Tag Archives: sorrow

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.

Only for Singles

Many single people may keep asking themselves if is okay to stay single or is it better to get married. Well staying single is not a sin. But if been single causes you to have sexual sin then you should married.

Keep in mind that as Christians singles, we are not to be going out and start dating different people like the world. We are to stay clean for that special someone that God will put in our path. Now a days people think that is okay to “try before you buy” this means they want to see if things will work out and we allow to have intimacy with our partners before committing to marriage. Often times people live this kind of life for some time and you need to understand that this is a sinful way of living your life and you are not bringing glory to our God at all. So if you meet someone well is okay to have a friendship and to go out as long as there is no intimacy. Keep in mind that if you can not control yourself and you happen to have a weak flesh then you should get married. Not to just anyone but to the right person. A godly person that has God and loves the Lord before anything else, even yourself. Not just loving and believing by words but by actions. Anyone could say that they believe in the Lord but do they walk the talk?
Avoid touching each other to prevent temptation. A good friend will never want to start something that he is not willing to finish. You never want to go there since it is a path for a sinful relationship and ones you start how can you stop it?

If you do get married, be loyal to each other.

But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.
1 Corinthians 7:2 NLT

Remember that if you and your partner are both believers you need to understand that you are marrying that special one for life.

6 Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.”
Matthew 19:6
New Living Translation (NLT)

9 let no one split apart what God has joined together.”
Mark 10:9
New Living Translation (NLT)

Nothing should break this marriage apart but two things. Death or adultery. If you do get divorce without any of this 2 reasons, then you will make her/him to commit adultery.

31 “You have heard the law that says, ‘A man can divorce his wife by merely giving her a written notice of divorce.’ 32 But I say that a man who divorces his wife, unless she has been unfaithful, causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman also commits adultery.

Matthew 5:31-32
New Living Translation (NLT)

Five reasons for singles to go for marriage.

1. Procreation

28 Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”

Genesis 1:28
New Living Translation (NLT)

2. Pleasure

4 Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.

Hebrews 13:4
New Living Translation (NLT)

3. Provision

You take a wife in order that you might protect her and care for her and nourish her as the Lord does the church. You are now to support your wife and kids. You are also to learn more about God so you could now teach your first ministry which is your family about the Lord and His commandments.

4. Partnership

It is not good to be alone, you need a helper. Many people are very okay to be on their own while others suffer greatly from loneliness and they often times get depress because they feel that no one will ever marry them. God intension is to give us a partner. In this way, we won’t feel lonely and we could serve God as a couple. Remember, it doesn’t mean that as soon as you find a godly man from your local church that you will stop attending and now you will dedicate your life to your husband. We are to love and dedicate our life to God and a godly partner will be with you all the way and will understand the real meaning of growing in knowledge of Christ.

5. Purity

The bed is not defiled, it’s undefiled. The husband then must fulfill his duty to his wife and likewise also the wife to her husband.

3 The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs.

1 Corinthians 7:3
New Living Translation (NLT)

Paul says, “Look, it’s okay to be single, it’s okay to live without any relationships with the opposite sex, but it’s a whole lot better to marry because of immoralities. And then when you do marry, you have the duty to fulfill to each other.” That duty, obviously, is to render the physical affection that is consistent and God-ordained for the procreation and the pleasure of people in a marriage.

In fact, the duty is so high in a marriage that the wife doesn’t even have authority over her own body, the husband does. And likewise, the husband doesn’t have authority over his own body but the wife does. So, stop depriving one another. Paul says that’s not what God is asking. Have your own wife, have your own husband and fulfill your duties to each other. And do not deprive each other of that.”

5 Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

1 Corinthians 7:5
New Living Translation (NLT)

If there is some exigency in your life, some trauma in your life, some issue in your life which much like fasting from food, consumes you with sadness and sorrow, these kinds of things flee your mind. You agree to that. But come together again.” Why? “So that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” Don’t do that. You give Satan opportunity.

So the opposite is true. You think that you’ll be more pure by withholding that. The truth is, you’re going to go right down the path that Satan wants you to go into sin cause you’re going to be tempted because of your inability to exercise self-control. Get married for the sake of purity and when you’re married, fulfill your marriage covenant physically, do not deprive each other except for some great spiritual cause and come back together again so that you don’t put yourself in a position that Satan would tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

While you are still single

32 I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him.

1 Corinthians 7:32
New Living Translation (NLT)

I want you to be free from concern, one who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord, but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world how he may please his wife and his interests are divided.

34 His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be devoted to the Lord and holy in body and in spirit. But a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband.

1 Corinthians 7:34
New Living Translation (NLT)

So there are some benefits to being single. If you have been given by God the gift, each man has his own gift. Spend that time and invest it with the Lord. Get closer to Him and learn more and serve Him in your local churches and join a ministry. It is hard to stay away from temptation but if you do have that gift then be bless and enjoy your time with happinness. what did Jesus say? “But not all men can handle that. Not everybody can handle that.”

10 Jesus’ disciples then said to him, “If this is the case, it is better not to marry!” 11 “Not everyone can accept this statement,” Jesus said. “Only those whom God helps.

Matthew 19:10-11
New Living Translation (NLT)

Staying singles It’s honorable. It has great potential to keep you single-minded and focused. But it’s a gift, it’s a unique gift. The gift is best known by those who feel strong, complete comfort in being single and no strong desire for a partner, for an intimate partner, a life partner. It’s an option. But please don’t conclude that there’s anything wrong with a God-given gift of physical intimacy. Singleness, the last thing that God wants out of singleness is sexual promiscuity. Be single if that’s not a problem. If that’s a problem, get married.

Is sexual activity unspiritual? No. But it must be perform while been in a marriage so it won’t become a sin in your life.

If you don’t have the gift of singleness. Should the formerly married remarry? Yes if they desire to be married because it’s better to be married than to burn. But if you can be single, be single and focus on the Kingdom.

You’re single and you come to Christ. Are you now supposed to be a monk the rest of your life? Are you supposed to be celibate the rest of your life? No. If you have that gift, fine. If you don’t, get married.

Becoming a Christian does not of necessity mean that you have to make some dramatic alteration of your marital status. That’s not what the Lord requires.

If you can remain single in the service of Christ, do so, but not to the jeopardy of your purity. If that’s an issue, get married. And if that’s an issue, don’t postpone your marriage cause marriage postponed constitutes an illegitimate single life. Just think about it if you are indeed getting married in a year from now? What might happen between now and then, do you have any idea?

Single people, don’t delay. If God’s designed you for marriage, get married. If you’re divorced or widowed and you can stay single, stay single. If not, and you have grounds for remarriage, get married. If you’re widowed and you can stay single, if not get married.

“I’m so far down the line, I’ve already messed up all that.” Well you’ll be glad to know if we confess our sins, He’s faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. It’s all about His forgiveness.

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

If you want to read concerning Marriage, please click here for the “All you need to know about Marriage” blog post.

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