The Good Shepherd
Do you need to be reminded of how much God loves and cares for you? Do you need encouragement that you are not alone? Have you experienced lately the loving arms of your Heavenly Father’s embracing you? For daily life, more comforting words have never been written than the greatest passage in all of scripture — Psalm 23. All Christians need to commit this Shepherd’s Psalm to memory, allowing it to sink way down in our souls. The 17 phrases in this psalm cover every area of our lives. Our HIGH CALLING is singular — to know God and enjoy Him forever! Allow this succinct alliteration to minister to your heart.
The Lord is my Shepherd: That’s PERSONAL!
Jesus is the Good Shepherd, John 10:1-14, 27-29. I am His sheep. I follow Him; He does not follow me. His sheep hear and know His voice and follow Him.
I shall not want: That’s PROVISION!
The Lord has great abundance, Eph. 1:3. He supplies our needs. Phil. 4:19, Matt. 6:33-34.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures: That’s PLENTY!
He leads me beside the still waters: That’s PEACE!
Still, calm waters (cf. Mark 4:37-41). He is our Living Water (everlasting life), John 4:10-14 (Isa. 12:3; 55:1-2); 7:37-38. Water of life, Rev. 21:6 (22:1): “let him who thirsts come (and) take the water of life freely” (22:17).
He restores my soul: That’s PRESCRIPTION!
The Great Physician heals the sick, Luke 4:18.
He leads me in the paths of righteousness: That’s POWER!
By the Shepherd’s voice, John 10:3-4. By the Word of truth, Psa. 119:105; John 6:68; 14:6.
For His name’s sake: That’s PURPOSE!
God has prepared our path, Eph. 2:10 (1 John 1:7).We are His and accomplish His purposes when we are faithful to Him, Rom. 12:1-2; 14:7-8.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death: That’s PREDICAMENT!
Trials of life and death are common to all, 1 Cor. 10:13. Trials of life can mature and strengthen us in faith, James 1:2-3. In Christ, the terror of death gives way to joyful hope, 1 Cor. 15:54-57.
I will fear no evil: That’s PROTECTION!
Protected by a way of escape, 1 Cor. 10:13. Protected through watchful vigilance, 1 Pet. 5:8-9. Protected by the God of all grace and power, 1 Pet. 5:10 (Ps. 27:1-3; Isa. 41:8-10).
For You are with me: That’s PROMISE!
God is our faithful companion, Heb. 13:5-6. Fellowship with the Faithful One!
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me: That’s PREPARATION!
The Lord affirms His love for us and His presence with us as He trains us in righteous living, Heb. 12:6, 10-11.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies: That’s POSITION!
Our God is greater than the enemy, 1 John 4:4. Christ rules in the midst of enemies; offer willing service (Ps. 110:2-3). Hope doesn’t disappoint, Rom. 5:4-5 (1 Pet. 1:3; Heb. 6:19).
You anoint my head with oil: That’s PURIFICATION!
Fullness of blessings refresh the soul of those dedicated to God. Christians are dedicated to Christ and set apart from the world, 1 Cor. 1:2; cf. John 17:17.
My cup runs over: That’s PROSPERITY!
God exceeds and excels our requests and thoughts! Eph. 3:20 The blessings of God to the faithful are limitless, Mal. 3:10.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: That’s PROPHECY!
The certainty of faith, cf. Matt. 6:31-34. God’s goodness and mercy is with us always!
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord: That’s POSSESSION!
Only children (of God) dwell in the house (of God), Gal. 4:5-7.
Forever: That’s PERMANENCE!
God’s sheep enter the eternal kingdom, Matt. 25:32-40, 46.