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The Shepherd is my Provider (Psalm 23 Explained)

Psalm 23 Explained

I was asked today by a dear friend on my Google Plus network if I could explain the meaning of Psalm 23 and what was the reason this is also read on funerals when someone is getting ready to meet the Lord. I have never been to a funeral so I didn’t know what they read but is a beautiful chapter and here is what I would like to share about it.

A Psalm of David.

23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. 3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.
Psalm 23
New King James Version (NKJV)

As we see in verse 1 “The Lord is my shepherd,” we must put ourselves as sheep in the care of Jesus Christ our Messiah and savior who is Himself God as we read in John 1:1-3, 14 and Heb. 1:2

1 In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He existed in the beginning with God. 3 God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him.
John 1:1-3
New Living Translation (NLT)

2 And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe.
Hebrews 1:2
New Living Translation (NLT)

Christ is our shepherd and we are His chosen ones as sheep (John 10, John 21:15-17 and Hebrews 13:20). The shepherd is the provider and protector of his flock. The sheep are helpless without him. Similarly, human existence is but a sinful, carnal experience without God in our lives (John 5:30; Rom. 8:6-11).

How about this phrase “I shall not want,” this is an indication that as sheep in Christ’s care, we won’t lack anything. We should have a full understanding in regards to putting God and God’s way first in our life. (Matthew 6:25-34). See also the blog post “What is the Motive in your Life” which talks about not getting distracted and to focus in God’s plan in everyone’s life, and also the blog post “God Gives Life and a calling in everyone’s life” which talks about seeking God’s will in our life and then follow it.

“He makes me to lie down in green pastures: he leads me beside the still waters.” Both the “green pastures” and “still waters” indicate a blessed abundance, further illustrating the benefits of a God-led life.

Psalm 23:3 begins, “He restores my soul.” We must understand that we are sinners, but also that Christ had redeemed us and would continue to restore us upon repentance. The blog post “Forgiveness is not an option but a command” is a good example showing an understanding of repentance and forgiveness.

“he leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake,” indicates that it is Christ’s example that we are to follow, and that is to God’s glory when we obey. Yet is only through the power of the Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ in us, that we are even able to do so (Gal. 2:20; Phil. 4:13). All of our Lord Yahweh’s commandments are righteousness.

172 My tongue shall speak of Your word, For all Your commandments are righteousness.
Psalm 119:172
New King James Version (NKJV)

King David was the one who wrote Psalm 23 and he knew that occasionally the shepherd had to lead his flock through treacherous terrain, and so he writes (as the sheep), “Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff they comfort me.” David had complete trust and confidence in God and His way—He had no fear, even in the “shadow of death.” The rod and staff are the shepherd’s tools, and are used to guide and correct the path of the sheep—much in the same way God has to oftentimes guide, and occasionally correct, our path. This comforted David and should also confort us. Paul indicates in II Timothy 1:7 that this mindset comes only from God: “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies: You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.” We must understand the promises of blessings and protections even in our hardest times of our lives we must have complete confidence. (Eph. 3:20; Luke 11:9-13; compare though with James 4:1-3).

We should all know that as long as we would follow Christ, “…goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” in the kingdom of God: “and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” We must dwell in his house as servants, to serve him for ever. If God’s goodness to us be like the morning light, which shines more and more to the perfect day, let not ours to Him be like the morning cloud and the early dew that passeth away.

Personally, I would say that the reason why this is read in funerals is because it remind us of God’s promise and because it comforts the people left behind that God is taking care of the recently deceased as He will also take care of us left behind as we wait upon His return.

In conclusion, the best possible way to put it is that the Lord is our shepherd, and He knows what we need better than we do. God wants us to have what is best for us. As long as we trust in Him as our shepherd, He will lead us to places of safety. He knows how to direct us away from places where we will stumble. Even when we have fallen, He can still rescue us.

Has this message touched you in any way? The love of our Heavenly Father could change hearts even at the last minutes of our lives. Don’t wait until is too late before repenting of your sins and make a better change in your life to walk away from all the earthly pleasures. They give no life but bring sorrows and pain into our life and ultimately they only lead to death. Start the walk and make a change for yourself and your family. Be the leader your family deserves. All you have to do is Surrender and make the decision to follow Christ and be ready to be use in a magnificent way to glorify the name of the Lord.

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What is the motive in your life?

What is the motive in your life?

Now a days, most of us, think that success comes in a big peace into our life. But instead success comes in peaces into our life. Most people don’t have a formula for their problems. You want to get from one place to the other without suffering and expect to have success in your life without picking up the cross.

So what do we do? We pick up the pieces, develop a plan, and put the pieces together. Some might say that they don’t have enough money so they decide to go to school, which is a process that at the end will put you in a different place in your life.

So what to do? When you have a problem, work the pieces. Take it in small pieces and don’t dream of a big solution because that is most likely not going to happen. When you decide to work on your problems and you start to lay down the pieces, the biggest mistake that you could make is to start laying down the wrong pieces. When you are laying down a plan to solve an issue, make sure you don’t get distracted and get thrown off by a person, an issue, a relationship or spiritual warfare.

A person can have a strong passion to do the right thing, has a very clear, holy and righteous motive and then they can meet somebody. As you are laying down the pieces to develop a plan in your life, this distraction could make you get the wrong piece and this will change the course of your life.

We have been focus, we have been doing great, we were clear about the assignment but along the way we get manipulated by this distraction and they introduce a different set of values and priorities in your life.

Maybe you were married or in a relationship and all of a sudden you met this other person and now you’re not sure? Has this happen to you?

When you are succeeding in your plan, you become a target. As your motive is to spread the word of God and preach the gospel, you become more vulnerable. We must stay focus on the plan that we had lay down and stick to it. But as you are bringing glory to our Lord, we might be victims of this distractions.

Now you had a distraction in your life, which cause a change in your plan and now your life changes and often times we tend to focus on what the distraction did to you not on what we allow to happen. In order for you not to fall in this dirty plan from satan to get you off track, keep in mind this simple questions.

Be careful who you allow to override God’s will for your life.

Be careful when you allow someone to get into your life because you feel lonely, or you feel you have no friends. Maybe the lack of attention at home or the experimenting draws you into this distraction.

Some people are not thinking of you but just a moment of glory. 

They are not focus on you but themselves, on their needs, on their desires. They don’t care on the plan God have set up for you and the consequences of your distraction will bring into your life.

There is a story on 1 Kings 13 which explains how a young prophet was given a  commandment to follow and was given instructions on how to return back home but there was also an old prophet that heard about this young prophet prophesying the word of God to the king Jeroboam so he went and look for him. He lie to the young prophet about how to return back home. He told him that and angel of God has send him there to take him back home. He was not to eat or drink but to go back home in a different route and the young prophet believed him and fail to follow God’s commands. He was then kill as a punishment and the old prophet was not punished.

Is this fair? You are trying your best to fulfill the Lord’s plans and we allow a distraction to alter the plans. We get punish but how about the distraction? Well have you ever been the young prophet in your life and someone has taken advantage of you? Or have you ever been the old prophet and you have used others to your convenience making them stumble along the way?

Well my beloved brothers and sisters, I have been both in my life time. I have allowed distractions to get my focus off God’s plan and also there has been times when I don’t act mature enough to think about the other person’s feelings. We need to understand that there is one goal in this lifetime and is not about you all the time nor to fullfil your dreams and desires. People also have a plan in their life and we must ask ourself “are we the old prophet in their life?”

So what is your story? What have been your distractions in life? Has it been addictions, relationships, trouble forgiving, self focus? Whatever the distraction is you must repent and confess it to the Lord so your sins could be forgiven. Keep in mind that there is only one sin that will lead you to death and that is to not believe in the Son of God Jesus Christ.

Has this message touched you in any way? The love of our Heavenly Father could change hearts. Start the walk and make a change for youself and your family. Be the leader your family deserves. All you have to do is Surrender and make the decision to follow Christ and be ready to be use in a magnificent way to glorify the name of the Lord.


God Gives Life and a calling in everyone’s life.

Jeremiah’s Call

4 The Lord gave me this message:
5 “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”

Jeremiah 1:4-5
New Living Translation (NLT)

One important message in this passage is that the creation of life is glorious and mysterious. Humans have been blessed as participants in God’s design for the furthering of the human race. We give physical birth to children-but God gives life.

This passage also informs us that God sets certain people apart for his work in the world. Jeremiah became a great prophet to the people of Israel. His work was not easy. People often didn’t want to hear his messages. But he persevered and obeyed God.

Each of us is also called by God for specific work here on earth. We may not be recipients of proclamations the way Jeremiah was, but we have other assignments to fullfill.

One of our greatest blessings is the ability to understand our callings. We can go to the Bible and read God’s words for us. We can ascertain our spiritual gifts. We can talk and pray with our spouses and bring the bending of two lives into the work that God has called us to do.

We know that some assignments are not grand or glorious. Some are difficult. Some are painstakingly slow in producing fruit. But when we endeavor to live out these callings, we find God’s blessings on all aspects of our lives.

God may not want us to be prophets like Jeremiah, but he does have a plan for us. it is our responsibility to cooperate with God now so that we can fulfill His plans for our lives. We need to seek out God’s will and then follow it. God will help and encourage us as we do it.

18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:18-20
New Living Translation (NLT)

The message of new life through faith in the crucified and resurrected Christ is to be offered to all the nations of the world. Those who by faith trust Christ for salvation are baptized to display their commitment. Continual instruction in the faith helps us grow and preserve our spiritual gains.

Jesus told His disciples to spread the gospel to all the world. So this is indeed something that we must do. How are you spreading the good news? What methods are you currently using to Evangelize to other brothers and sisters?

There are many blogs and websites that are dedicated to teach people how to use their social medias to better spread the good news to the lost. For an example Not Ashamed of the Gospel which wrote a blog post about this matter.

Has this message touched you in any way? Make the decision and follow Christ and be ready to be use in a magnificent way to glorify the name of the Lord.


Footprints

One night I had a dream–
I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord
and across the sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints,
one belonged to me and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that many times along the path of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest
and saddest times in my life.
This really bothered me and I questioned the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you,
you would walk with me all the way,
but I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life
there is only one set of footprints.
“I don’t understand why in times when I needed you most,
you should leave me.”
The Lord replied, “My precious, precious child,
I love you and I would never, never leave you
during your times of trial and suffering.
“When you saw only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you.”

Has this message touched you in any way? Make the decision and follow Christ and be ready to be use in a magnificent way to glorify the name of the Lord.


We are not Alone

We Are Not Alone

Our God is everywhere. We could never run away from Him even if we tried. Such knowledge should keep us from entering into sin and encourage us to follow Him, knowing He is there to help us. Just as He is not limited by space, neither is He limited by time. He works with us day and night to strengthen and encourage us.

O Lord , you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord .
You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!

I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave, you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.
I could ask the darkness to hide me
and the light around me to become night—
but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.

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!
I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!

O God, if only you would destroy the wicked!
Get out of my life, you murderers!
They blaspheme you;
your enemies misuse your name.
O Lord , shouldn’t I hate those who hate you?
Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you?
Yes, I hate them with total hatred,
for your enemies are my enemies.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Psalm 139:1-24 NLT

Each of us is an amazing creation – wonderfully made! More than that, God is thinking about us at all times! Anytime we see ourselves as worthless, we are not seeing the truth. We need to begin to see ourselves as God sees us. When we see the truth that we are wonderfully made by God Himself, we will be encouraged to surrender our lives to Him so that He can transform us into the people He created us to be.


What’s your excuse?

Follow Christ

Jacob was a cheater, Peter had a temper, David had an affair, Noah got drunk, Jonah ran from God, Paul was a murderer, Gideon was insecure, Miriam was a gossiper, Martha was a warrior, Thomas was a doubter, Sara was impatient, Elijah was moody, Moses stuttered, Zaccheus was short, Abraham was old, and Lazarus was dead…. Now, what’s YOUR excuse? Can God use you or not? – ~~~ God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the CALLED!!!

Make the decision and follow Christ and be ready to be use in a magnificent way to glorify the name of the Lord.


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