Wisdom 25.28

“Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls.” – Proverbs 25:28 NKJV

Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit for many reasons; one of which is our own benefit.

Psalm 23-You are with Me

“For you are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” – Psalm 23:4b NKJV

“Just as for the sheep of David’s day there was comfort and consolation in seeing the rod in the shepherd’s skillful hands, so in our day there is great assurance in our own hearts as we contemplate the power, veracity, and potent authority vested in God’s Word. For, in fact, the Scriptures are His rod. They are the extension of His mind and will and intentions to mortal man.”

– W. Phillip Keller, “A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23”

“Rather than turn to the other sheep, David turned to the Shepherd. Rather than stare at the problems, he stared at the rod and staff. Because he knew where to look, David was able to say, ‘I will fear no evil’.”

– Max Lucado, “Traveling Light”

Perhaps your circumstances seem overwhelming. If so, look where David looked; to the Shepherd and remember how skilled He is.

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads in the paths of righteousness for His 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.” – Psalm 23:1-4 NKJV

Psalm 23-Valley of the Shadow

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil…” – Psalm 23:4a NKJ

“It is a most reassuring and reinforcing experience to the child of God to discover that there is, even in the dark valley, a source of strength and courage to be found in God. It is when he can look back over life and see how the Shepherd’s hand has guided and sustained him in the darkest hours that renewed faith is engendered.”

– W. Phillip Keller, “A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23”

“For what the shepherd does with the flock, our Shepherd will do with us. He will lead us to the high country. When the pasture is bare down here, God will lead us up there. He will guide us through the gate, out of the flatlands, and up the path of the mountain.”

– Max Lucado, “Traveling Light”

What evil do you fear today? Look ahead and see the immense strength of the One leading; and catch a glimpse of the affirmation in His eyes.

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil…” – Psalm 23:1-4a NKJV

Psalm 23-He Leads Me

“He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” – Psalm 23:3b NKJV

“When the desire for self-assertion, self-aggrandizement, self-pleasing gives way to the desire for simply pleasing God and others, much of the fret and strain is drained away from daily living. A hallmark of the serene soul is the absence of “drive”, at least “drive” for self-determination. The person who is prepared to put his personal life and personal affairs in the Master’s hands for His management and direction has found the place of rest in fresh fields each day. These are the ones who find time and energy to please others.”

– W. Phillip Keller, “A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23”

“God is righteous. His decrees are righteous (Rom. 1:32). His judgment is righteous (Rom. 2:5). His requirements are righteous (Rom. 8:4). His acts are righteous (Dan. 9:16). Daniel declared, ‘Our God is right in everything he does’ (Dan. 9:14). God is never wrong. He has never rendered a wrong decision, experienced a wrong attitude, taken the wrong path, said the wrong thing, or acted the wrong way. He is never too late or too early, too loud or soft, too fast or too slow. He has always been and always will be right. He is righteous.”

– Max Lucado, “Traveling Light”

When we follow His lead, the destination is right. Are you willing to let Him lead you along His path today?

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” – Psalm 23:1-3 NKJV

Psalm 23-Restoration

“He restores my soul…” – Psalm 23:3a NKJV

“When I read the life story of Jesus Christ and examine carefully His conduct in coping with human need, I see Him again and again as the Good Shepherd picking up “cast” [fallen] sheep. The tenderness, the love, the patience that He used to restore Peter’s soul after the terrible tragedy of his temptations is a classic picture of the Christ coming to restore one of His own.”

– W. Phillip Keller, “A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23”

“Our Shepherd majors in restoring hope to the soul. Whether you are a lamb lost on a craggy ledge or a city slicker alone in a deep jungle, everything changes when your rescuer appears. Your loneliness diminishes because you have fellowship. Your despair decreases, because you have vision. Your confusion begins to lift, because you have direction.”

– Max Lucado, “Traveling Light”

Hope and a sense of well-being are a natural product of His restoration. If you need restoration; it’s available. If you’ve experienced restoration; give thanks. If someone else needs restoration; please share.

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul…” – Psalm 23:1-3a NKJV

Psalm 23-Still Waters

“He leads me beside the still waters.” – Psalm 23:2b NKJV

“All the long and complex history of earth’s religions, pagan worship, and human philosophy is bound up with this insatiable thirst for God. David, when he composed Psalm 23, knew this…‘He [the Good Shepherd] leadeth me beside the still waters.’ In other words, He alone knows where the still, quiet, deep, clean, pure water is to be found that can satisfy His sheep and keep them fit.”

– W. Phillip Keller, “A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23”

“He leads me. God isn’t behind me yelling, ‘Go!’ He is ahead of me bidding, ‘Come!’”

– Max Lucado, “Traveling Light”

Is your soul “leadable” today? There is deep, satisfying refreshment to be found in Him…

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.” – Psalm 23:1-2 NKJV

Psalm 23-Green Pastures

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

“[For sheep] it is significant that to be at rest there must be a definite sense of freedom from fear, tension, aggravations, and hunger. The unique aspect of the picture is that it is only the sheepman himself who can provide release from these anxieties.

– W. Phillip Keller, “A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23”

“Green pastures were not the natural terrain of Judea. The hills around Bethlehem where David kept his flock were not lush and green…hence when David says, ‘He makes me lie down in green pastures,’ he is saying, ‘My Shepherd makes me lie down in his finished work.’ With his own pierced hands, Jesus created a pasture for the soul. He tore out the thorny underbrush of condemnation. He pried loose the huge boulders of sin. In their place he planted seeds of grace and dug ponds of mercy. And he invites us to rest there.”

– Max Lucado, “Traveling Light”

Is your soul genuinely at rest today? His pasture is well-prepared…

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures…” – Psalm 23:1-2a NKJV

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