A Beautiful Life

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Psalm 16:9-11 (The Voice)

This is a good life—my heart is glad, my soul is full of joy,
    and my body is at rest.
    Who could want for more?

You will not abandon me to experience death and the grave
    or leave me to rot alone.

Instead, You direct me on the path that leads to a beautiful life.
    As I walk with You, the pleasures are never-ending,
    and I know true joy and contentment.

This Psalm is accredited to King David. David had his share of victories and challenges. Even when things were tragic, the pursuit of Saul on his life, the death of his son, the rebellion of his people, he chose to focus on God and the good.

David and God had a close relationship. Even when David was a young shepherd, he could be found out in the pastures singing and playing worship songs to God on his lyre.

There is a messianic passage in this psalm, where David prophetically announces “You will not abandon me to experience death and the grave or leave me to rot alone.” This was given to David to speak of Jesus’s resurrection.

Many of David’s Psalms are prophetic. During times of worship as you focus on our Heavenly Father, you will build your relationship with Him and He will even share His secrets with you.

David rose from shepherd to King. He reigned over Israel for forty years, he saw his son Solomon, whom he chose, succeed him; and the Bible says he died of old age. (1 Kings 2:1) As you walk with the Lord daily, as David did, you will deepen your relationship with Him. You will find yourself content as He “directs you down a path that leads to beautiful life.” As you worship Him, His presence will restore and energize you, you will discover the divine design for which you have been created and a purposeful incredible future.

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Jesus’s Entourage

Luke 15 1-7 (The Message)   By this time a lot of men and women of doubtful reputation were hanging around Jesus, listening intently. The Pharisees and religion scholars were not pleased, not at all pleased. They growled, “He takes in sinners and eats meals with them, treating them like old friends.” Their grumbling triggered this story.

“Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it? When found, you can be sure you would put it across your shoulders, rejoicing, and when you got home call in your friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Celebrate with me! I’ve found my lost sheep!’ Count on it—there’s more joy in heaven over one sinner’s rescued life than over ninety-nine good people in no need of rescue.
I love that people who had doubtful reputations felt comfortable hanging out with Jesus. I love to picture Jesus’s entourage. There would have been tax-collectors (basically mobsters), prostitutes, cussing fishermen and every misfit and outcast in that society. These folks listened intently to Him while the self-righteous religious people were upset, grumbling and complaining about Jesus’s accessibility to ordinary flawed messed up people like you and me. The world has not changed much. It’s still the self-righteous who try to keep ordinary people from an open-armed Savior.
A meal in the day of Jesus symbolized intimacy, friendship and family, and Jesus spent time eating and drinking with so-called “sinners.” He invited people who were judged by others into a relationship to be a part of His family.
So Jesus told a story to them about a Good Shepherd. In this story the Shepherd would leave his livelihood, his safe dwelling and venture into unknown territory, all to rescue the one. In that day if a sheep was lost from the herd, he could be devoured by predators, stray far from food, or possibly lose his footing; and without help to get back on his feet, he would waste away. But the good shepherd sought the one and when He found him, He would drape the sheep across His shoulders, bring him home and call for a celebration.
What is the sheep’s part? All the sheep has to do is not wiggle or run away, but relax into the strong shoulders of the shepherd and be carried home. We all are that lost sheep at times. We run away, we do our own thing and often find ourselves lost and broken; but in the Shepherd’s embrace we find peace, wholeness and unconditional love. Our part is to relax and receive the warm embrace of the One who loves us, the Shepherd of our soul.

Breathe in a New Level of Grace

 

72fa1469571df8300d97c75322d25ce3John 1:16-18 (The Amplified) For out of His fullness (abundance) we have all received [all had a share and we were all supplied with] one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift [heaped] upon gift.

For while the Law was given through Moses, grace unearned, undeserved favor and spiritual blessing) and truth came through Jesus Christ.

 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Continue reading “Breathe in a New Level of Grace”