Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The Shepherd

Yesterday was rough for me.  Was very tired from that day plus the day before.  Add to a tired body, a tired mind and weariness is certainly there.

While writing yesterday Psalms 23 was with me. 

The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

With what I have learned from life...
He is the Shepherd.  Not me. I gave my life to Him.  His words to me are to take up my cross and follow Him.  Where He leads I am to follow.
I shall not want.  Indeed regardless of how life's twists and turns have gone, He keeps His promises.  I may not have the absolute best of things, be it food or clothing or cars or houses. But I have what He says meets my needs.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
Last night I didn't need much coaching to listen to 'go to bed'. I was in need of rest and He provided it.  The sleep was good.  More times than not people miss the second and third words 'makes me'.  Anyone who has ever been around parents raising children know that babies and toddlers needs to be made to rest. They aren't all that willing to obey.  We as adults ought to learn from that.  Listening to our bodies when exhaustion sets in. When fatigue is coming.  When it's better to say no than yes when pushing ourselves isn't the right thing to do. Last night yes I had ideas of something to do, but listening when I am being told it's time to lay down was the right thing to do.
He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His Names sake. Consider that. Think on it. If you are in Christ, you are not representing yourself anymore to this world. You are no longer going around thinking of you and how you should be exalted. You represent Jesus Christ.  To do that requires learning.  Learning about righteousness only comes from being in the light. Which means in God's Word, in prayer, in fellowship with Him. In fellowship with fellow believers. 
Jesus said that you don't light a candle and put it under a basket.  No you light it to share with others.  I am also reminded of the fact that as being His workmanship   it's part of this verse too.  He will teach what righteousness is through the Holy Spirit.  What is referred to as the Paraclete...the other who was to come who is of the same nature and kind as Jesus.  We who were in darkness and are now in the light need to be taught.  I like movie metaphors. In the movie "The Matrix" after being rescued, and being awake for the first time, Neo asks "why do my eyes hurt?" The answer was because he had never used them before.  I don't put any stock in the storyline of those movies but there's a kind of truth in that statement concerning Spiritual matters.  Until you are born again in Christ Jesus, you aren't alive.  Your sentence of death because of sin keeps you from understanding the things of God.
1 Corinthians 2:14 "But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised."
So I look for more. My prayer has been "show me more".  I can only be shown when Jesus turns up the light.  I live in a world of darkness.  The blind leading the blind.  That's my literal take on John Chapter 1.  We can learn from other believers in Christ, by what they have had revealed to them, but the author and perfector of our faith is Christ.  Not J. Vernon McGee, not David Jeremiah, not Any pastor anywhere. If they are truly following Christ and not their own ambitions and their own version of a vision for the Church then they are worth learning from.  The Berean church wouldn't even take the Apostles word for it when they taught. They went and looked up everything themselves.  If that example was included in the Bible then it's something that we need to consider.
For His Name sake.
Nothing that we do is about us. Get over yourself.  It's not about how at ease we are, about how lavish our homes are. About how much of this country we have seen.  It's not about how much is in our bank account or stock portfolio. As believers it's about the Shepherd. It's about who and what Jesus is.  He is the way, the Truth and the Life.  Telling others is what we do.  Andrew had it right. "Hey! Here's Jesus! The Messiah! Come and see for yourself!"
Ever really see how someone who has been in darkness reacts to being exposed to the light?  Don't expect people to be all warm and fuzzy about being shown they need a Savior.  Some react differently than others.  Just saying to be prepared.
In my life I was so excited to share when I was saved, but the kids in my school were harsh about being told. 
For His Names sake.  Keep that in mind today.

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