PSALM 23 Part 1 – The Lord is My Shepherd –

PSALM 23

PART ONE

THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD

“The Lord is my shepherd…”
PSALM 23:1

“The Lord is my shepherd” is more than just poetry, more than a nice theological concept and much more than simply a feel good religious verse. To those who know HIM it is the sum total of the fundamental and essential aspect of our relationship with HIM. The Hebrew Name for LORD here is YHWH. It is the Name of God as revealed to the man Moses as he was being sent back into Egypt as a deliverer of HIS people. It is a name that depicted Glory and Majesty to such an extent that traditionally it was not even spoken, out of great reverence and respect. Yet here we see that great name being divinely connected to that of a Shepherd! The same great name that carried with it the meaning of ONE of endless, eternal self existence, clothed in omnipotence and infinite majesty, by whose power all of Egypt was destroyed on such a scale and in such a manner that to this day it remains unsurpassed in the revelation of the Judgments of God. Let us ponder upon the significance of the connection of such a God to that of not only a Shepherd, but a personal Shepherd that cares for the life of His own.

To know in some religious way that the Lord is A shepherd will convey little in terms of the power or comfort of relationship in knowing that HE is the director of our steps. We see here in this statement that this Great and Holy God is not only A shepherd but that it is essential for us to know experientially that HE is MY SHEPHERD! This foundational truth can only be true if there is within the core of my being a new birth experience that has translated me from the rebellious nature of a goat to that of a lamb that is desirous to be submissive and taught in the WAY of our God. Only by us becoming sheep in nature will we fully appreciate the wisdom and care of our great shepherd.

The Lord is my Shepherd! Let the truth of this sink deep into our consciousness. Let the power of all that it is to mean convey a warmth and comfort to our troubled hearts in times of distress. Let it speak to us that we are not mere wandering souls left to our own resources, wisdom and strength. Let it communicate to us a sense of purpose, a special relationship with the Almighty God who has taken upon HIMSELF the responsibility to lead us through the dangers of this life.

THE LORD ALONE IS MY SHEPHERD

The Lord is my Shepherd! We hear many today say that some religious leader is their Pastor or Shepherd; how it must grieve the heart of God for such things to even be considered! HE is my Shepherd. There is no man who can chart the dark waters of my needs, no man who can be made unto me wisdom and strength, and no other who can keep me in the way of righteousness and truth. HE ALONE IS MY SHEPHERD. He alone is your shepherd. You will never read anywhere in the New Testament of a man being MY apostle, MY teacher or MY prophet. He has given the church ministries of the Apostolic, Prophetic, Evangelistic, Shepherding and Teaching expressions for the building up of the Body of Christ but they are never to be yours. They are simply precious expressions given to help us develop our own personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. There is only ONE SHEPHERD. His name is Jesus and it is the solemn obligation for every true and valid ministry to bring you and me to the place of seeking, knowing, and living our lives in HIM.

“I am the good shepherd.
The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep”
JOHN 10:11

Brian Troxel

HE IS ABLE PART FIVE – THE COMMON FAITH –

HE IS ABLE

PART FIVE

THE COMMON FAITH!

“To Titus, mine own son after the common faith”
Titus 1:4

Here is Paul writing to Titus as his own son in the faith. Titus was sent to travel throughout the Church of Jesus Christ to set things in order and to ordain elders in every city. It was a ministry that was to preserve the purity of the word, to stop the gainsayers, the propagation of Jewish fables and the teaching of the traditions of men. Right from the outset Paul is communicating to Titus that there is a common faith.  A common faith that produces a common love for one another; a common faith that produces a common brotherhood. The heresy of this hour where we see closed and secular groups each claiming that they are of the “true” faith is to deny the very passion of the heart of our Lord Jesus Christ when HE prayed in John 17, that they may be ONE. We are not talking of some ecumenical concept for that is but an attempt by man to have a unity based on the minimizing of faith and truth. What Jesus spoke of was a unity founded on FAITH and TRUTH. The common faith must produce a common brotherhood!

The Greek word used here for “common” is the word koinos (κοινός) which is best translated “common or belonging to several or of which several are partakers”. This common Faith by its very nature is meant to be shared and held within the community of faith and not some “elect” circle. It is a faith that recognizes and participates with people of the “common” faith. It is the root word of koinōnia of which much has been written and of which much more is to be known. How necessary it is for us to see that the commonality of the FAITH, not teaching, is what makes us partakers and joint heirs of God! Paul prayed for the Ephesians…

“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ,
of whom the WHOLE family in
heaven and earth is named”
Ephesians 3:14 – 15

The Greek word here for family is singular! For it is by faith that we have been born into the family of God; it is by faith that we are made PARTAKERS and the expression of this faith in our daily lives must reveal this truth. The present day expression of a powerless, divided and secular church is a sad testimony to our real condition. Jesus said when the son of man returns will HE FIND FAITH. We are told that in this hour the love of many shall grow cold. Are we not seeing this? If we do not love our brother whom we have seen, how can we have the audacity to say that we love God whom we have not seen? This is the DAY to PREPARE the WAY of the LORD; a day to turn, to consider HIS HOUSE not our own. It is a day to return to the simplicity of the “common faith” that we might become that expression of the truth that will produce a depth of LOVE that the world may know of a surety that THIS IS THE FAMILY OF GOD.

May there be a hastening of this within the heart of every true believer in Christ.

HE IS ABLE!

Ω

“They are the true disciples of Christ,
not who know most,
but who love most”

Frederich Spanheim the Elder (1600–1649)

Brian Troxel