3 . . . The sheep hear His voice, and He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When He has brought out all His own, He goes before them, and the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice. . .
14 I am the good shepherd. I know My own and My own know Me, 15 just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. (Matthew 10: 3-4, 14-15)
1The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters, 3 He restores my soul. . . 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the House of the Lord forever–
WITH THE ONE WHO KNOWS ME and MY NAME.
(Sharon G. Tate blog 10/17/21) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word
20 So Ahab sent to all the people of Israel, and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel. 21 And Eli′jah came near to all the people, and said, “How long will you go limping with two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Ba′al, then follow him.”
And the people did not answer him a word. (I Kings 18: 20-21)
A lone eagle perched on a dead tree branch. Watching. Looking. How long? To stay and build a nest here. To go and seek a more life-sustaining home. The eagle cannot remain in that stance on the branch. A decision must be made.
Like the eagle, we cannot sit on a branch or straddle a fence and remain there. A choice must be made where we will dwell. Indecision is not an option with God. We are for Him –or we are against Him. “How long will you go limping with two different opinions?”—when you could soar like an eagle.
. . .but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
Willingness to make the choice and commitment to follow the Lord.
Christ made the choice and was committed to it throughout His life unto His death. He was not a fence straddler or a branch sitter. He chose. He acted. He committed Himself to the choice of giving us salvation through Him in His act of death on the cross. He was the only One capable of giving us renewed strength to soar above the sin of this world that we might view a higher plane and strive to dwell there.
With the Lord, we will not be limping. Our strength will be renewed. We can soar to new heights of understanding, compassion, and love. We will not be divided internally. Our commitment will result in the resolution to act for Him, to be like Him, to follow only Him.
We will not be the people who “did not answer a word” when asked “how long will you go limping with two different opinions.” We will answer.
14 “Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve Him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River, and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 And if you be unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:14-15)
Others will see us soar, watch where we land, notice how we build our homes, and observe the way we live our lives in service only to the Lord.
Will they still choose to limp as we soar?
The noncommitted must see the faithful
Live committed lives for Christ,
That they too will choose to answer–
“But as for me and my house,
we will serve the LORD.”
(Sharon G. Tate blog 06/17/21) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word
Teacher, nurse, doctor, lawyer, judge, chef, hygienist, interior decorator, mechanic, psychologist, hairdresser, librarian, negotiator, cheerleader, financial advisor, role model, artist, and so much more.
MOTHER: Multi-Occupational, Talented HER.
HER role is pivotal in the life of her children. HER influence emanates through the life of her child from birth to death—and throughout eternity. When a God-fearing mother is that influential presence, Proverbs 22:6 can be fulfilled. Father and mother are both the responsible trainers in their children’s lives, but the mother has the initial bond internally in child-bearing and continues to be the child-bearer in many ways throughout the life of her daughter or son.
“Being a mother means that your heart is no longer yours; it wanders wherever your children do.” (George Bernard Shaw) 1
“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.” (Washington Irving) 2
A praying mother is a powerful presence, moving through time with her sons and daughters.
“I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.” (Abraham Lincoln) 3
A praying mother has no boundaries of space, traveling ahead of her children with protective prayer.
“If you have a mom, there is nowhere you are likely to go where a prayer has not already been.” (Robert Brault) 4
God gave mothers a special place in His plan. A human mother bore the Savior of us all. Mothers bear the children who have the potential to become the followers of Jesus and carry on His work here in His church and throughout the world—if properly trained, if earnestly prayed for, if devoutly reared by a Godly mother.
May we be mothers who carry forth the plan God designed for us. God help us faithfully nurture and raise children who will know the Way to go and never depart from it. Amen.
(Sharon G. Tate blog 05/09/21) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word
The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
How often do we think about and reflect upon–
**breathing–unless there is a health concern that affects that life necessity?
**walking–unless something happens which impairs or prevents our ability to move?
**seeing–unless our vision is reduced, diminished significantly, or gone?
**hearing–unless communication becomes challenging or lost through this sense?
We, often, take much for granted in this life—
until something is missing, changed, or gone.
Maybe by taking the essentials of our creation for granted,
we are taking God, our Creator, for granted.
—So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:27)
—For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:13-14)
—Yet You, Lord, are Our Father. We are the clay, You are the potter; we are all the work of Your hand. (Isaiah 64:8)
—Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? (I Corinthians 3:16)
We should daily think about and reflect upon God’s gifts of–
**breathing—taking in every breath gratefully as it is given from God.
**walking—moving forward in the moment and experiencing joy in the ability to do so.
**seeing—beholding the creation around us, including family, friends, and family in the Lord.
**hearing—listening to the sounds of God’s nature, the voices of loved ones, the praises to God.
His gifts to us, just in the creation of our own being, are beyond what we can comprehend. Even when impairments occur within our mortal forms, there is so much wonder in how we have been “knit together” by God that we should always be in awe. We can–and must–daily appreciate, in wonder and gratitude, our created existence in all its complexity and simplicity from our Father, our God, our Creator.
“An infinite God can give all of Himself to each of His children. He does not distribute Himself that each may have a part, but to each one He gives all of Himself as fully as if there were no others.” 1
Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. (Psalm 100:3)
1 A.W, Tozer quotes. goodreads.com
(Sharon G. Tate blog 04/25/2021) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word
I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it;
I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway.
(Romans 7:18-19 The Message)
A pond. Rocks piled on the bank. A little boy.
He looks at the rock in his hand and knows he should not, but inevitably, the sound:
A second rock hitting the water.
His mother enters the scene. “Didn’t I tell you NOT to toss rocks into the pond!” The boy sheepishly lowers his head, knowing he has disobeyed his mom. He looks down at the rock in his hand and away from his mother’s eyes. His hand does what he knows he should not do.
17-20 For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.21-23 It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. (Romans 7:17-23 The Message)
We know we should not—yet we think the thought: Kerplunk!
We know we must not–but we speak the words: Kerplunk!
We know better—yet we commit the act: Kerplunk!
We know we should–but we do not: Kerplunk!
Are we any different from the boy who disobeys his mother, not really wanting to, but being a little boy, drawn to what a young child will do? And we adults, with our human weaknesses, think, speak, and do what we know we should not and do not do what we know we should. In Romans, Paul speaks of this dilemma, recognizing that he needs Jesus. Alone, he cannot keep from sin. Jesus took his sins and ours to the cross, that we might have the grace of God to help us in the battle against our own weakness to sin.
24 I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?25 The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different. (Romans 7:24-25.The Message)
Jesus is our answer when we are at the end of our rope.
He is the Lifeline. He is the Light. He is the Way.
I can do all things in Him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
(Sharon G. Tate blog 04/18/21) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word
25 “These things I have spoken to you, while I am still with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. 28 You heard me say to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place, you may believe. 30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over Me; 31 but I do as the Father has commanded Me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go hence. (John 14: 25-31)
JESUS CHOSE THE CROSS IN OBEDIENCE TO AND LOVE FOR THE FATHER,
TO WHOM HE COULD DECLARE FROM THE CROSS,
“IT IS FINISHED.”
Jesus told His disciples that He was going away to the Father. He did not leave them, or us, alone. He left His peace, The Holy Spirit would be sent, and He would come back to take those who follow Him to be with Him forever. We, His current followers, now await His return with anticipation, that we may go home and be with Him and the Father eternally.
The saying is that one can never go home again as it will not be the same, and we will have changed. Jesus returned to the Father. He went home. God had not changed, for He cannot. The home, heaven, was the same. Yet, what about Jesus, who had become a mortal, living thirty-three years on earth, experiencing what we all go through, suffering and bleeding in death? Was it different for Him, returning home with the perspective of knowing what it was like to be human? He is divine, but because of His experience here and His sacrifice for our sins on the cross, we can go to Him as He understands and can empathize with our struggles, pain, heartaches, and joys. He became our intercessor with the Father.
23 The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office; 24 but He holds His priesthood permanently, because He continues for ever. 25 Consequently He is able for all time to save those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. 26 For it was fitting that we should have such a High Priest, holy, blameless, unstained, separated from sinners, exalted above the heavens. (Hebrews 7:23-26)
Jesus went home and became our High Priest. He chose this through His commitment to take on our sins and offer His life on the cross. Without that sacrifice, we would not have the intercession we can access always through Him to God. Continually and always, Jesus gives to us, speaks for us, and intercedes for us.
What can we do in return, in gratitude to Him?
And He said to all, “If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23)
(Sharon G. Tate blog 04/4/21) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word
36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsem′ane, and He said to His disciples, “Sit here, while I go yonder and pray.” 37 And taking with Him Peter and the two sons of Zeb′edee, He began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then He said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” 39 And going a little farther He fell on his face and prayed, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” 40 And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and He said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with Me one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 Again, for the second time, He went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, Thy will be done.” 43 And again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So, leaving them again, He went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then He came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going; see, My betrayer is at hand.”
The directives from Jesus to His disciples were clear. Yet, they did not watch. Instead, they slept, and they were not praying in this somnolent state. His companions, His friends, the chosen ones who would carry out His mission when His purpose on earth was fulfilled could not even stay awake, watch, and pray. Three separate times, Jesus came to them and found them asleep.
Three separate times. Jesus prayed to His Father as the disciples slept, asking if what is to come could somehow, if it was possible, pass from Him. Yet, He still acknowledged it was His Father’s will that He would obey, not His own. He was awake. He prayed. He stayed with His Father.
A trinity of commands. A trinity of prayers. A trinity of response.
The hour was at hand. The betrayer was at hand. The disciples were not prepared for what was to come.
There was a scattering of the disciples as Jesus was taken. “And they all forsook Him, and fled.” (Mark 14:50) They were not asleep this time. Awake to what they saw, they might be taken too by association with Jesus. They did not stay with Him, except Peter who turned back and followed, but at a distance with the crowd. Yet, he did not stay with Jesus in loyalty.
A trinity of cock crows. A trinity of denial as Peter declared he never knew Jesus.
And what of us, His disciples today? Have we stayed? Are we watchful? Are we praying? Are we awake? Have we risen to His call to teach others about Him? Are we truly following our Lord Jesus in the open, not the shadows?
AWAKEN. ARISE. FOLLOW.
We have a Trinity of Promise, Light, and Hope to guide us
in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Let us remain faithful.
STAY. WATCH. PRAY.
(Sharon G. Tate blog 03/28/2021) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word
“Who wants to go camping!” A hand is not raised. It is mine. Anyone who knows me at all is aware that camping is not “my thing.” One problem is the campfire smoke with autoimmune lung disease, but overall, I just am not a camper. However, the concept of “getting away from it all” is, often, desirable and needed.
“Getting away from it all” by going to God alone, in solitude,
wherever that place, whenever that time may be.
For me, it might be in the morning when I first awaken. My personal one-on-one talk with God.
During the hours in the day, it might be communicating with Him while washing dishes, doing the laundry, reading a page in a book. Connecting. Maybe remembering a prayer forgotten. Thinking of someone who is hurting. Maybe it’s me, needing support for the day.
It might be later in the evening outside on my deck or looking out through a window, watching the sky blossom into a beautifully vivid sunset. I stand there in gratitude to my Creator for His creation and this moment in awe and reverence.
Alone time with God is the most precious time.
Being with the One who truly hears and listens.
Communicating with my Father who loves completely.
Pouring out thoughts and feelings openly to my God.
15 But so much the more the report went abroad concerning Him; and great multitudes gathered to hear and to be healed of their infirmities. 16 But He withdrew to the wilderness and prayed.
Withdrawing from others, withdrawing from self to join with God in prayer–the communication He has offered to us freely, anytime, every time.
Jesus needed this time,
Alone with His Father,
In solitude with God.
How much more do I
Need to withdraw
And seek His Presence.
Always finding Him,
Waiting for my heart
To open unto Him.
(Sharon G. Tate blog 03/21/21) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word
23 And when He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but He was asleep. 25 And they went and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” 26 And He said to them, “Why are you afraid, O men of little faith?” Then He rose and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. 27 And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey Him?”(Matthew 8:23-27)
38 But He was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do you not care if we perish?” 39 And He awoke and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” 40 He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” 41 And they were filled with awe, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey Him? (Mark 4:38-41)
24 And they went and woke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing! 25 And He awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; and they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that He commands even wind and water, and they obey Him?” (Luke 8:24-25)
As I write, the March winds are howling. If the pond that I can see from my window was not frozen, the waters would be churning in agitated motion with waves lapping against the banks. It would not be a safe place for a small boat with passengers.
The disciples were not on a small pond but on the sea in a boat “swamped by the waves” during a great storm. And Jesus was asleep. They called out to wake Him, so He could see their dire dilemma, addressing Him as Lord, Teacher, or Master in these accounts. Yet Jesus was, also, referred to as a man. When they pondered the magnitude of power needed to calm the winds and sea, indeed, this was no ordinary man. “What sort of man is this…?” “Who, then, is this…?” Did the question reflect a storm within of uncertainty, of fear regarding this man Jesus? The disciples had witnessed His miracles. Yet, the mortal mind will engage in human reasoning to explain the obedience of the elements to this man Jesus: “What sort of man is this…?”
Jesus rebuked them for their lack of faith. Haven’t we all been there, in the storm, facing the tumult, fearful of the outcome? Did we think Jesus was asleep? The disciples reached out to Him. Yet, they did not comprehend His power and authority. Do we, likewise, fail?
The storm may be daunting: “You are in respiratory failure.” “You have Stage 3 cancer.” “Your baby is stillborn.” “Your mother passed in the nursing home in COVID restrictions.” But Jesus IS awake and living. He waits for us to reach out to Him through our fears, our despair, our heartaches and tears. And He can and will give us the saving calm we need. “Peace! Be still!” It is up to us to accept His peace, His presence, His plan, and His love which may involve a rebuke for our lack of faith.
Be strong and of good courage, do not fear or be in dread of them: for it is the Lord your God who goes with you; He will not fail you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have; for He has said, “I will never fail you nor forsake you.”
We cannot turn to anything or anyone else but Him for the salvation and peace we need—whether we are in the small boat on the pond dealing with the lesser problems in life or in the boat on the sea during the most difficult storms.
(Sharon G. Tate blog 03/12/21) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word