Monday, February 24, 2014

The Lord is my shepherd; I have everything I need.

Ps. 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd; I have everything I need.

In order to know the impact of this verse, we must know what a shepherd is and does. Much has been written and said about this verse, but it would do us well to pause and reflect on it again.

Scripture often refer to believers as sheep and the Lord as our shepherd. A shepherd is the caretaker, protector and provider of the sheep. He diligently watches over his sheep to ward off any potential danger to them from predators. A shepherd takes good care of his sheep because he cares for them; they become a part of him.

In the book of John, good shepherds are distinguished from bad shepherds. Bad shepherds are not attached to their sheep. They don't mean anything to them. His role as a shepherd is nothing more than a job. He gives no thought about abandoning them at the first sign of trouble. Jesus is described as a good shepherd. He cares for His sheep and is even willing to lay down His life for them. Sheep know and trust the voice of a good shepherd and follow him because they know that he only has their good in mind.

Also in Scripture, pastors are often referred to as shepherds. You know you have a good pastor when you have someone who carries you on his heart. A good pastor watches over his sheep and ministers to their needs. He lovingly provides the guidance and nourishment they need in their spiritual walk. He diligently stands guard over his sheep so that no one can sneak in and steal them away. He diligently wards off untruth so they won't be deceived and led astray. He won't let them out of his sight so that when they do begin to wander off he can quickly rescue them. He is a good inspector of the Word so that what he feeds his sheep is good food that will help them.

When we let the Lord be our shepherd, we have everything we need for life and death. We learn to be content in Him and not crave for things He does not provide. We trust in His love and goodness at all times. We stay close to Him because we know that when we do we are safe. When Jesus is our shepherd, we determine in our hearts that He is sufficient for all our needs. We don't look elsewhere; He is all we need.

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