Psalm 23:1 “The LORD is my shepherd”
[Five short words that hold infinite grace. You are the Holy, Pure and Triune God, utterly other, totally Just and Punisher of sin–yet you make yourself the Shepherd of rebels.
We are the antithesis of you: finite, sinful, polluted through and through, nurturers of sin, lovers of lusts. Yet you are willing to stoop down, to reach into this sin-soaked, iniquity-infused, evil-endowed world and make yourself Shepherd to your redeemed, yet selfish sheep.
You have made a total commitment to our good: patiently and persistently guiding, providing and protecting us. You do this even though we daily grieve you with our stubborn love for sin, our rebellious selfishness and our unholy focus on things rather than relationships.
We can be certain of your faithfulness, of your goodness, of your wisdom, of your grace, of your power: “When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory” (Ps. 73:21-24). We praise you that you have chosen to be our Shepherd.]
“I shall not want.”
[Four short words, describing the outcome of having an infinite, holy Shepherd who gives absolute, total, powerful and wise provision. To know you, the great and gracious One who holds the future in your hand, who is the source of all supply, who makes the decision of what will come to us–this is enough.
Your provision goes far beyond the seen; here is some of what you give us.
–You provided your Spirit to convict of guilt, to shepherd us into belief and repentance and then to dwell within giving unending gracious guidance.
–You provide love, forgiveness, transformation and adoption into the Family and Kingdom of God.
–You pour into our lives ever growing peace, love, joy and hope.
–You provide healing, growth and maturing in our souls: mind, will and emotions.
–You provide belonging, worth and competence.
–You provide unending and immeasurable significance and security.
–You provide protection from the evil one, evil men and our own evil nature.
–You filter out of our lives the events that will harm us spiritually, and bring to us the events that will challenge, deepen, equip and mature us.
–You provide us with weakness, hardships, insults and persecutions as platforms upon which we can give you glory through trust and praise before the watching crowds of people, demons and angels.
–You provide what is needed in the physical realm, which is often less than we desire, but much more than we deserve.
–You pour out more than we need, so we can then provide for the needs of others.
Praise be to you, O my Great Shepherd. Forgive me for grumbling about not having this or that and forgetting the immeasurable, invaluable invisible things you pour into my life every day. Help me to live in the Truth and Security of your choosing to be my Shepherd, of your being the focus of my life, my heart, my activities, my future. To you be honor and glory today in all I do, say and think.