The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul.
One of the best known and beloved psalms is Psalm 23, the Shepherd Psalm. There we learn that the Lord is our shepherd. And since He is our shepherd, we will not want. We will not suffer want because the Lord, our shepherd, will lead us to green pastures and beside still waters. In other words, the Lord, our shepherd, will provide for all that we need in both body and soul.
Yet, we live as though this is not the case. We live as though we actually suffer from want, that the Lord, our shepherd, will not provide for all that we need. And thus, we live as though the Lord is not our shepherd. And that means that we live as though we are not the Lord’s sheep.
How do we do this? We do it when we put anything else before Him and His provision for us. When we think that going to work is more important than receiving the gifts that He won for us on the cross, a violation of the First and Third Commandments. We do it when we fail to give generously of the first fruits of what the Lord has provided for us because we think we don’t know what the future will bring, even though He has promised that He will lead us to green pastures and still waters. We do it when we think that the Lord is only in the business of helping those who will help themselves, we do this because we have a mind set on earthly, temporal things and not on heavenly, eternal things. We do this because we have stopped hearing the call of our shepherd, which comes through His Word.
The Word of God is how our shepherd calls us to himself.
Through that Word, the Holy Spirit gathers and enlightens us with His gifts. Through that Word, we are kept holy and nourished in the one true faith, the faith that follows our Shepherd wherever He leads us. He promises to lead you to your true home, to the land flowing with milk and honey, to a better country, not of this world, but a heavenly one.
And so, here’s the good news: The Lord is your shepherd still, even, and especially, for wayward sheep. For Jesus seeks and saves those who are lost. He finds the lost sheep and carries them back to the fold. He is the shepherd that lays down his life for His sheep. The Lord is your shepherd. Let us live then as His sheep.
From the Stewardship Ministry of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. Used by permission.