July 2, 2016

Today you should read: Psalm 23

This is the first passage I ever memorized from the Bible. I was working summer camp and needed a way to pass time, so I chose something well-known and easy, not really knowing its impact on me. I find myself clinging to these words more and more.

First, I’m given an identity. The Lord is my shepherd and I am the thing He shepherds – that’s all I need to know. He leads, and I follow. Therefore, my needs are secure and my purpose is defined. (v. 1-3)

Secondly, I am guaranteed difficult circumstances. The valley of the shadow of death sounds horrifying, but because He is with me, I am comforted. In the midst of this, He even prepares a table for me and anoints my head with oil. Not only that, but I know that everywhere He leads me is for His name’s sake, therefore my benefit, too. Amazing. (v. 4-5)

Lastly, I am guaranteed that the Lord will lovingly pursue me forever. Mercy and grace are following me for all of my days, even when I’m messing up. I can be assured by His promises, not by my own actions, that we won’t be separated. (v. 6)

I get bogged down pretty easily by future plans, relationships, and even ministry. Life can be overwhelming. But when I read this, it reminds me that everything really is simple, though not to be confused with easy. God created us for Him, more specifically to enjoy Him. Jesus said this was the greatest commandment, to love God with all of our hearts, souls, and minds (Mat. 22:37).

Lord, You are my shepherd, and You paid it all to make it happen. Let me not deny You or others this miracle. I love You.

By: Dylan Jones

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Author: cpclexington

Lexington & Richmond KY

4 thoughts on “July 2, 2016”

  1. Thanks Dylan! It’s always fun to reflect on passages I’ve known my whole life and see how my perspective has changed over the years.

  2. Great Jumpstart! Thanks Dylon! I am struck by a couple of things you note. One, you take me way back to when I was 15 and received a saving faith. This Psalm was my first verses of scripture that I memorized as well. It gave me great comfort at a time when I was obsessed by fear of my own death. Second, I think your thought “But when I read this, it reminds me that everything really is simple, though not to be confused with easy” is really an important one. It reminds me to keep the main thing the main thing – The Gospel! Deep theological truths are important for us to wrestle with, but we must never lose sight of the fact that the “main thing” is The Gospel – simple though not to be confused with easy to live out!

  3. After a recent death in the family a father wished to extend some words of comfort to his children about the terrible loss. As he tried to conjure up words of comfort, the shadow of a large an passed over their car as they were driving down the highway. Instantly, the words needed for the moment came to him.

    “Children, would you rather be run over by a truck or by its shadow?”

    The children quickly answered: “Well, of course, Dad, we’d much rather be run over by its shadow! The shadow cannot hurt us.”

    “The truck of death ran over the Lord Jesus two thousand years ago so that only its shadow now passes over us. That is all that has happened to your mother. Only the shadow of death has passed over her. She is unharmed in heaven.”

    Psalm 23 has sung courage to the army of disappointed. It has poured balm and consolation into the hearts of the sick, of captives in dungeons, of widows in their pinching grief, of orphans in their loneliness. Dying soldiers have died easier as it was read to them; ghastly hospitals have been illuminated; it has visited the prisoner and broken his chains, and has made the dying Christian slave freer than his master.

    Thank you for Jumpstart today!

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