Know that the Lord is God— he made us; we belong to him. We are his people, the sheep of his own pasture ~Psalms 100:3
Shepherds played an important role in the world of Israel. Their work was to find grass and water for the sheep and to protect them from wild animals and tend to their sickness and wounds. It required them to spend long hours exposed to the natural elements. It was not and easy life.
It was to the shepherds the angels first announced the birth of Jesus. This was especially appropriate since Jesus’ famous ancestor, David, had centuries earlier watched the family’s sheep in those same fields near Bethlehem.
It also reminds us that the coming of Jesus is good news for all people, not just those already privileged by wealth and power.
The important role of the shepherd is used often in the New Testament to teach us about Jesus. He is the Good Shepherd who gives His life for His sheep (John 10:1-18).
Psalm 100 is and invitation to enter joyfully into God’s presence. He is faithful and extends that faithfulness to us and beyond our generation forever.
He is ours and we are His.
God is all-knowing and ever present. He is beautiful and desirable. He is Creator. He is good and generous, great and sovereign. Holy, loving, and faithful. He is merciful, forgiving, and powerful. Ready and willing to reveal His will, law, and direction. He is righteous and just, and His Spirit is sweet.
And, He says to us:
I am your God and your are my sheep.
This. This makes me stand to my feet and applaud God. To bring a gift of laughter, and sing myself into His presence. For I know this: Jesus is my LORD. He made us….we didn’t make Him. We are His people, His well-tended sheep. I enter His presence and say THANK YOU! I make myself right at home with Him, and praise Him the whole time.
Thank Him. Worship Him. For God is sheer beauty, all-generous in love, loyal and always and ever.
Psalm 100 (The Message)
Dear child of God, sister, mother, brother, father, son, daughter, friend, family or foe,
Let’s get our praise on…
You are beloved of the most high GOD. The One True GOD. You are bought, paid for, redeemed, restored, re-done, repurposed, and worth it. He is crazy about you, mad about you, obsessed about you, His mind is stayed on you.
You are beautiful. His eye is always in you. All heaven praises and celebrates you. If you falter, He will drop what He’s doing and come running for you. Everything He does is a solution for you. There is nothing you can do to make Him love you any less and there is nothing you can do to make Him love you any more. YOU.ARE.SET.FREE!!
The Creator of the sun, moon, stars, day, night, land, air, sea, mountains, trees, seasons, and mankind has you in the palm of His hands. You are the apple of His eye. He created you in His image to reflect His love to this world. You, my friend, my sister, my brother, are His love song to this world. The Word That Became Flesh became you on that cross so that you could become Him in this world.
He is mighty, He is power and He calls you friend. He goes before you, behind you, stands beside you, makes your paths straight, and directs you. He covers you, protects you, and shelters you.
He spoke the world into existence, and the sound of your voice turns His head.
He takes the unlikely and makes them the one. He takes the unqualified and gives them power and position. He takes the unworthy and gives them a crown. He takes the humble and gives them a seat of honor; love and acceptance to the unlovable. He takes the sick and makes them whole….hope to the hopeless. Trades sorrow for joy, pain for pleasure, fear for perfect peace. His burden is light.
Hear that beat? Here that music thumping? Come on, get up! Let’s get our praise ON!
Today God Is First
“One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike” Rom 14:5
Avodah (Ah´-voe-dah) is a Hebrew noun used in the Bible that has two distinct yet intertwined meanings: worship and work. It is also derived from the Hebrew verb L’Avod which has two meanings; to work and also to worship. The dual meaning offers powerful wisdom for modern times for how we are to view our work lives.
Work, if done with and unto God, is a form of worship in the biblical Hebrew context. There has never been a concept of segmenting our work from our faith life in the Bible. It is in the realm of the sacred to bring God into our everyday life. Hebrews did not set aside a “day of worship,” such as Saturday or Sunday, but everyday is a place and time of worship. They did set aside a Sabbath day of rest.
It is a western idea to segment one’s faith life from our work like. In the Middle East and Asia, their cultures would never separate their faith from their work life even though their faith foundations might clearly contradict Christian beliefs. When someone comes to faith in Christ from this area of the world, they have an easier time of assimilating their faith into their work because they have always done so.
God calls us to do our work as an act of worship to Him. Our work is not to be a place of sweat and toil, but an expression of our love, faith and adoration of Jesus Christ. Today, before you work, ask God to help you see your work in a new way–as worship to Him.
Ever have that time with the Lord? You know, that time. When His presence is so thick and He is absolutely skin to skin? Beautiful. Breathtaking. Wonderful. Speechless. Grateful. Wow.
I crave that. I love it with all of my being. Nothing I like more. No thing.
I love it so much and I want to walk in it constantly. I can’t stand it when it fades. I say, “No! Stay a while longer!”
I began asking the Lord why we couldn’t stay like that
“Why do You come so close, and then fade?
Why can’t I stay cheek to cheek with You?”
I asked Him this everyday for a few days every time it happened. I am SUCH a Daddy’s girl (Daddy in the sense of my heavenly Daddy. My favorite name for Him). I love crawling into His lap and cuddling. I love watching Him work in His dynamite power. I love everything about Him. Every part. I am sold-out-head-over-heels for Him
One morning, not long after, I was in the shower and I was singing and worshipping my heart out when He came so close that my Spirit was so full and was crying sweet tears. Know what I mean? When your spirit is so close to the Lord and you weep without crying? I LOVE IT EVERY TIME!! I wasn’t even taking a shower anymore as I stopped and just wailed and worshipped the King of Kings and my Daddy. Sweet. Powerful. Lovely. Breathtaking. Nothing like it.
Then God said….see, daughter, this is why you can’t stay this close to me….you are a hot mess! Can you imagine how you could be useful in this world like this? You wouldn’t get a thing done and would be on your face all the time! You can’t handle it.
God says, I can’t handle Him…..
all the time….
I just lay everything down. Stop what I’m doing. My spirit can’t be that close to my maker without stopping and reveling in it….rolling around in it….bathing in it. Just can’t. He has to move just far enough away, and cover me with His hand because I just can’t stand it.
When I’m that near, I’m consumed and on my face.
Couldn’t you just picture seeing me at a restaurant? You walk by and see that poor waitress trying to understand me as I sit with my face down on the table, crying, and saying, “I’ll haaaaave an i i ice waaaterrrrr with leeemoooonnnnn.” Wouldn’t I look hilarious scooting around with my face on the ground?
However, He’s always close…..He never leaves me. I’m always in His presence. There is no escape from God’s presence. Isn’t that WONDERFUL?! That just sends me flying!
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. Psalm 139:7-10
Ahhh, David sure knew how to adore God didn’t he? He’s a master Jesus-jigging dude! When we see in 2 Samuel how he danced and whirled with all his might before the Lord we can take note that he was indeed a Jesus jigging master and said he would “become even more undignified than this and lose all dignity even to the point of embarrassing himself for his Lord”!
I would not be embarrassed and would gladly become undignified for my Lord. He is right that I can’t handle being that close all the time. I would explode! But, thank God He never leaves me, and He forever speaks. He’ll always be enough–always blow my mind and flip me out–always bamboozle me and I LOVE IT!
I love you deeply. Walk in worship with the King.