Is the Lord your shepherd?

April 24, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
(Psalms 23:1 (NIV))

When you translate anything from one language to another, there are subtle variations in words that the translator can select that can give you a different perspective or a fresh insight. Even when you have a group of people who all speak the same language and you ask them to describe something, you get as many variations in that description as there are people. This does not make any single person right and the rest wrong. It just means that everyone sees and understands things differently. A good example of this is the old tale about three blind men being introduced to an elephant. One person feels the power of a leg. One person feels the strength and agility of the trunk, and the other person comes away from the elephant only having had an interaction with the tail. None of them are wrong. They just came away with a limited comprehension of the truth. If you need another example of how different people can see the same thing and call it something different, all you have to do is consider the different names that people across the country give carbonated drinks.

The same is true when you look at the different translations of the Bible and how they handle different passages of scripture. One of my favorite passages is a good example of that.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
(Psalms 46:10a (NIV))

In comparison, the New American Standard Bible translates the same passage in this manner.

Cease striving and know that I am God;
(Psalms 46:10a (NASB))

I love the concept of being still in the presence of God, but sometimes I have to be reminded that I need to cease striving and allow God to handle it. Neither concept is wrong. Today’s passage is another example of this. Here is another translation.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
(Psalms 23:1 (NIV))

Do the words “I shall not want” make you think of something different than the words “I lack nothing?” On the surface, they sound like they are conveying the same thing, but it is the subtleties that make you stop and reflect. It is the subtleties that make you stop and realize that the Lord has so much to say to us that our limited language cannot even begin to convey all that the Lord has for us. I love these sublties. Going back to Psalms 46:10, it is these sublties that make me stop and ask the Lord exactly what He is wanting to say to me. I have found that being inquisitive often leads to a deeper understanding. It is the subtleties that allow you to spend time getting to know the Lord and help you to understand His goodness!

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
(Psalms 34:8 (NIV))

Is the Lord your shepherd?

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Follow the Good Shepherd

January 31, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
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My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
(John 10:27 (NIV))

What do you think of when you read this passage?

Do you think of someone blindly following a master or do you think of someone who knows the loving voice and trusts that voice?

In our society, we have developed the term “sheeple” to mean someone who blindly follows. Jesus does not want us to blindly follow. We follow Jesus because we know His teachings and God’s Word. We are told to test everything against God’s Word. We are told that if a teaching does not follow God’s Word, then we are to stay away from it. This is in stark contrast to what the world thinks of Christians. Those who have an honest relationship with Jesus will listen for His voice. They will confirm that what they hear does not contradict God’s Word.

Let’s use an example as reference. This comes straight from today’s headlines and the big discussions about the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution. What if, instead of the government wanting to register guns, they wanted to register Bibles? Would you comply? Would you trust in the power that the information would give to the holder? Would we listen to this voice and be the “sheeple” or would we listen to Jesus and hide God’s Word?

We, as the Body of Christ, must listen with all that we are to discern the voice of Jesus. We do not want to be lead astray because of a lie from the enemy. We do not want to hear Jesus speak these words to us.

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
(John 8:44 (NIV))

We must be able to discern what Jesus is telling us and verify this against God’s Word.

We, as the Body of Christ, want to follow the good shepherd.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
(John 10:11-13 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


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