Psalm 23

1The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

Personalized for understanding~

    Dangers are all around flocks of sheep.  There are wolves to devour them, lions to claw them, the sounds of the prowling animals in the dark of night to frighten them, the cliffs of the terrain to fall off of, and beautiful fields on which to get lost by wandering. 

Sheep, like us need safety. 

We need to be safe physically, getting security, peace, care for our bodies, food, clothing, shelter.

We need to be safe mentally, keeping our minds sharp and clean, pure from evil and clear for bright thinking. 

We need to be safe emotionally, without fear from another's words, actions, or attitudes, and without confusion of our present and future welfare.

We need to be safe spiritually, without fear of death, or of being overtaken by evil.

Psalm 23 covers all these things, and it points to the Good Shepherd Who can be yours for the asking.  

While God has created many people, they are not all His children.  

God has to adopt you in order for you to be His child.  

And you have to make a choice to want to be God’s child in order for you to be God’s child, 

Yet to all who received Him (Jesus Christ), to those who believed in His Name, He (The Lord God Almighty) gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.  John 1:12,13

Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." ... Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. ... "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because He has not believed in the Name of God's one and only Son.        This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."  John 3:1-21 

Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and Who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water."  The woman said, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When He comes, He will explain everything to us." Then Jesus declared, "I who speak to you am He."  John 4:10,25,26

   Or in this example, you have to choose to be God’s sheep and for Him to be Your Good Shepherd.   

  What is your “pasture” like?  Do you feel like you are in a tight pen, no rest, no peace, no hope?  Do you feel like you need some tender loving care from Someone Who loves you unconditionally?  Do you want some questions answered?  Do you want Someone to understand your hurts, your pains, and where you’ve been?  Do you want Someone to plan where you are going in a Good Way?  Do you want Someone Who knows how to get you there to help you all the way?  Do you want Someone to take such Good care of you that you end up looking and feeling like the prize sheep at the fair, wearing the Bold Blue Ribbon, but not caring about that yet only cherishing that look of Love and Joy shining down on you by your Good Shepherd?  I do! 

  God tells us that “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way”  Isaiah 53:6    God knows that we are sinners, gone from the straight and narrow path, running into briars, thorns, thistles, and harming ourselves along the way.  God knows that our own selfishness, self-centeredness, short-sightedness, and deep pains and hurts have brought us to places we wished we had never gone.   Some of us have ended up far from where we had dreamed to go, some of us have ended up right where we wanted finding out that it is not the destination we thought it would be.  All of us have ended up in a Dead End rather than a Living End if we have not traveled while being surrendered to the Good Shepherd.  

  So God made a way for us to come to Him, to be cleaned, to be made white and fluffy, to be healed from many scars, to be loved and cherished as our soul longs to be loved and cherished.  God brought Himself down from heaven and to walk on this earth to show us His Love, to prove to us His Love, and to save us by receiving His Love. 

  "Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Isaiah 1:18

  God provided Someone to take the punishment that we deserved for all the wrong, bad, sinful things we have done.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:16,17  

God punished His Son for your personal sake, because He loved you and wanted you to be able to enter into His Holy Presence.  God cannot stand in the presence of sin, for if someone sinful enters in, the person will be consumed by Holy Fire, so God provided a safe way to come to Him, The Atonement was made.  Jesus Christ is that Atonement.  

  Just as we are described as sheep -  so is Jesus described as one of us, as sheep. For Jesus was God before He put on flesh, and was still God and yet was now fully man, just like us.  

  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, Who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, Who is at the Father's side, has made Him known. John 1:1-18 

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  Phil 2:5-7  

To make us Right before God’s eyes, God had Jesus Christ take the punishment that you deserve so that IF you trust Jesus Christ, surrendering all of your sins, habits, and your heart, life and love to Jesus:  Then God sees you through His Son’s Right-ness, as if you are pure and clean.  God does this because you clean are since you asked God to put your sins on Jesus’ Cross so that you bear it no more.  When you ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit you are sealed with His Holy Spirit and you always belong to God.  You need to live for God as part of your bargain, but it is a JOY since God is coaching you all the way.  It may not be happy, but God’s Joy is real and sustaining! “Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."  Neh 8:10

  This is what God did to the Sheep Who took your punishment: 

  “and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”   He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open his mouth; He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so He did not open his mouth.  But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.  Yet it was the LORD's  will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer, and though the LORD makes His life a guilt offering, My righteous servant will justify many, and He will bear their iniquities.  because He poured out His life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.   Isa 53:6-12

Pretty tough, huh?  Ever commit a crime?  Even a small one?  Check out the 10 commandments, God's Laws. There are only 10 of them, but how many have you broken?  Probably every one of them if you take an honest look.  So because of those broken Commands, not suggestions, you deserve a severe punishment.  In fact, the punishment is so severe that it would take forever, literally, to be completed.  That is why there is Hell, for those who do not love God as He says to love Him.  

  "Then the master called the servant in. 'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?' In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.  Matt 18:32-34 

  God has tremendous mercy. And because of His Justice and Mercy, God sent His Son to take your unpayable punishment. (Atonement)   Jesus did this because He loves you, right now, who you are, where you are, as you are.  

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.  Isaiah 64:6

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23

God wants nothing from you, not for you to “clean up your life”, for God knows He is the only One Who can clean anyone.  

  Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, Who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! Hebrews 9:14

You are already clean because of the Word I have spoken to you. John 15:3

  God wants nothing from you, not for you to “start being better” on your own, for God knows He is the only One Who is truly good.

Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good." Matthew 19:17

Are you ready?  Do you want a Good Shepherd?  Are you tired and worn out from the old wolf at your heels?  Are you weary from traveling this world alone?  Come to Me”, Jesus says.

  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter5:8          The wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. John 10:12

When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.  Mark 6:34

  "See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. …The Son of Man came to save what was lost.  What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.  Matt 18:10-14

  Is that you?  Have you wandered off?  Come to Jesus! Call out to Him!  And join His blessed flock.  Prayer  

    Then Jesus told them this parable: "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. Luke 15:3-7

There is Great Joy in heaven when you repent!!  And even here on earth we rejoice in your repentance!  Let us know! I prayed  

Going on from that place, He went into their synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, they asked Him, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?"  He said to them, "If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out?  How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath."  Then He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. Matt 12:9-14  

  God is calling you now.  His Word is speaking, for God declares, “For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to Whom we must give account.”  Heb 4:12,13

  Cry, weep, mourn for the loss of your sinful life.  Rejoice, feel clean, be cleansed in your new life!  Become a New Creation in Christ Jesus now! 

 Confess your sins to God and He promises, “as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12

  Hear the word of the LORD : As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock,  therefore, O shepherds, hear the Word of the LORD :  This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them.                     

      " 'For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them.  As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.  I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land.  I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel.  I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD.  I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice. Ezek 34:7-16 

  If you are lost and a stray, or injured and weak, blessed are you for turning to God.  If you consider yourself strong, then reconsider, for "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Prov. 3:34, James 4:6

  But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.  1 Corinthians 1:27

You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with Me on M throne, just as I overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.  Rev 3:17-21 

"Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture!" declares the LORD.  Therefore this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend My people: "Because you have scattered My flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done," declares the LORD.  

        "I Myself will gather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number.  I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing," declares the LORD.  "The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.   In His days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the Name by which He will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.  Jer 23:1-6 

   Jesus is: The LORD Our Righteousness.  Those of us who are His children wear His Righteousness.  

    Beware of people who pull you away from trusting completely Jesus Christ, God’s begotten Son and from God’s Word, the Bible.  There are many “added books” and False Teachings.  God's Word is the Authority.  

                "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.                  "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!' Matt 7:15-23            

    This is the ONE you can trust – Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd.  

                            "I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice."  

    Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them.  Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. 

            "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 

 "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."  John 10:1-18

As Jesus Christ IS the Good Shepherd, He anoints and appoints His children to care for one another.  

But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. 1 John 2:20

As for you, the anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as His anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in Him. 1 John 2:27

Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.  2Cor 1:21,22 

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love Me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed My lambs." 

Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love Me?" He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Take care of My sheep." 

The third time He said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love Me?" Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love Me?" He said, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love you." 

Jesus said, "Feed my sheep. … Then he said to him, "Follow me!"   John 21:15-18 

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field."  Matt 9:35-38 

    For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.  1 Peter 2:25

   "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on His left.  "Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed by My Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.    "Then He will say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, … into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. …Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life." Matt 25:31-34, 41,46 

WHERE are you headed?  Do you need to make a U-Turn, or a You Turn!!??  If you think you are headed to eternal punishment, then run TO Jesus.  Don’t believe any lie that says God doesn’t want you, because God Does want you!!  Don’t believe any lie that God isn’t real, because God IS real!  Don’t believe any lie that says God can’t take you, because God CAN take you and Will take you if YOU will Take God.  Take God personally, take God seriously, and take God for Keeps!

The Big Picture     



    Home UpDoor to More 

  NeedHope.Net is of Billboards for Christ, Inc., a 501(c)3 corporation 

Donations received at Billboards for Christ, Inc, P.O. Box 27, Chester, Maryland, USA 21619-0027 

  Fair Use Permission is granted for all teachings on this website with one constraint: All printed or verbally read material must note "Copyright of Billboards for Christ, Inc. Found at www.Needhope.Net".  For more extensive use, please contact us. 

All Bible verses are from The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright© 1973,1978,1984 by International Bible Society®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. -- La Santa Biblia, Nueva Version Internacional®, NVI®. Copyright© 1999 by international Bible society®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. -- Verses followed by TEV or CEV are from Today's or Contemporary English Version with copyright permission of the American Bible Society.  NKJV is by Thomas Nelson Publishing. All other writings are used with Copyright permission of CSB. Have questions or comments about this web site?  Write our webmaster at Contact.  Copyright © 2002 Need Hope Last modified: May 13, 2009