One of Jesus’ “I AM” statements was, “I AM the Good Shepherd.” The 23rd Psalm describes how He takes great care of His sheep. This psalm is not just for reading at funerals or memorial services. It’s a prayer of assurance and trust in your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to whom we owe EVERYTHING. Including our lives, our jobs, what we eat, who we love, and our eternal lives. It’s a short psalm and it’s one that’s easy to memorize. Let’s dig in…
A psalm of David.
1 The Lord is my shepherd;Psalm 23:1-3 NLT
I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3 He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
The Good Shepherd
Notice that in these opening verses, David is describing the Lord Jesus and how He cares for each of us personally, as “my shepherd”. I tell you, when I was going through 2 years of unemployment, these first verses helped me endure. We — you and me — are like sheep who have strayed from the shepherd — Jesus. (Not Mary, not a church and certainly not the Pope!) We need our Good Shepherd! Also, keep in mind that David was King of Israel and he used to be a shepherd! The shepherd of the Israelites needed a shepherd, too!
Continuing… Notice how the narrative changes to an affirmation…
4 Even when I walkPsalm 23:4 NLT
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
Death is Journey — NOT a destination!
We walk THROUGH the darkest valley or the valley of death. It’s just a transition. David is not afraid because Jesus is close beside him protecting and comforting him. If we believe in Jesus and trust in His Salvation, we have no need to FEAR DEATH. When real sheep start to stray — because the grass looks tastier near a cliff — the shepherd uses his staff and rod to gently urge them back into the sheepfold. As born-again believers, we have the Holy Spirit who acts like a shephered’s staff convicting us when we head in the wrong direction.
5 You prepare a feast for mePsalm 23:5-6 NLT
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
And, guess what? Jesus keeps His promises! He, Himself assures us…
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. 2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.”John 14:1-3 NLT
Friend, that’s what we beleivers — His real, biblical church — are waiting for! That’s the Rapture! In the meantime, with all the evil in this world, we need His Blessed Assurance that He’ll be coming back.
How to Pray the 23rd Psalm back to the Good Shepherd…
Lord, thank you for being my shepherd and providing all that I need.
You let me rest in green meadows; and lead me beside peaceful streams. Please renew my strength. Guide me along right paths, and help me bring honor to Your name.
Even when I walk through the darkest valley, the valley of death, I will not be afraid — I have no fear — for you are close beside me. Your are always with me. You protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.
I am assured that your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life,A Paraphrase of Psalm 23 by Giselle Aguiar
and I will live in the house of the Lord forever, for all eternity. I love you, Jesus! In your precious name, I pray, Amen
Faith or Fear — It’s YOUR Choice!
Again, I’m not afraid of dying. Why? Because, the moment I die, I know that I’ll be in Heaven with Jesus. (By the way, there is no such thing as purgatory!) You too can have this Blessed Assurance!
Salvation Through Jesus Means a Ticket to Life Everlasting in Paradise!
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, feel His Shalom — a peace that surpasses all understanding, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, which can happen at any moment, this is what you have to do…
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
- Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
- Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180-degree turn in your life and surrender your life to Him. When you ask Jesus to forgive you He will. ALL your sins will be wiped clean — past, present, and future! And All means ALL!
- Be Baptized by water baptism — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
- Receive the gift of Holy Spirit in your heart.