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The Shepherd Provides

Psalm 23 depicts Jesus Christ as the Great Shepherd living for His sheep. It also gives us two assurances. First, Jesus shepherds us throughout each day. Dr. Harry Ironside used to say that goodness and mercy are the two sheepdogs that help keep the sheep where they belong. We live our lives one day at a time, because God built the universe to run one day at a time. There must be a time for labor and a time for rest. When we try to live two or three days at a time, we cannot enjoy today. Eventually, this catches up with us physically, emotionally and spiritually. We need to remember that "as thy days, so shall thy strength be" (Deut. 33:25).

As His sheep, we can begin each day with confidence. John 10 tells us that Jesus goes before His sheep. We cannot walk into any experience where Jesus has not first been. Though we may not know or understand what is taking place around us, we will fear no evil because we are close to the Shepherd. His rod takes care of the enemies; His staff takes care of the sheep (discipline and guidance). We can stay close to the Shepherd through His Word.

Our second assurance is that Jesus shepherds us all the days of our lives. This psalm is a summary of the Christian life. Verses 1 and 2 speak of childhood. Children need protection and provision. God loves and watches over them. Verse 3 speaks of youth. Teenagers need direction and discipline. The Great Shepherd finds these wandering youth and brings them back. Verses 4 and 5 talk about the middle years. These are not easy years, when the children are growing up and there are bills to pay. Verse 6 speaks of the mature years.

We don't understand why some things happen. But one day we'll realize that everything is under God's goodness and mercy. Then we'll look ahead and see His house.

What are your needs today? Stay close to the Shepherd by reading the Word. Resolve to follow His leading.

Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group ( Used by permission. All rights to this material are reserved. Material is not to be reproduced, scanned, copied, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission from Baker Publishing Group.

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