Pause

In the movie Forrest Gump, we hear that life is like a box of chocolates. “You never know what you’re gonna get.”

Life has its ups and downs. Not many things are guaranteed. Batters strike out. Pitchers give up the long ball. Our world has in it words like “cancer,” “failure,” “unsafe,” and “it’s over."

The uncertainty of life raises the question of whether there is anything certain. Thankfully, we do have the promise that God will care for the flock. Give your ear to the truth of God’s presence and the promise of an eternal tomorrow.

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Listen

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 right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I 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 my whole life long.

Psalm 23

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Think

Psalm 23 speaks of God as shepherd. This title helps us know that God is by nature one who cares for us.

You could say that the shepherd gives life to the sheep because the shepherd finds grass for nourishment and rest, water that restores the soul, and paths that are right and safe. According to Jesus, the shepherd finds the one sheep that is lost from the flock (Luke 15). Jesus also says that the Good Shepherd lays down his life for his sheep and the sheep know his voice. All of these things point to life given by the shepherd.

Recently, when asked what the most important word in Psalm 23 is, pastor David Hull said it is the word “through.” The shepherd is there with the sheep through the darkest valleys of life. The shepherd takes away fear. The sheep know that they will not be stuck in the darkest places of life, but that hope and light are ahead. We pass through the darkest places. There is promise of life.

Jamie Mackey

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Pray

Good Shepherd, I give you this day whether it holds green grass or dark valleys, because I know you are with me. Amen.

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Go

Go in the assurance of God’s presence;
Go in being God’s child;
Go in the strength of God’s hand;
Go in the hope of the eternal tomorrow;
Go in the ability to speak words of life into others.

Jamie Mackey

Jamie Mackey is the minister to students at First Baptist Church in Huntsville, Alabama. He gratefully refers to himself as the husband to Hope and the father to Cade and Story Grace.

The Love of God

Ken Medema

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