the scripture at the bottom

I don’t know if you have noticed but there is a scripture that is at the bottom of this blog. It has been there since day one. For several years, this verse has been underlined in most of the Bibles that I own. I consider it a leading verse in my life. David has always been an inspiration to me, mostly because, although far from perfect, he had a heart after God’s heart.

The verse I am referring to is Psalms 78:72 And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them. (NIV)

The core words of this verse are obvious: 1) shepherded, 2) integrity, 3) skillful and 4) led. They intermingle and are inextricably connected. Can one be a true shepherd without being skillful? Can one who herds sheep (for God) lack integrity? Can we lead God’s people if we are not shepherds? This verse reminds me and challenges me and encourages me.

The Message version of the verse says, “His good heart made him a good shepherd; he guided the people wisely and well.” I want to have a good heart. This means to search for God’s heart until you discover it. This requires time and energy and focus. It also requires a removal of all other distractions from your heart. Maybe you have heard someone say, “God won’t settle for second place in your life.”

The version I used at the bottom is the New Century Version: “And David led them with an innocent heart and guided them with skillful hands.” We will never have an innocent heart unless we first discover God’s heart and then emulate it. His heart is perfectly pure and holy. Ours only becomes pure through His power.

If you are a leader and you want to do a good job of leading, capture God’s heart. I do believe the sequence of events can’t be reversed. First comes integrity, then comes skill. This “skill” is not the result of experience or education, or even hard work. It is the gift of purity. God bestows it on those who are close to Him.

God, please give me a good heart let me do a good job of leading your people.

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