I John – Part 5

“I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning.” I John 2:13a

Since the book of I John is primarily about fellowship with God (1:3-4), the apostle John’s main concern is that his readers’ fellowship with the Lord continues. With that said, he knows that believers in Jesus have three enemies which can jeopardize their fellowship with God: sin (1:6-2:2), the world (2:15-17), and the devil (2:18-25). John also understands and believes that our position in Christ is foundational for victorious Christian living. To prepare his readers (including us) for spiritual warfare, the apostle reviews basic truth about our position in Christ.

Last time John addressed his readers as “little children” who had experienced complete and permanent forgiveness from their heavenly Father (2:12) the moment they “believed in the name of the Son of God,” Jesus Christ (5:13a). This positional forgiveness provides the basis for practical or fellowship forgiveness (1:9). While all who believe in Jesus have positional forgiveness which includes past, present, and future sins (Acts 10:43; Col. 2:13-14), they still need practical forgiveness which is based on the confession of their known sin to maintain or restore their fellowship with God (I John 1:9; cf. Matt. 6:12, 14-15).

For example, when parents decide to have children, they already know their children will commit sins. They are aware that their children will be imperfect. But this does not prevent the parents from choosing to have the children. And when the child is conceived, an eternal relationship begins. Nothing, including death, can change the fact that this child will always be the child of his or her parents. So, in a sense, since this relationship will last forever, the child has positional forgiveness for all his or her future sins. And based on this positional forgiveness, the parents are predisposed to fellowship-forgiveness whenever their child sins against them but also chooses to come back to them and seek their forgiveness. God gave us positional or relationship forgiveness when we became His forever children through belief in Jesus Christ (John 1:12; Ephes. 1:7; Col. 2:13-14). Based on that, He will always be “faithful” to grant us fellowship-forgiveness when we confess our sins to Him (I John 1:9; cf. Matt. 6:12, 14-15) to restore our closeness to Him. 

Next John reminds his readers of what he just wrote about in I John 2:3-11: “I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning.” (I John 2:13a). As “fathers,” John’s readers “have known Him who is from the beginning.” The words “Him who is from the beginning” could refer to either God the Father or Christ; “the distinction was not important to John. His readers knew both.” 1 John uses a verb and tense (egnōkeite) we saw earlier in 2:3-4. When the perfect tense is used with a stative verb like “to know,” it means to know intensely or intimately. 2 What this suggests is that as “fathers” his readers have come to know God more intimately which implies they have reached the stage of keeping His commandments (cf. 2:3). 3 There is a big difference between knowing about a person and knowing him intimately.

Why does John use the term “fathers” to describe this experience? As “fathers” they “have known” the Eternal One (“Him who is from the beginning”). Older people know people that go way back. In this case, all the way back to eternity past. God’s “beginning” really has no beginning. It will take all of eternity for us to begin to get to know God because He is infinitely greater than us.

Notice the progression: “little children” (teknia) or “little born ones” experience complete forgiveness from their heavenly Father (2:12). Experiencing God’s forgiveness is one of the first things a new believer appreciates about his or her salvation. 4 This complete forgiveness invites the new believer to get to know God more intimately (2:13). “We all begin as children—both physically and spiritually. And babies get to know their daddies. New Christians come to know God as Father.” 5

One of the most important weapons a Christian can have going into spiritual battle is knowing Christ more intimately. We get to know Christ better by spending time with Him and obeying Him. Jesus said, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” (John 14:21). Observe the progression in this verse – “has… keeps… loves Me.” Before we can “keep” Christ’s commandments, we must “have” them. To “have” Jesus’ commandments, we must spend time with Him to be aware of what He has said. When a believer “keeps” or obeys the Lord’s commandments, God the Father and God the Son will “love” him or her more intimately and Jesus will “manifest”or reveal more of Himself to them.

In Revelation 2, the same author who wrote I John writes to a church whose members had lost their initial love for Jesus. Christ commends this church for their hard work, perseverance, and discernment of false teaching and teachers (2:2-3). But the one thing He had against them is stated in the next verse. “Nevertheless, I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” (Revelation 2:4). The order of words is emphatic in the original language; the clause could be translated, “Your first love you have left” (tēn agapēns sou tēn prōtēn aphēka). 5

While this church had excelled in their service for Christ and their orthodoxy, they had left their “first love.” This refers to their original love and devotion to Jesus. They were doing the right things now, but not with the same love and devotion for Jesus that they had in the beginning of their Christian lives.

This can happen to any church or individual Christian. We start out passionate in our love for Jesus considering all He did for us in saving us from all our sins. But as the years pass by, we can easily shift from passionate love for our Savior to more of a program mentality whereby we function out of duty instead of devotion to Christ. We go through the motions, but our heart is not connecting to the Lord like it was in the beginning of our Christian lives. We can become so familiar with the teachings of the Bible that we become less sensitive to what God is saying to us. Familiarity can produce apathy in our Christian lives.

What was Jesus’ counsel to these Christians who lost their initial love and devotion for Him? Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works…” (Revelation 2:5). Christ is telling them (and us) to go back and do the things we were doing when we were passionately in love with Jesus. For me that would mean spending time alone with Him, listening to His still small voice as I read and meditate on the Bible. Or going on walks through the woods and reciting memory verses from the Bible. When I stop doing these life-giving works with Jesus, my love for Him lessens and can grow cold.

This is especially dangerous when I am serving Christ because Satan does not want me to do that. So, he intensifies his attacks. If am not spending time alone with Christ, I am more vulnerable to failure because I have lost the intensity of my love for the Lord and can be easily led astray.

In closing, I want to share some thoughts from Dr. David Anderson: “One of my favorite paintings of Jesus is called ‘The Good Shepherd.’ It pictures Christ as a shepherd out in a pastoral setting, surrounded by sheep. But what interests me most about this painting is not the Shepherd as much as the sheep. The Shepherd is holding one little lamb in His arms; a couple more are nudging up against His robe. Others are lying in a cluster not far away. Further back in the scene we see some sheep grazing. But it’s the sheep far from the Shepherd who concerns me. Some are looking this way and others that way. They are not at all close to the Shepherd. These are the sheep which are in danger of the wolf and the lion. These are the sheep which could fall off a cliff and break their bones. If you were doing a self-portrait to touch up this painting, where would you place yourself in the picture?” 7

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for John’s words of encouragement in his epistle which prepare us for spiritual battle with our enemies. Like little children, we have experienced Your complete and permanent forgiveness through faith in Christ alone as our Savior so we can approach You now as our Father. Because of Your amazing forgiveness, we can get to know You and Your Son more intimately as we spend time with both of You and learn to obey Your commandments. Knowing You on a deeper level is one of the most important weapons against spiritual attacks. Some of us are like the sheep in the painting who are young or hurting and so we have drawn close to You to be held in Your arms close to Your heart. Others of us are close to You and nudging You to focus on our needs. There may be those of us grazing on the riches of Your grace while being close to You. Some of us are resting in green pastures or being refreshed by the stilled waters You have led us to. There are those of us who have wandered farther away from You. We can still see You and take glimpses of You at times, but we are more captivated by our surroundings. We want to explore the world unaware of its many temptations and dangers. And then there are those of us who have wandered so far from You that we have lost sight of You. Little do we know the hidden dangers that are waiting to pounce on us and devour us. Wherever we may see ourselves in this image of You as our Good Shepherd, may each of us know You are always available to help us if we will take that first step toward You. It may be a cry for help or a simple, “Please forgive me, Lord.” You are waiting to hear from us, and You are eager to be our Good Shepherd. Thank You Lord God. In the mighty name of our Lord Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.


1. Zane C. Hodges, The Bible Knowledge Commentary Epistles and Prophecy, Editors John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck (David C. Cook, 2018 Kindle Edition), Kindle Location 3677.

2. David R. Anderson, Maximum Joy: I John – Relationship or Fellowship? (Grace Theology Press, 2013 Kindle Edition), pg. 74; cf. K. L. McKay, “On the Perfect and Other Aspects in the New Testament Greek,” Novum Testamentum, Vol. 23, Fasc. 4 (Brill: 1981), pp. 289-329.

3. Zane C. Hodges; Robert Wilkin; J. Bond; Gary Derickson; Brad Doskocil; Dwight Hunt; Shawn Leach; The Grace New Testament Commentary: Revised Edition (Grace Evangelical Society, Kindle Edition, 2019), pg. 591.

4. Tom Constable, Notes on I John, 2022 Edition, pg. 44.

5. Tony Evans, CSB Bibles by Holman, The Tony Evans Bible Commentary (B & H Publishing Group, Kindle Edition, 2019), pg. 2938.

6. John F. Walvoord, The Bible Knowledge Commentary Epistles and Prophecy, Editors John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, (David C Cook, 2018 Kindle Edition), Kindle Location 4950. 7. Anderson, pp. 101-102. While I do not believe the picture I have shared with this article, is the exact painting Anderson had in mind, its similarity serves as an adequate substitute.

When the Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want for protection

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil.” Psalm 23:5a

When David writes, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil,” he has a picture in mind of shepherd life in Palestine. Charles W. Shemming, who has written a lot about shepherds in the Middle East, says that when a shepherd comes to a new field in which to feed his flock, he inspects the field closely, looking for grass that could poison the sheep. He also inspects the field for poisonous snakes. These snakes live under the ground and have a way of popping up out of their small holes and biting the noses of the sheep. Their bite is poisonous and sometimes the inflammation from their bite will kill the sheep.

The shepherd leaves the sheep outside any such infested field. Then he walks up and down the field until he finds the holes of the snakes. He takes from his belt a bottle of thick oil. Then, raking over any long grass with his staff, he pours a circle of thick oil at the top of every snake’s hole he can find. As he leads the sheep into the field, he anoints the head of each sheep with the oil. When the snakes come out of their holes to do their deadly damage, the oil keeps them from getting out. Their smooth bodies cannot pass over the slippery oil. Moreover, the oil on the sheep’s head acts as a repellent. So if a snake gets near the nose of a sheep, the smell drives the snake away. Literally, then, the sheep are allowed to graze in plenty in the presence of their enemies.

What the shepherd did for his sheep, God does for His people. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, God has sent you to live in a dangerous place. Jesus said, “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves” (Matthew 10:16a). Jesus was known as “a friend of sinners” because He spent a lot of time with those who were considered outcasts by the religious establishment (Matthew 11:19). The religious leaders of Israel crucified Christ because He loved needy people who saw their need for a Savior.

Jesus wants us to take His message of grace to the world (Mark 16:15; John 20:21). Anyone can minister in the confines of a church or a home, but it takes the power of God to live that life in a world opposed to Jesus Christ. One reason we do not cultivate friendships with non-Christians is because we are afraid. We fear that their values will become ours. “Wolves won’t become sheep, but sheep can become wolves,” we say to ourselves.

Yet Christ calls us to go (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15) and He gives us the power to do so through the anointing of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8; I John 2:20, 27). Jesus gives us authority to be in the world and His presence protects us. Our Good Shepherd leads us to dangerous places and it is there that He feeds us. You and I are far safer in such a place with God than we could possibly be anywhere else without Him.

In the summer of 2013, the Lord led me to go with one other American and a few Filipino translators to a critical area in the southern Philippines to preach the gospel in public schools. We were warned ahead of time that Australian missionaries had been killed there by militant rebels the week before we went. But I still believed God was calling me to go to this area to share the love of Christ with these people.

During the week that we were there, I experienced an incredible peace from my Good Shepherd as we went from school to school to share the good news of Jesus’ love and grace. It was obvious that He had prepared the fields of harvest beforehand and His Holy Spirit gave us the boldness and clarity needed to preach Christ crucified. By God’s grace, thousands of people professed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as their only hope of heaven!

During these difficult and uncertain times, it is important to see our Good Shepherd as the source of our protection. He is for us and not against us. And because He is with us and has us anointed us with His Holy Spirit, we can respond to dangerous situations with His boldness and love that can melt the hardest of hearts. Christ changes hateful and hurtful people into people of love who begin to help others heal. What a wonderful Savior and Shepherd we have!

Prayer: Precious Lord Jesus, I needed to hear this message this morning. So much fear-based sensationalism is in our world today. People are afraid to go out of their homes because of all the terrible reports. Please give me the eyes of faith so I may see that it is You Who may lead me into a dangerous place to feed me there. You are the One who goes before me to prepare the way. You are able to teach me things there that I could never learn anywhere else. Thank You for the Holy Spirit Who comforts me and empowers me to carry out Your mission on planet earth. I pray He will prepare unsaved people in the world to hear and believe the saving message of Your death and resurrection (John 16:7-11; I Corinthians 15:1-8). Please give me creativity and wisdom to reach out to those You are preparing to be saved. Lead me, Good Shepherd, to those who need Your saving grace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

When the Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want for restoration

“He restores my soul.” Psalm 23:3a

Sheep have a habit of wandering away from the flock. They become interested in one clump of grass, and then another and another – until they discover that they have strayed far away from the shepherd and the other sheep. When night comes, the lost sheep is in great danger. It could became a meal for wolves, a mountain lion, or even fall over a cliff.

When the shepherd comes back to the fold, he counts his sheep and discovers that one is missing. The shepherd then leaves his servant to guard the flock so he can go out and find his lost sheep and bring it back to the fold.

Some sheep will develop the habit of going astray. Night after night, the shepherd finds the same sheep missing. Eventually, the shepherd will break its leg. Back in the fold, the shepherd makes a splint for the shattered leg and during the days hat follow, he carries that crippled sheep close to his heart. As the leg mends, the shepherd sets the sheep down by his side. The sheep must still depend on the shepherd to cross streams and rocky knolls.

After the leg has healed, the sheep has learned a valuable lesson – stay close to the shepherd’s side. You may think this is cruel or hardhearted until you understand the heart of the shepherd. The shepherd knows the sheep must remain close to him if it is to be protected from danger. So he breaks his leg, not to hurt it, but to restore it.

Have you ever wandered away from God, forcing Him to move in and break your leg? I don’t mean He literally breaks your leg, although He could. Maybe you felt God’s discipline was too severe and harsh. But when you know God’s heart, you realize that these afflictions came in to your life because He wants His sheep to depend constantly on Him. He longs for us to stay close to His heart.

King David understood this when he wrote Psalm 23. David had committed adultery with Bathsheba and tried to cover it up by murdering her husband, Uriah (2 Samuel 11). David lived with the guilty memory of his sin for nine months before God sent his prophet, Nathan, to restore his servant (2 Samuel 12:1-15). David’s unbearable anxiety and guilt were removed the moment he confessed his sin to God and experienced His forgiveness (Psalm 32:1-5; 51:1-4). He was restored back to fellowship with the Lord the moment he came clean with Him.

Please understand that our Good Shepherd is the One who “restores” us, just as the shepherd is the one who restores his wandering sheep. Sheep do not restore themselves. The shepherd does. Likewise, we cannot restore ourselves when we have wandered from God. Nor can our spouse, pastor, church, or close friends restore us. This is God’s responsibility.

Have you gone astray from the Lord and sunk deep into the darkness of sin and shame? Do you believe that your sin is greater than God’s grace? Are you convinced that God could never forgive you and restore you back to closeness with Him in light of what you have done?

Listen to the heart of our Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. He said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep” (John 10:11). Jesus has the best interest of the sheep in mind. He laid down His life so that those who believe in Him may have eternal life (John 3:14-15). The word “for” in this verse refers to the substitutionary death of Christ. Christ died “for” us or “instead” of us. He died in our place.

God could have permitted us to take our own punishment. But instead, 2,000 years ago, God’s perfect Son took our place on the cross and died as our Substitute. The Bible tells us, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

A California newspaper reported that a man fired a gun into a pedestrian-filled sidewalk. To shield a three-year-old boy from the hail of bullets, a twenty-nine-year-old apartment manager grabbed him and ran back into the building. Carrying the boy, he ran up a flight of stairs before collapsing from two bullet wounds in his chest. A policeman observed, “He brought the boy out of the line of fire and died because of it.”  

As our Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ took what caused our death, our sin, and died for us before coming back to life three days later. By dying in our place, Jesus satisfied God’s holy demand to punish our sins. There is no need for us to punish ourselves. Christ took our punishment so we can enjoy fellowship with Him after we receive His gift of everlasting life (John 3:16; I John 1:3-4). No amount of our sin is greater than God’s love and grace (Romans 8:38-39; Ephesians 2:8-9).

Jesus also said, “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own” (John 10:14). It was important for a shepherd to know his sheep. He must know their needs, weaknesses, and their problems. Without this kind of knowledge, he would not be able to adequately provide for the needs of his sheep.

Christ is the Good Shepherd not only because He lays down His life for us,but because He has an intimate knowledge of us. He knows everything about us – the good, the bad, and the ugly – and He still loves us. It is also important that the sheep know their shepherd. They must know his voice so they can respond when he calls them. They must learn to trust their shepherd so he can provide for their needs.

The more we understand how intimately our Good Shepherd knows us and loves us, the more we will believe that no amount of our sin disqualifies us from approaching Him. He wants to restore His wayward sheep. He wants to hold us close to His heart. Will you permit Him to do this in your life? If you will, you can know as David did that when the Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want for restoration.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, my gracious and good Shepherd, thank You for Your unlimited love and grace towards me. Thank You for laying down Your life for me so I may have Your life forever the moment I believe in You. Even though I am prone to wander from You, this does not diminish Your love for me. You still seek me out to restore me back to fellowship with You. Thank You for the pain I have felt when I have wandered far away from You. That pain teaches me to come back to You and to stay close to Your heart. Help me to show the same restoring grace to others who have wandered from You as You have shown to me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.  

When the Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want for Rest

“He makes me to lie down in green pastures.” Psalm 23:2a

Sheep can be rather stupid animals. Often times like sheep, we do not always know when to rest. For example, when a flock of sheep should be resting in preparation for a difficult journey, something will excite them – the growl of a mountain lion, the bark of a dog, or the cry of a child. This will bother the sheep and cause them to run back and forth across the pasture. The wise shepherd knows the sheep have a need to rest so he moves into the midst of the flock, catches a sheep and gently forces it to lie down and feed quietly on the cool, green grass. He makes his sheep “to lie down in green pastures.”

The last couple of weeks I have been awakened in the middle of the night with my thoughts racing from one worry to the next. Can any of you relate to this? We live in a hectic, hurried, and harassed world in which headache medicine has become the national beverage. Indeed, we have difficulty resting. We take a day off and feel guilty.

When our Good Shepherd steps into this situation, He often forces us to rest. Our “green pastures” may be the coronavirus which is causing us to simplify our lifestyles right now. We have more time at home. More time to spend with our Good Shepherd. More time to listen to His voice as we read His Word and talk to Him in prayer. More time to spend with our loved ones.

God not only provides physical rest, but spiritual rest, too. But because of our unbelief, we may not realize we are in green pastures. We may focus on the dirt instead  of the green grass.

An example of someone who recognized by faith that God was making him to lie down in green pastures during a difficult time, was the apostle Peter. King Herod was harassing some from the church (Acts 12:1). He had just “killed James the brother of John with the sword” (Acts 12:2). When Herod saw that this “pleased the Jews,” he arrested Peter and put him in prison with four squads of Roman soldiers to guard him (Acts 12:3-4). So it looked like Peter would be executed next! But instead of worry keeping Peter awake that night, he slept because he knew his Good Shepherd had led him to green pastures to rest (Acts 12:6).

When we trust the Lord as our Shepherd we will have no want for rest. As you read this article, you may have no rest about where you will be after death. Jesus invites you, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Notice that Jesus did not say, “Come to Me and I will give you more stress…more guilt… more burdens and more worries.”

Many churches or religions can add to our stress rather than relieve it with their legalistic demands. They tell us that we must perform all of these man-made rules and rituals in order to gain peace with God. But Jesus says that when we come to Him just as we are He will give us spiritual rest. The rest Jesus offers here refers to a state of mind that exists when a non-Christian realizes he or she does not have to earn their salvation. This refers to the positional rest of eternal life that is based on trusting in Christ’s finished work on the cross (John 19:30).

After we come to faith in Christ for His gift of everlasting life, we can begin to experience His rest as we yoke together with Him to go His direction at His pace (Matthew 11:29-30). And as we learn to trust our Good Shepherd, we will have no want for rest.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for knowing what is best for me. Often times, I do not know when to rest. I allow my fears to quicken my pace instead of turning them over to You. Like a Good Shepherd, You move into my situation to make me lie down in green pastures where I can rest in Your tender loving care. Please help me to recognize by faith the green pastures where You want me to rest. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

When the Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1

When I woke up early this morning, I began to reflect upon a favorite Psalm of many people. I am referring to Psalm 23. The imagery of this Psalm is distant from the experiences of modern man. To properly understand this Psalm, we need to look at it from the perspective of a Palestinian shepherd in the time of King David. In our impersonal technological world, we want to cling to the words of this Psalm because they are personal. God takes the same loving and patient care of His people as a shepherd does of his flock.

This Psalm was written by King David. I do not believe this Psalm was penned by David in his early years nor in the middle of his life. I believe these words were written by David in his later years because these are the words of a man who has lived and done much, who has sinned greatly and been forgiven greatly. David was a mature man at the time of this writing who was not only a slayer of Goliath, the devoted friend of Jonathan, a lover of music, and an able king, but he was also a fugitive, an adulterer, and a murderer. As a father he had watched his baby die and had wept when Absalom, his ungrateful son, was slain as he led a rebellion against his father. David has not left us only with beautiful thoughts, but with an honest testimony about God learned as he lived life to the fullest. Even though we are living in complex and calamitous times, the Shepherd of whom David wrote has not changed. Our challenge is that we have become too sophisticated to trust Him.

Many who love this Psalm take the words of verse one to mean, “The Lord is my Savior; and I am glad He is.” As wonderful as it is to know the Lord as our Savior, that is not what this Psalm is about. This Psalm is one of three Psalms that deal with a different aspect of the work of Christ. Psalm 22 deals with the work of Christ as our Savior when He suffered and died on the cross for our sins in the past. Psalm 23 speaks of the work of Christ as our resurrected Shepherd who is now in heaven in the present. And Psalm 24 is about the work of Christ as our Sovereign who shall triumphantly return to earth in the future. Many people who have put their trust in Christ as their Savior do not know the reality of His work as their Shepherd nor do they look forward to His return as Sovereign.

But when David sang this song of Christ as his Shepherd, he was praising the living God who enriched his daily life. He writes, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” (23:1). The word “Lord” translates the name “YAHWEH.” Jewish people were so much in awe of this name and of the God it represented, they substituted some lesser name for it whenever it occurred in public readings of the Scriptures. When the people thought of YAHWEH, they thought of the One who causes all things to be, the God who brought the nation of Israel into existence. Yet this God who inhabits eternity is the One referred to as a “shepherd.” He is great enough to take care of all the needs of my life.

David did not say that the Lord was “a shepherd.” He said the Lord was “my shepherd.” Many people know that the Lord is a shepherd, but they really don’t know that He is their shepherd.

Who is your shepherd? Whom are you trusting to meet your daily needs? Your spouse? Your children? Your pastor? Your therapist? Your parents? A close friend? As important as these people are, they can never be the Good Shepherd of your life because they are sheep, too. We need someone else just as David did.

When David addressed the Lord as his shepherd, he was saying that he was a defenseless, dependent, dumb/foolish sheep. We also might as well admit that before God, we too, are sheep. Yet our proud hearts say, “No I am not a sheep because I can take care of myself!” But in order to experience the blessings of Psalm 23, we must humble ourselves and admit that we are sheep and we need our Good Shepherd to take care of us.

When I trust in the Lord as my shepherd, “I shall not want.” In other words I shall never be in a state of want when I am relying on the Lord as my shepherd. I will not want for anything I need. This is the key to the whole Psalm. Over the next few days we will look at what wants our Good Shepherd provides for us.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, my Good Shepherd, thank You for reminding me that I am much like a defenseless, dependent, and dumb sheep who desperately needs You to take care of me. It can be difficult for me to admit this because I like to be in control. But the more I try to be in control, the less I experience the blessings of Your loving and patient care. Please forgive me for looking to others to be my shepherd in place of You. Thank You for cleansing me of my pride. I am now eager to learn more from You of what it means to trust You as my Shepherd. In Jesus’ name. Amen.