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Near the Shepherd...

The book of Psalms has always been one of my favorites to read. No matter what season of life I'm in there always seems to be a Psalm that relates to that season. Lately I have found myself coming back time and again to Psalm 23. The entire chapter is packed full and has always been a Psalm that is near to my heart. The chapter is 6 verses long and each verse a continuation of promise. The first 3 verses speak refer to the Lord as being Our Shepherd. He leads us where we need to be and He guides our steps.

"The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake." - Psalm 23:1-3

He is the good Shepherd and He takes care of His sheep (us, the sons and daughters of God). He guides us along the rights paths and protects us. I love verse 2, "He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul". He refreshes my soul! What a reminder! No matter what's going on around you or what season you may be walking through, you can be encouraged that He can and will refresh your spirit. You are not alone.

The last 3 verses paint a beautiful picture of who the good Shepherd is.

"Even though I walk through the darkest valley, 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 overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." - Psalm 23:4-6

It doesn't matter what dark valley or mountaintop you are walking through, God is with you. I know it doesn't always feel that way, but I promise you its true. There have been so many times in my life, I have felt like the world was on my shoulders and no matter what I did everything would fall apart. You wanna know what got me through those times?

It was learning that it is not my job to take on the world alone, or try to fix everyone's problems. My job is to be the hands and feet of Jesus here on earth and allow Him to work in and through me. To spread the Good News far and wide, and be a voice of reason and compassion when needed. The same applies to you friends. It is not your job to carry the world. You job is to be obedient to the calling of God on your life! To be His hands and feet in a world desperate for hope.

When you walk with the shepherd you will have everything you need. He is the good Shepherd friends, and the good Shepherd will never leave His sheep behind. In the New Testament, Jesus tells a parable of the lost sheep. The story is found in Matthew 18:12-14, I'm sure must of you know the story. A shepherd has a flock of 100 sheep, and 1 of the sheep goes missing. So the good shepherd leaves the 99 in the safety of home and goes out in search of the 1 lost sheep. When the shepherd finds the sheep he carries it home and throws a celebration, inviting his neighbors to come celebrate with him over finding his 1 lost sheep.

Jesus is the good Shepherd, He will leave the 99 time and again to find the 1 who is missing! In John 10, Jesus said that He is the good shepherd, and His sheep know His voice.

"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." -John 10:11

I love this next verse,

"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me - just as the Father knows me and I know the Father - and I lay down my life for the sheep." - John 10:14-15

Stay near to the Shepherd friends, and remember when the Lord is your shepherd you have everything you need.

Much Love friends,


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