A Psalm 23 Kinda Day

I was comforted and encouraged by this famous Psalm this morning:

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
forever.
(Psalm 23 ESV)

Two things that jumped out at me today –
(1) God is the source of guidance, peace, comfort, and life. Note v1 starts with “The LORD”, look at the use of “He” and the switch to “You” in v5. God is the source of all of these things – not ourselves. We do not conjure up these blessings by ourselves, we NEED God.

(2) Verse 3 – “He leads me in the path of righteousness for his name’s sake.” Our job is not just to sit back and soak up all the blessings from Him – our active role is to flee sin and pursue righteousness. Why? For his name’s sake – for HIS glory (which is ultimately for our good – See Rom 8:28-29)

This is one of those extremely familiar passages in Scripture – but God is always faithful to teach us more, and different things about Himself is we earnestly seek him by faith.

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
(Hebrews 11:6 ESV)

Flee. Pursue. Fight. Take Hold. Keep

Fight the Good Fight of Faith

 11But as for you,(A) O man of God,(B) flee these things.(C) Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. 12(D) Fight the good fight of the faith.(E) Take hold of the eternal life(F) to which you were called and about which you made(G) the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13(H) I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus,(I) who in his testimony before[a] Pontius Pilate made(J) the good confession, 14to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until(K) the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 

Flee (these things)” – what things?  Well, what he went into in the verses prior. (v6-10).  He was talking about the desire for wealth.  Which is really coveting.  Which is really idolatry.  (Col 3:5) Yes…Idolatry is alive and well, folks.

OK…so if I’m fleeing something, am I pursuing something else?

Yes…glad you asked.

–“Pursue:”

  1. Righteousness
  2. Godliness
  3. Faith
  4. Love
  5. Steadfastness
  6. Gentleness

–“Fight the good fight of faith” – How?  See 1-6.  

…what else?

–“Take hold of the eternal life” – Eternal perspective. Always.  This world is not all there is, and that’s a good thing.

–“Keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach”

…for how long?

“Until the appearing of our Lord Jesus.”