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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Psalm 23: Daily Living with the Good Shepherd

Edward F. Lundwall Jr.

Psalm 23 
Theme Verses: The LORD is my Shepherd; I shall not want. 

O Father, I just want to thank you and praise you for this Psalm of testimony! For here I see a full revelation of David’s heart and what made him a “man after your heart!” Enable me to ever pattern my heart life as revealed here. O my Shepherd God, I worship you and thank you.

First of all, I thank you for this relationship! It is unspeakably wonderful to have as my spiritual shepherd the God of all Creation, THE Creator AND Redeemer of all who truly believe! How great it is to belong to you as a sheep who does not have to understand anything except that His Shepherd is able to care for all his needs. All I have to do is hear your voice and follow (John 10:27). Although the way maybe difficult and dry, you will lead me to the refreshing waters of Jesus’ cleansing blood and the nourishing pastures to feed on your Word in the fellowship in your Holy Spirit. By these means, you restore my soul by renewing it. As I come to the Lord Jesus, He instills his life in my soul in exchange for my old one. Then as I identify myself as his disciple in the waters of baptism, He leads me in ways that honor both of you, Great Shepherd and Father God. It is an honor to show your great worth as I bear Your Name. I can proclaim the abundant life of freedom from the dominance of directed in Your Word. I walk through life with you.

Next I praise you Lord, for the many times that you have accompanied me in the valley of the shadow of death, especially when my back was fractured and Communist soldiers threatened my life in Viet Nam. Your rod of protection saved me, and with your staff pulled me to safety. Even now, I praise you for your protection and blessings, as our spiritual enemies prowl around to catch me unaware and drag me from you presence. Indeed your enemies are mine, and my enemies must face you as my Shepherd Protector.

Lastly, I glorify you in all the circumstances where you make me fruitful in your service; they bring a joy that is an overflowing cup of refreshment and encouragement. I long for that day when in Heaven, I stand completely immersed in blessings of your Holy Preence. I will stand complete. You give this experience to all who will let their faith soar farther than the eagle or astronaut, to the Heaven of Heavens into Your Presence and Throne. For we can boldly say by heart faith that Jesus, our Savior-Shepherd is also our Forerunner. Though his substitution death, He prepared the way into your Presence and turned the place of judgment into a place of acceptance, fellowship, and even reward. By faith, our hearts and minds can go beyond their limitations into the realm of your Spirit and ever increasing faith fellowship. We are united to you in the Person and work of your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ, the Lord. Even as the Lord Jesus said, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). Such joy we experience for through the Holy Spirit’s work, this saving relationship is communicated to our souls through His testimony in our spirits (Rom 8:15, 16). For our Savior is fully able to do all this in shepherding our souls. He is able, for He is your eternal Word, the outshining expression of Your Person, the only begotten God incarnated in flesh, the resurrected Lamb slain as the reconciling sacrifice before the Creation, and united with you in the Heavens. He is the Good and Great Shepherd of our souls.

O LORD, let me dwell where you abide, 

Let my hand be in yours, 

That you may lead me into green pastures, 

And to the refreshing still waters, 

Defend and restore my soul for Your Name’s sake! 

Place Your Word in my mouth, 

That when I speak overflowing praise, 

Your Name may be exalted and glorified. 

Fill me with Your Spirit, 

That when others hear, 

A hundred fold harvest, 

You will receive. 

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