Week Four, 2023

You, Lord, are my shepherd, and I shall not want. You make me to lie down in green pastures. You lead me beside the still waters. You restore my soul. You lead me in the paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake. Yea, 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 and my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in Your house, Oh Lord, forever. Psalm 23 Paraphrase.

As we drove the road down from Jerusalem through the desert to Jericho, I saw the many herds of sheep living in the desert. What a parched land it is! There is little green grass to graze on and moving water is scarce. Dangers are many and the shepherd is the one who protects and provides for the sheep.

The shepherd must find green grass for resting and grazing and lead his sheep to it, always on the lookout for wild animals which pounce on the sheep without warning. His rod is used to protect the sheep and if a sheep falls into a crevice, the shepherd’s staff pulls it back up on the trail. The desert is full of dangerous vegetation that have prickly thorns which would tear open wounds in the tender mouths of the sheep, so the shepherd has to clean the prickly thorns out of the pasture before the sheep can graze.

And when the day is over, the shepherd takes the sheep one by one into a protective area for the night. As they go in, he deals with them one by cleaning briars and otherwise making sure they are okay. He anoints them with an ointment to help soothe and heal the injuries of the day.

The Twenty-Third Psalm is probably the most familiar passage of the Bible. Many can recite it by heart. But how many stop to really understand what it means? It is a description of our life with our Lord. He is the Shepherd of our life. He is our Lord.

Psalm 23 reminds us that in life or in death — in times of plenty or want — God is good and worthy of our trust. The psalm uses the metaphor of a shepherd’s care for his sheep to describe the wisdom, strength and kindness of our God to us.

You could take shepherd as synonymous for “protector.” Be careful with the phrase, “I shall not want.” The writer not saying “The Lord is my shepherd, but I don’t want him.” Instead, he means that with God as his protector and provider, he won’t lack anything he needs.

Dear Lord Jesus, you are my Shepherd, my Good Shepherd. You give me everything I need and more than I want. All I need in life is you, plus what you choose to give me.



“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

Whatever you may be dealing with. Whatever is going on in your world. Whatever is stealing your thoughts, your moments, your joy…

Be Reminded.

Be reminded from where your help comes.

Be reminded of the one whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light.

Be reminded of the one who gives you joy and peace and comfort.

Believe me, I know it’s hard. I know things sometimes are more than we can handle. But in those moments… In those times when the weight is bearing down and the walls seem to be closing in, be reminded of the one who broke the chains of sin.

Be reminded of the one who defeated death, died upon the cross, and resurrected three days later.

Be reminded that you are not alone.

Be reminded that there is nothing that you may be facing that Jesus, himself, has not already faced.

Nothing that He cannot overcome.

Be reminded of His strength in our weakness.

His hope in our hopelessness.

His forgiveness in our failure.

His love even when we cannot seem to love ourselves.

Jesus Loves You.

This I Know.

For The Bible Tells Me So.

Be reminded of His grace.

His mercy.

His hope.

His love.

Be Reminded. Marty Stubblefield

— o —

God has promised us rest. Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11: 28). When you receive Jesus as your Savior, one of the first experiences you have is deep peace. Having surrendered, you are no longer fighting against God.

God wants you to have a beautiful, placid, unperturbed life—a life of peace and rest. Yet, how few of God’s people really know and experience that perfect peace that passes all understanding. Perhaps that is because we don’t believe His promise. Like the children of Israel, we let the giants in life keep us from taking all that God wants to give us.

Many of you are still in the wilderness in your Christian experience; you still struggle with the flesh and you’re not gaining ground or conquering anything. You are not living a victorious Christian life.

In our unbelief, we don’t trust Him to do the things He promised He would do. God is saying, “You have been in the wilderness long enough. It’s time to move into the Promised Land. It is time to go in and conquer the land.” Take the victories that God has for you and begin to experience the richness and the fullness of life in Jesus Christ. Experience His rest. Lord, may we follow You into that place of victory.



Do you have any displaced dependence? Ken Whitten

In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich. Dietrich Bonhoeffer

We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives. John F. Kennedy

“If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share. W. Clement Stone

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. William Arthur Ward

We should certainly count our blessings, but we should also make our blessings count. Neal A. Maxwell

Perhaps it takes a purer faith to praise God for unrealized blessings than for those we once enjoyed or those we enjoy now. A.W. Tozer

The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings. Henry Ward Beecher

Careful for nothing, prayerful for everything, thankful for anything. Dwight L. Moody

Thanksgiving is a very important holiday. Ours was the first country in the world to make a national holiday to give thanks. Linus (Charlie Brown)

When trouble comes to you, where do you turn for help? Dan Shock