JESUS IS THE ANSWER

Whatever your need, JESUS IS THE ANSWER.

 

 

The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need . . .

Before God called him to be king over Israel David had been a shepherd. As he cared for his sheep he saw parallels in what he was doing for his sheep and much of what God does for us.  Many times David related the needs of the sheep and the many cares of the shepherd to his relationship with God. This victorious king compared himself to a weak, defenseless, and foolish creature, and looked to God as his Provider and Preserver.

 

Jesus is the Good Shepherd.  With God as our shepherd all our needs will be met. He knows how to provide for us and protect us. Whenever you have gone astray like a wandering sheep remember that Jesus is looking to bring you back into the fold. Return with the Good Shepherd and you will have all that you need. He will be with you and will provide for you.

Just as sheep need to have good pasture and water God will take care of our everyday needs. When you are under the care of the shepherd it is his job to find new pasture. Sheep quickly eat up all the grass in an area. When that happens they must go to new green pastures or they would soon starve. God is seeking to shepherd you, to take on the responsibility of feeding you – physically, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually. Will you follow Him out of the area to which you have grown accustomed in order to find new pasture?  Will you allow the Good Shepherd of your soul to lead you away from the things that destroy the soul to life giving experiences?

 

 

DO YOU NEED REST?

 

The Lord is my shepherd; . . .

He lets me rest in green meadows . . .

 

 

 

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

 

 

DO YOU NEED PEACE?

 

The Lord is my shepherd; . . .

He leads me beside peaceful streams.

 

The Good Shepherd leads His sheep to peaceful streams. Sheep will not drink from turbulent streams because of the threat of drowning.  God will keep you from harm and bring you to a quiet spot to become nourished and refreshed. When your life is in turmoil and you feel like you are drowning in a sea of troubles, come to the peaceful streams of life that Jesus offers you and allow the Holy Spirit to calm you and comfort you.

 

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. John 16:33

 

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.  Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.  And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:1-5

 

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6,7

 

 

DO YOU NEED STRENGTH?

 

The Lord is my shepherd, . . .

He renews my strength.

God renews our strength. The Good Shepherd looks to both our physical well-being and our spiritual well-being. Jesus knows you have important physical needs but He also sees your need for inner strength.  He knows that you have an enemy in the Devil who seeks to tear you down inside.  As important as food and nutrition is for the health and strength of the body Jesus knows you have an even greater need for restoration of the soul and strength for the battle.

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 2:1

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.  In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.  All power to him forever! Amen. 1 Peter 5:7-11

 

 

DO YOU NEED RIGHT LIVING?

The Lord is my shepherd, . . .

He guides me along right paths . . .

We need God to guide us along right paths; we cannot depend on our own judgment. There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. Proverbs 14:12 & 16:25

David loved God but he was far from perfect.  He had succumbed to the lust of the flesh which led to his adultery with Bathsheba and his murder of a faithful soldier, Uriah.  He was guilty of sin and he cried out to God in Psalm 51:10-12.  “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.

As sheep we do tend to stray. Instead of losing all hope, David faced the consequences and turned to God and cried out for restoration. Does sin have its consequences?  Absolutely, but no matter what you have done you can repent (turn from your sin) and God can restore your soul to a right relationship with Him.  As He renews you, He will teach you how to walk with Him in paths of righteousness (right living).

He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way. Psalm 25:9

And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous.  And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded  for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.  He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God. Romans 4:22-25

For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:21

He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.  Once you were like sheep who wandered away. But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls. 1 Peter 2:24-25

This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. Romans 3:22

 

 

DO YOU NEED COURAGE?

The Lord is my shepherd, . . .

Even though I walk through the darkest valley. . .  

Life is precious and fragile.  We face many dark and difficult moments.  Satan is our enemy and he seeks to kill us and destroy us.  We are under attack.  What valley are you going through? What darkness are you facing? God is able to protect you and see you through it. David says, “even though I walk through the darkest valley” which means that there will be times when we walk there also.  Our courage comes not from our own strength but from God our Good Shepherd who watches over us.  Courage to go where God is taking us comes from knowing that whatever enemies we face, He will protect His “sheep” even when they are facing the darkest valley.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.  Psalm 46:1-3

Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. Psalm 55:22

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.  We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.  Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. 2 Corinthians 4:8-10

 

 

DO YOU NEED FREEDOM FROM FEAR?

The Lord is my shepherd, . . .

I will not be afraid

When are you most fearful?

 

Before David became king he was on the run from King Saul who tried to kill him.  When he speaks of the valley of the shadow of death he is one who has traveled it often.  During those years of trial he learned how God frees us from the worries of this life.  In moments of helplessness he learned to discern the voice of God, the leadings of God and how to turn to God for safety.

 

When you are at a low or dark point in your life you often feel that no one sees you, that no one cares, and worse, that no one can possibly help you.  It is in those dark valleys that are ringed by foes that fear rises to a fever pitch and we become panicked and afraid.  Those are the times you need the eyes of faith the most.  Those are the moments where, like David, you need to turn to God and see that He that is for you is greater than those that are against you.
God invites you to draw near to Him.

 

Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  James 4:8

 

…since we have a great priest over the house of God,  let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  Hebrews 10:21-23

 

When you are near to God you will hear Him speak.  He will lead you and guide you.  He will grant you His Holy Spirit, and when you have the Holy Spirit with you it is no small thing. With God near to you there is no need to fear.  God is mighty and powerful.  You have no idea what God can do through you when He is near you and His Spirit fills you.  That is, until you have experienced His deliverance.

 

Take courage and be not afraid.  It does not take a perfect life to draw near to God.  All you need is a humble heart to call upon the Lord to save you.  Yield your life to Christ.  God can take a yielded life and make it a mighty fortress that nothing in heaven and earth can break down.

 

 

DO YOU NEED A CLOSE FRIEND?

The Lord is my shepherd; . . .

. . . close beside me.

Those who believe in Jesus and follow Him He no longer calls servants but “friends.”  Turn to your friend Jesus who will be a friend and companion in good times and bad.

If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you. I will talk to the Father, and he’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can’t take him in because it doesn’t have eyes to see him, doesn’t know what to look for. But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you! “I will not leave you orphaned. I’m coming back. In just a little while the world will no longer see me, but you’re going to see me because I am alive and you’re about to come alive. At that moment you will know absolutely that I’m in my Father, and you’re in me, and I’m in you. John 14:15-20

 

You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:14-15

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”  For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. Romans 8:14-16

 

 

DO YOU NEED PROTECTION?

The Lord is my shepherd; . . .

Your rod and your staff protect . . . me.

A shepherd’s rod and staff were used to guard and protect the sheep. The rod was a straight heavy stick with flint embedded at the top. It was looked upon as a symbol of power and authority and was used as a weapon against predators. The shepherd’s staff, with the crook on the end, was seldom used as a weapon. It would be used to guide sheep back on the path or back to the fold.  Sometimes the hook at the end would be used to pull back a wandering sheep or bring a wayward lamb to its mother for feeding. These instruments represented that the sheep were secure in the protection of the shepherd.  Jesus offers His sheep the same security.  He protects us from evil and keeps prodding us back away from sin and down the path of life.

The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? When evil people come to devour me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident.. Psalm 27:1-3

When I was desperate, I called out, and God got me out of a tight spot. God’s angel sets up a circle of protection around us while we pray. Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see— how good God is. Blessed are you who run to him. Psalm 34:1-8

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”   Psalm 40:1-2

 

 

DO YOU NEED COMFORT?

The Lord is my shepherd; . . .

Your rod and your staff. . .comfort  me.

Without God our souls are hungry.  We hunger for a whole host of deep things.  Some things we hunger for are peace, safety, and love.  Jesus sets a feast of his blessings before us. He offers you a time of rest and celebration.  Those who come to Christ have the hunger of their souls satisfied.  You are invited to come to his table and have fellowship with him. Do you have to wait for this until you die and go to heaven?  No!  The comfort of God’s table is laid out for you today.  No matter what sins chase you, or enemies seek your downfall, Jesus provides a place of restoration, strength and joy.  Sit down comfortably and eat at the table of the Lord.  The world outside may be rising up against you but you will be relaxed and at peace with the Almighty God as your host.  Jesus has prepared His table for you.  You are His honored guest.  Accept His invitation.

God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4

 

When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.” Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’  Luke 14:15-17

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.  He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.  When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.  2 Corinthians 1:3-4

 

 

DO YOU NEED BLESSINGS?

. . .  my cup overflows with blessings.

In the Bible oil is often used to signify the presence of the Holy Spirit in lives of believers. Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to believers to minister to us, to strengthen us, to help us.  The Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts the eternal truths of God and heaven and encourages us when times are difficult.  The Holy Spirit also comes to us bearing the gifts of God to help us overcome the ways of sin and the Devil and give us delight and joy in the power of God.  Every moment of our lives we are offered this anointing that we may bear the mark of His righteousness and rejoice in the Lord Almighty.  God not only protects His people, He blesses them abundantly.

For you bless the godly, O Lord; you surround them with your shield of love. Psalm 5:12

Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved.They will come and go freely and will find good pastures.  The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.“ I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. John 10:9-11

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.  He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. John 14:16-17

God proclaimed this good news to Abraham long ago when he said, “All nations will be blessed through you.” So all who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith. Galatians 3:8-9

 

 

DO YOU NEED LOVE?

Surely your unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life . . .  

God doesn’t change.  He loves you.  He sent His one and only Son, Jesus, to die for you, to save you from sin and provide the way for you to make it to your eternal home with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  The prophet Jeremiah declares in 31:3 The Lord said “I have loved you with an everlasting love:  I have drawn you with a loving-kindness.”  You don’t have to wonder if your life has any worth or purpose because God’s love for you gives it value and meaning.  God loves you deeply and He continues to call you to a deeper relationship with Him.  He is pursuing you not to harm or judge you but to bring you home where you can know His everlasting love.

 

David understands the love of God extended to him. He has learned that no matter what dark shadows he is facing, God is working for his good and will change the darkness into light. You need to know that God knows you completely and yet He still loves you.  He knows you and yet He still loves you.  You might have something in your past that you don’t want others to know.  What would they think if they knew?  I don’t know.  But I do know this: God knows all about you and He loves you.  That never changes.  That kind of love is freeing.  You don’t have to try to be someone else just come to Jesus as you are.  The Good News is that you will not remain that way because God’s love changes you for the better as you follow Him down the pathway of eternal life.

God loves you.  Whether you like it or not, whether you deserve it or not, He loves you.  You can run but you can’t hide from it.  God’s love will never hurt you or disappoint you.  It will never change.  It is there to protect you and guide you.  God loves you but that love demands a response from you today.  Please take the time to say to God, “I love you, too and I receive you as Lord of my life.”

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. John 3:16

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. 2 Thessalonians 2:15-17

 

 

DO YOU NEED ETERNAL LIFE?

. . . and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.

In the death and resurrection of Jesus the sting of death was defeated.  The people of God will live with the Lord forever.  The body of the believer is a temple of the Holy Spirit.  The body of the believer will live forever.  As a believer in Jesus you will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.  Death has no lasting claim on the followers of Jesus.  We who believe know that even if we die yet we shall rise to new life forever with God and all the people of God.

Our time spent in the Lord’s house down here is simply preparation for an eternity spent in the Lord’s house in heaven.

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. John 3:16

While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5: 8

 

To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become the children of God.”  John 1: 12

 

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Revelation 20:11-13