St. Patrick

Psalm 23: 1 – 3

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!!  I decided to donate today’s devotional to Saint Patrick. Did you know St. Patrick was a shepherd? His story reminds me  of David who was also a shepherd boy. Patrick was abducted from his home in England and sold into slavery to an Irish land holder. There, much like David, he spent his youth tending sheep.

I wrote to you recently about feeling alone. I said you are never really alone because God is always there with you. There is a big difference between solitude and loneliness. These two lads, David and Patrick, spent much time with only the company of God and sheep. In that solitude with God, their faith was forged. They learned how to be by themselves without ever truly being alone. In their shepherding, they met THE shepherd, the great shepherd. In this famous psalm, David portrays, beautifully, the characteristics and manner of the shepherding God.

Patrick said that in his solitude, he grew closer and closer to God. The time he spent watching sheep was also spent in prayer. The more he prayed, he said, the more the Spirit grew in him. He was not bothered by cold temperatures nor was he plagued by fear.

As I ponder these two shepherd boys who grew to be giants of faith, I realize how little quiet and solitude most of us enjoy. Sometimes I feel we are a lost generation. We are either too busy, filling our days with every kind of distraction, or we are lost in loneliness when we should be reveling in time with our beloved. How is it that neither Patrick nor David fell into despair in the night watches?

Do you long to know Jesus as they did? Do you hunger for the kind of confidence in God they knew? It is for all of us, but there is a price. We must spend time in prayer and in seeking. What did their prayer look like? They were out in the fields for days and weeks. Did they pray like we have been taught, or did it take on the tone of conversation? Did they praise and worship God?

We have an opportunity to never be lonely again and to grow in the strength and confidence of the Lord. It takes humility, which I understand, can be a stumbling block. None the less, we can know what Patrick’s development looked like if we would begin our own journey in prayer. It begins with opening your heart and then your mouth to God. Begin to speak to Him. When we have spoken with Him for hours, then we shall find it possible to pray for days.

Did you ever wonder why the great shepherd leads us beside quiet waters? I think we have found the answer.

Alone . . . Not!

John 16: 32

Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.

This conversation takes place just a short while before Jesus is betrayed into the hands of the priests. Jesus told his followers what was to come. He was fully aware of just how alone He was to be very shortly. No one, not even Peter or John, would stand with Him. Peter denied Him three times in fact. Jesus knew that He was going to be left all alone before it happened and yet He had a revelation of never being alone. His Father, and ours, was with Him and He was confident in that.

All that Jesus ever had He bequeathed to us. Actually, he said that it was to our advantage that He leave so that we could have even more than was available at that time because the Holy Spirit had not yet been poured out (John 16:7). He took everything that was bad with him and left all that was good from Him. He gave us all he had. You, therefore, can have the same confidence of never being alone that Jesus had. Jesus’ mission on the earth was one of reconciliation. He reconciled us back to the Father so that we could enjoy the close, meaningful relationship with the Father that was always the Father’s intention. You never have to be alone again, and you never will be. Do not mind your feelings, i.e. feeling alone. The feelings are false, and the fact is that the Father will never leave you nor forsake you. Jesus bore that burden for us. No matter how desperately alone you feel, understand that you are never alone. Know it with the same confidence that Jesus knew. Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are with you to the end of the age.

He is Here

Psalm 139: 7

Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?

Wherever we go, whatever we do, Yahweh is right there with us. This can be a spooky thought in the beginning. It may feel like someone is watching you in everything you do. With time, however, and as we draw closer to the Lord, knowing He is with you becomes a bar to loneliness and a constant source of comfort.

It is natural that He should be everywhere we are because, at our invitation, He intertwines His Spirit around ours, effectively becoming part of us. He is where we are because He is in us. He is always with us. I have learned to not only take comfort in the idea of “God with us,” but also to accept it at a very basic level. I find myself talking to Him as if He is standing right beside me. I have this awareness of Him with me that has now permeated my subconscious mind. That understanding can radically change your life.

I used to be a person who was not good at being alone and I became lonely very easily. That is no longer the case because I know I am not alone. In fact, I now crave “alone” time so Father and I can have time to ourselves. I love social interaction, but I have learned to enjoy being alone with Father. When I began cycling in groups a couple of years ago, I had a very mixed reaction. I truly enjoy making new friends and riding together. However, I found myself missing riding alone because bike riding had developed as time with Father. In the early days of the pandemic, I jumped on my bike and went cycling with Yahweh. I didn’t mind riding alone, nor need a cycling partner because I always carry my cycling buddy with me. Riding certainly alleviated much of the stress of those early days of the coronavirus crisis. Not only did I get in the physical exertion; I also got time with my Father.

We are never without our number one fan and love. He is ever with us, watching over us and desirous of simply being with us. I hope you take great comfort in that.


Hebrews 13: 5                  Passion Translation

Don’t be obsessed with money but live content with what you have, for you always have God’s presence. For hasn’t he promised you, “I will never leave you alone, never! And I will not loosen my grip on your life!”

I was listening to some old music the other day when Desperado by the Eagles played. I was only half listening, but this line grabbed my attention, “Your prison is walking through this world all alone.” I reacted, “How true but we need never be alone.” Our Father has promised to be with us always, and He is.

The Amplified Bible is even more effusive on this point, “I will never [under any circumstances] desert you [nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless], nor will I forsake or let you down or relax My hold on you [assuredly not]!” How do you like that? By no means, will He ever leave you or forsake you, not even for a moment. Now you might say privately, “I don’t think God is always with me. I don’t feel Him or see Him.” Many people would agree with you. We seldom have a consciousness of “God with us.” Here is where your theology comes to a test and you have to make a decision. In what do you place your trust, what you feel or what the Word says. You are not alone if you do not feel that God is always with you. Many people believe this Bible promise intellectually but their hearts are unconvinced. You may believe it but you still feel alone at times.

Living the Bible is very different from believing it. Further, there are levels of what we call belief. At the first level, we mentally accept or agree. In other words, there is no conflict in your mind about what the Word says. That is not to say, however, that your heart holds these to be absolute truths. At this first level your mind engages in simple acceptance and that is all. The second level is when your mind is convinced. You become intellectually, mentally persuaded that the Word is true on a given point. That’s great! Your mind begins to become a strong tool for you. At this level, though, your heart may still call you a liar. A good example of this is when you believe what the Word says about healing. Your mind is intellectually persuaded that “by his stripes you are healed.” You know the scriptures on healing and feel very strong about them. However, your heart is still calling you a liar. It says, “Sure you believe that but I am still sick.” You will find an internal conflict if you pay attention to it.

That is where you may be with this idea that God is always with you. If you believe that in your heart, you will never be lonely. In fact, you will begin to develop a very strong sense of God with you. For example, even when you are “alone” you may excuse yourself for a rudeness. This is where your consciousness of “God with you” has trumped all other information. Another example of your God consciousness is when you find yourself speaking to Him, not praying mind you, just speaking as if He is walking along with you.

Ultimately, the test of this scripture is whether or not it will prevail in your life. Will you come to KNOW God is with you all the time or will these be words that you accept without debate but do not live. I pray you know God with you. I hope you increasingly have the sense that He is with you every moment. And, I pray you derive much comfort from that truth.

God with Us

Matthew 1: 23


The New American Standard uses small caps to indicate a quote taken from another part of scripture. You will often find the New Testament writers quoting from the Old Testament Scripture. In this case, the quote comes from Isaiah 7: 14.

Jesus accomplished much during his tenure on earth. However, in the company of salvation, redemption and restoration, I find this great marvel and joyous blessing oft overlooked. I would say, though, that this miracle of God with us is among the greatest of all the gifts God has given us.

I have enjoyed several conversations recently on this very topic and I believe there is revelation in the land. More and more people are receiving a fuller revelation of Jesus with each of us at all times. For these people, Jesus’ presence is becoming something very real. One of the discoveries I have made about God recently is that He is very literal. We often take His words figuratively but that is us, not Him. In His statement about the child Immanuel, whom we also call Jesus, He was being very down to earth literal. He meant that God is now with us 24/7. Let that sink in for a moment. He is literally there with you right now. What does that mean to your life?

Well, first of all, you are never alone and never have to feel alone. He is as close as your next breath. Wait, did you breathe? He was there in that breath. That is a huge revelation when is sinks in. It also means that he is within your grasp every moment. One of my friends was discussing some of the wonderful traits of puppies. One of them is that you can hold and cuddle them. They are easy subjects of all the love and affection you have to give and they give unqualified love in return. There is another name for that kind of love and acceptance: Immanuel.

God is revealing Himself as that ever present love. God is love. Immanuel means God with us that means love with us at all times. God worked a miracle so that He could be with us every minute. He is really as close as your perception. If you can receive it, He is as close and cuddly as a puppy. If your heart will accept, He is arms around you. And for you tough guys out there, He is the safe Father who is big enough, strong enough to hold you in His arms and let you be a little boy. You can cry on His shoulder, giggle in His face. You can sleep in His lap, and even tell Him silly little jokes.

Our Father really is this close to us and He is making a point to reveal His presence to this generation. He wants you to open your sensors to the awareness of God with you right now and every minute. Ain’t it great? The baby savior was given a name of great comfort and presence. He was not given a warrior name or a kingly name. His purpose is to be with you. You’ve just got to love a God who makes His purpose being with you.

Never Forsaken

Hebrews 13: 5 – 6                 Index Card 6

He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?”

This verse speaks about confidence and I find myself thinking, “Yes, this is the kind of confidence I need.” I want to be unafraid. I want to abound in radical trust in the Lord. Life will certainly take on a different flavor when we trust the Lord that extensively. We will answer His call on our lives. We will believe we can do what he says we can do because he is our helper. We are not alone. He will not abandon us.

I used to often feel lonely. Now I almost never do. I have grown in my awareness of God with me, Jesus in me and the Holy Spirit leading me. I certainly am not in the full radical trust in the Lord Jesus that I would like to live but I have learned that he is always with us and thus, we never have to feel alone or lonely. His word is good and it is true. He will never leave us nor forsake us. You will never be abandoned or left to fend on your own. Amen.

Father, Son and Spirit

John 16: 5, 7 and John 15: 26

But now I am going to Him who sent Me. But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness of Me.

When Jesus went home to be with our Father, he sent a helper to us. This helper is the Holy Spirit of promise. In Acts 1: 4 Jesus commanded his disciples to remain in Jerusalem until they received what the Father had promised telling them that they would receive power when they received the baptism in the Holy Spirit. We are now living in the promised Age of the Holy Spirit.

The 1st Testament was about Father God. We see God, himself, interacting with his people. The Old Testament looked forward to the coming of Jesus with much prophecy. The second Testament or the New Testament is about the life and ministry of Jesus. Everything changed in the earth as a result of Jesus’ ministry. Everyone who wrote in the New Testament times wrote in respect to the new covenant which was bought by and ushered in by Jesus the Christ.

Jesus looked forward to another time too, just like the Old Testament prophets did. He prophesied about the coming of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity. We are now living in the days of the Third Testament. This is the time of the Holy Spirit. We are to learn about him just like the New Testament people learned about Jesus. As we develop in our relationship and understanding of working with the Holy Spirit, we look forward to another time too. We await the second coming of Christ. Each of the three persons of the trinity will have their own age and we are to get to know each of them in their individuality as well as the collective God head. Then Christ will return in all His glory and we will all be caught up with him and live eternity with God, The Father; Jesus, the son; and the Holy Spirit.