Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Lord Is My Shepherd

The Cross
by Melanie Pruitt

Jesus made it clear when He stated emphatically, "If any man would be my disciple (follower) let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." Basically what it amounts to is this: A person exchanges fickle fortunes of living life by sheer whimsy for the more productive and satisfying adventure of being guided by God. It is a tragic truth that many people who really have never come under His direction or management claim that "The Lord is my Shepherd." They seem to hope that by merely admitting that He is their Shepherd somehow the will enjoy the benefits of His care and management without paying the price of forfeiting their own fickle and foolish way of life. One cannot have it both ways Either we belong or we don't. Jesus Himself warned us that there would come a day when many would say, "Lord, in Your name we did many wonderful things," but He will retort that He never knew us as His own. It is a most serious and sobering thought which should make us search our own hearts and motives and personal relationship to Himself.

Do I really belong to Him?

Do I really recognize His right to me?

Do I respond to His authority and acknowledge His ownership?

Do I find freedom and complete fulfillment in this arrangement?

Do I sense a purpose and deep contentment because I am under His direction?

Do I know and rest and repose, besides a definite sense of exciting adventure, in belonging to Him?

If so, then with genuine gratitude and exaltation I can exclaim proudly, just as David did, "The Lord is my Shepherd!" and I'm thrilled to belong to Him, for it is thus that I shall flourish and thrive no matter what life may bring to me.

From the book A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by Phillip Keller

Painting by The Creators Palette

1 comment:

Melanie said...

"A Shepherd's Look at Psalm 23" is one of my favorite books. What a wonderful part you have quoted here and a great reminder to me today as I wake up to many trials looming in my face.

Yes... walking in the valley right now, but so fully trusting my shepherd!

Thank you Tina, for your enouragement today (and for using my painting as a visual for these powerful thoughts)