Apr9SunApril 9, 2023
Reflections on Psalm 23
What a joy-filled week it has been. Thursday night was spent celebrating the Lord’s Supper with the body of Christ followed by a foot washing which was humbling and a reminder to serve as Jesus served. Friday night we spent together reflecting on the message of the cross through the Word, testimonies and song. Now today is the day to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead! He is risen! He has resurrected from the dead, stood up again, conquering sin, bondage, sickness and death. He is alive! In Him we have life! Everlasting life!
I have spent the past four days in awe and gratitude for what Jesus has already done for us, His church. It was also wonderful spending time together daily reading the Word, eating, fellowshipping and praying together, just like in Acts 2:42! It was a picture of how we will spend eternity together with the Lord. Because of what Jesus has done, in Him, we can declare with confidence and joy-we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever! I will get to that ...
As promised, I would like to share my reflections on the rest of Psalm 23 (verses 5 and 6).
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
I encourage you to read my blog posted on October 10, 2021 called ‘A Prepared Table’. Here are some highlights.
Church! Jesus, our Shepherd, has gone before us in every situation, anticipating what danger we may encounter and praying for us that in it we might not succumb but overcome. He is with us and in us and we are in Him. Jesus has prepared the way through His life, death, resurrection and ascension into heaven so that in Him, abiding in Him, following and obeying Him, we can confidently declare that we are victorious over every temptation, sin, circumstance, work of the flesh and scheme of the enemy that we encounter! Halleluiah!
Jesus, knows every plan, assignment and work of satan. He has disarmed all principalities and powers. He has been raised from the dead and is seated at the right hand of God in heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And God put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body! The church of Jesus Christ has been given authority, wisdom, revelation, knowledge, weapons of warfare and armor so that we will be aware of the enemy’s schemes, trample on serpents and scorpions and overcome all the power of the enemy.
Remember that our Shepherd Jesus has made every possible provision to ensure that when we have to cope with satan, sin, self or the world, we have the victory because He has won the victory! Praise Jesus for the cross! It is this attitude of rest in Him, of confidence in His care, and His presence that we can have peace even in the midst of our enemies, because we are in the care and control of Jesus, Who has gone before us and prepared the table in plain view of our enemies.
Jesus, our Shepherd, has prepared a table in the presence of our enemies!
Jesus has paid the price to prepare the table for us. He gave His life for us. He came to earth suffered, died on a cross and then resurrected and ascended into heaven so that in Him we can sit in peace, stand in victory, walk with Him and reign with Him forever!
You anoint my head with oil
Just as a shepherd continuously applies oil to his sheep’s nose and head to protect them from flies, I (we) must be continuously filled with Holy Spirit so that I (we) can live according to the Spirit.
Holy Spirit has exposed the lies I have believed and revealed truth through His Word. My mind has been renewed and is continuously been renewed. (Jn 14:16-17; Jn 15:26)
The truth has set me free! Holy Spirit has convicted me of areas in my life where He was not Lord and empowered me to make Jesus Lord of every area of my life. Living according to the truth in the Word of God has brought me freedom instead of bondage. (2 Co 3:17)
I must continuously live in the Spirit, walk in the Spirit, be led by the Spirit so that I will act and respond with His character instead of my flesh. (Gal 5:16-25) Holy Spirit gives wisdom and understanding so that I will not be deceived and manipulated by the schemes of the enemy. I desire to not allow my mind be contaminated by the world or by others who are not like-minded but to apply Philippians 4:8 and practice the sound mind I have been given. I have learned that I must take every thought captive and allow Holy Spirit to continuously control my mind by submitting to His leading, guiding and truth so that I will live, act and thing as He directs. (Eph 1:17-23; 2 Co 2:11; 2 Ti 1:7; 2 Co 10:5)
My cup runs over
It was a custom in festivals to drink a cup of wine as a special expression of thanks. Imagine David’s heart of overwhelming thankfulness to the Lord as he has been meditating on, writing about and declaring the previous verses of Psalm 23. I encourage you to declare them again out loud. What amazing truths of who our Shepherd Jesus is! No wonder David is declaring, “my cup of blessing runs over” (NLT).
In Christ I have received every spiritual blessing! (Eph 1:3-7) In Christ I have an abundance of every good thing. (2 Co 9:8) God will always provide and will never leave me to want. In Christ I am content and satisfied.
At the last supper Jesus had with His disciples, He took a cup and gave thanks! He gave it to them and they all drank from it. (Mk 14:23) Because Jesus also drank the cup of suffering, we can declare with joy and thankfulness, “my cup of blessing runs over!” Let us remember to do this daily!
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life
Jesus my Shepherd is good and merciful. He is always good and merciful to me. I can declare this when things are well or not well. I can give Him all my anxieties, because He cares for me! (1 Peter 5:7) He is my good Shepherd who loves me and laid His life down for me. (Jn 10:11) His goodness, mercy and compassion towards me are new every day. (Lam 3:22-23)
My response to the goodness and mercy of my Shepherd towards me is that goodness and mercy should follow me. I desire to be a blessing to others by going about doing good. (1 Jn 3:16; Acts 10:38)
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever
The only one way into the household of God (sheep fold) is through Christ. (Jn 10:9, 14:6) His suffering, death and resurrection have made a way for all who are called to live eternally with God. At the end of his Gospel, John writes that these things have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. (Jn 20:30-31) Again in 1 Jn 5, John writes that the testimony of God is greater than the testimony of men, that God testified concerning His Son, that the one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself and the testimony is this-that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life. John writes that he has written these things to us who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that we will know that we have eternal life. This is the good news of the gospel-because of what Jesus has done for us-those He has predestined, called and justified, He will glorify.
Remember that Jesus ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father and is coming back for His bride and we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever! We will be with Him, in His presence forever! For eternity! (Ro 8:29-30; Rev 21:3; Acts 17:24)
Now this is something to celebrate! This is the message of the cross, the good news about Jesus, the message of Easter! Let’s share it daily with the world!
Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. (Rev 21:1-7 NKJV)
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Rev 2:7 NKJV)