March 14, 2020
- By Ed Powell
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"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want." Psalm 23:1
This is probably the most familiar portion of the Scriptures, recognized by all mankind, yet one of the least understood and appropriately applied to our lives. Many know in mind and thought what is written in most of the Scriptures, but have never applied its truth to their hearts and lives.
Even among believers, few lay hold of the tremendous truth within these few words. They are monumental. Making them a reality in our lives will be transforming. Let's look at this first verse and try to understand its great truth and the enormity of its application to our lives.
"The Lord is my Shepherd." First of all, this Shepherd is different than any other. He is THE Shepherd, sent by God, anointed of God. He is THE Shepherd for specific sheep. He is the Shepherd WHO IS THE LORD OF ALL, God manifested in the flesh, the creator of all things. He is the Shepherd who ministers and cares for my present and future needs.
Then David very meaningfully says, "He is MY Shepherd." What a difference a personal relationship makes in any acquaintance. This is what makes Christianity different and unique from all other religions. We can have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ our Savior and our Shepherd. This gives to all who trust Him great promise and enormous meaning in their lives. He becomes intimately involved in all things.
And what does this personal relationship mean? "I shall not [be in ]want." Wow! What else needs to be said? What an all-inclusive statement! I shall not be in want for what? Whatever need God allows is for my good and His glory! This includes all of my life--past, present, and future; my well-being and existence; my relationship to everyone, everywhere!
You might say, "What then is my problem, if I have such a Great Shepherd?" The problem is not with the Shepherd; it rests with us, whether intentional or not. Our concept of the Great Shepherd is limited to the boundaries of our own making. We view Him in impersonal generalities and confine Him to the limitations of our own understanding. We bring Him down to our finite human reasoning, thereby taking away His supernatural attributes.
When He is truly MY Shepherd, how can there be any need? He has promised "to supply all of our need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19). David says, "I shall not want." He is my ALL-SUFFICIENT SHEPHERD. I am in His perfect care, protection, concern, and provision. I can be utterly content, not craving or seeking for anything more. Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives his life for his sheep." The remainder of this wonderful Psalm rests on this verse and explains why He is the Good and All-Sufficient Shepherd and why "I shall not want."
Oh to find Him as the "Shepherd of our life" in our everyday walk and to see Him lead us into all the ventures of the remaining verses! We can say with David, "The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want."
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2020-03-14
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