God is always good. I am not.

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Have you ever noticed that it takes little to no effort to get off track? If I should even think on eating more nutritious, It’s usually followed by a bag of chips or a snack cake. If I say I’m going to read my bible more and write more for the Jesus Chick site, that too is followed by a rabbit trail of ineffective jargon (the junk food of social media usually). If I say I’m going to do ministry work more deliberately, ten people want my time for something else, or I convince myself I’m too tired. So how does one stay focused and on task for the Lord Jesus?

I’ll just tell you, I’m terrible at it. But I look to the scripture for examples. There is Simon Peter, whom I love to read about because he and I share like personalities. I’m always a zealot. I’ll go Lord! Pick me, pick me. And then I fail Him miserably. Far worse than Peter. When Jesus was arrested in the garden, Peter fought for Him, and cut the soldiers ear off. I love that! And then Jesus healed it back, I love that more. Because Jesus shows us His mercy extended even in the middle of the absolute worst night of His life.

Mark 14:46-52 KJV
[46] And they laid their hands on him, and took him. [47] And one of them that stood by drew a sword, and smote a servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.

[48] And Jesus answered and said unto them, Are ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and with staves to take me? [49] I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled. [50] And they all forsook him, and fled.

Such grace He bestowed from the time of His arrest to His final act of mercy on the cross when the thief was allowed to enter into Heaven.

But then there’s a fella whom I have not heard much about, and really don’t remember a sermon having been preached on him, although perhaps I’ve forgotten it. Following Peter’s sword fiasco and Christ’s arrest, there is a “certain man” who along with all the others fled, but of him it said he went one step further. He fled naked.

[51] And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body ; and the young men laid hold on him: [52] And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.

It caused me to think of the many, many, utter failures I have done against my Lord, and how each time there was nothing concealed from Him. I might as well have been naked too. Because Christ sees me as I am each time I fail. Raw. Ashamed. No fingers to point at others, just myself. That is how I’ve felt for weeks, and weeks. I struggle to fit God into my daily walk, I have ministry plans that need done, and yet it’s delayed. I’m off track, once again.

I think about the rail road tracks behind my Grandma Vada’s home that are no longer in use by the railroad. They’ve turned them into a bike and walking trail. It’s very nice. But I liked it when it was a train track. It was productive, It employed people and things were moved that created industry elsewhere, and there was the little guy in the caboose that waived to us kids who stood on my Mommaw’s back porch and got the biggest kick out of it. It was an era when young peoples minds were filled with good dreams, not the nightmares of today.

So what does that have to do with the naked man in the garden? I’m not sure of his future endeavors for the Lord, but I know the endeavors of my buddy Simon Peter. He is my buddy even though he may not know it yet. When I get to Heaven I want him to tell me the stories of his life face to face. I’ll bet they’re exciting, but I’ll bet there were days he struggled to stay on track. After the resurrection of the Lord, after he’d experienced the greatest of all miracles, the Risen Lord, Peter was caught taking selfies on a fishing boat with a bunch of his buddies. Just hanging out. Not serving the Lord, not preaching the gospel, not doing what he was called to do. And he too was naked. What is it about these silly boys that they took their clothes off? Peter grabbed his coat and got dressed before he faced the Lord, but God already knew that he’d been backslidden and took a bunch of friends with him.

Tonight I hear Christ say to me “feed my sheep,” just as He did to Peter. Three times he told Peter to feed His sheep and Peter would get so frustrated because he didn’t understand what the Lord meant. Until the third time and then he realized that God had replaced his failure of denying the Lord three times with three commands. Feed my sheep. I don’t care that you’ve failed, you have work to do. Get dressed and get busy. My sheep need fed.

I hear that tonight, get busy, the Lord’s sheep need fed. They’re sick and tired of waking up sick and tired and you have the answer, why are you not telling them about the Lord. I heard a man say the other day that he got saved because his friend just kept saying, “Aren’t you tired of struggling?” Until one day the man said, yes, yes I am. And accepted the Lord Jesus and ended his struggles. what about you, are you tired of misery? Are you tired of struggling? Life’s not easy for the saved either, but it’s whole lot better than the life of the lost. On the worst of days, I still have hope, I still have faith that God’s going to take me out of here, and when He does, I’ll be in a land of perfection. Can you imagine that? I can’t hardly fathom it, but I know it’s real. And I know that even until then, while I’m living on this messed up planet. God is still good and He will provide. Amen!

Message me. Call me. Just let me know that you’ve felt a touch from the Lord. I would love to know it. ~ Your pal, Shari.

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Shari Johnson. (aka The Jesus Chick) has been encouraging women of faith and youth for a closer walk with Christ for over ten years. Having a burden for the leadership in American Churches, much of her writing is meant to spear on the servant of God to do more for the cause of Christ in these uncertain times. With humor, transparency and solid bible teaching Shari outlines messages that are easily understood, life applicable, and often with easily remembered points to ponder in hopes that they’ll be reflected on throughout the day and serve as encouragement on the go. Her servant’s heart is grounded in her own local church believing that it is there that the greatest impact can be made and unfortunately suffers the greatest neglect across America. Shari speaks at women’s gatherings in hopes of leaving a giggle in their soul and a burning desire to serve in their own local body of believers having it said of her “I laughed, I cried, and I was drawn to the foot of the cross…” Which is what it’s all about. For information on scheduling Shari, call her direct at (304)377-6036, message her via email at talk2shari@gmail.com or find her on Facebook!

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