New Wine - Day 23

The Shepherd

"The Lord is my Shepherd..." This phrase, this statement, is one of the most well known to humanity. For sure, it is probably the most familiar among Christians and Jews. It seems to appear in just about every printed funeral program when a loved one passes away. This statement, from Psalm 23, has probably brought some of the most profound comfort to people when going through seasons of grief or suffering. There is a reason for this.
This psalm, more so than any other psalm, helps us more clearly understand and experience God as the One who can ultimately take care of us. It is often during times of grief and suffering when we realize more than ever, we really don't have much control over anything or anyone except ourself. Although, even on a good day we don't do very well in controlling ourselves either!  It is during these times we can experience how good it is to let go and trust God with every aspect of our lives.  Psalm 23 teaches us, reminds us, and invites us to let God be our Shepherd. One of the greatest gifts God has given us, is the opportunity to surrender ourselves to His shepherding of our lives.

Most of us probably already have an idea of what a shepherd is as someone who tends to the care and safety of sheep.  But, the title shepherd also had another meaning in the Old Testament.  It was a title used for kings taking care of and ruling/governing over their people.  The prophet Isaiah refers to God/Jesus/The Messiah as The Shepherd King.  So, the ultimate invitation to us from our Shepherd King is . . . will we allow Him to/give Him permission to, rule over our lives?  Will we not only call him Friend, Savior, and Redeemer, but Lord as well?
The abundant life Jesus talks about in the Gospels is finding and experiencing life under the reign of God (in the vineyard of God) . . . under the reign of Jesus.  

Take some time now to read Psalm 23 in your favorite translation.

  1. Can you think of anyone else you would want to govern your life than Jesus?  
  2. Is there anyone or anything else you are allowing to reign over you? 
3. If you would like to, in this very moment, enjoy surrendering to the loving reign of Jesus as your Shepherd. 

By Pastor Timothy Gillespie

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