They may be the most famous words in the Bible, besides John 3:16. They are words which are quoted in funeral services, and written on Bible covers. They hang on our walls as decoration, and are memorized by many saints. I am speaking of Psalm 23. These verses speak into many areas of our lives. For this occasion, I just want us to consider the first 3 verses.
"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 me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake."
Go with me for a few moment to the places described in this verses. Close you eyes, and picture yourself lying down in a large, green meadow. You lie down for a while, then, you rise, and go just a few steps to a calm stream nearby. After some time there, you notice a path that has been worn, leading from the stream, and you follow it. I don't know about you, but these images are relaxing, and soothing. I picture stillness and tranquility. Things we don't get much of in the hustle and bustle of life. These are images that seem so far away from us. Yet, they don't have to be. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, "I am the Good Shepherd..." (John 10:14). If Jesus is the Shepherd of your life, notice something with me, He takes the lead! Psalm 23 says, "He makes me lie down", "He leads", He restores"! These are great words of comfort and encouragement. Even when life is crazy, and you find yourself being pulled in very direction possible, it is good to know, that you can still find comfort and rest in Christ Jesus! These verses also remind us that we must take time to come apart from the world. You and I must allow Jesus to make us lie down! We must allow Him time to lead us into stillness and solitude. I heard Charles Swindoll say, "If you don't take time to come apart, you will come apart". Such truth! How can you follow the Shepherd, if you don't take time to look for Him?
Find your rest in Christ Jesus! Find peace for your spirit in His green pastures. Find tranquility in His refreshing waters. Find restoration in His forgiveness. FInd righteousness in His cross!
In His Service,
Rev. Gene Nelson