Monday, May 9, 2011

Shepherd – Part 3

“He restores my soul, and leads me in the path of righteousness, for His name sake” Psalms 23:3

The soul or the heart of humans is where our emotions lay. This is where our decisions and choices begin. Jeremiah wrote “The heart is desperately wicked, who can know it? The Lord replied I know it!” (Jeremiah 17:9-10 NLT).

The evidence is revealed in how we follow our shepherd. Are we totally depended on him? Or do we think we can side-step Him? We make choices based on our soul/heart understanding. If we have very little understanding and trust, we will not obey as we should.

Another use of “soul” can also be described as strength. If we try to accomplish God's will in our own strength, we will fall miserably short. Paul wrote that God strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

As we follow our Shepherd, “He restores our soul/heart” He is the one who speaks truth to our heart and encourages us, gives us His strength to keep going when we hit problems. He fills our heart with understanding as we obey.

Coming to the knowledge of truth is not of our own doing. We are unable to know truth on our own, it is our Shepherd who speaks it to us through His word, through His Spirit and through His people. Three safeguards of your soul. Has something in His Word spoken to you? Have you heard His voice in your Spirit? Has someone spoken something to you? He doesn't leave us to guess what His will for our lives are. Listen and Obey.

Jesus promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to all those who believed in Him, whose job was to speak truth and remind them of what Jesus taught. The Holy Spirit would “guide into all truth” (John 16:13). He reminds us to keep our attention on the Shepherd who “leads me in the path of righteousness” (Psalms 99:3-5)

The paths of righteousness may not be what we think. Many of the Holy men and women suffered at the hands of evil rulers. They were driven from their homes, lost all worldly possessions, yet they rejoiced in the Lord, who renewed their strength.

According to the scriptures, the desire of the Lord has always been that we; 1) Love Him with all our heart, mind and soul. 2) Love each other with that same love (1 John 3:16). Paul explained real love in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-5:

“Love is patient, Love is kind. Love is not boastful, or proud, or rude. Love does not demand its own way, but rejoices whenever truth wins”

This is the Love of God, His heart towards us, and as His children must love Him and others with this same love. This is the path of righteousness that His sheep must walk which will brings Glory, Honor and Praise to His name.

As we follow our Shepherd because He has called us by name, keeping our eyes focused on Him, He leads us to rest and fills our hearts with His peace. He will keep His promises to us, because of His reputation of Love.

“Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4 NLT)

“Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in me [Jesus]” (John 14:1)

“He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; he offers strength to the weak, but those who wait upon the Lord will find new strength. They will fly on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40: 29, 31 NLT)

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Cecilia Marie Pulliam said...

Isaiah 40:31 is one of my favorite Scriptural verses. It has strengthened, encouraged and comforted me through many a long, dark tunnel. All good thoughts, all good points. We are lucky to have Him as our Shepherd.

Terrie Thorpe said...

Thank you Cecilia and blessed are we when we begin to walk in His truth, love and awesome grace.