Everyone knows the first five words of the 23rd Psalm: ―The Lord is my Shepherd… These words not only introduce the Psalm and the God of the Psalm, but are actually powerful words that reveal our relationship with Him. Notice, for example:
The – This reveals that Jehovah God is the only God. He is not merely a god – He is THE God. He is not one of many – He is the One and only! We should, like Paul, always profess, “yet for us there is one God” (1 Corinthians 8:6).
Lord – This shows that God is the Lord – our master. A Lord is one who has rule over your life. If He is our Lord then He is first in everything. As Peter suggests, let us “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts‖ (1 Peter 3:15).
Is – This present tense word shows that God lives. He was, and is, and always will be. God is just as alive today as when David wrote this Psalm. Let us indeed be convinced of what God thundered forth in Malachi 4:6, “For I am the Lord, I do not change.”
My – God is not an abstract power – He is not an aloof entity. He wants to be our personal God. He wants a relationship with us. It is imperative that we become as close to Him as possible. Let us, like Thomas, proudly proclaim, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28).
Shepherd – A good shepherd is one who lovingly cares for, feeds, guides, and protects the sheepfold. This is what God does for us if we stay faithful to Him. We can be at peace if we fully trust in Him and obey His will. And we should, like the Psalmist, express joy all day long for Him: “So we, Your people and sheep of Your pasture, will give You thanks forever; we will show forth Your praise to all generations” (Psalm 79:13).
Is the Lord God truly your Shepherd? If so, you have nothing to fear. . . read the rest of Psalm 23 for this assurance. – Edd Sterchi, Campbellsville, KY
Scripture of the Week
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 “Therefore we do not loose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
Think About It
Special Recognition to Mary?
It Is Never Wrong to Give “honor to whom honor” is Due
(Romans 13:7) and give special recognition to someone because of his or her achievements, but ascribe adoration and veneration to someone other than God is to worship “the creation rather than the creator” (Romans 1:25). This has been accorded Mary by many people. People have knelt before statues of her, and she has been prayed to, sung to, and worshiped in many ways. There is seemingly no limit to the divine honors that have been paid to Mary. But let us notice what the Bible says about her.
1. Mary was certainly a good woman (Luke 1:28-30), but she was not divine. She was just a woman. Otherwise, Jesus would not have been the “Son of Man” (Matthew 8:20). Long before she gave birth to Jesus, He was her Creator (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16). Mary acknowledged God as her Savior (Luke 1:47). Therefore, she was not sinless, as some made her out to be.
2. Mary was a young virgin (Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:27) at the time she conceived Jesus, just as the prophesy had foretold (Isaiah 7:14). But the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary is false. After she had given birth to Jesus (Matthew 1:25), she had four other sons and at least two daughters by Joseph (Matthew 13:55-5).
3. “Blessed are you among women” is what was said to Mary, not above women (Luke 1:42). No one but GOD is to be worshiped (Matthew 4:10).
4. Mary did not ascend bodily into heaven, as was pronounced by some in 1950, because Jesus said, “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 15:50). Mary and all others will be raised at His second coming (1 Corinthians 15:23). “But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets and of all who keep the words of this book. Worship God!’” — Revelation 22:9 – Gary Workman, West Sparta church of Christ, Sparta, TN
Something to Smile About
A family of four went to services on Sunday. After they returned to their home and were sitting around the table eating their noon meal, the father said, ―Well, I just didn’t like the preacher’s sermon today.
The mother said, ―I liked the sermon all right, but that song leader was all out of tune.
Frances said, ―I enjoyed the singing but the sermon was long enough to wear out the patience of Job.
Little Johnny added ―Daddy, I thought it was a pretty good show for just the nickel you gave.