The God of the Bible is known by many names/titles. He is my Lord, God, Savior, King, Master, Redeemer, deliverer, rock, fortress, shelter, strength, shield, etc. However, there are two specific designations for God that I will focus on in this devotion. In Psalm 23, He is called Shepherd. In Matthew 6:9-13, He is called Father. Although He is called Shepherd and Father in many other scriptures, these are two of the most well-known and beloved passages found in all the Bible.
And as the years pass, and as I grow closer and closer to Him (by His grace and mercy), I believe there are three primary reasons for the popularity of these verses. In these verses we find:
- A crystal-clear picture of the profoundly personal relationship we can have with the creator, sustainer and judge of the universe.
- The benevolent, loving and unchanging character of the one true God is presented with concepts that can be readily embraced by all peoples.
- That the hope for reconciliation and restoration of this broken world and the broken people who populate it is not only a reality, but is desired and made available by the One righteous King who rules over all things.
Let’s take a closer look at what these verses tell us about who God is, what He does, and how He does it.
- Psalm 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
- My perfect provider and protector keeps a close eye on me. He comes after me when I stray.
- Matthew 6:9-10 In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.
- I am loved by a Father who knows me better than I know myself. His plans for me are best.
- Psalm 23:2a He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
- He has provided a glorious eternal destination for those who love and obey Him.
- Matthew 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.
- He meets all my physical and spiritual needs (even when I think it isn’t enough).
- Psalm 23:2b He leads me beside the still waters.
- My peace is not defined by my surroundings, it is found only in Him.
- Matthew 6:12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.
- Through His grace and mercy, we find forgiveness of sins and peace with Him. We find peace with others when we are gracious and merciful.
- Psalm 23:3a He restores my soul;
- I born into sin and condemned to death – He paid for my soul by shedding His sinless blood. Now I have eternal life.
- Matthew 6:13a-b And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.
- He has rescued me from my depraved nature, the sinful ways of the world, and the adversary.
- Psalm 23:3b He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
- He is deeply and personally engaged with my life – that’s what He is known for.
- Matthew 6:13c For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
- Not only is He the all-powerful, all-knowing ruler over all things, He receives glory and honor for how, when and why He righteously exercises His authority.
Here are a few final thoughts – Jesus said:
- John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.
- Matthew 7:11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
Follow the Shepherd!
Honor the Father!
Embrace Him as Both!!
I am in awe of You my Selfless Shepherd and Faithful Father. Teach, correct and guide me as I seek to know You better and honor You with all that I am. Please help me surrender everything to You. I am tired of holding back. I am sick of the fear and doubts. Use me for Your glory. I ask these things in the name of Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior. Amen.