Issue #16 - Volume 13


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May 8, 2012

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Articles are listed, below. When replying, highlight the text that is pertinent to your response, then hit reply. Title your message to reflect the content.

1) God's Voice: Feed My Sheep
2) Holier Than Thou Attitudes
3) You Are Priceless

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1) God's Voice: Feed My Sheep

For many months, I have been praying for God to show me what I should be doing. Should I continue this ministry? My heart is attached to my work—creating, developing and writing Bible curriculum. But with the downturn in the economy since 2007, the business side has slowed to a crawl; at this rate it is unsustainable. But I don’t know what else to do! So I have been earnestly praying for wisdom and direction.

A few days after Easter, 2012, I went to bed for the evening and slept soundly. But early in the morning, before dawn, I heard a clear voice say, “Feed my sheep.” It startled me awake. You know that kind of awake where you’re sleeping-but-awake-kind-of-sleep? I knew, or thought, it was God’s voice. I said in my spirit, “Is that you, God?” And the answer was unspoken, but affirmed. I felt in my spirit that God had communicated to me that I was to continue doing what I had been doing, and not be concerned with the financial aspect of it, because he would provide for my family and me. 

When I awoke the next morning, I knew I had heard, “Feed my sheep.” But I also know that dreams are made up of events from our day and concerns on our hearts. However, I hadn’t read or heard the “Feed my sheep” passage from Scripture for several months, so I knew it wasn’t in my current line of thought. So I began praying and asking God to verify this message apart from my own thinking.

The following Sunday I thought maybe God would give me a word of affirmation. But the sermon had nothing to do with feeding sheep. Maybe next week? Next week came, and that Sunday was my birthday. I thought it would be great if God gave me a message today. Nope. 

I know it’s wrong to ask God for signs, but I didn’t think I was doing this. I simply wanted to know if this “voice” I had heard was God’s or my own wishful dream. 

The next day I took a bike ride to the ocean inlet. I opened my pocket Bible to the Psalms. And as I often do, I read the chapter number that matches the date, it was April 23, which means I read Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want….” Then I turned to the portion of Scripture that followed a study I had recently written on doubting Thomas, from John 20. In John 21, Jesus reinstates Peter and tells him to, “Feed my sheep!” 

As I read those passages, I was awestruck. Chills went through my body, and thanksgiving and praise welled-up from my inner being. Was this a coincidence, reading two passages on sheep? It didn’t seem like it. But I asked God to confirm this apart from me. 

The following Sunday, April 29, at the 11 am service, Pastor Arnold was preaching. I looked at the bulletin; the passage for the day was the 23rd Psalm. The choir sang, "God is my Shepherd,” and the hymn was “Savior Like a Shepherd Lead Us.” But the sermon was on Acts 4, (nothing to do with sheep or shepherds!). But something in my spirit kept repeating, “Never mind, just listen. Pay attention, because you’re going to get confirmation. You're going to hear, feed my sheep!” 

The pastor began his sermon, first reminding us that following the service he would be going on his annual fishing trip. He then held up a small wooden carving that a friend had made him. It was the pastor’s likeness, dressed in a pastoral robe. And when you turn it around to the backside, the figure is holding a fishing rod, and visible under the back of the robe he’s wearing fishing boots. Then the pastor turned it back around and said that his friend had carved the phrase, “Feed my sheep” on the front of the figurine! I couldn’t believe what I had just heard! I wished I could rewind it, as I do my DVR! Even though that inner voice had told me it was coming, I was awestruck again! God had truly confirmed the voice I had heard—his voice—and did it apart from my own thinking! Not only did I hear, feed my sheep, but also the same passage I had read at the inlet, Psalm 23! (Which also begs the question, why did we sing those sheep and shepherd songs, and read Psalm 23 that day? Normally the songs and Bible reading coincide with the sermon! I also wonder why the friend carved, “Feed my sheep” into the figurine, rather than using a matching metaphor such as “Fishers of Men?” I plan to ask my pastor these things when he returns!)

Later that week I went to our church's website to listen to the sermon again. Apparently, they record the 9:30 service for the website, which makes my story even more interesting. At the 9:30 service, the pastor never mentioned the carved figurine or said, feed my sheep!

My faith has been strengthened. I’ve written this down so I don’t forget it. And I’m sharing it with you to encourage you in your faith. God has allowed me a peek into his greatness, to experience his faithfulness, and to understand his willingness to condescend to his children’s requests. 

Your webservant,
Sarah Keith <><


2) Holier Than Thou Attitudes

Don’t you just hate people who demonstrate a “holier than thou” attitude? 

Only problem is that we are commanded to be holy even as Jesus is holy. God's Word says it many places, so apparently this is required and even possible. So how can this be?

I’m pretty sure many people have the wrong idea of what “holy” should be, and the devil has played up this misconception to the hilt. We are taught that holy means sinless and without spot or wrinkle, perfect in every way. This is something we can never hope to achieve. Only Jesus himself holds the “perfect” title. In some contexts of the scriptures, “holy” does indeed mean this, but the simplest meaning is to be “set apart.” In this context of the scripture, we are to be...

To get this rest of this devotional, visit our Teens and Adults section at: 




3) You Are Priceless

A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20.00 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, "Who would like this $20 bill?" 

Hands started going up.

He said, "I am going to give this $20 to one of you, but first, let me do this." He proceeded to crumple up the $20 dollar bill.

He then asked, "Who still wants it?" 

Still the hands were up in the air. 

"Well", he continued, "What if I do this?" And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He then picked it up, crumpled and dirty.

"Now, who still wants it?" he asked.

Still the hands went into the air.

Then he said, "My friends, we have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We sometimes feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who DO LOVE you. The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know, but by WHO WE ARE and WHOSE WE ARE. You are special! Don't EVER forget it ! 

"I will call them `my people' who are not my people; and I will call her `my loved one' who is not my loved one," Romans 9:25


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