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The shepherd needs to guide them to fresh pastures and new streams.
"The Lord is my shepherd…he guides me…” Psalm 23:3.
When was the last time you found something fresh and new in the Scriptures?
It’s an old book that is always new.
I’ve been attached to church since I was born, and a follower of Jesus for fifty-five years. I’ve been a student of the Word of God for a long time, more so in recent years. And I can say without a word of a lie that I discover new things constantly as I explore the Book.
The truth isn’t new—it’s always been there. It’s just that I didn’t see it before. My fault. I either wasn’t ready for it, or not paying attention. But the Spirit of God guides us to, I guess you’d call it, “old truth made new.”
What’s the purpose of the truth to which He guides us?
“The Lord is my shepherd…he guides me in paths of righteousness.”
Paul writes: “There is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10). He was talking about us. But there is One who is righteous. John says: “…Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:1, 2).
Our Shepherd guides us through His Word and the action of the Holy Spirit to follow the path of Christ—to become like Him. The Scriptures talk about this as being “…conformed to the likeness of his Son” (Romans 8:29). That’s what God has called us to. That’s what the abundant pastures and the tranquil waters that He supplies are meant to encourage. He restores our souls so that we can mirror Him.
But we need to know what the Word says. We need to be students of the Scriptures. We need to listen to the voice of His Spirit above the noisy discord of the world. If we refuse to be guided by Him and and prefer our barren pastures and our polluted waters, then we will never know the paths of righteousness that He has chosen for us. We will never be like His Son.
And we will never know His blessing.
Notice how personal the psalmist’s statement is. “He guides me.” Yes, He guides the church, the body of believers. But He also guides you and me individually, personally, just as though we two were the only ones on the planet.
The details of your path may be different from mine. But the Guide is the same, the guidebook is the same, and the depth of the labour and the love that the Shepherd invests to lead us on the right path and to get us to our destination is the same.
The Lord is MY shepherd...