Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Becoming the Real You

"The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want...."
Psalm 23:1

How many different ways has this passage been interpreted down through the centuries!  In my brief years on earth I have heard this passage quoted as much or more than any other in the Bible. It is powerful, but what does it really mean?

Just the other night I preached a sermon on these words and a woman here in Brazil told me she put these exact words on her car 16 years ago and then cancelled her car insurance as a statement of faith!  Her car was stolen.

She told me her story because she realized after hearing my sermon that she had not understood what the words really meant.  Sixteen years is long time to wait to get these words right!

Since David says we are God's flock it is clear that this passage is not a statement of material wealth or a promise God will guard our car.  Sheep don't accumulate things or drive!   It is a statement that says we will not lack anything to become the kind of sheep the Shepherd wants us to become. The statement says you will be given by God whatever you need to become the real you.  God will provide for you to become truly human!

So, if we can figure out why humans exist and what it means to be truly human then the verse becomes clear.  As always in any seach for understanding humans we must begin with Jesus!  He is what God intended and still intends for humans!

When we start with Jesus' statement in Luke 10:26-28 that says we humans exist to love God and love our neighbors, then we can say based on Jesus' words and on Psalm 23 that we will never lack what we need become people who can love those we are called to love.  We shall not want for the resources and abilities that we need to love God and love our neighbor. We exist to love and God will make able to do this.

This makes perfect sense.   A Shepherd would never knowingly fail to provide for his flock whatever it needed to become what he wants the flock to become.  Why  bother caring for sheep without providing for them what is needed to reach the goal you have  in mind for them?

God has in mind for us that we would be able to love Him and love our neighbor like Jesus did. This is why we exist.  He will provide what it takes for this to happen.  Jesus is God's provision for us and in us so we can becomel this kind of human being!

Truly, humans who are the sheep of His pasture will have all they need to become what He has in mind.

Luke 12:32 "Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom."

Bud McCord
Abide International

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