“The Lord is my Shepherd I Shall Not Want, He leadeth me” Psalm 23
Tour guides David Mc Inirn, Belfast tours, deep sea tours.
“The Lord is my shepherd.” Our heavenly Father loves and cares for us. David wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit; about gods care for us. He reflects his own personal experiences and assurance of Jehovah’s care for his people.
“I shall not want.” Jesus has plenty, he is the source and supply. Every good and every perfect gift cometh from above. God promised to supply the Jews needs as they stayed in obedience to him. He was faithful to his promise. He promised to supply every need according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” I shall not want because the lord supplies every provision. He will not supply our greed, he will not supply if we neglet him or his word. He is no respecter of persons and will supply for each of his sheep. The sheep were first to do as Jesus said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,” and concerning material necessities he added that his Heavenly Father knew we have need of these. (Matt. 6:33). The material needs of the Christian were in a position of secondary importance. The prodigal son found himself in want because he went away from the father. It was not the fathers fault. He wandered from the fold and the fathers care. He got further and further away from the father but the father still loved him and went out every to see if he was returning. The rich young man found himself in want of salvation. He could have entered the fold and been saved, but would not. Sometimes we do not get our needs met because of unbelief, disobedience because we lack in some way. God will give the same patient and attentive care of his followers as the shepherd of his flock and because of this the shepherd provided for all “wants.” is the present tense; as in a habitual experience. David is saying my LORD will supply all my needs in life. It says about the prodigal, “And when he began to be in want.” He wasn’t aware he was in so great need until this moment. He was disobedient and selfish and wandered away fro his fathers fold and care. He wanted to do his own thing and got further and further away from God and the fold. The Father love had not changed, he went out every day to see if he could see his son coming home. He loved him and longed for him to come home so that he could bless him. But the son lay there in with the pig in a far country in want. If you are that way say, “I will arise and go to my Father.”
THE Apostle Paul wrote: “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19). David knew he would not be in want or lacking that which is needful. He was confident in Jehovah, Paul was also confident that God, our Heavenly Father, would supply all our needs, “by Christ Jesus.” They both see Jehovah as the Great Shepherd, and Jesus is the Good Shepherd. Paul knew the Father, would supply by, or through, the Son.—1 Cor. 8:6. “And God [is] able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all [things], may abound to every good work:” 9 Cor. 9:8. It is all of grace it is trusting God to supply all your need.
“I shall not want.” Provision for now and eternity.
Great men have influenced history and lead us into all sorts of places, through science, knowledge, philosophy, politic knowledge. Men like Einstein, Copernicus, Hitler, Churchill with their theories and we find ourselves not in places of “still waters and rest and refreshment“ but in a world of greed, of wars, of tears, of unhappiness, of fear, of unrest of endless searching for the utopia they look for.
Our Good shepherd is leading us to “an inheritance, incorruptible, and undefiled that fadeth not away, reserved for us” 1 Pet. 1:4.
I am rich beyond description, God made me his beneficiary. He leads me to divine benefits, our future inheritance is “incorruptible and undefiled.”
Peter is encouraging the suffering saints, giving them hope.
Our Shepherd is leading us , we have not yet arrived.
He provides for us in time, he gives us joy amidst the sorrow, hope when things look grim, laughter amidst the tears, forgiveness instead of judgement, eternal life now, sonship, favour, a plan for our lives, food , clothing, shelter.
Our shepherd blesses us now with gifts, pleasures, the armour of God, abilities to serve him.
Our shepherd leads us into the future To a place beyond description where there “pleasure forever more.” “Eye hath not seen nor ear heard the thing that God has prepared for them who love him.” To a place beyond description provide. We run out of thoughts and ides. He leads us to limitless infinite joy.
Our shepherd bestows upon us riches in the future, he owns everything and we share it with him, “we are co-hers with Christ.”
Our shepherd has future plans for you to rule with him.
The good Shepherd says, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust corrupt, and thieves break in and steal.”
We have a bright future beyond the grave.
Led by the wrong things
Some of the Lords people are led by feelings, emotions, providences, circumstances, dreams or visions. These are not the leading of the Spirit. He will always lead us into truth and lead us to glorify Christ.
Led by The Love of Money
“I shall not want”. God will supply all your need. The following is a quote from Rev. Johnston Hamilton Road Bangor “Godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6 Paul warning for those who want to be rich and says this is the mark of true godliness. He says in vs 9-10 that those want to be rich vs 9 and those who are eager for by the love of money vs 10 are in great peril it will lead to because the love of money will lead to temptation, it leads to harmful desire, destruction, abandonment from them the faith and ultimately estrangement from God. The love of money springs from our sinful heart. 6:10 “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. The love of money leas us instead of God. We love things and are lead by things not from the good shepherd. We become discontented with his leading. It is a problem of the heart.
Sinful affections for money are strengthened by false teachers and shepherds leading us away from God, “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmising’s, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.” 6:3-5. They were in it for the money. It’s not just the Tele evangelists there is a glut of Christian novelties and trinkets, Jesus jewellery, wristbands, T shirts, prayer and praise pots, Jesus bible belt buckles, bumper stickers, Christians soap, Christian dolls, a small toy called a scapegoat that Christians who are annoyed or angry can take can take out their pent up frustrations. But its Christian merchandise, its about making money. To make money central. People in the world think Christianity is all about money.
Sinful affections lead to ruin and destruction. People who are eager for money temptation vs 9-10. Notice the progression first there is the desire, then there is the temptation to get rich by some improper means, ten it leads to ruin and destruction. Notice its not the people who are rich but people whom have a love affair with money makes them want to be richer than what they already are. The wander away from the faith and impaled themselves on a thorn. Ananias and Saphira whose love of money lead them into the sin of hypocrisy. Or Demas who fell in love with this present world, or Judas a follower of Jesus who sold the Lord for thirty pieces of silver and was he not pierced with bitter grief and took his own life. It cannot only lead you to mess up your marriage or business. Paul says flee covetousness. When you are driven to run after more money, a bigger house a bigger car, to get rich quick, by investing for quick returns.
Let the good Shepherd lead you. Keep eternity in view. “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” 6:6. “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” Vs 7. Two real truths we bring nothing in to this life and we take nothing out. Job the richest man on earth said, we come in with nothing and we leave with nothing. Food, clothing shelter should make us content. Our good Shepherd will satisfy all our needs keep your eyes on him. Phillipians 4:9-13 “ Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
The God the good shepherd who richly provides will keep you from sinful affections for money stay with humble hope in God. Those who are rich must hope in God. “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. Vs 17-19. Money produces power and pride, do you not find pride when you have saved something, it gives poer and pride. Paul says don’t let it happen. Share your wealth with others, Use it to lay up treasures for heaven , Jesus said use your money for Gods glory. Only this will be rewarded in eternity.” End quote. We live in a very rich society let us thank God for what we have. We are still among the richest people in the world. People are living on rubbish dumps, in card board homes, some live on the streets on Delhi. Millions have not enough food. We are rich in this present world. We have the best health care, food, homes, affluence, shopping malls. But the more money we have the less we trust in God. Use what God has given you wisely. Be content with the simple necessities of life. Trust God to provide. Bless others generously.
“He leadeth me”.
Each day the shepherd would stand at the sheep fold if his sheep were there He would call them and they would come the sheep belonging to the other shepherd would not respond. They would gather round his feet and he would lead them out. They know the shepherds voice “and a stranger they will not follow: but will flee from him, for they know not the voice of a stranger” (John 10:4-5). “He goes before them.. He gently leads those that are with young.” They follow him. He will not force you or drive you but encourage you to willingly follow him.
“HE leadeth me.” He leads him through the fields and meadows to feed, through the dangerous places to get to better pasture land, to trees or large rocks to shelter from the noonday sun. “The Lord is my rock” my fortress, my place of protection. He leads me back into the fold when it gets dark and lies at the door and protects me. He will encourage us when we straggle or get behind or lift us if we fall into a ditch or get caught up in a thorn bush of sin. He is our Divine leader and protector. Our Heavenly Father assures us he will lead and protect us. He watches over us. He is the Great Shepherd caring for his sheep.
He supply’s our food and clothing, the material things, when in trouble when things are well. (Phil. 4:12). He leads me to Still Waters – The paths of peace. He give me a peace that the world cannot know.
The ones he leads. “he leadeth ME”. It is personal. He is interested in me and were I am going in life. That’s why I pray and ask him to show me his will. He leads me because I am willing to follow. I keep my eyes on him.
Where he leads me. “in the paths of righteousness.” It is plural. He will make a way when there is no other way. He will lead me in the right paths. Sometimes we follow the advice of people and it can be wrong but he is always right.
“He leads me.”
Sometimes he leads me to still waters, sometimes he leads me through the valley of the shadows of death. Sometimes he lead me to give sometimes he leads me to receive. I wish to illustrate this with a true story of a pastor friend and myself. I was invited to speak at my wonderful friends Pastor Neville Gritt at the Tabernacle Sarasota Florida. I was staying with a beautiful couples home and when it came time for me to leave they wanted to run me to the airport. However Neville wanted to run me to the airport which was north of Orlando, miles away. He said “Come to the church office at 10 in the morning and we would go up and have lunch on the way. I arrived at 10 but Neville was held back as a couple had come for marriage counsel. Neville said “I won’t be long Robert” I waited almost two hours. He apologized and we got in the car and began to make our way up the highway towards Tampa. We got caught in a tailback that was 15 miles long south of Tampa. I could see Neville grip the steering wheel tighter and his leg began to get more rapid as he fidgeted. He decided we should take a detour and of to the west of Tampa and makes our way up on other roads. After an hour of passing villages he had never seen before, Indian communities, black communities, we were lost. I suggested we stop and get something to eat and buy a map. It was now 1.15 pm I had to be in the airport at 12 noon as it was an international flight. We bought food and a map and found we were too far west and we began correcting our journey. I got to the plane which was to leave at 3.00 pm, but all the gates at the airport were shut, it was 3.15. We implored a lady security officer to let us in or get in touch with the Pilate. The large plane was late but ready to roll on to the tarmac. The Pilate was descent enough to let me on. Phew! I got to my destination. If we had not bought that map I would have missed my flight. God has provided a map for us, His Word that will show us were we are in life and were we can move to. The Holy Spirit is our guide who will lead us and guide us if we consult him Oh, by the way, Neville and I have been in some funny and weird situations in USA, Mexico, Belfast, Donegal, etc.
He may lead you to green pastures, or to a place of peace and security, He may lead you through rough terrain to along a mountain side. Some times he will lead you to a place of rest. You may say I don’t want to rest, I am too busy, I have too much to do. However He can see further ahead, he may see a mountain path and know you wont make it unless you rest, He can see further ahead than the sheep, he knows what is ahead of you. Keep yur eyesm on the Shepherd He know what is ahead of you, listen to his voice.
The Leading of the Spirit
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”-ROM. viii. 14.
The “leading of the Holy Spirit.” ” Luke’s account of our Lord’s temptation that He was “led by the Spirit in the wilderness during forty days, being tempted of the devil,” where our own term is used Our Lord said, “when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He shall guide you into all the truth.” he wanted to leave words of comfort to His disciples” It would be “guidance into truth” by the Holy Spirit is something very different from the “leading of the Spirit” The only other passage which speaks of the “leading of the Spirit” is in Gal. v. i8, Paul says, “But if ye are led by the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” The Spirits leading is not some mystical experience, not a feeling, not a hit and miss thing. Some people have made a mess of other peoples lives by telling them the Spirit led them to say a thing or do a thing.
“As many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” The leading of the Spirit of God is for every child of God not just some special people. They are different from those who are no Christians. They live their lives according to the Spirit of God, for they are the sons of God and are led by the Spirit of God. “But if any one hath not the Spirit of Christ, that one is not His.” It is for the common needs of Gods people who can cry, Abba, Father.
The Spirit is our shepherd who leads us through difficulties, dangers, trials or sufferings of this life, He also feeds aus and leads us into all truth but specifically to enable us to conquer sin.
The presence of the Spirit within us breaks us from the bondage of sin and by him we are emancipated from sin and are no longer debtors to live according to the flesh.
He leads us into a deeper walk with God. He enable s us to fight the good fight of faith. He helps us daily. The “leading of the Holy Spirit” makes us better Christians, he sanctifies us. He conforms us into the image of His Son.
The leading of the Holy Spirit is for spiritual and eternal good. He helps to work all things out for good for those who love God. He makes all our troubles, pressures, circumstances work out for good. He leads us through the trials, the sufferings, the depressing times, the losses, the despair and guides through them. He has eternity in view. He even takes our weakness, our failure, our weaknesses and makes it work together for good. He leads us in the paths of righteousness, holiness and truth.
He guides us in our daily lives. We are not left to drift aimlessly through life He directs our paths. We are not left to wander, in this world the Spirit s leading us in the right paths. We must not go our own way or be lead by feelings or emotions or men. We are sons of God and are “led by the Spirit of God.” He will not lead us into sin, or places we should not be or do things we should not do, or lead us against what scriptures say. He will lead us in truth.
He leads us to renewal, to refreshment of soul. He leads us to overcome. He leads us to Jesus. He is to control our activities. Spiritual men are led by the Spirit carnal men are led by the flesh.
The one who is led by the Spirit should do and should goes as He directs. We must obey Him. Those who are led by the Spirit of God are under the control of the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit leads, governs, controls us, guides us.
The Spirit of God directs our paths. He can see ahead and knows in advance what to do. He knows the pitfalls, the ravines, the rough road ahead. He is aware of the dangers. He can lead s through. He has the power to defeat any enemy, Satan and death included. He leads the sons of God. He leads them on the right paths and keeps them on the right paths, “Kept by the power of God.”
He continues to influence us to stay on the right paths. He causes us to progress and advance. He gives us great fire of hope and confidence because we know he is in us.
All who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God; and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs With Christ Jesus. This power is the Spirit of the most high God. “If God be for us who can be against us?” Let our hearts repeat this cry of victory to-day.
We live and go forward in hope and triumph in Christ. We are to keep on fighting the fight of faith. The victory is assured. The Holy Spirit within us cannot fail us. The way may be rough; circumstances may be against us, the path may have pitfalls, but the Holy Spirit is leading us. This gives us triumph and strength to go forward. He is the Spirit whose fruit is “ But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” Gal. 5:22-23. This is true health and wealth.