Some years ago many churches would have a noticeboard outside called a "Wayside Pulpit".
On it would be a Christian message or slogan.
This "Website Pulpit" is a modern version of that where Christian messages or slogans can be read.
That's all I need to know!
A Sunday School teacher once challenged all of her five and six year old students to memorize Psalm 23 over the course of their quarter together. She would regularly test them all on certain verses and they repeatedly did very well. The end of the quarter came and all of her students lined up against the wall ready to recite and one after another did an admirable job. Some had to be coached at certain points but it was obvious they had all put forth a tremendous effort. Finally little Billy’s turn came and he stepped forward confident that he was ready to repeat each word without any trouble. He summoned all of his courage and began to recite, “The Lord is my Shepherd…” but in the heat of the moment he could not remember how the remainder went. So after several seconds of awkward silence little Billy simply concluded by saying, “…and that’s all I need to know!”
I never think about that story without laughing to myself a little bit, having been in situations at times when I could not recall what I intended to say next and wishing that I could have come up with so humorous a quip as he did. But it also makes me stop and pause that at the heart of the matter what he said was exactly right. If I can honestly come to grasp that the Lord is my Shepherd and know exactly what it means for Him to be my Shepherd and for me to be one of His sheep that covers many of the bases of Christian living. As Shepherd God has authority over me and I must respect that authority by submitting my life wholly under the control of His will. That involves initial obedience to the gospel, faithful living, proper worship, righteous works, etc. It means respecting the authority of His teaching in all matters including the unique and exclusive nature of His church, moral expectation, heaven and hell, and all other matters on which we commonly either unite or divide. Just study and apply Jesus’ parable of the Good Shepherd in John 10 to David’s consideration of the Lord as his Shepherd in Psalm 23 – the full implications of the two together far outweigh any watered down version supplied by many pulpits around the world.
It’s amazing how the simplest and even unintended statements in life often turn out to be the most profound and uplifting. Little Billy taught me a lesson that is virtually unrivaled by the greatest theologians of history, if I will fully place myself into the care and under the authority of God as the Master of my life and commit myself to serving Him as a faithful servant should then everything else will naturally fall into place. Or as little Billy put it, “The Lord is my Shepherd…and that’s all I need to know!”
8 Inspiring Messages For The Christian Trying To Stay Strong In Faith
By Marisa Donnelly,
1. God is with you, wherever you wander.
“Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
— Romans 8:39 (NIV)
Sometimes we get caught up in our sin. We all have moments where our mistakes take control, where our hearts are weighed down with heaviness, when we feel so far away from God. But here’s the thing: God sees all of that. He sees our mess, our brokenness, our guilt. And He loves us anyway.
There is nowhere we can go to hide from His love. There is no point in our lives where He sees us as undeserving or unworthy of love. There is nothing we can do to separate ourselves from Him.
So even when you feel like you’ve gone so far from His grace, know that He hasn’t left your side. Know that all you need is to ask for forgiveness, to clean your heart, and to trust in Him to lead you out of temptation and back into healing and light.
2. You can find strength in His name.
“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
— Philippians 4:13 (NIV)
There will be moments when your faith falters, when you’re lonely or exhausted or just plain sad. There will be moments where grief grabs ahold of you and crumbles you to the ground, where all that you’ve believed feels empty, and when each breath feels like a chore. But in these moments, you will find redemption and power in His name. In these moments, if you choose to follow Him, He will guide you away from the heartbreak, the loneliness, the death, the loss, the toughest moments of your life, and back into His arms.
God’s word and love will give you strength, even when you feel empty.
So trust Him. Give Him control. Give Him your fears and anxieties and aches. Give Him all of you, and allow Him to work His beauty and grace into your life. Let Him remind you are—a child of God.
3. You are loved, even on your darkest days.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
— John 3:16 (NIV)
God loves you so much. He loves you enough to give His Son for you, to watch His Son die for you, to put the sins of the world on His back for you. That is incredible love.
Some days you may feel undeserving, blemished, bruised. But God doesn’t see you that way. He sees how you haven’t measured up, He sees the sin you carry and commit, but more importantly, He sees forgiveness. He sees you as His son or daughter. He sees you as His creation, and there is nothing you can do to remove that beautiful image from His mind.
On your darkest days, remember that He is with you. Remember that He loves you. Remember that He will never forsake you.
Remember that His Son died for you, and all you need to do is repent and believe in Jesus and the forgiveness of sins. Then be cleansed, renewed, replace dark with light, and start again in His name.
4. He will guide you out of temptation if you trust Him.
“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
— 1 John 4:4 (NIV)
Temptation is all around us. It will knock at your door, it will bang on your window, it will try to sneak its way into your heart. But when you feel lost or that your faith is wavering, when you feel like your guard is slowly breaking down—pray, trust. Know that God is stronger than any temptation, and if you trust Him, he will rescue you.
5. You serve an Almighty God.
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.”
— Isaiah 40:28 (NIV)
Our God is so big. He is bigger than any pain we may experience, any evil we may face, any hardship that tries to break us into little pieces. He is bigger than our fear or failure. He is bigger than any doubt.
When you feel like your world is spinning out of control, when you’re unsure whether you have the strength to continue, remember that God has you in the palm of His hand. Wherever you go or whatever you do, He is with you. And that will never change.
6. You have not been abandoned.
“Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor.”
— Romans 12:10 (ESV)
Not only is God always with you, but you are surrounded by a community of believers. There are so many people who care for you, who have good intentions with your heart, who long to protect and love and support you when you’re low. Reach out to these people. Be open to their help. Solicit advice and kindness when you need it. Build friendships. Open your heart.
You were never meant to face this world alone.
Talk to the people you sit by at church. Extend a helping hand to someone who’s struggling. Pray for a stranger, for a friend, for someone you’ve never met. Know that God intended His community to be here on earth and build those connections all around you. You are never alone.
7. God sees the good you are doing.
“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”
— Hebrews 6:10 (NIV)
It can be so easy to fall into the trap of feeling not good enough. Whether it be a kindness gone unnoticed, a tired ache after a long day, feeling like you’re never measuring up, or that God doesn’t care—it happens to all of us. But often this is because we’re too focused on ourselves to see that God is blessing us in so many ways, and often in different ways than we expect.
We should do always do good; not because we want it returned to us, but out of the kindness of our hearts. We should allow God’s love to fill us and shine through us. We shouldn’t be hoping for a reward. But we should also know that God does see the positive things we are doing; a good deed, in His eyes, doesn’t go unnoticed. He loves us and hasn’t forgotten us.
8. Your faith is more powerful than your fear
.“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
— John 14:27 (NIV)
This world will give you so many unknowns—whether that’s career-wise, love/relationship-wise, health-wise, status-wise, or even where you call home. There are moments you can’t plan for, whether that has to do with your loved ones, your decisions, or how moments play out around you. In those moments you can fold, you can be anxious, you can live with regret or fear, or you can trust God.
Let your faith in the Father be bigger than any fear.
Even when times are tough, even when you’re unsure where to go, even when you’re filled with doubt, know that God has a plan. Know that God isn’t just going to leave you in the dust. This world might not always make sense, and your prayers might not be answered in the way you hope, but that doesn’t mean He’s ignoring you. Perhaps an unanswered prayer is a blessing you never know you needed. Perhaps a closed door is an opened one down the road. Perhaps the pain you’re feeling is a powerful lesson in strength. Perhaps you simply need a reminder that you serve an all-powerful God.
Marisa Donnelly is a poet and author of the book, Somewhere on a Highway,