Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Expressing confidence in the Lord
1 The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3 He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honour to his name.
4 Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
5 You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honour me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
Some Psalms are a song of confidence in the Lord: that he will provide, protect and bless. This Psalm 23 is one of the most well-known. I have quoted all of it in the New Living Translation which may give a freshness to some who are very familiar with it.
It is a very personal Psalm – with each verse being about God’s relationship with me as an individual. This is worth meditating on – spend some time chewing over the words in your mind, even speak them out a few times. The Lord is my shepherd – yes, he is my shepherd. What does that mean for him to be my shepherd? What does a shepherd do for sheep? How did sheep treat the shepherd? How does that impact me today if he is my shepherd? I have all that I need – a completely different phrase to what every advert will ever tell you! What do I actually need? Do I “need” extra because I am trying to do more than what my shepherd wants me to do?
He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams – I love lying down on a warm day in a pleasant meadow with the sound of a flowing water. God loves us to rest! He is not a slave driver! We need physical rest, but also we need that spiritual rest – where we can recharge spiritually in his presence – how do you spiritually recharge day-by-day?
I will let you dwell on the rest of the Psalm with your own thoughts… but just to note “I will not be afraid for you are close beside me”. The shepherd protected his flock when danger arose. So your Lord protects you. He is right beside you – even when you are looking the other way and cannot see him.
May you know the Lord as your shepherd and beside you in the difficulties and disappointments you face today.
With much blessing,
- Devoted – It is fantastic to have so many of us going to Devoted this year – at present about 25 are going from Admaston!! If you still want to book, the price goes up next Friday.
- Churches Together Annual Meeting with reports on Good News stories in North West Telford. Why not join the wider Christian community on Friday 24th Jan at 7pm at Holy Trinity, Hadley? Nick Brookes from All Saints will be replacing Roland in Chairing the group.
– Let’s pray for those suffering under the Zambia Food Crisis and for the effective distribution of food.
- Let’s pray for those in our fellowship that we know are facing difficult times – that they would know the reality of the Psalm above.