A Heart That Hopes OLS — Week Eight

Have you discovered the blessing of having the Lord as your shepherd?

I have been thinking about the Lord as my shepherd so much these days.

I know I need a shepherd. And I think that realization is most important for any of us.

The world encourages us to be strong in ourselves, have it all together, and in many cases, go it alone.

But the Lord lets us know He wants us to lean on Him, learn from Him, depend on Him, run to Him, and trust in Him every moment of the day.

And knowing He is not just any shepherd, but my shepherd, is one of the greatest encouragements found in the Bible.

Psalm 23 has given us great hope in knowing the Lord is our shepherd in this eighth and final week in our study of A Heart That Hopes In God.

Oh how I have loved our study together, but I have especially loved it this week. In fact, I had the opportunity to spend some time teaching and leading a group of women on Speaking Ministry events in Newport Beach, California. And one of the things we did together was talk about all we learn about the Lord in Psalm 23. Here are some of the big truths:

  • He is my shepherd.
  • I shall not want because of Him.
  • 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.
  • He is with me in the valley of the shadow of death.
  • He anoints my head with oil.
  • He makes my cup overflow.
  • His rod and His staff comfort me in the presence of my enemies.
  • He gives me the assurance that I will live with Him forever.

One of the women in our group asked, “What did David mean when he said I shall not want?”

Oh what a great question! I asked the group, “What did David mean?” And my dear sisters, one after another, putting it in different words, said, “Well, it means that the Lord gives me everything I need at all times.”

Do you see the amazing blessing that is yours because the Lord is your shepherd? He is everything you need every day of your life. He will provide for you even in the most impossible situations. He loves you.

The other observation in this psalm that meant so much to me this week is the repetition of small words with big meaning — the pronouns my and me. He’s not just any shepherd. He is my shepherd. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He restores my soul.

I asked our group, “What is the significance of the use of these pronouns?” They all said in unison, “God is personal.”

Oh yes, dear friend, God is personal. He is personal with you. He loves you. He delights in the details of your life (Psalm 37:23 NLT).

My husband and I had just enjoyed a sunny patio lunch at Fattoria Pulcino, formerly a monastery which became a private estate in the 16th century, overlooking the medieval and Renaissance hill town of Montepulciano in the Italian province of Siena in southern Tuscany. The serenity of the moment was enhanced by spreading vistas of lush gardens, rows of cypress trees, and endless verdant valleys. I’ll never forget looking out across from the restaurant, and spying these sheep resting in the green grass of a quiet pasture. On the way out, we stopped by the pasture and I captured many images of the sheep in repose. What immediately came to mind was how we experience true contentment the more we realize and rely on the Lord as our great shepherd.

So today, as we close our time of study in A Heart That Hopes In God, I pray that you will find great hope knowing that the Lord is personal and He is your shepherd. May you run to Him at all times and find a greater hope — Holding On with Patient Expectation!

Dear friends, I can hardly believe we are at the end of our study in A Heart That Hopes In God. Please pray together with me about the next online study we will do together.

Over this next week, I’d like us to take some time to catch up on any missed days of study, and then sit with A Heart That Hopes In God and our Bibles and think about our favorite parts of the study. Let’s respond to the Sola Scriptura questions for Week Eight. And be sure to look at your Letter To The Lord on page 15 of A Heart That Hopes In God and see how the Lord answered your prayer for your time in His Word. Then, next week we can share one final time all we’ve learned in this most important study.

About Our Study

   Download the A Heart That Hopes In God — 2015–2016 Online Bible Study Schedule

Your Assignment

Your assignment this next week is to respond to the Sola Scriptura questions from Week 8 below. Then, review the entire book looking for your favorite insights. This is a time to reflect on where you are and what God is teaching you. Please feel free to come back here throughout the week to read comments and respond. I will meet you back here with a final post on Saturday, March 12, 2016.

I encourage you to use the words of this prayer from my dear friend, Kelly Wysard, one more time to draw near to God—

Precious Lord and Savior, we approach the throne room of grace to give You our devotion and adoration. To tell of our desire to walk in obedience and trust to the One True God, the Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of Heaven and Earth. Creator of all things, and Master of our souls.

May we seek You and serve You with exceeding sweet delight knowing that You alone are drawing us near and making us complete in You. As we open the Word of God and meditate on Your instruction and cling to Your promises, may we become more like You. May we hang on Your every Word for dear life! May Your Word be musical instruction to our ears. May we sing praises treasuring Your glorious revelation one moment at a time on pilgrim’s way. May we have the mind of Christ, dear Father.

Now may the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing, so that we will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13). May this hope be as an anchor of the soul (Hebrews 6:19) as we persevere by the encouragement of the Scripture (Romans 15:4).

We ask all this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord, Amen.

A Prayer For You by Kelly Wysard

And now, dear friend, let’s share together what God is teaching us in the Comments section of this post as we respond to the Sola Scriptura questions.

♥ God bless you as you continue this great adventure of knowing Him!

Catherine

Sola Scriptura

What is the most important truth you learned from Psalm 23? How does it give you hope in a new and deeper way? In what ways do you need the Lord as your shepherd today? Read your Letter to the Lord on page 15. How did the Lord answer your prayer written at the outset of this study? What was your favorite quote, insight, or verse this week in your study?
Please comment.

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myPhotoWalk Devotional

… I will carry, and will deliver you.
Isaiah 46:4 NKJV

myPhotoWalk Technical

  • Title: He Will Carry You
  •     Order Custom myPhotoWalk Prints @ myPhotoWalk — SmugMug.com
  • Description: Sheep grazing in the grass near Fattoria Pulcino, Montepulciano, Siena, Tuscany, Italy
  • Creator: Catherine Martin
  • Date Created: 05/07/11
  • Camera: Nikon D7000, Nikkor 18-105mm, FL 105mm, ISO 250, f/7.1, 1/500sec.
  • Photoshoot: myPhotoWalk Photoshoot near Fattoria Pulcino, Montepulciano, Siena, Tuscany, Italy.
  • Post-Processing: Photomatix Pro, Adobe Camera Raw, Adobe Photoshop, Topaz Adjust, OnOne Software.
  • Copyright ©2017 Catherine Martin — myPhotoWalk™ — Quiet Time Ministries. All Rights Reserved.
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What does a person do when the worst thing imaginable happens, their life is profoundly altered, and no hope is in sight? Catherine Martin cites numerous real-life accounts of people in crisis, and reveals their source of strength: the truth of God’s Word. A Heart That Hopes in God will take you deep into some of the choice Psalms of comfort, inspiring the kind of hope that will set your heart aflame with love for the Lord.
Patty Kennedy, National Women’s Department, Assemblies of God

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