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Today’s Truth

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. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely, goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Psalm 23

Friend to Friend

In my last devotion, I described a special Saturday evening revival service at our small country church. I sat in my usual spot, desperately clutching the back of the pew in front of me while wrestling with God over the condition of my soul and my eternal security. After all, I was a very active church member, a soloist and pianist for our worship services, and even directed a children’s choir. I never missed a service unless I was deathly ill. I was a leader in our youth group, rarely failed to attend a youth activity and often brought friends who were lost, unlike me, of course, and needed to know God. How embarrassing to walk down that aisle, admitting to everyone that I had been living a lie. I clung to that pew in sheer arrogance and argued that I was a Christian. I must be. Look at all of the good things I had done. I looked liked a believer, talked like a believer and even acted like I was fully devoted to God … but was I really a follower of God?

As I contemplated the answer to that question, a startling certainty hit me like a ton of bricks! I knew all about God – and then the deeper truth of that reality followed closely behind. Yes, I had certainly accumulated a lot of knowledge about God, but I did not know Him. It wasn’t enough for me or for God.

I have come to realize that God’s perfect love settles for nothing less than an intimate and loving relationship with His children. That night, I stood in the darkness, gazing at the star-filled heavens and cried out, “God, if You are who You really say You are, I give everything I know about me to everything I know about You. I surrender.” I met Jesus Christ that night.

While the course of my life was changed forever, I quickly discovered that I still had to deal with life on a daily basis, and I still had to face stressful situations. However, I also discovered who I really was – a sheep – and being a sheep is awesome!

When I am afraid, Jesus Christ is there to bring peace.

When my heart is broken, the Holy Spirit comforts and restores me.

Even when I found myself in a deep, dark pit of clinical depression, Jesus Christ, my Shepherd, led me from the darkness into the light.

I began to understand the incredible truth that Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, had planned my very existence, prepared a plan in response to his love for me, and even made provision for the payment of my past, present and future sin.

I was wanted, chosen and marked for God.

I no longer had to live life on my own because I now had a Shepherd.

God’s love precedes me, goes before me and surrounds me as I live each day. Knowing that we are loved fosters peace in our hearts, and when our hearts are filled with peace, there is little room for stress.

Actually, when you think about it, sheep don’t come across as stressed-out creatures. In fact, they seem almost oblivious to the dangers of being a sheep. Sheep don’t seem to worry about where their next meal is coming from, if they will have a place to sleep each night, when the next enemy or thief will attack, or even what the next day holds. When sheep are sick, they simply turn to their Shepherd, instinctively knowing that He will take care of them and comfort them until healing comes.

We need to remember and even revisit the fact that we are all sheep; that Jesus Christ really is our Shepherd and that nothing else really matters.

Let’s Pray

I am so needy, Lord. Everywhere I turn, I am inadequate in my own strength, power and abilities. I waste so much time and energy trying to be everything You already are. Help me remember that I don’t have to depend upon my sufficiency. I can always and forever depend on Yours alone. I am Your sheep. And You are my Shepherd. Praise God!

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

I encourage you to read Psalm 23 every day for one week. At the end of that week, examine your stress level. Has it changed? How has your stress level changed?

More from the Girlfriends

What does it mean to trust God? What would your life look like if you were walking by faith and trusting God with your whole heart? The 10-Day Trust Adventure addresses every decision you make in every area of your life – including your past and future, your family and friendships, your finances and work – and how to make those decisions as you step out in faith and really trust God.

Be sure to check out the FREE MP3s on Mary’s website and connect with Mary through E-mail, Twitter, Instagram, Shopify, or on Facebook.

2 Responses to “I Surrender Part 2”

  1. Georgea . says:

    This is excellent, i need to remember who i am, (a lamb) & Jesus is my Shepherd, HE always takes care of me. Please help me pray for what HE wants for my future. (Retirement )????? When????? What HE wants me to do???? (My earthly father was a Shepherd in Greece as a young boy) My HEAVENLY FATHER has been so good to me) i am blessed and thankful! !!

  2. Jenny says:

    Thank you for being faithful to God, our Father. Again, email my inbox had just what I needed to hear to calm my anxiety.
    On Jan 16th, my husband of 40 yrs asked me for a divorce. I will spare details other than somehow we have made mange’s to things work for all these yrs and raised children that are happy, successful and healthy dispites the fact that In marriage, we have been and still are incomparable in just about every aspect. I now understand why his heart was far from me. I will not contest and honestly am thankful to be free from the stresses of living with someone who for all these years, has been more a roommate than a spouse. I could not have made it this far without God’s hand on my life and our “arrangement for the sake of our children”. Looking back in hindsight, God has been there for me at every turn, every crisis, every need! Now with my future being unsettled and uncertain and in the midst of splitting our assets, I needed to be reminded that He is my Shepherd! I do ask for prayers. God knows all the details and all the needs and I also ask for Him to use this to bring my husband to Him and to open the doors for me to serve the kingdom in whatever way His plan leads.
    Thank you again for following where God leads you in this ministry!
    In Him and with thanksgiving and love,
    Jenny

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8