Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Goodness & Mercy - The Abundant Life

Welcome to Word-Filled Wednesday, hosted by Amydeanne at The 160 Acre Woods.

I have really enjoyed doing this series on Psalm 23. Links to the rest of the posts in this series at the bottom.

"The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth 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 thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over." ~ Psalm 23:1-5 (KJV)

David knew God as his Shepherd and Provider, as we read above. He knew the Lord had prepared good things for him and that he had no reason to fear evil because God was with him every step of the way. He gave him rest, guidance, discipline and food. He was truly Everything to David and it was easy to trust Him to have the assurance found in the last verse of this chapter.

I have the same assurances as David. I have experienced God as my Shepherd and Provider, the Preparer of good things for me, knowing that I have no reason to fear. I trust Him to provide me with rest, guidance and dispcipline when I need it. I praise God for His glorious gift of grace and mercy, and the sweet assurance that I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever." ~ Psalm 23:6 (KJV)

Does this mean that my future here on earth will be an easy one? Yes in some ways, no in others. What exactly are "goodness and mercy"?

Let's look at the Hebrew word for goodness, which holds great promise for our future! What an exciting definition to look at! Our heart can surely trust in God to be our Provider of these good things. The word towb means:

1) good, pleasant, agreeable
a) pleasant, agreeable (to the senses)
b) pleasant (to the higher nature)
c) good, excellent (of its kind)
d) good, rich, valuable in estimation
e) good, appropriate, becoming
f) better (comparative)
g) glad, happy, prosperous (of man's sensuous nature)
h) good understanding (of man's intellectual nature)
i) good, kind, benign
j) good, right (ethical)
n m
2) a good thing, benefit, welfare
a) welfare, prosperity, happiness
b) good things (collective)
c) good, benefit
d) moral good
n f
3) welfare, benefit, good things
a) welfare, prosperity, happiness
b) good things (collective)
c) bounty

The Hebrew word for mercy is checed, which also holds great promise. It means:

1) goodness, kindness, faithfulness
2) a reproach, shame

How would we know God's mercy if we did not understand and feel reproach and shame over our sins? This was something David felt often, and was expressed to God in his desire for His goodness and mercy as seen below.

"Answer me, O LORD, out of the goodness of your love; in your great mercy turn to me." ~ Psalm 69:6 (NIV)

God is so good to provide us with goodness and mercy. Do you have the full confidence that it will follow you all the days of your life? You can if you just have faith in God. Trust Him to provide it. Look for it in your life.

So many times we see and experience the negative things of the world around us, and while we are right to be concerned, we should never let this world become an albatross around our necks, letting the worries of the world weigh us down. God wants us to live an abundant life!

"The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)." ~ John 10:10 (Amplified Bible)

Some steps to receiving God's goodness and mercy, His abundant life for us might be...

A - Accepting Christ as our Savior frees us from living life in the pit. "He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand." ~ Psalm 40:2 (NIV)

B - Believe that God has provided us with goodness and mercy - it increases our confidence in Him. "Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." Lamentations 3:22-24 (NIV)

U - Understand that God has a plan for our lives, a good plan! "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." ~ Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

N - Never lose sight of the prize set before us - eternal life. "Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." ~ Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV)

D - Deny any earthly desires we feel and fix our eyes upon Jesus. "So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature." ~ Galatians 5:16 (NIV)

A - Admit your sins to God and keep a short account of our sins. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." ~ 1 John 1:9 (NIV)

N - Never forget that God delights in us. "the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love." ~ Psalm 147:11 (NIV)

T - Trust God to provide His goodness for us. "I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living." ~ Psalm 27:13 (NIV)

L - Let our attitude be one that exudes confidence in God, during hard times and good times. "The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever." ~ Isaiah 32:17 (NIV)

I - Identify with God, not the world. "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." ~ Romans 12:2 (NIV)

F - Fill our lives with the fruit from the Vine - the fruit of the Spirit. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." ~ Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)

E - Eagerly share Christ's goodness and mercy with other believers, spurring them on toward an abundant life in Christ. "He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation." ~ Mark 16:15 (NIV)

To view all posts in this series, please visit the links below.

Psalm 23:1
Psalm 23:2
Psalm 23:3
Psalm 23:4
Psalm 23:5

The purpose of WFW is to share the Word of God through photo's and a verse. Amydeanne, over at The 160 Acre Woods, is our hostess. Be sure to link up and share your own, and drop her a thank you for hosting this wonderful meme each week. It always blesses my heart to read all the posts and see the photos and verses. This is a wonderful way to minister to others and to be ministered to by reading others posts. Please visit by clicking on the button below.


Denise said...

Awesome post sweetie.

Michele Williams said...

Once again, an awesome post! I always learn something from you. Bless you dear...

Homesteader in Training said...

So when are you starting that bible study lol. You would be so good at it my friend.Keep it up sister!

Lisa said...

Great list to keep in mind, thank you. I love those inspirational posts that are so reminding of good ways to be so that we do not miss out on the wonderful blessing God has for us.

Tammy said...

Thank you for the reminder - God's goodness and mercy all the days of our lives. Thank you Lord!

LAURIE said...

Great Word today Laurie Ann. Gods goodness and mercy follows us ... I like to think of it like He chases us and will ALL the days of our lives.

Have a great Wednesday! Laurie

Susan said...


L - Let our attitude be one that exudes confidence in God, during hard times and good times. "The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever." ~ Isaiah 32:17 (NIV)

Now, I'm working HARD on this one!

Blessings my sweet friend♥

Melanie said...

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.." What a great promise we have when we follow the Lord and seek Him to provide for all our needs!

Happy WFW, Laurie Ann!

Jennifer said...

Amazing and powerful truth from the Word of God today, Laurie Ann!

Thank you for bringing so much insight and clarity to every post and every scripture. We all need challenging...I need it daily which you always provide. So much depth but yet so simplified.

Truly a blessing to me, Sister In Christ!


Joyfull said...

Beautiful picture and post! What a wonderful comfort and promise of our Good Shepherd. Thanks for sharing and uplifting us today with God's Word.

ellen b said...

Good morning Laurie Ann. What amazing promises God has given to us through Jesus...

Debra said...

Laurie Ann,

I am so glad that goodness and mercy are following me! I love God's promises! I'm counting on them.

Blessings to you!

Tricia said...

How thankful I am that goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and that I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever!

My boys have recently memorized this Psalm, and it is even more precious to me now as I have taught it to them and we have talked about what the different verses mean... and it was really precious when we went to church one day and the pastor recited it, the boys were so excited that they knew what he was saying!

I have really enjoyed the "meat" you have shared regarding this Psalm, thanks for sharing!


Chelle said...

Wow, this verse looks familiar! hee hee. Love how you go through it in your post.

Jill said...

Beautiful and so well said! Thanks for all the time you put into your posts!

Hugs and blessings,

Peggy said...

Blessings Laurie Ann...This is WHY you deserve so many awards of recognition...FRIEND & teacher...
Insights from Our Lord that you carefully research & write to clearly exemplify His Word!

Your photo & this verse are excellent! I am blessed that as I was lost now found(like the sheep)...His goodness & mercy follows me.

I do not live my LIFE as one that is ABUNDANT! So I looked through each letter to select which I have and which I lack; to focus on.

I've not decided though yet. So I will follow Psalm 69 and wait for His answer! These WFW are serious Bible Studies with you! One verse at a time...expanded to being blessed by many and I won't allow
the thief to steal...kill & destroy
no more so I'm looking to ENJOY!

May you enjoy WFW while I work on your teaching! You didn't need to visit me again but I'm glad you did. Thanks! I saw you posted, & thought I commented but I'll check!
Thanks for blessing me with your always!

Named Alicia said...

Great post my friend!I am so glad we don't have to be weighed down by the world. Thank you for the reminder!

Happy WFW!

Carrie said...

Laurie Ann, God bless you for doing this wonderful series. It was good to read where you stated,"we should never let this world become an albatross around our necks, letting the worries of the world weigh us down." Every day I need to be conscious of His abundant mercy and grace toward me.

JesusRulzMe said...

Oh, amen and amen and amen!!! I LOVE this!

And I so love how you worded this statement:

"we should never let this world become an albatross around our necks, letting the worries of the world weigh us down."

GREAT visual! I'll remember that next time I get snagged with worldly worries. Thanks sis!

Love you so much!

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

i love THAT PICTURE! And you chose a perfect photo too.
How are things these days? I haven't had much time for emailing and things so feel SO OUT OF TOUCH!
But Im thinking of you and sending you holykisses!

Jenifer said...

Laurie Ann, I love your picture and verse. It's beautiful. I, too, have enjoyed my recent study of Psalm 23.

Blessings to you!

God Chaser said...

As always your lessons are wonderful and informative thanks so much for sharing what the Holy Spirit pours into your heart. Be blessed.
PS I love the last verse-surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Amydeanne said...

always interesting!

God Chaser said...

Please share TT with me-I have an award for you.

Cheryl said...

Hey Laurie Ann,

So much to soak in. Such good words and timing.