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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Horses in pasture 5/2/16 (Click to enlarge)
Horses in green pasture
(click to enlarge)

"The Blessing Of Green Pasture"

Message Summary: Let us rejoice in the green pasture that our loving Lord has abundantly provided for His children!

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"He makes me lie down in green pastures" (Psalm 23:2).

Sheep in green pastureAfter several days of rain our lawn as well as the farm fields and pastures near our home are a vibrant green. Most of our trees have leafed out. I enjoy the peaceful view of horses feeding in a green pasture such as the photo I took yesterday afternoon along a rail trail here in rural Lancaster County. Another blessing is seeing the sheep, along with their lambs, which especially brings to mind today's Scripture passage.

David, of course, was a shepherd prior to his reign as the king of Israel. Without question the most beloved Psalm he authored is the 23rd which is also known as the Shepherd's Psalm. It is in this Psalm that David draws from his background as a shepherd and makes the analogy of the Lord being his Shepherd. Consider through the ages, for approximately 3,000 years, how often this particular Psalm has brought assurance, restoration and comfort to God's people! This message is often recited at the death bed and at funerals or at the graveside.

Psalm 23:2 But today let us focus on just one phrase in the Shepherd's Psalm. "He makes me to lie down in green pastures." Picture, as far as the eye can see, a lush green pasture with dense, vibrant grass; food in abundance that God apportioned to the sheep that they might flourish. The standard interpretation for this "green pasture" is how God provides for His people. In the very beginning God stated, “I have given every green plant for food” (Genesis 1:30).

God has blessed all His redeemed with an abundance of "green pasture." Now surely we live under varying conditions of temporal prosperity and blessing. Some have more, others less; some have life easier, some far more challenging. We so often tend to equate this with the degree of God's blessing and focus on what we lack rather than the many ways in which we are blessed. Indeed some readers are surely in the midst of a severe trial even as you read this today and your surroundings just may be dull rather than vibrant.

But spiritually green pasture continuously abounds for the child of God. The bounteous table He spreads before us indicates that there is never sparse supply of His provisions, for His goodness is not depleted by drought or storm.

Promises quote Consider these timeless Scripture promises demonstrating God's green pasture:

• He meets all our needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
• Through His divine power we have everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). 
• I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (John 10:10).
• From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another (John 1:16).
• Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Ephesians 1:3).

Today let us rejoice in the green pasture that our loving Lord has abundantly provided for His children!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, You care for me just as the shepherd cares for his lamb. You provide for all my needs. You restore my soul by Your refreshing Word and guide me in making the right choices that bring honor to Your name. When my soul is troubled or overshadowed by the wrenching pain of loss Your peace replaces my fear. Knowing that Your presence is with me at all times helps me to face the future. You have poured Your cup of goodness and mercy into my life. Your supply of goodness and mercy is overflowing, abundant and unending. Just as Your goodness overflows to me and those I care for, may my praise overflow in thanksgiving to You as I declare "How great is my God"! Amen.

Study note: I am also musing the specific word "makes" which is used in most translations. Generally we don't like to be made to do anything but I am confident there is a deeper meaning to it.

Lancaster Junction rail trail 5/2/16
Yesterday afternoon we had a several hour break in the rainy weather we've had over the past several days and I was able to get out for a long bike ride on the Lancaster Junction rail trail. Late yesterday afternoon the rain returned and it appears we have another rainy day in store today!

Baby robins 5/3/16
We have been showing photos from our Robin's nest under our barn eave.
This morning I see a second egg has hatched!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"God Leads His Dear Children Along"  Video   Gaither Vocal Band

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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