Jesus Calling: June 26thStay calmly conscious of Me today, no matter what. Remember that I go before you as well as with you into the day. Nothing takes Me by surprise. I will not allow circumstances to overwhelm you, so long as you look to Me. I will help you cope with whatever the moment presents. Collaborating with Me brings blessings that far outweigh all your troubles. Awareness of My Presence contains Joy that can endure all eventualities.
Psalm 23:1-4 (NLT)
A psalm of David.
1 The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3 He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
4 Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
Additional insight regarding Psalm 23:1: In describing the Lord as a shepherd, David wrote out of his own experience because he had spent his early years caring for sheep (1st Samuel 16:11,11). Sheep are completely dependent on the shepherd for provision, guidance, and protection. The New Testament calls Jesus the good shepherd (John 10:11), the great Shepherd (Hebrews 13:20), and the Great Shepherd (1st Peter 5:4). As the Lord is the good shepherd, so we are his sheep - not frightened, passive animals, but obedient followers, wise enough to follow one who will lead us in the right places and in the right ways. This psalm does not focus on the animal-like qualities of sheep but on the discipleship qualities of those who follow. When you recognize the good shepherd, follow him!
Additional insight regarding Psalm 23:2-3: When we allow God, our shepherd, to guide us, we have contentment. When we choose to sin and go on our own way, however, we cannot blame God for the environment we create for ourselves. Our shepherd knows the "green meadows" and "peaceful streams" that will restore us. We will reach these places only by following him obediently. Rebelling against the shepherd's leading is actually rebelling against our own best interests. We must remember this the next time we are tempted to go our own way rather than the shepherd's way.
2nd Corinthians 4:16-17 (NLT)
16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!
Additional insight regarding 2nd Corinthians 4:16: It is easy to lose heart and quit. We all have faced problems in our relationships or in our work that has caused us to think about giving up. Rather than quitting when persecution wore him down, Paul concentrated on the inner strength that came from the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 3:16). Don't let fatigue, pain, or criticism force you off the job. Renew your commitment to serving Christ. Don't forsake your eternal reward because of the intensity of today's pain. Your very weakness allows the resurrection power of Christ to strengthen you moment by moment.
Additional insight regarding 2nd Corinthians 4:17: Our troubles should not diminish our faith or disillusion us. We should realize that there is a purpose in our suffering. Problems and human limitations have several benefits: 1) they remind us of Christ's suffering for us; 2) they keep us from pride; 3) they cause us to look beyond this brief life; 4) they give us opportunities to prove our faith to others; and 5) they give God the opportunity to demonstrate his power. See your troubles as opportunities!
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