Before we venture too far into 2018 – I’d like to take one more glance back at Christmas for a minute.
I want to show you a promise from that first Christmas that will encourage you all year – long after the tree is packed up and the fruitcake molds.
Although most Christmas programs and nativities portray the wise men from the East arriving on the scene while baby Jesus is still in the manger – it was actually a bit later that their caravan showed up.
They based their “search and find” mission on a prophecy given more than 700 years earlier. They followed a star seeking to find a special king. They referred to Micah 5:2 when they explained to King Herod why they were looking for the king in Bethlehem. (Trivia: The town of Bethlehem didn’t even exist when the prophecy was first given!)
The prophecy is also repeated in Matthew 2:6
But you Bethlehem, in the land of Judah; are not least among the rulers of Judah – for out of you shall come a Ruler, Who will shepherd my people Israel.
What I want to focus on what the prophecy states as the job description for this Ruler.
A Ruler – WHO WILL SHEPHERD. Jesus. A King. A Shepherd.
When we think of modern day rulers, presidents, governors, kings – “shepherd” does not likely come to mind as a description of their duties.
But there is one other “king/shepherd” type ruler in the Old Testament. In I Samuel, you can read the historic account of King David, who was also a king and a shepherd.
David wrote Psalm 23 to describe his Lord – His Shepherd. One of my favorite Psalms.
This Psalm is full of promises to us!
When you make Jesus your Lord, your King – He becomes your Shepherd. He is not a dictator-type Lord, that rules over us with an iron fist (I used to think He was.) Instead, He is a loving Shepherd who cares deeply and sacrificially for His sheep.
The Good Shepherd who laid down His life for His sheep. (John 10:11)
In Psalm 23 David, paints the picture of what “sheep-hood” is like when Jesus is your Shepherd.
Here is some of what you can expect, and promises you can claim for your every day life as a “sheep” of the Good Shepherd. (I declare the promises from Psalm 23 every day. My daily declarations are in bold below each verse.)
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
You are my Shepherd. I don’t lack for anything I need. God is my Provider!
He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
You satisfy me. (Sheep only lie down when they are fully satisfied.)
You lead me by peace.
He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
You lead me in the right way to go so that I end up on top.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
I have no reason to fear because You, Lord, are with me all the time.
The Word of God and Holy Spirit comfort, encourage and direct me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
I enjoy your banquet table of provision and goodness. Although enemies are around me, they don’t stop me.
You anoint me with power to fulfill my purpose. I have more than I need.
Out of the abundance you pour on me, I can serve others.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Your goodness and mercy follow me every day. I am never away from Your presence. I choose to live in Your House where there is wealth, abundance, healing and every good thing – forever!
I encourage you to embrace Jesus, as your King and Shepherd today.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please comment below. And share with your friends!