Behold the God who is our Shepherd
Isaiah 40:11 - He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.
Last Sunday at my session, I was teaching on Psalm 23. The very first line of the Psalm is 'the LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want'.
While preparing for the session the Lord revealed to me that the shepherd is not the one who provides but he is the one who leads his flock to provisions. He tends to his flock by saving them from any danger and guiding them by the best paths to green pastures and home.
If the shepherd just leads us to provisions, then how does our provision come?
When the Son of God came as man Jesus, He made available abundant grace for us. He sacrificed Himself so that we could receive forgiveness from our sins and by His death He washed away the anger of God on us, thus saved us from curses, sin and death. He also became an example to us on how to live our lives and receive eternal life. After His death and resurrection He opened the door for us to return home to our Father in Heaven. Even though He went to Heaven before us, He did not leave us helpless. He left us with a Helper - His Spirit, to guide us on our onwards journey. He will come back to walk us through the door into Heaven our eternal home.
With regards to all our needs, they are already provided for us. The problem is that we do not know how to receive it. Therefore even in the prayer which Jesus gave us as an example, has the same thought.
In the prayer the 'Give us today our daily bread' has the Greek word which is translated as 'give' is actually not 'give'. Give in English is in present tense and the word written here can not be translated in English at all, for it is past, present and future tense at the same time. So it means 'gave, give and will give' all at the same time. The same is with the word 'forgive' in the next line 'forgive us our debt'.
If I were to translate this line in its true sense, I would put it as 'help us receive our daily bread'. For what is already given, how can I ask to be given? The problem does not lie with the giver, but the receiver to receive.
This means all our needs for our physical body like food, clothes, healing etc., all our needs for our soul (inner man) like grace, peace, joy, forgiveness etc. and all our need for our spirit like fruit of the Holy Spirit, salvation, eternal life etc. are already given unto us. What all we need to do, is just follow the Shepherd and take His help to receive it.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord God, You came as man to lead us as a Good Shepherd. You died for us and saved us. You did leave us helpless. You came in us to guide us and help us receive the good pasture You have made available for time for us. Lord, help us not to be led by this world and its corruption unto death but to be led by You unto life...
This we ask in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
1 And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples,
2 Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me.
3 And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them.
24 And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute?
25 He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?
26 Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.
27 Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.
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