Friday, January 13, 2017

“The Lord Is My Shepherd”

"The Lord Is My Shepherd" 

   "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want" (Psalm 23:1).

   Doubtless David meant to communicate the truth of God's promised provision in all things by the affirmation, "I shall not want".

    "My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).

   However, a more foundational truth found in the Psalmist's declaration involves the promise that when we enter into relationship with the Lord by faith, we will never be in want of the Shepherd Himself.  Before we need His supply of all things, we need Him.  "Ye were as sheep going astray, but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls" (I Peter 2:25).  God made human beings as needy creatures (thus, His reference to us as sheep).  We exist for a dependent relationship on Him whereby we receive His presence and working as trusting supplicants of grace.  We actively apply ourselves and use the gifts God gives as "good stewards of the manifold grace of God" (I Peter 4:10).  Nevertheless we keep always in heart and mind the words of the Lord Jesus: "Without Me, ye can do nothing" (John 15:5).  Sheep must have a shepherd.  People must also have a shepherd, a "Good Shepherd… Great Shepherd… Chief Shepherd" (John 10:11; Hebrews 13:20; I Peter 5:4).

   No spiritually sane human being wants to face this day - this moment! - without the presence, promise, and provision of One greater than ourselves.  The insanity of megalomania tempts all of us to believe that we possess capacity to find "green pastures" and "still waters" by our own devices (Psalm 23:2).  We cannot.  No way.  Not a chance.  Will not happen.  Again, "Without Me, ye can do nothing…"  We are never in want of a Shepherd if we have trusted the Lord Jesus.  But we can live as a sheep who seeks to find its own way.  Thus, we must recognize and overcome the insanity of attempting to navigate the course of our lives by our own devices.  We possess no capacity of for a shepherd-less life, and no more grievous deception tempts us than the delusion of a life lived apart from our Good, Great, and Chief Shepherd.  The Lord Jesus is the willing, able, and only One who can direct us along the challenging paths of a fallen world.  By Him, we rejoice with David regarding God's provision of all things, and even more, of Himself - "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want."

"Trust in the Lord with all thy heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths."
(Proverbs 3:5-6)

Weekly Memory Verse (an easy one this week!  But vital.)
   To live is Christ.
(Philippians 1:21)

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