Ep.1242: Is the Lord Really My Shepherd?
The amazing, little-known details of shepherding that show us God’s love
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Theme Scripture: Psalm 23:1
Among Christians, some of the most often quoted and beloved Old Testament scriptures are found in Psalm 23. In very few words, these six verses paint a vivid picture of God’s overwhelming care for His children. The imagery of a shepherd knowing and caring for his sheep speaks to our helplessness as we as God’s children attempt to navigate the harsh terrain of a sin-sick world. Without our shepherd the tumult of everyday life makes it is hard to find true spiritual nourishment. Without our shepherd we would not find absolute rest and would always feel vulnerable. We need to ask ourselves: Do I put myself completely and faithfully into the hands of my shepherd Jesus? Do I really trust him for all things? Is Jesus the true shepherd of my life or do I merely give him that title?
How do I know the Lord is REALLY my shepherd?
I proclaim to live my faith, to want only God’s will in my life, and to follow Jesus. When it comes down to it, how do I know that my proclamations are more than just mere words? Read the 23rd Psalm. In a subtle way, it presents us with a kind of sincerity test that most of us completely overlook. This test is in the very first verse which in the New International Version reads, “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.” These seven words are three clear statements of faith.
My needy life
To begin with, I am putting myself in the position of being a sheep. If you know anything about sheep, you know they are needy. They need guidance, are basically defenseless and can learn to closely follow one who cares for them. This is how I am describing myself. I am a needy follower who would be lost on his own. Next, I am affirming that my needy life is unequivocally guided by the Lord. He has complete responsibility for me. This means he knows my unique personality. He knows what I need, he knows where I am weak, and he knows how to handle everything about me.
Following him brings us to the third clear statement of faith: “I lack nothing.” Think about the import of this stance. Because the Lord is the one who guides me and cares for all of my needs, I literally have everything I need. Do you see how the first verse of this Psalm is a sincerity test? If I can answer these three statements of faith in a powerfully positive way, I can read the rest of its verses as a personal promise to me.
Check out our August 15, 2022 podcast, “Is the Lord Really My Shepherd?" for more. We navigate this famous Psalm 23 verse-by-verse. We delve into the inspiring facts of shepherding 2,000 years ago in the rugged and mountainous regions of Judaea. Be ready to absorb the powerful message of what it means to be truly cared for by the Lord. This journey can change your Christian perspective. Don’t miss it!