Most people in the world have no experience of lasting joy in their lives.
- Psalm 23:1 "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.".
- I Shall Not Want?
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All of our resources exist to guide you toward everlasting joy in Jesus Christ. Every one of us wakes up each morning as a bundle of desires.
Beneath even the most outwardly apathetic demeanor are loves, needs, and fears — each of them demanding our attention and obedience. Many of us move through our days largely unconscious of these basic emotions, even though they sit at the control panel of our hearts, pulling the levers that decide what we say and do. A husband and father, for example, leaves work filled with a love for comfort. He obeys that love by coming home, not to his wife and kids, but to his couch and sports. So he performs on the stage from nine to five, always listening for applause.
A young man, wounded from past relationships, fears the prospect of future pain. So he withdraws socially, insulating himself from anyone who might harm him. Such loves, needs, and fears present themselves so persuasively, so forcefully, that we often fail to ask if they are feelings worth following. They can keep us from hearing another voice that has been speaking to us all the while, bidding us to walk a better path.
God, in his mercy, makes us stop and listen. Behind the clamor of our desires, we hear the voice of a shepherd who invites us to green pastures and still waters.
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The trouble, however, is that his voice often leads in the opposite direction of our feelings. Our loves, needs, and fears push us toward one path; he calls us to another. To follow him, we must deny them. In moments such as these, we encounter what C.
They come softly, almost noiselessly. They come, Lewis tells us,. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. And so on, all day. Mere Christianity , And what does that other voice — that larger, stronger, quieter life — teach us to say to our rebel feelings? Imagine you wake up with an instinctive love for comfort.
You just want to move from bed to office to couch to bed without interruptions. You need more rest, more me time. That hard conversation can wait until tomorrow. Or perhaps you wake up feeling a deep need for approval. I feel unworthy. How could I claim that God is my salvation and my shepherd? Jesus provides us an answer to the question. Not an audible voice but His voice which draws you to Him. Do you follow Him? Jesus said, "This is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise Him up at the last day.
If you do that is evidence of eternal life. As a believer you can say, He is my Shepherd. Sheep left to themselves want everything. They cannot find food and water; they cannot defend themselves. But the Shepherd is the great provider.
He will provide their temporal needs. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us not to worry. Are ye not much better than they? And He will also provide their spiritual needs.
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The Lord said to Paul, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. The battle against the world, the flesh and the devil is intense but strength to overcome is provided. The sheep are weak and they sometimes wander but the Shepherd watches over them. How often trouble and fear make rest impossible! The pressures of life take their toll. Anxiety about the future robs the worrier of his rest. But then comes the promise, "as thy days, so shall thy strength be.
The next expression is reassuring, "He leadeth me beside the still waters. How difficult it would be to travel through the paths of life without His guidance. Joseph Gilmore expresses it beautifully in his well-loved hymn:. We often feel to be in a stormy place. The waters are troubled, the challenges are great. But our Shepherd then leads us beside the still waters. He brings us to a quiet and peaceful place and, as we give thanks for the peace enjoyed, we acknowledge we were led there by our Shepherd and it is for His name's sake that these blessings are ours. Finally, He restores our souls.
There are seasons when we feel to be cold and barren. Our zeal has declined and joy has faded. A sense of sin has broken the heart and the influences of the world have had their impact. David frequently prayed for the Lord to quicken him and here he acknowledges the answer to that prayer. The Lord Himself restores the soul.
He revives us and enlivens us. He restores the joy of salvation, He warms the heart with a holy zeal, He renews a right spirit within. First we see Peter declaring that the message he brought was not like the fables produced by men— no fables.
We note that there are many warning given concerning false prophets and their message.