Christian, women

Tuesday’s Verse, 10/19/21

“so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11 NIV Read full chapter

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to know more about Jesus? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

realchristianwomen.blog  

Christian, women

A Verse for Meditation, 10/7/21

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 NIV Read full chapter

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to know more about Jesus? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

Photo by Erriko Boccia on Unsplash

realchristianwomen.blog  

Christian, women

Monday’s Verse, 10/4/21

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:2-4 NLT Read full chapter

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to know more about Jesus? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

Photo by Anna French on Unsplash

realchristianwomen.blog  

Christian, women

Sunday’s Memory Verse, 10/3/21

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5 NIV Read full chapter

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to know more about Jesus? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog  

Christian, women

Have You Been Offended?

Have you ever been offended by someone or had your feelings hurt? I’m pretty sure we could all say “Yes!”

One morning, many years ago, I arrived at the women’s Bible study I attended only to discover they were having a pot luck and no one had told me about it. It really hurt my feelings. I felt left out and angry. I went home offended.

My Bible study teacher recognized what was happening. The next time I saw her, she handed me an index card with this Scripture written on it:

“A person’s wisdom yields patience;
    it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” Proverbs 19:11 NIV

I had never read that verse before. God was teaching me something new. I didn’t know it then, but it would be life changing.

One of Satan’s favorite ways to sabotage the work of the Church is to get Christians offended by one another. Maybe you were treated unfairly. Maybe someone did hurt your feelings. When you decide to overlook an offense you are defeating a scheme of the enemy!

“Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.” 2 Corinthians 2:10-11 NIV

One of my favorite Bible characters is King David. Before he became king, he endured many trials. His determination to know and obey God formed his character until he was ready to serve as the king

One of the things he had to learn was to overlook offenses. There are many lessons to be learned from the story of David and Goliath. But I want to point out that before David slew the giant, he had three opportunities to be offended. How might this story have turned out differently if David would have given in to self-pity, hurt feelings, anger and resentment?

First, his brothers insulted him. David asked the men standing near him,

“What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

They repeated to him what they had been saying and told him, “This is what will be done for the man who kills him.”

When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”

“Now what have I done?” said David. “Can’t I even speak?”  He then turned away to someone else and brought up the same matter, and the men answered him as before. 1 Samuel 17:26-30 NIV

Next, David is insulted by King Saul.

David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”

Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.” (vs.32-33)

Finally, the giant insults David.

Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!” (vs. 41-44)

As most of us know, David killed the giant. David didn’t stand up for himself or justify himself. He overlooked the offenses and defeated the giant.

“Fools show their annoyance at once,
    but the prudent overlook an insult.” Proverbs 12:16 NIV

Once we understand that unforgiveness, anger, and resentment are the ploy of the enemy to stop us, we can rise up and refuse to be offended. We must not nurse the grudge or feed the hurt.

Refusing to be offended by other people is actually an act of mature love. The more love you have in your heart, the harder it is for someone to personally offend you. The less love you have in your heart, the more insecure you feel and the easier it is to offend you.

Pastor Rick Warren

The next time you’re offended or hurt (especially if it happens at church), recognize it for what it is: the enemy’s trick! Love overlooks the offense!

For a deeper understanding of dealing with offenses, read this excellent article by Pastor Rick Warren. Love Overlooks Offenses

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to know more about Jesus? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog  

Christian, women

Sunday’s Memory Verse, 9/26/21

Your word is a lamp for my feet,
    a light on my path. Psalm 119:105 NIV Read full chapter

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

realchristianwomen.blog  

Christian, women

Tuesday’s Verse, 9/21/21

 “Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” John 21:25 ESV Read full chapter

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to know more about Jesus? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

realchristianwomen.blog  

Christian, women

A Shepherd’s Perspective on Psalm 23

“I have concluded based on my years of experience that sheep are stupid. Not just stupid but mind-numbingly stupid— sometimes I wonder how they manage to breath and eat.” Glenn Brunkow, Rancher¹

Somehow, that quote from Brunkow gives me comfort. God wants to lead us, feed us, and guide us. Our responsibility is to just obey.

*********

I’m re-reading a fascinating book by Phillip Keller called A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23.² Keller was a shepherd for years and explains many things about sheep that most people don’t know.The book is eye-opening and provides a deeper understanding of our relationship with the Lord, the Great Shepherd.

I memorized Psalm 23 as a young child and received a glow-in-the-dark cross for a reward. I can still recite it after all these years! I am thankful for my Sunday School teachers who required it and my grandmother who helped me learn it. I consider it a great blessing in my life. (If you haven’t memorized it, I highly recommend that you do!)

“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 23 KJV

The shepherd watches over his sheep day and night. They cannot take care of themselves, and they get into all kinds of trouble. They will drink polluted water, wander off and be attacked by a wild animals, get stuck in the same fence repeatedly, etc.

” … he who watches over you will not slumber” Psalm 121:3 NIV

Sheep are fearful, timid, and skittish. A rabbit hopping by suddenly can send them into a panic. But they calm down when the shepherd walks into view, and they are comforted. So many times in my life, when I was in a panic, the Lord has comforted me and calmed my fears. That’s when I wonder how people who don’t know Him get through tough times.

We do “not want” because Jesus is always with us, in good times and in bad.  Our joy and peace comes from His presence in our life, not in what we have or the way life goes. We are content to be led by Him, doing His will.

One thing I found interesting is the fact that like humans, some sheep refuse to follow the shepherd and instead do their own thing. (Ouch!) This can result in lots of serious problems for the sheep, problems they would have never experienced – if only they had followed the shepherd. (I could write a book about all the times I did my own thing instead of following the Good Shepherd. It never turned out well!)

Without a shepherd, the sheep blindly follow other sheep. When one walks over a cliff, the others follow right behind him!

Keller tells how he would lead his sheep to a clean, clear stream and a stubborn ewe would go off and drink from a polluted, parasite-infested puddle instead. Isn’t that what some people do? We choose the unclean ways of the world instead of the ways of God.

Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” John 7:37-38 NIV

A good shepherd provides good forage for the sheep, lush green vegetation, so that the sheep can have plenty to eat, grow, and thrive. However, some sheep will wander off and eat from barren, dry brush instead. Many times, we prefer to feed on the barren ground of the world around us instead of the peace and comfort that comes from dwelling in His Word and walking in His steps.

The final parallel I want to share is the most extraordinary. Sheep must have plenty of pure clean water. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to lead them to a lush green field heavy with morning dew.

The sheep can keep fit and hydrated for months just by grazing right before dawn when the field is heavy with dew. The sheep feed heavily and are most content at this time of day. A good shepherd will make sure his sheep have this opportunity to drink in the “still waters” of dew.

“In the Christian life it is of more than passing significance to observe that those who are often the most serene, most confident and able to cope with life’s complexities are those who rise early each day to feed on God’s Word.” (Keller)

These are just a few of the many insights from A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by Phillip Keller.

I don’t know about you, but it gives me great comfort to know that I don’t have to be smart to thrive. I need only to follow Jesus, the Great Shepherd. He leads us by His Word.

Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” Isaiah 53:6 NIV

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11 NIV

“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.” Matthew 18:12-14 NIV

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to know more about Jesus? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

¹https://www.agupdate.com/midwestmessenger/opinion/columnists/glenn_brunkow/the-questionable-intelligence-of-sheep/article_69540f07-7577-5559-bfde-a31ea95acc0c.html

²ISBN 0-310-26790-0 available on Amazon

realchristianwomen.blog  

Christian, women

Sunday’s Memory Verse, 8/22/21

“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.” Ephesians 4:2 NLT Read full chapter

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

realchristianwomen.blog  

Christian, women

Tuesday’s Verse, 8/17/21

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 NIV Read full chapter

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

realchristianwomen.blog