As young people we need a lot of leading.
We’ve got to figure out what we’re going to study, what we’re going to do to make a living, what church we’re going to go to, who we’re going to marry, where we will live and so many more decisions.
While we get wisdom and counsel to help us make the decisions, I’d be scared silly if that’s all I got before I had to make my mind up.
Continue reading Promise Four: He Will Lead You
“He makes me lie down in green pastures.”
The Good Shepherd is kind. He gives us rest. He pours out so much love and grace on us.
When you think of what we deserve versus what we get, you marvel at how kind He is. We were His enemies. And yet He takes us to the best of His pastures.
“The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice!” (Psalm 97:1)
The best news is that God is in charge. There is no better scenario than having God in control. You couldn’t nominate a being who would be better at reigning than God. You couldn’t even imagine a being who would be better.
That’s what we mean when we say God is good. God has His attributes in perfection. So He defines good. He is ‘the goodest.’
He is the most loving, the most gracious, the most merciful.
The whole earth ought to rejoice that God is reigning, there’s no better news.
He gives us rest, He gives us food, He gives us everything we could need.
“For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love towards those who fear Him.” (Psalm 103:11)
“I shall not want.”
I love how simple Psalm 23 is. David beautifully states his complete trust in the Lord.
“I shall not want” could also be translated, ‘I shall not fail’ or ‘I will never lack.’
It’s closely related to the statement that all things work together for good for the believer (Romans 8:32). And to the assertion that God will not keep any good things from us (Psalm 84:14). I know I mention these verses a lot, but they’re key to helping us deal with life and they’re related to this idea that we will not want.
Continue reading Promise Two: No Wants
(Okay, I admit, these promises from Psalm 23 are not going to be super cryptic!)
“The LORD is my shepherd.”
I sometimes get to meet shepherds, with their super gnarly calf muscles and their pack of obedient dogs. They generally farm on very rough countryside as they care for their sheep. It’s a physical job.
As you’ve probably been told in half a dozen sermons, being a shepherd in Israel in 1020 BC was quite different to New Zealand in 2011. Back in the day, you had to move your shepherd through unfenced wilderness. You had to fight bears and lions off! At night you had to sleep in the gateway to protect the sheep.
When David says he has a shepherd, it’s big. There’s so much involved in the word he used. A shepherd is a ruler, a protector, a provider, someone Who cares and tends to His sheep.
Continue reading Promise One: You Have a Shepherd
Some things are too popular. Like Amazing Grace. I cringe every time I hear a heathen singing it. They belt out an emotional version of it, but without any understanding of what they sing about. It’s over done.
Then when I go and sing the song myself I’m amazed at the depth of it. It’s a beautiful telling and praise of the gospel story.
Psalm 23 is like that for me. It feels too popular, secular people know it and they even read it at their funerals. But man, it’s packed with awesome truths!
Continue reading Promises from Psalm 23