Continuing the imagery of God as the Good Shepherd, the green grass and water spoken of here would be for the sheep. The shepherd's role was to find food and water for his flock. Not only does God give us food, he gives us good food. He is the same God that created mangoes, wheat for bread and cocoa beans.
God isn't a stingy God. When Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding feast, he didn't just turn it into average wine - it was the best wine they had ever tasted. When God led the Israelites out of Egypt he promised to give them "a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey" (Exodus 3).
This verse also tells us that God not only feeds our bodies but he feeds our souls. When I read this verse I picture a verdant green field with some shady trees by a still, clear stream under a blue sky. I don't know about you but there is something extremely soothing about being by the water, whether it is the beach or a river or stream. Scientists have proven that being in nature improves your mental health. God designed us to enjoy his creation. If you're feeling stressed or anxious - get outside, sit under a tree or walk by the water if you're near the beach or a river.
You're probably familiar with the parable of the wise and foolish builders, but just in case you're not, here it is:
Anyone who hears and obeys these teachings of mine is like a wise person who built a house on solid rock. Rain poured down, rivers flooded, and winds beat against that house. But it did not fall, because it was built on solid rock. Anyone who hears my teachings and doesn’t obey them is like a foolish person who built a house on sand. The rain poured down, the rivers flooded, and the winds blew and beat against that house. Finally, it fell with a crash.
If we are wise we will build our lives on Christ and his Word. Do you build these things on the foundation of Jesus or the world?
Be a wise builder who obeys the Word of God rather than following the world - its foundation of sand won't withstand the storms of life.
If God gave us what we wanted we'd miss out on the great things that he wants for us.
A great testimony of what God can do in a surrendered life.
Psalm 23 is one of the most famous passages of scripture, but do we really think about or understand what it means? We're going to dig a bit deeper and have a closer look at this Psalm over the next few weeks.
Psalm 23 was written by King David. Before he became the King, David had been a shepherd. This was not a job for the faint-hearted. In 1 Samuel 17:34-35 David was talking to King Saul before he fought Goliath and said, I take care of my father’s sheep. And when one of them is dragged off by a lion or a bear, I go after it and beat the wild animal until it lets the sheep go. If the wild animal turns and attacks me, I grab it by the throat and kill it.
Shepherds provide their sheep with shelter, food, water and protection. God is our shepherd, he looks after our needs and protects us. I love the imagery of the Holy God, creator of the universe, as a humble shepherd, caring for a herd of smelly sheep.
Here are some other verses about God being our shepherd:
1. God knows each of us intimately and loves us deeply.
2. Not only does God provide for our needs and protects us, he offers us salvation and eternal life - he really is the good shepherd.
We can access podcasts, sermons and books from all over the world, which is great, but it's also a bit dangerous. In Matthew 7:15 Jesus said, Be careful of false prophets. They come to you and look gentle like sheep. But they are really dangerous like wolves. A prophet is someone who speaks the Word of God or a spokesperson for God. There are a lot of preachers, you tubers, podcasters, bloggers and authors who claim to be Christians but their teaching doesn't line up with the Word of God.
Verse 16 says, You will know these people because of what they do. Good things don’t come from people who are bad, just as grapes don’t come from thornbushes, and figs don’t come from thorny weeds. If what they preach and what they do doesn't add up, that's a big warning sign. If they get busted for drink driving or having an affair that's a big red light. Sometimes you will just get an uncomfortable 'gut' feeling when you hear someone preaching - that's either God convicting you of sin or the Holy Spirit warning you that this teaching is a bit iffy.
I'm not saying don't watch sermons and testimonies online, listen to podcasts or read Christian books, I'm just saying test what they're saying against the Word of God. If someone is preaching about prosperity and wealth, go and look up what the Bible has to say about it. Don't just mindlessly consume the message - do some research. It's not hard - you can use websites like Bible Gateway and Bible Hub to look up verses and commentaries. You should even test what you read here.
Short and sweet inspirations for Christian teen girls.