We Are Not Alone!
Thanks be to God!
This is an important time to be grateful concerning all the goodness of our lives. Such gratitude offers us a valuable resource for dealing with the challenges we face. Each of us has opportunity to turn the negative into the positive. In this way bringing at least a little light into the darkness of these days. You in your small corner and I in mine.
On Friday morning a handful of us gathered at the Big Red Church to film a short version of our Sunday services. It was wonderful to hear the Called to Be Band playing songs of faith in the hope of communicating grace to all who watch our video service. My message is basically rooted in Psalm 23, which you will find printed below the video. This Psalm was probably written by a young man named David. This is the same young man who confronted the boasting giant Goliath and overcame that giant through courage inspired by trust in God. In our modern times Psalm 23 continues to bring blessing to all who hear in it the spirit of God.
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Here are the Bible passages which inspired our songs and messages:
Psalm 23 - The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I 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 mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD my whole life long.
John 10:1-10 - Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers." Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. So again Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."
Acts 2:42-47 - They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.