Still Waters of Satisfaction and Peace

#2 in Series on Psalm 23   “He leadeth me beside the still waters” (Psalm 23:2b).

What is your greatest physical need? You probably know, it is to breathe oxygen. You can not go without breathing much more than a minute without brain damage. Four to five minutes without oxygen is always fatal. Of course, oxygen is so plentiful in the air that the shepherd rarely has to be concerned about providing that for his sheep. However, the second greatest physical need for both sheep and people is for water. Two days without water can begin to result in very harmful dehydration, and three days or more can be fatal.

The Psalmist here in Psalm 23:2b deals with our need for water.  “He leadeth me beside the still waters.”  A shepherd has to see that his sheep get water or they will die. Christian shepherd, Phil Keller, in his book, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, says sheep routinely rise very early, even before dawn to graze the green grass. Very often they get much of their water from the dew on the grass. This meets their need for food and much of their need for water

However, they need more water than that. Water is a special problem to sheep. Most have very poor eyesight and rapid brooks frighten them. Keller goes on to say, “sheep will sometimes die of thirst before they will drink from a noisy stream.” “Still waters” here suggest deep pools of placid waters. It refers not only to abundant supply, but also to easy access without danger. This does not happen accidentally. The shepherd would probably dig a well, build a reservoir by a spring, or dam up a stream to provide these “still waters.”.

We also need Spiritual water. This Scripture speaks not only of our physical need for water but implies our need for Spiritual water. Both provide satisfaction and peace.  A sheep or a human being who is separated from his water supply begins to be anxious and fearful. However, when the water is provided, the fear is taken away and there is satisfaction and contentment. When sheep have this food and water, they lie down in the green pastures, satisfied, and content.

Jesus said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” (John 7:37-39).

Jesus asks, “Are you thirsty? Come to me and drink.   He is speaking of thirst for Spiritual water..  Are you thirsty to know God?  Come to Jesus and believe in Him. Read His Word and drink of His Spirit. You can have satisfaction and peace both now and forever!  Amen!

Amazing Security

#1 in Series on Psalm  23

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

David, having been a shepherd in his youth, sees himself as a sheep under the care of the Lord as his Shepherd. “want” here means to lack something he needs. David said that would not happen to him because the Lord, as his Shepherd, would provide all his needs. Here is absolute security.

This is amazing to me because I grew up on a farm with sheep and know how helpless they are without a shepherd; half blind, they would starve without a shepherd. When threatened by wild animals, their only defense is their legs, and they can’t run that fast. Clearly it is not self-confidence, but confidence in a shepherd who loves and cares for them.

Some think David may have written this Psalm as a shepherd boy and sang it to his satisfied sheep. However, most Bible teachers think David wrote it in his maturity, after he had seen proof the Lord cares for all who trust Him. In any event, all agree thatDavid wrote this Psalm to explain the Lord’s perfect shepherding of those who follow Him. That’s security.

How does one get this kind of security? For a sheep, it means having a good shepherd. For us it means finding the good Shepherd to care for us. David said, “The Lord is my  shepherd;” (vs. 1a).  He had made a choice to follow the Lord as his shepherd.

Jesus clearly fulfilled David’s shepherd vision when He said, “I am the good shepherd, the good Shepherd gives his life for his sheep” (John 10:11).

Sheep naturally tend to go astray. Isaiah 53:6 says, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him (Jesus) the iniquity of us all” (Isa 53:6).

Phil Keller, a Christian shepherd and author of, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, wrote: “Sheep without a shepherd will either stay in the same field, grazing down to roots and dirt, or wander aimlessly to barren fields or danger. A good shepherd sees to it that is sheep always have enough good grass to eat. He goes ahead of his sheep and removes harmful plants and danger.” Sheep without a shepherd cannot survive. Neither can we. We must realize that and trust Jesus as our Shepherd.

However, only those who clearly decide to turn from their own way and follow the Lord Jesus may truly say “The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want.” All who trust in Jesus as their Shepherd will “not want” or lack anything they need.  Kenneth Taylor’s Living Bible paraphrases this verse, “Because the Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need.”  Would you like to have that kind of security?

Consider this beautiful illustration of security in Jesus as your Shepherd.David says, “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures” (vs. 1b). Keller continues, “…sheep routinely rise before dawn and graze until they are satisfied.David saw himself as a sheep lying down in a green pasture, satisfied and secure. The shepherd has led His sheep to lush green pastures, which satisfied their need. They ate all they needed and lay down safely in the soft greengrass to rest in the shade. These sheep who have a good shepherd were not worried about their next meal. Neither were they afraid of wild animals attacking them. They were secure in the Shepherd’s care. You also can have that kind of security!

How Jesus gives us security in life and in eternity. Not only was Jesus the good Shepherd, He was also “the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). How did He do that? By being the perfect sacrifice to pay for our sins on the cross.This means we can be forgiven and have eternal security. As the Lamb of God, Jesus “gave His life for his sheep” (John 10:11). This refers to the cross where Jesus died for you and me.  On the third day after His death, Jesus arose from the dead and is alive today and available to be your Shepherd. He also said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish,” (John 10:27- 28a). May God help you trust and follow Jesus as your Shepherd forever! Amen.

Is Jesus the Only Way to Heaven?

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Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).

Our subject today, “Is Jesus the Only way to Heaven?

Many years ago in my first pastorate we were having a series of evangelistic meetings. The guest preacher from out of town said as he was leaving home he went by the Post Office to check his mail. While there he saw a lady from one of the other more broadminded churches in town.

She said to him. “I’ve heard you on the radio, and you are very narrow-minded. You say that Jesus is the only way to Heaven. I don’t agree with you. Consider this example. You live on one side of our town and I live on the other. We came by different routes but we both got to the post office. It’s that way about going to Heaven. If a person is sincere in their religion they can get to heaven by different routes. What do your think of that?”

My friend answered, “Well, for one thing, I don’t want to go the Post Office when I die. For another we can’t answer such an important question by logic and our opinion, but by what the Bible says.”

He then took his pocket New Testament and shared what the Bible says about how to go to Heaven.  In John 14:6 Jesus said…, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  Was Jesus telling the truth or not?

Who is Jesus? He was born of the Virgin Mary, but God was His Father. In fact, the Bible says that Jesus is God in the flesh. He could not lie. In the days of His flesh He was fully human but at the same time, fully God. He is the only human being who ever lived on this earth who never sinned. Since He had no sin, He could bear our sins on the cross making full payment for all our sins. On the third day He arose from the dead and was seen in His glorified body for some forty days. Then He ascended back to Heaven and is making intercession for us.

The apostle Peter preached that Jesus is the only way to Heaven. In Acts 4:12 He said, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

How can we be saved? John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” The only way to Heaven is to repent of our sins and believe in Jesus for salvation. He is the only way. Trust Him for Salvation today!