Thursday, February 13, 2014

The LORD Is My Shepherd...


"And Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." Matthew 28:20

Sometimes, I find new things in "old" things. You may wonder what I mean.

Well, have you ever come across a verse or a passage from the Bible that you're familiar with ... or maybe you're actually quite familiar with it? You've read it over and over again, you've heard it quoted many times, and maybe you've even memorized it. You may even know exactly where you can find it in the Bible.  And yet, while you've read it many times before, it suddenly  touches you one day... in a  very "new" way.

Several weeks ago, I read Psalm 23. I think most of us are quite familiar with the passage. A passage often recited at funerals... linked with giving hope to the dying.  And while it's perfectly appropriate to be read at funerals, or to someone on the deathbed, I suddenly gained a  "new" perspective while reading Psalm 23.

The psalm starts out by saying, "The LORD IS my shepherd..." He is my shepherd always. Hudson Taylor said it best, " Not was, not may be, nor will be. The Lord IS my shepherd." That means I can trust Him to be my Shepherd, not only today, but tomorrow... and always. Not only on Sunday, but on Monday as well... and the rest of the week. I can fully trust Him to be my shepherd at home... or when I am away. He is my shepherd when I lack , and when I am in abundance. He is my shepherd when I am alone, or when I am surrounded with others. He is with me when I doubt, and when I have faith... when I am sad, and when I am joyful. He... my shepherd... leads me on!

What a beautiful thought, that the WORD is always new... Shamefully, even when I may make it "old".

Isn't it grand when you suddenly gain a new perspective and the verse that was so well known to you... now has a special meaning? Yes," The Lord is my shepherd" has given hope to the dying... but there's hope to the living as well.

Praise be to the LORD, who "Leadeth me in paths of righteousness...".  I especially like how it has nothing to do with us, as HE leadeth us, " For His name's sake." Psalm 23:3.

These couple of verses from the well-known hymn "How Firm a Foundation" emphasizes God's never-ending love to us.

It says it so well:

“Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My gracious, omnipotent hand.

“When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be with thee thy trouble to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress."

May the Shepherd guide and lead you in paths of righteousness today...


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