Good morning, and welcome to His Encouragement Thursday! I don’t know about you, but Thursdays are my struggle day of the week. By Thursday, I have already been working hard at school and at home, and I just wish it would hurry up and be Friday already. LOL! I definitely need a little extra Jesus time on Thursdays.
Trisha, my blogger friend at Joy of Reading, and I decided on calling this post “His Encouragement” because our real source of peace, strength, and security can only come from Jesus Christ. He, and He alone, is our constant! We pray and hope that these Thursday posts become a real encouragement to you and help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you. God bless!
Today’s Thursday Encouragement comes from:
Psalm 23:1 (NLT)
The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.
When I came home from work yesterday, I really needed some “God and Me” time. I knew I was too stressed to think deeply about a text, so I grabbed my NLT Inspire Journal Bible and color pencils. Sometimes, a girl just needs coloring time with her Abba!
The page I’m working on coincides with Psalm 23. Yesterday, while I was coloring the page, I started to wonder why this Psalm is said at funerals. It doesn’t actually talk about dying. So, I stopped coloring and started looking for commentary. I found this great video of a Rabbi named Zalman Schachter-Shalomi explicating the Psalm. It’s a quick, interesting video that I will share at the end of this post so you can see it too.
God is our Shepherd, and we are His sheep.
I once heard this really cool sermon that explained that sheep learn their master’s voice. So, if you had two shepherds out in a large field with their two flocks, when shepherd A called for his sheep only shepherd A’s sheep would come to him because they know their shepherd’s voice. It’s a really cool concept that totally applies to our relationship with God. When we choose to be led by God, we recognize His Voice!
In the video, the Rabbi explains that verse 1 does mean that a follower of God is God’s sheep. But, he included this wonderful fact — the Hebrew word used for shepherd (ra`ah) is related to the Hebrew word that means “pal” or “buddy.” In essence, the type of relationship that God wants with us is one of “best friend” status.
Think about your earthly best friend. How do you talk to this person? When do you talk to this person? Only in times of good, or every single day no matter what? Can you freely share anything with this person? Are you ever afraid that you will lose this person because of your own flaws? God has blessed me so BIG by giving me a best friend whom I can talk to freely any time of the day (or night). I am never afraid of losing my best friend because she has seen me at my best, worst, and everything in between. This is one of the most important relationships I have on this earth, and I cherish her immensely.
The relationship I share with my best friend is exactly the kind of relationship that God wants with you and with me!
When I get in my car and drive to work I talk to God. I imagine that He is sitting with me in my car and I talk. I talk about my day, my worries, my fears, my hopes, my expectations. I ask Him to forgive my mistakes that I’ve already made, and the ones I probably will make later in the day. I invite Him to walk side-by-side with me, and I ask the Holy Spirit to give me the proper words, thoughts, and actions for the day. I talk to God about my daughter’s and husband’s days. I talk to Him about my best friend and her cancer treatments. I talk to Him about my students. I ask God to show me the things He wants me learn that day with my students, daughter, husband, and friends. I think I would be lost if I didn’t have this drive time. I absolutely love this time, and it helps me to relate to God on a “best-friend” level. Try it sometime if you don’t already do this. It’s awesome!
The second half of Psalm 23:1 is a follow up to this “best-friend” idea. When you do relate to God as if He is your best pal hanging out next to you as you go about your day, you realize that you really do have all you need. What more could a person need in life than having God — the creator of the known and unknown universes — as your best friend?
Psalm 23:1 is such a phenomenal verse! If you are struggling today, just remember that God wants you for His best friend.
***Just a warning in case you are sensitive to word issues. Rabbi Zalman uses one bad word. It is not meant to offend, but I wanted to warn you just in case. ***
Video was originally published to YouTube on March 17, 2011 by Cathy Zheutlin.
NOW, IT’S YOUR TURN!
WHAT BIBLICAL VERSE IS ENCOURAGING YOU TODAY?
Check out more Thursday Encouragement from my fellow blogger friends:
Trisha @ Joy of Reading
Jacquelyn @ A Heavenly Home
Jessica @ A Baker’s Perspective
Becca @ The Becca Files
Jenny @ Author Jenny Lynn
And, welcome to our newest member, Gina @ Stories by Gina!