The Lord is my shepherd

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 
He makes me to lie down in green pastures; 
He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; 
He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 
I will fear no evil; For You are with me; 
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; 
You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. 
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me 

All the days of my life; 
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord 
Forever” 
(Psalm 23:1-6).

The 23rd psalm is my favorite.  I draw comfort from the words.  I have a Lord who is in control of my life.  He is my Shepherd which means I am in His care.  He tends to my needs and keeps me safe from harm.  He fills me with such peace that I can picture myself beside still waters feeling as if
nothing in the world can touch me.  He gives me strength for each day and He leads me along the path I should go.  I walk in such a way that I bring honor and glory to His name.

Even when I walk through troubled waters, I am not afraid because I know that He is close beside me and that He will protect and comfort me.  I have been through many valleys but God always brings me back to the mountaintops. I have a vivid memory of my maternal grandmother singing to me as a child, “Running over, running over.  My cup is full and running over.”  My cup is
full and running over with blessings from God who is so generous. It is reassuring to know that His goodness and unfailing love will follow me all the days of my life.

Jesus is my Shepherd.  “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me,  just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep.” A shepherd doesn’t just tend to the sheep, he cares for them.  A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will leave the sheep because they aren’t his and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock.  The hired hand runs away because he is merely hired and has no real concern for the sheep. Jesus laid down His life for us.  He protects us from the wolf–the enemy.  He has a real concern for our well being.   Jesus wants to be everyone’s shepherd.  He said, “I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice; and there will be one flock with one shepherd” (John 10:16).

Jesus promises that when we become a part of His flock, “Wherever they go, they will find green pastures” (John 10:9).  The green pastures represent life.  When we see the green grass and leaves on the trees, we know that they are blooming.  Jesus wants to give each of us life in all its fullness
(verse 10). With Jesus as my shepherd–what more could I want?

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