Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 023’

Doing My Part

“The LORD is my shepherd … Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;” – Psalm 23:1a, 4

So what’s my part in this sheep to shepherd kind of relationship with God? I walk – choosing not to fear even if/when I am in dreadful times and places.

This is, really, the ONLY thing he expects – to follow him in my daily life trusting even in tough times he will keep me safe and lead me through; it’s just that simple.

I can’t always see the big picture or understand the “why”, but by God’s grace I can put one foot in front of the other, choose to be brave, and trust God will make things right.

The senior pastor where I once served took me aside one day and said, “Your faith is just too simple for real life”. The only response I could give – “I guess the only way I’ll survive is by the grace of God!” He agreed but not in the positive way I meant it. That was almost 30 years ago.

God’s grace has always been sufficient for my need. I walk and choose not to fear, God handles the rest.

– fritz

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“The LORD is my shepherd…He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake” – Psalm 23:1a, 3

It’s after his restoration of our soul that we can be lead in paths of righteousness.

That restoration makes us want to do the right thing, only then can enables us follow, not as a precondition but as the result. This is his work, and he gets the glory for it.

Charles Wesley, Anglican Priest and brother to John Wesley who founded the Methodist Church, wrote in his hymn “O For A Thousand Tongues to Sing”

He breaks the power of cancelled sin
He sets the prisoner free
His blood can make the foulest clean
His blood availed for me

– fritz

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Restoration of Soul

“The LORD is my shepherd … He restoreth my soul” – Psalm 23:1a, 3a

Those who have made a study of such things tell us the soul is where our Mind, Will, and Emotions reside.

Experiences in life can mar the soul. Dysfunctional people never intended to become that way; life squeezes the stuffing out – but Jesus, our shepherd, restores.

We don’t get our act together first then come to him, we come as we are, submit to his Lordship, he restores as we follow.

Take a moment (Hey, you have time) to read the lyrics of the old hymn, Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy (Joseph Hart, pub. 1759)1

Come, ye sinners, poor and needy,
Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus ready stands to save you,
Full of pity, love and pow’r.

I will arise and go to Jesus,
He will embrace me in His arms;
In the arms of my dear Savior,
Oh, there are ten thousand charms.

Come, ye weary, heavy-laden,
Lost and ruined by the fall;
If you tarry till you’re better,
You will never come at all.

Let not conscience make you linger,
Not of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness He requireth
Is to feel your need of Him.

– fritz@langgang.com
1 – http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/Come_Ye_Sinners_Poor_and_Needy/

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Still Waters

“The LORD is my shepherd … he leadeth me beside the still waters.” – Psalm 23:1a, 2b

It is noted by actual shepherds that sheep require still water to drink from, and a good shepherd accommodates them.

Fact is, we are so very needy; but God understands.

“For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. – Psalm 103:14

Far from being disappointed, he not only accommodates but demonstrates his greatness through those weaknesses and necessities – so much so the apostle, Paul, wrote

Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me – 2nd Corinthians 12:9

– fritz

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Made to Lie Down

“The LORD is my shepherd … He maketh me to lie down in green pastures” – Psalm 23:1a, 2a

Many of us don’t know when it’s time to rest. We rush through our lists, one thing to another, without recognizing the “green pastures” all around us.

Then we wonder why we are tired and burnt out. Sometimes we spiritualize it, priding ourselves in being burnt out for God. Good luck with that!

Our shepherd gives rest stops without condemnation –   refusal results in “spinning our wheels” with little accomplished.

Think of Mary and Martha.1

– fritz
1 – Luke 10:40-41

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Everything I Need!

Psalm 23 describes God’s blessing and care for those who are his.

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want” – Psalm 23:1

Want doesn’t mean desire as we think of the term, today. This tells us that with God as our shepherd we will not lack.

Instead of being worried about going broke we need to turn our finances over to God and trust he will guide and provide.

A hardware store, where my wife worked when we were first married, put up a sign, “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it!”

That should be our attitude in Christ!

– fritz

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Psalm 23 must be the most quoted of all the Psalms and for good reason. In six (6) short verses it describes God’s blessing and care for those who are his.

“The LORD is my shepherd” – Psalm 23:1a

While people are often referred to as sheep not all have shepherds. They are described as having no one to give them purpose, no one to defend them from preditors, no one to bind up their wounds or give them peace.

But when [Jesus] saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. – Matthew 9:36

Jesus has compassion and takes those who see their need and call to him to be their shepherd.

“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me” – Jesus (John 10:14)

– fritz

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