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The Good Shepherd

Can I tell you something embarrassing?

When I heard Psalm 23 as a child, I really did not understand it at all. I mean, it starts out like this:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

But we were supposed to want the Lord, right? So why was everyone so in love with a verse that said "I shall not want [Him]?"

I was in high school or college before I heard it another way.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not [be in] want.

Adding those two little words that seem to be implied made all the difference. Let's be honest. What grade schooler really understands implied context?

This weekend, our church hosted a small group for the IF:Gathering 2023. The whole weekend focused on Psalm 23. What a beautiful deep dive into those verses!

For the first time, I heard this verse with a different implication.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want [more].

Please don't mistake this as me adding to the scripture but rather finding a new interpretation of it.

My word for the year is ENOUGH. The reminder for me is that God is enough.

In our Sunday School class, we spent the first part of the year studying about heaven. A comment was made that if heaven included nothing more than Jesus that would be enough.

God gave us His Son, His everything. How could want more?

The truth is, and these verses in the twenty-third Psalm tell us as much, the road will not be easy. He will lead us to rest by still waters and along paths of righteousness and yet we will also walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

But He will be with us.

Guiding us.

Protecting us.

Providing for us.

All the days of our lives.

I've often said memorizing scripture is difficult but the truth is I've memorized an entire chapter of the Bible. Perhaps including this verse in our memory challenge isn't much of a challenge if you memorized it as a child. If that's the case, I challenge you not to take this week off. Instead, take one verse each day and meditate on it. Study additional scripture around those verses. Pray about it.

If you've never memorized Psalm 23, don't let it intimidate you. Work through one verse per day. Study it. Meditate on it. The chapter flows like a poem which makes it easier to memorize.

This week I've included the full chapter along with cards for each verse.

Thank you for spending time in God's word with me this week.

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