Monday, 18 May 2009

The Good And Perfect Shepherd


The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
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.
You prepare a table before me in the presence
of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over. 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 (NLT)




The dictionary defines a shepherd as thus:

  • a person who herds, tends, and guards sheep.
  • a person who protects, guides, or watches over a person or group of people.

From that definition, it is safe to say that a Shepherd would naturally care for the sheep. An individual who is a leader should have a caring nature for and towards those whom he is leading or directing.

John 10:11-14 reads "11I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep".

From the verse above, Jesus was explaining that He is the good shepherd. For Him to have to clarify and distinguish Himself as a 'good shepherd' means that there are 'bad shepherds' around. It means that there are bad shepherds who lead the sheep, his people astray.

Further reading of the same chapter in verse 14 - 15, Jesus not only further re-affirms and distinguishes himself as the good shepherd, but also explains, His love and what He, as a good shepherd, does, continuously, to look after His sheep; his people. It reads 14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, 15 just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep".


Now in John 10:12-13, we see the characteristics of a bad shepherd, and it reads "12 A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. 13 The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep

From this passage, it is obvious that the bad shepherd, referred to as 'hired hand', does not care about the sheep; the people. A bad shepherd abandons the people at the first sign of trouble, causing confusion and displacement.

From that understanding, the questions I ask of you today is thus:


"who is your leader, who are you following?
Who is your Shepherd?
Is God and His word your Shepherd
or is man and the world your shepherd?"


Just as a shepherd tends to the needs of his sheep, by watching over them carefully, protecting them from the dangers of the field and elements of the weather, guiding them away from trouble, leading them out of trouble, when they have wandered off into trouble, and leading them to what will satisfy their needs, daily and constantly; God does the same for His people.
Yes, there might be times when life strikes a painful blow, and we start to feel discouraged and in our discouragement cannot sense the presence of God; Him being there or leading us.

However, learning from the nature of a shepherd (in the natural), a shepherd does not always have physical or direct contact with the sheep he is herding, but his presence is there all the same, looking after and over the sheep. So even when we don't feel God's physical touch or feel Him near, He is always and will always be there as He declares in the second part of Hebrews 13:5, which reads "Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”


So, today, I encourage you to start your, day, week, month and season in submission to the Good and Perfect Shepherd, Almighty God. I encourage you to submit yourself to be led by the shepherd who knows what you need before you ask. The one who knows where all the provisions and opportunities (jobs, contracts, business opportunities, promotions and much more) are, even in the midst of the current economic climate. The one who will lead you in the paths of righteousness, even in the world's darkness, for the glory his holy name.
I for one, declare that God is my good and perfect shepherd, and with renewed understanding of His goodness and his mercy and His love, I can further re-affirm Psalm 23 as thus:


1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
I distinguish you Lord (set you apart, and obove) from all others leaders, as my good and perfect shepherd. As my guide, my teacher, my leader and my life coach!. And because you are a good God, I shall never lack any provision or any good thing.


2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He leads me into abundance
In your goodness, you lead me in blessed abundance (plentiful, more than enough of everything that is good and enriching for and to me), even in recession. You know where all the opportunities are; how to get them to me or how to get me to it, as long as follow your lead... and as you lead me along, you gift me with perfect peace within my soul.


3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
You bring me back to my original position, how you created me to be, living in peace, in love and in abundance. You lead me in right thinking, right doing for your name's sake. (this is the part I love). Now because you do this for your namesake, I have no need to worry or be stressed, because you cannot forsake your name, for your name is your very reputation, and you will not forsake your reputation, you cannot. Assured Confidence! Hallelujah!


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.
Even when I go astray from your will (yeah, I am silly like that sometimes, and wander off on my own), and work and walk myself into some disastrous situations (and you know I have had a few Lord); in your goodness and like the good and perfect shepherd that you are, you still come and find me, and help me out of my own mess! Wow!

Your rod, you use to correct me (that's right, sometimes it sure hurts, but it is for my own good, so I thank you) and your staff you use to lead me out of that very situation (guiding me out by insight through your word, your teaching, your wisdom and your Holy Spirit). In so doing you show me the nature of your perfect character, which is all goodness.


5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
Even in the presence of my enemies, those who want to see me fail, you prosper me (to their amazement, and for your glory). In the presence of those who doubt that I serve a living God, you show yourself strong, and then you go further to anoint my head, blessing everything that concerns me, and it still does not stop there, you then bless me so much that I have to expand my territory to contain it all, and its still keeps coming. Your blessing is never -ending. When I think I have seen all your goodness, you 'wow' me some more!


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.
As long as I follow you and let you lead me as the good and perfect shepherd that you are, your goodness and your mercy will always surround me, be with me and be manifested in me. It will follow me everywhere I go, be evident in everything I do, I touch and I'm involved in ... all the days of my life.

As long as I keep my eyes, firmly focused on you, follow your instructions and whilst doing so (no matter how long the journey or work I must do; and Lord, I must confess, sometimes the journey is long and the work, extremly hard, but by your grace, I have been and always will be able), remember your constant faithfulness, love and goodness. I must always remember that you are my good and perfect shepherd, whose desire is to lead me in the right path, for your name's sake and for your glory. And for all these and even more, I declare I will live within the realms of your will and love forever more...Amen.

How about you? How do you declare and re-affirm Psalm 23, confessing the Lord as your shepherd? Have a wonderful day being led in spirit and in truth by God the good and perfect shepherd, glorifying His name in your life along the way.



Much Love
Remi
***pictures by photobucket***

13 Comments:

Rita said...

I definitely need none other than the Lord to be my Shepherd...Not after this expose...

Debbie said...

He is indeed my shepherd. He keeps me safe every step of the way, his guidance ensures my feet are never moved, no matter the circumstances.
And surely his goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, not somedays, not most days, not when it's winter or summer, but all the days of my life, through the good and bad, he is there a as constant present.

seye said...

I am going to put an audio poem I did on Ps23 soon.

HOW SOOTHING TO KNOW THAT WE HAVE not only a shepherd...but a GOOD SHEPHERD

Danny BaGucci said...

Reassuring.. taht inspite of the turmoil that seems to assail our soul we have a Good Shepherd!

Telekinesys said...

So so comforting knowing who is the Shepherd of my soul.

simeone said...

hmmm..,i'm digesting this..cant digest it enof..
thanks remi..

David C Brown said...

SHEPHERD

Struggling through the biting winds
He visited
Those about to perish.

Through harsh thorns and clogging mud
He sought
That which was strayed away.

In chilling nights and cracking rain
He healed the wounded,
Fed the sound.

He is the worthy shepherd
That does not leave his flock.

See Zechariah 11 - the Lord Jesus is the exact opposite of the worthless shepherd there. Ezekiel 34 is a great Shepherd chapter too - "Behold I, even I, will both search for my sheep and tend them"; we know it well!

Kémi Penélopê said...

I am glad you visited my blog because I am able to discover another woman who loves God so much and is not afraid to show it.
Bless you my sister...
Do have a week filled with abundant blessings and testimonies...!!!

The poets voice ~~~ said...

I loved the way you broke this down and the explanations...I see Psalm 23 in a totally different light now...my takes on some of the verses are:

3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. – For me, this means God bringing me to HIS original position i.e. to where He wants me to be, where I Should walk to get from point A to point B. The path where my destiny will be fulfilled and His grand master plan established! I know that if I go in this direction, everything will work together for my good, I will have all I need and I needn’t worry about tomorrow!!!!


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. – I am so glad this is in the Bible because in my ‘silliness’ I do wander sometimes and God in His infinite mercy is able to bring me back to Him. It’s the love He has for me that sometimes makes we wonder, What a wonderful God I serve!! Who would want to clean up after you’ve made a mess??...not Humans of course, but God is willing to come and sort me out and sort my ‘mess out’..something I made by myself!! ….absolutely amazing…HE is definitely God



God bless you!x

David C Brown said...

Remi,

Thanks for the kind words on my blog. I'm just back from a bible reading on Acts 23: "But the following night the Lord stood by him ..." - the Shepherd in action! In His grace I'm doing well. trusting you are prospering in soul and body.

Sandy said...

Really Very Beautiful Blog Hun..Thanks so much for sharing sweetie..and great to see that your taking swimming lessons hun..the only way to overcome fear is to face it head on..and one has to be very courageous to take on such a challenge..tells a lot about how truly special you are..

Much Love to You Hun..Sandy xx

Lady A said...

My mom inbeded that scripture in me. Now it's my chilrens turn.

Remi, United Kingdom said...

@Rita... God is your strength. Yup there is power in combining the three. Hope you are good.. x

@Debbie... yes oh, I like that.. all the days of your life, not just in winter,spring or summer or just morning or night.. all days of our lives.. woohoo.. How are u? thanks for checking up on me.. I'm gooooood. luv x

@seye, ah please put the post up oh, before you even think of changing your blog / website or becoming annonymous.. i beg. x

@Danny BaGucci, yup it so is reassuring isn't it. God is good. :-). How are you doing?

@Telekinesys --- yes, Amen.. :-) His presence and guidance,brings peace...


@simeone lol... oya keep digesting, oh, you gotta chew on it very, very well first and then it is easy to digest.. hehehe. How are you doing bros.. oya new post oh :-) x

@David C Brown wow.. I love the way you put words together.. awesome. True, the Lord is the exact opposte of the worthless shephered. And the same can be said with many thing with life, What God wants for us, is the direct opposite of the turmoil and hopelessness presented to the world.. Lord help us to always recognise you as the good and perfect shepherd.

@Kémi Penélopê.. I'm glad too. ah God rocks ! :-) Amen and you too, have an awesome week. x

@The poets voice...That's an awesome rendation of Psalm 23. You go! It makes it so much more meaningful when we read God's words and then direct / speak them to ourselves, and personalising them. That's what it is all about! Have an awesome week. x

@David C Brown...Amen.. Glad you are doing well. God is your strength, source and inspiration. Wow, see how Acts 23 just ties into Psalm 23! God is too good! lol. Have a great week x

@Sandy, Hey, thanks so much. Ah yes, the swimming lessons, doing much better - well after leaving the wall! lol. Yes you are right, we must face fear head on and show it who is boss! For God has not given us the spirit of fear. So by His grace, I am trying to implement this in every single area of my life, including swimming. oh your blog is full of things I could try. I love trying natural remedies, as I know and believe that everything we need to heal and look after ourselves with, we can find in and from the land! Have an awesome week.
Really Very Beautiful Blog

@Lady A... same here. I had to memorise it too.. along with Psalm 27! Had to recite it to mum almost everynight before bedtime.. God bless our mothers! woohoo. Good luck teaching your kids. Have a great week. x