Our Help and Defense

For He is our God. We are the people He watches over, the flock under His care. – (Psalm 95:7a, NLT)

He is our God, and we are the people He cares for, His sheep that walk by His side. – (Psalm 95:7a, ERV)

For He is our God and we are His people, the flock of His pasture, His sheep protected and nurtured by His hand. – (Psalm 95:7a, VOICE)

 

God is faithful. As we choose to submit to Him and place our trust in His hands, recognizing that we honestly cannot control our circumstances, yet God, who is greater than all, is willing and able to hold us in the palm of His hands and lead us through whatever comes our way; it is only then that we begin to see the power of His promise fantastically fulfilled. For me, (and my sister and mom) having to switch in-home care companies for mom’s stroke recovery rehabilitation therapists, due to the loss of a speech therapist from the former company, was both frustrating and terrifying. Mom had a wonderful rapport with her therapists, she worked hard for them, and trusted them completely. We had to embrace the idea of the new, albeit with some reservations, and anticipate that God had a plan for mom that was greater still. Yesterday, as mom worked with both the new occupational therapist and speech therapist, it became abundantly clear that these were the people whom God had selected for mom to work with now. During the first few weeks of mom’s in-home care, she benefited greatly from the enthusiasm and energy of the young therapists, who were just getting started in their careers. However, now, after a time of building up, she was ready for some veterans to come in and fine-tune; people with bigger bags of tricks, to take her to the next step of rehabilitation and recovery. God knew, even if we could not see past the initial loss of what was familiar. May we choose to trust in He, who is the Good Shepherd, ever watching over and protecting His sheep.

 

For He is our God, Our Help and Defense

And we too, are His;

We’re safe in His hands,

He does what He says.

Our God is faithful,

In love, He protects;

He makes our path plain,

Each step He directs.

Even in spaces,

That do not make sense;

He’ll be our anchor,

Our Help and Defense.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the Good Shepherd and that we are the flock that You lovingly care for and call by name. Thank You that You know us and love us and hold us in the hollow of Your hands. Forgive us for our fears and doubts when the road before us does not seem to make any sense. Teach us to trust You more, as You are our anchor in the storm and our calm in the chaos. Show us how to love those around us in a way that offers peace, security, strength and trust in times of trial. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we look to You, our Good Shepherd, and listen for Your voice, in all things and at all times, as You lovingly lead us and keep us safe. Amen.

 

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

 

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain. – Hebrews 6:19

Our Great Shepherd

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. – (Psalm 23:1-3a)

 

A shepherd leads, loves, cares for and protects his sheep, and knows them each by name. How much more does our Heavenly Father do this for us, as He is our Great Shepherd? As we trust in the Lord to lead us, His path and provision are more than enough to supply all that we need.

 

Green pastures and still waters invoke soothing spaces, as I imagine places that are plentiful in His peace. It is these very spaces that He calls our hearts to come, so that He may restore in us the very peace He intended for our hearts, minds and souls. Regardless of the chaos around us, in Him, there is peace. May we allow the Lord to lead us to lie down in green pastures and sit beside quiet waters, as He restores our souls.

 

Despite the chaos,Our Great Shepherd

He calls us to come;

rest in His pastures,

as tension is unstrung.

Beside still waters,

He restores each soul;

healing what’s broken,

He refreshes, makes whole.

He’s the Good Shepherd,

who knows all our needs;

the Lord will provide,

so that we shall succeed.

Succeed in His ways,

as we trust in Him;

fearless, undaunted,

through the Spirit within.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the Great Shepherd who leads us, loves us, guides and protects us, as You take us to places of peace when the world around us is in turmoil, and You restore our souls. Thank You that You are always present, even when we are unaware. Forgive us for not relying on You right away when trials come, or for seeking rest and refreshment anywhere other than where You lead. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may know the fullness of Your rest and restoration, as we then go forth and give back to a world in need. Lead us to love others well, just as You so perfectly love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we fearlessly follow the path You place before us, and rest and recharge when You ask. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence. – Acts 2:28

The Sheep of His Pasture

You my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, are people, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign Lord. – (Ezekiel 34:31)

 

These words were spoken by the Lord through Ezekiel, at the end of a prophesy of warning to those who were in leadership positions who had abused their authority and not cared for those whom they were meant to provide care. For those who had remained faithful, the Lord promised a covenant of peace and His blessing. God reminded them that He counted the faithful as His own, and that He would care for them, as would a good shepherd. Even more than that, the Lord assured them that He was their God, and His sovereignty was their assurance that He indeed has the supreme power and authority over all. The word given then, remains true throughout the ages. The Lord is still our Good Shepherd. He is our God and is sovereign over all. If we draw near to Him and give Him our heart, He counts us among His people. May we seek our Savior with our whole heart, and know His sovereignty in our lives.

 

May we be faithful,The little lamb

whole-heartedly seek;

our Savior and Lord,

as His humble sheep.

He is our Shepherd,

Who tends us with care;

provides safe pasture,

delivers us there.

When He is our God,

He forgives our sin;

He rules and He reigns,

our Lord, sovereign.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we seek You with our whole heart, You count us among Your people. Thank You that You shepherd us with Your loving kindness, and that You are sovereign over all. Thank You that no matter what comes our way, You are God, and You are greater. Forgive us for our fear and lack of faith, and help us to trust in Your unfailing love. Teach us to love as You so lavishly love us, and may many come to know You as their God, as we faithfully follow You. Be glorified, Lord God, as we go forth as the people of Your pasture. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Listen… be wise, and keep your heart on the right path. – Proverbs 23:19

He Knows His Sheep

I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know Me – (John 10:14)

 

Jesus was again addressing a crowd, trying to help them understand who He was, and what that could mean in their lives if only they would choose to believe for themselves. To be counted among His sheep, is everything. As the Good Shepherd, He lovingly guides us and knows us by name; yet fiercely protects us from the enemy, to the point of willingly laying His life down for ours. Our very human make-up has an innate need to know and be known. We are wired to be in relationship with our Good Shepherd. May we embrace the grace that He so freely gives, and seek to follow Him all of our days, as we choose to listen to His voice.

 

We are the sheep,Unfettered Forgiveness

of His pasture land;

granted His grace,

held up by His hand.

He calls our name,

and we know His voice;

kept safe from harm,

when He is our choice.

Not free from storms,

yet future’s secure;

promised presence,

His nearness assured.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Good Shepherd and that You call us by name. Thank You that when we choose to follow You, You help us to hear and know Your voice. Thank You that You lead us and guide us in Your love, and You willingly laid Your life down for ours, so that we have hope not only for today, but for all of eternity. Forgive us for becoming distracted by the dangers that lie outside of the pen of Your protection, and help us to fix our eyes securely on You, trusting that You are with us and will hold us steady, even in the strength of the storm. Lead us to love others as You so lavishly love us, and may many come to know You as their Good Shepherd too. Be exalted, Lord God, as we follow Your voice today. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; …write them on the tablet of your heart. – Proverbs 3:3

The Good Shepherd

Christmas is a remembrance of when Love came near.  God, came in flesh, so that all might know the saving grace that is available through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus, the Light unto the world, and the good Shepherd to all whom believe.

In John 10:11, it says, “I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Though few of us have much exposure to present-day shepherds, what I can gather from footnotes and other resources that I have read, is that shepherds treat their sheep as family, and are willing to lay down their own life to keep each of them safe from harm.  A shepherd’s love and commitment to care for his flock is not a paid position, but rather one’s chosen duty as he cares for each sheep as if it were his own precious progeny.

Jesus, throughout scripture, is called the Good Shepherd.  He is the ultimate example of one who loves us with His very life, and cares for each of us, individually.  When we make the decision to follow Him, we become the sheep of His flock – the people of His pasture.  The cross was endured on our behalf, so that we are forgiven and freed from all that would lead us away from the security of our Good Shepherd; and His resurrection and the sending of His Holy Spirit, provide us with the ability to hear and obey His voice, as well as the power to hold fast to the promise of our eternal hope.  What a treasured song to sing, when His glad tidings we choose to bring.

The Savior came near,The Good Shepherd

in flesh, became man;

still fully holy,

for us, came to stand.

The Light of the world,

came down to the earth;

an innocent child,

lowly stable birth.

Announced by angels,

to shepherds in field;

for they knew of love,

sacrificial yield.

Baby became man,

Good Shepherd to all;

who choose to follow,

and answer His call.

For He gave His life,

so our life we’d gain;

eternal promise,

the truth to proclaim.

Sing out, fellow sheep,

glad tidings to share;

for His hope is ours,

rejoice in His care.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Good Shepherd.  Thank You that You know us and love us, individually.  Thank You that You willingly laid down Your life, so that we could have life with You forever.  Forgive us for allowing the worries of the world to steal our joy, and help us to rejoice in the promises that are ours forever.  Help us to share the great news of who You are, and may many receive the gift of You this Christmas.  May we love as You love, so that Your light is evident in all that we say and do.  May our actions be announcements of Your goodness and grace.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.