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January 3, 2020

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
New American Standard Bible for 2020

Text: Genesis 8-11
Audio: Genesis 8-11

Psalm 23 (ESV)

A Psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
    He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
    for his name’s sake.

Even 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.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord

English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

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Next: Psalm 24

Back: Psalm 22

This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters (Psalm 23:1-2). 

    The Lord IS My Shepherd

    Psalm 23 is arguably the most well-known chapter in all of Scripture. Even people who do not have any knowledge of the Bible have heard this psalm and may even know at least part of it by memory. One of the reasons for its popularity is that it's often used in funeral services for many years. 

    Today's chapter portrays our Lord as a shepherd who takes care of His sheep. As I was reading this, I was struck by all the ways the Lord tends to us. His leading is gentle as his "rod and staff" do not harm us but comfort us. 

    In the year before his death, R.C. Sproul shared how the Lord used this psalm to bring him daily comfort as he dealt with various health challenges:

    "Well, certainly there have been lots of people, are lots of people who have suffered a whole lot more than I have in the last year. But I have had some serious health issues in the last year, and I have been reminded frequently of my own work there on that book Surprised By Suffering and go back to my own advice that I gave to others and give it to myself. On a practical level, one of my favorite experiences is daily to pray the Lord’s Prayer. Excuse me. That, but the 23rd Psalm as well.

    “Because I just have to remember who I am, who God is—that He is my Shepherd and therefore there’s no reason for me to want anything. You know He takes me where He wants me to be, beside the still waters in the green pastures, and He restores my soul. And even if I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I don’t have to be afraid of anything because He’s with me. So I just keep looking at the elements of that every day and say I have to deal with limitations, I have to deal with anxieties—we were talking about this yesterday with another friend of ours. I don’t have any fear of death whatsoever, but I have lots of fears of how I’m going to get there. It’s the process that’s scary. I don’t particularly enjoy pain, and so I’m always looking for ways to get away from that. But there is unbelievable peace and comfort in the Word of God, and predominantly knowing who He is and believing in His sovereignty. Right now, whatever else I’m called to do, whatever those limitations are of my health, that’s part of my present calling. I believe that God has called me to be where I am at this very moment. I think it’s true for every believer at that point."

    Is the Lord your Shepherd?

    Are you following His leading?

    ~ Puritan Prayer ~

    "No Hope Without Christ's Righteousness" by David Clarkson

    "Lord, I would be the most miserable person in the world if my hopes were only in this life. Why? Because I am hopeless without Christ’s righteousness. My life could never be comfortable, and there would be no hope at all of eternal life.

    If you denied me that hope, I would be the most miserable one of all. I may be happy without worldly enjoyments, but all things in the world cannot make me happy without this.

    So however you treat me in this world, whatever you deny me, Lord, deny me not this. I can be happy without riches and abundance, like Job and Lazarus were. I can be happy even if I am reviled and reproached, as was Christ and his disciples. I can be happy and comfortable in prison, as were Paul and Silas.

    But I cannot be happy without the righteousness of Christ."

    (Excerpt taken from Piercing Heaven: Prayers of the Puritans)

    1. I so relate to what RC Sproul said, and appreciate his honesty and transparency at the end of his life. Knowing God is sovereign, and nothing is outside of His power and control — even the way I will die — gives me peace because I trust Him, and ultimately I want my death and suffering, should I suffer, to exalt and glorify God.

      Elijah did not even taste death at all, but was taken up into heaven, while Jesus suffered terribly before His death. Both journeys home to heaven brought glory to God. 

  2. I love what R.C Sproul said about there being unbelievable peace and comfort in the Word of God, and believing in his sovereignty. I do trust Him, and I know He'll never leave me. 

    The Puritan Prayer is just awesome! I was miserable without Christ, before my eyes were truly opened. Sobriety is wonderful, but without Jesus, I think it's useless. 

    He fills me with hope everyday. 

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