The LORD is my shepherd

Started a series on the 23rd Psalm today and focused entirely on this phrase.
Explored different nuances of the phrase by emphasizing any one of the 5 words.
We talked about sheep & people and good & bad shepherds.
We explored the notion of just how big the universe is (with a 3 min video that zoomed out from the Earth and ended up beyond the Milky Way) per Psa 8:3,4–why does God even care about us? Why would He even want to be our shepherd? Do we care about an ant on the sidewalk? No, yet He cares for us and wants to be our Shepherd.
Rom. 6:20-23 – unlike sheep, we get to choose our master (either sin or righteousness). Choose wisely.
Exo. 21:5,6 – OT mark of a slave; pics of marked sheep (ears); we will have the marks of our owner (either the marks of sin or the marks of a servant following after Jesus)–Matt 16:24-26; 6:24; 7:21-23.

#lord, #psalm-23, #shepherd


Psalm 23

Vs. 1 states the premise of the whole Psalm: If the LORD is an individual’s “shepherd,”

Vs. 2-5 list the many responsibilities the LORD has undertaken for the “sheep;”

Vs. 6 teaches the permanent blessing that comes to a faithful sheep.

Psalm 23 is the most requested Bible passage to read at a funeral. It so speaks consolation that many a “battered soul” has found comfort in the troubling time of death. Once again, as a prophet, David writes of his “Lord” who was yet to come. Jesus Christ is this “shepherd,” as the Apostle Peter wrote: “For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls (1 Peter 2:25).

Vs. 1 “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.”

The sad fact and harsh reality, however, is that not everybody is a “sheep” protected by the LORD as “shepherd!” Jesus set the limit: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27). Jesus set the price: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep” (John 10:11). Since  “the church of God [is that] which He purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28), then everyone saved by the blood of Jesus Christ has been added to His church  (Romans 6:3-4; Acts 2:38, 41, 47)!  Those who are in the church of Christ must “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” and are promised food, drink, and clothing (Matthew 6:31-33).

Vs. 2 “He makes me to lie down in green pastures;”

A shepherd removes danger from the pasture. Jesus destroyed the work of the Devil (1 John 3:8; Hebrews 2:14-15).

Vs. 2 “He leads me beside the still waters.”

Jesus spoken word calmed stormy seas (Mark 4:37-39), and His written word does  the same (Colossians 3:15-17).

Vs. 3 “He restores my soul;”

Jesus healed bodies by miracles (Luke 4:40), and now heals souls who obey His Gospel (1 Peter 2:21-25; 3:20-22).

Vs. 3 “He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.”

Moses’ Law did not contain “the promise by faith in Jesus Christ” which now saves (Galatians 3:21-29).

Vs. 4 “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;  For You are with me;”

Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 9:1-2 in Matthew 4:12-17 as He preached His coming kingdom. Jesus Christ is the light for the darkness and despair of sin (2  Corinthians 1:9-10; Luke 1:76, 79; John 1:1-5, 8-9; 8:12). The ominous nearness of death is overcome by nearness to the resurrected Jesus Christ.

Vs. 4 “Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”

Jesus has the rod of authority to rule (Matthew 28:18-20; Hebrews 1:8 from Psalm 45:6-7) and the staff of protection (John 10:26-30).

Vs. 5 “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;”

Jesus established His supper for disciples to be eaten each week (Matthew 26:26- 29; 1 Corinthians 11:20, 23-26; Acts 20:7).

Vs. 5 “You anoint my head with oil;”

Honored guests were perfumed (Luke 7:46) and Jesus’ disciples at His table are dedicated with His blood (Hebrews 10:19-22).

Vs. 5 “My cup runs over.”

Jesus provides the “living water” (Revelation 7:13-17).

Vs. 6 “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life;  And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.”

Only Jesus Christ can promise “goodness and mercy” in this life, and that one may  “dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.” Jesus provides His disciples “goodness”  (Romans 15:14) and “mercy” (Matthew 5:7; 1 Timothy 1:12-16) then “eternal life” (Mark 10:29-30; John 10:27-28).

#book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-study, #daily-devotional, #shepherd

Christian leadership does it exist Some would qualify…

Christian leadership; does it exist? Some would qualify it greatly.

#elders, #leadership, #overseer, #shepherd

The Good Shepherd

“Look, the sovereign Lord comes as a victorious warrior;his military power establishes his rule.Look, his reward is with him; his prize goes before him. Like a shepherd he tends his flock; he gathers up the lambs with his arm; he carries them close to his heart; he leads the ewes along,” (Isaiah 40:10-11 NET).

One of Randal Matheny’s posts on “Quick Bible Truths” led me to this parallel from Isaiah.

The passage shows the Lord God as a winning warrior and as a shepherd who picks up his lambs and holds them in his arms close to his heart. It may be considered, however, as protection in both ways.

The context of the passage begins with God telling Isaiah about how the way will be leveled (Isaiah 40:3-4). The Lord God has Isaiah write, “Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken,” (Isaiah 40:5 NASU).

Don Shackleford, in his commentary on the book, wrote, “This event signified the loss of divine protection for the wicked city (Jerusalem) and his comfort and care for his people.” While our good brother is correct, it means more.

The inspired writers of Matthew and Luke apply the scripture to the work of John the immerser and the coming of the Messiah (Matthew 3:3; Luke 3:4-6). Jesus calls himself the Good Shepherd in John 10.

“He carries them close to his heart.” Ever think Jesus doesn’t love you? All you need do is draw closer to his tender breast. You know. It’s the one that was pierced for your sins.

#jesus-christ, #loving, #shepherd

Jesus Knows His Sheep

I was the victim of a spam attack that emanated from my email. Many of you may have fallen victim to this nefarious scheme to lure unsuspecting people into the spammer’s web of deceit. Likewise, identity theft is a scourge in our land.

The comforting thing is that our Savior knows His own sheep.  The Savior said, “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own” (John 10:14).  Gladly, no one can deceive Jesus (Colossians 2:3). When He returns to take His own to heaven, no one will be left behind or travel as someone else (John 14:1-6).

Everyone will be judged by their one works (Revelation 20:13; Ezekiel 18:19-20). No one will be able to  slip through in  disguise because God cannot be mocked (Galatians 6:7).

We can relax and realize that no matter what man does to us, God will always be there (Hebrews 13:5). In our age, we can include thieves, criminals and spammers in the promise of God:

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35-39).

What can man do to us? We have the Almighty God on our side! Praise be to God!

#deception, #identity, #sheep, #shepherd, #spam