Monday, December 5, 2016

My Personal Shepherd

Chuckle: "If it was going to be easy to raise kids, it never would have started with something called labor!"
Good Quote: “I testify that our teacher, our shepherd, is Christ, our best friend, who clears up all our doubts. He heals our wounds and turns our pain into sweet experiences.--Horacio A. Tenorio

The Lord is my shepherd; I have everything I need (Psalm 23:1 NLT).
If you are in need of hope, comfort, and reassurance in your relationship with our Lord, there's no better source than the 23d Psalm. It is probably the most read, revered, quoted, and memorized of all the Psalms. At funerals, it is often requested by family members as they seek comfort while grieving the loss of loved ones. Let's spend some time together over the next few days as we let the beauty of King David's words and the truths they convey wash over us and sink deep into our hearts.
The analogy of God as "my shepherd" was drawn from David's own life as a young man. He had years of experience as a shepherd tending his family's sheep. When we think of sheep, we see them as defenseless and totally dependent upon the shepherd for their provision, guidance, and protection. David had no reservations about comparing himself to a sheep being cared for by God Himself. He saw his own dependence on his Lord as a corollary to an ordinary sheep being cared for by its shepherd.
This is not the only place in Scripture where God (Jesus) is called "Shepherd." In John 10:10, he is called the "Good Shepherd," the "Great Shepherd in Hebrews 13:20, and the "Head Shepherd" in 1 Peter 5:4. The picture is of the "Good," "Great," and "Head" Shepherd caring for us. We are His sheep, but we are not helpless and passive animals like ordinary sheep. No, we are willing obedient followers of Jesus Christ with the wisdom to follow Him as He guides our lives by His Spirit. Just remember that our Shepherd sacrificed Himself for you and me on that cruel cross outside Jerusalem two thousand years ago.
Notice the second phrase of our passage: "I have everything I need." He was lacking nothing of importance in his life. I'm reminded of Jesus' words about having our needs met: "Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern" (Matthew 6:32b-33 NLT).
Here, Jesus is not talking about all our "wants," but basic physical needs like food, drink, and clothing. I'm sure this truth was the basis of David saying he had everything he needed. But I'm also certain that all he needed included spiritual food and comfort for his soul that flowed from his relationship with his personal shepherd. May your personal faith in Jesus Christ as your caring, loving, protecting, and providing Shepherd bring you peace, comfort, and joy today and every day.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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