|Christ Jesus our Lord is the Good Shepherd. He laid down His life for us.|
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During this Lent season you have probably been asked this question "what are you giving up for Lent?" Many people give up chocolate, coffee or some other favorite food. Some give up computer time etc. In the church I attend we have been discussing grief, suffering, depression and sickness during our Sunday morning sessions. I think the 23rd Psalm is a good fit for Lent. Let me explain why.
Jesus says in John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
And this is exactly why we are preparing to celebrate Easter. Jesus our good Shepherd gave his life for us - He died on the cross to pay for our sin. We are his sheep. Jesus had no sin but He took our sin upon Himself and went to the cross in our place.
So in Psalm 23 we read these words:
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.
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.
In this season of Lent we are reminded of God's provisions for us.
First of course being Jesus sacrifice on the cross to redeem us back to God and someday we "will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever." But we can also be fully confident of His love and care for us in the here and now. The path in which the Lord is leading us along has good times as well as rough times. In the midst of our life's circumstances, He is with us! He leadeth me beside the still waters, restoreth my soul, leadeth me in the paths of righteousness, and even through the valley of the shadow of death He promises to go with us. 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.
So as this Lent season is drawing to a close, let us be filled with renewed hope and assurance of the presence of the Lord. He is here with us, He will never abandon us. He continue to lead us though the path is dark and dangerous, He is there holding us with His powerful right Hand. We can depend on our Lord. We can count on Him. He will never disappoint us.
Psalm 20:6 Now know I that the Lord saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand.
Psalm 63:8 My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.
Psalm 73: 23-24 Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand.
Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.