“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.”
-Psalm 23 is one of the most common Psalms and reveals some of the most fundamental attributes of God. This weeks exposition focuses on this Psalm forming the basis of God as our Shepherd. David; a shepherd having been given the privilege of writing this Psalm, figuratively narrates the relationship between a shepherd and its sheep. It is interesting how the shepherd usually makes distinct sounds that direct the sheep, whether to feed, keep moving, go home, when danger looms etc. We note the loving and caring attitude of the shepherd to his sheep. This is the sustaining grace of our Lord Jesus Christ upon our lives. Jesus is our good Shepherd and we know His voice, and we follow Him. He takes good care of us and knows us by name, and we belong to Him, and no one can snatch us from His hand (John 10:27-29). Jesus provides for us green pastures that we may not be in want. He provides for all our needs, according to His riches in glory if we believe in Him. Jesus also leads us beside still waters which is a peaceful environment. He is our Prince of peace and gives us His peace surpasses all understanding.
Lord You are our Shepherd we shall not be in want. You make us lie down in green pastures and lead us beside still waters, we worship You and exult Your holy name. Thank You Jesus for loving us and providing for all our needs. Thank You for sustaining us and for taking good care of us. Thank You for this far that You have brought us and the far that You are taking us. Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all. Everything belongs to You dear Jesus, take care of our every need. We rest upon You the Rock of our salvation. Thank You for Your gift of salvation unto us and all our generations. May You teach us to hear Your voice and to follow You. Increase our wisdom that when we hear Your voice we may follow You lone. This far it is You our Lord our God. We rely and depend on You fully and cannot lead ourselves. Lead us throughout this week our good Shepherd and make all our plans succeed according to Your divine will. May Your grace and favor be upon us that we may bear much fruit. You are our amazing God we celebrate Your love each day. Lead our leaders dear Jesus in the way of salvation. Grant us peace in our homes, relationships, marriages, societies, churches, nation and all the nations of the world our Prince of peace. May Your peace that surpasses all understanding dwell in our hearts and minds through You Christ Jesus. Let us rest in You, Your providence, care and love, loving Savior. We exult Your name and praise You now and forever. Amen
Further reading: Psalms 100:3
“He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.”
-Shepherds in both ancient and modern Israel lead their flock from the front, unlike many other nations. The Shepherd shows their sheep the way lest they fall into a pit or lack direction. Jesus is our good Shepherd and leads us in His way of righteousness for His name sake. We are the righteousness of God and He is interested in our affairs. God predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will (Ephesians 1:5). It is important therefore that we walk in the way of righteousness as we work out our salvation with fear and trembling. As we pursue righteousness we find rest for our souls. As we pursue righteousness we find life; but whoever pursues evil finds death (Proverbs 11:19). God shepherds us through His righteousness and love, that we may find life, prosperity and honor (Proverbs 21:21).
Our dear Father with Thanksgiving in our hearts we worship You and exalt Your Holy Name today. You are worthy of all praise honour and adoration. Dear Lord Jesus we ask you to purify and sanctify us With your precious blood and forgive our sins. We pray that You restore our souls where we have gone astray. May there be a restoration in our lives in all aspects; our families, finances, businesses, careers, skills and ministries to You Lord, our community and our nation. May You guide our steps and shepherd us in Your way of righteousness. You are a God of justice, heaven’s proclaim Your righteousness. Glorious and majestic are his deeds, and his righteousness endures forever. Keep us away from evil dear Jesus and guide us in all truth. Father we pray that You may also provide for the needy in the society and all the children living in the streets and families, may You restore them and lead them in Your righteous paths. Father may You guide our leaders that all they do may be guided by Your perfect plan and direction for us. We pray all this in Your mighty Name. Amen
Further reading: Psalms 111:3
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”
-Most shepherds in ancient Israel used the staff to lift and carry the lambs when they grew weary. They would also pull the sheep with the staff’s hook to drive them out of danger. This reflects the absolute protection and peaceful confidence that is only found in our God. The rod on the other hand was used to strike the sheep that went astray. We know that God corrects the ones He loves (Hebrews 12:6), and this is a source of comfort. David also experienced the presence of God in the valley of the shadow of death. We notice that it was not actual death but a shadow. It is important to note that where there is a shadow there is light at the end of the tunnel. This is the confidence that Christ gives us in His presence. He is the light of our salvation and carries us through the most difficult times. His promises are sure and true. He will never leave us nor forsake us. Also to note is that, even though death is an eventual occurrence for all, those who have the gift of salvation have eternal life in Christ Jesus. Death is just a shadow to us who believe in Jesus Christ. Hebrews 13:20-21 shows that Jesus is our great Shepherd, who gave us peace by bringing us back from the death through the blood of His eternal covenant and equipping us to do good works according to His will and for the glory of His name. This is the hope that we have in Jesus Christ that gives us comfort. Therefore, God leads us through the light of His eternal kingdom as we rest secure in Him.
Jesus You are good and Your mercies endures forever. Your are our great Shepherd Jesus, thank You for protecting us from every form of danger, disease and shadow of death. Thank You for watching us during the day and watching over us in the night. How awesome is Your name in all the earth. You are our Protector and our Shield, how powerful is Your name in all the earth our Lord and God. You are our ever present help in times of trouble, we find comfort in Your arms. We have seen Your hand of grace and protection over us and our children, You are our Refuge and Strength Abba Father. We have experienced Your peace in our homes, society and nation, we thank You and worship You alone. Empower us to do good works for the glory and honor of Your name dear Jesus. May You cover us with Your precious blood even as we approach the next general elections. May Your perfect peace that draw away every form of evil and blood shed always be found in our nation Kenya. May You give us the best leaders for this nation. Kenya belongs to You dear Jesus shepherd us in all our decisions, policies, agendas, projects and everything that pertains to our nation. Set us free from neo-colonialism dear Jesus we humbly beseech You. May Your revival be found in our nation so that many among us may believe in You and come to faith in You Jesus Christ. May Your gift of eternal life dominate the atmosphere of our country Kenya. Kenyans belong to You dear Jesus, may Your gift of salvation dominate our hearts and minds that we may walk in the light of Your truth. You have won every battle for us dear Jesus, we thank You and worship You. Thank You for loving us and for giving us comfort in Your presence Lord. Oh God of all creation, bless this our land and nation. May Your justice and truth be our our shield and defender. May we dwell in unity, peace and liberty. May plenty be found within our borders. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us now and forever more. Amen
Further reading: Isaiah 40:11, Hebrews 13:20-21
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.”
-Oil was used for several functions including; priestly and kingly anointing, as oriental perfume, repealing parasites from sheep, dressing wounds etc. As priests and kings to God, He anoints us so that we may effectively represent Him here on earth. With anointing comes divine favor and the grace of God that positions us above our enemies. Our great Shepherd also extends excellent hospitality and favor by filling our cups until they overflow. God supplies for all our needs and ensures our cups overflow so that others may also benefit and glorify Him. God uses our lives as a blessing to those around us, and keeps pouring into our cups. May the Lord increase in us compassion to give to those in need for the glory and honor of His name.
We thank You Abba Father for Your provision, care and love. Thank You for You have always provided for us and sustained us. Thank You for the overflow that You continually provide unto us. Thank You for using us as a blessing to others. Thank You for birthing ministries like the love of Christ foundation CBO to touch the lives of the children living in the streets and their families. May You anoint us afresh and grant us favor as we undertake this noble task and many others for the glory and honor of Your name. Grant that we may be instruments of Your love and peace. Show Your salvation dear Jesus unto all the children living in the streets, the homeless, all prisoners, and all those who are sick. Look favorably dear Master unto all those who are depressed and contemplating suicide. You are the hope of our salvation, we rely on You. Your yoke is light we cast our burdens unto You dear Savior, deliver us from every evil. May You dear Lord, the God of our fathers, increase us a thousand-fold more than we are, and bless us just as You have promised. Our Father who art in heaven; hallowed be Your name; Your Kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptations but deliver us from evil; for thine is the Kingdom the power and the glory; forever and ever. Amen
Further reading: Luke 16:19-31, Deuteronomy 1:11, Psalm 65:11
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.”
-Christ our chief Shepherd shows us unfailing love to fulfill steadfast covenant. When He appears, we will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away (1 Peter 5:4). Since He is at the center of His throne, He will lead us to the springs of living water and wipe all our tears (Revelation 7:17). We then rejoice in the always for He has won the victory for us.
Nasal bots are the maggots that disturb the well being of sheep. They often invade the sheep through its nostrils but the shepherds are usually unaware of their presence until their behavior changes. They sometimes experience breathing difficulties which cause irritability in the nasal system that results to a flue. When the maggots transit to the head, they cause irritation to sheep and they butt their heads against each other and cause further transmission of the disease. If the problem persists, the sheep hit their heads against hard surfaces which may lead to death. When the shepherd of the sheep notices such behavior, he/she may be forced to administer anointing oil on the head of the sheep and the nasal track, that kill the maggots and repels other parasites. Jesus our good Shepherd loves us and takes good care of us. As our good Shepherd, He is first our Healer. He anoints our heads with oil and when we become irritable due to issues and challenges of life, He comforts us and grants us His perfect peace. Even when we are anxious and stressed, His yoke comforts us. He calls us to cast our burdens unto Him for He loves us and cares for us. Secondly, Jesus our great Shepherd is our Protector. He is always with us and is ever present at the end of the tunnel to offer us light. He has delivered us from the valley of the shadow of death through His death on the cross and we should always rejoice in Him. Our good Shepherd anoints our heads with oil when we are affected by parasites that seem like shadows of death and distract us, He calms our souls. As kings and priests to Him, God also anoints us with oil to grant us His special favor and grace that we may effectively operate here on earth for the glory of His name. Thirdly, our great Shepherd is our Provider. He provides for all our needs. He gives us pasture and water and other basic needs. Our good Shepherd also provides us with excesses so that we may extend a hand of generosity and a heart of love and compassion to those in need. Fourthly, God is also our Guide. When we are weary, He comforts and guides us with His staff. Our good Shepherd leads us in the way of righteousness for His names sake. We are God’s children and bear His name. We belong to Him and He knows each one of us by name. It is therefore His personal interest that we walk in righteousness as He chastens us with His rod. Fifth, we are God’s sheep and we are called by His name and belong to Him. Even through many enemies surround and intend to butt their heads against ours, God prepares a table for us before them so that we may love them as we bear His image. Lastly, our chief Shepherd is our eternal Host. When our days here on earth are over, we shall dwell in His house forever. He promised us that in His Fathers house there are many mansions (John 14:2), and He went to prepare a home for us believers. Since God’s goodness and mercy are eternal, we enjoy His peace that surpasses all understanding in our personal relationship with Him; for the glory and honor of His name.
Lord You are our great Shepherd, we shall not want. Thank You for protecting us from all evil. Thank You for healing all our wounds, be it physical, emotional, financial, psychological and spiritual. Thank You for comforting us and grant us favor. Thank You providing for all our needs. Thank You filling our cups with an overflow and guiding us to help those in need. Thank You for sustaining us and giving us hope. Thank You for guiding us in the Light of Your salvation. Thank You for Your fruit love that exists in our hearts. May we love You, our neighbors and enemies for the glory and honor of Your name. Thank You for guiding us into Your eternal kingdom that we may dwell in Your house forever. May You bless us Lord and keep us. May You cause Your face shine upon us and be gracious to us. May You lift up Your countenance upon us and give us peace. Amen
Further reading: John 10:15-16, Matthew 5:44, John 14:27