Summary: It has been said that the greatest strain on relationships is the fear of not having enough provisions, money or material needs. Yet, people like Hudson Taylor, the founder of the China Inland Mission, understood that his 5000 missionaries would never ha
The Lord is My Shepherd I Will Not Lack Any Good Thing
It has been said that the greatest strain on relationships is the fear of not having enough provisions, money or material needs. Yet, people like Hudson Taylor, the founder of the China Inland Mission, understood that his 5000 missionaries would never have to lack any good thing as long as they looked to the Lord as their Shepherd. During the worse times of famine, persecution and shortages, Taylor assured his fellow missionaries that God’s promises for provisions given in Psalm 23 was certain.
Let us begin our new year with the full assurance of God’s provisions for our financial, physical, emotional, mental, social, moral, and spiritual needs:
The amplified Bible translates Psalm 23:1 as
"The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not lack."
Consider the ways that we will not have to lack this year:
1. I shall not lack PROVISIONS - He makes me to lie down in green pastures. The Shepherd always leads the sheep to a place where they have plenty to feed upon. We will never lack the financial, physical or spiritual supplies that are necessary to complete His will for our lives. His pastures provide us with everything that is necessary for life and godliness. David wrote, "I have been young and I am old and I have never seen the righteous forsaken or his seed beggging for bread." Be willing to give more of what you have realizing the shepherd promises, "Give and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, it will be given to you." (Luke 6:38) Many people lack because they are not giving generously. Paul wrote, "He who sows sparingly, we also reap sparingly. But he who sows bountifully, we all reap bountifully. Provisions are provided as there is need so we should not hoard what we have but use it to bring others to the good shepherd who gives life and give it abundantly. (John 10:10)
Illustration: John Wesley’s father, Samuel, was a dedicated pastor, but there were those in his parish who did not like him. On February 9, 1709, a fire broke out in the rectory at Epworth, possibly set by one of the rector’s enemies. Young John, not yet six years old, was stranded on an upper floor of the building. Two neighbors rescued the lad just seconds before the roof crashed in. One neighbor stood on the other’s shoulders and pulled young John through the window.
Samuel Wesley said, "Come, neighbors, let us kneel down. Let us give thanks to God. He has given me all my eight children. Let the house go. I am rich enough." John Wesley often referred to himself as a "brand plucked out of the fire" (Zech 3:2; Amos 4:11). In later years he often noted February 9 in his journal and gave thanks to God for His mercy. Samuel Wesley labored for 40 years at Epworth and saw very little fruit; but consider what his family accomplished!
W. Wiersbe, Wycliffe Handbook of Preaching and Preachers, Moody Press, 1984, p. 251.
2. I shall not lack REST - He makes me to lie down. Too many people try to get rest from other means than from the Lord, the good shepherd. We can praise God that he provides peace that passes understanding as we refuse to give in to anxious or worried feelings but in everything by prayer and supplication make our requests known to God. Then the peace of God that passes understanding will guard our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. He reduces our stress when we praise Him for being our truth, nobility, righteousness, purity, loveliness, excellence, admirability and dignity.
Application: He calms the storms in our lives so we can sing every morning, "You can only be blessed and have peace and sweet rest when you yield him your body and soul."
3. I shall not lack REFRESHMENT - He leads me beside the quiet waters. We can praise God that He will always lead us to where we can find a source for refueling our inner most being. He gives fresh vigor, renewal and energy to those who look to Him for their source of strength. He promises that to those who wait upon the Lord He will renew their strength. God told Isaiah, Though youths grow weary and vigorous young men stumble badly. Yet, they who wait upon the Lord, will run and not be weary and walk and not faint. (Isa 40:31) He reassures our hearts that He has given us everything pertaining to life and godliness through the true knowledge of Him who calls us by His own glory and excellence. (2 Pet 1:3,4) He rejuvenates us in a way that helps us persevere when it seems that the marathon of life is too long for us to endure.