Today I adopt the words of Paul in Romans 15:30:
“I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf.”
Today we begin our journey through Acts as a Bible study at my church; today I begin my journey as a facilitator and teacher. I beseech you as brothers and sisters in Christ to pray for the study, for those God has chosen to take this study, and for me as the teacher. My prayer from the beginning, when this study was but a whisper of a thought, was that this would be God’s study; it would be His thoughts, His ideas, His words, His guidance. Truly, I am a facilitator in the basest sense: I only want to facilitate the speaking of God’s words to these incredible men and women who seek to learn about Acts. Please pray for us tonight that God would be present in a tangible way; that His words would flow from my mouth tonight, that hearts will be open to hear His messages and that He will work in incredible, miraculous ways through this study. Pray that each of those attending will hear God speak directly into their hearts, and that they would understand and welcome His messages. I thank you, for truly it takes all the members to make up the body of Christ and to support each other in God’s work. In His most Holy and precious name, Amen.
What beautiful words.
He Restoreth My Soul.
After last week, my soul has felt parched. I poured so much of myself into writing the Acts study that I felt empty. I had nothing left of myself to give. I didn’t even feel like I could spend real time with God – I was still doing my studies and talking about Him and praising Him; but there is a very real difference between talking about Him and spending time with Him. If you have never sat down and opened yourself up to Him, just thought about Him and whispered, “I’m listening,” you should do it. There is something about being quiet in God’s presence that restores your soul.
And yet, even as I knew this, I couldn’t find it within me to sit down with Him until tonight. To be overwhelmed by His presence, to lift my voice in awe and praise. To finally sit at the table He prepares before me and allow Him to restore my soul. My Bible study brought me to Psalm 23 tonight, the one psalm that everyone has heard so much that it means nothing anymore. But. These words were a balm to my spirit tonight; it reminded me that there is only one who can restore me: God my Shepherd, Jehovah Raah.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness.
for his name’s sake.
Can you hear the love of the psalmist, the rest he takes in His creator? David speaks of a God who has provided and taken care, who has cherished His beloved all the days of his life; of the Great Shepherd who has led him on a beautiful and wild adventure, who has filled him with peace throughout his times of trouble. When the trouble came, his God restored his soul. The word restored means, “to return, to turn back.” Every time David’s soul wandered, God turned him back. Every time David’s soul became overwhelmed, God returned him to the streams of peace. Beloved, every time your soul is weary, is burdened, is heavy, is parched, look to Him and He will return you back to the place of peace and fulfillment. Spend time in His presence, in quite awe and humility; ask Him to speak restoration into your spirit. He alone can lead you to the still waters; He alone can restore your soul.
Because the LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.