Tag Archives: the lord is my shepherd

Being Shepherd Led

One of the things in the Bible that has lost context over the years are the constant metaphors to sheep and shepherds. The Old and New Testament talk about sheep a lot. We know Psalm 23 starts out that the Lord is our shepherd. In Mark 6:34, Jesus had compassion on the crowd because they were sheep without a shepherd. Ezekiel 34:31 says that we are the sheep of God’s pasture. Isaiah 53 says that we are like sheep who have gone astray. Over and over there’s this comparison to sheep, but shepherding sheep isn’t as common as it used to be. I don’t know a lot about them, but I do know that they are defenseless, like to flock together and prefer to be led from the front rather than pushed from behind.

As a person who teaches leadership, I can tell you that people need a want a leader worth following. As John Maxwell says, “Leadership is influence.” By that definition, we all have leaders in our life who influence or lead our decisions. 2 Peter 3:17 warns us about who we allow to lead or influence us. It says, “As for you, divinely loved ones, since you are forewarned of these things, be careful that you are not led astray by the error of the lawless and lose your firm grip on the truth” (TPT). We must be careful in who we allow to lead us because there are those who would lead us astray. Even Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1 to only follow Him as he followed Christ. It’s important to know who’s leading the people that are leading us.

Leaders and pastors will be held to a higher standard on judgement day (James3:1), but you will still be held liable for your actions. That’s why it’s important for each of us to not just follow a person. We must also be led by the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:25 says, “Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives” (NLT). We must know our shepherd’s voice for ourselves without relying on another leader to hear it for us. If we don’t learn to hear it ourselves, we can easily be led astray. Each of us must take time to listen to what God says through His Word and to our hearts. Anyone who gives contradictory advice to what God says will lead you astray. We are to be Spirit led more than people led, but our sheepish nature simply wants to follow the sheep right in front of us. We must fight against that and listen to the Shepherd ourselves.

Photo by Ronnie Overgoor on Unsplash

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Being Shepherded

Throwback Thursday is a new feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

Psalm 23 has to be the most memorized chapter in the Bible. Like me, you may have memorized it as a child. If you’ve seen any funeral in a movie or TV, you’ve definitely heard it being read. When something like that is ingrained in us, we tend to glaze over it when we hear it. We know we know it, so we don’t really pay attention to what it’s saying. If you stop and think about it, there are some powerful truths just in the first few verses.

In the first verse, we read, “THE Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack” (AMP). Think about that. The Lord watches over you personally like a shepherd watches sheep. He makes sure that you are fed, protected, and on the right path. You have everything you need in Him. There’s no need to panic today because your shepherd is watching over you making sure you have everything you need.

Verse two says, “He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters.” God knows we all need times of rest and refreshing. We are constantly on the go, looking for greener pastures. God says to us, “Follow me and I will give you rest.” You don’t have to go looking for them, you just have to be willing to be led by Him. You have to give up your rights and submit to the authority of your shepherd. When you do, you will find the greener pastures and rest you’ve been looking for.

Verse three confirms that by saying, “He refreshes and restores my life (my self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him–not for my earning it, but] for His name’s sake.” Not only does God refresh you, He restores you. He gives back what has been taken from you. He also leads you into the paths of life that please Him. He does all of this not because you’ve done anything. He does it because He loves you and cares for you.

Even if you’ve been the sheep that has gone astray or fought against being shepherded, we know that God loves you enough to find you where you are, in the condition you’re in, to lovingly bring you to the fold. He doesn’t wait for lost sheep to find Him. He’s proactively looking for you because He knows your life will be better with His flock. He will leave 99 to find just one sheep. That’s the kind of shepherd we have. He gives us everything we need, He leads us to restful places, and He restores our lives. We just have to be willing to be a part of His flock and to submit to His shepherding.

Photo by Alex Blăjan on Unsplash

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Lord Is My Shepherd

  
Psalm 23 has to be the most memorized chapter in the Bible. Like me, you may have memorized it as a child. If you’ve seen any funeral in a movie or TV, you’ve definitely heard it being read. When something like that is ingrained in us, we tend to glaze over it when we hear it. We know we know it, so we don’t really pay attention to what it’s saying. If you stop and think about it, there are some powerful truths just in the first few verses.

In the first verse, we read, “THE Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack” (AMP). Think about that. The Lord watches over you personally like a shepherd watches sheep. He makes sure that you are fed, protected, and on the right path. You have everything you need in Him. There’s no need to panic today because your shepherd is watching over you making sure you have everything you need.

Verse two says, “He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters.” God knows we all need times of rest and refreshing. We are constantly on the go, looking for greener pastures. God says to us, “Follow me and I will give you rest.” You don’t have to go looking for them, you just have to be willing to be led by Him. You have to give up your rights and submit to the authority of your shepherd. When you do, you will find the greener pastures and rest you’ve been looking for.

Verse three confirms that by saying, “He refreshes and restores my life (my self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him–not for my earning it, but] for His name’s sake.” Not only does God refresh you, He restores you. He gives back what has been taken from you. He also leads you into the paths of life that please Him. He does all of this not because you’ve done anything. He does it because He loves you and cares for you.

Even if you’ve been the sheep that has gone astray or fought against being shepherded, we know that God loves you enough to find you where you are, in the condition you’re in, to lovingly bring you to the fold. He doesn’t wait for lost sheep to find Him. He’s proactively looking for you because He knows your life will be better with His flock. He will leave 99 to find just one sheep. That’s the kind of shepherd we have. He gives us everything we need, He leads us to restful places, and He restores our lives. We just have to be willing to be a part of His flock.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Psalm Of The Living

I’ve never understood why Psalm 23 is solely used at funerals. I believe it is a Psalm for the living. David didn’t write it for a deceased friend. He wrote it to thank God for being his guide in this life. David’s path had twists and turns, ups and downs just like yours and mine.looking back on his life, he realized where God had been right with him in the hardest of times and when God had brought rest when he needed it most. God still does that today for you and me. Let’s look closer at this Psalm today to see how it applies to our lives.

When the first verse says that the Lord is our shepherd, it’s implying that we need someone to feed, guide and protect us. Sheep need help pretty often. The shepherd doesn’t get upset with the sheep for messing up or getting lost. He goes after them and brings them back to safe pasture where they can flourish. It’s a great image of what God does for each of us when we wander away from the path He has for us. He searches for us and returns us to where He wants us and can protect us from the enemy.

I like how the Message puts the next couple of verses. It says, “True to your word, you let me catch my breath and you send me in the right direction.” God knows that there are times in life when we get so busy that we need a break. He intervenes in our lives constantly trying to take us to those still waters causing us to lay down. He wants us to catch our breath and rest from time to time so we won’t burn out. When we’ve caught our breath, He points us in the right direction and sets us loose again.

Sometimes that path goes through the darkest of valleys, but we don’t have to be afraid. The New Living Translation says, “I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.” God doesn’t abandon us in the darkness of life. He’s right beside us enduring it with us. When we are in the valley, he is there with his rod and staff to protect and comfort us. He’s not way out ahead of you in the sunlight saying, “Come on! Hurry up and get here.” No. He’s right there with you in the darkness, by your side saying, “I know you’re hurt and I feel your pain. I won’t leave you here in this place.”

In verse five, the Message says, “You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing.” No matter who is against you or what life brings in the valley, God has a plan. He has times of refreshing ahead for you. He gives you what you need to sustain you in those times, then He takes you to place where you will know joy once again. He revived our heavy hearts and lifts our spirits. When we look up, we will see that our cup full of blessings is overflowing with God’s goodness. We don’t have to feel forgotten or lost because God still gives blessings in the darkness of the valley.

David wrapped up this powerful Psalm by saying, “I know that your goodness and love will be with me all my life. (GNT)” He knew because God had been faithful to him. He could trust God because God had never let him down even in the valley. We too can know that God’s love and goodness will be with us all the days of our lives. The New Living Translation says that God’s goodness and unfailing love will pursue us. He will not stop being with us or pursuing us with His love in this life. So you see, this is a Psalm of the living more than the dead. God is with you right now no matter what part of the path you’re on. Trust in Him and His plan. He’s watching over you like a good shepherd. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized