One of the most profound and comforting scriptures in all the Bible is the 23rd psalm. God speaks to young David, the humble shepherd who is being prepared to be a king, in the quiet pastoral landscape with deep and profound truths. A shepherd knows his sheep by name. He also knows their individual personalities. A good shepherd wants what is best for the sheep, but sheep don't always know what is best for them.
Sheep are docile, like to be in herds, yet often wander off even though they have little defense against natural predators such as coyotes, foxes or mountain lions. Sheep need to be led by their caring and knowledgeable shepherd so that they can feed in fertile and safe pastures. The Lord is our shepherd, and we are God's sheep. The Lord knows each of us by name, and our shepherd of love cares for us and wants what is best for us. Take comfort in the fact that God loves you and knows you by name. Follow God and you will not be in want; you will find green pastures and quiet waters. If you are facing adversity or those who would seek to harm you, know that you are under the watchful eye of a strong shepherd who will protect you. Take a moment and rest in the green pastures next to the quiet waters and know that God loves you.
(Verse of the week)
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
(Prayer of the week)
Heavenly Father, Shepherd of love, lead and guide me through the mountains and valleys of life. Help me to open my life to your purpose and your plans. Help me to trust your power to see me through. Most of all open my heart to your love and make me a blessing to others, through your power and to your glory. Amen.
May God's love fill your life! --Pastor TJ
(Quote of the week)
We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace -William Gladstone