The Lord Is My Shepherd

The Lord Is My ShepherdText: Psalm 23

This psalm describes the Lord as our shepherd. This illustrates what He does and what He promises us. As we study this, we will see that we NEED a shepherd – not just any shepherd, but the Lord. The blessings He provides are far better than anything we could find elsewhere.

We Are As Sheep

  • If “the Lord is my shepherd,” that necessarily implies something about us – we are as sheep (in need of guidance and protection; cannot direct ourselves)
  • There is an emphasis on our individual responsibility to follow the Lord (“the Lord is my shepherd“) – when we picture a shepherd, he is one who is leading many sheep; this is also true of us; however, one sheep can wander off (cf. Luke 15:3-7); we can stray if we fail to listen to or follow Him (cf. John 10:27); matter of personal responsibility

What the Shepherd Does

  • First, the shepherd CARES FOR the sheep (v. 2-3) – makes sure they have what they need; the Lord provides us with everything we need in this life (James 1:17); He also provides everything we need for our spiritual well-being (Ephesians 1:3)
  • Second, the shepherd GUIDES the sheep (v. 3) – makes sure they are going in the right direction; the Lord is the way (John 14:2-6) and shows us the way to eternal life; He also has provided us with the perfect example (1 Peter 2:21-22)
  • Third, the shepherd PROTECTS the sheep (v. 4-5) – makes sure they are safe; the Lord laid down His life for us (John 10:11); we do not need to fear men (Hebrews 13:5-6); we will be “saved by His life” (Romans 5:10; cf. 6:5)

The Benefit for Us

  • Sheep sometimes wander off (cf. Luke 15:3-7) – we could choose to depart from the Lord; yet if we do this, we are forsaking all of the good things that the Lord provides those who follow Him (cares for us, guides us, protects us)
  • The Lord provides ABUNDANT blessings – “my cup overflows” (v. 5); in Him, we have everything we need “pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3)
  • The Lord provides CONTINUAL blessings – “all the days of my life” (v. 6); He promised His disciples to be with them “always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20)
  • The Lord provides ETERNAL blessings – “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (v. 6); when He returns, we will “always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17); this is our inheritance (1 Peter 1:4)

Conclusion

  • The Lord is the good shepherd who will lead us to an eternal reward – but we must follow Him
  • Let us recognize our need for the Lord and the blessings He provides – never stray from Him

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