Well Cared For. Well Protected. Today and Forever.

God makes some fabulous promises to you. But one of the best promises of all time is contained in the poetic picture he gives you of being your Good Shepherd.

Psalm 23 is beloved for good reason. Because it promises that no matter how things look to you right now, there is a new reality you need to know about. And that reality is this:

Your Shepherd will take care of you. Because he deeply cares for you.

Your Shepherd will protect you. Because he is with you every step of the way. Every step.

But the best part of your new reality is contained in the promise of the word “And…”

Your Good Shepherd will fill your life with goodness and love. He will do this all the days of your life here, and bring you into his house to enjoy that goodness and love forever.

Now and then, today and forever, for time and eternity, Jesus is your Good Shepherd.

You enjoy his goodness and love. And that’s not going to change. Ever.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he 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, NIV).

Our Bible reading for Thursday, February 19, is Exodus 25:1 – 26:37, Mark 4:30 – 5:20 and Psalm 23:1-6.

Lord Jesus, thank you for being my Good Shepherd. I know you care for me. So please take care of me. Protect me. And show me your goodness and love now, and in eternity too.

Header image based on "Irish sheep" by Milo, CC By 2.0

…to this day

Sometimes you get amazing wisdom from children. And sometimes it comes from those who have been around the block a time or two.

Jacob had definitely been around the block a few times. He lived to be 147 years old, and shortly before his death he asked his son Joseph to bring his grandsons, Manasseh and Ephraim, to him. He wanted to give them his blessing.

It’s as he’s bestowing a blessing upon Joseph and the two boys that Jacob (by then renamed Israel) says, “Then he blessed Joseph and said, ‘May the God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day, the Angel who has delivered me from all harm—may he bless these boys'” (Genesis 48:15-16a, NIV).

At the very end of his 147 years of life, Jacob looks back and affirms that God had been with him all the way, had walked with him and shepherded him throughout his life, and had protected him every time something threatened to harm him… to this day.

What was Jacob thinking in that exact moment? Was he contemplating all the sins of deception he had committed? Was he reflecting on his brother Esau’s once murderous intentions toward him? Was he considering his father-in-law Laban’s cheating, conniving ways that cost him 20 years of that life? Was he pondering the time he wrestled with the Angel of the Lord? Or the time when Esau and his 400 men were riding out to meet him as he made his way back to Canaan?

Maybe it was all of the above. But whatever it was from the past, Jacob claimed that the very same shepherding and protecting was still happening in the present!

Jacob saw it all clearly, both the past and the present. He saw God’s providence and protection… to this day. He spied many evidences of God’s love… to this day. He witnessed many instances of God’s guidance and forgiveness… to this day.

How about you? As you look back, do you see in your own life what Jacob saw? Do you see the same shepherding and protecting… to this day?

Lord, give me the eyes of Jacob. I want to see you as he did. I want to have the eyes of faith to know that as I walk through life, I am in your eyesight. You are shepherding me every day. You are delivering and helping me at all times, keeping me from harm… to this day!

Our Bible reading for Saturday, January 24, is Genesis 47:13 – 48:22, Matthew 16:21 – 17:13 and Proverbs 3:1-10.

Header image based on "Calendar*" by Cholet, CC by 2.0