Category: <span>thoughts by Kathy Cheek</span>

Someone posed these questions, “Where can I find God? How can I find Him?”

I thought about the answer and this I know.

He is not a God who is far off.

The truth is – we can find Him early each new day.

We can find Him in the morning.

He’s already waiting for us before the night sky turns to dawn.

He’s already there waiting for us before our sleepy eyes are wide awake.

It is the place I meet Him with whispered words and grab His hand and never let go the rest of the day.

He is already there waiting for me. While my body needed a night’s sleep to rejuvenate, He never slept or wearied for one moment. He who never tires or sleeps refreshes me each morning.

There is nothing else that inspires me more than this experience each day – knowing the Lord is waiting for me, knowing that every morning He invites me to meet with Him, talk with Him, and go through my day with Him. It always begins with the dawn of each new morning.

In the quiet, waking moment of each new morning, before the rest of the world comes rushing in, I hear His voice and know He is near.

The dawn of each new morning is not only where He waits for me. It is also where He waits for you.

Isaiah 40:28

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.

Psalm 121:3-4

He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

Jeremiah 23:23-24

Am I a God near at hand,” says the Lord, “And not a God afar off?
 Can anyone hide himself in secret places, So I shall not see him?” says the Lord; “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the Lord.

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission
Devotions from the Heart at www.kathycheek.com

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•  God is Faithful

•  God, our Shield

•  Salvation Explained


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Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding; For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, And her gain than fine gold”  Proverbs 3:13-14 

The circles I have been going around and around in my mind recently made me think about the importance of wisdom. I don’t come by it naturally but I desperately need it.

As in the great wisdom of King Solomon.

As in the wisdom written about extensively by Solomon in the book of Proverbs.

I want wisdom that will help me navigate through the choices and decisions in my life.

Don’t we all? Oh how many times I have faltered because I didn’t pursue the wisest path. I want to do better in this area of my life.

In the book of James scripture tells us that all we have to do is ask for wisdom and it will be generously given.

James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

What if I ask God for wisdom to discern which direction to go, or how to move forward from my present position, or wisdom to know what changes may need to be made?

And what if I ask for wisdom regarding a decision…but I don’t receive an answer?

If He hasn’t revealed something to me or pointed me in a specific direction or provided a focus, then maybe I am not supposed to know yet.

What do I do with that?

Maybe realizing that His timing isn’t the same as mine is exhibiting wisdom on my part.

Then, what do I do next?

I will remember the verse in James and keep asking God for wisdom and continue to seek His direction.

I think this is the wise thing to do.

James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. “

By Kathy Cheek
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  Wisdom and Knowledge of God

•  Get Wise!

•  Salvation Explained


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I have travelled down many winding roads and couldn’t see what was ahead. There have been twists and turns I didn’t anticipate. There have also been dead ends I didn’t expect and forks in the road where I didn’t know which way to go. There have surprises and interruptions and changes that weren’t in any of my plans or on any of my lists.

It is hard to let go of wanting to know where I am going, when I will get there, and what exactly I will do when I reach my destination.  Following God does not mean we have all these answers before we begin a journey. Instead of answers, we need a strong faith that trusts Him.

I have travelled long enough to know our journey through life is often down an uncertain road. But it is a road not travelled alone. Even when we don’t know where we are going, God’s sovereign direction is taking place in our lives. And if that life is fully surrendered to the Lord, we will experience the peace in knowing He is in control and that He knows where the road leads.

As you follow Him, He will take you on a journey you never would have imagined and it probably won’t look like the journey you envisioned for yourself. We will never fully understand His mysterious ways and all the twists and turns in the paths we travel in relationship with the Lord. But I would rather travel the roads of life with Him than any other way.

Psalm 25:4-5

Show me Your ways, O LORD;  
Teach me Your paths.
 Lead me in Your truth and teach me,  
For You are the God of my salvation:   
On You I wait all the day.

By Kathy Cheek
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From: www.kathycheek.com

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•  God’s Plan – A Study on God’s Destiny for Me?

•  We Plan, God Directs

•  Salvation Explained


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“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105


Do we take God at His Word? This is an important question because for some people it means that we have to logically understand everything He says–and that is impossible. Does that mean we don’t take Him at His Word, or does it mean we engage our faith?

Yes, we must engage our faith to take God at His Word. God’s ways are higher than our ways and we will never understand everything He has written to us in our Bible. But we can believe what we don’t understand…by faith.

Faith is definitely required to take God at His Word and it begins the moment we exercise faith to receive Salvation and is integral in living out our new life in Christ.

It is also important that we read our Bible and know what God actually says in His Word and not just rely on teachers and preachers. We need to read our Bible and allow God to teach us. Not everyone is a studied theologian, but everyone can read Genesis through Revelation and ask God to teach them and increase their knowledge and wisdom.

Everyone can also benefit from the use of a concordance that is either in your Bible or buy one to use when you read the Bible. There are so many convenient and free online tools that can help with Bible study and we need to reap the benefits of the resources that are now online.

Why is this so important? We need to know what we believe and why we believe so that we can be grounded and rooted in our faith. We need to know God’s Word so that it can help us navigate our life.

We need to know God’s Word in order to benefit from the many promises He has given us.

His Word tells me if I believe on Him then I am saved: John 3:16, Romans 10:9

I will take Him at His Word.

His Word tells me once I am saved that I am His forever: John 10:27-30

I will take Him at His Word.

His Word tells me nothing can separate me from His love: Romans 8:38-39

I will take Him at His Word.

His Word says He has a plan for my life: Jeremiah 29:11

I will take Him at His Word. Proverbs 30:5

Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission
From: www.kathycheek.com

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Further Reading

•  God’s Mysterious Ways

•  Jesus is Always There!

•  Salvation Explained


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I want to be counted among those who intentionally draw near to Jesus—near to the One who saved us, loves us, and pours immeasurable grace and mercy into our lives; the One who leads and guides us, strengthens us, and never leaves us alone.

I remember others long before me who are known for drawing near:

I remember Mary, at the feet of Jesus.

I remember John, the beloved disciple, leaning on the chest of our Lord.

I remember David, the psalmist whose soul thirsted for God.

I remember Enoch, walking close beside Him—so close, in fact, that God just walked him on up to heaven, completely bypassing death.

The list could go on and on. I want my name to be included with those who have deeply desired intimate communion and fellowship with the Lord. Don’t you?

I want to draw near to the Lord who wakens me each morning and reminds me that this new day He has made is a day to be glad. And I am glad—deep-in-my-heart glad that I am His and He is mine. I am grateful that I have the privilege of walking in close relationship with Him.

Let’s live each day for Him and with Him and be counted near. There is no better place to be. 

Psalm 145:18 “The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.”

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission
From: www.kathycheek.com

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Further Reading

•  Pressing the RESET button on our lives 

•   Keeping Yourself in God’s Love – even during painful times in your life

•  Salvation Explained


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The stronger our trust is in God, the greater our power over fear.


Have you ever noticed how quickly fear can sneak up on us and sweep us up into a whirlwind of anxious thoughts spiraling out of control? Have you also noticed that fear often rolls in like storm clouds that darken every thought in every corner of our soul?

This is the work of the Enemy – he does this often, he loves this scare tactic, because sadly, it works almost every time.

Sometimes a very small circumstance that is troubling us becomes huge in an instant and fills us with fear, and we don’t even know how it happened so suddenly. That is the nature of fear. It eats away at any peace and stability in our lives. It threatens to invade every waking moment of our day.  Fear takes on a life of its own and undermines our faith and trust in God.

God has not given us a spirit of fear. God gives us courage, boldness, and strength. That is His nature and it is what He desires for us through His strength inside of us. Our enemy, Satan, wants us to walk in fear. God, our heavenly Father who loves us with an everlasting love desires us to cast out all fear and walk in power, love, and with a sound mind. When we do this, fear is conquered! We overcome what the enemy brings against us in an attack of fear.

When we learn to fight fear and receive God’s strength to do so, we will face fear as a challenge we know we can overcome, instead of letting it overcome us.

2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

By Kathy Cheek
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Further Reading

•  The Names of God – A Bible study

   Loneliness

•  Salvation Explained


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Far too often I hear variations of this statement: “I’ve tried everything I know to do, and nothing is working, so now I’ll give it to God (or now I just have to trust God).”

When bad news comes, we are presented with a choice.

We can give it to God first, with a heart full of trust; or we can give it everything we have in our own strength first and eventually, after multiple failed efforts, give it to God.

This important choice to trust doesn’t mean everything suddenly turns to sunshine and roses.

Circumstances do not instantly resolve themselves and fall perfectly into place. That’s not how it works. Instead, we find that our choice to trust God will bring a presence of peace we didn’t have before. This is the kind of peace we read about in Isaiah 26:3:

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”

When I follow the pattern of first instead of finally, I am comforted. I know God is in control, and trusting Him allows me to approach every difficulty or stress with a much calmer state of mind. When I fall into the pattern of finally instead of first, I ultimately regret that I didn’t give it to God in the first place.

When will we learn to take everything to God, which is what we need to do first instead of finally?

Let’s take our challenges to Him in prayer…    

“Lord, we give these situations to you; they are in your hands. You have the answers. We know you are with us, and we trust you with our life challenges. Please lead and guide us, and grant us wisdom. We know these circumstances are not ours to handle alone. Amen.

Proverbs 3:5

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding. “

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission
From: First Breath of Morning: Where God Waits For You Every Day.

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Further Reading

   Truth – God’s truth remains the same from age to age,

•  God, our Shield

•  Salvation Explained


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When others have deeply hurt and betrayed us, may we find it in our hearts to forgive as God forgives,


I do not write this lightly, I’ve lived it and learned (slowly at times) that the way we forgive people who have deeply hurt us is nowhere close to the forgiveness with which God forgives us.

As I have repeatedly read the story of Joseph’s reconciliation (Genesis 37-50) with his brothers, I have been moved each time by the deep compassion and mercy he extended to his brothers. He taught us a valuable and beautiful lesson on forgiveness.

We don’t know how long it took him to reach that level of forgiveness after his brothers plotted to murder him, tossed him into a pit, and then sold him into slavery. In my personal opinion, I doubt it was early on because the hurt was so fresh and deep at that time. Maybe it was a work God accomplished in his heart through a slow and gradual process over the many years he was falsely imprisoned.

Maybe it was when he was released from prison and saw the enormous responsibility and position God had placed him in. Maybe his heart was opened then to a deeper understanding of God’s ways, as He learned God’s assignment for him was to save the people from famine.

Whenever it was that the healing work of forgiveness took place in Joseph’s heart, I am thankful that he obediently humbled himself and allowed God to bring this about in him. I have seen many people resist God’s work of forgiveness in their lives, and the result is always bitterness. Sometimes it is a very evident, outwardly visible root of bitterness. Sometimes it is a hidden, pushed down, denied form of bitterness, and yet it still spills forth in the life of the unforgiving person.

The evidence of genuine forgiveness was displayed when Joseph was reunited with his brothers and he didn’t condemn them.  He wept and cried and assured them that what they meant for evil, God meant for good. He took care of them and re-established relationship with them.

When others have deeply hurt and betrayed us, may we find it in our hearts to forgive as God forgives, as God taught Joseph to forgive, and as Stephen forgave those who stoned him (Acts 6 and 7). Stephen’s story is compelling beyond words. With his dying breath, he forgave those who were taking his life.

Following the example of Joseph, Stephen, and Jesus Christ, may we hold no charge against our offenders and betrayers and toss their offense ‘as far as the east is from the west’ (Psalm 103:12). God wants us to give mercy to others as He has been merciful to us. He wants us to forgive as we have been forgiven.

Colossians 3:12b-13 teaches us to put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long suffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission
From: First Breath of Morning: Where God Waits For You Every Day.

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Further Reading

•   Feelings, Forgiveness and Peace | by Dr. Muriel Larson

•  Freedom of Forgiveness  | by Katherine Kehler

•  Salvation Explained


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Proverbs 16:9 “A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.”


There have been many times my life did not track the way I thought it would. Yet, I learned that when it doesn’t track according to my plan, that doesn’t mean it isn’t tracking according to God’s plan. When I watched my life take twists and turns that did not seem to add up to any expectation of what I perceived to be God’s plan for my life, I wrestled with how to deal with the perplexing turns my life was taking.

I know God is in the business of changing, molding, shaping, and testing us. There will be unexpected twists and turns in the events of our lives that will make us wonder what God is doing and the answer won’t seem clear at all. That is part of the test to see if we are serious about the work He has called us to do. It is also part of the test to see if we are willing to be changed, molded, and prepared for what He has planned for us in His perfect timing, perfect way, and in His perfect will.

I don’t know if the perplexing part of my journey was God changing me, preparing me, testing me, or the enemy assaulting me, or if it was all of those. If God was changing me, I am definitely a different person now. If He was testing me, I want to pass the test.  If He was preparing me, I am thankful for the work He is doing in me. If the enemy was attacking me, he failed.

God is building something out of our lives, and the beginning product does not look like the finished product. God is the one with the blueprint and the plan. Looking back across the years of my life’s journey, I can trace God’s work in my life through many turns in the road, including detours and disappointments, along with joy and blessings. Ultimately, His will is being accomplished in my life, and I choose to walk this road with Him, even when I don’t know where the road is leading.

Proverbs 16:9A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.”

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

•  Pressing the RESET button on our lives 

•   Keeping Yourself in God’s Love – even during painful times in your life

•  Salvation Explained


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A Prayer Recognizing God’s Mercies


Dear Heavenly Father,
I did not know You would want to bless my life this way.

Your love has changed me.
Your joy and peace have
Filled my life to new heights with Your goodness.

Your freedom in my heart causes me to
Lift my wings and soar across the wind.

I’ll never be the same
Because of Your love
And all you’ve given me.

You have shown me tender mercies.
You have extended to be abounding grace and patience.

You have taught me to walk by faith,
Trust Your ways,
Stand firm in the courage You’ve given me.

You’ve taught me to believe
You would move heaven and earth for me
To work miracles in my life.

You held me close and loved me as only You can love,
That is the best part of all You’ve given me.

I have tasted of Your goodness, Lord,
And everything else diminished by far.

Psalm 34:8
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good.
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him.”

By Kathy Cheek
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www.kathycheek.com

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Random Acts of Kindness it is amazing how random acts of kindness affect those around you.

Harsh Judgments Can Kill One’s Spirit

•  Salvation Explained


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Every step we take, every path we follow, even when we stumble and fall, God is holding onto us.


I hope you will always remember that as you continue your journey, and as you choose to walk by faith with the Lord.

Today, I want to leave these scriptures with you. They happen to be among my favorites and I run to them often for encouragement when I don’t know which step to take next or don’t know where the path leads.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11

A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand. Psalm 37:23-24

Show me Your ways, O Lord;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day.
Psalm 25:4-5

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.  Psalm 119:105

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

•   Struggles, Despair
  Should I Pray Every Day? 
•   Salvation Explained


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I don’t like myself when I mess up but I am reminded God’s grace is there for me and I can do better with His help. I want to do better.


I am flawed. Every day I miss the mark. Every day I lose patience and say things the wrong way which means I should not have said them at all.

I keep messing up. Last week I forgot to pray for someone I assured I would remember their prayer request. I saw her at church and the stress of her situation was written across her face and I was reminded that I need to pray. I was also reminded of my negligence.

I stand in the line at the grocery store and chit chat with the cashier or another person in line with me and forget to share the Lord in some way when God opens the door and gives me a moment to open my mouth and be a light in a dark world. When I get in my car and pull out of the parking lot I shake my head disappointed in myself because I let that moment slip out of my hands.

I have negative and critical thoughts about someone and then I am filled with guilt. I should know better. I do know better, and yet…there were those negative and critical thoughts exploding in my mind.

The list is endless.

There is bad news and there is good news.

Bad news: I have flaws and I mess up—consistently. I am not perfect. Not even close. Sometimes I am just a big mess.         

Good news: I am a sinner saved by grace. Then the good news gets even better. There is someone who is perfect. Jesus is the perfect one. He perfectly loves me every day. He loves me although I am flawed and when I miss the mark. I am desperate for this kind of love and He offers it to me freely every day.

I don’t like myself when I mess up but I am reminded God’s grace is there for me and I can do better with His help. I want to do better. God is patient with me and He continues to work in me to make me more like Him. This gives me hope. I am deeply thankful there is hope and grace for this flawed heart of mine.

Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.

By Kathy Cheek
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Further Reading

•  Fast Of Words: A Different Kind of Fast
•  How to Fall in Love with Jesus by Sylvia Gunter
•  Salvation Explained


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There was a time that I endured a season in my life when several uncertain and difficult circumstances were bearing down on me, and I remember feeling the weight of more than I could handle pressing hard on me. I could physically sense a weight pushing down on both my shoulders and my neck grew stiff from the stress.

There was a serious illness in the family. A messy situation in the extended family. Trouble brewing at a job.

My attempts to change things were futile. My efforts to fix things met with disaster, not improvement.

I had trouble going to sleep at night because it was hard to relax with so many worries running through my mind.

The more I worried, the worse things became.

One night while tossing and turning in my bed, I remembered the verse Isaiah 40:31 about God renewing our strength when we trust and wait on Him. I asked God to please renew my strength for the next day. I pleaded with Him to help me make it through tomorrow without the weight of the world pressing down on me.

I recalled the exact words of the entire verse and received its message into the depths of my heart.

But those who wait on 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.”  ~ Isaiah 40:31

I repeated this beautiful verse to myself several times and found my strength being renewed as I continued to meditate on the meaning of its words. God was faithful to renew my strength! I fell asleep that night and slept a more peaceful sleep than I had experienced in weeks.

I woke up the next morning and the weight of the world was not pressing down on me. I believed I could run and not be weary, walk and not faint. I felt so much lighter it was as if I could fly! God taught me that He never intended our burdens to crush us under their weight. His promise to those who wait on Him is to renew our strength.

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission
From:First Breath of Morning: Where God Waits For You Every Day.

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Going Deeper with God
Jesus is Always There!
•  Salvation Explained

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“But those who wait on 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.” Isaiah 40:31

But those who wait on 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.” Isaiah 40:31

Our Christian walk of faith is often a journey of waiting…and waiting, which we don’t always do with much patience. Put my name at the top of that list, but I am learning. Waiting is hard, because we don’t know what the answer will be. Neither do we know when the answer will come.

Yet, knowing that God holds the answer turns our waiting into trust. As a result, faith renews our strength to wait. And we will need a lot of strength, because we will do a great deal of waiting on our faith journey.

Everything we do, we do by faith. As faith is enabling us to trust and wait, it is also building more faith to help us wait on Him for the results. Many times, those results are a long, long time coming; and yet, faith is required day by day for the journey.

Our journey isn’t necessarily about the end result, but how we endure the unknown. Will we endure when we grow discouraged? Will we trust Him to renew our strength and move us out of the place of discouragement to a place of peace and hope again? In my experience, when I call out to Him with my discouraged heart, He is always faithful to lift me up again; then I can rest once again in knowing He is in control.

Faith is often a waiting journey.
Faith is not a walk of knowing.
Faith is not a knowing journey.
Faith is knowing Him,
Not knowing what the future holds,
But knowing the One who holds the future,
Knowing He is God,
Knowing He is Sovereign.

The choice to trust will help us wait. This choice will help us persevere and grow and learn; it will test us and teach us, and our faith will grow deeper. A deeper faith is the result of bravely waiting on the Lord.

By Kathy Cheek
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Is there a more beautiful passage in the Bible than the 23rdPsalm?  It is definitely in a category all its own and has always been a favorite of mine.

The riches of each phrase wrap around my heart like a cool fresh breeze after a long hot afternoon.

Stepping into the depths of its treasure is a gift to the soul every time we read these six intricate verses.

The weary find solace. The wounded find healing. The hungry are filled. The thirsty are quenched. The fearful find comfort. The tired are refreshed. The worshiper finds intimacy with the Lord.

We will all find God’s immeasurable goodness and mercy.

What do you need this coming week? I pray you will find it in the words of this beloved Psalm.

PSALM 23

A Psalm of David

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

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD
Forever.

By Kathy Cheek
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Further Reading

•   God is Sufficient
•   Jesus is Always There!
•  Salvation Explained

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