From my childhood growing up on my Grandfathers farm in Ohio, I learned incredible life lessons from a real life shepherd , my Grandfather. Unknowingly, Grandpa caused the truths of the 23rd Psalm to come to life for me to live my life as the masterpiece God created me to be. In this blog, Life Palette, I want to share some of those moments with you because my desire is to see you live your life as the masterpiece God created you to be, as well. If you missed the prescribed reading challenge for this series, “Sheep”, begin today and let the first truth from The Shepherd “transform you by the renewing of your mind”!0
Truth #1: God Meets All My Needs
“The Lord is my shepherd; I have everything I need.” Ps. 23:1 (NLT)
I watched my grandfather many times go to meet the needs of his sheep. Not only when it was convenient, but whenever they had a need. In the cold of winter he would dress warmly and track through the snow and blowing wind to meet their needs.
Interesting to me is the fact that we are the only living creatures that worry. We worry as to whether or not our daily needs will be met and whether our future needs will be met. I never recall thinking that my grandfather’s sheep were worried about whether or not he would be there to meet their needs. The sheep knew him as their shepherd and instinctively knew he had made provision for all their needs.
The Psalmist starts this great Psalm with a statement: “The Lord is my shepherd; I have everything I need.” Not a petition or request, but a statement! It is a very personal statement at that. He does not say “our shepherd”, rather “my shepherd”.
I read a story many years ago – (The source is unknown.) – of an old man and a young man on the same stage before a great audience. As part of a special program, they were to both recite Psalm 23. The young man was well trained in speech and drama. As he began reciting Psalm 23, the audience was awed. At the conclusion, the crowd rose to their feet in applause and shouted for an encore.
The old man made his way to the microphone. Using his cane to lean on, he began to speak in a frail and broken voice…”The Lord is my shepherd…”
When he finished, no one made a sound. There seemed to be a ‘holy hush’ on the crowd as though they were praying.
The young man stood and made the following statement: “Friends, I wish to give you an explanation. You asked me to come back and give you an encore, but when my friend finished you remained silent. The difference? I will tell you…I know the Psalm, but he knows the Shepherd!”
God will meet all of your needs, but first you must answer the question, “is He Lord?” In modern day terms ‘Lord’ simply means to be the C.E.O., the Manager, the Director of your life, or the one calling the shots.
It is much like when I first met my wife. We courted and developed a relationship. Soon the day came when we consummated that relationship with the commitment of marriage. Many people have developed a relationship with God, have spent time getting to know him and yet have not made the commitment of Lordship. As you make that choice, you will be able to declare with confident assurance the faith statement, “The Lord is my shepherd; I have everything I need”. It is a worry free life!
In the morning, Read Psalm 23 in silence when you first arise. Read carefully and slowly. Don’t rush through it so that you can say with fidelity that you did it. Instead, let the truth of each phrase capture the attention of your heart, mind and spirit. Read it again in like manner at noon. Read it once more just before going to bed at night, only this time read it out loud. Do this for thirty days consecutively and let nothing come between you and this transformation process. As Paul says in Romans 12, you will be a transformed into a “New person by changing the way you think.”
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