Thursday, 12 April 2012

The LORD is my Shepherd!

Psalm 23 is a favorite of many many people. It has brought much comfort to many people grieving the loss of a loved one. But I would like to suggest that the comfort and assurance that it brings is what we need for our everyday lives. So let's consider Psalm 23.
Psalm 23... 1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
 2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
 3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
 4Yea, 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.
 5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
 6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

First of all I notice that the word LORD is in all capital letters which indicates that it refers to the name of God Himself, (YHWH ) God who is has no beginning and has no end, God who created the universe, the planets, the earth, people, animals, everything. The only true and living God!. That is who we are talking about here.
The LORD is my shepherd -  He is my personal shepherd. I am one in His fold, I am in His care, He takes the responsibility upon Himself to watch over me.
I shall not want. - He will supply what I really need. He is the giver of every good thing, however large or small, it is a gift from Him. He has given good to me way beyond what I deserve. ( As a sinner, I deserved hell but He came and rescued me and saved me from that). What good thing do we really possess  that does not come from the Hand of the LORD? Whether it be health, our homes, family, our abilities such as being able to breathe, work, walk, sing , speak, read, write, drive, see, smell, taste, hear, sleep, - I mean the list is pretty much endless. Glory to the LORD for these wonderful gifts.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters -my good Shepherd provides for me. A sheep that would lie down in green pastures has all needs met. I can depend on the LORD to provide all. He provides all and in His care I am secure.
I notice that He restores my soul, leads me in paths of righteousness for His Name sake.  As followers of Christ we are separate from the world. There is a difference between us and the non-Christians in our goals, lifestyles and values. God has set forth the standard what is right and what is sin. He wrote the handbook for living and it is the Bible. In Christ we are saved by grace and then from then on we seek to live a God honoring life as decribed in the Bible. So when God says it is sin to commit murder, lie, steal, live in drunkenness or commit adultery we believe Him and do things His way. He says marriage is only between one man and one woman and that for life, and that the marriage bed is to be kept undefiled, God  says fornication which is sex outside of marriage is sin, we believe Him and live accordingly. If we claim His name "Christian" we have an obligation to live like Christ would have us live. We should be careful to not drag His Holy name in the dirt.  Hebrews 12:14 -Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord
The valley of the shadow of death , I will fear no evil - The valley of the shadow of death could well mean our own passing through death but the "shadow of death" could also be an illness that we or a  loved one is experiencing, or the death of someone close to us.  The LORD holds us in life and in death. And we need not be afraid when He is with us. It says "Thou art with me". I believe that nothing can come into our lives (as believers) except that God gives the OK so to speak for it to come. If a hardship comes into our lives, He is not taken by surprise and He already knows how He plans to use it for good  in us if we will allow Him to. Satan plans for hardships to  destroy us but God uses hardships in us to teach us to trust Him more and more and to make us stronger in Him.
He prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies - we look forward to the marriage supper of the Lamb when we as His bride will be in His presence for eternity. Overflowing blessing will be there for those who remain faithful to Him to the end.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
What a blessed hope we have that He is preparing a home for each of us in Heaven that someday when our life is over down here we will go to dwell with Him forever. That is the most exciting thought ever!
John 14: 2-3
2In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

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