The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. (Psalm 23:1-3 KJV)
The word shepherd and shepherding is mentioned over 200 times in the Bible. David referred to God as his ‘Lord’ and ‘shepherd’, he was referring to God’s Sovereignty and his caring nature. David who was a shepherd boy in his youth, knew extensively the requirements and responsibilities of a shepherd. He knew that a shepherd was to led his sheep to pasture and water (Psalm 23:1), protect them from wild animals (1 Samuel 17:34-35), guard his flocks at night whether in the open (Luke 2:8) or in the sheepfolds (Zephaniah 2:6) where they were counted as they entered (Jeremiah 33: 13), and take care of the sheep and carry the weak ones in their arms (Isaiah 40:11). During David’s life time, he has been through many difficult situation where he should have died; and he watched in amazement as his ‘Lord and shepherd’ delivered him.
We have the same assurance as David today in Christ Jesus. He is our shepherd who cares deeply and loves us unconditionally. His love goes beyond any other love that exist because no one can love us the way Jesus does. All of the requirements and responsibilities that a good shepherd possess, Jesus possess them all. He died on Calvary’s cross to free us from the plague of sin, in order that we will not be condemned. We should spend time mediating on the Word of God, it is our daily food that he has prepared for us.
God’s people often find themselves in need of spiritual refreshing. We are in a world that is full of evil. We get drained spiritually and in need of spiritual refreshment. Jesus is the only refreshing water which can fill our thirst, when we mediate and study his Word. When we study the Word we will see all of the promises that Christ made to us. These promises will refresh and sustained us daily. We should never allow anyone to condemned us or push past sins in our face that Jesus has already forgiven. We are like sheep, and we do stray at times.
Jesus, who is the great Shepherd is there to forgive and restore us when we seek forgiveness. We should always keep in mind that we are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus). There is safety, security, refreshment, forgiveness, renewal, restoration, direction, and guidance in Jesus. God loved us so much that he send his only Son into this evil world to died so that we may have eternal life. Think about it, “Who wouldn’t want to serve a God like this?” Only a foolish person.
Missionary Judith A. Gilzene Moodie
- Brand, Chad; Draper, Charles, and England, Archie. 2003. Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville:TN, p. 1484
- Ellsworth, Roger. 2006. Opening Up Psalms. Day One Publications, Leominster:HR6 8NZ, p. 45-48
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groaning that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8:26-28 NLT)
Have you every been at a place in life where you felt as though your life has been turn upside down? You emphatically trust and love God, but you are facing difficulties and hardships to survive in this economy? Paul wrote Romans 8:26-28 to comfort us during those difficult times to strengthen our faith in God. It is such a great honor and privilege to serve a Mighty God who steps in and intercedes on our behalf when we lack the strength to pray. When we don’t have the words to verbalize our hurts, He comprehends our cries and groans. Which other god is capable of doing that? None. Buddha, Allah, Muhammad, or any of the other gods that people worship cannot comfort or intercedes on their behalf when they are weak naturally or spiritually. The Holy Spirit is the only one that can bring perform such a feat in the lives of believers. Believers are those who have repented of their sins and accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.
God understands what the Spirit desires even though it is inexpressible in human terms (v. 27). God is the one who has complete access to the heart. His knowledge is direct, not dependent upon one’s ability to articulate concerns. God is a searcher of hearts and knows the desires of our spirit, as His Holy Spirit intercedes for us in harmony with his will. No passage of Scripture provides greater encouragement for prayer. The Spirit comes to the aid of believers baffled by the perplexity of prayer and takes their concerns to God with an intensity far greater than we could ever imagine. Our groans (v. 23) become his (v. 26) as he intercedes on our behalf.
There are circumstances that take place in our lives, many times we do not understand why and may ask the question ‘Has God forsaken me?’ The answer to that question is ‘No, He has not forsaken you.’ First, let’s get this clear, if a believer is being disobedient and steps out of the Will of God, then everything is not working for your good. Romans 8:28 states ‘God causes everything to work together for the good of those who LOVE GOD and are CALLED according to his purpose for them.’ As believers, Jesus is in control of every circumstance that occur in our lives, we may view the ‘good’ that Paul mention as suffering but He views it as beneficial for us. We are here to bring glory to Him and many times it comes through trials and persecutions. We are reassured in this Scripture that no matter what we face in life, God is working it out for our good. Whenever we find ourselves at the place where the words will not flow from our lips and the only sound that comes forth is groaning or crying, go ahead! Cry and groan to the Sovereign One, Jesus, because that’s the time the Holy Spirit will step in and intercede on our behalf to the Father.
Missionary Judith Gilzene Moodie
So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For the Scriptures say, ‘As surely as I live, says the Lord, every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will declare allegiance to God.’ Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall. (Romans 14:10-13 NLT)
A good runner knows how to stay in his lane to avoid disqualification or causing others to stumble and fall. The same principle applies to life. We must stay in our lane and not assume God’s role as judge because we will in turn stand before His judgment seat to be judged. When our fellow brothers and sisters fall into sin, we should be quick to forgive and restore those individual back into fellowship with God. That is not the time to gossip about it or constantly remind the person of their past sin. In John 8:1-11, a woman was caught in the act of adultery. The Scribes and Pharisees brought her to Jesus to be stoned to death as the law of Moses required. Though the LAW required her to be stoned to death for her sin, Jesus said to the crowd ‘All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!’ Not one of them did because they realized that they all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Jesus did not condemn the woman; He forgave and restored her back to Him. As believers, Christ expects the same from us – forgive and restore.
Jesus allowed His life to impact the world for over two thousand years because He was and still is the Light of the world. We should never find ourselves at the place where we become a stumbling block to others. Our lives should reflect Christ, He forgave those who offended and betrayed Him. He does not hold on to un-forgiveness, bitterness, or animosity. He has a pure heart and He loves us unconditionally. We have all sinned, and we have all been hurt by our fellow believers in Christ in some way. People make mistakes, we are human. Hebrews 12:1 states ‘Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.’ Having sin (un-forgiveness, bitterness, animosity, etc.) on board will slow down a believer and will eventually cause a person to lose the race. We began the race when we accepted Christ as our Savior. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, let us not allow sin to stop any of us from completing the race that God has set before us. Let us also keep in mind that we will all have to give an account to God for our action.
Missionary Judith Gilzene Moodie
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous- how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! (Psalms 139:13-17 NLT)
David reflected on the Sovereignty of God and how He created him. David knew that he was uniquely, lovingly, and graciously created by God for his good and God’s glory. We serve a marvelous and miraculous God who knew us before we were even conceived in our mother’s womb. David said ‘You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb (v.13).’ Let’s examine this for a moment. From the first day we were a fertilized egg, God begins to knit us together with cells and tissues in our mother’s womb. Keep in mind He did not need a womb to create Adam and Eve. He formed them from the dirt. That alone shows His Sovereignty.
It is important to be who God has created us to be. We are created in His image. We should stop trying to be someone else and be who God created. God loves and knows us, we are His handy work. He took time to knit us together, making sure that all of our cells, tissues, and organs are in the correct place and our blood is flowing to enable us to breed. Doctors are still amazed at the design of the human body. They are still studying the human body to understand its complexity. Sadly, they will never fully understand it because we are created by a God that is Sovereign. There will always be something about our bodies that we do not like and would want to change. However, if we keep in mind Psalms 139:13-17, we will realize that we are uniquely and wonderfully made by an all-powerful God. Let’s take the focus off what we don’t like about ourselves and focus on glorifying God with these bodies that He created for His glory.
Missionary Judith Gilzene Moodie
Barry, John D.; Faithlife Study Bible
Fitzpatrick, Elyse; PD101 Our Identity in Christ
Walvoord, John F.; Zuck, Roy B.; The Bible Knowledge Commentary