August 12, 2013

Today we come to the end of the SLOW Time series
Well be looking at T.I.M.E. today. Time  how can such a small little word have such an impact on our lives? I dont remember where I heard this line, but I once heard someone say that time is the stuff life is made of. Id like to adapt that saying a bit and give you one of my acrostics to remember this lesson by:

T.I.M.E. =  Trust In Me Everyday
Now the “me” in that sentence is referring to Jesus, of course. I think it’s an appropriate phrase to end our series with because we have been talking these past weeks about SLOWING down so we can really appropriate the abundant life our Shepherd offers.
I believe the heart of really being able to do that is trust. We must trust our shepherd, Jesus, as we sit with Him, listen and learn from Him, obey and offer ourselves to Him and worship Him. If we fail to “Trust In Me (Jesus) Everyday,” it is difficult to effectively do any of those things.
The last verse of the 23rd Psalm says:
Surely, goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life andI will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.  Psalm 23:6
Let’s look at some key words in that verse so we can glean anything from it that will help us Trust our Shepherd.
Surely means without a doubt, rest assured. This term is used when there is full assurance or belief in something.
Goodness– good thing, benefit, prosperity, welfare, things that are excellent
Mercy– merciful kindness, favor, good deed
Follow – to run after, chase, hunt, pursue to the point of harassment
Days– (literally) sunrise to sunset, (figuratively) a space of time defined by an associated term, continually
Life – living thing, alive
Dwell– to sit down, to remain, to settle, to marry, abide, establish, inhabit
Forever– always, continually
Using these meanings we could reconstruct Psalm 23:6 to say:
Surely (without a doubt), goodness (good, excellent and beneficial things) and mercy (merciful kindness and favor) will follow (run after, chase, hunt and pursue me to the point of harassment) all the days of my life (as long as I am living here on earth) and I will dwell (make my home with, abide, establish, inhabit) in the LORD’s house forever (always).
This reminds me that whether I’m alive here on Earth or alive with Jesus in Heaven, I can trust that I will have abundant life as I SLOW down and look to my Shepherd, Jesus.
I have another acrostic for you today. It’s for the word “trust.” I have to give credit to my friend, Paula Beckman, for this one.
Trust is: 
The Righteous Understanding of the Savior’s Timing
If we could all just remember that statement in our days here on planet Earth, wouldn’t our lives be a little more extraordinary? I worry, fret and basically come unglued when things don’t happen when I think they should. And if I would just step back and SLOW down, I could take a 30,000-foot view of things and realize that I need to TRUST my Shepherd (i.e. understand His timing). I could live a happier, more joyful, abundant life. 
Acts 1:7 addresses this issue of timing. The disciples had just asked Jesus when the kingdom would be restored and this was Jesus’ response:
You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business. (The Message)
I love that! It’s not my business. So why do I fret over it? I fret because I have taken my eyes off of Jesus and put them on my self or my situation. I have gotten all caught up in life and have forgotten to SLOW down and trust in my Shepherd.
Jesus goes on to tell them in verse 8 that they will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon them. So often we forget to tap into the power and assurance we have in the Holy Spirit because we don’t SLOW down long enough toSit and Seek, Listen and Learn, Obey and Offer, Worship and Trust our Shepherd.
SLOW down right now and ask yourself these questions.
  • Can you identify any areas in your life where you need to trust your Shepherd?
  • Will you step back and take a 30,000-foot look at them and try to view them in light of the truths we have talked about today?
I suggest writing these questions down in a journal and answering them on paper. SLOW down, take in that “bigger” picture and write down what you see. Thencommit to trust your Shepherd with them and pray, pray, pray!
Oh, how I have enjoyed revisiting these truths that God showed me years ago. I needed this reminder. I needed toSLOW down and just “be” with my Shepherd.
Below are some “Power Verses” that can help us as we continue our journey to the extraordinary, abundant life.
Jacqueline C. Heider 
Director of Discipleship & Women’s Ministry