decision, one of betrayal, there is a great separation between family members. The fleshly desires are not worth the devastating effect it has on families and other relationships.

Chapter 28

While Jacob deceived his father, Isaac still spoke tenderly to him and guided him in the direction he should go. Not only did Isaac guide Jacob, more importantly God spoke directly to Jacob and told him of his future. This would offer much encouragement to a weary soul, pondering his fate.

 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you (28:15, NIV).

Chapter 29 –

Rachel was a shepherdess. She carried the important task of caring for her father’s sheep. As we think about Rachel and her particular responsibility, we are reminded of her importance. Without due diligence, she might lose some of her sheep. I am reminded of how God calls some of His daughters to be a shepherdess. We are called to care for God’s people, giving them much attention, and loving them diligently (see 1 Peter 5). It is an important job. We know it’s important to note Rachel’s work responsibility, because it is mentioned in God’s precious Word!