Friday, December 31, 2021

A New Awareness of Psalm 23, Matthew 6:9-13, and 1 Peter 5-7




 I was reminded recently of a mentor training workshop I once attended. The instructor gave us I Peter 5:7 as a scripture to memorize using a neat technique. You read aloud the scripture several times, putting the emphasis on the first word the first time through, then the second word the second time through, the third word the third time through, and so on…like this…

Casting all your cares on Him for He cares for you.

  Casting all your cares on Him for He cares for you.

    Casting all your cares on Him for He cares for you.

      Casting all your cares on Him for He cares for you.

        Casting all your cares on Him for He cares for you.

          Casting all your cares on Him for He cares for you.

            Casting all your cares on Him for He cares for you.

              Casting all your cares on Him for He cares for you.

                Casting all your cares on Him for He cares for you.

                  Casting all your cares on Him for He cares for you.

                    Casting all your cares on Him for He cares for you.


Not only have you memorized the scripture when you’re done, it also helps you to focus and meditate on the individual meanings of each word in the verse. 


As I was praying through I Peter 5:7 using this technique, suddenly two of my favorite and most beloved Scriptures, the Twenty-third Psalm and the Lord’s Model Prayer from Matthew 6:9-13, came to my heart. I began praying them using the same technique—repeating each verse of these familiar scriptures aloud several times, putting the emphasis on the first word the first time through, then the second word the second time through, the third word the third time through, and so on. It is truly amazing how the emphasis on a different word in each verse gives a new focus and a new application of meaning to whatever you’re going through at the moment.


It is so interesting how the word “cares” in I Peter 5:7 is repeated with its two different meanings in the same verse…powerful. The word “care” and all it means…to be cared for…like this paraphrase…”Whatever produces a care in your heart produces God's care for you.”


Suddenly, the word “care” takes me back to 1962...I’m a little girl, nine years old, my parents have moved us from our home in Lakeland to Sebring, Florida. No friends or relatives there. Then one Sunday we go to church, we open the hymnal, and the song we sing is, No One Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus by Charles Frederick Weigle. This old hymn written in 1932 has a small footnote at the bottom of the page which says, “This hymn was written on the shores of Lake Jackson in Sebring, Florida.” 


WOW! That was where we lived, on the shores of Lake Jackson in Sebring, Florida! Now my eyes were riveted on the words as I sang along with the congregation…and to this day, this hymn is still one of my favorites, because it was so personal, so comforting, so heaven-sent to me that day as the new kid in Sebring.

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How can we avoid becoming discouraged when we deal with overwhelming tasks and challenges in the world around us? We can successfully keep running our race with endurance and not burn out only by fixing our eyes on Jesus—by casting all our cares on Him because He cares for us. Our faith, our ability to be a blessing to our brothers and sisters, or to accomplish anything at all of lasting value depends on Christ from start to finish. When we lift our eyes to the all-powerful, all-loving God, we can commit our way to him and receive his assurance that in God’s time we will reap what he has richly prepared for us—a harvest of blessing—as we daily draw fresh strength from his inexhaustible supply.

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Lord Jesus, thank you for teaching me that I can do nothing apart from You. You are my life, my strength, my salvation. As I cast my cares on You, and pray these familiar Scriptures back to You, You give me a new awareness of Your Peace and Your Presence in my life today. As I give myself to You anew each day, I ask that Your resurrection power restore my joy and renew my vision for the needs of those around me daily. In Your precious name I pray, amen.

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Look Up—meditate on I Peter 5:7, Psalm 23, and Matthew 6::9-13 ... pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.

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Look In—as you meditate on I Peter 5:7Psalm 23, and Matthew 6::9-13 … pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: "Because God is_________, I will_____________."

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Look Out—as you meditate on I Peter 5:7Psalm 23, and Matthew 6::9-13…pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.


May our hearts be encouraged by this heart-warming words of the old hymn, No One Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus

No one ever cared for me like Jesus,

There's no other friend so kind as He;

No one else could take the sin and darkness from me,

Oh how much He cares for me.

2 comments:

  1. I so wholeheartedly agree with: Casting all your cares on Him for He cares for you.
    Thank you for sharing your post at #SeniorSalonPitStop. May you have a blessed 2022. I have shared on SM

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for stopping by with such encouragment, and thank you for sharing with others! Many New Year's Blessings to you too!

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