Now and Forever

EveryDay Life

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Safe, Secure, and Satisfied in His Care.

1 “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters, 3He refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows
Surely Your goodness and love
will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Psalm 23:1-6 NLT.

My thoughts today are about, “now and forever.”

As we approach the conclusion of our devotional study of the beloved Psalm 23, there is still much to consider. I love the word pictures David created for us. Without contradiction, this Psalm is among the most tender and beautiful poetry ever written.

As I read this psalm, I visualize green pastures on the hills and meadows. I envision David playing his shepherd’s flute as the sheep peacefully graze in lush fields and quench their thirst from shallow and safe pools made from rushing streams safely diverted by their watchful shepherd.

Here is where we start, and where we stand, and where we must stay. “For He is our God. We are His sheep, and He is our Shepherd.” Psalm 95:7 TLB. Yes, it is that simple. ”All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on Jesus the sins of us all.” Isaiah 53:6 NLT.

Yet even the breadth and depth of the relationship between a shepherd and his sheep, and the sheep with their shepherd, cannot compare with yours and my relationship with Jesus, the Good Shepherd. When your personal experience persuades you how a loving Shepherd provides and cares for you, you will live with greater assurance and deepest gratitude.

As you read Psalm 23, remember that David, once a shepherd himself, is writing about the Great Shepherd. Paul was assured beyond doubt or question. Surely Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” The extent of our Shepherd’s care encompasses our lifetime and well beyond.

The promise of this beloved psalm envelops today, extends across time, and endures throughout an endless eternity. How can you fully fathom what is yet unseen and somewhat unknown? Let this be unquestionable. The vast span of His love and provision is unchanging, both now and forever. David was assured, “Your goodness and unfailing kindness shall be with me all of my life, and afterwards I will live with you forever in Your home.” Psalm 23:6 TLB.

However, the concept of forever strains our capacity to comprehend because life itself seems all too brief and transitory. And having written all of this, let me add that the depth and breadth of the relationship of a shepherd with his sheep and the sheep with their shepherd, remains an inadequate comparison for the sacrificial, redemptive, and eternal relationship the Good Shepherd desires to have with you and me, one and all sinners saved by grace.

35 ”Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? . . 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, Who loved us. 38And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow – not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39Indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35-39. NLT.

Indeed, ”Surely Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23:6. Assuredly, we shall dwell in the House of the Lord forever.

My prayer for you today is to know that you are forever safe in Jesus’ amazing grace.

EDL Communications 2020

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The pen and ink drawing of the Good Shepherd in today’s EDL is a gift long ago from a remarkable artist and friend, Ed Vandermeulen.