Your mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens;
Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the great mountains;
Your judgments are a great deep;
O LORD, You preserve man and beast.
How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!
Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.
They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house,
And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.
For with You is the fountain of life ;
In Your light we see light.
Oh, continue Your lovingkindness to those who know You,
And Your righteousness to the upright in heart.
Imagine such BEAUTIFUL MERCY and LOVINGKINDNESS!!
God is so AMAZING!!
How we need to LOVE, PRAISE and OBEY Him!
For the LOVINGKINDNESS of God flows….
in mercy and faithfulness…
with countless goodness…
abundantly satisfying the hearts…
of those who KNOW God–
and of those who are UPRIGHT in HEART!
I LOVE that! He is so GOOD! And so deserving of ALL of our THANKS and PRAISE!! Every. Single. Day!!!
But this truth causes us to wonder…to look deep into our very own hearts…and ask ourselves…
…is that me?
Do I KNOW the Lord?
Am I truly UPRIGHT in heart?
…so that I may receive the LOVINGKINDNESS of God Himself?
If the answer is NO…
…if we are not…the story is NOT over–because, we may come to know God through His book of love, the Bible!
And through God, in Christ, we can be made clean…
having our hearts purified and cleansed!!
Such amazing LOVE the Father has for the children of men–for us!!
Won’t you reach out to Him in loving thankfulness–and receive His blessings?!
Below are some passages for further thought–on how that can be–through His beautiful grace:
The importance of KNOWING God:
They profess to know God , but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.
1 John 4:8
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God , for God is love.
Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
2 Thessalonians 1:7-12
…when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.
Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
What does the Lord say about being UPRIGHT or CLEAN in heart?
…let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
1 Peter 3:18-22
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. There is also an antitype which now saves us — baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.
Create in me a clean heart , O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
~~MUCH, MUCH THANKS to Krissy Barker for sharing this BEAUTIFUL pic with us all!!! Appreciation and hugs, Krissy!!~~
In John 10, Jesus paints a beautiful picture for us…can you just see it?…of a well-loved flock of sheep…with a warm and safe sheepfold…and a precious, protective and loving shepherd…whom they love to follow!
But then, on the sinister side, he tells of a robber and a thief that threatens their well-being….just as satan wants to steal our peace, joy and purpose.
Isn’t that like the struggles in our own lives? Good versus evil! Kindness competing with cruelty! Love fighting to win out over hatred! Hope shining even in the shadow of fear!
There’s wonderful news!! Because Jesus is that loving, good shepherd of John 10!
He is the originator of goodness…kindness…love…and hope!
And He wants to be our shepherd, guide and protector!
Does your heart long to reach out for His love, kindness, goodness and hope? Really, there’s nothing else but darkness, otherwise!
John 10:3-4 tells us,
“The sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.”
Knowing the shepherd’s voice—that’s so vital! We can grow to know Jesus’ voice, so that we’ll follow only Him!
We’ll come to know His voice as we spend time with Him…through His word, the Bible!
And it’s so worth our time and effort to know Him, because He has a beautiful promise for those who do! His promise? Life…more…abundant!
“…I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”
He wants to give us this abundant life! Jesus’ love is so great! He proved it by giving up His life for those who would love, follow and obey Him!
We could not follow any other who would or could love us more genuinely!
I would have missed them! The little parade of puffballs!
But my husband not only saw them as we drove along—he even turned around, went back, and parked, so that I could capture these pics for you!
Such a good guy!
Darling little things, these baby goslings…as soft and fragile as rose petals. It was a treat to watch them waddle and quack. But as I studied them, I was impressed by the fact that the majority of their interest and energy was focused on searching the ground for food. They were so intent!
You know—it’s a remarkable thing—have you ever thought about it—how that all healthy babies, human and animal, are born instinctively seeking!?
They seek nourishment—they seek comfort—they seek protection—they seek rest!
And likely you can think of other things they naturally seek, as well. Even without being instructed or educated, they’re born with an innate drive to have their basic, fundamental needs filled!
Why is that?
It’s a matter of survival!
If those needs are not met—they will die!
How is it that as newborn babies, we humans have no qualms about waking our mothers, even at 3 a.m., for our nourishment? We have no problem finding refuge with our parents during a midnight thunderstorm—even if it means disturbing their sleep? We need! We seek! And thankfully, they care!
Is it possible, that though we’re so keenly aware of our physical needs—that we may overlook or miss the absolute need for nourishing our spiritual selves?
We need to seek God—and His truth!
Just as these wee goslings were so intent on finding nourishment and then rest, we too must seek, and seek, then seek some more—to find spiritual truth and nourishment in God’s precious word! He longs to give it!
And then rest, contentment and comfort will follow!
Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the LORD,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
Years ago, when our children were small, it was important for them to “hide” beautiful truths from God’s holy word into their hearts. The truths are hidden deep in their hearts—still!
A beginning section of this passage was the first large one that they worked on learning—I can remember their efforts! You’d be impressed and surprised at the capacity of young ones to learn. (And it is a wonderful idea for us as well—to hide God’s word in our hearts!)
After much diligent effort to memorize the text, nothing beat the sparkle in our children’s eyes—and the big, happy and confident smiles, as they recited the passage to us, with such inner satisfaction at the accomplishment! It was beautiful!
But even more than memorizing the words—and all in the proper sequence—is understanding the majesty of the Lord this passage is describing! He is the God, so awesome, magnificent, powerful and wise—that it must fill our hearts with wonder and love to know that He wants each one of us to be His beloved child! And He certainly does!
His existence is eternal…His ability is without end…His energy is limitless…His understanding is unsearchable…and He gives power and strength to—please don’t miss this—to those who “wait on Him”, in expectation of His provision! Don’t you just love that!?
“Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
None of us will ever receive a sweeter invitation!
We all need what the LORD is offering!
Do you want to be His?
Your heart, your soul, longs to say, “Yes!”
Passages for further consideration and study:
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
1 John 3:1, 3
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!………..And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.
p.s. MUCH, MUCH THANKS! to our guest-photographer, for sharing the beautiful photo of this special place–Laura Hains–one of our children who learned this passage so long ago!! Love you!!
Praise the LORD!
Praise, O servants of the LORD,
Praise the name of the LORD!
Blessed be the name of the LORD
From this time forth and forevermore!
From the rising of the sun to its going down
The LORD’s name is to be praised.
The LORD is high above all nations,
His glory above the heavens.
Who is like the LORD our God, Who dwells on high,
Who humbles Himself to behold
The things that are in the heavens and in the earth?
It’s interesting to discover that the Hebrew word for ‘PRAISE’, found in this passage, means shine, and also, to celebrate!
Have you ever considered that the splendor of the sun cannot possibly be hidden in a cloudless sky?
And the sensational colours of a glorious, clear sunrise, or breath-taking sunset, like this one, can in no way be masked or erased from the sky! They shine with a beauty, intensity and brightness that delight our hearts!
In a far, far greater sense, God’s name must shine forth!
His name is to be praised!!
We—imagine such a thing—we can shine forth God’s name—we can celebrate His name—with our praise!……making known through our lives the absolute wonder of Who God is!!
HE is SO WORTHY to be PRAISED!!!
Let’s be busy praising Him with our lives—today!!!
Here are some verses for further consideration: Hebrews 13:15-16; Colossians 3:17; 1 Peter 4:11; John 14:21.
MUCH THANKS to our guest photographer, Amanda Coffman, for her kindness in sharing this beautiful sunset shot with us all!!! Just gorgeous!! THANK YOU Amanda!!
With the coming of beautiful sunny spring days once again, isn’t it easy to rejoice and feel hopeful? Certainly, springtime is a gift from God!
But can you discover in this passage something of far greater value?—something that can give us significantly amazing and lasting rejoicing? Rejoicing of the kind that can completely fill and satisfy our hearts as nothing else can!
For now…and eternity!
“Because You have been my help,
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
My soul follows close behind You;
Your right hand upholds me.
We see in this passage a beautiful description of a walk so close to God that it is pictured as one protected in the shadow of His wings—-following close behind Him, just as a child totters in his beloved father’s footsteps—-and actually held up by that loving Father’s strong and capable right hand!! What a beautiful picture for us of the rejoicing we may have too, if we follow close to the God Who loves us so very much!
That’s the gift He wants to give us!
Will your heart say, “Yes!”?
How will that happen?
Let’s notice the earlier verses from the same chapter in Psalm 63.
“O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory.
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless You while I live;”
True and real rejoicing is found in God…by the thirsty, seeking, and thankful soul! Is that you?!
(Matthew 5:6; Jeremiah 29:13; Psalm 28:7; Romans 6:1-11.)
p.s. I hope you enjoyed the pretties in the photo! I am so blessed with dear and precious friends! The beautiful antique hand-painted china plate is a gift from one dear and precious friend—-and the lovely soft pink tulips, a gift from other dear and precious ones!! I just had to capture them in a picture to share with you all here! THANK YOU Marilyn! THANK YOU Lynn and Wayne!
p.p.s. Please feel welcome to copy and paste this graphic, if you would like it for personal use! This image would make beautiful cards!
Are you one of those people who just love the haunting sound of the Canada geese in flight?
And you’re delighted to welcome them home each spring, if you live in the northern climes? Well I am one of those spring people, too!
Opening the window this morning to let in the fresh air, I heard them! The geese were coming! And straining my eyes and searching the horizon, I could eventually see the flock!
But—there was a serious problem! The formation was flying—south!—instead of north!
The entire flock was following a leader—the wrong way! It was disturbing to watch—because I knew that all the days they’d already been flying—all the miles that they’d already covered—were being wasted if the flock completely back-tracked south!
Guys! Geese! North is the opposite way! Your destination is behind you! You CANNOT reach it going south! What are you thinking!
As I watched, the flock began to veer west. Good for you! But only for a moment—and then the whole flock began a southerly flight-path again!
Why? Why are you all going the wrong way?!
What was the leader thinking—what were they all thinking? Or were the followers not thinking at all—but totally relying on the lead goose? I wondered about their built-in sense of direction—had they forgotten to check with their inner compasses? Or was the wind throwing them off course? One-hundred and eighty degrees off course? Yet they continued in their wasteful southern flight.
You’ve already covered that ground, geese! Why are you going in a big wasteful circle?
And then it happened! From somewhere in the back of the flock, I could see two strong geese flying quickly against the present course! That meant they knew! They knew the flock was on the wrong trajectory! And they were willing to do something to change that, if they could! With necks straining and wings flapping harder than the others above their heads that were flying southward, these two geese were determined to lead the entire flock in a different direction! They were straining to reach the edge of the flock where they could lead in the proper direction. Way to go! Diligently they struck across the wayward flock’s formation, and soon others noticed them! And how could they not—for the two geese certainly stood out! They were flying in a different direction from their peers!
When they reached the edge of the formation, they just kept on flying—hoping that at least some others would follow them—and it worked! I have no idea what the original lead goose must have thought as the entire formation shifted away from his course and followed the other two birds—but it worked, and the whole mass changed direction! It was amazing to see—and demonstrated so clearly the power of one or two strong and brave souls to help others see truth clearly!
There are many reasons that we go off course—distractions; false information; a false sense of direction; overwhelming winds or storms!
But there’s-only-one-true-compass! God’s truth—His word! We must grab a hold of it—and cherish it! We need God’s word entrenched in our hearts—to arrive at the final, happy, glorious destination! It will be so worth it–but it’s going to take much quality time, searching God’s word, the Bible, and praying for His help, as we seek Him!
Maybe you will be the influence for change in the direction of those around you! Truth is worth sharing! And there’s room in heaven for those who will seek God with all of their hearts!
So, in which direction will you be flying?
Make me walk in the path of Your commandments,
For I delight in it.
Incline my heart to Your testimonies,
But the path of the just is like the shining sun,
That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.
The way of the wicked is like darkness;
They do not know what makes them stumble.
My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
Do not let them depart from your eyes;
Keep them in the midst of your heart;
For they are life to those who find them,
And health to all their flesh.
Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.
I can remember as a child playing the game of Hide and Seek…you do too, don’t you?
I’d hear the words, “One, two, three, four….” and my little heart would skip and my adrenaline would start rushing, while my young mind and bare feet were just scrambling to hurry and find a safe place to take cover–quick!–before I was caught!
And I thought I was a pretty good “hider”! After all, the object was to NOT be found. I could conceal myself in closets or under the bed, or if outside, climbing a tree or hiding behind bushes could work just fine, making the “finder” work all the harder…which was the point! I was only safe if I wasn’t found!
And I suppose that’s just why no one enjoyed being “it”–because that meant a lot of hard work looking for players that didn’t want to be found!
In the spiritual realm—I’m just so grateful that we’re not playing a game of Hide and Seek–because the LORD Who loves us so intensely, WANTS to be found…
…by you and me!!
He’s NOT hiding!
He wants to have a connection with us–a real, living, vibrant, blessing-filled relationship! He wants to be our Father! An utterly amazing thought!
That’s why Psalm 40:16 affirms that those who really, truly seek God WILL be able to rejoice in Him! Because–please consider this–in truth–only when we FIND Him are we really SAFE!
God is precious—and a rich, loving relation with Him is so worth having!! It will bring nothing but soul-satisfying rejoicing! Truly! Guaranteed!
“…you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Jeremiah 29:13.
…with all your heart…and all your soul!
Are you seeking Him?
p.s. Don’t be shy if you want to talk about this–please just send your thoughts in the comment section.