We continue our journey together today, seeking to be women who are found on our knees at the feet of Jesus. I’m so glad you’re back! No matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done, no matter your past, today we join together to meet with Jesus. I hope you have come expectant. He invites us in. Today, we bow humbly before Him, recognizing who He is and who we’re not. He welcomes us to Himself. Today, we draw near to Him, laying all else aside, and we seek His face. He delights in communion with His people. If you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ and received the gift of his forgiveness and grace that He extended to you at the cross, you have thus named Him Lord over your life. He is your shepherd, the one who leads and guides you. He is the one who protects you and provides for your every need. He is your redeemer.
Because of the relationship you have entered into with Him, you are now a recipient of His promises. Let me explain. There are numerous promises given in Scripture. Some of these promises are given to all mankind. For example, after God flooded the earth and wiped out all of creation except for Noah, his family, and two of every kind of creature, God promised to never flood the earth again. The rainbow was given to us as a sign of His promise. That’s a promise that all can receive. It’s universal. Then there are promises that God gives only to His children. Psalm 23 is filled with these promises! If you’ve been on our journey the past few days through “Found On My Knees”, the words of this Psalm are still fresh in your mind. If not, stop for a minute right now and read through this Psalm….
Although many have found comfort in the beautiful words of these six verses, the promises within are aimed at God’s children alone, those who have confessed with their mouths that Jesus is Lord and have believed in their hearts that He was raised from the dead (Romans 10:9). The promises contained within this most widely known and embraced Psalm are deep, rich, and eternal, but they are meant for God’s children only. The opening line points directly to this truth: “The LORD is my shepherd.” For anyone who would deny the Lordship of Christ in their life would also forfeit the promises that He makes to His children. So, if you have come today as one who has put their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord, you will find yourself in the pasture of His promises as you read through Psalm 23. If you have come today as one who has not yet placed full faith in Jesus Christ, the invitation is extended to you now. Today, choose to receive the free gift of His grace. Today, choose to proclaim, “The LORD is my shepherd.” Today, as you hear His voice, respond to it.
The reason I address this Psalm again today is two-fold. First of all, I see a discouraging reality in the church today. Many who claim the name of Jesus Christ are simply not living in such a way that would reflect that the LORD is their shepherd. Rather, what we see is this self-sufficient, independent, compartmentalized Western Christianity that speaks only of the necessity of Christ when we are in need. Sunday morning church and perhaps even a mid-week Bible study are a part of our routine, but the remainder of our lives are structured in such a way that would remove dependence on and desperation for God. This should not be. Claiming faith in Jesus Christ = The LORD is my shepherd. There’s no way around that. Secondly, I truly desire to see God’s children standing on the promises that God has given us as opposed to wavering in fear and doubt. I heard this powerful statement once, and it has stuck with me ever since:
“God said it, I believe it, that settles it!”
If God has promised us that He will give us peace, He will. If God promises us His presence, we have it. If God promised to provide for our every need, we must rely on it. I desire to see the people of God begin to stand upon His Word in any and every situation so that the light of Jesus Christ shines into this dark world. I want to see us begin to believe and receive the promises of God. Though you may have been greatly disappointed by some people in your past, God is incapable of failing to keep His promises to you. He is true to His Word. He is faithful. I pray that you are able to say with confidence today, “The LORD is my shepherd.”
1. Is there an area of your life that needs to be placed under the Lordship of Christ? Have you tried to compartmentalize your life in such a way that certain parts are separated from God’s rule and authority?
2. Have you found yourself doubting any part of God’s Word? Perhaps you believe He is all that He says He is for someone else, but you simply can’t believe it for yourself. Ask the Lord to reveal to you one area of your life that doubt has crept in, causing your faith to weaken. Journal your response to what He reveals to you.
3. Can you identify a time/times in your life when you knew God’s love was pursuing you? A time/times when God’s mercy was so evident? Grab your prayer journal and take a moment right now to rehearse the faithfulness of God in your past.