Scripture Reading: Psalm 23:1-6
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.” (Psalm 23:1)
It is impossible to plumb the depths of this most beloved Psalm. Every believer is familiar with it and is comforted by its tender message. There is a simplicity to this Psalm and yet depth and strength underlie it. Most of us have memorized the words of this Psalm when we were children. Older saints cherish its message.
The Psalm begins with a pledged relationship — “The Lord is my shepherd.” The great God and King of this entire universe is my shepherd. He is transcendent above all — holy, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, and eternal. Yet He is also close and dear to His children. He has a special love for His sheep.
Jesus is my Shepherd — “I am the good shepherd; I know My sheep and my sheep know Me — just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father — and I lay down My life for the sheep” (John 10:14,15). Do you see the intimacy here? The Shepherd knows His sheep. He knows all about us. He knows our weaknesses, our needs, and our concerns.
But He does more that know us; He voluntarily laid down His life for us — “No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down on My own account. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from My Father” (John 10:18).
We know and listen to the tender voice of our Shepherd — “My sheep listen to My voice; I know them and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:27,28). We are called to follow Him. We are safe in His hands.
The Lord is my shepherd and because He is I will not be in want. He knows me intimately. He laid down His life for me. He has given me eternal life and I will never perish. I am safe in His hands and no one can snatch me from His grip.
Lord Jesus, thank You for being my shepherd. Thank You for choosing me to be one of Your sheep. Enable me to listen to Your voice and to follow You. Thank You for the gift of eternal life and for the security I have of being held in Your powerful hands. Most of all, thank You for laying down Your life for me.
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